Instructions to authors

The Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons is published monthly by the American College of Surgeons. It is designed to serve as an international medium for publication of worthy articles in the broad field of surgery. Topics addressed in the Bulletin range from the history of medicine, ethics, and socioeconomic and professional liability issues, to new technology and surgical techniques.

Contributions are invited in the form of authoritative original papers describing current developments in the field and the findings of pertinent investigations. Selection of manuscripts for publication is based on their timeliness, originality, significance of findings/conclusions to the surgical field, and quality of presentation.

Submission of manuscripts

Electronic submission is encouraged; send files via e-mail to Submissions will be acknowledged and sent to appropriate reviewers.

If you are sending the manuscript on a flash drive or in the form of hard copy materials, forward these items prepaid, at the author’s risk, to:

Diane S. Schneidman, Editor-in-Chief
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
American College of Surgeons
633 N. Saint Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611-3295

Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they are intended for publication solely in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons and that they are not under review nor have been published or committed for publication elsewhere. If a paper has been prepared for presentation at a meeting, this information should be noted on the cover letter accompanying the manuscript. All manuscripts are subject to editorial modification and revisions necessary to bring them into conformity with Bulletin style and publication-readiness.

Style and format

Word counts 

Manuscripts for feature stories should be no more than 3,200 words in length, 2,000 words for columns, and 1,000 words for news stories, exclusive of tabular material or illustrations. 


Manuscripts should be composed in Microsoft Word—double-spaced and with one-inch margins. Please turn off track changes before sending the document. Manuscripts submitted as PDFs will be returned to the author with the request that a Word document be submitted instead.


A maximum of seven authors may be listed in a byline for a feature story, four for a column, and two for a news story. Any other contributors to a piece may be identified in an acknowledgement at the end of the article. Give full names of authors and their degrees, academic or professional titles, professional affiliations, and complete addresses (specify to whom galley proofs are to be sent).

All manuscripts should include a brief biography (including institutional affiliations, specialty, academic title, and city and state) and a photo of each author. Each photograph must be a head shot/portrait in JPG or TIF format, at least two inches wide, and at least 300 pixels per inch. Do not submit the photos in a Word document, as this affects the publishing quality. If preferred, submission of hard copy of photos (minimum passport size) is acceptable.


References should be listed numerically in the text, with full citations to appear on a separate page at the end of the text of the article. A feature story should comprise a maximum of 25 references, 15 for a column, and 10 for a news story (if any). Please be sure to keep the references separate; do not use the feature in Word that automatically generates footnotes.
References should follow American Medical Association style guidelines.* Following are some examples:

Henry S, Brasel KJ, Joseph K. ATLS at 40: Distinguished past, bright future. Bull Am Coll Surg. 2018;103(3):12−18.

Rowe JW, Allen-Meares P, Altman S, et al. Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2008.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Quality Payment Program.  Available at: Accessed March 22, 2018.


Figures, tables, and/or other illustrations are welcomed as long as they add significantly to the author’s discussion in the text. Due to space limitations, tables, figures, and other illustrations should be limited to a maximum of eight for feature stories, four for columns, and two for news stories. Data display should be called a “Table” when presenting precise numerical values that show item-to-item comparisons; the term “Figure” should be used when presenting patterns or trends or illustrating comparisons in text.*

Displays that present lists of any kind (such as names of board members or checklist items) should be called “box.” Photos should be referred to as photos, not figures.

Drawings [including graphs and charts] should be created either in MSWord, or as a JPG, TIF, or PDF file, with lettering large enough to be legible after necessary reduction. If camera-ready art is supplied in lieu of an electronic file, be sure that the original is clear, clean, and will be legible when reduced. A separate page with legends for the illustrations should be supplied. Tables submitted with the manuscript should be on separate pages at the end of the manuscript. Be sure to label the tables and illustrations clearly and be sure to refer to their placement in the text of the article.

Photographs or other illustrative art, if supplied in an electronic (JPG, TIF, or PDF) format, should have a resolution of no less than 300 pixels per inch, or at least 1200 pixels in width. Anything less than that may not reproduce at print quality. Photographs pasted into a Word document are discouraged, as they do not always print at ideal resolution. Please provide captions for photographs on a separate page.

Galley proofs

Authors will receive galley proofs (as a Word document) of their edited manuscript for their review in advance of the scheduled month of publication. Galleys may include queries from editorial staff.

Before publication, revised proofs must be returned either as a Word document with any edits indicated using the track changes function or as a list of requested changes to the editors.

Authors of feature articles will have the opportunity to see a PDF of the article in magazine format that reflects any changes made to the document during the galley stage. After viewing the PDF, authors may only request changes to text that is currently outdated or egregious errors; all other edits will be rejected at this time. 


Inquiries regarding potential articles for consideration, deadlines, the submission of manuscripts, author proofs, or style should be directed to Diane Schneidman, Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, at; or Lynn Kahn, Director, Division of Integrated Communications, American College of Surgeons, at

*American Medical Association. AMA Manual of Style. 10th ed. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press; 2007.


Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611


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