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Submissions should be made electronically through this website.
Please ensure that you consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Failure to do so may delay the processing of your submission.
Reviews: comprehensive, authoritative, and topical review of any subject within the journal's scope. Typically, these articles are by Editorial invitations. However, prospective authors could suggest a topic of interest for a Review article to the Editorial office for consideration. Review article should not exceed 6000 words excluding references.
All word limits include referencing and citation.
The title page must include all of the below information, in the same order. No further information should be included:
Author names must include a forename and a surname. Forenames should preferably not include only initials.
The affiliation should ideally include Department, Institution, City and Country, however only the Institution and Country are mandatory.
Research articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarising the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading ‘Abstract’ and be easily identified from the start of the main text.
A list of up to six key words may be placed below the abstract (optional).
The Abstract and Keywords should also be added to the metadata when making the initial online submission.
The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should be given that allows non-specialists in the subject an understanding of the publication and a background of the issue(s) involved. Methods, results, discussion and conclusion sections may then follow to clearly detail the information and research being presented.
Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in MS-Word’s ‘Style’ section.
Any acknowledgements must be headed and in a separate paragraph, placed after the main text but before the reference list.
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references. Guidelines for competing interests can be found here.
Ethics and consent (if applicable)
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, the studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. The identity of the research subject should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardians).
Experiments using animals must follow national standards of care. For further information, click here.
All references cited within the submission must be listed at the end of the main text file.
For the submission title:
Capitalise all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for all articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.
Headings within the main text:
First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title.
For lower-level subheadings, only capitalise first letter and proper nouns.
Headings should be under 75 characters.
Submissions must be made in English. Authors are welcome to use American or British spellings as long as they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission.
When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used.
American or English grammar rules may be used as long as they are used consistently and match the spelling format (see above). For instance, you may use a serial comma or not.
The font used should be commonly available and in an easily readable size. This may be changed during the typesetting process.
Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible.
Bold or italicised text to emphasise a point are permitted, although should be restricted to minimal occurrences to maximise their efficiency.
Use bullet points to denote a list without hierarchy or order of value. If the list indicates a specific sequence then a numbered list must be used.
Lists should be used sparingly to maximise their impact.
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within another speech, in which case double quotation marks are used.
Quotations that are longer than three lines in length must be in an indented paragraph separate from the main text.
The standard, non-italicised font must be used for all quotes.
It must be clear from the text and/or citation where the quote is sourced. If quoting from material that is under copyright then permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.
Acronyms & Abbreviations
With abbreviations, the crucial goal is to ensure that the reader – particularly one who may not be fully familiar with the topic or context being addressed – is able to follow along. Spell out almost all acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.
A number of abbreviations are so common that they do not require the full text on the first instance. Examples of these can be found here.
Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without full stops.
Common examples from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and can include full stops.
Use of footnotes/endnotes
Use endnotes rather than footnotes (we refer to these as ‘Notes’ in the online publication). These will appear at the end of the main text, before ‘References’.
All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed.
Avoid using notes for purposes of referencing, with in-text citations used instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note.
Please insert the endnote marker after the end punctuation.
Symbols are permitted within the main text and datasets as long as they are commonly in use or have explanatory definition on their first usage.
Hyphenation, em and en dashes
There is no set rule on the use of hyphenation between words, as long as they are consistently used.
Em dashes should be used sparingly. If they are present, they should denote emphasis, change of thought or interruption to the main sentence and can replace comas, parentheses, colons or semicolons.
En dashes can be used to replace ‘to’ when indicating a range. No space should surround the dash.
For numbers zero to nine please spell the whole words. Please use figures for numbers 10 or higher.
We are happy for authors to use either words or figures to represent large whole figures (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as the usage is consistent throughout the text.
If the sentence includes a series of numbers then figures must be used in each instance.
If the number appears as part of a dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then the figure must be used.
If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelt, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number.
Do not use a comma for a decimal place.
