Guide for Authors

  • All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

    • Types of article we welcome
    • Preparation of manuscript
    • Conflict of interest
    • Authorship
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Submission
    • Essential title page information
    • Abbreviations
    • Units and Abbreviations
    • Artwork
    • Tables
    • References
    • AudioSlides
    • Proofs
    • Offprints
    AUTHOR INQUIRIES

    Types of article we welcome

    In the interests of simplicity and standardisation, Complementary Therapies in Medicine follows the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors' Uniform Instructions in most respects, and potential authors are strongly urged to consult these at http://www.icmje.org/index.html and to follow the Requirements for Submission of Manuscripts (summary of technical requirements) in detail.

    The only exceptions for this journal are:

    1. Transfer of copyright is not required until final submission and the requisite forms will be supplied to the corresponding author by Elsevier.

    2. Keywords are not printed in the journal.

    3. Headings should be appropriate to the nature of the paper. In general, those for experimental papers should follow the usual conventions. Other papers can be subdivided as the author desires; the use of headings enhances readability. Normally, only two categories of heading should be used. Do not use 'he', 'his', etc. where the sex of the person being discussed is unknown: say 'the patient', etc. Avoid inelegant alternatives such as 'he/she'. Patients should not be automatically designated as 'she', and doctors as 'he'.

    English language help service

    Upon request, Elsevier will direct authors to an agent who can check and improve the English of their paper (before submission). Please contact authorsupport@elsevier.com for further information.

    Submissions

    Authors are requested to submit their original manuscript and figures online via http://ees.elsevier.com/ctim/. This is the Elsevier web-based submission and review system. You will find full instructions located on this site - a Guide for Authors and a Guide for Online Submission. Please follow these guidelines to prepare and upload your article. Once the uploading is done, our system automatically generates an electronic pdf proof, which is then used for reviewing. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revisions, will be managed via this system.

    Paper submissions are not normally accepted. If you cannot submit electronically, please email the editorial office for assistance on CTM@elsevier.com

    Author's suggested reviewers: With their submitted manuscript, authors must provide the name, email address and country of at least two reviewers for the consideration of the Editors in the Comments field during the online submission.

    Authorship: All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

    Acknowledgements: All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship as defined above should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    Role of the funding source:

    All sources of funding should be declared as an acknowledgement at the end of the text. Authors should declare the role of study sponsors, if any, in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, the authors should so state.

    References should include journal titles as the recognised abbreviation (available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/), and should omit month and issue number.

    Randomised controlled trials: All randomised controlled trials submitted for publication in Complementary Therapies in Medicine should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information. Complementary Therapies in Medicine has adopted the proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which require, as a condition of consideration for publication of clinical trials, registration in a public trials registry. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g. phase I trials) would be exempt. Further information can be found at http://www.icmje.org.

    Ethics: Work on human beings that is submitted to Complementary Therapies in Medicine should comply with the principles laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki; Recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects. Adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964, amended by the 29th World Medical Assembly, Tokyo, Japan, October 1975, the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983, and the 41st World Medical Assembly, Hong Kong, September 1989. The manuscript should contain a statement that the work has been approved by the appropriate ethical committees related to the institution(s) in which it was performed and that subjects gave informed consent to the work. Studies involving experiments with animals must state that their care was in accordance with institution guidelines. Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent which should be documented in your paper. Patients have a right to privacy. Therefore identifying information, including patients, images, names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be included in videos, recordings, written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and you have obtained written informed consent for publication in print and electronic form from the patient (or parent, guardian or next of kin where applicable). If such consent is made subject to any conditions, Elsevier must be made aware of all such conditions. Written consents must be provided to Elsevier on request.Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note.If such consent has not been obtained, personal details of patients included in any part of the paper and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

    Laboratory experiments: The Editor and Editorial Committee of the Journal believe that the use of animals in research into CAM is rarely justified. We encourage authors to use alternative methods of answering research questions wherever possible. Where no alternative genuinely exists, and where the potential clinical benefit justifies the use of animals, Complementary Therapies in Medicine expects authors to state clearly that they have met external standards such as those described in the UK Home Office site (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk) involving designated establishments, ethical committee approval, and a licensing procedure both for the project and for the responsible individual. Where these standards have not been met, it is unlikely that the Editor will accept the paper for publication. Peer Review Reports of original research will be sent for review by two referees, one of whom is usually external to the editorial team. Authors may be asked to make certain revisions before the paper is sent for review. The Editors' decision is final and once given, correspondence about the decision will not usually be entered.

