Guide for Authors


IJVLMS is the official publication of the Virtual School, Comprehensive Center of Excellence for Electronic Learning in Medical Sciences at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz. Iran. It is a multidisciplinary journal publishing articles on technology-enhanced learning in formal and non-formal education. The journal accepts manuscripts in the form of original research articles, review articles, book reviews, special reports, brief reports, short communications, news, software articles, commentaries, and letters to the editor. 


Manuscript Preparation

 

  • Before submission, authors are advised to check the scope of the journal, and carefully read the Publication Ethics and provided guidelines.
  • Only original works that have not been submitted or published elsewhere (wholly or in part), will be considered for publication in IJVLMS. They must not be submitted anywhere else until the editorial process is completed.
  • Manuscripts must be carefully checked for grammatical, spelling, factual, and bibliographical errors. In case English is not your native language then your paper may need to be reviewed in advance, preferably by an academic English-editing service.
  • All manuscripts should be submitted through the online submission system.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Assisted Technology At submission, the authors should disclose whether they used artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in the production of submitted work. Authors who use such technology should describe how they used it in both the cover letter and the submitted work in the appropriate section, if applicable. For example, if AI was used for writing assistance, describe this in the acknowledgments section. If AI was used for data collection, analysis, or figure generation, authors should describe this use in the methods section. Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work. Authors should carefully review and edit the result because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased. Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author. Authors should be able to assert that there is no plagiarism in their paper, including in text and images produced by the AI. Humans must ensure there is appropriate attribution of all quoted material, including full citations.

Article Types

Before submitting your manuscripts, please click on the links below to read the general instructions for different article types: 

 

Original Article                Review Article

Special Report                  Letter to the Editor

Brief Report                     Short Communication

Software                            Commentary

News                                  Book Review


Peer Review Process

All submitted manuscripts undergo a preliminary editorial screening to ensure compliance with the journal's guidelines. They will then be subject to a double anonymized peer review process by at least two external (peer) reviewers.


Authorship

It is incumbent upon the submitting author to ensure the accuracy and inclusion of all contributing authors' names and affiliations upon the original submission. The order of authors should also be decided in this step. Changes or rearrangements in authorship after acceptance and publication are strictly prohibited.


Ethical Considerations

If a study involves human participants/or animals, authors need to obtain approval from the ethics committee/Institutional Review Board of their institution and be prepared to provide documentation when requested by editors. They must provide the name of the committee/board along with the Ethical Approval Code/ID. This code/ID must be linked to an official website showing the details of approval.

Authors should also declare that they have obtained written informed consent from each potential research participant. It should be clearly stated that the researchers were properly introduced before the research, and the participants understood the objectives of the research. The authors also maintain that the consent was not obtained under coercion and that the participants had the choice to withdraw at any stage of the research. Finally, it should be indicated that the participants were assured of confidentiality regarding the information provided.


File Submission

The following files must be uploaded during the submission/revision process:

 

  • Manuscript Main File (Without Authors’ Names) contains all parts of the manuscript and is presented in Microsoft Word (docx) format. To ensure the integrity of the double-anonymized review process, authors' names and affiliations must not be included in this file. For further details on the structure and content of the articles, please follow the guidelines for different article types (see below).
  • Cover Letter is an official letter addressed to the Chief Editor. In this letter, the authors highlight the major findings of their study and confirm their compliance with ethical principles regarding the submission and publication of their article. They must specifically declare that the article is an original work, has not been published before, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere (in part or in whole) either in printed or electronic form. The letter is written by the corresponding author and signed by all authors. Click HERE to download a Microsoft Word template for a standard cover letter.
  • Title Page should list:
    • Title of the article (should be clear, concise, and informative, without any abbreviations).
    • Full names of all authors (in order of their contribution) and their affiliations, along with the telephone number and e-mail address of the corresponding author.
    • Word count (excluding title, abstract, acknowledgments, conflicts of interest, references, figures, and table legends), and abstract word count. Click HERE to download a Microsoft Word template for the IJVLMS title page.
  • Response to Reviewers is submitted only after the review process and it should be uploaded as a separate document. Authors need to reply to each reviewer’s comments one by one. To better clarify their points, authors should write both the reviewers’ comments and their replies one by one. Please note that the revised parts in the main manuscript file must also be highlighted separately. Authors may find it useful to specify the pages and line numbers of these highlighted parts in their replies. Click HERE to download a Microsoft Word template to respond to reviewers.

