Guide for Authors
Please click here for a PDF of the Guide for Authors.
Please click here to download the Manuscript Submission Form.
Preparation & Submission Requirements
Disclosure of Biomedical Financial Interests and Potential Conflicts of Interest
Clinical Trials Registration
Research and Data Reporting Guidelines
Genetic Association Studies
Materials and Genes
Public Access Policy
Proofs and Reprints
Biological Psychiatry is the official journal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry. The Journal rapidly publishes reports of novel results on a broad range of topics related to the pathophysiology and treatment of major neuropsychiatric disorders. Both basic and clinical neuroscience contributions are encouraged, particularly those addressing genetic and environmental risk factors, neural circuitry and neurochemistry, and important new therapeutic approaches.All new manuscripts must be submitted through the journal web site: http://ees.elsevier.com/bps. Please direct questions to the Editorial Office at (214) 648-0880, or Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu.
Except where explicitly stated otherwise, Biological Psychiatry conforms to the guidelines set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (see Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication (April 2010): Available from http://www.ICMJE.org).ARTICLE CONTENT Our readership is diverse, and authors should consider that many of our readers are in specialty areas other than their own. It is important, therefore, to avoid jargon. A focused and clearly written manuscript is more likely to appeal to the readership. The brevity and clarity of the presentation will be taken into consideration by the Editors. In highly specialized areas, the introduction should be a concise primer.
aArticle word length excludes abstract, acknowledgments, financial disclosures, legends, and referencesPREPARATION & SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS All manuscripts must be submitted in electronic form through the Biological Psychiatry online submission and review web site (http://ees.elsevier.com/bps/ ). Submission is a representation that all authors have personally reviewed and given final approval of the version submitted, and neither the manuscript nor its data have been previously published (except in abstract) or are currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors must identify figures, tables, and/or data that have been published elsewhere, and permission from the copyright holder must be obtained to reproduce or modify the materials.
Article Type and Content Abstract Word Length Article Word Length a Figures and Tables References Archival Reports are original research papers reporting novel results on a broad range of topics related to the pathophysiology and treatment of major neuropsychiatric disorders. The Methods and Results sections should be the central focus of these papers, allowing for their maximal impact. 250 4000 As required As required Priority Communications are Archival Reports that clearly document novel experimental findings of unusual and timely significance. These papers should represent a conceptual advance in the field and are not intended for publication of preliminary results. They are expected to be acceptable for publication in essentially the form submitted. Papers that require substantial revisions or do not fit the criteria will be considered as Archival Reports. 250 4000 As required As required Reviews are concise, and focus on current aspects of interest and research. 250 4000 1 typeset page Limited to 100 Techniques and Methods articles feature new, improved, or noteworthy comments about techniques or methods relevant to basic or clinical research in, or treatment of, psychiatric disorders. 150 1500 To illustrate important points; limited to 1/2 page As required Correspondence is directly related to methods, procedures or interpretation of data presented in work recently published in our journal and uses new analysis of data presented, the support of previously published work, and/or scientific points to be addressed based on methodological issues. It may also present a case-report that clearly and unambiguously illustrates important new principals that have not yet been demonstrated in clinical trials. When warranted, a reply from author(s) of the original work is solicited. Correspondence is published online only as e-content. No abstract 1000 Not encouraged; allowed to illustrate important points As required Commentaries and Editorials address points directly related to articles in the concurrent issue, and/or focus on topics of current research and interest. These are generally invited, but interested contributors are encouraged to contact the Editor. No abstract 1500 A summarizing figure or table is encouraged Limited to 10
Files (cover letter, text, figures) will be uploaded separately during the submission process, and should be labeled with appropriate and descriptive file names (e.g., SmithText.doc, Fig1.eps, Table3.doc). The system will then build a single PDF of the submission from the uploaded files.Upon finalizing the submission, the corresponding author will immediately receive an e-mail notification that the submission has been received by the Editorial Office. If such documentation has not been received, then a problem likely occurred during the submission process and should be investigated. Any manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines will be returned to the author for correction before the manuscript is processed. The manuscript status is available to the corresponding author at all times by logging into the website.
The Publisher and Editors regret that they are not able to consider submissions that do not follow these procedures.COVER LETTER A cover letter is required for Priority Communications to outline the significance of the work; it is optional for all other submissions. A cover letter should be uploaded as a separate file.
