Submission guidelines

Information for Authors

Article types

Article types that will be considered by SCRR for publication:

1. Reviews: Solicited or unsolicited 4,000-10,000 word reviews of topical areas of stem cell biology that highlight, critique and synthesize recent important findings in the field. They are intended to appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike in stem cell biology.

2. Reports: Full length Reports: Research articles should be fully documented reports of original research. They should be written in as concise a style as possible but should still be accessible to the readership of SCRR. The total length of the article should not exceed 10,000 words. This word count does not include the reference list but does include figure legends. Manuscripts should have no more than four page equivalents of figures and tables. Manuscripts should be structured as follows:: Title page, Summary, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, Figure Legends. Tables should be provided in a separate file.

Short Reports: New insights and perspectives papers with a maximum of 5,000 words that can be accompanied by up to four images (figures or tables). This word count does not include the reference list but does include figure legends. The structure of a Short Report follows that of a full-length report in SCRR.

3. Translational Stem Cell Studies: Results of clinical trials using stem cells as therapeutics. These papers could be submitted as full length or short reports.

4. Diseases of Stem Cells: These papers could be submitted as full length or short reports.

5. Hypothesis and Commentary Articles: Opinion-based pieces of 3000-5000 words in which authors can propose a new theory, interpretation of a controversial area in stem cell biology, or a stem cell biology question or paradigm. These articles contain more speculation than reviews, but should be based on solid rationale.

6. Protocols: Peer-reviewed procedures that provide step-by-step descriptions, outlined in sufficient detail, so that both experts and novices can apply them to their own research. The total length of the article should not exceed 10,000 words. This word count does not include the reference list but does include figure legends. Manuscripts should have no more than four page equivalents of figures and tables.

7. Letter to the Editor and Correspondence papers – limited to 1000 words, 1 figure and 5 references pieces. Criterion includes interest in the field, and providing sufficient evidence to support.

For questions about any other type of article, please contact the Editor in Chief Dr. Mariusz Ratajczak at mariusz.ratajczak@louisville.edu

http://springerprotocols.com/cdp/view/contributors

Online manuscript submission

Springer now offers authors, editors, and reviewers of Stem Cell Reviews and Reports the use of our fully web-enabled online manuscript submission and review system. To keep the review time as short as possible, we request that authors submit their manuscripts online to the journal’s editorial office. Our online manuscript submission and review system offers authors the option of tracking the progress of the review process of manuscripts in real time. Manuscripts should be submitted to: http://stcr.edmgr.com/

The online manuscript submission and review system for Stem Cell Reviews and Reports offers easy and straightforward log-in and submission procedures. This system supports a wide range of submission file formats: for manuscripts, Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT, and LaTex; for figures, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, PPT, and Postscript. PDF is not an acceptable file format.

Note: in case you encounter any difficulties while submitting your manuscript online, please click on “CONTACT US” from the tool bar in Editorial Manager.

Authors should still follow the regular instructions for authors when preparing their manuscripts (see below).

http://stcr.edmgr.com

Manuscript Preparation

Type manuscript double-spaced in Microsoft Word on consecutively numbered pages with 1- to 1-1/2 in. margins. Pages should be numbered beginning with the title page. Each manuscript should include an acknowledgments section that contains all personal acknowledgments and lists of grant support. All Artwork and Tables should be prepared as outlined below.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Every article must have an abstract.

Include 5-10 Index Entries/Key Words.

If your submission includes Artwork, number figures consecutively with Arabic numerals. Include figure captions in a separate section at the end of the manuscript; callouts (if any) should be capital letters. All illustrations, including chemical structures, must be provided in professional-quality, finished form ready for direct reproduction without revision by us. Micrograph magnification should be given with scale bars defined in microns, not as “x magnification.” Additional specifications apply regarding Computer Graphics and Color Art.

If your submission includes Computer Graphics, acceptable software formats are: Adobe Illustrator versions 5 through 9; Adobe Photoshop versions 5 and up. File formats are as follows: EPS (Encapsulated Postscript), TIF, JPEG (low-compression/high-quality), and those native software formats listed above.

dpi specifications: line art should be no less than 1200 dpi; halftone scans should be 300 dpi.

Color Art: If your submission includes Color Art, it cannot be printed unless the author is willing to assume the additional costs involved in production. All color art must adhere to the guidelines under Computer Graphics. Color art must be prepared in CMYK color mode.

