You are here

Medicine, Science and the Law
Share

Medicine, Science and the Law

2016 Impact Factor: 0.689
2016 Ranking: 89/147 in Law | 12/15 in Medicine, Legal
Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2017); Indexed in PubMed: MEDLINE
Published in Association with British Academy of Forensic Sciences

Interim Editor-in-Chief
Professor Peter Vanezis Barts and the London, UK


eISSN: 20421818 | ISSN: 00258024 | Current volume: 57 | Current issue: 4 Frequency: Quarterly

Medicine, Science and the Law is the official journal of the British Academy for Forensic Sciences (BAFS). It is a peer reviewed journal dedicated to advancing the knowledge of forensic science and medicine. The journal aims to inform its readers from a broad perspective and demonstrate the interrelated nature and scope of the forensic disciplines. Through a variety of authoritative research and practice articles submitted from across the globe, it covers a range of topical medico-legal issues. The journal keeps its readers informed of developments and trends through reporting, discussing and debating current issues of importance in forensic practice.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Medicine, Science and the Law is the official journal of the British Academy for Forensic Sciences (BAFS). It is a peer reviewed journal dedicated to advancing the knowledge of forensic science and medicine. The journal aims to inform its readers from a broad perspective and demonstrate the interrelated nature and scope of the forensic disciplines. Through a variety of authoritative research and practice articles submitted from across the globe, it covers a range of topical medico-legal issues. The journal keeps its readers informed of developments and trends through reporting, discussing and debating current issues of importance in forensic practice.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). 

Forensic Pathology Speciality Editor
Alexander Kolar Forensic Pathology Services, UK
Law Speciality Editor
Laura Begley Chambers of Grahame Aldous QC, UK
Karen Richmond University of Strathclyde, UK
Meron Wondemaghen University of Southampton, UK
Forensic Science Speciality Editor
Angela Shaw Forensic Firearms Consultancy, UK
Vasudeva Murthy International Medical University, Malaysia
Speciality Editors
Ms Stephanie Prior Anthony Gold Solicitors, UK
UK Consulting Editors
Dr Jim Cox General Medical Council, UK
Dr Tracey Elliott University of Leicester, UK
Mr Rudi Fortson QC Bedford Row Chambers London, UK
Dr William Goodwin University of Central Lancashire, UK
Dr S Edward Josse Retired Forensic Physician, UK
Dr Vivek Khosla Oxford Clinic, UK
Professor Paul Marks BMI Healthcare, UK
Jacqueline Perry Temple Gardens Chambers, London, UK
Dr Oliver White Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK
International Consulting Editors
Professor Ravindra Fernando University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
Professor Michael Pollanen University of Toronto, Canada
Professor Franco Tagliaro University of Verona, Italy
Dr Morris Tidball-Binz International Committee of Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland
  • ArticleFirst
  • Arts and Humanities Search
  • Clarivate Analytics: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE)
  • Current Contents
  • EBSCO: CINAHL Plus
  • EBSCO: CINAHL Plus with Full Text
  • EBSCO: SocINDEX
  • EBSCO: SocINDEX with Full Text
  • Elsevier BV: EMBASE
  • Family & Society Studies Worldwide (NISC)
  • Gale: General OneFile
  • Gale: InfoTrac OneFile
  • Health Index
  • Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective
  • Legal Trac
  • MEDLINE
  • PIO - Periodicals Index Online
  • Personal Alert (E-mail)
  • PubMed: MEDLINE
  • Reactions Weekly
  • Scopus
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • TRIS Electronic Bibliographic Data Base
  • Web of Science
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Medicine, Science and the Law

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/msl to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Medicine, Science and the Law will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
      2.7 Statistical analyses
      2.8 Randomized controlled trials
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Journal style
      4.3 Statistical guidelines
      4.4 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.5 Supplementary material
      4.6 Reference style
      4.7 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Medicine, Science and the Law, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope

    1.2 Article Types

    Editorials
    Articles referring to research published elsewhere in that issue of the journal, or to important events in the specialty. Editorials are usually commissioned. Maximum length 1,600 words.