MANUSCRIPT Manuscripts should be double-spaced. Pages should be numbered consecutively and include the first author's name. Acronyms must be spelled out on first use in text, and where used in tables or figures, in each of their legends.Manuscripts for Archival Reports should be structured with sections entitled and ordered as follows: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods and Materials, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Financial Disclosures, References, Footnotes, Table/Figure Legends, and Appendices. Begin sections for reference lists, footnotes, and legends on separate pages. The manuscript file may also include tables if they were created in the same text format and are not imported into the document. The manuscript file should be uploaded in its native format, such as DOC. Do not upload any text files in PDF or XLS format.
Title Page On the title page, include the full names of all authors and their academic or professional affiliations, along with the corresponding author's complete contact information. Multiple corresponding authors are not allowed. Six key words should also be included. Separately list the number of words in both the abstract and article body (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, financial disclosures, legends and references), and the number of figures, tables, and supplemental information (if zero, state zero for each item). Article titles should not contain acronyms, and be less than 100 characters.Abstracts Abstracts for Archival Reports should be structured with sections entitled as follows: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions. Abstracts for all other article types are unstructured, but should not exceed the word limits as defined above. The Methods section should explicitly state the sample size of the trial. For those manuscripts that require clinical trials registration (see Clinical Trials Registration section, below), the registry name, URL, and registration number should be included at the end of the abstract.
Acknowledgments This section should follow the Discussion and precede the References, and should include acknowledgments for personal and technical assistance, in addition to detailed information regarding all sources of grant and other material or financial support. If a research group is listed as an author, then the individual members of the research team must be named here. Written permission should be obtained from all individuals named here. Data that was published previously, such as in an abstract or poster, should be identified here.Financial Disclosures This section must include the required conflict of interest statements for each author (see section on disclosure, below).
References References should be numbered and listed by their order of appearance in the text. Refer to references in the text with the appropriate number in parentheses. References in tables and figures should also be numbered. List all authors; if there are more than seven authors, list the first six then et al. Periodical abbreviations should follow those used by Index Medicus. The following are sample references for a journal article (1), a book (2), and an edited book (3).1. Krystal JH, Carter CS, Geschwind D, Manji HK, March JS, Nestler EJ, et al. (2008): It is time to take a stand for medical research and against terrorism targeting medical scientists. Biol Psychiatry 63: 725-727.
2. American Psychiatric Association (1994): Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.3. Martin JH (1985): Properties of cortical neurons, the EEG, and the mechanisms of epilepsy. In: Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, editors. Principles of Neural Science, 2nd ed. New York: Elsevier, pp 461-471.
FIGURES AND TABLES Figures and tables should be cited in the text, numbered consecutively (i.e., 1, 2, 3) in the order of their mention, and have brief descriptions. If not included in the manuscript file, tables should be uploaded individually in a text format, such as DOC.The preferred file format for figures and graphics is EPS, TIFF, or PDF. Please upload each figure individually (i.e., two figures should be uploaded separately as Figure 1 and Figure 2). Parts/panels in composite figures should be labeled with capital letters (A, B, C). Figures should be consistent in color, size, and font, and be designed proportionally so that each item within it is to scale (particularly numbers, letters, and symbols) so it can later be sized as needed without loss of legibility or quality. Complete instructions for electronic artwork preparation and submission can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/artwork.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION Supplemental information, relevant to the work but not critical to support the findings, is strongly encouraged by the Journal and is made available via links in the online article but not published in print. All such material is peer-reviewed, but not typeset or proofed and so should be carefully prepared. Unlike other files, all supplemental information (including text, tables, and figures) should be uploaded in a single DOC file whenever possible. Supplementary figures and tables should appear with their legends/keys, and be numbered consecutively (i.e., S1, S2). References should be included as a separate list from the references in the main manuscript file. Multiple supplemental files are allowed, but for the ease of readership, authors should use a single file when possible. The CONSORT diagram and checklist for randomized controlled trials will be published as supplemental information. Multimedia content, in formats such as AVI or MPG, can also be included as a supplement.REFEREE SUGGESTIONS For all new submissions (except Editorials, Commentaries, and Correspondence), authors will be required to include the full names and contact information (affiliation, e-mail, and telephone number) of 6 individuals who are especially qualified to referee the work and would not have a conflict of interest in reviewing the manuscript. Affiliations of the suggested referees should all be different, and none should have the same affiliation as any of the authors. Editors are not appropriate to suggest as a reviewer.
MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION FORM (MSF) A properly completed and signed MSF from each author should accompany submission of a new manuscript. Updated MSFs are required if the author list or the Acknowledgments or Financial Disclosures sections have changed. Acceptance of a manuscript cannot be finalized until MSFs from all authors have been received and verified. Forms with signatures "on behalf of" or "for" other authors will not be accepted. Authors who are not allowed to transfer copyright must still complete this form. Authors with the ability to scan their forms may upload them during the submission process. Alternatively, authors may return the completed forms to the Editorial Office by fax at (214) 645-9208. The author must then indicate during the submission process that the MSFs are being sent off-line.REVISIONS Revised manuscripts should not show or include "tracked changes." Authors should prepare a unique file (separate from the cover letter) with responses to reviewers' comments. In addition, the submission of revised manuscripts (except Editorials, Commentaries, and Correspondence) will require a new unique file with a brief summary for the Journal feature, In This Issue. The blurb should be uploaded as a text file, 50-75 words in length, and be written in laymen's terms. If revisions are a condition of publication, only two revised versions of the paper will be considered.
COVER ART Biological Psychiatry generally selects cover art relevant to an article appearing in that issue. The Journal encourages the submission of scientifically and visually interesting images that do not appear in the paper, but that would be suitable for cover art, particularly those that summarize or represent the article's findings. Authors may upload images to be considered for the cover during the submission process, or e-mail them separately to the Editorial Office. Any such images must be the property of the submitting authors. Figures that appear in the paper are automatically considered for covers.REVIEW PROCESS The actual selection of reviewers will be made by the editors. As a general rule, papers will be evaluated by three independent reviewers and, on occasion, an additional review for statistical adequacy may also be obtained. The comments of the reviewers are generally communicated to the authors within 30-45 days of submission. Authors should contact the Editorial Office if the delay has been longer.
Biological Psychiatry excludes reviewers who work at the same institution as any author, or those who have any other obvious conflict of interest. The identity of individual reviewers remains confidential to all parties except the Editorial Office. Reviewers are expected to treat manuscripts under peer review with the strictest confidentiality.Authors should be aware that manuscripts may be returned without outside review when the editors deem that the paper is of insufficient general interest for the broad readership of Biological Psychiatry, or that the scientific priority is such that it is unlikely to receive favorable reviews. Editorial rejection is done to speed up the editorial process and to allow the authors' papers to be promptly submitted and reviewed elsewhere. All submissions (with the general exception of Editorials, Commentaries, and Correspondence) will be subject to peer review.
DISCLOSURE OF BIOMEDICAL FINANCIAL INTERESTS AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST Biological Psychiatry requires all authors to provide full disclosure of any and all biomedical financial interests. Further, we require all authors for all article types to specify the nature of potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. This disclosure includes direct or indirect financial or personal relationships, interests, and affiliations relevant to the subject matter of the manuscript that have occurred over the last two years, or that are expected in the foreseeable future. This disclosure includes, but is not limited to, grants or funding, employment, affiliations, patents (in preparation, filed, or granted), inventions, honoraria, consultancies, royalties, stock options/ownership, or expert testimony. This policy of full disclosure is similar to the policies of the ICMJE, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other such organizations. The conflict of interest statements should be included in the Financial Disclosures section of the manuscript at the time of submission for all article types. If an author has nothing to declare, this must be explicitly stated. Authors should contact the Editorial Office with questions or concerns, but should err on the side of inclusion when in doubt. The following is a sample text:Dr. Einstein reports having received lecture fees from EMC Laboratories, and research funding from Quantum Enterprises. Dr. Curie disclosed consulting fees from RA Inc. Dr. Newton reported his patent on "Newtonian physics". Dr. Archimedes reported no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.
All authors are required to acknowledge that the conflicts of interest and financial disclosures are complete for both themselves and their co-authors, to the best of their knowledge, when completing the Manuscript Submission Form. Manuscripts that fail to include the complete statements of all authors upon submission will be returned to the corresponding author and will delay the processing and evaluation of the manuscript.ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS Authors should consider all ethical issues relevant to their research. In the Methods and Materials section of the manuscript, authors should identify the institutional and/or licensing committee that approved the experiment(s) and confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. Authors of reports on human studies should include detailed information on the informed consent process, including the method(s) used to assess the subject's capacity to give informed consent, and safeguards included in the study design for protection of human subjects. When relevant patient follow-up data are available, this should also be reported. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate that institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
Biological Psychiatry takes seriously its responsibility in ensuring scientific integrity, and will pursue any allegations of misconduct, including but not limited to plagiarism, duplicate submission or publication, data fabrication or falsification, unethical treatment of research subjects, authorship disputes, and undisclosed conflicts of interest. The Journal generally follows the guidelines recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (http://publicationethics.org/), although we also reserve the right to take alternative action(s) as deemed necessary, including contacting the authors' institution(s), funding agency, or other appropriate authority for investigation. Literature corrections, via errata or retractions, are handled on a case-by-case basis.CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION In concordance with the ICMJE, Biological Psychiatry requires the registration of all clinical trials whose primary purpose is to affect clinical practice as a condition of submission and consideration for publication. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as 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. Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome (for example, drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, dietary interventions, and process-of-care changes). Health outcomes include any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) will not require registration.
