Guide for Authors

  • Manuscript Submission Process Online

    Authorship Criteria

    Statement Regarding Duplicate Publication

    Authorship Criteria

    Types of Articles Published

    Original Scientific Article
    Collective Review
    Education, Ethics and History
    Surgeon at Work (online only)
    Manuscript Preparation Details
    Title Page
    Structured Abstract
    Abbreviations and Acronyms
    Legends for Figures
    Figure and Video Submission

    Disclosure Statement


    JACS, founded more than 100 years ago, is a monthly scientific publication that considers original articles in all surgical disciplines. Manuscripts are reviewed with the understanding that the work has not been published by, and is not under consideration at, any other journal. All manuscripts are peer-reviewed and a statistician reviews manuscripts as required.

    Manuscript Submission Process ONLINE

    If you have any technical difficulty submitting your manuscript, please visit

    To submit a manuscript go to the

    Editorial Manager website and log in as an author. Register if this is your first time using Editorial Manager. Guidance is provided for creating and uploading all files and data. The system automatically generates an electronic (PDF) proof, which is then sent to the Editor-in-Chief and to designated reviewers. All manuscript communications are done by email, only to the corresponding author. It is the corresponding author's responsibility to keep all information (address, institution, phone number, and email address) current.

    Before actually submitting online, have the following files on your computer ready for uploading: manuscript file including tables; structured abstract or short summary; separate file for each figure submitted; and permission letters for tables and figures, if applicable. You must also complete the author contribution form


    disclosure form(s). If none of the authors has any financial relationships to disclose, one disclosure form may be submitted for all authors. If any author has financial relationships to disclose, then a separate disclosure form must be submitted for each author. You may also include an optional cover letter for the "author comments" field.

    After you have uploaded all the necessary files, the system will prompt you to go to "Submission Waiting for Author's Approval" on your author main menu. You can leave the system and come back and complete the submission at a later time (after logging in again, you will find the work done previously under "incomplete submissions" on your main author menu).

    You must view your submission and either approve it or make corrections and repeat the process until you approve it. If changes are required to the content of your uploaded files, you must make changes to the files on your computer and upload them again, and remove the incorrect file.

    At the last step when you are ready to approve your submission and "Submit to Journal Office" you must read and agree to the

    Ethics in Publishing Statement

    . You agree to it by checking off the box on the far right of the submission approval page.

    After you "Submit to Journal Office" you will get an acknowledgment email from the Editorial Office. A second email will advise you of the manuscript number for your submission. This manuscript number should be included in all correspondence about your article, preferably in the subject line of your email.

    Authorship Criteria

    Individuals claiming authorship should meet all of the following 3 conditions, in accordance with the

    Consensus Statement on Surgery Journals Authorship-2006

    1) Authors make substantial contributions to conception and design, and/or acquisition of data, and/or analysis and interpretation of data;
    2) Authors participate in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
    3) Authors give final approval of the version to be submitted and any revised version to be published.

    Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Allowing one's name to appear as an author without having contributed significantly to the study or adding the name of an individual who has not contributed or who has not agreed to the work in its current form is considered a breach of appropriate authorship. For more information see

    ICMJE statement on Sponsorship, Authorship, and Accountability


    Ghost-writing is NOT acceptable, and the name of their employer and the funding source should be disclosed for anyone acknowledged for writing assistance. No one, other than the authors, should have contributed substantially to the writing and revising of the manuscript. Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgment. Examples include: individuals who allowed their clinical experience to be included, a person who provided purely technical help, copyediting, proofreading or translation assistance (NO ghostwriters allowed), or a department Chair who provided only general support.

    Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper, but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators," and their function or contribution should be described; for example, "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal." If you have any question about this, contact that editorial office before submitting your manuscript at or 312-202-5316.

    Up to 10 authors are permitted for all articles. A footnote indicating that the two first authors made equal contributions is permissible by JACS, as long as the authors certify that each had a "first author" role equally. The order of authors (including adding or removing authors) cannot be changed without a written request to the Editorial Office from the corresponding author, and must be requested before the proof stage. A new Author Contribution form must be submitted and approved by the Editorial Office. Specifically if an author is removed, a letter from that author agreeing to his/her removal is required.

    Each author's contribution to the intellectual content of the paper must be included on the Author Contribution form, available online, when submitting a new manuscript.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgment.

    Statement Regarding Duplicate Publication

    JACS endorses the policy of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals on "

    Overlapping Publications

    ." Specifically:

    When submitting a paper, the author must always make a complete statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports (including meeting presentations and posting of results in registries) that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication. The author must alert the editor if the manuscript includes subjects about which the authors have published a previous report or have submitted a related report to another publication. Any such report must be referred to and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted manuscript to help the editor decide how to handle the matter.

