Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

• Open access

Neal W. Pollock, PhD, Interim Editor-in-Chief


Wilderness & Environmental Medicine (WEM) is the official journal of the Wilderness Medical Society. It is published quarterly and is devoted to original scientific and technical contributions related in whole or in part to wilderness or environmental medicine. Non-solicited manuscripts are considered for the following categories:

Original Research: Original studies of basic or clinical research in areas relevant to wilderness medicine. Preferred 3000-3500 words maximum (not including abstract, tables, figs, or references).
Brief Reports: Preliminary findings or small sample-sized studies that generate new hypotheses for further research. Reports should generally follow the guidelines under Preparation of Manuscripts and be limited to approximately 1500-2000 words (not including abstract, tables, figs and references), with no more than approximately 10 references.
Case Reports: Brief descriptions of unique wilderness medicine problems or situations. Include narrative abstract, introduction, and discussion of implications. Preferred 2000-word maximum (not including abstract, tables, figs, or references).
Review Articles: Extensive, well-referenced reviews of the literature on a narrow clinical topic. Preferred 3500-word maximum (not including abstract, tables, figs, or references); no more than 100 references.
Concepts: Descriptions of clinical and non-clinical wilderness medical problems and solutions. Articles may focus on practical "how-to" management techniques and/or new approaches to the planning, management, or provision of wilderness medical services. Preferred 3500-word maximum (not including abstract, tables, figs, or references).
Letters to the Editor: Observations, opinions, current topics and/or corrections on topics appearing in WEM, generally not to exceed 1000 words or 4 double-spaced pages, with a maximum of 10 references, one of which should be to the recent WEM article if applicable. Original scientific work is usually not considered appropriate for a Letter.
Letters in Reply: Replies by authors should not exceed 1000 words of text and 11 references inclusive of the article at issue and the inciting letter.
Editorials: Commentaries on major current issues or controversies with significant implications for wilderness medicine, generally not to exceed 1500 words (or 6 double-spaced pages) plus references if appropriate.
Viewpoint: Solicited debate format article on a specific question, usually based on a controversial topic of interest to our readers in which two parties with legitimate opposing perspectives present arguments to support their viewpoints. This category allows more editorial freedom than most other categories, but the basis of these viewpoints should include scientifically sound arguments supported by available evidence as well as personal experience and perspective. The author(s) of both viewpoints will provide a manuscript to support their stance on the question, followed by a second manuscript to rebut the viewpoint expressed by the other author(s). In general, the initial manuscript will be limited to approximately 1,500 words (excluding references) with approximately 20 references, and the rebuttal will be limited to approximately 1,000 words. No abstract is required, but a brief introduction stating the writer's viewpoint should be included as part of the text. Figures and tables may be used.
Lessons from History: Classic papers in the medical literature relating to wilderness medicine. Such papers should have been first to describe a new problem, providing new information about old subjects, or describing new, effective methods of treatment or prevention. A complete reference citation of the original article and a commentary about the article should accompany the submission. Preferred 3000- word maximum (not including figs or references).

Clinical Images: Pictures that teach something about wilderness medicine, as well as tell an engaging story. The focus will be on clinical images, each accompanied by text explaining the photograph and briefly reviewing the diagnosis and treatment of the condition it illustrates. 1000-1500 words (not including figs and references), with no more than 5 references.
Wilderness Images: High-quality, high-resolution (300 dpi) digital images of wilderness subjects. Include photo title and description (2-3 sentences) and the appropriate photographer's credit line.
Wilderness Essays: Personal essays or anecdotes relating to the wilderness and medicine. Preferred 3000-word maximum.
Wilderness Instructor: Articles on wilderness medicine education at any level, focusing on course design and development, course analysis and evaluation, or teaching techniques. Preferred 2000-word maximum (not including figures or references).
Book Reviews: Please contact the Editorial Office ( for more information.
WMS Practice Guidelines: Please contact the Editorial Office ( for more information.


Pertinent topics include, but are not limited to medical, physiological, pharmacological, and expeditionary considerations of: high altitude and climbing; hypothermia and cold-induced injuries; heat/cold-related disorders; weather-related phenomena and natural environmental disasters; toxinology; drowning and near-drowning; diving and barotrauma; hazardous plants, reptiles, insects, and marine animals; ethnobotany; animal attacks; medicine practiced in rugged environments; tropical disease and immunizations; search and rescue; ethical and legal issues.


To submit your manuscript electronically, go to: and sign in as a new author. You will be able to create a log-in name and password for your use only.

Manuscripts are considered for publication in WEM with the understanding that neither the manuscript nor any part of its text, figures, or tables have been published in, accepted for publication in, or submitted at the same time to another journal. This does not preclude consideration of a complete report that follows publication of preliminary findings elsewhere, such as in the form of an abstract.