    Viewpoint Articles
    Articles pertinent to opinion of the author or a group of authors presenting a personal point of view on an area in the forensic disciplines. Subheadings should be used within the article to highlight the content of different sections. Maximum length 4,000 words, including abstract, plus 4-5 tables or figures.

    Review Articles
    Articles of a substantial and topical nature that review current knowledge in forensic science, medicine and the law. Maximum length 6,000 words, including abstract, plus 4-5 tables or figures. Subheadings should be used within the article to highlight the content of different sections.

    Original Articles
    Articles describing sound original research that falls within the scope of the journal. These should be up to 5,000 words, including an abstract, and have no more than six figures and tables. The abstract should state the main purposes of the study, the basic procedures used and the most important conclusions drawn. The rest of the article should be structured in conventional style (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References).

    Case Reports
    Articles describing forensic cases that have significant original observations, are instructive, include adequate methodological details and provide conclusions. These should be prepared in a narrative style and comprise an abstract; a short introduction stating the reasons for reporting the case; the case report including history, investigations and outcomes; and a discussion referring to the relevant literature. Maximum length 2,000 words with no more than two figures and tables.

    Letters to the Editor
    Letters arise usually but not exclusively from papers published in this and other scientific journals. These are usually up to 800 words.

    Book Reviews
    All book reviews are commissioned. Notifications about new books should be sent to the Editorial Office. Books for review should be sent to the Editor-in Chief, Medicine, Science and the Law, Cameron Forensic Medical Sciences, Clinical Pharmacology, Barts and the London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

    Events Diary
    A listing of forthcoming meetings and conferences, local and international, that are relevant to the specialty. Contributions for this section should be emailed directly to the Editorial Office. 

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    Back to top

    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Medicine, Science and the Law operates a single-blind reviewing policy in which the reviewer's name is always concealed from the submitting author. Manuscripts are assigned to a Speciality Editor based on their key topic. At this stage some manuscripts may be immediately rejected if they do not fit within the aims and scope of the journal or do not reach sufficient priority for peer review. The Speciality Editor will manage the assignment of peer reviewers. The Speciality Editor will then make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief regarding publication, primarily based on the reviewers comments. The Editor-in-Chief will make his final decision based on both this recommendation and the comments of the reviewers.

    All submissions to Medicine, Science and the Law will be considered for publication on the understanding that they are not under consideration, accepted or already published elsewhere. Authors should confirm this in the covering letter accompanying the manuscript.

    The covering letter is important. To help the Section Editor in their preliminary evaluation, please indicate why you think the paper suitable for publication.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below: 

      • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
      • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
      • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    You will also be asked to nominate peers who you do not wish to review your manuscript (opposed reviewers).

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite/reject any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript. 

    Medicine, Science and the Law is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper, and as such has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third party service that seeks to track, verify and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for Medicine, Science and the Law  can opt in to Publons in order to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal, but the article name, reviewer’s decision and the content of their review is not published on the site. For more information visit the Publons website.

    2.2 Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

      1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
      2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
      3. Approved the version to be published,
      4. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.3.1 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”.

    It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    2.4 Funding

    Medicine, Science and the Law requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of Medicine, Science and the Law to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

    2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

    Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

    For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.

    Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.

    Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

    Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

    Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

    All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The journal has adopted the Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Veterinary Journals published by the International Association of Veterinary Editors.

    2.7 Statistical analyses

    Where statistical analyses have been carried out please ensure that the methodology has been accurately described. In comparative studies power calculations are usually required. In research papers requiring complex statistics the advice of an expert statistician should be sought at the design/implementation stage of the study.

    Please see section 4.3 – Statistical Guidelines for additional information.

    2.8 Randomized controlled trials

    All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in Medicine, Science and the Law should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information.

