• FPM Authors Guide

    Who We Are

    FPM is an editorially independent, peer-reviewed journal established in 1993 and published by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Through our bimonthly print and online publication, weekly e-enewsletter, and extensive website, FPM gives family physicians practical information to help them maintain efficient and effective practices, enhance the patient experience, and maximize their professional satisfaction. See FPM's Editorial Mission and Policies for more information.

    FPM is indexed in MEDLINE, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's premier bibliographic database, PubMED, and Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature. The journal is also available in full text through Clinical Key.

    What We Publish

    We publish articles that can help family physicians in every area of practice except the strictly clinical, which is the purview of our sister journal, American Family Physician. The test of a manuscript we are considering is whether it is immediately useful to family physicians. We do not publish formal research or review articles. See "Topics we cover."

    We encourage authors to use a reasonably informal, conversational writing style rather than "journalese." We also encourage authors to keep articles short — 2,000 to 3,000 words. Contributions to our Opinion and Last Word departments are shorter — 750 to 1,500 words.

    If you have an idea for an article, contact us at fpmedit@aafp.org to make sure it suits FPM's needs and that we haven't recently accepted an article on the same topic.  

    How to Submit a Manuscript

    Manuscripts should be submitted by email to fpmedit@aafp.org. Microsoft Word is preferred. Please include the following items with your submission:

    Author forms. Before we make a decision about whether to accept your manuscript for publication, we will need all authors to complete the following forms:

    Authorship. Please keep author groups to six or fewer authors. Some contributions may be more appropriately credited with an acknowledgment. Review the criteria for authorship published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors before making final decisions about authorship. Authors and individuals whose contributions are to be acknowledged must give their permission to be named. Medical students and residents are encouraged to include more experienced physicians in their author groups, although we welcome Last Word essay submissions from all. 

    FPM seldom accepts articles that public relations or marketing communications professionals have been involved in developing. Authors must disclose the involvement of such entities, and these disclosures generally point to conflicts of interest that can’t be mitigated sufficiently to allow for the acceptance of the article.

    Artificial intelligence technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and similar technologies including chatbots like ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) have been used in the drafting of scientific manuscripts. Authors who choose to use this technology must disclose at the time of manuscript submission their use of AI, the type of AI utilized, and how they used AI. In addition, authors must provide correct references in the established literature for all AI-generated statements to ensure both accuracy and appropriate attribution. AI technology does not qualify for authorship credit, because it cannot guarantee the veracity of the language generated, but its use must be acknowledged in the manuscript.

    Contact information. Include a title page that includes each author's name with the highest academic degree and institutional affiliation, as well as contact information for the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript.

    Credentials. Include brief statements of the authors' current professional responsibilities, just a sentence or two for each author.

    References. Keep references to a minimum. Supply numbered references when you quote from or refer directly to information from another publication and to support any statement that you believe readers are likely to question.

    Graphs, tables, and illustrations. We are available to help authors create or refine graphs and artwork to illustrate articles we publish. We prefer tables, graphs, and illustrations that build on the information provided in the body of the article rather than duplicate it.

    We're happy to have videos or photos for publication, although we may decline to use those that are not of high enough quality. Please include signed photo releases from the individuals depicted.

    Copyrighted materials. If you incorporate previously published material into your article — a table from another source, for instance — please label it "COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL; PERMISSION REQUIRED." We will need to seek permission to reprint such material.

    Review and Editing

    Each manuscript goes through multiples, starting with an in-house review, during which the editors evaluate its suitability for FPM. Manuscripts that pass this review are then sent out for peer review. We may reject a manuscript or ask the authors to revise it after either review stage, but we can formally accept manuscripts for publication only after they have made it through both stages. If no revisions are required, the process from submission to acceptance or rejection typically takes five to seven weeks.

    If your manuscript is accepted, it will then undergo a professional edit. Some manuscripts are edited substantially in this stage, and authors may be asked to fill gaps in their presentation at that point. Authors are asked to review and approve all substantive changes. Edited articles then undergo layout and copyediting/proofing. Time from acceptance to publication varies, but you should expect it to take from three months to one year.

    Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

    If your organization is interested in sponsoring an editorial supplement, see FPM'Editorial Supplement Guidelines.

        Topics we cover

          The following is a partial list of topics we cover within FPM:

    • Balancing practice and family,
    • Career options,
    • Clinical process improvement,
    • Communication skills,
    • Documentation and coding,
    • Employment issues,
    • Facilities and equipment,
    • Health care reform,
    • Malpractice,
    • Negotiation and contracting,
    • Patient relations,
    • Payment,
    • Physician well-being,
    • Practice efficiency,
    • Quality improvement,
    • Regulations,
    • Staffing,
    • Time management.