The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders
Guidelines for Authors on Manuscript Preparation and Submission

General Information​

Electronic Submission System.

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically by using the online submission system of The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders.

Our online submission and peer review system offers more rapid and cost-effective processing than paper-based submission. Additionally, authors are able to check the status of their manuscripts online throughout the editorial/peer review process.

Required Forms.

We require submission by each author of a form incorporating 4 statements: (1) authorship and manuscript approval, (2) copyright transfer or federal employment, and (3) financial or other relationships that might pose a conflict of interest. The corresponding author must sign (4) the Acknowledgment statement. These 4 statements are provided for use by authors in this form.

This form can be mailed to Physicians Postgraduate Press, P.O. Box 752870, Memphis, TN 38175-2870, or faxed to the Production Coordinator at 901-273-2752.

Manuscript Preparation.

Manuscript preparation must meet Companion requirements, which are in accordance with the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and are summarized below.

Scope of Submitted Manuscripts

The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders will become The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders in 2011. The Companion seeks to advance the clinical expertise of primary care physicians, neurologists, sleep and pain specialists, and other health care professionals by supplying a publication forum for research and commentary on mental and neurologic illness as it presents in the clinical setting. Submissions of high clinical value will be given priority. Practice-based research from individuals and groups with interest and clinical expertise is particularly welcome. The Companion will focus on providing information of direct clinical utility and giving a voice to clinician researchers. Pertinent scholarly subject reviews, straightforward case reviews, brief reports, and timely clinician commentary will augment original research. The Companion is open to medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, or other disciplines with a role in mental and neurologic health and primary care, especially as they pertain to integrated delivery systems and interdisciplinary collaboration. ​Manuscripts should be concisely written, appropriately referenced, and coherently focused. Conclusions should flow logically from the data presented, and methodological flaws and limitations should be acknowledged.

Content Sections

¶ Original Research

Report of data collection and analysis with a discussion of the analysis. Maximum length of 3,000 words (excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references), a total of no more than 5 tables and/or figures, and no more than 75 references.

¶ Clinical Review

Investigation of a specific condition based on a thorough and critical review of the literature.

¶ Case Series

Report of a series of patients with a defined disorder, often a consecutive sample, with a report of characteristics, clinical course, and outcome.

¶ Editorials/Commentaries

Opinions on relevant topics or commentary on a current article in The Primary Care Companion. Case series that explore relevant cultural issues are welcome.

¶ Grand Rounds

Case presentation for which a clinical unknown is followed from initial presentation, diagnostic workup, treatment selection, and management with commentary from experts in the field.

¶ Letters to the Editor

Comments on articles previously published in The Primary Care Companion or the conveyance of information of interest.

Letters to the Editor should not exceed 500 words and rarely include a table or figure. Letters that pertain to recent articles in the Companion will be sent to the author(s) for response. Letters will be edited for clarity and conformity to Companion style.

¶ Book Reviews

Critical reviews of relevant publications.

¶ Literature Review

Review of articles dealing with common primary care problems that report outcomes of consequence to patients and have the potential to change the way family physicians practice. Reviews should not exceed 5,000 words of text.

Editorial Policies

Authorship Criteria.

All authors must have contributed sufficiently to the work to take public responsibility for the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of a research group, alone, does not justify authorship. If authorship is attributed to a group, each member must meet authorship criteria; group members who do not meet these criteria should be listed in an acknowledgment.

Persons listed as authors must have made contributions in each of these 3 areas:

  • Conception and design OR data analysis and interpretation
  • Drafting of the manuscript OR revision for important intellectual content
  • Approving the final version of the manuscript that is to be published

All person designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed as authors.

The corresponding author will serve on behalf of the other authors as the primary contact with the editorial office and is responsible for ensuring that the acknowledgment information is complete. This person is responsible for communicating with the other authors about revisions and final approval of the article.

Copyright Policy.

The Companion requires the express transfer of copyright to Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., to protect the author(s) and Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., from misuse of copyrighted materials. All accepted manuscripts become the property of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from both the author and Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

Information for Authors of NIH-Funded Research Articles.

Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication in The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders that report original research funded in whole or in part by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant will be in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy because all final published PCC articles are deposited in PubMed Central ( and made available to the public at the time of publication. The published article is protected by copyright held by Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc. The NIH Public Access Policy can be found at

Reprinted/Adapted Material.

Authors must obtain letters of permission to reproduce published material. These documents should be sent at the time of submission of the manuscript and can accompany the Authorship Statement, Copyright Transfer, Financial Disclosure, and Acknowledgment Permission form(s). The form(s) can be faxed to the Production Coordinator at 901-273-2752.

Personal Communications and Unpublished Data.

Personal communications, unpublished data, and data on file are cited parenthetically in the article text and are not included as numbered references.

For personal communications, authors must obtain written permission from the person whose personal communication is cited and must provide the person’s initials, last name, and highest academic degree(s), as well as the date of the communication and whether it was in written, oral, or electronic form.

For unpublished data, authors must obtain written permission from the primary researcher of the data (unless one of the article’s authors is a researcher of the data). Initials, last names, and highest academic degrees should be included for up to 3 researchers, as applicable, and the year in which the data were retrieved should be given.

Embargo Policy.

Material published in the Companion is embargoed until the 15th of the month of issue. Contact

Clinical Trials Registration.

The Companion requires, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry.

A clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to 1 or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. All trials whose primary purpose is to affect clinical practice (phase 3 trials) must be registered.

(Trials that begin enrollment on or after July 1, 2008, whose primary goal is to assess major unknown toxicity or determine pharmacokinetics [phase 1 trials] will also be subject to this registration requirement.)

The Companion will accept "retrospective" registration of trials that began before July 1, 2005 (retrospective meaning registration occurs after patient enrollment begins). The Companion will consider trials beginning on or after July 1, 2005, only if registration occurred before the first patient was enrolled ("prospective registration").

The Companion does not advocate one particular registry, but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a not-for-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include at minimum a unique trial number, trial registration date, secondary identification information if assigned by sponsors or others, funding source(s), primary and secondary sponsor(s), responsible contact person, research contact person, official scientific title of the study, research ethics review, the medical condition being studied, intervention(s), key inclusion and exclusion criteria, study type, anticipated trial start date, target sample size, recruitment status, primary outcome, and key secondary outcomes.

Registration information must be provided at the time of electronic submission. Trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry should be included at the end of the abstract and also in the space provided on the online manuscript submission form.

For detailed information, please see "Frequently Asked Questions" on the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals Web site at

The following trial registries meet the required criteria:
Australian Clinical Trials Registry:
ISRCTN Register:
Nederlands Trial Register:
UMIN Clinical Trials Registry:

The Companion also accepts registration in any of the primary registers that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trial Registry Platform:

Analyses of Preexisting Datasets

For manuscripts that report analyses of preexisting datasets, provide details related to accessing the dataset, including (1) the individual or organization that owns the dataset (ie, holds copyright), (2) where the dataset resides (if possible, provide a URL at which it can be accessed), (3) contact information of someone who can provide access to the dataset, if it is not accessible via a URL. This information will appear at the end of the article in an “Additional Information” footnote.

Peer Review.

Manuscripts submitted for publication in the Companion that meet its scope and submission criteria are sent to expert consultants for peer review.

Please see Reviewers for details about the peer review process and information on becoming a reviewer.


Papers accepted for publication after peer review will be copyedited for clarity, conciseness, and conformity with Companion style and returned to the corresponding author for approval. The authors are responsible for all statements in their work, including changes authorized by the corresponding author.

Conflict of Interest/Financial Disclosure.

Authors are required to provide a statement covering any conflict of interest that may arise from publication of their manuscript. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Funding, including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, etc., from organizations that may gain or lose financially through the publication of the paper
  • Personal financial interests, including stocks and shares in companies that may gain or lose financially from publication, consultation fees or forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially, or patent and patent applications whose value may be affected
  • Employment, whether recent, present or anticipated, by an organization that may gain or lose from publication of the paper

If you have no conflict of interest to declare, please state this and we will add the following text to your article: "The author(s) report no financial or other relationship relevant to the subject of this article."

Manuscript Components

Cover Letter.