    Back to top

    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Medicine, Science and the Law and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Medicine, Science and the Law offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

    Back to top

    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Journal style

    Formatting
    Manuscripts must be submitted using double line-spaced, unjustified text throughout, with headings and subheadings in bold case. Press ‘Enter’ only at the end of a paragraph, list entry or heading.

    Title page
    The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), and the name, postal and email addresses of the author for correspondence, as well as a full list of declarations. The title should be concise and informative, accurately indicating the content of the article. The short title should be no more than six words long.

    Abstract
    An abstract (unstructured) of no more than 250 words must accompany all article types, excepting Editorials, Letters to the Editor and Book reviews.

    Tables
    Tables must be prepared using the Table feature of the word processor. Tables should not duplicate information given in the text, should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text, and should be given a brief title.

    Abbreviations
    Abbreviations must be defined in full at their first mention in the text. Authors should not create new abbreviations and acronyms.

    Units
    All measurements should be expressed in SI units (exception: mmHg for blood pressure).

    Statistics
    If preparing statistical data for publication, please read the statistical guidelines.

    4.3 Statistical guidelines

    These guidelines are designed to help authors prepare statistical data for publication and are not a substitute for the detailed guidance required to design a study or perform a statistical analysis. Each section of a scientific paper is addressed separately.

    Summary
    The number and source of data must be stated and conclusions which have a statistical basis must be substantiated by inclusion of pertinent descriptive statistics (mean or median, standard deviation [SD] or interquartile range, percentage coefficient of variation [%CV], 95% confidence limits, regression equations, etc.).

    Methods
    Experimental design, subject selection and randomization procedures should be described and analytical precision quoted when appropriate. The hypotheses to be tested by a statistical procedure must be stated and where appropriate power calculations for the sample size used should be given (it is recommended that the power is X80%). In case-control studies clearly define how cases and controls were selected and what matching has taken place. 
    We would advise authors to consider the STARD,1 CONSORT2 and STROBE3 statements for studies reporting diagnostic or clinical trials. They offer guidance on writing reports with complete clarity.

    Results
    Unnecessary precision, particularly in tables, should be avoided. Rounded figures are easier to compare and extra decimal places are rarely important. Descriptive statistics require an additional digit to those used for the raw data. Percentages should not be expressed to more than one decimal place and not be used at all for small samples. 
    Normally distributed data should be described using a mean, SD and/or %CV and expressed as ‘mean (SD)’ not ‘mean ± SD’. When data are not normally distributed, following demonstration by tests such as the Shapiro-Wilk test,4 then medians and interquartile ranges should be used in place of mean and SD. Skewed data can often be normalized by logarithmic transformation or a power transformation. The statistical analysis and calculation of summary statistics should be carried out on the transformed data and the summary statistics transformed back to the original scale for presentation. If a logarithmic scale is used then graphs should display non-transformed data on a logarithmic scale. 
    Graphs showing data of comparable magnitude should be of a similar size and design. All individual points should be displayed where possible by displacing overlapping points. Error bars showing the standard error of the mean (SEM) or interquartile range, as appropriate, can be used to aid interpretation of the data. 
    The results of significance tests such as Student’s and chi-squared should be presented with descriptive statistics, degrees of freedom (if appropriate) and probability P. The validity of any assumptions should be checked (e.g. conventional t-tests assume a normal distribution and equal variance for each set of data). For 2 x 2 contingency table analysis by the chi-squared test the continuity correction must be applied and for small expected frequencies Fisher’s Exact Test used. P values should be reported in fullto1or 2 significant figures, describing P values as 40.05 or NS (not significant) should be avoided. If the results are highly significant and the calculated P value from the computer is e.g. 0.000, then the use of P <_0.0005 is="is" acceptable.="acceptable." confidence="confidence" intervals="intervals" should="should" be="be" stated="stated" particularly="particularly" for="for" non-significant="non-significant" results.="results." br="br">The conventional use of statistical significance is P≤0.05. If a different significance level needs to be used then the reasons why must be clearly stated in the statistical method section.