If your submission includes Tables, type them on separate pages, numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals in order of mention in the text. Please provide titles.

If your submission includes References, Arabic numbers should be used for text citations (set within parentheses at point of citation), and they should be listed in numerical order in the text, as well as in the reference section. References should follow that of American Psychological Association (APA) style and examples are given below:

  • Journal article

    Nevin, A. (1990). The changing of teacher education special education. Teacher Education and Special Education: The Journal of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children, 13(4), 147-148.

  • Article by DOI

    Jameson, J. (2013). E-Leadership in higher education: The fifth “age” of educational technology research. British Journal of Educational Technology, doi: 10.1111/bjet.12103

  • Book

    Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

  • Book chapter

    Serviss, G. P. (1911). A trip of terror. In A Columbus of space (pp. 17-32). New York, NY: Appleton.

  • Online document

    Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: http://seer.Cancer.Gov/index.Html. NCI, 2011. [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017].

Journal names and book titles should be italicized.

Reprints

Reprints are available to authors at standard rates. Both paper and PDF reprints can be purchased.

English Language Editing

For editors and reviewers to accurately assess the work presented in your manuscript you need to ensure the English language is of sufficient quality to be understood. If you need help with writing in English you should consider:

  • Asking a colleague who is a native English speaker to review your manuscript for clarity.
  • Visiting the English language tutorial which covers the common mistakes when writing in English.
  • Using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts. Springer authors are entitled to a 10% discount on their first submission to either of these services, simply follow the links below.

English language tutorial

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in this journal and does not imply or guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.

If your manuscript is accepted it will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style before publication.

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为便于编辑和评审专家准确评估您稿件中陈述的研究工作,您需要确保您的英语语言质量足以令人理解。如果您需要英文写作方面的帮助,您可以考虑:

● 请一位以英语为母语的同事审核您的稿件是否表意清晰。

● 查看一些有关英语写作中常见语言错误的教程。

● 使用专业语言编辑服务,编辑人员会对英语进行润色,以确保您的意思表达清晰,并识别需要您复核的问题。我们的附属机构 Nature Research Editing Service 和合作伙伴 American Journal Experts 即可提供此类服务。

教程

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

请注意,使用语言编辑服务并非在期刊上发表文章的必要条件,同时也并不意味或保证文章将被选中进行同行评议或被接受。

如果您的稿件被接受,在发表之前,我们的文字编辑会检查您的文稿拼写是否规范以及文体是否正式。

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エディターと査読者があなたの論文を正しく評価するには、使用されている英語の質が十分に高いことが必要とされます。英語での論文執筆に際してサポートが必要な場合には、次のオプションがあります:

・英語を母国語とする同僚に、原稿で使用されている英語が明確であるかをチェックしてもらう。

・英語で執筆する際のよくある間違いに関する英語のチュートリアルを参照する。

・プロの英文校正サービスを利用する。校正者が原稿の意味を明確にしたり、問題点を指摘し、英語の質を向上させます。Nature Research Editing Service とAmerican Journal Experts の2つは弊社と提携しているサービスです。Springer の著者は、いずれのサービスも初めて利用する際には10%の割引を受けることができます。以下のリンクを参照ください。

英語のチュートリアル

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

英文校正サービスの利用は、投稿先のジャーナルに掲載されるための条件ではないこと、また論文審査や受理を保証するものではないことに留意してください。

原稿が受理されると、出版前に弊社のコピーエディターがスペルと体裁のチェックを行います。

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영어 원고의 경우, 에디터 및 리뷰어들이 귀하의 원고에 실린 결과물을 정확하게 평가할 수 있도록, 그들이 충분히 이해할 수 있을 만한 수준으로 작성되어야 합니다. 만약 영작문과 관련하여 도움을 받기를 원하신다면 다음의 사항들을 고려하여 주십시오:

• 귀하의 원고의 표현을 명확히 해줄 영어 원어민 동료를 찾아서 리뷰를 의뢰합니다.

• 영어 튜토리얼 페이지에 방문하여 영어로 글을 쓸 때 자주하는 실수들을 확인합니다.

• 리뷰에 대비하여, 원고의 의미를 명확하게 해주고 리뷰에서 요구하는 문제점들을 식별해서 영문 수준을 향상시켜주는 전문 영문 교정 서비스를 이용합니다. Nature Research Editing Service와 American Journal Experts에서 저희와 협약을 통해 서비스를 제공하고 있습니다. Springer 저자들이 본 교정 서비스를 첫 논문 투고를 위해 사용하시는 경우 10%의 할인이 적용되며, 아래의 링크를 통하여 확인이 가능합니다.

