Submission guidelines

Instructions for Authors

General information

Submissions

Submissions by e-mail or postal mail will not be accepted. Please follow the hyperlink “Submit online” on the right and upload all of your manuscript files following the instructions given on the screen.

Scope

Sleep and Biological Rhythms is the official journal of the Japanese Society of Sleep Research and the Asian Sleep Research Society. Sleep and Biological Rhythms is a quarterly, peer-reviewed scientific and medical journal that publishes original research articles as well as short papers, reviews, case reports and commentaries dealing with sleep and wakefulness, including biological rhythms. Topics on basic and clinical science, medicine and social science relating to sleep and/or biological rhythms will be considered for publication. By publishing such articles, the Journal aims to promote and extend a healthy and good life for both patients and the general public.

Acceptance

The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to our readership. All manuscripts are peer-reviewed. The Editor reserves the right to refuse any material for publication. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editorial Board.

The Editor-in-Chief and/or Associate Editors will first determine if a submitted manuscript is suitable for review and possible publication. Manuscripts deemed suitable for peer review are immediately sent for review to 2 recognized experts in the field. The peer review system is closed. Reviewers are asked to complete their report within 14 days using the online peer review report system. After reviews are submitted, a recommendation of “accept”, “reject” or “revise” (for further consideration) is made by the Associate Editor to the Editor-in-Chief, who makes the final decision. An editorial decision is taken based on the reviewers’ recommendations. Since the electronic procedure allows for rapid communication, the journal aims to reach a first decision in 6 weeks.

Review Process

Manuscripts are reviewed with due respect for the author's confidentiality. At the same time, reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which are respected by the editors. Sleep and Biological Rhythms uses a single-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers are aware of the names and affiliations of the authors, but the reviewer reports provided to authors are anonymous. Single-blind peer review is a traditional model of peer review that many reviewers are comfortable with, and the process supports a dispassionate critique of a manuscript. The editors ensure both the authors and the reviewers that the manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the author. When submitting a manuscript for consideration for publication, authors may suggest the names of potential reviewers to invite and/or exclude.

Before Publication

All manuscripts should be written in a clear, concise, direct style so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of content, the Editor reserves the right to modify manuscripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.

Submission of a manuscript implies: that the work described has not been published before; that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; 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.

Permission

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. 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 been incurred to receive these permissions. In such cases, material from other sources should be used.

Types of papers

(1) Original Articles

Full-length reports of current research in either basic or clinical research.

Word limit: 3,000 words excluding the abstract, references, tables, and figure legends.

Abstract: 250 words maximum. The abstract should be divided into the following sections:

- Purpose (stating the main purposes and research question)

- Methods

- Results

- Conclusions

References: Maximum 35

Figures/ tables: Maximum 8

(2) Short Papers

Short papers cover new findings that substantially and immediately affect research or clinical practice. Short papers do not include case reports.

Word limit: 1,800 words excluding the abstract but including references, tables, and figures

Abstract: 100 words

References: Maximum 10

Figures/ tables: Maximum 2

Supplementary material is not allowed for short papers.

(3) Case Reports

Clinical cases of exceptional interest and novelty are considered for publication. If appropriate, Associate Editor(s) may ask authors to rewrite case reports as Letters to the Editor.

Word limit: 1,200 words excluding the abstract but including references, tables, and figure legends.

Abstract: 100 words

References: Maximum 10

Figures/ tables: Maximum 2

(4) Letters to the Editor

Letters may be submitted to Associate Editor(s) on any topic of discussion: clinical observations as well as comments on papers published in recent issues. Letters to the Editor are subject to peer review. Letters can use an arbitrary title.

Responses to letters from authors must cite the title of the letter: e.g., Response to [title of letter]. This ensures that readers can track the line of discussion.

Word limit: 500 words.

Abstract: No abstract

References: Maximum 5

Figures/ tables: Maximum 1

(5) Review Articles

Survey, evaluation, and critical interpretation of recent research, data, and concepts in the fields covered by the journal. Review articles will undergo peer review prior to acceptance.

Word limit: 8,000 words excluding the abstract but including references, tables, figures.

