Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences (ToxEHS)

Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences (ToxEHS) is owned and published by The Korean Society of Environmental Risk Assessment and Health Science (KoEHS). The Journal is published four times a year in printed and electronic forms. The editorial policies are rooted in the responsibility of the editor, the associate editors, and the editorial board under the general authority of the Publications Committee and the Council.

Scope of Journal

Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences publishes original Research Articles, Rapid Communications, and Mini Reviews. The Journal is intended to provide a venue for presenting and discussing fundamental and applied research advances relevant to the issues of local/global environments, human/ animal health, and occupational safety. In particular, manuscripts with interdisciplinary approaches to solve current local/global environmental issues related with above topics are welcomed; such as cutting-edge applications in basic principles of physics, chemistry and biology, which could contribute significantly with new (or which could advance the understanding) understandings in the predictions, measurements, and assessments of the consequential effects of toxic hazardous harmful chemicals in the environment. The Journal also provides a forum for professionals in academia, industry, and government involved in the use, protection, and management of the chemicals in environment for the enhancement of human health and occupational safety. Lastly, the journal focuses on the applications of sciences and technologies in environmental decision-making, regulations, and managements, and the development of science-based solutions of local/global issues of environment, health, and safety.

Publication Ethics

Manuscripts submitted for publication must contain a statement to the effect that all human studies have been approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. It should also be stated clearly in the text that all persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. Details that might disclose the identity of the subjects under study should be omitted.

The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. The author will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements. Experiments causing pain or discomfort to animals must be performed according to the guidelines of the International Association for the Study of Pain as published in Pain 1983; 16:109-110. In accordance with these guidelines, authors performing such experiments must justify explicitly that the procedures used are scientifically necessary and that the minimum possible pain or stress has been imposed on the animals. For all animal studies which extend beyond a first hypothesis generation, a sample size calculation should be provided. Authors should also indicate whether the experimental work was reviewed by an ethics committee or its equivalent.

Other ethical considerations should be in keeping with the most recent guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (www.icmje.org). In addition, a statement must be provided as part of a covering letter, signed by all authors, which approves the manuscript for publication, states that the manuscript has not been published in part or as a whole elsewhere and indicates source(s) of funding and absence of any possible conflicts of interest.

Clinical trials should be presented in accordance with the revised CONSORT statement as published in several leading journals (e.g. http://www.biomedcentral. com/1471-2288/1/2). As outlined in this statement, a patient flow chart should be included in all clinical trials submitted for publication.

Types of papers

Three types of manuscripts are accepted, rapid communication, full-length research articles and minireviews. Authors are urged to keep the length of manuscripts below four printed pages for the rapid communications (12 typed pages of manuscript in double spacing including figures and tables), and eight printed pages for research articles and minireviews (24 typed pages of manuscript in double spacing including figures and tables). Most of minireviews are published through invitation with suggested subjects by the ToxEHS Editor.

Language of paper

All manuscripts should be written in English. Authors, who are unsure of proper English usage, should have their manuscripts checked by someone with English proficiency (or native English speaker).

Manuscripts may be editorially rejected, without review, on the basis of poor English or lack of conformity to the standards set forth in these Instructions.

All manuscripts submitted for publications will be screened for English by the professional English editor in ToxEHS.

Publication charges

Authors are required to the publication charge of US$200 (₩200,000). Authors, whose research was supported by grants, special funds (including departmental and institutional), or contracts (including governmental) or whose research was done as part of their official duties (government or corporate, etc.), are required to pay publication charges. In recognition of the different economic conditions and professional needs among authors, publication charges may be waived if deemed appropriate by the editorial board. Authors may apply for a waiver of the charges at the time of submission.

To maintain and protect the Society’s ownership and rights, and to continue to afford scientists with opportunities to publish in high-quality journals, the corresponding author must sign a copyright transfer agreement to The Korean Society of Environmental Risk Assessment and Health Science on behalf of all the authors on acceptance.

