Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

Scope

Gastric Cancer, a joint official journal of the international Gastric Cancer Association and the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association, publishes significant studies related to stomach neoplasms. Original articles (up to 4000 words, excluding references, with no more than seven figures/tables in total), Case reports (up to 1500, excluding references, with no more than seven figures/tables in total), Short communications (up to 1500 words, excluding references, with no more than four figures/tables in total), and Technical notes (up to 1500 words, excluding references, with no more than seven figures/tables in total) will be peer-reviewed for publication on the understanding that the study has not been submitted simultaneously to or accepted by another journal. The criteria for acceptance are originality and high scientific quality. Review articles (up to 5000 words, excluding references, with no more than seven figures/tables in total) are in principle solicited by the Editor, but unsolicited manuscripts will also be considered. With regard to the submission of meta-analysis studies, the journal’s editorial board will only consider studies that analyze individual patients’ data from randomized clinical trials. In principle, the journal will not accept studies on meta-analyses based on tabulated data. Letters to the Editor (up to 500 words, excluding references, with no figure/table) commenting on articles published in the journal or expressing views on topics of gastric cancer are welcomed. Meeting reports, at the request of the Editor, will include summaries of symposia or consensus achieved in the congresses of related associations.

Clinical Trial Registration

Any clinical trial for which patient enrollment began on or after January 1, 2014 must be registered. Authors have 6 months from the first patient enrollment to register the trial, but Gastric Cancer recommends registration prior to enrollment. This registration policy applies to prospective, randomized, controlled trials only.

Gastric Cancer follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which uses the World Health Organization's definition of a clinical trial. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as "Any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.' Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome (for example, drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, dietary interventions, and process-of-care changes). Health outcomes include any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) will not require registration."

The ICMJE lists the following registries as fully compliant:

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry

ClinicalTrials.gov

ISRCTN Register

UMIN Clinical Trials Registry

Netherlands Trial Register

Brazilian Clinical Trials Registry (ReBec)

Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR)

Clinical Research Information Service (CRiS), Republic of Korea

Clinical Trials Registry - India (CTRI)

Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials(RPCEC)

EU Clinical Trials Register (EU-CTR)

German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS)

Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT)

Japan Primary Registries Network (JPRN)

Thai Clinical Trials Registry (TCTR)

Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR)

Sri Lanka Clinical Trials Registry (SLCTR)

Upon submission, authors must provide the registration identification number and the URL for the trial's registry.

Authors can post their results in clinical trial registries as part of these requirements without it being considered previously published or overlapping publication.

Authors also must agree to submit the original protocol upon request from the editorial committee.

Ethical Standards

Gastric Cancer has adopted the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org/). The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the below-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the below-mentioned requirements.

  • Human rights statement and informed consent:

For studies involving human subjects, the following statement should be included before the References section:

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and later versions. Informed consent to be included in the study, or the equivalent, was obtained from all patients.

If doubts arise as to whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

Identifying information of patients or human subjects – including their names, initials, addresses, admission dates, hospital numbers, or any other data that could be used to identify them – should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or their parent guardian) gives written informed consent to publish. If any identifying information about patients is included in the article, the following sentence should also be included:

Additional informed consent was obtained from all patients for which identifying information is included in this article.

For retrospective studies, the authors are not expected to have consent to participate, however, ethics approval is required. If the manuscript includes any potentially identifiable patient images or data, the authors also need to obtain informed consent.

  • Animal studies:

For studies with animals, include the following sentence before the References section:

All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

For articles that do not contain studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors, while it is not absolutely necessary, we recommend to include the following sentence, just to make sure that readers are aware that there are no ethical issues with human or animal subjects:

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could have direct or potential influence or impart bias on the work. Although an author may not feel there is any conflict, disclosure of relationships and interests provides a more complete and transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of a real or perceived conflicts of interest is a perspective to which the readers are entitled. This is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation received for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of interests that are directly or indirectly related to the research may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number)

  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia

  • Financial support for attending symposia

  • Financial support for educational programs

  • Employment or consultation

  • Support from a project sponsor

  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships

  • Multiple affiliations

  • Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest

  • Intellectual property rights (e.g. patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)

  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work

In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research, or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.