Abstract: 250 words maximum. The abstract should be divided into the following sections:

- Purpose (stating the main purposes and research question)

- Methods

- Results

- Conclusions

Figures/tables: Minimum 1. If figures or tables have been reproduced from another source, a letter from the copyright holder (usually the publisher), stating authorization to reproduce the material, must be attached to the covering letter.

Description: Reviews are comprehensive analyses of specific topics.

(6) Editorial

The author of an editorial will be invited by the Associate Editor(s).

Word Limit: 1,200 words

Abstract: No abstract

References: Maximum 10

Covering letter

Authors must provide a covering letter separately from the title page, and must declare in it that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere except as a brief abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting or symposium.

The covering letter must also contain an acknowledgment that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript. It is required that all authors should be registered in the online submission system.

In the case of clinical trials, authors should include the name of the trial register and the registration number in the covering letter. If you wish the Editor(s) to consider an unregistered trial, please explain briefly why the trial has not been registered.

Title page

Title Page

The title page should include:

- A concise and informative title

- The name(s) of the author(s)

- The affiliation(s) and address(es) of the author(s)

- The e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers of the corresponding author

- Ethical Committee Permission (includes Permission Number, if applicable)

- Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

- Informed consent (if applicable)

- Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

Abstract

Please provide an abstract. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

Keywords

Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.

Text

Text Formatting

Authors should set out the sections of the manuscript as follows: Introduction; Materials and Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgement; Reference; Figure Legend;. in this order for Original Articles.

Manuscripts should be submitted in MS-Word.

• Use a normal, plain font (e.g., 10-point Times Roman) for text.

• Use italics for emphasis.

• Use the automatic page numbering function to number the pages.

• Do not use field functions.

• Use tab stops or other commands for indents, not the space bar.

• Use the table function, not spreadsheets, to make tables.

• Use the equation editor or MathType for equations.

• Save your file in docx format (Word 2007 or higher) or doc format (older Word versions).

Headings

Please use unnumbered headings with no more than three levels of displayed headings

Abbreviations

Abbreviations should be spelled out at first mention and used consistently thereafter.

Acknowledgments and Funding Information

Acknowledgments of people, grants, funds, etc. should be placed in a separate section on the title page. The names of funding organizations should be written in full. In addition, please provide the funding information in a separate step of the submission process in the peer review system (Editorial Manager). Funder names should preferably be selected from the standardized list you will see during submission. If the funding institution you need is not listed, it can be entered as free text. Funding information will be published as searchable metadata for the accepted article, whereas acknowledgements are published within the paper.

Terminology

• Please always use internationally accepted signs and symbols for units (SI units).

• Nomenclature: Insofar as possible, authors should use systematic names similar to those used by Chemical Abstract Service or IUPAC.

• Genus and species names should be in italics.

• Generic names of drugs and pesticides are preferred; if trade names are used, the generic name should be given at first mention.

• Please use the standard mathematical notation for formulae, symbols etc.: Italic for single letters that denote mathematical constants, variables, and unknown quantities

Roman/upright for numerals, operators, and punctuation, and commonly defined functions or abbreviations, e.g., cos, det, e or exp, lim, log, max, min, sin, tan, d (for derivative)

Bold for vectors, tensors, and matrices.

• Manuscripts submitted to the journal are expected to adhere to internationally accepted nomenclature for receptors (http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/) and enzymes

(http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/).

References

Citation

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

• Negotiation research spans many disciplines [3].

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

• 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. Do not use footnotes or endnotes as a substitute for a reference list.

For references with four or less authors, list all author names. For references with five or more authors, use “et al.” after listing the first three authors.

The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively.

• Journal article

Iwadare Y, Usami M, Ushijima H, et al. Changes in traumatic symptoms and sleep habits among junior high school students after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Sleep Biol Rhythm. 2014; 12:53–61.

• Article by DOI

Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. 2000; doi:10.1007/s001090000086

• Book

Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P. Symptoms in the pharmacy: a guide to the management of common illness. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science; 1998.

• Book chapter

Wyllie AH, Kerr JFR, Currie AR. Cell death: the significance of apoptosis. In: Bourne GH, Danielli JF, Jeon KW, editors. International review ofcytology. London: Academic; 1980. pp. 251–306.

