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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.
  • This article has not been previously published, and not submitted for review and publication in another journal (or an explanation of this in the comments to the editor was given).
  • The file of the article is presented in the following document format, OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF or WordPerfect.
  • The full Internet addresses (URL) for links are provided where possible.
  • This text is single-spaced; using font size of 12 points; to highlight italic font is used rather than underlining (except for Internet addresses); all images, graphics and tables are located in the appropriate places in the text, rather than at the end of the document.
  • The text corresponds to the style and bibliography requirements described in Guide for authors , located on the page "About the Journal."
  • If you submit an article to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, then requirements of the document Ensuring a blind review .

Author Guidelines

Points to note on formatting your

MS Word file Files should be in MS Word format only and should be formatted for direct printing. Several components of the manuscript must be submitted as individual files within Editorial Manager: title page, manuscript body (including references list), individual figure files, and the Transfer of Copyright. (* indicates item is required for all manuscript types, unless otherwise specified) Paper structure Papers should be prepared in the following order: Title Abstract, Key words Introduction: to explain the background work, the practical applications and the nature and purpose of the paper. Body: to contain the primary message, with clear lines of thought and validation of the techniques described. Conclusion Acknowledgements (when appropriate) References Appendices (when appropriate) Formatting your document *Title The title page must be submitted as a separate file, and should include the title of the article, author names with full first name (no degrees), each author’s affiliation, and a suggested running head (of less than 50 characters, including spaces). The affiliation should comprise the department, institution (usually university or company), city, and state (or nation) and should be typed as a footnote to the author’s name. For the corresponding author designated to correspond with the Editorial Office and review proofs, indicate his/her complete mailing address, office/cellular telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address.

*Abstract Only Reviews, Mini Reviews, Original Research Articles, Rapid Communications and Meeting Reports require an abstract. The abstract is limited to 250 words or less. All abstracts must be written in one paragraph, with no subheadings, equations, tables, reference citations or graphics. *Keywords Insert 5–10 keywords. Please follow the template style for all the above features. *Introduction Required for Reviews, Mini Reviews, Original Research Articles, and Meeting Reports only.

*Main Text Body For Original Research Articles, Brief Technical Notes, Rapid Communications, organize the main text as follows: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Combining Results and Discussion is discouraged. The use of subheadings to divide the text is encouraged. Primary, Secondary, and Third level headings should be clearly defined, but do not use numbers or letters. Recommended word counts are as follows: Reviews, Original Research Articles and Meeting Reports: 5000; Mini Reviews: 2500; Brief Technical Reports/Note, and Rapid Communications: 1200. Use abbreviations sparingly, and define them at the first insertion in the text. Define all abbreviations used in tables within the table footnotes Use the metric system for all measurements. Express metric abbreviations in lowercase letters without periods (cm, mL, sec). Define all symbols used in equations and formulas. When symbols are used extensively, the authors may include a list of all symbols in a table. Numbers should be reported as no more than 3 significant figures, unless clearly justified.

*Conclusion The conclusion should be a brief paragraph, containing 3 to 4 sentences, that summarizes the findings presented.

*Acknowledgments Include funding source(s) and other contributions. If the work has been funded by NIH, please provide name(s) of funding institute(s) and grant number(s). This information is required for automatic deposit into PUBMED Central by the Publisher.

*Tables Tables must be created in Microsoft Word table format. Tables should be numbered and referred to by number in the text. Center the title above the table, and type explanatory footnotes (indicated by superscript lowercase letters) below the table. Data must be placed in separate cells of the table to prevent text and numbers from shifting when the table is converted for publication on the Internet. Empty cells may be inserted to create spacing. Tables should not duplicate information provided in the text. Instead, tables should be used to provide additional information that illustrates or expands on a specific point the author wishes to make. Each table should be self-explanatory.

*Illustrations All figures should be numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, …). All photographs, schemas, graphs and diagrams are to be referred to as figures. Line drawings should be good quality scans or true electronic output. Low-quality scans are not acceptable. Figures must be embedded into the text and not supplied separately. Lettering and symbols should be clearly defined either in the caption or in a legend provided as part of the figure. Figures should be placed at the top or bottom of a page wherever possible, as close as possible to the first reference to them in the paper. The figure number and caption should be typed below the illustration in 9pt and left justified. Artwork has no text along the side of it in the main body of the text. However, if two images fit next to each other, these may be placed next to each other to save space.

*Equations Equations and formulae should be typed in Mathtype, and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals in parentheses on the right hand side of the page (if referred to explicitly in the text). They should also be separated from the surrounding text by one space.

*Footnotes Footnotes should be avoided. When their use is absolutely necessary, footnotes should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals and should be typed at the bottom of the page to which they refer. Place a line above the footnote, so that it is set off from the text. Use the appropriate superscript numeral for citation in the text.

*References In the text the number of the reference should be given in square brackets. For references with more than two authors, text citations should be shortened to the first name followed by et al., e.g. Jones [1] discovered that...; Recent results from Brown and Carter [2] and Green et al. [3] indicate that (…). Only essential references, which are directly referred to in the text, should be included in the reference list. References must be listed in numerical order at the end of the paper. Do not begin them on a new page unless this is absolutely necessary. They should be prepared according to the sequential numeric system making sure that all material mentioned is generally available to the reader. Journal references should include: author's surname and initials; initials and surnames of remaining authors; article title (where provided); abbreviated journal title (in italics), year of publication, volume number and page numbers. References to books should include: author's surname and initials; surnames and initials of remaining authors; the book title (in italics); the place of publication and the name of the publisher; and year of publication. References to multi-author works should include author.s surname(s) and initials, the chapter title (where provided); "In:" followed by book title (in italics); initials and name(s) of editors(s) in brackets; volume number and pages; the place of publication and name of the publisher, followed by the year of publication. Here is an example of some references listed according to the sequential numeric system: 1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2000; 163:51–9. 2. Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979. 3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age, New York: E-Publishing Inc; 1999, p. 281–304.