Manuscripts can be accompanied by an electronic cover letter. Manuscripts are reviewed with the understanding that they represent original material, have never been published before, are not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and have been approved by each author. Prior publication constitutes any form of publication other than an abstract and includes invited articles, proceedings, symposia, and book chapters. Authors should fully inform the editor in the cover letter if the submitted manuscript contains data or clinical observations that have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, supply copies of such material, and explain the differences between the works.

Manuscripts should have margins of at least 1 in. and be double-spaced throughout, including title page, abstract, text, references, tables, and legends for figures. Number pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, beginning with the title page. Each section should begin on a separate page, and the sections should be arranged in the following order: (1) title page, (2) abstract and key words, (3) text, and (4) references. Tables and figures should be submitted as separate file(s) from the manuscript.

Title Page.

The title of the article should be concise but informative and should convey the basic design of the study.

For each author, provide first name, middle initial, and last name along with highest academic degree(s) and departmental and institutional affiliation, including city/state/country location.

At the bottom of the title page, list the following:

  1. Sources of financial and material support, specifying the nature of the support and the location (city and state/country) of the funding source.
  2. Indications of previous presentation, including the date(s) and location of the meeting where the data were presented.
  3. Acknowledgment of assistance (see Acknowledgments).
  4. Any applicable disclaimer statements.
  5. Full address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the corresponding author.


Contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chairperson, critical review of study proposal, or data collection, and acknowledgments of technical help are to be listed at the bottom of the title page. Authors must obtain written permission from all persons named in an Acknowledgment. For each person, list highest degree(s) as applicable, institutional affiliation (including the funding source for the acknowledged assistance), and any relevant financial disclosure.


If you are submitting an article, you are required to include a structured abstract of about 250 words or less. The abstract must reflect the text; that is, no information should be included in the abstract that cannot be drawn from the text.

¶ Reports of Original Data

Objective: State the question addressed in the study.

Method: Describe the basic study design. State the setting (e.g., primary care, referral center). Explain selection of study subjects and state the system of diagnostic criteria used. Describe any interventions and include their duration and method of administration. Indicate the main outcome measure(s). Specify the dates in which data were collected (month/year to month/year).

Results: Include the key findings. Give specific data and their statistical significance, if possible (include p value if findings were significant). Subset Ns should accompany percentages if the total N is <100.

Conclusion: Summarize the conclusions.

Clinical Trials Registration: If the article reports a clinical trial, give the trial registry name, URL, and registration number.

¶ Review Articles and Meta-Analyses

Objective: State the primary objective of the article.

Data Sources: Describe the data sources that were searched, including dates, keywords, and constraints (e.g., language limits).

Study Selection: Identify the number of studies reviewed and the criteria used for their selection.

Data Extraction: Summarize guidelines used for abstracting data and how they were applied.

Data Synthesis: State the main results of the review and the methods used to obtain these results.

Conclusions: Summarize the conclusions.

¶ Consensus Statements

Objective: State the issue, purpose, and intended audience.

Participants: Describe how people were chosen to be participants, state the number of participants, and describe their areas of expertise. State whether meetings were open or closed.

Evidence: Describe what data sources were used and explain their selection, abstraction, and the method of their synthesis. If a formal literature review was conducted, state who wrote it and whether it was reviewed. Describe any use of unpublished data. Explain the influence of expert opinion and comments from the participants.

Consensus Process: Describe the basis for conclusions. State how consensus was achieved. Describe the writing of the consensus statement, including who wrote it, whether it was drafted before or after the group expressed its opinions, and when it was written. Explain who reviewed the statement and how revision suggestions were utilized.

Conclusions: Summarize the consensus statement, and include any important minority views.

Further details on writing informative structured abstracts can be obtained from: Haynes RB, Mulrow CD, Huth EJ, et al. More informative abstracts revisited. Ann Intern Med 1990;113:69–76

Letters to the Editor.

Letters must include a descriptive title. Most letters to the editor either report cases or small studies or comment on a recent Companion article.

For case reports and small studies, ensure that the chronology of events is clear, and specify the month/year in which events occurred. Specify diagnostic criteria used for any diagnoses mentioned, and provide references for scales/assessment tools used. If a search of the literature was conducted for related case reports, specify the data sources, keywords, and any date/language limitations used in the search.