    If redundant or duplicate publication is attempted or occurs without such notification, authors should expect editorial action to be taken. At the least, prompt rejection of the submitted manuscript should be expected. If the editor was not aware of the violations and the article has already been published, then a notice of redundant or duplicate publication will probably be published with or without the author's explanation or approval.

    Types of Articles Published

    JACS does not publish case reports. JACS publishes Original Scientific Articles, Collective Reviews, Education, Ethics, and History Articles, Letters, and, periodically, other specialty articles. Unsolicited editorials are not accepted. Surgeon at Work articles are published online only. Most JACS articles are published online in advance of the monthly print issue.

    Original Scientific Article: a full-length report of original basic or clinical investigation. Profile and standards for reporting randomized controlled trials (CONSORT Statement

    ) must be followed. All submissions of randomized clinical trials, in any phase, require the CONSORT flow diagram. These clarifications provide appropriate understanding for review and reading. Also, authors are referred to the Non-inferiority and Equivalence Trials Guidelines for useful checklist information. The JACS Disclosure Information statement is required . Clinical trials must be registered (see ICMJE Statement on Registering Clinical Trials). For an example of an actual trial registration online see

    J Am Coll Surg 2006;202:A30-A32. For original scientific articles only, authors must provide a brief 1- to 3-sentence precis, not to exceed 50 words, summarizing the findings of their manuscript. If the article is accepted, the precis will appear in the table of contents.

    Collective Review: a comprehensive, scholarly, balanced, systematic review of evidence-based literature mentioning all findings; these are not opinion submissions. Submissions should be state-of-the-art science confined mostly to Level I reporting (randomized trials with low false-positive and low false-negative errors, meta-analysis of multiple, well designed controlled studies) or Level II reporting (randomized trials with high false-positive or high false-negative errors or both, at least one well designed experimental study). Submissions must relate to important clinical subjects and be accompanied by author analysis leading to conclusions. The review must be no more than 25 double-spaced pages (including double-spaced references but not including tables and figures), rarely longer, with Editor approval. Include a one-paragraph summary for reviewers; a structured abstract is not required.

    Education, Ethics, and History Articles: must be no longer than 15 double-spaced pages (including double-spaced references). The maximum number of figures we will accept for a history article is four. JACS reserves the right to designate any figures as online-only, for space reasons.

    Letters : should focus on an article published in JACS within the last six months. Only highly selected and timely submissions will be accepted; less than 500 words with no more than six references. Letters should include a title and author name, degree, and location (city, state, country).

    Surgeon at Work: unique information about an operation or a procedure that has an impact on clinical practice of surgeons, presented in a "how to do it" fashion. Surgeon at Work articles are no longer published in the print journal. They are published ONLINE ONLY. They are referenced in the table of contents with an "e-page" number. We encourage multimedia submissions (see Figures


    Video Submission for technical specifications).

    Manuscript Preparation Details

    Title Page
    Double space the entire manuscript. The title page must be the first page of the manuscript; all pages should be numbered. The title of manuscript should include the key concepts so that search engines will locate the manuscript. No abbreviations are allowed in titles, unless they are standard acronyms (eg, NSQIP). List the name(s) of all authors, including first name and middle initial, graduate degrees of authors, FACS if author(s) are Fellows of the ACS, and the name of the institution or affiliation where work was done, for each author. No more than 10 names will appear under the title. Include meeting presentation information and disclosure information for any financial support. Include contact information for the corresponding author and a brief title of <45 characters and spaces (with no abbreviations except for standard ones such as NSQIP).

    Structured Abstract
    Structured abstracts are required for original scientific articles only. Unstructured abstracts or short summaries should be submitted for other articles. The abstract should contain about 250 words. Format is:

    Background (one paragraph)
    Study Design (about one paragraph)
    Results (one to two paragraphs)

    Describe the problem addressed in the manuscript, how the study was performed, the salient results, and the conclusions of the authors.

    Abbreviations and Acronyms
    Abbreviations/acronyms should be in parentheses immediately after the words for which they stand, and must be spelled out completely at first use in the abstract and again at first use in the text. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures must be spelled out in the figure legend. Up to 10 abbreviations of common terms (eg, DCIS, HBV, TIA) or acronyms (eg, SPECT, TRISS, SEER) may be used throughout the manuscript. On a separate page after the abstract, list the selected abbreviations and their definitions (eg, DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ). The editors will determine which lesser-known terms should not be abbreviated.

    Original scientific articles are divided into four sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Use generic names for drugs and in parentheses provide the trade name and company. Do not use patient names, initials, or hospital numbers.

