Submission Preparation Checklist
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.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
- The submission file is in Open Office, Microsoft Word.
- Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
- The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
- The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
General Author Instructions
Manuscripts should be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript through email to the editorial office. Regardless of the source of the word-processing tool, only electronic Word (.doc, .docx) files can be submitted. Only email submissions are advised strongly to facilitate rapid publication and minimize administrative costs. Submissions by anyone other than one of the authors will not be accepted. The submitting author takes responsibility for the paper during submission and peer review. The author can send the manuscript as an email attachment.
Manuscript Submission Department
Online Submission: The authors can submit online using OJS.
Types of Papers
- Original research papers:
Papers that include original empirical data that have not been published anywhere earlier (except as an abstract). Null/negative findings and replication/refutation findings are also welcome. This type of paper normally should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages of text (including references) and should contain no longer than 15 figures/tables. We advise a length of 3000-6000 words (including everything). This type of paper should follow the structure of Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, Competing Interests, Authors’ Contributions, Consent (where applicable), Ethical approval (where applicable), and References plus figures and/or tables.
- Short Research Articles:
These may be small single-result findings. Such articles can be brief but need to include enough information, particularly in the methods and results sections, that a reader could understand what was done. We advise a length of 3000-4000 words, plus 3-4 figures and/or tables, and 15-20 key references. This type of paper should follow the structure of Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, Competing Interests, Authors’ Contributions, Consent (where applicable), Ethical approval (where applicable), and References plus figures and/or tables.
- Short communications:
Short Communications are urgent communications of important preliminary results that are very original, of high interest and likely to have a significant impact on the subject area of the journal. A Short Communication needs only to demonstrate a ‘proof of principle’. Authors are encouraged to submit an Original Research Paper to the journal following their Short Communication. We advise a length of 2500-3500 words, plus 2-3 figures and/or tables, and 15-20 key references. This type of paper should follow the structure of Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, Competing Interests, Authors’ Contributions, Consent (where applicable), Ethical approval (where applicable), and References plus figures and/or tables.
- Review papers:
These papers will not have empirical data acquired by the authors but will include a discussion of papers published and data acquired in a specific area. We advise a length of 5000-9000 words, (including 50-150 references plus 3-5 figures and/or tables (if required).
- Minireview papers:
Minireviews are brief historical perspectives or summaries of developments in fast-moving areas covered within the scope of the journal. They must be based on published articles; they are not outlets for unpublished data. We advise a length of 3000-6000 words, (including 30-70 references plus 2-3 figures and/or tables (if required). They may address any subject within the scope of the journal. The goal of the Minireviews is to provide a concise summary of a particular field in a manner understandable to all readers.
- Case reports / Case studies (Mainly for bio-medical journals):
Case reports describe patient cases which are of particular interest due to their novelty and their potential message for clinical practice. While there are several types of case reports, originality and clinical implications constitute the main virtues by which case reports are judged. (Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18677298). Case studies are an invaluable record of the clinical practices of a profession. While case studies cannot provide specific guidance for the management of successive patients, they are a record of clinical interactions which help us to frame questions for more rigorously designed clinical studies. Case studies also provide valuable teaching material, demonstrating both classical and unusual presentations which may confront the practitioner. (Ref: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597880/). Case Reports should follow the structure of Abstract, Introduction, Presentation of Case, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, Competing Interests, Authors’ Contributions, Consent (where applicable), Ethical approval (where applicable), and References plus figures and/or tables. Abstract (not more than 250 words) of the Case reports should have the following sections: Aims, Presentation of Case, Discussion, and Conclusion. Only Case Reports have word limits: Papers should not exceed 2000 words, 20 references or 5 figures.
- Systematic Reviews:
Systematic Reviews should usually be based on medical interventions or animal model studies. We recommend that authors consult the PRISMA guidelines for reporting in Systematic Reviews. Systematic Reviews should deal with a clearly formulated question and use systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically assess the relevant research. We advise a length of 5000-9000 words, (including 50-150 references plus 3-5 figures and/or tables (if required).
- Policy Papers:
The purpose of the policy paper is to provide a comprehensive and persuasive argument justifying the policy recommendations presented in the paper, and therefore to act as a decision-making tool and a call to action for the target audience. We advise a length of 3000-4000 words, plus 3-4 figures and/or tables, and 15-20 key references.
- Commentaries / Opinion Articles:
An opinion-based article on a topical issue of broad interest that is intended to engender discussion. We advise a length of 2500-3500 words, plus 2-3 figures and/or tables, and 15-20 key references.