Materials availability

By publishing in the journal, the authors are obligated to honor any reasonable request by qualified investigators for unique propagative materials, such as cell lines, hybridomas, and DNA clones, which are described in the paper. Authors must disclose any restrictions on the availability of materials or information upon submission of the manuscript.

Review process

All manuscripts are considered to be confidential and are reviewed by the editors, members of the editorial board, or qualified ad hoc reviewers. All manuscripts submitted to ToxEHS are reviewed critically, and it is the responsibility of the editors, the associate editors, and editorial board to determine the suitability for the publication. After receipt of a manuscript by the editor, it is sent to an associate editor, who usually assigns it to a member of the editorial board. The board member then makes a definitive recommendation for the acceptance, revision, or rejection based on the scientific merit and technical quality of the reported study. Referees may be consulted when additional expertise is required. All board members and referees who review a manuscript remain unknown to the authors. Every manuscript is treated by the reviewers as a privileged communication.

Manuscript submission

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication anywhere else; that its publication has been approved by all co-authors, if any, as well as by the responsible authorities – tacitly or explicitly – at the institute where the work has been carried out. The publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation.

Permissions: Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.

Online Submission: Please follow the hyperlink “Submit online” on the right and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen. Please ensure you provide all relevant editable source files. Failing to submit these source files might cause unnecessary delays in the review and production process.

Preparation of manuscript

Authors should format rapid communications, research articles or reviews using ToxEHS’s Microsoft Word template. The style tags in the template should be deleted before submission. Contributions should be double-spaced and written in English (spellings as in the Oxford English Dictionary).

Contributions should be organized in the sequence: title, author list, structured abstract, introduction, result, discussion, materials & methods, conclusion, ethical statement, conflict of interest, reference, and supplementary information (if any).

When providing word counts for the editors, authors need only to state the number of words in the text (and, separately, methods and total figure legends). Title, acknowledgement and other matter do not need to be included in the word count. Full-length papers and minireviews should be no more than 8 typeset pages of ToxEHS. An uninterrupted page of text contains about 300 words. A typical papers and reviews contain about 3,000 words of text and, additionally, five small display items (figures and/or tables) with brief legends. When submitting new or revised manuscripts, authors should state in a cover letter to the editor their rough estimate of the length of their paper in terms of number of pages of ToxEHS and fill out the format checklist. Longer papers are sometimes allowed but only if explicitly suggested by the editor. Authors of contributions that significantly exceed the limits stated here or specified by the editor will have to shorten their papers before acceptance, inevitably delaying publication.

Title: The title page should include: - The name(s) of the author(s) - A concise and informative title - The affiliation(s) of the author(s), i.e. institution, (department), city, (state), country - A clear indication and an active e-mail address of the corresponding author - If available, the 16-digit ORCID of the author(s) If address information is provided with the affiliation(s) it will also be published. For authors that are (temporarily) unaffiliated we will only capture their city and country of residence, not their e-mail address unless specifically requested.

Author list: ToxEHS prefers authors to be listed without details of relative status, but instead to specify the contribution made by their coauthors in the acknowledgements. ToxEHS strongly encourages coauthors to specify their contributions in this way. If authors regard it as essential to indicate that two or more coauthors are equal in status, they may be identified by a symbol with the caption ‘these authors contributed equally to the work’ immediately under the address list. Present addresses appear immediately below the author list; all other essential author-related explanation is in the acknowledgements.

Text: Abstract, Introduction, Results and Discussion, Conclusion

Abstract: Abstracts must be a single paragraph that summarizes the main findings of the paper. Authors of original scientific papers must supply a structured abstract of no more than 300 words under the following sub-headings: Object, Methods, Results, Conclusion. Because the abstract will be provided separately by abstracting services, it should be complete and understandable without reference to the text. A short list of keywords should be included as soon as possible. These words or phrases are used for indexing or searching services. Please provide six keywords and less which can be used for indexing purposes.

