Guidelines for Authors
Manuscript will be carefully scrutinized for evidence of plagiarism, duplication and data manipulation; in particular, images will be carefully examined for any indication of intentional improper modification.
Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the US Office of Research Integrity.
Ensure that your work is written in correct English before submission. Professional copyediting can help authors improve the presentation of their work and increase its chances of being taken on by a publisher. In case you feel that your manuscript would benefit from a professional a professional English language copyediting checking language grammar and style, you can find a reliable revision service at:
The Corresponding Author must submit the manuscript online-only through our Manuscript Submission System.
Authors are kindly invited to suggest potential reviewers (names, affilitations and email addresses) for their manuscript, if they wish.
First and second pages
The first page must contain:
- title (lowercase), without acronyms;
- first name and family name of each author, separated by commas;
- affiliation(s) of each author (in English);
- full name and full postal address of the corresponding author. Phone, fax number and e-mail address for the correspondence should also be included;
- three to five key words.
The second page should contain:
- authors' contributions, e.g., information about the contributions of each person named as having participated in the study (http://www.icmje.org/#author);
- disclosures about potential conflict of interests;
- further information (e.g., funding, conference presentation ...).
Authors should place before the Abstract a brief section Research highlights (max 60-70 words): it should consist in a summary of 4-5 key points to highlight the main research concepts.
Tables and Figures
If tables are used, they should be double-spaced on separate pages. They should be numbered and cited in the text of the manuscript.
If figures are used, they must be submitted as .tiff or .jpg files, with the following digital resolution:
- color (saved as CMYK): minimum 300 dpi;
- black and white/grays: minimum 600 dpi;
- one column width (8.5 cm) or 2 column widths (17.5 cm). A different caption for each figure must be provided at the end of the manuscript, not included in the figure file.
If abbreviations are used in the text, authors are required to write full name+abbreviation in brackets [e.g. Multiple Myeloma (MM)] the first time they are used, then only abbreviations can be written (apart from titles; in this case authors have to write always the full name).
- Original Articles (3500 words max, abstract 180 words max, 30 references max, 3/5 tables and/or figures): In general, this kind of publication should be divided into an Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions and References. A maximum of 10 authors is permitted and additional authors should be listed in an ad hoc Appendix.
- Reviews (4000 words max, abstract 250 words max, minimum 40 references, 3/5 tables and/or figures): They should be introduced by a general summary of content in the form of an Abstract. Following a short introduction, putting the study into context and defining the aim, reviews will concentrate on the most recent developments in the field. A review should clearly describe the search strategy followed (key words, inclusion, exclusion criteria, search engines, ...). No particular format is required; headings should be used to designate the major divisions of the paper.
- Brief Reports (about 2000 words, abstract 150 words max, 20 references max, 3 tables and/or figures): Short reports of results from original researches. They should be introduced by a general summary of content in the form of an Abstract. They must provide conclusive findings: preliminary observations or incomplete findings cannot be considered for publication.
- Letters to the Editor (800 words max): These are written on invitation, short essays that express the authors’ viewpoint, may respond to published manuscripts in our journals, or deliver information or news regarding an issue related to the Journal scope. If the letter relates to a published manuscript, the authors of the original manuscript will be given the opportunity to provide a respond. Authors of Letters to the Editor should provide a short title.
References should be prepared strictly according to the Vancouver style. References must be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first cited in the text (not alphabetical order), and they must be identified in the text by Arabic numerals in superscript. References in the main text must always be cited after dots and commas. References to personal communications and unpublished data should be incorporated in the text and not placed under the numbered references [Example: (Wright 2011, unpublished data) or (Wright 2011, personal communication)]. Where available, URLs for the references should be provided directly within the MS-Word document. References in the References section must be prepared as follows:
- more than six authors, cite 6 authors, et al.;
- title style: sentence case; please use a capital letter only for the first word of the title;
- journal titles mentioned in the References list should be abbreviated according to the following websites:
- ISI Journal Abbreviations Index (http://library.caltech.edu/reference/abbreviations/);
- Biological Journals and Abbreviations (http://home.ncifcrf.gov/research/bja/);
- Medline List of Journal Titles (ftp://ftp.ncbi.nih.gov/pubmed/J_Medline.txt);
- put year after the journal name;
- never put month and day in the last part of the references;
- cite only the volume (not the issue in brackets);
- pages have to be abbreviated, e.g., 351-8.
To ensure the correct citation format, please check your references in the PubMed database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed).
Standard journal article
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med 2002;347:284-7.
Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza’s computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, Lutton E, Miller J, Ryan C, Tettamanzi AG, eds. Genetic programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming, 2002 Apr 3-5, Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer; 2002. pp 182-91.
Article with organization as author
Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Hypertension, insulin, and proinsulin in participants with impaired glucose tolerance. Hypertension 2002;40:679-86.
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2002. Bjørn Lomborg, ed. RethinkHIV - Smarter ways to invest in ending HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2012. Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, eds. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2002. pp 93-113.
All manuscripts submitted to our journal are critically assessed by external and/or in-house experts in accordance with the principles of peer review (http://www.icmje.org/#peer), which is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science. Each paper is first assigned by the Editors to an appropriate Associate Editor who has knowledge of the field discussed in the manuscript. The first step of manuscript selection takes place entirely in-house and has two major objectives: i) to establish the article appropriateness for our journals readership; ii) to define the manuscript priority ranking relative to other manuscripts under consideration, since the number of papers that the journal receives is much greater than it can publish. If a manuscript does not receive a sufficiently high priority score to warrant publication, the editors will proceed to a quick rejection. The remaining articles are reviewed by at least two different external referees (second step or classical peer review). Manuscripts should be prepared according to the Uniform Requirements established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (http://www.icmje.org/#prepare).
Authorship and Contributorship
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship according to the ICMJE criteria. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should only be based on substantial contributions to: i) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and to ii) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on iii) final approval of the version to be published; and iv) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Authors should provide a brief description of their individual contributions. Those who do not meet all four criteria should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading. Authors can find detailed information on the Publisher's web site.
Obligation to Register Clinical Trials
The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc. Our journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. The journal considers a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. The journal does not advocate one particular registry, but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a non-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include a minimum of data elements (http://www.icmje.org/about-icmje/faqs/clinical-trials-registration/). For example, ClinicalTrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision). When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.