- Data Notes:
Data Notes are brief descriptions of scientific datasets that include details of why and how the data were created; they do not include any analyses or conclusions.
- Study Protocols and pre-protocols:
We welcome protocols for any study design, including observational studies and systematic reviews. All protocols for randomized clinical trials must be registered and follow the proper Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines; ethical approval for the study must have been already granted. Study pre-protocols (i.e. discussing provisional study designs) may also be submitted and will be clearly labeled as such when published. Study protocols for pilot and feasibility studies may also be considered.
- Method Articles:
These articles describe a new experimental or computational method, test or procedure, and should have been well tested. This includes new study methods, substantive modifications to existing methods or innovative applications of existing methods to new models or scientific questions. We also welcome new technical tools that facilitate the design or performance of experiments and data analysis such as software and laboratory devices, or of new technologies to assist medical treatment such as drug delivery devices. We advise a length of 3000-4000 words, plus 3-4 figures and/or tables, and 15-20 key references.
- Data Articles:
A dataset (or set of datasets) together with the associated methods/protocol used to create the data. No analysis of the data, results or conclusions should be included.
- Clinical Practice Articles:
A short article relating to a specific clinical problem or scenario that discusses issues relating to patient management and treatment pathways using an evidence-based approach. Clinical Practice Articles include case series (i.e. group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment), but should not be based on a single case (see Case Reports).
- Abstracts of scientific meetings:
Abstracts of oral presentations and posters (within the scope of the journal) can be published in discussion with the academic editors. Standardized abstracts (prepared in accordance with journal guidelines) need to be in English language and will be peer-reviewed prior to publication. It is recommended to contact the editor before submitting abstracts of a scientific meeting. Normally a collection of the abstracts (minimum 10 abstracts) will be published in a special issue. Abstracts are not considered for regular issues of the journal. Publication of ‘collection of abstracts of a conference, symposium, etc’ requires a guest editorial board. Normally the ‘Review committee / Screening committee’ of the conference will form the guest editorial board. A list of the guest editors also will be published in the special issue.
- Letter to the Editor:
A letter to the editor provides a means of communication between the author of an article and the reader of a journal, allowing continued dialogue about journal content to take place. Although not original research per se, a letter may provide new insight, make corrections, offer alternate theories, or request clarification about content printed in the journal. Letters to the Editor are considered for publication (subject to editing and abridgment) provided they do not contain material that has been submitted or published elsewhere. Letters in reference to a Journal article must not exceed 600 words (excluding references). Letters not related to a Journal article must not exceed 600 words (excluding references). A letter can have no more than eight references and one figure or table. A letter can be signed by no more than four authors. Financial associations or other possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed. This type of article will be fully peer-reviewed. [Reference and more information:
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647072 2. http://www.nejm.org/page/author-center/letter-submission 3. http://www.sciencemag.org/site/misc/editor.xhtml]
- Scholarly Book Review:
The scholarly book review is considered by some to be a form of academic writing that serves to describe and critically evaluate the content, quality, meaning, and significance of a book. A well-constructed book review can provide a thoughtful perspective and will be appreciated. Scholarly Book Review should be within 1800 words. Scholarly Book Review must have to be systematic and structured and proper references (2-5 numbers) should be cited during the review. Scholarly Book Review must be avoided to advertise the book. A normal peer review process will be followed to ensure the academic quality of such book reviews. An only academically important and critical review of books will be considered for publication. There will be restrictions on a number of such articles to be published per year.
Units of Measurement
Units of measurement should be presented simply and concisely using System International (SI) units.
Title and Authorship Information
The following information should be included
Full author names.
Full institutional mailing addresses.
Email addresses of all the authors.
The manuscript should be written in English with a simple layout. The text should be prepared in single-column format. The text, excluding the abstract, if required, can be divided into numbered sections with brief headings. Starting from the introduction with section 1, subsections should be numbered (for example 2.1 (then 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2, etc.), up to three levels.
The title should be without any abbreviations and it should enlighten the contents of the paper.
The abstract should be concise and informative. It should be between 300-400 words in length. It should briefly describe the purpose of the work, techniques, and methods used, major findings with important data and conclusions. Different sub-sections, as given below, should be used. No references should be cited in this part. Generally, non-standard abbreviations should not be used, if necessary they should be clearly defined in the abstract, at first use.
Immediately after the abstract, about 4-8 keywords should be given. Use of abbreviations should be avoided, only standard abbreviations, well known in the established area may be used, if appropriate. These keywords will be used for indexing.