• Online document

Doe J. Title of subordinate document. In: The dictionary of substances and their effects. Royal Society of Chemistry. 1999.

http://www.rsc.org/dose/title of subordinate document. Accessed 15 Jan

1999.

• Document in languages other than English

Jouvet M, Michel F. New research on the structures responsible for the ‘paradoxical phase’ of sleep (in French). J Physiol (Paris). 1960; 52:130-1

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/online-services/access-to-the-ltwa/ . If you are unsure, please use the full journal title.

Tables

A table 84 mm x 84 mm is equivalent to about 150 words.

• All tables are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.

• Tables should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.

• For each table, please supply a table caption (title) explaining the components of the table.

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

• 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.

Artwork

For the best quality final product, it is highly recommended that you submit all of your artwork – photographs, line drawings, etc. – in an electronic format. Your art will then be produced to the highest standards with the greatest accuracy to detail. The published work will directly reflect the quality of the artwork provided.

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 print and online publication.
  • Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB.

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 within your illustrations.

Figure Numbering

  • All figures are to be numbered using Arabic numerals.
  • Figures should always be cited in text in consecutive numerical order.
  • Figure parts should be denoted by lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
  • If an appendix appears in your article 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 [Supplementary Information (SI)] 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.
  • 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 of 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

Supplementary Material

Supplementary material will be published in the online version only. The copyright of Supplementary material will be transferred to the society. 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

• Resolution: 16:9 or 4:3

• Maximum file size: 25 GB

• Minimum video duration: 1 sec

• Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp

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

• 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)

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.

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.

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.

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: Author A, Author B, and Author C 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.

The following statements should be included in a special section on the title page:

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 and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.”

For retrospective studies, please add the following sentence: “For this type of study formal consent is not required.”

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).

For studies with animals, the following statement should be included in a special section on the title page: Ethical approval: “All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.” Permission numbers may be added to this sentence if applicable.

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.”

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, biometrical characteristics (such as facial features, fingerprint, writing style, voice pattern, DNA or other distinguishing characteristic) 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/guardian if the participant is a minor or incapable or legal representative) 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 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 aware 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.

Consent to Participate

For all research involving human subjects, freely-given, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16) and a statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. In the case of articles describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners and must also name the institution(s)/clinic(s)/department(s) via which organs/tissues were obtained. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups where there is the potential for coercion or where consent may not have been fully informed, extra care will be taken by the editor and may be referred to the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.

Consent to Publish

Individuals may consent to participate in a study, but object to having their data published in a journal article. Authors should make sure to also seek consent from individuals to publish their data prior to submitting their paper to a journal. This is in particular applicable to case studies. A consent to publish form can be found

here. (Download docx, 36 kB)

Summary of requirements

The above should be summarized in a statement and placed in a ‘Declarations’ section before the reference list under a heading of ‘Consent to participate’ and/or ‘Consent to publish’. Other declarations include Funding, Conflicts of interest/competing interests, Ethics approval, Consent, Data and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

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

Sample statements for "Consent to participate":

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Informed consent was obtained from legal guardians.

Written informed consent was obtained from the parents.

Verbal informed consent was obtained prior to the interview.

Sample statements for “Consent to publish”:

The authors affirm that human research participants provided informed consent for publication of the images in Figure(s) 1a, 1b and 1c.

The participant has consented to the submission of the case report to the journal.

Patients signed informed consent regarding publishing their data and photographs.

Sample statements if identifying information about participants is available in the article:

Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.

Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this section.

Images will be removed from publication if authors have not obtained informed consent or the paper may be removed and replaced with a notice explaining the reason for removal.

Clinical trials registry

All public trials must be registered. Authors must include registration numbers in the manuscript. We define a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome.

Author support

Language

Manuscripts that are accepted for publication will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style. This may not be sufficient if English is not your native language and substantial editing would be required. In that case, you may want to ask a native speaker to help you or arrange for your manuscript to be checked by a professional language editor prior to

submission. A clear and concise language will help editors and reviewers concentrate on the scientific content of your paper and thus smooth the peer

review process.

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

Copyright transfer

Authors will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the society (or grant the Publisher exclusive publication and dissemination rights). 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, the author(s) agree to publish the article under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Offprints

Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author .

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.

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