All clinical trials, regardless of when they were completed, and secondary analyses of original clinical trials must be registered before submission of a manuscript based on the trial. Trials must have been registered at or before the onset of patient enrollment for any clinical trial that began patient enrollment on or after February 1, 2007. The trial name, URL, and registration number should be included at the end of the abstract. In addition to any primary registries that participate in the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), Biological Psychiatry considers the following trial registries acceptable:
- • Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: http://actr.org.au
• U.S. National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials.gov: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
• ISRCTN Register http://isrctn.org
• Nederlands Trial Register http://www.trialregister.nl
• UMIN Clinical Trials Registry http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr
Biological Psychiatry requires the inclusion of the CONSORT materials (flow diagram and checklist) at submission for all randomized controlled trials. Authors of other study designs are encouraged, but not required, to include the relevant checklists at submission. All such materials will be published as supplemental information.GENETIC ASSOCIATION STUDIES The ability to perform a replication of experiments performed by other investigators is a fundamental concept in scientific and biomedical research. Therefore, the failure to replicate the majority of genetic association studies is troubling and provides a challenge for journals attempting to publish work that will stand the test of time, or at the very least, not lead other investigators in non-productive research directions. At the same time, the difficulty in balancing type I error with type II error is a key issue in association studies of neuropsychiatric disease, where sample sizes are often constrained by practicality and the fact that effect sizes due to any single genetic risk factor may be small. Given these tradeoffs, it is often difficult for authors to know what level of proof is acceptable for publication in a given journal, leading to multiple resubmissions and publication delays. We have adopted the following editorial policies to provide guidelines for those submitting manuscripts involving genetic association studies.
Biological Psychiatry is interested in Genetics/Association studies that are replicable and generalizable. The following guidelines are offered in pursuit of this goal. (1) Studies need to be sufficiently large. (2) Information about subject ethnicity, and how it was determined, should be provided. The use of an analytic strategy that controls for potential stratification, such as family-controlled association, or structured association, is encouraged. (3) There must be a clear description of how the phenotype was ascertained. (4) Negative studies should always include estimates of power.We realize that independent replication of an initial finding in the same manuscript may not be feasible in every case, but studies providing such replication of findings in an independent sample will be given highest priority. Confirmation of the functional consequences of a common disease-associated variant is useful information, but does not substitute for a rigorous demonstration of a statistically significant association. Analysis of pathways or candidate regional analysis is encouraged over single gene studies. Candidate gene studies must have strong positional or biological rationale or precedents in the literature that motivate gene choice.
For studies of anonymous variants, there should generally be sufficiently dense marker coverage to allow a relatively comprehensive analysis of common variants within a gene or genes. Analysis of the extent of marker coverage using standard methods to assess linkage disequilibrium should be presented. If rare variants are being tested, the same method of assessment (sequencing, copy number assessment, etc.) should be used in both case and control groups.We will consider both negative and positive association studies, as well as large replication studies. Negative studies should be based on an attempt to replicate previous studies. Power calculations considering reasonable effect sizes must be provided to show that the study had sufficient power to be informative.
MATERIALS AND GENES Upon publication, it is expected that authors willingly distribute to qualified academic researchers any materials (such as viruses, organisms, antibodies, nucleic acids and cell lines) that were utilized in the course of the research and that are not commercially available.GenBank/EMBL accession numbers for primary nucleotide and amino acid sequence data should be included in the manuscript at the end of the Methods and Materials section. All microarray data (proteomic, expression arrays, chromatin arrays, etc.) must be deposited in the appropriate public database and must be accessible without restriction from the date of publication. An entry name or accession number must be included in the Methods and Materials section.