Non-standard abbreviations should be listed and the full form of each abbreviation should be given in parentheses at first use in the text.
Provide a factual background, clearly defined problem, proposed solution, a brief literature survey, and the scope and justification of the work done.
Material and methods
Give adequate information to allow the experiment to be reproduced. Already published methods should be mentioned with references. Significant modifications of published methods and new methods should be described in detail. This section will include sub-sections. Tables & figures should be placed inside the text. Tables and figures should be presented as per their appearance in the text. It is suggested that the discussion about the tables and figures should appear in the text before the appearance of the respective tables and figures. No tables or figures should be given without discussion or reference inside the text.
Tables should be explanatory enough to be understandable without any text reference. Double spacing should be maintained throughout the table, including table headings and footnotes. Table headings should be placed on the table. Footnotes should be placed below the table with superscript lowercase letters.
Each figure should have a caption. The caption should be concise and typed separately, not in the figure area. Figures should be self-explanatory. Information presented in the figure should not be repeated in the table. All symbols and abbreviations used in the illustrations should be defined clearly. Figure legends should be given below the figures.
Some guidelines for Medical papers:
Randomized controlled trials should follow the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines (http://www.consort-statement.org). Case reports, case series, cross-sectional, and other observational studies should follow the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines (http://www.strobe-statement.org). If the detailed methods are explicitly stated in the manuscript for single case studies, STROBE may be avoided.
Authors producing systematic reviews and meta-analyses should follow the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines (http://www.prisma-statement.org).
Results & Discussion
Results should be clearly described in a concise manner. Results for different parameters should be described under subheadings or in a separate paragraph. Table or figure numbers should be mentioned in parentheses for better understanding.
The discussion should not repeat the results, but provide a detailed interpretation of data. This should interpret the significance of the findings of the work. Citations should be given in support of the findings. The results and discussion part can also be described as separate, if appropriate.
Tables & Figures
Tables & figures should be placed inside the text. Tables and figures should be presented as per their appearance in the text. It is suggested that the discussion about the tables and figures should appear in the text before the appearance of the respective tables and figures. No tables or figures should be given without discussion or reference inside the text. Tables should be explanatory enough to be understandable without any text reference. Double spacing should be maintained throughout the table, including table headings and footnotes. Table headings should be placed on the table. Footnotes should be placed below the table with superscript lowercase letters. Vertical rules should not be used.
Each figure should have a caption. The caption should be concise and typed separately, not in the figure area. Figures should be self-explanatory. Information presented in the figure should not be repeated in the table. All symbols and abbreviations used in the illustrations should be defined clearly. Figure legends should be given below the figures. Upon submission of an article, authors are supposed to include all figures and tables in the PDF file of the manuscript. Figures and tables should not be submitted in separate files. If the article is accepted, the authors will be asked to provide the source files of the figures. Each figure should be supplied in a separate electronic file. All figures should be cited in the paper in consecutive order. Figures should be supplied in either vector art formats (Illustrator, EPS, WMF, FreeHand, CorelDraw, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) or bitmap formats (Photoshop, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, etc.). Bitmap images should be of 300 dpi resolution at least.
Guideline for Reporting P values:
P is always italicized and capitalized.
- i) Correct expression: (P = .05). Wrong Expression: (P < .05), unless P < .001.
ii) The P value should be expressed to 2 digits whether or not it is significant. If P < .01, it should be expressed to 3 digits.
iii) When rounding, 3 digits is acceptable if rounding would change the significance of a value (eg, P = .049 rounded to .05).
iv) Expressing P to more than 3 significant digits does not add useful information since precise P values with extreme results are sensitive to biases or departures from the statistical model.
v) Reporting actual P values avoids this problem of interpretation. P values should not be listed as not significant (NS) since, for meta-analysis, the actual values are important, and not providing exact P values is a form of incomplete reporting.
vi) Do not use 0 before the decimal point for statistical values P, alpha, and beta because they cannot equal 1.
This should briefly state the major findings of the study.
A brief acknowledgment section may be given after the conclusion section just before the references. The acknowledgments of people who provided assistance in manuscript preparation, funding for research, etc. should be listed in this section. All sources of funding should be declared as an acknowledgment. Authors should declare the role of the funding agency, if any, in the study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, the authors should so state.
Declaration of ‘competing interest’ should be placed here. All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately (or appropriately) influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.
Authors may use the following wording for this section: “ ‘Author A’ designed the study, performed the statistical analysis, wrote the protocol, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. ‘Author B’ and ‘Author C’ managed the analyses of the study. ‘Author C’ managed the literature searches…… All authors read and approved the final manuscript.”
