Guide for Authors

  • As a general surgical journal, International Journal of Surgery covers all specialties, and is dedicated to publishing original research, review articles and more all offering significant contributions to knowledge in clinical surgery, experimental surgery, surgical education and history.

    Please note, IJS no longer accepts case reports; however authors are encouraged to submit them to the sister journal, International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, an online-only, author-pays journal that is freely available to all without a subscription. For more details, and to submit your case report, go to

    Online Submission of Manuscripts
    Submission and peer review of all papers is now conducted entirely online, increasing efficiency for editors, authors, and reviewers, and enhancing publication speed. Online submission to International Journal of Surgery:
    •Decreases the transfer time between author, editor, reviewer and production
    •Provides authors with live Information on manuscript status
    •Provides editors with an end-to-end system to support the peer-review process
    •Provides reviewers with online refereeing capability.

    The system creates PDF version of the submitted manuscript for peer review, revision and proofing. All correspondence, including the editor s decision and request for revisions, is conducted by e-mail. Authors are guided stepwise through the entire process and are kept abreast of the progress of their paper at each stage.

    Authors requesting further information on online submission are strongly encouraged to view the system, including a tutorial, at A comprehensive Author Support service is also available to answer additional enquiries:

    Uniform Requirements
    These guidelines generally follow the `Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals , published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The complete document appears at

    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.

    When submitting a paper authors must complete the Authorship form download from here. This form confirms that all authors agree to publication if the paper is accepted and allows authors to declare any conflicts of interest, sources of funding and ethical approval (if required). Please download the form and submit it with your paper. Submissions that do not include a completed form will be returned without review.

    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.

    Conflict of Interest
    At the end of the text, under a subheading `Conflict of interest statement , all authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations 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.

    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.

    Open access
    This journal offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the ScienceDirect platform. To prevent any conflict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of $3,000 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this option, should complete and submit the order form (available at Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here:

    Randomised Controlled Trials
    All randomised controlled trials submitted for publication in International Journal of Surgery should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart and ensure that all elements in the CONSORT checklist are covered. A copy of the CONSORT checklist must be uploaded as supplemental material. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at for more information.

    Systematic Reviews
    Systematic reviews should be reported in accordance PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Guidelines ( and must include the flow diagram as a figure and the checklist as supplemental material (

    Cohort, Case-control and Cross-sectional studies
    Cohort, Case-control and Cross-sectional studies should all be compliant with the STROBE criteria (Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology). Please see - each study type has its own checklist which should be uploaded as a supplemental file.

    Diagnostic, Quality Improvement and Qualitative studies
    Diagnostic Studies should be reported in accordance with the STARD statement criteria (STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies) flow diagram and checklist please see ( Quality Improvement studies should comply with the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) criteria: Qualitative studies require the Consolidated criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) checklist, please see :

    Health Economic Evaluation
    Health Economic Evaluation studies should conform to the CHEERS statement:

    Tumour Marker Prognostic Study
    Tumor Marker Prognostic studies should be reported in accordance with the REMARK criteria, please see

    Before and After Studies
    Before and After studies measuring particular characteristics of a population or group of individuals at the end of an event or intervention, compares them with those characteristics before the event or intervention: then gauges the effects of the event or intervention. These studies should conform to the STROBE statement.

    Best Evidence Topic
    Best Evidence Topic papers are structured mini-reviews, offering the best available evidence to address small focused questions in surgery. Authors proposing to write a Best Bets topic should e-mail the Editorial Office prior to writing these and register their topic with them. This process ensures that there is no duplication of articles and allows guidance to be given to authors as to the suitability of their chosen topic.

    Writing a Best Bets
    Once a topic is registered, all authors are encouraged to read the following article, which explains the rationale and basis of Best Bets:
    1. OA Khan, et al. Towards evidence-based medicine in surgical practice: Best BETs International Journal of Surgery 2011; 9: 585-588.

    Authors should also review recently published Best Bets, for example: (L.A. Bailey et al. International Journal of Surgery 2012; 10: 421-424) in order to make sure that their article conforms with the Best Bets format. Please note that the format of Best Bets is fairly rigid and articles which do not conform to these guidelines will be rejected without review. All articles need the following:

    • An unstructured abstract (maximum 250 words).
    • Body of texts divided into the following sections:
    1. Introduction
    2. Clinical scenario
    3. 3-part question
    4. Search strategy
    5. Search outcome
    6. Results
    7. Discussion
    8. Clinical bottom line
    9. References

    In addition, a table summarising the Best Bets evidence should be added as an appendix containing six columns. I.e.