Note: when a manuscript needs revision, only the corresponding author can access all the attached files sent by the Editor-in-Chief. Co-authors will not see some files in their accounts and have no access to upload the revised manuscript. The corresponding author is forced to upload the revised manuscript as a “new manuscript main file” in the corresponding tab for each round of the revision process, along with the “response to reviewers” table. Failure to do so may result in continuous reminders from the IJVLMS webmail service to revise the manuscript, and the Executive Editor may also be unable to send the author's responses back to the reviewer(s).


 

Checklists

To improve the success rate of their submissions, authors are advised to consider the following checklists which will be used by the Reviewers in the review process.

Authors are encouraged to refer to the SAGER guidelines for reporting sex and gender information in study design, data analyses, results, and interpretation of findings:
www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/sager-guidelines/


References

References must conform to Vancouver” style. Please be consistent with your referencing style throughout the manuscript. The following general instructions must be observed when citing references. Moreover, IJVLMS has its own EndNote style. Authors are advised to prepare their references based on this style and add the file to the style folder of their Endnote in program files. This style is available HERE.

 

  • Referencing AI-generated material as the primary source is not acceptable.
  • References should be made to published articles rather than to abstracts whenever possible.

In-text citation:

  • References in the text should be numbered sequentially and placed in parentheses.
  • For in-text citation of a work that has more than one author, use ‘et al.’ after the first author.
  • When citing several references for the same statement, use a hyphen to link the first and last numbers that are inclusive. For instance, (4, 5, 6, 7) must be abbreviated to (4-7). Use commas where the numbers are not consecutive in a multiple citation, e.g. (8, 13).

 Reference List:

  • The reference list appears at the end of the paper and is titled ‘References’.
  • References are listed in numerical order, and in the same order, they are cited in the text.
  • The reference list should include all and only those references that appear in the text.
  • If a work has more than 6 authors, please list the first six authors, followed by ‘et al.’
  • Please note that the journal titles in the reference list should be abbreviated in the style used in the NLM Catalog.
  • At least 80% of the references must have article identifiers, such as digital object identifier (DOI) and PubMed PMID (or PubMed Central PMCID). Please add these identifiers at the end of your references when available. You can visit the following link to search for DOIs and PMIDs of articles: http://www.crossref.org/SimpleTextQuery. It is highly recommended to use EndNote software for writing and managing references.

Listed below are sample references for different types of work. For further details and examples, authors may consult Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (2nd edition).

 

Journal Article:

Almarzooq ZI, Lopes M, Kochar A. Virtual Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Disruptive Technology in Graduate Medical Education. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;75(20):2635-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.04.015. PubMed PMID: 32304797; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC7159871.

Complete Book:

Secker J. Electronic resources in the virtual learning environment: a guide for librarians. Oxford: Elsevier Science; 2004.

Chapter in an Edited Book:

Fournier H, Kop R, Molyneaux H. New personal learning ecosystems: a decade of research in review. In: Becnel K, editor. Emerging technologies in virtual learning environments. Harshey: IGI Global; 2019. p. 1-19.

Website: 

Meyer D. Virtual learning is the way forward for educators. Elmhurst: Elmhurst University; 2020 Oct 8. [Cited 2021 Nov 10]. Available from: https://www.elmhurst.edu/blog/virtual-learning/.

 


Copyright and Permissions Policy

If a manuscript contains any third-party materials (e.g. image, text, table, speech, etc.), it is the responsibility of the author to obtain authorization from copyright holders. The author is required to obtain and submit the written original permission letters for all copyrighted material used in his/her manuscript.

Authors retain copyright and other intellectual property rights such as patent and trademark, provided explicit acknowledgment is made of the initial appearance in IJVLMS.  All readers are permitted to copy, print, link, reuse, and distribute the articles, in whole or in part, subject to appropriate acknowledgment of the original source.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.