When submitting a paper, the author should make a full statement to the Editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as prior or duplicate publication of the same or very similar work. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper to help the Editor decide how to deal with the matter.

WEM endorses the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals guidelines(International Committee of Medical Journal Editors [ICMJE]) which are available here: WEM uses the American Medical Association Manual of Style 10th edition and the Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition, for editorial style.

English Language: WEM accepts international manuscripts in English. Authors whose first language is not English are encouraged to secure assistance of a native English speaker to ensure proper English usage. Elsevier offers a professional English editing service which authors may use at their own expense. Please visit more information.

Accepted manuscripts are subject to editorial changes, and the paper becomes the permanent property of WEM and may not be published elsewhere without permission. The Editor reserves the right to edit manuscripts to comply with WEM's format, remove redundancies, and improve clarity without altering the meaning.

Please include the following files:
1. Cover letter to Interim Editor Dr. Neal W. Pollock providing corresponding author's information (name, address, telephone and email address) and stating the category of article the manuscript represents. Optional: suggest two or three potential Peer Reviewers whom you deem appropriate and knowledgeable to review your manuscript; include contact information and email addresses.

2. The full text with the following items beginning on a new page: (1)title page (title, short title, author names/degrees/ affiliations, corresponding author contact information), (2) abstract, key words, (3) main text, (4) acknowledgments, author contributions, financial/material support statement, disclosure statement, (5) references, and (6) figure legends.

3. Tables and figures as separate, individual files.

4. Each author on a submitted manuscript must complete and submit an ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. The form can be downloaded here: The form must be filled out online, saved to your computer, and uploaded with your submission.

5. If appropriate, a copy of the permission to reproduce previously published materials from the publisher or owner of the material.

Authors are responsible for assuring they have consent to use photographs of identifiable individuals, permission for the use of personal communications, and approval for acknowledgment from all individuals referred to in the acknowledgment section.

Note that copyright release forms are not required at submission, and will be sent automatically to corresponding authors along with the first proofs for review.

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Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse.
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf, e.g. by their research funder or institution.
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs.
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

Format manuscript in a Word document in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins on 8.5 x 11-inch page and pages numbered in upper right with Title page as page 1.

Do not embed author names, dates, fonts, links, footnotes in a hidden field, field codes, bookmarks, comments, hypertext links, passwords, objects, worksheets, databases, artwork, or slides (such as PowerPoint) in the text.

Authorship: All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. Include first names of the author, NOT initials. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the co-authors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions: (l) to conception and design or to analysis and interpretation of data; (2) to drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) to final approval of the version to be published.
General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship.

Scientific submissions should contain the sections described below. Each section should begin on a new page and should be in the sequence shown below.


The title page (page 1) should contain (1) a concise and informative title; (2) an identified short running head (short title) of no more than 40 characters, including spaces; (3) the first name (spelled out), middle initial, and last name of each author with highest academic degree (s) and institutional affiliation; (4) contact information for the corresponding author; and (5) if applicable, an indication that the work described in the manuscript was formally presented at a scientific meeting with inclusion of the name, date, and location of the meeting.


All manuscripts that are reports of original data from scientific investigations (Original Research and Brief Report categories) must be submitted with a structured abstract of no more than 250 words with the following headings: Objective, Methods (include information on design, setting, participants, interventions, and main outcomes measured), Results, and Conclusions.

Case Reports, Review Articles, Wilderness Instructor, and Concept articles should include a narrative abstract of 250 words or less and outline the purpose of the article, major findings, and recommendations.

Abstracts for Review Articles should also specify how the literature was searched and how cited articles were chosen.


Immediately following the abstract (not on a separate page), include 2-6 key words or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing your article and that may be published with the abstract. Use terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus.


Introduction. Clearly state the purpose of the article. Summarize the rationale for the study, report, 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.

Methods. Describe the selection of the observational or experimental subjects, including controls. Identify the methods, apparatus (manufacturer's name and address, i.e., city, state, province, and country in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including the statistical methods; provide references and brief descriptions of methods that have been published but are not well known; and describe new or substantially modified methods. Precisely identify all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s) and route(s) of administration. Proprietary names may be included, but should be capitalized, enclosed in parentheses, and should follow the generic names.

Statistics. All statistical techniques must be clearly identified and referenced where appropriate. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a 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. Discuss eligibility of experimental subjects, randomization, methods of blinding, treatment complications, numbers of observations, and losses to observation.

Put general descriptions of statistical methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries: do not duplicate data in graphs and tables.

All studies involving human or animal research must indicate approval by an institution's human or animal subject review board (IRB). Authors should confirm that written informed consent was obtained from all human subjects or that this requirement was waived by the review committee.