Authors should use approved nomenclature for gene symbols by consulting the appropriate public databases for correct gene names and symbols. Please use symbols (e.g., SLC6A4, DISC1) as opposed to italicized full names, and avoid listing multiple names separated by a slash, such as 'Oct4/Pou5f1'. Use one name throughout and include any alias(es) upon the first reference. Approved human gene symbols are available from HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) at http://www.genenames.org/. Approved mouse symbols are provided by The Jackson Laboratory at http://www.informatics.jax.org/mgihome/nomen. Authors should submit proposed gene names that are not already approved to the appropriate nomenclature committees as soon as possible. It is the authors' responsibility to ensure these are deposited and approved before publication of an article.REPOSITORY DATA A growing number of private and public repositories are accumulating demographic and clinical data, genetic and genetic analysis data, DNA, and other biomaterials for use in medical research. Manuscripts submitted for publication in Biological Psychiatry that employ repository data and/or biomaterials must be in full compliance with the rules developed by the respective repository governing the correct citation of the repository, funding agencies, and investigators who contributed to the repository. Any other stipulation by the repository governing publications using repository data and/or biomaterials must also be followed. Authors must provide sufficient information in the manuscript for the Editor and reviewers to determine that these conditions have been met and that the repository has been established and maintained according to current ethical standards. The Editors may require authors to provide additional documentation regarding the repository during the review process.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR By electing to approve and finalize the submission of a manuscript as the corresponding author, Biological Psychiatry assumes the author's acknowledgment and acceptance of the following responsibilities: (1) act as the sole correspondent with the Editorial Office and the publisher, Elsevier, on all matters related to the submission, including review and correction of the typeset proof; (2) assurance that all individuals who meet the criteria for authorship are included as authors on the manuscript title page, and that the version submitted is the version that all authors have approved; and (3) assurance that written permission has been received from all individuals whose contributions to the work are included in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript, with the exception of individuals that are listed in their capacity as members of a Research Group. To qualify for authorship, an individual must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for all or part of the content, and made substantive intellectual contributions to the submitted work in the form of: (1) conception and design, and/or acquisition of data, and/or analysis of data; and (2) drafting the article, and/or revising it critically for important intellectual content.PUBLIC ACCESS POLICY Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors who publish in Elsevier journals to comply with manuscript archiving requirements of multiple funding bodies in the US and UK, including the National Institutes of Health and Wellcome Trust. Please see the full details at www.elsevier.com/fundingbodyagreements.
PUBLICATION Abstracts of articles are posted on our website upon acceptance, with the complete (citable) article published online approximately 45 days later, after author verification. Articles generally appear in the journal within 6 months of acceptance, with most being published in 4-5 months.Color illustrations are accepted. Although the cost of color printing must be paid by the author, authors may choose, at no cost, for illustrations to be reproduced in black and white in the print journal and appear in color for the online version. Color illustrations are printed at a rate of $650 (US dollars) for the first figure, and $100 for each additional figure.
Biological Psychiatry accepts the date of online publication ("published online day/month/year") as the embargo date for all published manuscripts.PROOFS AND REPRINTS The corresponding author will receive proofs by e-mail generally within 4 weeks of acceptance, which must be corrected and returned within 48 hours of receipt. Authors should carefully review and proofread the entire article for accuracy, as the Editorial Office does not participate in the proofing of articles. Reprints may be ordered prior to publication using a reprint form provided by the publisher. Reprints will be sent approximately eight weeks following publication in the printed journal.
COPYRIGHT Upon acceptance of an article by the Journal, the corresponding author will be asked to transfer copyright to the Society of Biological Psychiatry on behalf of all authors. This transfer will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information under U.S. Copyright Law. All copies, paper or electronic, or other use of information must include an indication of the Elsevier Inc. and Society of Biological Psychiatry copyright and full citation of the journal source. All requests for other uses will be handled through Elsevier Inc.Authors retain the following rights: 1) Patent and trademark rights and rights to any process or procedure described in the article. 2) The right to photocopy or make single electronic copies of the article for their own personal use, including for their own classroom use, or for the personal use of colleagues, provided the copies are not offered for sale and are not distributed in a systematic way outside of their employing institution (e.g. via an e-mail list or public file server). Posting of the article on a secure network (not accessible to the public) within the author's institute is permitted. However, if a prior version of this work (normally a preprint) has been posted to an electronic public server, the author(s) agree not to update and/or replace this prior version on the server in order to make it identical in content to the final published version, and further that posting of the article as published on a public server can only be done with Elsevier's written permission. 3) The right, subsequent to publication, to use the article or any part thereof free of charge in a printed compilation of works of their own, such as collected writings or lecture notes, in a thesis, or to expand the article into book-length form for publication. Please see the Journal Publishing Agreement for full details.
- For questions about the submission or review process, please contact the Editorial Office at Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu, or by phone at (214) 648-0880.
- For technical assistance or problems with the online submission system, please visit http://support.elsevier.com.
- Please note there is also a help menu, accessible from all screens during the submission process.
- • Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: http://actr.org.au