Guide for Authors

  • How to Submit
    The Red Journal accepts submissions and correspondence electronically, and this Web-based system enables authors to track their submissions online.

    Authors must register with the Red Journal's electronic manuscript system. Those who have previously reviewed or submitted a manuscript for the IJROBP may already be registered. Once the submission files are uploaded, the system automatically generates an electronic PDF proof used for reviewing. All correspondence, including editor decisions and requests for revisions, is conducted by e-mail through EES or redjournal@astro.org.

    Reasons to review and consider manuscripts for publication
    Because of the large number of manuscripts submitted annually and the limited print space available the Red Journal has had to become substantially more selective in what it can accept for publication. Here we list the features of manuscripts with the highest likelihood of acceptance:

    For the Red Journal, our highest priority of manuscripts are:

    • Novel prospective pilot studies (phase 1 and 2)
    • Randomized phase 2 and 3 studies
    • Secondary analyses from prospective studies
    • Health sciences research especially cost effectiveness and comparative effectiveness; Quality Assurance/Quality of Care; meta-analysis/systematic review that may influence future directions


    Our lower priority manuscripts include:
    • Studies with a large size population treated in consistent manner, i.e. will be one of largest series in the medical literature (potentially an instructional "classic")
    • Retrospective hypothesis generating studies with truly novel findings and appropriate methodology quality/innovation of methods (ie, some new means of analysis not previously available or newly applied)
    • New insights into natural history of disease or patterns of failure
    • Current, controversial area in which impact of findings has the high potential to solicit related high profile editorial or counterpoint.


    How to Pay and Why
    The Red Journal requires a $75 fee for all clinical and critical review submissions. Biology and physics contributors are exempt, as are all submissions from countries considered by the World Bank to have developing economies. These submission fees are used to offset a small portion of the peer review costs. During the submission process, authors will be directed to the Submission Start site to complete payment by a credit card.

    Article Types and Guidelines

    1. Scientific Articles
      Original laboratory and clinical investigations related to radiation oncology, radiation biology, and medical physics. Submissions are thoroughly reviewed for scientific originality, significance, relevance, and priority, and the topics must be of broad interest to the journal's readers. Only high-priority manuscripts that report cutting-edge science and that promise to have a strong impact on clinical practice are accepted.
    2. Editorials
      Brief commentary, analysis, or opinion pieces about a published article or other topic of special interest.
    3. Critical Reviews
      Invited contributions from experts in the field exploring interesting topics.
    4. Correspondence
      • Brief Reports and Opinion
        Opinion on scientific, educational, or policy issues, as well as early reports of clinical or survey studies.
      • Comments
        Remark on work published in the Red Journal and participate in discussion with the authors. Authors of the original work will usually be invited to respond to these comments before publication.
    5. Obituaries
      A biographical and research contribution retrospective may be solicited by the Editor-in-Chief; however, outside submissions are welcome, preferably with photographs. The Editor-in-Chief, as well as the IJROBP Senior Editors, will determine acceptability of these submissions, as they will not be sent out for review.
    6. Errata
      Authors are encouraged to report errors in their work to be corrected in the literature. Errata are published in the printed journal and linked back to the original manuscript electronically. The Editor-in-Chief makes all decisions on whether errata are published. The journal may choose not to publish errata from authors regarding omissions in authorship and funding sources.
    7. Cover Images
      The Red Journal welcomes interesting images and original artwork by people within the radiation oncology community including physicians, biologists, physicists, nurses, and therapists. This art does not have to have a medical theme.

    Manuscript Requirements and Review Policies

    1. Human and Animal Experimentation
      When reporting on human subjects, please indicate in the text whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Patient anonymity must be ensured at all times; do not use patient names, initials, hospital numbers, or other identification in the manuscript, tables, or figures. In clinical photographs, identities of patients should be masked or otherwise cropped. Written consent forms from patients must accompany all photographs in which there is any possibility of identifying the patient.

      When reporting experiments on animals, please indicate in the text that you followed your institution's or a national research council's guide for, or a national law on, the care and use of laboratory animals. For blinding purposes, you may wish to say that your study was conducted by "XXX" institutional review board. This can be filled in during the proof stage if your manuscript is accepted.

    2. Studies Involving Biomarkers
      The International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics employs strict standards for biomarker studies. Authors reporting on these studies must adhere to the REMARK criteria as listed in their guidelines. In general, we are interested in publishing reports that are predictive of therapeutic outcome or the natural history of disease. The highest priority will be given to those articles that are likely to have direct clinical applications and are definitive based on size of cohort, methodological approach, statistical analysis, multivariate analysis, reproducibility, and patient follow-up. The biomarker studies that we wish to consider for publication will thus have the following characteristics:
      • They include or are based on and accompanied by supporting mechanistic biological data.
      • They are prospective studies that are definitive in size and statistical power.
      • If retrospective studies, they should include a validation study.
      • They are predictive studies that estimate response or survival in advance of therapy and have potential application in clinical practice.
      • They contain thorough specimen collection data (see REMARK), assay validation, and statistical rigor.
      • They describe a unique cohort with results that directly impact clinical practice. (For rare cancer types, it is recognized that small cohorts will be analyzed.)
      Reference link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16106022

    3. Conditions of Publication
      It is a condition of publication that manuscripts submitted to IJROBP have not already been published and will not be submitted simultaneously or published elsewhere. Abstracts submitted for meetings are exempt; however, we ask that you state when and where an abstract was presented. All accepted manuscripts will undergo additional review to look for duplicate publication.

