- Instructions for Authors
- About the Journal
- Types of Manuscripts
- Manuscript Submission
- Title Page
- Supplementary Information (SI)
- After Acceptance
- Open Choice
- Research Data Policy
- Scientific style
- Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
- Compliance with Ethical Standards
- Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
- Research involving human participants, their data or biological material
- Research involving animals, their data or biological material
- Informed consent
- Authorship principles
- Research involving human embryos, gametes and stem cells
- Editorial procedure
- English Language Support
- Open access publishing
Instructions for Authors
About the Journal
The Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM) is Canada’s only academic journal in emergency medicine and the official publication of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). CJEM publishes articles of interest to emergency care providers in rural, urban or academic settings that reflect the growing interest in emergency medicine, both as a medical discipline and an expanding field for research. CJEM is indexed by the National Library of Medicine.
Vision, Mission & Objectives (as approved by the CAEP Board February 2018)
Inspiring excellence in emergency medical care
To improve emergency medical care by connecting and informing providers
1. To promote communication and information exchange amongst physicians practicing emergency medicine in Canada, including those providing care in rural communities;
2. To improve emergency care of patients in Canada and elsewhere;
3. To provide current evidence to assist physicians practicing emergency medicine;
4. To disseminate high-quality emergency medicine scholarly work in research and education, produced by Canadians;
5. To provide scholarly opportunities for medical students, residents, and newly practicing physicians;
6. To promote communication amongst non-physician Canadian emergency care providers;
7. To disseminate Canadian emergency medicine content internationally; and,
8. To be among the top three emergency medicine journals within 5 years.
Authors should conform to the general guidelines laid out in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. CJEM uses the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (latest ed.) for spelling; The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.) for grammar, style, and punctuation; and Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (32nd ed.) for spelling of medical terms; and Vancouver style for referencing cited publications.
Formatting & Manuscript Submissions
All manuscripts (including tables and figures) must be submitted electronically via Editorial Manager, and should be single-spaced, using 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri typeface using MS Word. Submissions must include the following:
a) Cover Letter
All submissions should be accompanied by a brief cover letter. Within the cover letter, the corresponding author should disclose potential conflicts of interest and financial support, specify each author's contribution to the work, and indicate that all co-authors have had the opportunity to review the final manuscript and have provided their permission to publish the manuscript. When submitting to Editorial Manager, please attach your cover letter to your title page document to ensure reviewers remain blinded.
b) Title page
The title page should include the article title, the authors' name(s) in order as they should appear in print, and affiliations. The name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address for the corresponding author must be provided. The title page must also include a word count and keywords. Please ensure your cover letter is attached to your title page when submitting to Editorial Manager.
Choose the article title carefully. Be creative and ensure that the title accurately reflects the content of the article.
All abbreviations must be spelled out to improve readability. Some common abbreviations will be accepted; these include:
MD: medical Physician
RT: respiratory therapist
ED: emergency department
EMS: emergency medical services
CPR: cardiopulmonary resuscitation
CTAS: Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale
PoCUS: point-of-care ultrasound
CI: confidence interval
SD: standard deviation
HR: hazard ratio
OR: odds ratio
RR: relative risk
Maximum references as specified by submission type, formatted using the Vancouver style. Within the text, references should be numbered in the order they appear placed in square brackets and before the punctuation mark. References should cite surname and initials for up to six authors, followed by “et al.” References to web pages must include the date accessed.
e) Conflict of Interest Form
Each author of a work must complete and submit a conflict of interest form. [http://www.icmje.org/disclosure-of-interest/] Completed conflict of interest declarations must be uploaded at the time of manuscript submission.
f) Author Language Services
CJEM publishes articles in English and will provide French abstracts.
For all articles, Cambridge recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by an English language native speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged at peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. See also the paragraph “English language Support” in these guidelines.
Review and Editorial Processes
All submissions are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Deputy Editors. Articles judged unsuitable for CJEM will be returned to the authors following this step, typically within two weeks. Those meeting screening criteria will be forwarded for blinded peer review, except for CAEP Paper, Invited Commentary, and Letters to the Editor.