This section is compulsory for medical journals. Other journals may require this section if found suitable. If human subjects are involved, informed consent, protection of privacy, and other human rights are further criteria against which the manuscript will be judged. It should provide a statement to confirm that the authors have obtained all necessary ethical approval from a suitable Institutional or State or National or International Committee. This confirms either that this study is not against the public interest, or that the release of information is allowed by legislation.
All manuscripts which deal with animal subjects must be approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), Ethical Committee, or an Animal Utilization Study Committee. , and this statement, and the approval number must accompany the submission. If required, the author should be ready to submit a scanned copy of the IRB or Ethical Committee Approval at any stage of publication (Pre or post-publication stage). The manuscript should contain information about any post-operative care and pain management for the animals.
For manuscripts involving animal experiments, Authors may use the following wording for this section “All authors hereby declare that “Principles of laboratory animal care” (NIH publication No. 85-23, revised 1985) were followed, as well as specific national laws where applicable. All experiments have been examined and approved by the appropriate ethics committee”
All manuscripts which deal with the study of human subjects must be accompanied by Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Ethical Committee Approval, or the national or regional equivalent. The name of the Board or Committee giving approval and the study number assigned must accompany the submission. If required, the author should be ready to submit a scanned copy of the IRB or Ethical Committee Approval at any stage of publication (Pre or post-publication stage).
For manuscripts involving human experiments, Authors may use the following wording for this section: “All authors hereby declare that all experiments have been examined and approved by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki.”
Authors are responsible for ensuring that the information in each reference is complete and accurate. All references must be numbered consecutively and citations of references in the text should be identified using numbers in small brackets (e.g., “as discussed by Gaskin et al., 2005); “as discussed elsewhere (Gaskin et al., 2005; Steel et al., 1997). All references should be cited within the text; otherwise, these references will be automatically removed. References must be listed at the end of the manuscript and numbered in the order that they appear in the text.
Gaskin, J. F., Zhang, D. Y., and Bon, M. C. (2005). Invasion of Lepidium draba (Brassicaceae) in the western United States: distributions and origins of chlorokplast DNA haplotypes. Molecular Ecology 14, 2331-2341.
Steel RGD, Torrie JH and Dicky DA (1997). “Principles and procedures of statistics: a biometrical approach,” McGraw-Hill, New York New York, USA, pp: 400-428.
Weaver, S. E., and Riley, W. R. (1982). The Biology of Canadian Weeds.: 53. Convolvulus arvensis L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 62, 461-472.
S.A.S. Institute. 2001. SAS/STAT software: Changes and enhancement through release 9.1. SAS Inst Cary NC.
Soyars, C. L., Peterson, B. A., Burr, C. A., and Nimchuk, Z. L. (2018). Cutting edge genetics: CRISPR/Cas9 editing of plant genomes. Plant and Cell Physiology 59, 1608-1620.
Wilson, C. J., Fennell, T., Bothmer, A., Maeder, M. L., Reyon, D., Cotta-Ramusino, C., Fernandez, C. A., Marco, E., Barrera, L. A., and Jayaram, H. (2018). Response to “Unexpected mutations after CRISPR–Cas9 editing in vivo”. Nature methods 15, 236-237.
Zeng, Y., Cui, Y., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Liang, M., Chen, H., Lan, J., Song, G., and Lou, J. (2018). The initiation, propagation and dynamics of CRISPR-SpyCas9 R-loop complex. Nucleic acids research 46, 350-361.
Zuo, Z., and Liu, J. (2017). Structure and dynamics of Cas9 HNH domain catalytic state. Scientific reports 7, 1-13.
A PDF file of proof will be sent to the corresponding author as an e-mail attachment. Authors will be asked to check any typographical or minor clerical errors in the manuscript at this stage. No other major alteration in the manuscript is allowed.
Authors cannot submit a manuscript for publication to other journals simultaneously. It is a waste of valuable resources because editors and referees spent a great deal of time processing submitted manuscripts. It is also unethical to republish similar research articles (text/figures/tables) again because journals have limited page space and it most likely violates copyrights that have already been transferred to the first journal. Therefore, all journals require a signed author’s copyright transfer agreement stating the originality of the research work submitted as a manuscript. As stated above that authors should submit original, new, and unpublished research work to the journal. Ethical issues such as plagiarism, fraudulent and duplicate publication, violation of copyrights, authorship, and conflict of interest are serious issues concerning ethical integrity when submitting a manuscript to a journal for publication.