The corresponding author collects the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, it is sufficient for the corresponding author to sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors. The “ICMJE Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflicts of Interest” available at http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf should be used.

The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).

See below examples of disclosures:

Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).

Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.

If no conflict exists, the authors should state:

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

ICMJE Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflicts of Interest

Prerequisites for publication

Certification form: A certification form, which is available below, must be submitted to the journal’s editorial office by uploading it as a PDF file at the same time you submit your manuscript via Editorial Manager.

IMPORTANT: The reviewing process starts only upon receipt of the Certification Form.

Certification Form (Download pdf, 61 kB)

Manuscript submission via Editorial Manager

Authors should submit their manuscripts to Gastric Cancer online. Please log in directly at: https://www.editorialmanager.com/gcan and upload your manuscript following the instructions given on the screen. Please use the Help option to see the most recently updated system requirements.

https://www.editorialmanager.com/gcan

Preparation of manuscript

Manuscript format and style should be in accordance with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” (http://www.icmje.org). Type the manuscript double-space throughout with margins of at least 25mm. Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page.

  • Title page:

The title page should carry 1) the type of article (e.g., original article, case report, etc.) 2) the title of the article; 3) the names of authors; 4) the name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed; 5) the name and address of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript, with phone and fax numbers and e-mail address (the corresponding author should be the one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal as stated in ICMJE Recommendations); 6) a short running head of no more than 40 characters (count letters and spaces); and 7) the word count of the article (please note the word limit for each type of article).

  • Abstract, mini-abstract, and key words:

The second page should carry an abstract of no more than 250 words. In addition, a miniabstract summarizing the significant conclusion of the study within 30 words should be submitted to appear in the table of contents. The abstracts of Original articles should be structured into four paragraphs: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Authors should provide three to five key words using terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus.

  • References:
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in square brackets on the line, e.g., Ames et al. [1] reported...

Restrict citations, as far as possible, to papers written in English or with an English abstract. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Index Medicus (http://www.nlm.nih.gov). List the first six authors followed by et al. The references must be verified by the authors against the original documents.

1. Journal article

Jacobson MA, Zegans M, Pavan PR, O’Donnell JJ, Sattler F, Rao N, et al. Cytomegalovirus retinitis after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy. Lancet. 1997;349:1443–5.

2. Journal article by DOI

Mitchell AJ, Vaze A, Rao S. Clinical diagnosis of depression in primary care: a meta-analysis. Lancet. 2009. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60879-5.

3. Book chapter

Lefor AT, Flowers JL, Bailey RW. Laparoscopy in gastrointestinal malignancies. In: Wanebo HJ, editor. Surgery for gastrointestinal cancer: a multidisciplinary approach. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Publisher; 1997. pp. 145–59.

  • Tables:
Type each table with double spacing on a separate page. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Footnotes to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data) and included beneath the table body. Explain in footnotes all nonstandard abbreviations that are used in each table. Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean.

  • Figures:
All figures should be cited in the text and numbered consecutively throughout. Letters, numbers, and symbols should be clear and even throughout and of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. Figure parts should be identified by lowercase roman letters (a, b, etc.). If illustrations are supplied with uppercase labeling, lowercase letters will still be used in the figure legends and citations. Color figures will always be published in color. For more information about preparing illustrations, please refer to the artwork guidelines available at the end of this document.

  • Legends for figures:
Type legends for figures using double spacing, starting on a separate page, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend.

  • Units of measurement:
Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or their decimal multiples. All hematologic and clinical chemistry measurements should be reported using the metric system of the International System of Units (SI).

  • Abbreviations and symbols:
Use only standard abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.

Case report

Gastric Cancer publishes case reports with new findings. The following will be considered for publication. (A) Cases that have an important clinical impact: 1) Remarkable effects of a new therapy for gastric cancer; 2) Previously unreported adverse events in treatments for gastric cancer; 3) Novel suggestions or pitfalls in diagnosing gastric cancer; (B) Cases that may provide significant clues to the etiology or natural history of gastric cancer:

1) Combinations of gastric cancer and other diseases in which molecular biological findings provide new etiological information; 2) Previously unreported subtypes, syndromes, or familial accumulations of gastric cancer; 3) Untreated disappearance or long-term stable conditions of gastric cancer, including proof; 4) Previously unreported metastatic or progressive patterns of gastric cancer.