    Discussion
    Statistical significance should not be equated to importance and P values should not be compared between different data sets or different statistical tests. Association should not be interpreted as causation without additional evidence.

    Problem areas
    Multiple comparisons
    Multiple comparisons can produce spurious and misleading significance values. The primary hypothesis should always be clearly stated, and associations detected by retrospective analysis should be interpreted with caution. Whenever possible a single overall statistical test should be applied first e.g. ANOVA. If this is not significant then multiple comparisons must not be applied. If it is significant then some form of multiple range tests can be applied. If a single overall test is not possible then multiple comparisons must use a Bonferroni type significance level.

    Paired data
    With paired data the differences between individual pairs of data and the variability of the differences are more important than the individual values. Graphical representation should also show the difference between individual pairs, e.g. by plotted lines joining the paired data points.

    Standard regression analysis Standard regression analysis requires data points to be independent (repeated measurements are not independent). The independent variable should be measured without significant error, e.g. age or time, and the points should be evenly distributed over the range and have no outliers (this can be easily examined with a scatterplot). These requirements are rarely satisfied with biological data.

    Method comparison
    Method comparison using regression and correlation coefficients is inappropriate and should be performed using Altman and Bland difference plots.5 If a standard scatter plot and regression line are thought to be useful they can be given along with the Altman–Bland plot. Remember if two methods are supposed to be measuring the same thing then it is extremely likely they will be correlated so as a statistical tool correlation is not going to tell you anything new.

    If you are carrying out complicated statistical analyses e.g. multivariate analysis, ROC analysis etc., then it is recommended that you seek advice from a statistician.

    4.4 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.  

    All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All figures must be accompanied by a figure legend. If figures are supplied in separate files, the figure legends must all be listed at the end of the main text file.

    Line drawings should be produced electronically and clearly labelled using a sans serif font such as Arial. Graphs may be supplied as Excel spreadsheets (one per sheet). Other line drawings should be supplied in a suitable vector graphic file format (e.g. .eps)

    All photographic images should be submitted in camera-ready form (i.e. with all extraneous areas removed), and where necessary, magnification should be shown using a scale marker. Photographic images must be supplied at high resolution, preferably 600 dpi. Images supplied at less than 300 dpi are unsuitable for print and will delay publication. The preferred file format is .tif.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.5 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.6 Reference style

    Medicine, Science and the Law adheres to the SAGE Vancouver reference style. View the SAGE Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Vancouver EndNote output file.

    4.7 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

    Back to top

    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Medicine, Science and the Law is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/msl to login and submit your article online.

    All submissions must be in English.

    Tables and figures may be submitted as separate files, in which case the files should be uploaded in the following order: (1) main text, including title page, abstract and references; (2) tables; (3) figures; (4) covering letter; and (5) supplementary files.

    Text files must be saved in .doc or .rtf format. Other suitable formats include .tif or .jpg for photographic images (minimum 300 dpi), .xls for graphs produced in Excel, and .eps for other line drawings.

    Please note that, in addition to selecting your article type, you will also be asked to select the primary discipline that you believe best matches your paper from the following list:

    Forensic Science
    Forensic Medicine
    Forensic Psychiatry
    Law

    This information will be used to select the Speciality Editor who is best placed to process your manuscript. The Editorial Office reserves the right to transfer your paper to another primary discipline for processing.

     IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    Back to top

    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos

    Back to top

    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Medicine, Science and the Law editorial office as follows:

    MSL Editorial: msl.pra@sagepub.com

    Individual Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)


    Institutional Subscription, E-access


    Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)


    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, E-access Plus Backfile (All Online Content)


    Institutional Subscription & Backfile Lease, Combined Plus Backfile (Current Volume Print & All Online Content)


    Institutional Backfile Purchase, E-access (Content through 1998)


    Individual, Single Print Issue


    Institutional, Single Print Issue