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Health Sciences Mindanao

About Health Sciences Mindanao

Health Sciences Mindanao (HSM) is an open-access peer-reviewed journal of the Davao Medical School Foundation, Inc., which covers topics on all medical and health sciences disciplines such as pre-clinical and clinical studies, case reports, communication about methods and research design, health services and economics, public health, and medical education and practice.

It aims to encourage and support local researchers and academics by promoting and disseminating local research outputs improved by expert peer reviewers in Health Science and related fields.

HSM caters article categories such as unpublished research articles, reviews, study protocols, method articles, editorial articles, commentaries, letter to the Editor, and local book review. It has no article processing charges (APCs), submission charges, pages charges, color charges and any similar charges.

The journal is a single blind review process. All contributions are typically sent to a minimum of two (2) independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. In case of a discord in reviewer’s decision, the Editor will be responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. Authors may suggest at most three (3) names of appropriate peer reviewers.

Author Guidelines

Journal Submission

Only online submission of unpublished manuscript to Health Sciences Mindanao (HSM) are accepted through email at with subject HSM | Paper Submission. Attachments should include the cover letter, manuscripts (with file formats Microsoft Office, Open Office or RTF document) and supporting files (text, figures, supplementary information, video, certificates).

Types of Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

1. Research articles are detailed unpublished original study. The main text should have maximum of 3,000 words excluding tables, figures, and references. Maximum of 30 references are allowed.

2. Reviewsare balanced and critical analysis of recent developments in a research field with maximum of 3,000 words excluding tables, figures, and references. Maximum of 100 references are allowed. Authors are encouraged to have short annotations of selecting key contributions.

3. Case studiesreports real patient cases’ details from medical practice with maximum of 1,200 words excluding tables, figures and references. Maximum of 20 references are allowed.

4. Letters are important research results that must begin with an introductory paragraph (not abstract) of approximately 150 words. The main text should have maximum of 1,200 words excluding tables, figures, and references. Maximum of 20 references are allowed.

5. Conference summaries and announcements should have maximum of 500 words.

Preparation of Manuscript

General Guidelines

1. Manuscript has not been previously published, nor is it submitted in another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Cover Letter).

2. Text format: Submitted manuscript should be in A4 paper format, double-spaced, left justified, one-inch margin each side, use 12 point Arial and with line numbers.

3. Cover letter: It explains the impact and salient features of the article addressed to the Editor-In-Chief claiming that the study has not been previously published, nor submitted in another journal. Manuscripts submission without this will not be accepted.

4. Content Order: Main article file should be in this order:

a. Title page
b. Abstract with keywords
c. Report Body
d. References
e. Tables
f. Figures
g. Appendices (if relevant)

5. Style Points: The following formats must be observed:

b. For abbreviations, spell out meaning when first used, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. Henceforth, use the abbreviation only.
Use only SI or SI-derived units.
c. Numbers less than 10 are spelled out, except for measurement, age, and lists with other number.
d. Do not use trade names.
e. Authors must abide by the relevant standards:

i. CONSORT for reporting randomized controlled trials,
ii. PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses,
iii. STROBE for observational studies,
iv. COREQ for qualitative studies,
v. STARD for reporting diagnostic tests,
vi. EQUATOR Network, or
vii. ARRIVE guidelines.

6. Ethical Consent: Manuscripts with human and/or animal studies will be accepted if study has complied with institutional policies of ethical standards for experimental studies. These documents must be attached in the Appendices. All studies involving:

a. Humans should include an Ethics approval letter identifying the Ethics Committee that approved the protocol,
b. Animals should include Animal Care and Use approval letter, identifying the IACUC that approved the protocol,
c. Microorganisms or viruses should include Biosecurity approval letter identifying the Biosafety Committee that approved the protocol, and

Case reports should include a consent declaration from the person/s involved with strict anonymity observed.

Title Page

The title page must contain a short running title (less than 40 characters) without abbreviations, full names (First-Middle Initial-Surname-Extensions), institutional affiliations and work contribution to the study of ALL authors. The corresponding author must be clearly indicated with email and telephone numbers.


Abstract must be 300 words or less. Original research articles must have an extended structured abstract with background, objectives, methods, results and conclusion. After this, a list of at least five keywords useful for indexing must be included. For keywords, please refer to NLM Medical Subject Heading (MeSH), or established indexing systems (e.g. PubMed).

Report Body

The body must be organized with proper numbering as follows:

1.0 Introduction explains the importance of the research by describing the problem for conducting the study, current situation in the field, and study gap. Primarily, it states the research’s objectives, scope, significance and hypothesis (if relevant). Authors are encouraged to avoid subheadings.

2.0 Methodology reveals how the study is conducted. It provides a detailed information about population, sample, materials, procedures, and data analysis. This part typically has subheadings.