Reports of the following cases will not be accepted for publication. 1) Coincidental combination of gastric cancer and other diseases with no new etiological information;

2) Rare gastric cancer with no new findings;

3) Exceptional effects of conventional treatments without data explaining these results.

Provide an unstructured abstract of no more than 150 words. The text should not exceed 1,500 words (excluding references), and only essential figures and/or tables should be provided (no more than 5 items).

Authors of the report should be only those who made substantial contributions to the study. When histological findings play a key role in the report, a pathologist should be included as an author. Information that can identify patients must be omitted, or if in a figure, carefully masked.

Electronic supplementary material

Electronic supplementary material will be published in the online version only.

It may consist of

・Information that cannot be printed: animations, video clips, sound recordings

・Information that is more convenient in electronic form: sequences, spectral data, etc.

・Large original data, e.g. additional tables, illustrations, etc.

Submission

・Supply all supplementary material in standard file formats.

・Please include in each file the following information: article title, journal name, author names; affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

・To accommodate user downloads, please keep in mind that larger-sized files may require very long download times and that some users may experience other problems during downloading.

Audio, video, and animations

・Always use MPEG-1 (.mpg) format.

Text and presentations

・Submit your material in PDF format; .doc or .ppt files are not suitable for long-term viability.

・A collection of figures may also be combined in a PDF file.

Spreadsheets

・Spreadsheets should be converted to PDF if no interaction with the data is intended.

・If the readers should be encouraged to make their own calculations, spreadsheets should be submitted as .xls files (MS Excel).

Specialized formats

・Specialized formats such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML), .nb (Mathematica notebook), and .tex can also be supplied.

Collecting multiple files

・It is possible to collect multiple files in a .zip or .gz file.

Numbering

・If supplying any supplementary material, the text must make specific mention of the material as a citation, similar to that of figures and tables.

・Refer to the supplementary files as “Online Resource”, e.g., "... as shown in the animation (Online Resource 3)", “... additional data are given in Online Resource 4”.

・Name the files consecutively e.g. “ESM_3.mpg”, “ESM_4.pdf”.

Captions

・For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.

Processing of supplementary files

・Electronic supplementary material will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that

・The manuscript contain a descriptive caption for each supplementary material

・Video files do not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)

Check list before submission

– Word file is uploaded for the text.

– Certification Form signed by all coauthors to be uploaded at the same time you submit your manuscript via Editorial Manager.

–Title page included in the main document.

– Double spacing, 25-mm margins, page numbers.

– Mini-abstract of less than 30 words, in addition to an abstract and key words.

– References in the style of Index Medicus.

– Financial support, if any, should be mentioned in the Acknowledgments.

After acceptance

Upon acceptance of your article you will receive a link to the special Author Query Application at Springer’s web page where you can sign the Copyright Transfer Statement online and indicate whether you wish to order Open Choice. Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs. You will also receive a separate e-mail for ordering offprints and printing of figures in color.

  • Open Choice publication

In addition to the normal publication process (whereby an article is submitted to the journal and access to that article is granted to customers who have purchased a subscription), Springer provides an alternative publishing option: Springer Open Choice. A Springer Open Choice article receives all the benefits of a regular subscription-based article, but in addition is made available publicly through Springer’s online platform SpringerLink. We regret that Springer Open Choice cannot be ordered for published articles.

Springer Open Choice [http://springer.com/openchoice]

In cooperation with the International Gastric Cancer Association and the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association, and the publisher, one year after the date of print publication, articles will become publicly available through SpringerLink regardless of whether the Springer Open Choice option is chosen initially.

  • Copyright transfer

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of their articles to the international Gastric Cancer Association and the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association. This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws.

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, they agree to the Springer Open Choice Licence.

  • Offprints

Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.

  • Color illustrations

Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.

  • Proof reading

The purpose of the proof is to check for typesetting or conversion errors and the completeness and accuracy of the text, tables and figures. Substantial changes in content, e.g., new results, corrected values, title and authorship, are not allowed without the approval of the Editor.

After online publication, further changes can only be made in the form of an Erratum, which will be hyperlinked to the article.