To revise your manuscript, log in and enter your Author Dashboard, where you will find your manuscript title listed under "Submissions Needing Revision." Under "Actions," click on "Create a Revision." Your manuscript number will be appended to denote a revision. You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Instead, revise your manuscript using a word processing program and save it on your computer. You must highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document, ideally by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or colored text. Through your Author Dashboard, please upload and submit both the clean and tracked changes version of your manuscript.
When submitting your revised manuscript, you will be able to respond to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided. In this space, please address each of the suggestions and cite where in the manuscript the change has been made. If no change was made, please explain why. To expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).
All revisions will be reviewed by the Decision Editor, who may consult with the original or new peer reviewers, to determine whether review comments have been addressed. The Decision Editor, along with the Editor-in-Chief or a Senior Editor, will make a final decision regarding publication. Accepted articles will be edited, and authors will have the opportunity to review and approve revisions prior to publication. Manuscripts submitted to CJEM will be treated with respect and confidentiality.
In the event you wish to appeal a decision, please provide a letter specifying why, providing support for your request. The appeal request should be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be reviewed by the Editorial Office and, if warranted, will be returned to the Decision Editor for consideration. For further information, please click on the following link:
Published manuscripts become the property of CAEP and may not be published elsewhere without permission.
Contacting CJEM Editors
Authors with questions regarding a submission or prospective authors who wish to discuss a paper in the development stage are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief by email at email@example.com. Further information can be obtained from the Editor-in-Chief or the Managing Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of Manuscripts
|Type of Submission||Maximum words||Total number of Tables and/or Figures||References||Abstract||Clinician Capsule||Cover Letter|
|Original Research||2500 words||5 Tables and/or Figures||40||Yes- 300|
|Brief Original Research||1500 words||1 Table or Figure||10||Yes- 300 words||Yes||Yes|
|Quality Improvement||2500 words||5 Tables and/or Figures||40||Yes- 300 words||Yes||Yes|
|Invited Commentary||1000 words||1 Table or Figure||10||No||No||Yes|
|Author Initiated Commentary||1500 words||1 Table or Figure||10||No||No||Yes|
|CJEM Debate Series||3000 words (1000-1500 words each side||0||20||No||No||Yes|
|Need to Know: CJEM Journal Club||650 words||0||3||No||No||Yes|
|CAEP Academic Symposium Paper||2500 words||5 Tables and/or Figures||20||Yes- 300 words||No||Yes|
|CAEP Position Statement & Guidelines *Uploaded by CAEP office||8 pages total||No||Yes|
|Just the Facts||1000 words||1 info-graphic or table or figure||5||No||No||Yes|
|Educational Innovation||1000 words||1 Table or Figure||10||Yes-150 unstructured||No||Yes|
|Clinical Correspondence||1000 words||1 Table or Figure||5||No||No||Yes|
|Letter (published online only)||400 words||0||5||No||No||Yes|
a) Original Research Manuscripts
(maximum 2500 words, 5 tables or figures, 40 references)
Encompasses any type of research that provides original data, including: prospective studies, qualitative research, health record reviews, surveys, systematic reviews, and quality improvement studies.
Please note** Literature searches for systematic reviews should be no older than 6 months at time of submission.
Brief Original Research
(maximum 1500 words, one table or figure, and 10 references)
While the article types for the Brief Original Research are the same as Original Research, these articles are limited to a maximum of 1500 words, one table or figure, and 10 references. Other tables or figures can be included as online appendices. Submissions of this type will highlight the most important aspects and findings of your research and may improve the likelihood of acceptance.
(maximum 2500 words, 5 tables or figures, 40 references)
Quality Improvement reports encompass all reports on a project with a clear intention to change clinical practice, following the SQUIRE publication guidelines. CJEM will consider both negative and positive reports for submissions that are of high methodological quality. The primary measures of improvement must be quantified by objective means and should describe tests of sequential change as well as their individual and collective results.
These articles present primary data arising from original research. CJEM requires randomized controlled trials to be registered at ClinicalTrials.gov. For more information, see Clinical Trial Registration on the ICMJE website. The trials registry and research ethics board registration numbers should be included in the manuscript.