Introduction: Introduction should be as concise as possible, without subheadings. The introduction should present the purpose of the studies reported and their relationship to earlier work in the field. It should allow the readers to understand and evaluate the results of the present study without referring to previous publications on the topic.

Results and Discussion: Results and Discussion may be combined and may be organized into subheadings.

Conclusion: Conclusion section is a single paragraph no longer than 150 words. An effective Conclusion includes the following elements: (1) a brief background of the question that avoids statements about how a process is not well understood; (2) a description of the results and approaches/model systems framed in the context of their conceptual interest; and (3) an indication of the broader significance of the work. Please do not include references in the Conclusion.

Materials and Methods: If brief (less than 200 words in total), they can be included in the text at an appropriate place. Otherwise, they should be described at the end of the text in a ‘Methods’ section, subdivided by short, bold headings referring to methods used. Descriptions of methods already published should be avoided; a reference number can be provided to save space, with the new addition or variation briefly stated. This whole section should not exceed 800 words and should ideally be shorter. If more space is required for Methods, the editor may suggest use of online-only supplementary information for this purpose after submission and after receiving referees’ reports. Supplementary material is also peer-reviewed.

Citation and References

Citation: Reference citations in the text should be identified by numbers in square brackets. Some examples:

1. Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3].

2. This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman [5].

3. This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].

Reference list : The list of references should only include works that are cited in the text and that have been published or accepted for publication. Personal communications and unpublished works should only be mentioned in the text. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively.

• Journal article Gamelin FX, Baquet G, Berthoin S, Thevenet D, Nourry C, Nottin S, Bosquet L (2009) Effect of high intensity intermittent training on heart rate variability in prepubescent children. Eur J Appl Physiol 105:731-738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-008-0955-8 Ideally, the names of all authors should be provided, but the usage of “et al.” in long author lists will also be accepted: Smith J, Jones M Jr, Houghton L et al. (1999) Future of health insurance. N Engl J Med 965:325–329

• Article by DOI Slifka MK, Whitton JL (2000) Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001090000086

• Book South J, Blass B (2001) The future of modern genomics. Blackwell, London

• Book chapter Brown B, Aaron M (2001) The politics of nature. In: Smith J (ed) The rise of modern genomics, 3rd edn. Wiley, New York, pp 230-257

• Online document Cartwright J (2007) Big stars have weather too. IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/11/6/16/1. Accessed 26 June 2007

• Dissertation Trent JW (1975) Experimental acute renal failure. Dissertation, University of California

Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see http://www.issn.org/services/onlineservices/access-to-the-ltwa/ . If you are unsure, please use the full journal title.

For authors using EndNote, Springer provides an output style that supports the formatting of in-text citations and reference list.

Endnote style

Authors preparing their manuscript in LaTeX can use the bibtex file spbasic.bst which is included in Springer’s LaTeX macro package.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements are brief and follow the reference list. Authors are encouraged to include a statement to specify the contributions of each coauthor. Acknowledgements contain grant or contribution numbers, but do not contain thanks to anonymous referees and editors, or effusive comments.

Artwork

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.

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

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:

• Figures should be submitted separately from the text, if possible.

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

• For large-sized journals the figures should be 84 mm (for double-column text areas), or 174 mm (for single-column text areas) wide and not higher than 234 mm.

• For small-sized journals, the figures should be 119 mm wide and not higher than 195 mm. 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.

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 OpenChoice and offprints. Once the Author Query Application has been completed, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.

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.

Copyright transfer:

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). This will ensure the widest possible protection and dissemination of information under copyright laws.

Licenses for 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.

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.

[Link: Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/]

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 can be achieved 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 (whocan 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.

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.

Conflict of Interest

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: [https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/journal-author/journalauthor-helpdesk/publishing-ethics/14214]

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 with all authors names separately as below:

Conflict of Interest: Author A, Author B, Author C, and Author D declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants, their data or biological material

Ethics approval:

When reporting a study that involved human participants, their data or biological material, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was 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 an 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 reasons for the exemption).