  • Online First

The article will be published online after receipt of the corrected proofs. This is the official first publication citable with the DOI. After release of the printed version, the paper can also be cited by issue and page numbers.

Open Choice

Open Choice allows you to publish open access in more than 1850 Springer Nature journals, making your research more visible and accessible immediately on publication.

Article processing charges (APCs) vary by journal – view the full list

Benefits:

  • Increased researcher engagement: Open Choice enables access by anyone with an internet connection, immediately on publication.
  • Higher visibility and impact: In Springer hybrid journals, OA articles are accessed 4 times more often on average, and cited 1.7 more times on average*.

  • Easy compliance with funder and institutional mandates: Many funders require open access publishing, and some take compliance into account when assessing future grant applications.

It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.

*) Within the first three years of publication. Springer Nature hybrid journal OA impact analysis, 2018.

Open Choice

Funding and Support pages

Copyright and license term – CC BY

Open Choice articles do not require transfer of copyright as the copyright remains with the author. In opting for open access, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Find more about the license agreement

Artwork guidelines

Electronic figure submission

• Supply all figures electronically.

• Indicate what graphics program was used to create the artwork.

• For vector graphics, the preferred format is EPS; for halftones, please use TIFF format. MS Office files are also acceptable.

• Vector graphics containing fonts must have the fonts embedded in the files.

• Name your figure files with "Fig" and the figure number, e.g., Fig1.eps.

Line art

• Definition: black and white graphic with no shading.

• Do not use faint lines and/or lettering and check that all lines and lettering within the figures are legible at final size.

• All lines should be at least 0.1 mm (0.3 pt) wide.

• Scanned line drawings and line drawings in bitmap format should have a minimum resolution of 1200 dpi.

Halftone art

• Definition: photographs, drawings, or paintings with fine shading, etc.

• If any magnification is used in the photographs, indicate this by using scale bars within the figures themselves.

• Halftones should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.

Combination art

• Definition: a combination of halftone and line art, e.g., halftones containing line drawing, extensive lettering, color diagrams, etc.

• Combination artwork should have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi.

Color art

• Color art is free of charge for online publication.

• If black and white will be shown in the print version, make sure that the main information will still be visible. Many colors are not distinguishable from one another when converted to black and white. A simple way to check this is to make a xerographic copy to see if the necessary distinctions between the different colors are still apparent.

• If the figures will be printed in black and white, do not refer to color in the captions.

• Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB (8 bits per channel).

Figure lettering

• To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).

• Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).

• Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.

• Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.

• Do not include titles or captions into your illustrations.

Figure numbering

• All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.

• Figures should always be cited in the text in consecutive numerical order.

• Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).

• If an appendix appears in your article/chapter and it contains one or more figures, continue the consecutive numbering of the main text. Do not number the appendix figures, "A1, A2, A3, etc." Figures in online appendices (Electronic supplementary Material) should, however, be numbered separately.

Figure captions

• Each figure should have a concise caption describing accurately what the figure depicts. Include the captions in the text file of the manuscript, not in the figure file.

• Figure captions begin with the term Fig. in bold type, followed by the figure number, also in bold type.

• No punctuation is to be included after the number, nor is any punctuation to be placed at the end of the caption.

• Identify all elements found in the figure in the figure caption; and use boxes, circles, etc., as coordinate points in graphs.

• Identify previously published material by giving the original source in the form of a reference citation at the end of the figure caption.

Figure placement and size

• When preparing your figures, size figures to fit in the column width.

• Figures should be 39 mm, 84 mm, 129 mm, or 174 mm wide and not higher than 234 mm.

• The publisher reserves the right to reduce or enlarge figures.

Permissions

If you include figures that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format. Please be aware that some publishers do not grant electronic rights for free and that Springer will not be able to refund any costs that may have occurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.

