Instructions to Authors

Inspire Student Journal includes articles written and chosen by students, from news articles and interviews to original student research reports. There are no charges for submitting or having your article included in Inspire. All articles must be written in English and all papers will be screened to check for plagiarism prior to acceptance. 

The abstract, tables, figure legends and references are excluded from the word count.

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 the topic your first research project and why did you choose it?
  • When and why did you decide to do a PhD?
  • What are the three most valuable skills you have learnt by being involved in research?
  • 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 800 words) The aim is to introduce students to common techniques used in research, explaining why certain steps are carried out. Alternatively, new research methods may be introduced.

Images (up to 100 words) Some amazing images can be captured in research! Images may be shared, with a brief explanation of the image. In addition, original artwork may be submitted, such as drawings and paintings. These should portray research. When pitching your idea, please state whether your image should be considered for the front cover of the issue.

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

Comedy (up to 200 words) 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.

Blog posts (up to 800 words) Blog posts should be in lay terms and are flexible in terms of layout (bullet points are allowed). Please note that you may be requested to submit your piece as a blog post if we think this is the most suitable category.

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

Student research articles Original research articles may be: 

  • 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)

Format and layout All submissions must be in Microsoft Word. Articles should include the following sections:

  • Title page: This should include the title and type of article, author names and the total word count (excluding abstract, references, tables, illustrations and legends).
  • Abstract (up to 150 words): This should introduce the topic, explaining its importance and importantly highlight the main conclusions and findings of the submission.
  • Introduction: This should consist of one or two paragraphs of approximately 150 words explaining what the article will cover, why it is important and a very brief summary of the main conclusion or finding.
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion and conclusions: The submission should end with few a paragraphs describing the main conclusions of the submission and clearly state the principal findings. Limitations and strengths of the study should be discussed, as should implications for further research and clinical practice.
  • Appendices (optional): these should only be included to support the main document and should not be used to expand the main document.

Writing style We encourage you to write for general readers, avoiding specialist jargon or abbreviations (define all abbreviations on first use), and try to break up the text with informative subheadings. Articles should be attractive and accessible to general readers and should stimulate further reading around the topic.

Referencing Please use numbered references (superscript in the text), ensuring that references are cited in numerical order in the text. The full list of references should be in Vancouver style.

Plagiarism, consent and ethical approval Plagiarism is defined as the representation of another person’s work as your own, without acknowledging the source. Examples of plagiarism include direct copying from texts without appropriate citation; paraphrasing other people’s work and summarising their ideas without acknowledging the source; submitting your own work more than once for different pieces of assessed work; and copying from another student. In all cases, the failure to acknowledge the source constitutes plagiarism.

Authors are expected to act within clinical governance guidelines and should be able to assure appropriate ethical approval, where necessary, has been obtained. Guidelines for Ethics are provided in the Programme Handbook. Authors should also comply with all copyright regulations regarding images; therefore, authors must not reproduce any image they have not created or adapted themselves in their work without permission.

Authors will be required to provide signed consent from their project supervisor to confirm that they have their permission to include data in the Inspire Student Journal. A consent form can be downloaded here.

For any queries regarding plagiarism, consent and ethical approval, please contact the Senior Editors at

Peer review process Once submitted, articles will be sent for peer review. A member of the senior editorial team will be a source of contact between the author and peer reviewers. You will receive a feedback form detailing comments from the peer reviewers within 2 weeks of the article submission. The updated article must be returned to the senior editorial team within 2 weeks of receiving the peer review feedback. Authors will receive an email shortly before the deadline as a reminder. There is no limit to the number of times an article can be sent through the peer review process.

Please note, submitting an article for peer review does not guarantee publication in the journal. Articles that have not completed the peer review process in time for upcoming publications can be reserved for possible publication in future issues. To ensure your article has the best chance of making the upcoming issue, take on board the suggestions from peer reviewers and return the updated article as soon as possible.

Title page

This should include:

  1. The title of the paper 
  2. The author(s) name, year of study, course and university
  3. Email address for correspondence

Abstracts should be <200 words in length and should include the aim of the piece, details of methodology, key results and a conclusion. 


Inspire will tweet about all articles included in the journal and online content. Please supply a tweet along with any personal twitter handles and relevant hashtags you wish to include (maximum of 250 characters, including spaces) on the title page. 


Please supply a list of all abbreviations used and define all abbreviations on first mention in the text. 


The Introduction should provide background to your piece and outline the aims/hypothesis of your work.  


Please provide details of all methods used in your research. There should be enough information so that a reader will be able to replicate the study if they wish. 

Please ensure that details of ethical approval and informed consent/assent are included in the Methods section of your paper, if appropriate. 

Please include a statistics section, where information on how data are expressed and the statistical assays used are outlined. Please also included n values for biological/experimental replicates, as well as any details of randomisation, blinding and exclusion of data.

Please ensure that manufacturer details are provided for all reagents/equipment included in the Methods section. A URL may be provided as an alternative to a physical address for software. 


Please describe all results relevant to your study in the results section. Please do not discuss the results in this section. 


Results should be interpreted but not repeated in the Discussion. You may wish to structure your Discussion as follows:

  • Outline of the main findings
  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the study, for example of the methodological approaches used. You may wish to discuss the similarities and disparities between your findings and findings from previously published research
  • Describe how your study may influence clinical practice and policy/guidelines
  • Propose future research that may be required to fill in any further gaps in knowledge

Please acknowledge individuals who were involved in the article but who do not qualify for authorship


Please cite references in numerical order in the text, using a superscript number after any associated punctuation.  


Tables should be created using the ‘insert table’ function of Word. Please include a title for each table and use footnotes where appropriate.  


Please provide figures as separate files (see below for file types), with figure legends at the end of the article. The figure legend should provide enough information so that readers can understand the figure/data without referring to the main text.  

Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Use Helvetica or Arial font
  • Please ensure the font size is large enough so that the text is legible when the figure is reduced in size for print
  • Please use the same font style and size throughout your figures
  • Please include units on axis labels
  • Please use standard statistical notation in figures (*p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001); usual order for symbols for different comparisons is: *, †, ‡, §,
  • Please provide n values in figure legends
  • Do not use gridlines

Permissions If the figure you wish to use has been published previously, you may need to request permission from the copyright holder. Please ensure that written permission is given for photographs of patients/individuals in which the individual is identifiable

Figure format Please supply your figures as EPS, Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, Excel or Word files. Alternatively, high-resolution TIFF files (1200 dpi for black and white; 600 dpi for colour) or PNG files may be supplied. 

Please supply video files as MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP or WebM files.

The aspect ratio should be 16:9 or 4:3. 

Please ensure that the content of video files does not flash more than three times per second.

All content in Inspire will be distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that 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 are made.