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Media Guide

What counts as media?

We consider all tables, figures and video to be media. Whenever you see media referred to in our instructions, you can safely assume that we mean tables, figures and video unless otherwise specified.

Where can I add media?

Media is not permitted in the abstract, introduction or conclusions sections of any article type. The only exception is the introduction section of a review article. Each article is permitted up to 25 media items.

How do I add, move or remove media?

To add media to your article first place your cursor in the desired location in the article section text field and click one of the Insert Figure, Insert Table or Insert Video buttons on the article section toolbar. You will then be prompted to upload the figure or paste the table or video URL and add a title and optional legend. For detailed instructions on adding each media type, please see below.

You can move videos, tables and figures up or down in the text by clicking the arrow buttons embedded in each media item.

Titles, legends and numbering

  • All media is automatically numbered. Do not include the figure, table, video number in the title.
  • You must add a legend if your figure or table contains acronyms, initialisms or labels.
  • Reference citations are permitted in figure, video, table legends and cells, but not titles.
  • Capitalization and punctuation for media titles and descriptions/legends must be consistent throughout the article.

How should I mention media in my article?

Figures, tables and video must be mentioned in the paragraph directly before the corresponding figure, table of video is inserted within the article.

  • (Figure 1)
  • (Tables 1, 2)
  • (Videos 1-3)

If the figure contains multiple panes, each should be labeled with a letter and this should be reflected in the figure mention.

  • (Figure 1A)

If you wish to refer to figures, tables or videos within a sentence and not within parentheses (e.g. “This was a particularly complicated procedure, as can be seen in Figure 1”), please adhere to the following format (the same applies for both tables and videos as well):

  • Figure 1
  • Tables 1, 2
  • Videos 1-4
  • Figures 1A
  • Figures 1A, 1B
  • Figures 1A-1D


Figure requirements

  • Figures featuring stretched, skewed, blurry or otherwise images are not permitted.
  • Original DICOM images must be uploaded.
  • Extraneous whitespace should be cropped.
  • If the figure contains multiple panes, each pane should be labeled with a letter
  • If you need to resize your figure(s), please do not stretch the image using MS Paint or a similar application. Many options exist to revise figures without diminishing quality. In addition to applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, we recommend http://resizeimage.net/.

Adding figures

Follow these steps to upload and insert a figure directly into your article:

  1. Place your cursor where you wish to insert the figure and click the Insert Figure button in the toolbar.
  2. Upload your .png, .jpeg or .tiff image file (minimum width: 900 pixels, recommended minimum width: 1600 pixels)
  3. Enter a title in the title field.
  4. If desired, enter a legend in the legend field.
  5. Click the Next button and confirm that you have formatted your figure to meet all listed requirements.
  6. Click the Insert button to insert the figure into your article.

Unacceptable figure examples

The following figures were previously rejected - if your figures look like these figures, please address the issues prior to submitting your articles. Additional examples highlighting other common figure errors will be added soon.


Blurry figure

Photo of computer/tv screen

Photo of screen


Table requirements

  • All tables must be cell-based (images will not be accepted).
  • All table formatting (bullet points, bolded text, line returns within a cell, colors, etc.) will be removed after the table is inserted into the article in order to ensure that all tables are formatted in accordance with PMC standards.
  • References listed in a table must be cited and listed in the references section of the article.

Adding tables

Follow these steps to paste and insert a table directly into your article:

  1. Place your cursor where you wish to insert the table and click the Insert Table button in the toolbar.
  2. Paste your previously created table from Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs or Google Sheets into the text field and edit as needed.
  3. Enter a title in the title field.
  4. If desired, enter a legend in the legend field.
  5. Click the Insert button to insert the table into your article.
  6. Double-check the inserted table to make sure it is legible and formatted correctly.

Unacceptable table examples

Nested tables or tables with line returns within a cell will appear to display correctly in the Insert Table field, but when inserted into the article, the formatting will be removed and the table will illegible. For this reason, nested tables and line returns within a cell are not permitted.

Line returns in table cell

Insert Table field
Line return table
Inserted table (formatting stripped)
Line return inserted table

Nested table

Insert Table field
Nested table
Inserted table (formatting stripped)
Nested table inserted


Adding videos

Follow these steps to insert an embedded video directly into your article:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.
  2. Place your cursor where you wish to insert the video and click the Insert Video button in the toolbar.
  3. Paste the video URL into the URL field and click the Search button. Click the video to make sure it will play correctly.
  4. Enter a title in the title field.
  5. If desired, enter a legend in the legend field.
  6. Click the Insert button to insert the video into your article.

Privacy and permission issues

Patient privacy and anonymity must be protected. Exceptions may be made only if the individuals in question have provided explicit approval. For more information about patient privacy, anonymity and informed consent, please refer to the ICMJE Privacy and Confidentiality guidelines.

It is the author’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate permissions from the original publisher to republish any previously published text, figures, tables, supplementary information, etc., in an open access journal under a CC-BY license.