영어 튜토리얼 페이지

Nature Research Editing Service

American Journal Experts

영문 교정 서비스는 게재를 위한 요구사항은 아니며, 해당 서비스의 이용이 피어 리뷰에 논문이 선택되거나 게재가 수락되는 것을 의미하거나 보장하지 않습니다.

원고가 수락될 경우, 출판 전 저희측 편집자에 의해 원고의 철자 및 문체를 검수하는 과정을 거치게 됩니다.

Page charges

There are no page charges for accepted articles.

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).
  • 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. Please check the Instructions for Authors of the Journal that you are submitting to for specific instructions.

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

Please check the Instructions for Authors of the Journal that you are submitting to for specific instructions regarding contribution statements.

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.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

To ensure objectivity and transparency in research and to ensure that accepted principles of ethical and professional conduct have been followed, authors should include information regarding sources of funding, potential conflicts of interest (financial or non-financial), informed consent if the research involved human participants, and a statement on welfare of animals if the research involved animals.

Authors should include the following statements (if applicable) in a separate section entitled “Compliance with Ethical Standards” when submitting a paper:

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
  • Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals
  • Informed consent

Please note that standards could vary slightly per journal dependent on their peer review policies (i.e. single or double blind peer review) as well as per journal subject discipline. Before submitting your article check the instructions following this section carefully.

The corresponding author should be prepared to collect documentation of compliance with ethical standards and send if requested during peer review or after publication.

The Editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned guidelines. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned guidelines.

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. Examples of forms can be found

here:

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.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

1) Statement of human rights

When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that the independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

If a study was granted exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the ethics committee that granted the exemption and the reasons for the exemption).

Authors must - in all situations as described above - include the name of the ethics committee and the reference number where appropriate.

The following statements should be included in the text before the References section:

Ethical approval: “All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (include name of committee + reference number) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

Ethical approval retrospective studies

Although retrospective studies are conducted on already available data or biological material (for which formal consent may not be needed or is difficult to obtain) ethical approval may be required dependent on the law and the national ethical guidelines of a country. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their country.

2) Statement on the welfare of animals

The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals have been followed, and that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted (where such a committee exists). Please provide the name of ethics committee and relevant permit number.

For studies with animals, the following statement should be included in the text before the References section:

Ethical approval: “All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”

If applicable (where such a committee exists): “All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.(include name of committee + permit number)”

If articles do not contain studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors, please select one of the following statements:

“This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.”

“This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.”

“This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”

All individuals have individual rights that are not to be infringed. Individual participants in studies have, for example, the right to decide what happens to the (identifiable) personal data gathered, to what they have said during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. This is especially true concerning images of vulnerable people (e.g. minors, patients, refugees, etc) or the use of images in sensitive contexts. In many instances authors will need to secure written consent before including images. Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scholarly purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian if the participant is incapable) gave written informed consent for publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases. Detailed descriptions of individual participants, whether of their whole bodies or of body sections, may lead to disclosure of their identity. Under certain circumstances consent is not required as long as information is anonymized and the submission does not include images that may identify the person.

Informed consent for publication should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

Exceptions where it is not necessary to obtain consent:

• Images such as x rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, brain scans, pathology slides unless there is a concern about identifying information in which case, authors should ensure that consent is obtained.

• Reuse of images: If images are being reused from prior publications, the Publisher will assume that the prior publication obtained the relevant information regarding consent. Authors should provide the appropriate attribution for republished images.

Consent and already available data and/or biologic material

Regardless of whether material is collected from living or dead patients, they (family or guardian if the deceased has not made a pre-mortem decision) must have given prior written consent. The aspect of confidentiality as well as any wishes from the deceased should be respected.

Data protection, confidentiality and privacy

When biological material is donated for or data is generated as part of a research project authors should ensure, as part of the informed consent procedure, that the participants are made what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used and for what purpose. In case of data acquired via a biobank/biorepository, it is possible they apply a broad consent which allows research participants to consent to a broad range of uses of their data and samples which is regarded by research ethics committees as specific enough to be considered “informed”. However, authors should always check the specific biobank/biorepository policies or any other type of data provider policies (in case of non-bio research) to be sure that this is the case.