Accessibility

In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your figures, please make sure that

• All figures have descriptive captions (blind users could then use a text-to-speech

software or a text-to-Braille hardware)

• Patterns are used instead or in addition to colors for conveying information (color-blind users would then be able to distinguish the visual elements)

• Any figure lettering has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results which could damage the trust in the journal, the professionalism of scientific authorship, and ultimately the entire scientific endeavour. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation is helped by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include*:

  • The manuscript should not be submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The submitted work should be original and should not have been published elsewhere in any form or language (partially or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work. (Please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the concerns about text-recycling (‘self-plagiarism’).
  • A single study should not be split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (i.e. ‘salami-slicing/publishing’).
  • Concurrent or secondary publication is sometimes justifiable, provided certain conditions are met. Examples include: translations or a manuscript that is intended for a different group of readers.
  • Results should be presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation (including image based manipulation). Authors should adhere to discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own (‘plagiarism’). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks (to indicate words taken from another source) are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Authors should make sure they have permissions for the use of software, questionnaires/(web) surveys and scales in their studies (if appropriate).
  • Research articles and non-research articles (e.g. Opinion, Review, and Commentary articles) must cite appropriate and relevant literature in support of the claims made. Excessive and inappropriate self-citation or coordinated efforts among several authors to collectively self-cite is strongly discouraged.
  • Authors should avoid untrue statements about an entity (who can be an individual person or a company) or descriptions of their behavior or actions that could potentially be seen as personal attacks or allegations about that person.
  • Research that may be misapplied to pose a threat to public health or national security should be clearly identified in the manuscript (e.g. dual use of research). Examples include creation of harmful consequences of biological agents or toxins, disruption of immunity of vaccines, unusual hazards in the use of chemicals, weaponization of research/technology (amongst others).
  • Authors are strongly advised to ensure the author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors are all correct at submission. Adding and/or deleting authors during the revision stages is generally not permitted, but in some cases may be warranted. Reasons for changes in authorship should be explained in detail. Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

*All of the above are guidelines and authors need to make sure to respect third parties rights such as copyright and/or moral rights.

Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results presented. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc. Sensitive information in the form of confidential or proprietary data is excluded.

If there is suspicion of misbehavior or alleged fraud the Journal and/or Publisher will carry out an investigation following COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, there are valid concerns, the author(s) concerned will be contacted under their given e-mail address and given an opportunity to address the issue. Depending on the situation, this may result in the Journal’s and/or Publisher’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction:

    - an erratum/correction may be placed with the article

    - an expression of concern may be placed with the article

    - or in severe cases retraction of the article may occur.

The reason will be given in the published erratum/correction, expression of concern or retraction note. Please note that retraction means that the article is maintained on the platform, watermarked “retracted” and the explanation for the retraction is provided in a note linked to the watermarked article.

  • The author’s institution may be informed
  • A notice of suspected transgression of ethical standards in the peer review system may be included as part of the author’s and article’s bibliographic record.

Fundamental errors

Authors have an obligation to correct mistakes once they discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their published article. The author(s) is/are requested to contact the journal and explain in what sense the error is impacting the article. A decision on how to correct the literature will depend on the nature of the error. This may be a correction or retraction. The retraction note should provide transparency which parts of the article are impacted by the error.

Suggesting / excluding reviewers

Authors are welcome to suggest suitable reviewers and/or request the exclusion of certain individuals when they submit their manuscripts. When suggesting reviewers, authors should make sure they are totally independent and not connected to the work in any way. It is strongly recommended to suggest a mix of reviewers from different countries and different institutions. When suggesting reviewers, the Corresponding Author must provide an institutional email address for each suggested reviewer, or, if this is not possible to include other means of verifying the identity such as a link to a personal homepage, a link to the publication record or a researcher or author ID in the submission letter. Please note that the Journal may not use the suggestions, but suggestions are appreciated and may help facilitate the peer review process.

Authorship principles

These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.

Authorship clarified

The Journal and Publisher assume all authors agreed with the content and that all gave explicit consent to submit and that they obtained consent from the responsible authorities at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.

The Publisher does not prescribe the kinds of contributions that warrant authorship. It is recommended that authors adhere to the guidelines for authorship that are applicable in their specific research field. In absence of specific guidelines it is recommended to adhere to the following guidelines*:

All authors whose names appear on the submission

1) made substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the creation of new software used in the work;

2) drafted the work or revised it critically for important intellectual content;

3) approved the version to be published; and

4) agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

* Based on/adapted from:

ICMJE, Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors,

Transparency in authors’ contributions and responsibilities to promote integrity in scientific publication, McNutt at all, PNAS February 27, 2018

Disclosures and declarations

All authors are requested to include information regarding sources of funding, financial or non-financial interests, study-specific approval by the appropriate ethics committee for research involving humans and/or animals, informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals (as appropriate).