    Short reports (500-1000 words): These are appropriate for preliminary reports of work or where the study provided limited amounts of data. These reports should be presented in the same format as full papers, i.e with Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and a short Discussion or Conclusion. A maximum of two tables may be included. For further details, please follow instructions as for Full Papers. Further details are given here regarding format and technical requirements but authors are reminded that a complete outline of how to submit a manuscript is provided at http://www.icmje.org/index.html bar the exceptions listed above. Please ensure that all sections of your article are in a single file in the order requested below and with references in the correct style. Figure legends, running heads and tables should be placed at the end of the file. If possible, figures should be supplied electronically in separate files with the name of the package used and as original artwork.

    Proprietary Names: Proprietary names of drugs, instruments, etc. should be indicated by the use of initial capitals. The name and location of the manufacturer should also be given within parentheses. In some cases, authors may be asked to make certain revisions before the paper is sent for review. A paper is accepted for publication on the understanding that it has not been submitted simultaneously to another journal in the English language. Rejected papers will not be returned to authors except on request. Typescripts that contain the results of human and/or animal studies will only be accepted for publication if it is made clear that a high standard of ethics was applied in carrying out the investigations. In the case of invasive studies in humans, typescripts should include a statement that the research protocol was approved by a local ethical committee. The Editors reserve the right to make editorial and literary corrections. Any opinions expressed or policies advocated do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Editors. The publishers reserve the right to publish accepted papers in whichever issue they decide.

    General Information Papers should be submitted in journal style, in accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals (BMJ 1991; 302: 338-341). Failure to do so may lead to significant delays in publication or to rejection of your paper. Spelling should be British. A word count should be included on the front sheet of the manuscript.

    Title The title page should give the following information: (1) Title of the article. (2) Initials and name of each author, with highest academic degree(s). (3) Name and address of the department or institution to which the work should be attributed. (4) Name, address, telephone and fax numbers of the author responsible for correspondence and to whom requests for offprints should be sent. (5) Sources of support in the form of grants.

    Abstracts The abstract should consist of 250 words summarizing the contents of the article. Structured abstracts are required for reports of original research. The following headings should be used: objectives; design; setting; interventions (if appropriate); main outcome measures; results; conclusions.

    Length

    Full Papers: Please add a wordcount of your paper on the title page of the typescript. The recommended wordcount is 3000-3500 words. Papers with a word count of more than 4000 words will be only be considered for publication in exceptional cases. A limit of 3500 words would be considered for reviews provided the author can justify the extra value brought to the reader. The word limit for Short Communications is 1500 words. In some cases, the editor may consider the publication of large tables, appendices, etc, as supplementary data (see guidelines below for supplementary data) in the online version of the journal. Papers should be set out as follows, with each section beginning on a separate sheet: title page, summary, text, acknowledgements, references, tables, captions to illustrations.

    Reference Format

    The accuracy of references is the responsibility of the author. References should be entered consecutively by Arabic numerals in parentheses or superscript numerals in the text. The references should be listed in numerical order on a separate sheet in double or triple spacing. References to journals should include the author's name and initials (list all authors where there are six or fewer; where there are seven or more, list three and add 'et al'), full title of paper, journal title, year of publication, volume number, page range of paper in full.

    For example:
    1. Fell M, Connolly S, Herns M et al. Mood and psychiatric disturbance in HIV and AIDS: changes over time. British Journal of Psychiatry 1993; 162: 6604-6610. References to books should be set out as follows:
    1. Meehan T C. Therapeutic touch. In: Bulechek GM, McCloskey JC, eds. Nursing interventions: essential nursing treatments, 2nd edn. Philadelphia, PA: W B Saunders, 1992: pp 201-212. References not submitted in the approved style may be returned to the author for correction.

    Figures

    Line illustrations:

    All line illustrations should present a crisp black image on an even white background. The dimensions should be 127 x 173 mm (5 x 7") or no larger than 203 x 254 mm (8 x 10").
    Photographic illustrations and radiographs:

    These should be submitted by post as clear, lightly contrasted black-and-white prints (unmounted), sizes as given above. Figures with labelling included should be submitted appropriately lettered in capitals. The size of the lettering should be appropriate to that of the illustration, taking into account the necessary size reduction. Please inform the Administrative Editor that you are sending figures by separate cover when you e-mail your manuscript. All illustrations should be clearly marked with the figure number and author's name (by means of a label pasted on the back or in soft crayon), and the top should be indicated by an arrow. Never use ink of any kind. Do not use paper clips, as these can scratch or mark illustrations.
    Illustrations in colour cannot be accepted unless the cost of origination and printing is paid by the author. Captions should be typed in double spacing on separate sheets from the main typescript. The publishers cannot improve upon the quality of submitted artwork. Poor-quality originals will appear in print as inferior quality. Please ensure that artwork is clear and professional.