Letters reporting small studies typically include (1) a brief introductory paragraph, (2) sections titled "Method" and "Results" (labeled with capitalized headings), and (3) a conclusions/discussion section.

Letters reporting cases typically consist of (1) a brief introductory paragraph, (2) description of the cases, and (3) a discussion section. For letters reporting multiple cases, the types of clinical and demographic details given (e.g., race, gender, occupation, marital status, medications, follow-up) should be consistent among the cases. It is not necessary to include all of these details in case reports, but if a particular characteristic, e.g., occupation, is reported for one case, it should be reported for all of the cases.

For letters commenting on a Companion article, include a numbered reference to the article discussed. Be concise, and support your assertions with references as applicable. Also, please note that the authors of the original article will be given the opportunity to reply to letters commenting on their article.

Book Reviews.

¶ Items to Include When Submitting a Book Review

  1. Provide your contact information on the review: full name, degree, institution, city/state, e-mail address, fax number.
  2. Give the following information about the book at the top of the first page of your review: title, author or editor names (with highest academic degrees, if given), publisher, location of publication, year of publication, number of pages, list price, and whether the book is paperback, hardcover, or spiral-bound.
  3. E-mail the review to
  4. Fax the Authorship/Copyright/Disclosure/Acknowledgment Form to 901-273-2752.

¶ General Guidelines for Writing Reviews

  • Direct quotations from the reviewed book should be accompanied by a page number in parentheses.
  • Reviews of books that may be used as textbooks should include analysis of the indexing and organization of the book.
  • Comments on the audience(s) to whom the book may be of use or of interest are often helpful.
  • When discussing individual chapters or sections of a book, clearly indicate when you are using the exact title of the chapter/section versus just describing the topic. (Capitalize the first letter of each word of chapter/section titles.)
  • Some topics you may want to address include (1) the scope, (2) quality of content, (3) quality of presentation, (4) comparison with other books, and (5) appropriate uses and users.

Text of Article.

¶ Reports of Original Data

The text of observational and experimental articles is usually--but not necessarily--divided into sections with the headings Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Lengthy articles may need subheadings within some sections to clarify their content.

Use nonproprietary names of drugs, unless a specific trade name is relevant to the discussion.

Use only standard abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.

Introduction. State the purpose of the article. Summarize the rationale for the study or observation. Give only strictly pertinent references, and do not review the subject extensively. Do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

Method. Describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects (including controls) clearly, including eligibility. Identify the methods, apparatus (manufacturer's name and city/state/country location in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below). Include references for all assessment tools, including scales, used in the study. Describe new or modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Specify the dates in which data were collected (month/year to month/year).

Diagnosis. State the diagnosis and diagnostic criteria. Justify the use of diagnostic criteria other than DSM-IV.

Informed Consent/Ethics Review. Manuscripts that report experimental investigations with human subjects must include a statement that subjects (or parents/guardians) gave their informed consent after the procedure(s) and possible side effects were fully explained. Also state whether institutional review board approval was obtained for the investigation; if it was not, provide an explanation. Investigators without access to formal ethical review committees should follow Declaration of Helsinki guidelines and state this in the manuscript.

Patient Confidentiality. Ethical and legal considerations dictate protection of patients' anonymity. Do not use patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers in text or illustrative material. Avoid dates and disguise characteristics and personal history that would identify a patient.

Statistics. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid sole reliance on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of p values, which fails to convey important quantitative information. Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). Reference statistical tests that are not well known. Specify any general-use computer programs used.

Results. Present your results in logical sequence. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or figures; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Subset Ns should accompany percentages if the total N is < 100. For original research, results should not be shown as not significant or NS. Actual P values are important for future meta-analyses research. Please include actual P values, and preferably confidence intervals or limits, when reporting nonsignificant results.

Discussion. Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Present in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by your data.

¶ Review Articles and Meta-Analyses

When preparing review articles and meta-analyses, describe the methods used in performing the literature review. This description includes listing the data sources searched (for example, MEDLINE) and the dates, keywords, and constraints (for example, language limits) used in the search; the criteria used to select the included studies; and the guidelines used for abstracting and synthesizing the data.