    Author, Country and Date Patient Group Study Type and Level of Evidence Outcomes Key Results CommentsThe word limit for a Best Bets article has been increased to a maximum of 3000 words (excluding tables and references). However, it is anticipated that the majority of articles can be written in less than 2000 words.

    Work on human beings that is submitted to International Journal of Surgery 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. Patients and volunteers names, initials, and hospital numbers should not be used.

    Article Structure
    In general, articles should conform to the conventional structure of Summary, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and References.

    Word Limits
    Papers should not exceed 3000 words for an original research article, review article, Cohort, Case control, Cross Sectional, diagnostic, Quality Improvement, Qualitative studies, experimental research or editorial (excluding references). Correspondence, book and media reviews should not exceed 1000 words.

    Your title page, numbered as 1, should give the title in capital letters (not exceeding 100 letters), a running title (not exceeding 50 letters) and the authors names (as they are to appear), affiliations and complete addresses, including postal (zip) codes. The author and address to whom correspondence should be sent must be clearly indicated. Please supply telephone, fax and e-mail numbers for the corresponding author.

    An abstract of your manuscript, a maximum of 250 words, summarizing the content, should be provided. For all original research articles, the abstract should be structured with the following headings:

    Reference Format
    Manuscripts should use the Vancouver style for references, which should be numbered consecutively (using superscript numerals) in the order in which they are first cited in the text and listed at the end of the paper. For journal references, all authors should be included when there are six or fewer (first three followed by `et al. when seven or more), followed by the title of article, name of journal abbreviated according to Index Medicus (see, year, volume, and first and last pages. For example:

    1. Tockman MS, Anthonisen MD, Wright EC et al. Airways obstruction and the risk of lung cancer. Ann Intern Med 1987;106:512 18.
    For book references, the author(s) should be followed by the chapter title (if appropriate), editor(s) (if applicable), book title, place of publication, publisher, year and (if relevant) page numbers. For example:

    2. Colby VT, Carrington CB. Infiltrative lung disease. In: Thurlbeck WM, ed. Pathology of the Lung. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers, 1988.

    Figures of good quality should be submitted online as separate files. For detailed instructions on the preparation of electronic artwork, consult the Artwork Instructions to Authors: Permission to reproduce illustrations should always be obtained before submission and details included with the captions.

    To help authors submit high-quality artwork early in the process, the Artwork Quality Control Tool automatically checks the submitted artwork and other file types when they are first uploaded against the artwork requirements outlined in the Artwork Instructions to Authors. Each figure/file is checked only once, so further along in the process only new uploaded files will be checked.

    Tables should be submitted online as a separate file, bear a short descriptive title, and be numbered in Arabic numbers. Tables should be cited in the text.

    A list of three to six keywords should be supplied; full instructions are provided when submitting the article online.

    Highlights are a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings and provide readers with a quick textual overview of the article. These three to five bullet points describe the essence of the research. For all original research articles we ask that you provide concise bullet points that address the following questions:

    What is already known on this topic?

    What this study adds?

    Units and Abbreviations
    Système Internationale (SI) units should be used, with the traditional equivalent in parentheses where appropriate. Conventions for abbreviations should be those detailed in: Baron DN, ed. Units, Symbols, and Abbreviations: A Guide for Biological and Medical Editors and Authors. 5th edition. London: Royal Society of Medicine Services, 1994.

    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to sign a Journal Publishing Agreement (for more information on this and copyright see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a Journal Publishing Agreement form.

    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; contact Elsevier s Rights Department, Philadelphia, PA, USA: Tel. (+1) 215 238 7869; Fax (+1) 215 238 2239; e-mail Requests may also be completed online via the Elsevier homepage (

    Funding body agreements and policies
    Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors who publish in Elsevier journals 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

    Online proof correction
    Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.

    If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.

    We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately - please upload all of 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.

    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. Additional paper offprints can be ordered by the authors. An order form with prices will be sent to the corresponding author.

    Accepted Articles
    Visit for the facility to track accepted articles and set email alerts to inform you of when an article s status has changed. The website also provides detailed artwork guidelines, copyright information, frequently asked questions and more. Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those related to proofs, are provided after registration of an article for publication.


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