Clinical Trials. A clinical trial is defined as "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes." As per the Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects and the policy of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, any clinical trial under consideration for publication must be registered with (United States) or a WHO approved trial registry ( The trial registry number should be included in the Methods section of the paper. Trials that have not been registered should provide an explanation, with the understanding that not registering a trial may be sufficient grounds for rejection.

For randomized controlled trials, we strongly recommend authors read and follow the guidelines at:

Present the results in a logical sequence, using tables and illustrations where possible. Include numbers of observations and statistical significance of the findings when appropriate. Do not repeat data found in the tables or illustrations in the text. Report measurements to the appropriate number of significant digits and in Système International units.

Emphasize the new and important aspects of both the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data given in the Introduction or the Results sections. Include in the Discussion 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 the data. Clearly label new hypotheses. Appropriate recommendations may be included.

Limitations. The Discussion should include a distinct section that describes any weaknesses of your research, specifically methodological factors that may affect the interpretation or validity of your results and potential sources of bias.

Conclusions. The Discussion should end with a section that includes a short paragraph stating the main findings and implications of your research.


One or more statements should specify (1) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chairman; and (2) acknowledgments of technical help. Acknowledgments of financial and material support are to be placed in the Financial/Material Support Statment described below.

Author Contributions
Listing each author's contribution to the work is required for submission. The contributing authors should be identified by their initials in parenthesis after each category. The following categories should be used as appropriate: Study concept and design; obtaining funding; acquisition of the data; analysis of the data; drafting of the manuscript; critical revision of the manuscript; and approval of final manuscript.

Financial/Material Support Statement
Authors are required to disclose any financial and/or material support in the form of grants, equipment, and/or drugs; and to specify the nature of the support. If there is none, it should be stated as Financial/Material Support: None.

Disclosure Statement
Authors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, both commercial and professional. These include patent-licensing agreements, stock ownership or other equity interest, consultancies, institutional affiliations, and corporate sponsorship. If there are none, it should be stated as Disclosures: None.


Number references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in the text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals. References cited only in tables or in legends should be numbered in accordance with a sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or illustration. Inclusive pages must be given for all references. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in PubMed. References to written communications may be inserted (in parentheses) into the text. The references must be verified by the author(s) against the original documents. When in doubt, refer to the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 10th edition. Examples of correct forms of reference are:

Standard journal article (List all authors when 6 or less; when 7 or more, list only the first 3 and add et al.)
1. Hackett PH, Roach PC. Medical therapy of altitude illness. Ann Emerg Med. 1987; 16:980-986.

Chapter in a book
2. Schantz EJ. Historical perspective on paralytic shellfish poisoning. In: Ragelis EP, ed. Seafood Toxins. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society; 1984:99-111.

Entire book
3. Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 2007.

Conference proceedings
4. Vivian VL, ed. Child abuse and neglect: a medical community response. Proceedings of the First AMA National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect; 1984 Mar 30-31; Chicago, Ill. Chicago, Ill: American Medical Association; 1985.

In press
5. Lillywhite HB, Donald IA. Pulmonary blood flow regulation in an aquatic snake. Science. In press.

Epublished before print
6. Paal P, Strapazzon G, Braun P, et al. Factors affecting survival from avalanche burial-a randomized prospective porcine pilot study. Resuscitation 2012 [Epub ahead of print].

Web-based references are not allowed except under extraordinary circumstances. Internet pages and links change frequently, and are often obsolete by the time the manuscript goes to press. If the author wishes to include a web-based reference, they must describe in the cover letter their search for an appropriate published reference and justify the reasons that a web-based reference must be included.

Personal Communications
Do not include "personal communications" in the list of references. The following forms may be used in the text:
"In a conversation with D. C. Cummings, MD (August 2006) ..."
"According to a letter from D. C. Cummings, MD, in August 2006..."
"Similar finds have been noted by D. C. Cummings, MD, (written communication, August 2006)..."
NOTE: Author must submit written permission from the person whose "personal communication" is cited.

Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions as a separate section of the text; do not attach to the figures. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

Tables and Figures should not be included in the manuscript document but uploaded as separate individual documents as directed in the submission system.


  • Cite each table in the text in consecutive order as Table 1, Table 2, etc.
  • Format each table double-spaced in a separate Word document file.
  • Do not submit tables as photographs.
  • Number each table consecutively in the order of its first citation in the text, and supply a brief title.
  • Give each column a short heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading.
  • Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations.
  • Identify statistical measures of variation such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean.
  • Omit internal horizontal and vertical rules.
  • If data are used from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge fully.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see External link An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult External link If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult External link

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see External link Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see External link

As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see External link

Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information (External link Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and begins from the publication date of the issue your article appears in.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.