    4. Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure
      IJROBP adheres to the policy on conflict of interest promulgated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which states, in part, that "to prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist." (See Conflict of Interest Notification.) All authors are required to include an ICMJE form with submission, available for free download at http://www.icmje.org/. Authors also must state their disclosures on the title page of the manuscript. If there are not disclosures, authors must say, "Conflict of interest: none."

    5. Permissions
      Written permission must be obtained by authors and submitted with the manuscript for the following:
      • Permission of the publisher and/or copyright holder to reprint in IJROBP any material that has been previously published, including figures, tables, and quotations; quotations must be accurate and fully credited.
      • Permission for the use of personal communication and/or unpublished data, and the month and year in which the information was obtained.
      • Written consent forms from patients for all photographs in which there is any possibility of identifying the patient.


    6. Authorship Criteria
      Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to
      • conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and to
      • drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and to
      • final approval of the version to be published.

      All three criteria must be met. Any part of an article critical to its main conclusions must be the responsibility of at least one author.

      In the case of corporate authorship, all members of the group must meet all criteria to justify authorship and inclusion in the byline. Those who do not meet these criteria should be listed (with their permission) in an Acknowledgments section.

    7. Publication Ethics and Misconduct
      IJROBP maintains a zero-tolerance policy when addressing allegations of plagiarism, duplicate publication (self-publication), data falsification, and scientific misconduct. Articles will be retracted if ethics violations are substantiated. Plagiarism is defined by the World Association for Medical Editors (WAME) as the "use of others' published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission, and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source." IJROBP participates in the CrossCheck/iThenticate program to investigate incidents of possible plagiarism.

      Manipulating data through fabrication, omission, or intentional distortion is unacceptable. Authors should be prepared to provide original data to editors if there is a question of authenticity. Claims of scientific misconduct are investigated and addressed, guided by the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct.

    8. Peer Review: Double-Blind
      Double-Blind: IJROBP uses a double-blind review process in which authors do not know the identity of their reviewers, nor do the reviewers know the identities of the authors. Research has shown this avoids some potential bias and leads to better reviews. This means authors must remove information that can be used by the reviewers to identify the authors or the institution.
      Decision: After the external review is complete, reviews are considered and discussed by members of the editorial board. The editors' decision, with comments from the reviewers, is emailed to the corresponding author. The author will receive one of the following decisions:
      • Decline: The editors did not select your manuscript for peer review. It was deemed inappropriate for the journal's readership and/or to have little likelihood of acceptance. The primary reasons for the manuscript being declined will be given to the authors.
      • Reject: The editors and reviewers did not select your manuscript for publication. Many factors contribute to acceptance, including but not limited to: importance of the research to the field of oncology; the originality of the work; the quality of the study; or the priority of the work to IJROBP and its readership.
      • Unacceptable/Major Revision: The editors and reviewers felt that your article contained information of potential importance but a number of major issues were raised. If you believe that you can address the issues raised, the editors would be willing to reconsider your manuscript, but cannot guarantee acceptance. Such manuscripts must be revised and resubmitted within two months after the decision.
      • Acceptable/Minor Revisions: The editors and reviewers found your manuscript potentially acceptable for publication provided you make some minor adjustments. Such manuscripts must be revised and resubmitted within one month after the decision.
      • Accepted: The editors and reviewers selected your manuscript for publication. Additional information will be provided regarding the production process.


    9. Manuscript editing
      Manuscript authors are responsible for editing their manuscripts for editorial flow, AMA style and grammar. There are many resources available if you are looking for a writer/editor to provide this service; a few resources are provided below as a service to authors. The Red Journal is not responsible for your individual experience nor does it guarantee that using an editorial service will guarantee publication in the journal.

      Elsevier, publisher of the Red Journal, offers a language editing service to authors. Several organizations maintain lists of medical editors that can help you to improve your paper. The range of services and fees depends on the editor.



    10. Publication options
      The Red Journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

      Open Access
      • Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
      • An Open Access publication fee of $2,500 is payable by authors or their research funder.

      Subscription
      • Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our access programs (http://www.elsevier.com/access)
      • No Open Access publication fee

      All articles published Open Access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by your choice of one of the following Creative Commons user licenses:

      Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text and data mine the article, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation, and license their new adaptations or creations under identical terms (CC BY-NC-SA).

      Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

      Elsevier has established agreements with certain funding bodies, http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies. This ensures authors can comply with funding body Open Access requirements, including specific user licenses, such as CC BY. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

      The Red Journal's open access publication fee is $2,500. This fee is only payable by the authors or research funders to the Red Journal after the article has been accepted. Your decision regarding Open Access publication has no effect on the peer review process or acceptance of submitted articles.

    11. Copyright
      The Red Journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research: Subscription and Open Access.

      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'. 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. The Red Journal's publisher, 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/authorsrights, and for open access articles please see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement.

    Updated January 2014

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