Skip to main content

Table 2 Abstracts of RCTs published in top-50 journals in the ‘Medicine, General and Internal’ category during July–December 2015 - Frequency of structure formats and relevant editorial policiesa by journal (n = 370)

From: Structure formats of randomised controlled trial abstracts: a cross-sectional analysis of their current usage and association with methodology reporting

No. Journal N of RCTs identified (%) Structure format used (%) Structure format required Specific instructions for each heading Word limit CONSORT for Abstracts endorsement
Unstructured
(n = 46)
IMRaD
(n = 215)
HS
(n = 109)
1 New England Journal of Medicine 73 (19.7) 0 (0.0) 73 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
2 The Lancet 53 (14.3) 0 (0.0) 53 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD Yes 300 Required
3 JAMA - Journal of American Medical Association 38 (10.3) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 38 (100.0) HS Yes 350 Not mentioned
4 Annals of Internal Medicine 7 (1.9) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 7 (100.0) HS No 275 Not mentioned
5 BMJ - British Medical Journal 8 (2.2) 0 (0.0) 4 (50.0) 4 (50.0) HS Yes 400 Required
6 PLOS Medicine 4 (1.1) 0 (0.0) 4 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD Yes No limit Not mentioned
7 JAMA Internal Medicine 7 (1.9) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 7 (100.0) HS Yes 350 Not mentioned
8 BMC Medicine 6 (1.6) 0 (0.0) 6 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD Yes 350 Recommended
9 Journal of Cachexia Sarcopenia and Muscle 0 (0) IMRaD No 400 Not mentioned
10 Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2 (0.5) 0 (0.0) 2 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
11 Journal of Internal Medicine 1 (0.3) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (100.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
12 Canadian Medical Association Journal 1 (0.3) 0 (0.0) 1 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD Yes 250 Not mentioned
13 Medicine (Baltimore) 42 (11.4) 42 (100.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Not specified 350 Not mentioned
14 Annals of Family Medicine 4 (1.1) 0 (0.0) 4 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
15 Translational Research 2 (0.5) 2 (100.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Unstructured 250 Not mentioned
16 American Journal of Medicine 6 (1.6) 0 (0.0) 6 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
17 American Journal of Preventive Medicine 11 (3.0) 0 (0.0) 4 (36.4) 7 (63.6) HS No 300 Not mentioned
18 Medical Journal of Australia 2 (0.5) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 2 (100.0) HS Yes 250 Not mentioned
19 Annals of Medicine 0 (0) IMRaD No 200 Not mentioned
20 Deutsches Arzteblatt International 5 (1.4) 0 (0.0) 5 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 200 Not mentioned
21 Journal of General Internal Medicine 12 (3.2) 0 (0.0) 4 (33.3) 8 (66.7) HS No 300 Not mentioned
22 Preventive Medicine 8 (2.2) 0 (0.0) 7 (87.5) 1 (12.5) Unstructured 250 Not mentioned
23 European Journal of Internal Medicine 1 (0.3) 0 (0.0) 1 (100.0) 0 (0.0) Not specified 250 Not mentioned
24 Palliative Medicine 0 (0) HS Yes Not specified Not mentioned
25 Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 4 (1.1) 0 (0.0) 4 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
26 American Journal of Chinese Medicine 0 (0) Unstructured 250 Not mentioned
27 European Journal of Clinical Investigation 1 (0.3) 0 (0.0) 1 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
28 Current Medical Research and Opinion 10 (2.7) 0 (0.0) 8 (80.0) 2 (20.0) HS Yes 300 Not mentioned
29 Internal and Emergency Medicine 1 (0.3) 1 (100.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Not specified 250 Not mentioned
30 International Journal of Clinical Practice 5 (1.4) 1 (20.0) 4 (80.0) 0 (0.0) Not specified Not specified Not mentioned
31 QJM - An International Journal of Medicine 0 (0) HS No 250 Not mentioned
32 Pain Medicine 10 (2.7) 0 (0.0) 5 (50.0) 5 (50.0) HS No 250 Not mentioned
33 Journal of Hospital Medicine 0 (0) HS No 250 Not mentioned
34 British Journal of General Practice 3 (0.8) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 3 (100.0) HS No 250 Not mentioned
35 BMJ Open 21 (5.7) 0 (0.0) 2 (9.5) 19 (90.5) HS Yes 300 Recommended
36 American Journal of Managed Care 5 (1.4) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 5 (100.0) HS Yes 250 Not mentioned
37 Polish Archives of Internal Medicine 0 (0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
38 Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 0 (0) HS No 300 Not mentioned
39 Swiss Medical Weekly 0 (0) IMRaD No 600 Not mentioned
40 Journal of Women’s Health 2 (0.5) 0 (0.0) 2 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
41 Archives of Medical Science 3 (0.8) 0 (0.0) 3 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
42 AMYLOID - Journal of Protein Folding Disorders 0 (0) Not specified 200 Not mentioned
43 International Journal of Medical Sciences 4 (1.1) 0 (0.0) 4 (100.0) 0 (0.0) Not specified Not specified Not mentioned
44 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 3 (0.8) 0 (0.0) 3 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No Not specified Not mentioned
45 Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences 0 (0) IMRaD No 250 Not mentioned
46 Netherlands Journal of Medicine 0 (0) IMRaD Yes 250 Not mentioned
47 Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 2 (0.5) 0 (0.0) 2 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD Yes 250 Not mentioned
48 Journal of Urban Health 0 (0) Unstructured Not specified Not mentioned
49 Family Practice 0 (0) IMRaD No Not specified Not mentioned
50 Postgraduate Medicine 3 (0.8) 0 (0.0) 3 (100.0) 0 (0.0) IMRaD No 300 Not mentioned
  1. IMRaD: introduction, methods, results, and discussion format; HS: highly structured format;
  2. CONSORT for Abstracts: the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) extension guidelines for reporting of RCT abstracts [23]
  3. aEditorial policies according to journals’ ‘instructions to authors’ (as of April 2016)