In meta-analyses, several basic content areas should be addressed: study design, combinability, control of bias, statistical analysis, sensitivity analysis, and problems of applicability.

Please refer to the information on Abstracts for a more detailed framework of the necessary elements for review articles and meta-analyses.

¶ Consensus Statements

Consensus statements should identify the participants and their areas of expertise, as well as the source of funding or sponsor. Describe the data sources used and explain their selection, abstraction, and the method of their synthesis. A description of the process used to reach consensus should be included. Explain how conclusions were reached.

Please refer to the information on Abstracts for a more detailed framework of the necessary elements for consensus statements.


The reference list should include only references to information that is retrievable. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the references. The references must be verified by the author(s) against the original documents.

Do not use reference management programs that bury references within the article text.

Number references consecutively in the order in which they are cited in text. Identify references by superscript Arabic numerals. References cited only in tables or in figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence at the point of identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

References should be cited in the body of the article using the following format:

1 author: "Smith2 states that..."

2 authors: "Smith and Jones2 state that..."

3 or more authors: "Smith et al,2 state that..."

"In press" references to articles accepted but not yet published can be cited and included in the reference list if the title and journal name or book publisher are given. References to personal communications (see Personal Communications and Unpublished Data) or to material not yet accepted for publication may not be included in the reference list, but instead should be cited parenthetically in text.

Abbreviations of journal names must conform to Index Medicus style. Examples of correct forms of references are illustrated below:

  1. Mammen OK, Shear MK, Pilkonis PA, et al. Anger attacks: correlates and significance of an underrecognized symptom. J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60:633-642
  2. Schneck C. St. John's wort and hypomania [letter]. J Clin Psychiatry 1998;59:689
  3. Garfinkel PE. Eating disorders. In: Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ, eds. Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, vol. 2. 6th ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1995:1361-1371
  4. Desan PH, Sanders KM. Risk factors for suicide in emergency psychiatry. In: New Research Program and Abstracts of the 152nd Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association; May 18, 1999; Washington, DC. Abstract NR358:164
  5. Dubovsky SL. Generalized anxiety disorder: new concepts and psychopharmacologic therapies. J Clin Psychiatry 1986;47(4, suppl):46-66
  6. Tharyan P, Adams CE. Electroconvulsive therapy for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;2:CD000076
  7. Van der Hoek L, Pyrc K, Jebbink MF, et al. Identification of a new coronavirus [published online ahead of print March 21, 2004]. Nat Med. doi:10.1038.nm1024
  8. Williamson DJ. Neurocognitive impairment: feigned, exaggerated, or real? Current Psychiatry 2007;6(8). article_pages.asp? AID=5208& UID=. Accessed August 10, 2007
  9. Interim guidance about avian influenza A for US citizens living abroad. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. _americans _abroad _ 0320405.htm. Updated November 18, 2005. Accessed August 10, 2007
  10. Paxil [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline; 2004

Tables and Figures.

Computer-generated figures should be submitted as separate .eps or .tiff files (minimum 300 dpi).

Tables and figures should not duplicate text or one another and must be self-explanatory. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text, as should figures. Acknowledge the original source of a previously published or adapted table or figure and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material.

Ordinary footnotes are designated by lowercase superscript letters. Footnote citations may be given in both the title and the body and should proceed from left to right. Simple p values given in footnotes are indicated by single asterisk, double asterisk, etc. Expansions of abbreviations should be listed at the bottom of the table below other footnotes.

Tables. Identify each table by a brief descriptive title. Give each column a short heading. When percentages are presented, the appropriate numbers must also be given. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical rules. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the headings or title. Units of measurement should be specified. Definitions of symbols appearing in tables should be listed at the end of the footnotes, with the expansions of abbreviations.

Figures. Two-dimensional graphs should not be represented in 3 dimensions. Figures are usually reduced to a width of 19.5 picas (3.25 in, 8.2 cm). Definitions of symbols appearing in the figure should be presented in a key within the figure, rather than in the title or footnotes. The key should appear within or above the figure but should not widen the figure.