If human/animal sample was used, IRB no. is required. If it was not, please write as "This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors."

Retrospective ethics approval:

If a study has not been granted ethics committee approval prior to commencing, retrospective ethics approval usually cannot be obtained and it may not be possible to consider the manuscript for peer review. The decision on whether to proceed to peer review in such cases is at the Editor's discretion.

Ethics approval for 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) ethics 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.

Ethics approval for case studies:

Case reports require ethics approval. Most institutions will have specific policies on this subject. Authors should check with their institution to make sure they are complying with the specific requirements of their institution and seek ethics approval where needed. Authors should be aware to secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable)

See also section on Informed Consent.

Clinical Trial Registration:

The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of a clinical trial is "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". The WHO defines health interventions as “A health intervention is an act performed for, with or on behalf of a person or population whose purpose is to assess, improve, maintain, promote or modify health, functioning or health conditions” and a health-related outcome is generally defined as a change in the health of a person or population as a result of an intervention.

To ensure the integrity of the reporting of patient-centered trials, authors must register prospective clinical trials (phase II to IV trials) in suitable publicly available repositories.

For example www.clinicaltrials.gov or any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

The trial registration number (TRN) and date of registration should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

For clinical trials that have not been registered prospectively, authors are encouraged to register retrospectively to ensure the complete publication of all results. The trial registration number (TRN), date of registration and the words' retrospectively registered’ should be included as the last line of the manuscript abstract. Purely observational trials will not require registration.

Standards of reporting

Springer Nature advocates complete and transparent reporting of biomedical and biological research and research with biological applications. Authors are recommended to adhere to the minimum reporting guidelines hosted by the EQUATOR Network when preparing their manuscript.

Exact requirements may vary depending on the journal; please refer to the journal’s Instructions for Authors.

Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including:

Randomised trials (CONSORT) and Study protocols (SPIRIT)

Observational studies (STROBE)

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) and protocols (Prisma-P)

Diagnostic/prognostic studies (STARD) and (TRIPOD)

Case reports (CARE)

Clinical practice guidelines (AGREE) and (RIGHT)

Qualitative research (SRQR) and (COREQ)

Animal pre-clinical studies (ARRIVE)

Quality improvement studies (SQUIRE)

Economic evaluations (CHEERS)

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and included on a title page that is separate from the manuscript with a section entitled “Declarations” when submitting a paper. Having all statements in one place allows for a consistent and unified review of the information by the Editor-in-Chief and/or peer reviewers and may speed up the handling of the paper. Declarations include Funding, Conflicts of interest/competing interests, Ethics approval, Consent, Data and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements. Please use the following template title page for providing the statements.Once and if the paper is accepted for publication, the production department will put the respective statements in a distinctly identified section clearly visible for readers.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.

• Provide “Ethics approval” as a heading (see template)

Examples of ethics approval obtained:

• All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study was approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Medical University of A (No. ...).

• This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of University B (Date.../No. ...).

• Approval was obtained from the ethics committee of University C. The procedures used in this study adhere to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

• The questionnaire and methodology for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics committee of the University of C (Ethics approval number: ...).

Examples of a retrospective study:

• Ethical approval was waived by the local Ethics Committee of University A in view of the retrospective nature of the study and all the procedures being performed were part of the routine care.

• This research study was conducted retrospectively from data obtained for clinical purposes. We consulted extensively with the IRB of XYZ who determined that our study did not need ethical approval. An IRB official waiver of ethical approval was granted from the IRB of XYZ.

• This retrospective chart review study involving human participants was in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The Human Investigation Committee (IRB) of University B approved this study.

Examples no ethical approval required/exemption granted:

• This is an observational study. The XYZ Research Ethics Committee has confirmed that no ethical approval is required.

• The data reproduced from Article X utilized human tissue that was procured via our Biobank AB, which provides de-identified samples. This study was reviewed and deemed exempt by our XYZ Institutional Review Board. The BioBank protocols are in accordance with the ethical standards of our institution and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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