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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Recommendations and Reports / Surveillance Summaries

Instructions for Authors
Instructions for Format, Clearance, and Submission
(Updated September 9, 2014)


Report Text

  • Software: Microsoft Word only.
  • Line spacing: 2.0.
  • Font: Times New Roman.
  • Type size: 11 or 12 point.
  • Headings: Times New Roman, 11 or 12 point; bold and bold/italics may be used, but no other formatting.
  • Note: Because CDC is the corporate author and stands behind every report, use of first person (I, we, our) is not permitted in MMWR  publications.

Summaries and Abstracts

  • A summary (maximum 275 words) is required for Recommendations and Reports and supplements.
  • A structured abstract (i.e., Problem/Condition, Reporting Period, Description of System, Results and Interpretation, and Public Health Actions Taken) is required for Surveillance Summaries.


  • Software: Word table function or Excel.
  • Must not have tabs, extra spaces, or returns within the cells.
  • Must be submitted in a separate file, not embedded in the text.


  • Figures should be created in (not pasted into) Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, Excel or (in the case of maps) vector format files (such as .ai, .eps, and .wmf).
  • For bar and line graphs, also include data in tabular form.
  • Use of color is acceptable.
  • Photographs (high resolution [300 dpi]) that enhance or clarify the text are encouraged.
  • Numbers, symbols, and lettering should be large enough to remain legible when reduced.
  • Place keys and legends within the figure.
  • Must be submitted in a separate file, not embedded in the text.

Cover Art

  • Art work for the covers of reports is desired but not mandatory. Photographs and line art are acceptable.
  • Photographs should be 300 dpi and should be submitted, preferably, as a .tif file (.jpeg and .cmyk are acceptable). Line art should be submitted as an .eps file or .pdf.


  • Will be done by MMWR  staff.

Method (Recommendations and Reports)

  • All CDC guidelines should provide a methods section that transparently discusses the following:
    • How do the guidelines add to or differ from what was available previously?
    • Who was involved in the production of the guidelines and how?
    • What information base was considered?
      • What was the rationale for considering this evidence base?
      • What potential information bases were not consulted?
  • How does the information considered support or relate to the conclusions or recommendations?


  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation.
  • References should be cited according to instructions contained in The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.
  • Reference numbers must be cited in the text in parentheses and italicized, not superscripted. All citations included in the reference list must be cited at least once in numerical order in the text only. Sources for information in figures and tables must be spelled out with each figure and table. Abbreviate names of journals according to the journals list in PubMed (available at
    Note: List up to six authors and/or editors; if more than six, list the first three, followed by “et al.”
  • Reference numbers must be manually inserted in the text, not linked to an endnote function or reference manager software.