Authors should consult the appropriate checklist according to the study design and confirm that the paper is in compliance, as per the EQUATOR Network https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/:
- Randomized Trials: CONSORT including a CONSORT flow diagram
- Observational Studies: STROBE
- Systematic Reviews: PRISMA
- Diagnostic Studies: STARD TRIPOD
- Health Records Reviews: RECORD
- Qualitative Research: SRQR
- Clinical Practice Guidelines: AGREE
- Quality Improvement: SQUIRE
- Surveys: Kelley
- Case Reports: CARE
Structured abstracts of up to 300 words are required for Original Research, Brief Original Research, and Quality Improvement submission types and must include the following headings: Objectives; Methods; Results; and Conclusions. This should be placed within the main document file, following the title page and prior to the Clinician’s Capsule.
For Original Research and Brief Original Research submission types, please provide a brief simplified Clinicians’ Capsule, comprised of single-sentence bullet statements under these headings, not exceeding 20 words per bullet. This should be placed within the main document file, following the abstract and prior to the introduction. See the example below:
- What is known about the topic?
ED physicians frequently miss opportunities to prescribe oral anticoagulants to patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter.
- What did this study ask?
What was the impact of implementing a new evidence-based atrial fibrillation/flutter clinical pathway on oral anticoagulant prescribing behaviour?
- What did this study find?
This pre-post study found a 20% absolute increase in appropriate oral anticoagulant prescribing along decreased lengths of stay and return visits.
- Why does this study matter to clinicians?
Local implementation of a similar pathway could lead to better and more efficient care of atrial fibrillation/flutter patients.
Introduction: This section should succinctly discuss (maximum three paragraphs) study background, importance and rationale, and the study objectives.
Methods: This section should normally include the following paragraphs with these subheadings (as applicable):
- Study Design and Time period;
- Study Setting;
- Outcome Measures;
- Data Analysis; and
- Sample Size.
There should be sufficient detail to allow a knowledgeable reader to replicate the study, at least in theory. Authors must explicitly name the Research Ethics Board that approved the research or exempted the project from REB review.
Results: In this section, authors should present primary and secondary results, without undue repetition of data reported in tables and figures. Each paragraph should refer to a specific table or figure. Please round percentages and odds ratio in the text, tables, and figures to the first significant decimal place except when the number is ≥ 0.95 or ≤ 1.04. Excluding p values and confidence intervals. All results should be reported using SI units, including molar rather than mass-based units for concentration in most cases. For papers involving multivariate or advanced statistics we recommend you employ the use of a PhD methodologist as an author or consultant.
Please limit use of P values to those of major outcome comparisons. In general, we wish to see the "size of effect" and its associated confidence intervals. Such reporting is advocated by the CONSORT statement and permits readers to gauge the approximate power and clinical importance of the observed magnitude of effect.
Discussion: Authors are encouraged to provide the following paragraphs using these recommended subheadings:
- Interpretation of Findings (minimize use of numbers);
- Comparison to Previous Studies (maximum 2 paragraphs);
- Strengths and Limitations;
- Clinical Implications; and
- Research Implications.
Conclusion: Maximum of 1 paragraph, emphasizing the clinical importance of the study.
References: Maximum of 40 references formatted using the Vancouver style. Within the text, reference citations should be numbered in the order they appear placed in square brackets and before punctuation marks. References should cite surname and initials for up to six authors, followed by "et al."
Acknowledgements: You should acknowledge individuals or organizations that provided advice or support (non-financial).
(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)
By invitation of the editors, authors may submit a commentary to accompany an original research article for a given issue.
Author Initiated Commentary
(maximum 1500 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)
Authors may submit a focused discussion commenting on major current issues or controversial matters with significant implications for emergency medicine.
CJEM Debate Series
Maximum 3000 words (Introduction plus 1000-1500 words each side), no tables or figures, and 20 references
The CJEM debate series provides readers with the opportunity to hear differing perspectives on topics pertinent to the practice of Emergency Medicine. The debating authors are allocated opposing arguments on topics where there is some controversy or perhaps scientific equipoise. The series also involves a social media vote and online conversation. The debate format consists of a single manuscript incorporating an introduction, and two editorial style components (1000-1500 words for each side), that often contain short rebuttal sections.