    Tables
    These should be double spaced on separate sheets and contain only horizontal rules. Do not submit tables as figures. A short descriptive title should appear above each table and any footnotes, suitably identified, below. Care must be taken to ensure that all units are included. Ensure that each table is cited in the text.
    Units and Abbreviations
    Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. All unusual abbreviations should be fully explained at their first occurrence in the text. All measurements should be expressed in SI units. For more detailed recommendations, authors may consult the Royal Society of Medicine publication entitled Units, Symbols and Abbreviations: A Guide for Biological and Medical Editors and Authors.

    Preparation of supplementary data

    Elsevier now accepts electronic supplementary material (e-components) to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the Author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please ensure that data is provided in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

    Preparation of manuscript

    Conflict of interest

    All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. See also http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest. Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/286/p/7923.

    Authorship

    All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

    Copyright

    This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research: Open Access and Subscription.

    For Subscription articles
    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.
    Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult http://www.elsevier.com/permissions). If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult http://www.elsevier.com/permissions.

    For Open Access articles
    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement). Permitted reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesslicenses).

    Retained author rights
    As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights. For more information on author rights for:
    Subscription articles please see http://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/author-rights-and-responsibilities.
    Open access articles please see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement.

    Role of the funding source

    You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

    Funding body agreements and policies

    Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies.

    Language (usage and editing services)

    Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/languageediting/) or visit our customer support site (http://support.elsevier.com) for more information.

    Submission

    Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts source files to a single PDF file of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to PDF files at submission for the review process, these source files are needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail removing the need for a paper trail.

    Essential title page information

    Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
    Author names and affiliations. Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
    Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that phone numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.
    Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

    Abbreviations

    Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

    Units and Abbreviations

    Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. All unusual abbreviations should be fully explained at their first occurrence in the text. All measurements should be expressed in SI units. For more detailed recommendations, authors may consult the Royal Society of Medicine publication entitled Units, Symbols and Abbreviations: A Guide for Biological and Medical Editors and Authors.

    Artwork

    Electronic artwork
    General points
    • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
    • Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
    • Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
    • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
    • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
    • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
    • Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the printed version.
    • Submit each illustration as a separate file.
    A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
    http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions
    You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
    Formats
    If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
    Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
    Please do not:
    • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
    • Supply files that are too low in resolution;
    • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

    Tables

    Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters. Avoid vertical rules. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.

    References

    The accuracy of references is the responsibility of the author. References should be entered consecutively by Arabic numerals in parentheses or superscript numerals in the text. The references should be listed in numerical order on a separate sheet in double or triple spacing. References to journals should include the author's name and initials (list all authors where there are six or fewer; where there are seven or more, list three and add 'et al'), full title of paper, journal title, year of publication, volume number, page range of paper in full.

    For example:

    1. Fell M, Connolly S, Herns M et al. Mood and psychiatric disturbance in HIV and AIDS: changes over time. British Journal of Psychiatry 1993; 162: 6604-6610.

    References to books should be set out as follows:

    1. Meehan T C. Therapeutic touch. In: Bulechek GM, McCloskey JC, eds. Nursing interventions: essential nursing treatments, 2nd edn. Philadelphia, PA: W B Saunders, 1992: pp 201-212. References not submitted in the approved style may be returned to the author for correction

    AudioSlides

    The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at http://www.elsevier.com/audioslides. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

    Proofs

    One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or, a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 9 (or higher) available free from http://get.adobe.com/reader. Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/tech-specs.html.
    If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and return by fax, or scan the pages and e-mail, or by post. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately – please let us have all your corrections within 48 hours. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    Offprints

    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail (the PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use). For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/offprints). Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/offprints/myarticlesservices/booklets).

    Randomised controlled trials



    For inquiries relating to the submission of articles (including electronic submission) please visit this journal's homepage. For detailed instructions on the preparation of electronic artwork, please visit http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, will be provided by the publisher. You can track accepted articles at http://www.elsevier.com/trackarticle. You can also check our Author FAQs at http://www.elsevier.com/authorFAQ and/or contact Customer Support via http://support.elsevier.com.

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