Numbers that are less than zero must have ‘0’ precede the decimal point.
Units of measurement
Symbols following a figure to denote a unit of measurement must be taken from the latest SI brochure. See http://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf for the full brochure.
Formulae must be proofread carefully by the author. Editors will not edit formulae. If special software has been used to create formulae, the way it is laid out is the way they will appear in the publication.
Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask to re-render or omit it.
All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
Each figure must have an accompanying descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the figure image. A short additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description.
Figure titles and legends should be placed within the text document, either after the paragraph of their first citation, or as a list after the references.
The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of authorisation (if needed).
If your figure file includes text then please present the font as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. This will mean that it matches the typeset text.
NOTE: All figures must be uploaded separately as supplementary files during the submission process, if possible in colour and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS. For line drawings, please provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps).
Tables must be created using a word processor's table function, not tabbed text.
Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.
All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.).
Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.
Tables should not include:
NOTE: If there are more columns than can fit on a single page, then the table will be placed horizontally on the page. If it still can't fit horizontally on a page, the table will be broken into two.
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer-review are ensured by providing online links and, if available, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation.
This journal uses the Vancouver (numbered citation) style of referencing.
References are listed and numbered in the order that they appear in the text. In the text, citations should be indicated by the reference number in square brackets. Multiple citations within a single set of brackets should be separated by commas. Where there are three or more sequential citations, they should be given as a range. Example: "... has been shown previously [1,4-6,22]." Make sure the parts of the manuscript are in the correct order before ordering the citations.
NOTE: Where available, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) must be included with reference entries.
Examples of how to format references in the Vancouver style are:
1. Fletcher D, Wagstaff CRD. Organisational psychology in elite sport: its emergence, application and future. Psychol Sport Exerc. 2009;10(4):427-34. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009
2.Sanger F, Nicklen S, Coulson AR (1977) DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 74: 5463-5467.
Please list the first five authors and then add "et al." if there are additional authors.
“In Press” Papers:
For journal articles that have been accepted, but not yet published, "In press" should appear in place of the volume and page numbers. Example: Adv Clin Path. In press.
Books:3. Bates B (1992) Bargaining for life: A social history of tuberculosis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 435 p.
4. Hansen B (1991) New York City epidemics and history for the public. In: Harden VA, Risse GB, editors. AIDS and the historian. Bethesda: National Institute of Health. pp. 21-28.
Dataset with persistent identifier:
5. Zheng, L-Y; Guo, X-S; He, B; Sun, L-J; Peng, Y; Dong, S-S; Liu, T-F; Jiang, S; Ramachandran, S; Liu, C-M; Jing, H-C (2011): Genome data from sweet and grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor).GigaScience Database. http://dx.doi.org/10.5524/100012.
Clinical trial registration record with persistent identifier:
6. Mendelow, AD (2006): Surgical Trial in Lobar Intracerebral Haemorrhage. Current Controlled Trials. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ISRCTN22153967
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be included in the main reference list.
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.
If your paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay an Article Publication Charge (APC) to cover publications costs, which can normally be sourced from your funder or institution. This fee covers all publication costs (editorial processes; web hosting; indexing; marketing; archiving; DOI registration etc) and ensures that all of the content is fully open access. This approach maximises the potential readership of publications and allows the journal to be run in a sustainable way. For a breakdown of costs, please click here.
Many institutions are now making funds available to support open access publications by their staff.
If you do not know about your institution’s policy on open access funding, please contact your departmental/faculty administrators and institution library, as funds may be available to you.
If published, you will receive an APC request email along with information on how payment can be arranged from Open Access Key (OAK). If you need to waive the APC, you will also have an opportunity to do it there.
If you do not have funds available to pay the APC (e.g. because your institution/funder will not cover the fee) then we may be able to offer a discount or full waiver. Please ensure that you contact the editor as early as possible should you need to discuss waiver options or the APC in general. Editorial decisions are made independently from the ability to pay the APC.