Need to Know: CJEM Journal Club
(maximum 650 words, 3 references. Authors must be Canadian EM Resident PGY3+)
CJEM Journal Club is intended to provide a succinct assessment of recent cutting-edge articles for frontline emergency medicine clinicians. Submissions will be a accepted from supervised Canadian EM residents, based on high-quality articles housed in the CJEM Journal Club online folder (https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3nwfe0fwdewgrr7/AADwgi6jb46qoFVuQF3Ne166a?dl=0). Authors must write to the CJEM Managing Editor (email@example.com) to “claim” an article. A title page, containing list of authors, affiliation, corresponding author, keywords based on the submission “key areas of interest” and word count must also be submitted. Refer to the example pdf contained in the dropbox folder for format requirements.
The preferred review methodology, including critical review forms, is described in "Users Guide to the Medical Literature," a series published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Authors wishing specific guidance should consider making use of the critical appraisal tools found at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine or peruse articles published in ACP Journal.
(maximum 1000 words, and 5 references)
Submissions should reflect the challenges of working in medicine. Generally, they should be humorous or provide some human interest and add to our understanding of the physician experience, particularly in Canada.
The Penelope Gray-Allan Memorial CJEM Writing Award
(maximum 1000 words, and 5 references; Call for papers in January)
In honour of our former Managing Editor, this award is open to any RCPSC or CFPC emergency medicine resident in Canada and will be award for the best paper with a focus on humanities in emergency medicine.
- Paper published in the CAEP Conference issue of CJEM;
- $500 towards your flight to conference or conference registration; and,
- Honoured with a plaque acknowledging you as the recipient during awards ceremony at CAEP.
c) CAEP Paper
Authors should communicate directly with the CAEP Head Office. Further information on CAEP position statements and guidelines can be found here [http://caep.ca/CAEPPositionStatementsGuidelines].
CAEP Position Statement & Guidelines
(Executive Summary, maximum 8 pages)
Executive summaries should be structured as follows: Unstructured Abstract, Introduction, Rationale, List of Recommendations; Tables summarizing recommendations; Going forward – what CAEP thinks next steps should be; Conclusion.
CAEP Academic Symposium Paper
(maximum 2,500 words, 5 tables or figures, and 20 references)
CAEP’s Academic Symposium panels will publish their recommendations in CJEM, following presentations and peer feedback at CAEP’s annual conference. Submissions should be structured as follows: Abstract (objectives, methods, conclusion); Introduction; Methods; Summary of Recommendations; Conclusion; References. All Academic Symposium Papers must be submitted to CAEP’s Manager for the Academic Section, Ms. Shanna Scarrow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
d) Just the Facts
(pre-approved topic, maximum 1000 words, 1 info-graphic, figure or table, 5 references, and 3 authors – first author must be faculty/staff physicians)
CJEM will consider original summary submissions, authored by faculty/staff physicians, that provide an up to date focused clinical synopsis of best practice on key topics relevant to Canadian clinicians. Each summary should be based around a typical case example of clinical question. Before preparing your full manuscript, please email email@example.com to confirm topic with CJEM editorial staff.
Submissions should be structured as follows:
- “Just the facts:” must precede your title;
- Brief case description; a main body of text consisting of: (a) Five or six brief clinical questions relating to the topic, each followed by (b) a short paragraph covering key points from the literature that provide clear guidance on the case or questions;
- An info-graphic, figure or table that provides a rapid-read overview of the paper should be included;
- provide a list of 5 or less references or further reading recommendations.
Please ensure that one of the authors is an emergency physician or specialist with expertise in the topic area.
e) Educational Innovation
(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 10 references)
CJEM will consider original scholarly submissions that are not original research, but that discuss educational advances in emergency medicine. Authors should define how the submission is innovative, builds on existing literature and adds to the scholarship of education.
Submissions should be structured as follows:
- Purpose or Rationale;
- Description of the Innovation;
- Discussion; and
Sufficient detail allowing readers to reproduce the innovation is required. If necessary, forms or other tools required to set up the innovation may be accepted for publication as on-line appendices. An unstructured abstract of less than 150 words is also required.
f) Clinical Correspondence
(maximum 1000 words, 1 figure or table, and 5 references)
This section includes case reports, which have an interesting image and useful implications for clinical practice. All cases for consideration should have a "take home" clinical message pertinent to Emergency Physicians. No abstract.
(maximum 400 words and 5 references – letters will only be published online)
Letters should be addressed to the Editor and will be considered for publication if they relate to topics of interest to emergency physicians in urban, rural, community, or academic settings, or if they are in response to (and relevant to) a recent CJEM publication. Letters are generally not peer reviewed but may be edited for brevity and clarity. Letters responding to a previously published CJEM article should be submitted within eight weeks of the article's publication. Authors whose work is discussed will typically be given an opportunity to respond.
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.
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 follow the hyperlink “Submit manuscript” 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.
Please make sure your title page contains the following information.
The title should be concise and informative.
- The name(s) of the author(s)
- 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.
Please provide a structured abstract of 150 to 250 words which should be divided into the following sections:
- Purpose (stating the main purposes and research question)
For life science journals only (when applicable)
- Trial registration number and date of registration for prospectively registered trials
- Trial registration number and date of registration followed by “retrospectively registered”, for retrospectively registered trials
Please provide 4 to 6 keywords which can be used for indexing purposes.
Statements and Declarations
The following statements should be included under the heading "Statements and Declarations" for inclusion in the published paper. Please note that submissions that do not include relevant declarations will be returned as incomplete.
- Competing Interests: Authors are required to disclose financial or non-financial interests that are directly or indirectly related to the work submitted for publication. Please refer to “Competing Interests and Funding” below for more information on how to complete this section.
Please see the relevant sections in the submission guidelines for further information as well as various examples of wording. Please revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.
Manuscripts should be submitted in 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).
Manuscripts with mathematical content can also be submitted in LaTeX. We recommend using Springer Nature’s LaTeX template.
Please use no more than three levels of displayed headings.
Abbreviations should be defined at first mention and used consistently thereafter.
Footnotes can be used to give additional information, which may include the citation of a reference included in the reference list. They should not consist solely of a reference citation, and they should never include the bibliographic details of a reference. They should also not contain any figures or tables.
Footnotes to the text are numbered consecutively; those to tables should be indicated by superscript lower-case letters (or asterisks for significance values and other statistical data). Footnotes to the title or the authors of the article are not given reference symbols.
Always use footnotes instead of endnotes.
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.
Reference citations in the text should be identified by numbers in square brackets. Some examples:
1. Negotiation research spans many disciplines .
2. This result was later contradicted by Becker and Seligman .
3. This effect has been widely studied [1-3, 7].
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.
The entries in the list should be numbered consecutively.
If available, please always include DOIs as full DOI links in your reference list (e.g. “https://doi.org/abc”).
- Journal article
Smith JJ. The world of science. Am J Sci. 1999;36:234–5.
- Article by DOI
Slifka MK, Whitton JL. Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. J Mol Med. 2000; https://doi.org/10.1007/s001090000086
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 of cytology. 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.
Always use the standard abbreviation of a journal’s name according to the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations, see
If you are unsure, please use the full journal title.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 is free of charge for print and online publication.
- Color illustrations should be submitted as RGB.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 Information (SI)
Springer accepts electronic multimedia files (animations, movies, audio, etc.) and other supplementary files to be published online along with an article or a book chapter. This feature can add dimension to the author's article, as certain information cannot be printed or is more convenient in electronic form.
Before submitting research datasets as Supplementary Information, authors should read the journal’s Research data policy. We encourage research data to be archived in data repositories wherever possible.
- 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.
- High resolution (streamable quality) videos can be submitted up to a maximum of 25GB; low resolution videos should not be larger than 5GB.
Audio, Video, and Animations
- Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
- Maximum file size: 25 GB for high resolution files; 5 GB for low resolution files
- 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 should be submitted as .csv or .xlsx files (MS Excel).
- Specialized format 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.
- 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”.
- For each supplementary material, please supply a concise caption describing the content of the file.
Processing of supplementary files
- Supplementary Information (SI) will be published as received from the author without any conversion, editing, or reformatting.
In order to give people of all abilities and disabilities access to the content of your supplementary files, please make sure that
- The manuscript contains 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)
Upon acceptance, your article will be exported to Production to undergo typesetting. Once typesetting is complete, you will receive a link asking you to confirm your affiliation, choose the publishing model for your article as well as arrange rights and payment of any associated publication cost.
Once you have completed this, your article will be processed and you will receive the proofs.
Article publishing agreement
Depending on the ownership of the journal and its policies, you will either grant the Publisher an exclusive licence to publish the article or will be asked to transfer copyright of the article to the Publisher.
Offprints can be ordered by the corresponding author.
Publication of color illustrations is free of charge.
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.
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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It is easy to find funding to support open access – please see our funding and support pages for more information.
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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.
Research Data Policy
This journal operates a type 1 research data policy. The journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository. Authors and editors who do not have a preferred repository should consult Springer Nature’s list of repositories and research data policy.
General repositories - for all types of research data - such as figshare and Dryad may also be used.
Datasets that are assigned digital object identifiers (DOIs) by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite: authors, title, publisher (repository name), identifier.
If the journal that you’re submitting to uses double-blind peer review and you are providing reviewers with access to your data (for example via a repository link, supplementary information or data on request), it is strongly suggested that the authorship in the data is also blinded. There are data repositories that can assist with this and/or will create a link to mask the authorship of your data.
Authors who need help understanding our data sharing policies, help finding a suitable data repository, or help organising and sharing research data can access our Author Support portal for additional guidance.
- 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.
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.
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.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest
Authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could influence or bias the work. Although an author may not feel there are conflicts, disclosure of relationships and interests affords a more transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of real or perceived conflicts of interests is a perspective to which the readers are entitled and is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization that sponsored the research or compensation 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
The corresponding author will include a summary statement on the title page that is separate from their manuscript, that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).
Please make sure to submit all Conflict of Interest disclosure forms together with the manuscript.
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.
Please note: This journal suggests to use the ICMJE conflict of interest disclosure form which can be found here.
Research involving human participants, their data or biological material
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).
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.
If human cells are used, authors must declare in the manuscript: what cell lines were used by describing the source of the cell line, including when and from where it was obtained, whether the cell line has recently been authenticated and by what method. If cells were bought from a life science company the following need to be given in the manuscript: name of company (that provided the cells), cell type, number of cell line, and batch of cells.
It is recommended that authors check the NCBI database for misidentification and contamination of human cell lines. This step will alert authors to possible problems with the cell line and may save considerable time and effort.
Further information is available from the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC).
Authors should include a statement that confirms that an institutional or independent ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approved the study and that informed consent was obtained from the donor or next of kin.
Research Resource Identifiers (RRID)
Research Resource Identifiers (RRID) are persistent unique identifiers (effectively similar to a DOI) for research resources. This journal encourages authors to adopt RRIDs when reporting key biological resources (antibodies, cell lines, model organisms and tools) in their manuscripts.
Organism: Filip1tm1a(KOMP)Wtsi RRID:MMRRC_055641-UCD
Cell Line: RST307 cell line RRID:CVCL_C321
Antibody: Luciferase antibody DSHB Cat# LUC-3, RRID:AB_2722109
Plasmid: mRuby3 plasmid RRID:Addgene_104005
Software: ImageJ Version 1.2.4 RRID:SCR_003070
RRIDs are provided by the Resource Identification Portal. Many commonly used research resources already have designated RRIDs. The portal also provides authors links so that they can quickly register a new resource and obtain an RRID.
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.
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:
Observational studies (STROBE)
Case reports (CARE)
Animal pre-clinical studies (ARRIVE)
Quality improvement studies (SQUIRE)
Economic evaluations (CHEERS)
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 ‘Ethics approval’.
Examples of statements to be used when ethics approval has been 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 D (Ethics approval number: ...).
Examples of statements to be used for 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 of stetements to be used when no ethical approval is 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.
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.
Research involving animals, their data or biological material
Research involving animals and their data or biological material
The welfare of animals (vertebrate and higher invertebrate) used for research, education and testing must be respected. Authors should supply detailed information on the ethical treatment of their animals in their submission. For that purpose they may use the ARRIVE checklist which is designed to be used when submitting manuscripts describing animal research.
For studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.
Authors are recommended to comply with:
• The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species.
When reporting results authors should indicate:
• … that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Please provide the name of ethics committee and relevant permit number;
• … whether the legal requirements or guidelines in the country and/or state or province for the care and use of animals have been followed.