3.0 Results presents the findings of the study. This may be presented based on research framework or objectives. Tables and figures from statistical analysis are presented in this section.

4.0 Discussion summarizes, evaluates and interprets the findings of the study. It revisits the related literature and studies for new found knowledge. This may include limitations of the study if these are factors in the results that have been gathered. This also includes recommendation that discusses the limitations of the study to suggest ideas for future studies. The Conclusion and Recommendation will be given at the end of the Discussion section.

5.0 Acknowledgements/Funding pertains to individuals, groups, institutions or agencies that supported the research study. This must be after Conclusion or Discussion.

6.0 Conflict of Interest Statement must be observed for authors to identify and declare clearly any conflict to avoid any future investigations by HSM.

Subheadings should be numbered (e.g. 2.1 Research Location, 2.2. Research Instrument which are subsections of 2.0 Methodology).


References should follow the Vancouver format which is commonly used in medicine and science. These are its general guidelines.

1. References are cited in sequence using Arabic numerals enclosed in a square bracket right after the sentence’ last word and before any punctuation mark. If two or more references are cited, it should be separated by a comma.

2. References are listed in numerical order and in the same order in which they are cited in text.

3. Only a maximum of six authors per article must be cited. If more than this, only the first three authors will be mentioned followed by “et al.”

4. The following are examples of listing of references.

Journal article – one author

   Snowdon J. Severe depression in old age. Med Today. 2002 Dec;3(12):40‐47.

Journal article – two authors

McInnes D, Bollen J. Learning on the job: metaphors of choreography and the practice of sex in sex‐on‐premises venues. Venereology. 2000;13(1):27‐36.

Journal article – three to six authors

Skalsky K, Yahav D, Bishara J, Pitlik S, Leibovici L, Paul M. Treatment of human brucellosis: systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 2008 Mar 29;336(7646):701‐4

Journal article – more than six authors

Hanna JN, McBride WJ, Brookes DL, et al. Hendra virus infection in veterinarian. Med J Aust. 2006 Nov 20;185(10):562‐64.

Journal article – no author

New accreditation product approved for systems under the ambulatory and home care programs. Comm Perspect. 2005 May;25(5):8.

Journal article – in press

Rourke E, Hussain R, Buscombe JR, Hilson AJ. Overlying urostomy bag simulating urinary leak in a postrenal transplant MAG3 study. Clin Nucl Med. Forthcoming 2006


Journal article – electronic with DOI

Puri S, O’Brian MR. The hmuQ and hmuD genes from Bradyrhizobium japonicum encode heme‐degrading enzymes. J Bacteriol [Internet]. 2006 Sep [cited 2012 Aug 2];188(18):6476‐82. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009

Journal article – electronic without DOI

Lemanek K. Adherence issues in the medical management of asthma. J Pediatr Psychol [Internet]. 1990 [cited 2010 Apr 22];15(4):437‐58.

Online resource

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Managing asthma: A guide for schools. 2003


Beck CAJ, Sales BD. Family mediation: Facts, myths, and future prospects. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2001



 The following are guidelines for table formatting:

1. The main table heading, which appears above the table, should include a table number (Arabic) and a title. Legend and explanatory notes must appear below the table.

2. Tables should be single-spaced and in 10 point Arial.

3. Tables, which are meant to supplement information in the text, must be self-explanatory.

4. Manuscript should contain no more than 3 tables.

5. Tables must be submitted as a separated file.


The following are guidelines for figure formatting:

    1. Figures or graphs should be identified by Arabic Numbers with titles and explanations underneath. The numbers should correspond to the order in which the figures/graph occur in the text. It is recommended that figures/graphs also be submitted as image files (preferably as jpeg, tiff, or png files) of 300 dpi.

    2. All identifying data of the subject/s or patient/s under study, such as name, case numbers, etc., particularly in case reports, should be removed.

    3. Manuscript should contain no more than 3 figures.

    4. Figures must be submitted as a separate file.


    An appendix contains supplementary information not essential in the report body but is helpful in further comprehensive understanding of the research. This must be submitted in a separate file. These may include the following:

      1. Supporting evidence (e.g. raw data)

      2. Contributory facts or specialized data

      3. Sample size calculations

      4. Technical figures, graphs, tables, statistics

      5. Detailed description of research instruments

      6. Maps, charts, photographs, drawings

      7. Letters, emails and other copies of correspondence

      8. Questionnaire/survey instruments

      9. Complete transcripts of interviews

      10. Complete field notes from observations

      11. Specification or data sheets

      12. Certificates

      Page Charges

      There are no page charges in Health Sciences Mindanao (HSM) of Davao Medical School Foundation, Inc.