The decision whether such information should be included is not only dependent on the scope of the journal, but also the scope of the article. Work submitted for publication may have implications for public health or general welfare and in those cases it is the responsibility of all authors to include the appropriate disclosures and declarations.

Data transparency

All authors are requested to make sure that all data and materials as well as software application or custom code support their published claims and comply with field standards. Please note that journals may have individual policies on (sharing) research data in concordance with disciplinary norms and expectations.

Role of the Corresponding Author

One author is assigned as Corresponding Author and acts on behalf of all co-authors and ensures that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately addressed.

The Corresponding Author is responsible for the following requirements:

  • ensuring that all listed authors have approved the manuscript before submission, including the names and order of authors;
  • managing all communication between the Journal and all co-authors, before and after publication;*
  • providing transparency on re-use of material and mention any unpublished material (for example manuscripts in press) included in the manuscript in a cover letter to the Editor;
  • making sure disclosures, declarations and transparency on data statements from all authors are included in the manuscript as appropriate (see above).

* The requirement of managing all communication between the journal and all co-authors during submission and proofing may be delegated to a Contact or Submitting Author. In this case please make sure the Corresponding Author is clearly indicated in the manuscript.

Author contributions

In absence of specific instructions and in research fields where it is possible to describe discrete efforts, the Publisher recommends authors to include contribution statements in the work that specifies the contribution of every author in order to promote transparency. These contributions should be listed at the separate title page.

Examples of such statement(s) are shown below:

• Free text:

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by [full name], [full name] and [full name]. The first draft of the manuscript was written by [full name] and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Example: CRediT taxonomy:

• Conceptualization: [full name], …; Methodology: [full name], …; Formal analysis and investigation: [full name], …; Writing - original draft preparation: [full name, …]; Writing - review and editing: [full name], …; Funding acquisition: [full name], …; Resources: [full name], …; Supervision: [full name],….

For review articles where discrete statements are less applicable a statement should be included who had the idea for the article, who performed the literature search and data analysis, and who drafted and/or critically revised the work.

For articles that are based primarily on the student’s dissertation or thesis, it is recommended that the student is usually listed as principal author:

A Graduate Student’s Guide to Determining Authorship Credit and Authorship Order, APA Science Student Council 2006

Affiliation

The primary affiliation for each author should be the institution where the majority of their work was done. If an author has subsequently moved, the current address may additionally be stated. Addresses will not be updated or changed after publication of the article.

Changes to authorship

Authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, the Corresponding Author, and the order of authors at submission. Changes of authorship by adding or deleting authors, and/or changes in Corresponding Author, and/or changes in the sequence of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.

  • Please note that author names will be published exactly as they appear on the accepted submission!

Please make sure that the names of all authors are present and correctly spelled, and that addresses and affiliations are current.

Adding and/or deleting authors at revision stage are generally not permitted, but in some cases it may be warranted. Reasons for these changes in authorship should be explained. Approval of the change during revision is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Please note that journals may have individual policies on adding and/or deleting authors during revision stage.

Author identification

Authors are recommended to use their ORCID ID when submitting an article for consideration or acquire an ORCID ID via the submission process.

Deceased or incapacitated authors

For cases in which a co-author dies or is incapacitated during the writing, submission, or peer-review process, and the co-authors feel it is appropriate to include the author, co-authors should obtain approval from a (legal) representative which could be a direct relative.

Authorship issues or disputes

In the case of an authorship dispute during peer review or after acceptance and publication, the Journal will not be in a position to investigate or adjudicate. Authors will be asked to resolve the dispute themselves. If they are unable the Journal reserves the right to withdraw a manuscript from the editorial process or in case of a published paper raise the issue with the authors’ institution(s) and abide by its guidelines.

Confidentiality

Authors should treat all communication with the Journal as confidential which includes correspondence with direct representatives from the Journal such as Editors-in-Chief and/or Handling Editors and reviewers’ reports unless explicit consent has been received to share information.