  • Cite each figure in the text in consecutive order as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.
  • Include a separate figure legend in the manuscript text.
  • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork. Save text in illustrations as "graphics" or enclose the font. Only use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Helvetica, Times, Symbol.
  • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text. Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
  • Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.
  • " Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please "save as" or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    • EPS: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as "graphics."
    • TIFF: color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
    • TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    • TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
    • DOC, XLS: If your electronic artwork is created in any of these Microsoft Office applications please supply "as is."

Please do not:
  • Supply embedded graphics in your word processor (spreadsheet, presentation) document.
  • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (like GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.
  • Supply files that are too low in resolution.
  • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.


PLEASE READ CAREFULLYThe Journal uses a streamlined production process that takes authors' files straight to typesetting from the submission system. The specifications listed here will ensure your submitted artwork will transition smoothly to production. Following these instructions also ensures that you will create the smallest possible file size, which will speed the file upload step of the submission process.

Authors should submit their figures according to the specifications listed below. Figures should be submitted at one of two widths to match the column widths used in the Journal and submitted at a high resolution. Please carefully review the specific instructions below before submitting your figures.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.

Important Notes:

  • Figures submitted at dimensions and resolutions greater than those specified above make digital file sizes larger and, therefore, can take longer to upload and access. Specifically, attempting to load figure files that exceed 14 MB can cause a delay in the submission process.
  • Be sure that when your figures are reduced that the text is still readable and the images meet our resolution requirements.
  • Images created for or captured from a computer screen or the Web are not optimal for printing purposes because they are down-sampled to ˜72 dpi.
  • Please submit only high-resolution images. Do not submit files that have been "up-sampled" from low-resolution originals.
  • TIFF images, even when saved at the proper size and resolution, can be quite large and may take a long time to transfer over the Internet.
  • Color: There is no charge for black and white figures and tables. Color may be considered for certain figures at the discretion of the Editor. Unless otherwise stated, all color figures will appear in black and white in print and in color online. In graphs, pattern fills are often a better choice than color fills. When using color in graphs and line art, use bold, dark colors that differ significantly from one another. Light colors do not reproduce well on a screen or in print.

NOTE: Colors appear/reproduce differently depending on the type of monitor and printer being used. Color on monitors is displayed as RGB, whereas the Journal is published using CMYK.

The quality of your figures will only be as good as the lowest-resolution element placed in them. In other words, if you place a 72 dpi line graph in a 600 dpi TIFF, the result is still a 72 dpi image, which is unacceptable for print purposes. Be sure your originals are submitted at the required resolution.

Warning! Some programs may down-sample your images to low resolution. Do not use the "optimize for web" wizard in PowerPoint for any figures you intend to use in print. JPEG uses a glossy data compression technique, and every time you re-save a JPEG, resolution is lost. Please submit first generation JPEGs only.


The manuscript will be referred to acknowledged expert peer reviewers and, if appropriate, an Associate or Section Editor, prior to the Editor's decision regarding publication. Reviewers are advised that they should recuse themselves from review of the submission if a conflict of interest exists. If necessary, the manuscript will be returned to the author(s) for revision(s) prior to a final decision. All attempts are made to obtain prompt reviews and a decision regarding need for revision, acceptance, or rejection.


After receiving a decision from the Editor and revising the manuscript as instructed, the final revision should include: a cover letter to Interim Editor Dr. Neal W. Pollock explaining revisions based on reviewers' comments (including a point-by-point response to each of the Reviewers' comments), the final/revised manuscript and accompanying files. Upload revisions to


Once your article is accepted for publication, galley proofs in pdf format will be sent via e-mail to the corresponding author for correction prior to publication. The difficulty and expense involved in making amendments at the proof stage make it essential for authors to carefully prepare the original manuscript. Please be aware that alterations to the original text at the proof stage are strongly discouraged and may result in charges to the author. To enable rapid publication, the authors are encouraged to return all correspondence within 48 hours.


Each author on a submitted manuscript must complete and submit an ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. The form can be downloaded here:

The form must be filled out online, saved to your computer, and uploaded with your submission.

Authors must also disclose in their manuscript, ahead of the References, any commercial and professional relationships that might pose a conflict of interest. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine journal guidelines require that the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, Editorial Board, and the Section Editors be excluded from the editorial process if listed as an author on a submitted manuscript.


Authors must keep original data and statistical analyses for 5 years after publication to allow for repetition or examination by others if necessary. Regional, institutional, or governmental guidelines may require authors to keep information for a longer time period.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide.


For inquiries relating to submitting a manuscript (including electronic submission), please visit External link For detailed instructions on the preparation of electronic artwork, please visit External link Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, will be provided by the publisher. You can track accepted articles at External link You can also check our Author FAQs at External link and/or contact Customer Support via External link

Additional questions regarding your submission? Please contact:
Alicia Byrne, Managing Editor
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine