Instructions to Authors

Inspire Student Journal includes articles written and chosen by students, from news articles and interviews to original student research reports. Articles should lie within the fields of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science. There is no charge to submit or have your article included in Inspire. All articles must be in English and will be checked for plagiarism.

Student Research Articles The aim of these pieces is to communicate research to a broader audience than to only people working in specific fields and subject areas.

  • Vacation Studentship reports (up to 800 words, maximum of two figures/tables)
  • Intercalation project reports (up to 800 words, maximum of two figures/tables)
  • Student Selected Components (based on completed SSCs – a new piece written for the Journal of up to 1200 words))
  • Case reports (up to 1000 words)
  • Elective reports (up to 800 words)
  • Audits (up to 800 words)

News (up to 800 words) These articles summarise exciting medical, dental or veterinary research that has taken place locally, nationally or internationally.

Letters (up to 400 words) Letters may comment on previously published articles in the INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal (download Issue 1 and Issue 2 here)

Discussions/Opinions (up to 800 words) Viewpoints around a research dilemma or contradictions in research are considered in discussion/opinion pieces. Personal opinions regarding the research topic may be expressed but this should be in a coherent and fair way, based on referenced facts.

Interviews (up to 800 words) This aim of this piece is to provide insight into why people choose research as their career, the challenges they have faced and advice they have for students. Interviewees may provide their contact details and state if they would be willing to host students for INSPIRE Taster Days, Vacation Studentships etc. Brief background details of the interviewee could be included when submitting the article. Please provide a list of potential questions that would be asked in the interview, for example:

  • How did you get into research?
  • What was your first research project on and why did you choose it?
  • When and why did you decide to do a PhD?
  • What are the three most valuable skills learnt by being involved in research in your opinion?
  • What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing research as a career?
  • How would you advise a student to differentiate themselves from other students interested in research?

Careers (up to 1000 words) This article type can involve giving advice to students on applying for research opportunities, provide an insight into the realities of being involved in research and advise students on ways they can improve their research CV. It may also include information on the Academic Foundation Programme.

Protocols/Lab techniques/Research methods (up to 400 words) The aim of this piece is to introduce students to common techniques used in research and explains why certain steps are carried out. Alternatively, different research methods may be introduced.

Images (up to 100 words) Some amazing images can be captured in research! This piece allows images to be shared, explaining the image in a few sentences. This piece could also include original artwork, such as drawings and paintings, which portray research in a particular way. Please indicate if you would like your image to be considered for the front cover of an issue and why.

Events (up to 300 words) Reports on research events, such as conferences and INSPIRE Showcases.

Comedy (up to 200 words) or cartoon strip This may be a research-related written piece or cartoon strip

Video Podcasts (up to 200 words) Any of the above articles may be submitted as a video podcast. In your pitch, please provide a brief explanation of the content of the video (including names of the individuals to be featured). Note that written consent will be required from all individuals who feature in the video.


We welcome other types of articles for consideration. However, please pitch the idea to the editorial team first via email (

Title page

The following should be included on the title page:

  1. Title of the piece
  2. Authors name(s), year of study, course, university
  3. Corresponding author e-mail address

Abstracts are required for original research articles only. The Abstract should outline the aim of your study, the research methods used, the main results of your paper and a conclusion. Abstracts should be no longer than 200 words.


Inspire will tweet about all accepted articles. Please supply a tweet on the title page of your article, along with institutional/personal twitter handles and hashtags (max 250 characters, including spaces). Please also let us know which image/figure you would like us to use to accompany the tweet.


Please define all abbreviations used in your paper in an abbreviations list.


Please provide background information highlighting the relevance of your article and, if submitting an original research article, the aims/hypothesis of your study.


Methods should allow the reader to understand what was done and how the study was carried out. There should be enough detail to allow repeatability of the procedures.

Please ensure that details of ethical approval and informed consent are included in the Methods section of your paper, if relevant. Please state who granted ethical approval and, if necessary, indicate whether informed consent/assent was obtained.

Please include a statistics section in your Methods indicating how data are presented, the statistical tests used and the number of experimental/biological replicates.

Please include manufacturer details (including city and country) for all equipment and regents used in experiments.


Please be concise in your reporting of results and do not discuss your findings in the Results section.


Results should be interpreted in the Discussion. We advise authors to structure their discussion as follows:

1. Outline the main findings of your study (there is no need to repeat numerical data)

2. Discuss the strengths and limitations of the study, particularly referring to other studies. Use this opportunity to discuss the differences/similarities in the findings from your study compared with previous studies.

3. Indicate how your findings may impact on future research, clinical practice and policy and outline future research that may be required.


Please acknowledge individuals who have contributed to the work but do not qualify for authorship.


Please reference original findings, where possible, and cite references in numerical order in the text. Please give the number as a superscript number, before any punctuation.


Please create tables using the ‘insert table’ function of Word. Please ensure each table has a title and include footnotes if necessary.


Please provide figure legends at the end of your article. Figure legends should provide the reader with enough information so that they do not need to refer to the main text to interpret the data. Please do not include details of methods in the figure legends.

Please adhere to the following artwork guidelines:

  • Use Helvetica or Arial font
  • Use the same font style and size for all figure labels
  • Ensure that the size of font in figures is large enough so that labels are easy to read when the figure is reduced in size for print
  • Include units in parenthesis on axis labels e.g. XXX (mmol/l)
  • Use standard statistical notation in figures (*p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001); usual order for symbols for different comparisons is: *, †, ‡, §
  • Avoid borders around graphs/figures
  • Do not include gridlines

If the figure you wish to use has been published previously, you will be asked to request permission for reuse from the copy-right holder.

Figure format

If your article is accepted, we will ask you to supply your figures as original (not imported) EPS, Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, Excel or Word files. Alternatively, you may supply TIFF files (at 1200 dpi for black and white images and 600 dpi for greyscale or colour images) or PNG files.

Videos should meet the following requirements:

  • Video files should be in one of the following formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3 or 16:9
  • Please do not include content that flashes more than three times per second (to avoid risk to viewers prone to seizures)

All content in Inspire will be distributed under the terms of the CreativeCommons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source is given, a link to the Creative Commons license is provided, and it is indicated if any changes were made.