Researchers from countries without any legal requirements or guidelines voluntarily should refer to the following sites for guidance:
– The Basel Declaration describes fundamental principles of using animals in biomedical research
– The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) provides ethical guidelines for researchers as well as editors and reviewers
– The Association for the study of Animal Behaviour describes ethical guidelines for the treatment of animals in research and teaching
– The International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics provide guidelines for authors on animal ethics and welfare
Researchers may wish to consult the most recent (ethical) guidelines available from relevant taxon-oriented professional societies.
If a study was granted exemption or did not require ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript.
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 ‘Ethics approval’.
Examples of statements to be used when ethics approval has been obtained:
• All procedures involving animals were in compliance with the European Community Council Directive of 24 November 1986, and ethical approval was granted by the Kocaeli University Ethics Committee (No. 29 12 2014, Kocaeli, Turkey).
• All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ARVO Statement for Use of Animals in Ophthalmic Vision and Research. The ethical principles established by the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH Publications No. 8523, revised 2011) were followed. The research protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use (Protocol No. 06174/14) of FCAV/Unesp, Jaboticabal.
• This study involved a questionnaire-based survey of farmers as well as blood sampling from their animals. The study protocol was assessed and approved by Haramaya University, research and extension office. Participants provided their verbal informed consent for animal blood sampling as well as for the related survey questions. Collection of blood samples was carried out by veterinarians adhering to the regulations and guidelines on animal husbandry and welfare.
• All brown bear captures and handling were approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Experiments, Uppsala, Sweden (Application C18/15) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in compliance with Swedish laws and regulations.
• The ethics governing the use and conduct of experiments on animals were strictly observed, and the experimental protocol was approved by the University of Maiduguri Senate committee on Medical Research ethics. Proper permit and consent were obtained from the Maiduguri abattoir management, before the faecal samples of the cattle and camels slaughtered in this abattoir were used for this experiment.
Examples of statements to be used when no ethical approval is required/exemption granted:
• No approval of research ethics committees was required to accomplish the goals of this study because experimental work was conducted with an unregulated invertebrate species.
• As the trappings of small mammals were conducted as part of regular pest control measures in accordance with the NATO Standardized Agreement 2048 "Deployment Pest and Vector Surveillance and Control ", no approval by an ethics committee was required.
• All experiments have been conducted as per the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. However, the insect species used in this study is reared for commercial production of raw silk materials, as a part of agro-based industry. Therefore, use of this animal in research does not require ethical clearance. We have obtained permission from the office of Research officer sericulture, Baripada, Orissa, India for the provision of infrastructure and support for rearing of silkworm both in indoor and outdoor conditions related to our study to promote sericulture practices.
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
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, 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 tothe 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.
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.
These guidelines describe authorship principles and good authorship practices to which prospective authors should adhere to.
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:
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.
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.
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.
• 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:
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.
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.
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.
Research involving human embryos, gametes and stem cells
Manuscripts that report experiments involving the use of human embryos and gametes, human embryonic stem cells and related materials, and clinical applications of stem cells must include confirmation that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations (See also Research involving human participants, their data or biological material.
The manuscript should include an ethics statement identifying the institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) approving the experiments and describing any relevant details. Authors should confirm that informed consent (See also Informed Consent) was obtained from all recipients and/or donors of cells or tissues, where necessary, and describe the conditions of donation of materials for research, such as human embryos or gametes. Copies of approval and redacted consent documents may be requested by the Journal.
We encourage authors to follow the principles laid out in the 2016 ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation
In deciding whether to publish papers describing modifications of the human germline, the Journal is guided by safety considerations, compliance with applicable regulations, as well as the status of the societal debate on the implications of such modifications for future generations. In case of concerns regarding a particular type of study the Journal may seek the advice from the Springer Nature Research Integrity Group.
The decision to publish a paper is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
Double-blind peer review
This journal follows a double-blind reviewing procedure. This means that the author will remain anonymous to the reviewers throughout peer review. It is the responsibility of the author to anonymize the manuscript and any associated materials.
- Author names, affiliations and any other potentially identifying information should be removed from the manuscript text and any accompanying files (such as figures of supplementary material);
- A separate Title Page should be submitted, containing title, author names, affiliations, and the contact information of the corresponding author. Any acknowledgements, disclosures, or funding information should also be included on this page;
- Authors should avoid citing their own work in a way that could reveal their identity.
English Language Support
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:
- Getting a fast, free online grammar check.
- Asking a colleague who is proficient in English 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
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.