    Provide the purpose of the article and summarize reasons for the study. Give relevant references only, and do not include data or conclusions.

    Describe statistical methods with enough detail that a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data could verify the reported results. Avoid overuse of p value, which fails to convey important quantitative information. Provide details about randomization, describe methods for blinding of observations, give numbers of observations, and report complications. Include a general description of statistical methods and design of the study and specify general-use computer programs used. Define all statistical terms, abbreviations, and symbols.

    When reporting experiments on human subjects, provide information about ethical standards of the work (Helsinki Declaration of 1975, revised in 1983). When reporting experiments on animals, indicate procedures followed for care and use of laboratory animals (detail IRB approval).

    Summarize data, specifying the statistical methods used to analyze them. Results should be presented in a logical sequence. Do not repeat material from tables in the text. Emphasize and summarize important observations only.

    Provide new aspects of the report and do not repeat data given in the Results section. Include implications of findings and limitations, relate these observations to other relevant studies, and include implications for additional studies. Link the conclusions with the stated goals of the study; do not form conclusions that are unsupported by the data presented. When appropriate, recommendations can be included.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgment. Examples include: individuals who allowed their clinical experience to be included, a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper, but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged under a heading such as "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators," and their function or contribution should be described; for example, "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal." Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, all persons listed as contributors must give written permission to be acknowledged.

    Number consecutively in the order mentioned in text. The citation number is placed in the text after the name when the reference is cited; if no name is mentioned the citation is placed in the text at the end of the material referred to. [Ex: (a) "Meakins and Jones (13) have shown that..." (b) "A group of oncologists has proved that if.... (13)"] References to manuscripts accepted but not published at time of submission can be designated as "J Am Coll Surg. In press 2008." Personal communication is cited within the text, not in references. Authors must obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of personal communication before submission. References must be verified against original documents; authors are responsible for completeness and accuracy of all citations.

    If you use automated reference numbering software or bibliography software, turn it off before submitting the manuscript.

    The Reference List should follow the text, and begin on a separate page, double-spaced and numbered consecutively. If there are 5 or more authors, list 3 authors, et al. If there are 4 authors or fewer than 4, list them all.

    Order of reference parts for a journal article:[Authors]. [Title]. [Journal name] [Year];[Volume]:[Pages].


    Standard journal article
    1. Valabussa P, Bonadonna G, Veronesi U. Patterns of relapse and survival following radical mastectomy. Cancer 1978;41:1170-1178.
    More than 4 authors:
    1. Franklin ME Jr, Rosenthal D, Abrego-Medina D, et al. Prospective comparison of open vs. laparoscopic colon surgery for carcinoma: five-year results. Dis Colon Rectum 1996;39:S35-S46.
    Organization as author
    1. Japanese Research Society for Gastric Cancer. The general rules for the gastric cancer study in surgery and pathology. Jpn J Surg 1981;11:127-139.
    No author given
    1. Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84:15.
    Editor(s), compiler(s) as author
    1. Kleinbaum DG, Kupper LL, Muller KE, eds. Applied regression analysis and other multivariate methods. 2nd ed. Boston: PWS-Kent Publishing Co; 1988:37-53.
    Chapter in a book
    1. Henderson I, Harris J, Kinne D, Hellman S. Cancer of the breast. In: DeVita V, Hellman S, Rosenberg S, eds. Principles and Practice of Oncology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1989:1197-1268.
    NOTE: Titles of books are each word initial cap, except prepositions with less than 6 letters.
    1. World Health Organization. The world health report 2006-working together for health. Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: Accessed October 16, 2007.

    Submit tables as part of the manuscript document, at the end after the reference list. Tables should be submitted in "table editor" format within the word processed document (not in PDF or graphics format), and they should not use tabs or spaces to separate columns. If a table is large or exceedingly complex, the author should consider separating the data into 2 or more simpler tables. Submit no more than five tables, on separate pages, and number tables in Arabic numbers consecutively in order of text citation. Provide a brief title. Each column must have a heading. Put all explanatory matter in footnotes, including an explanation for all nonstandard abbreviations used in table. For every key symbol used in the table (*,†, ‡, §, ∥, ¶, #, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, etc.) make sure a corresponding footnote is included.

    If a table contains data from previously published material, published by you or by others, obtain permission and acknowledge fully in the table footnote. Upload the permission letter with the manuscript submission.

    Legends for Figures
    One or two sentences should suffice to explain the figure. Use Arabic numbers corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrowheads, or letters identify parts of an illustration, explain each clearly in the legend and spell out all abbreviations. Explain, if necessary, the internal scale, and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs. If a figure has been previously published by you or by others, obtain permission and acknowledge fully in the figure legend. Upload the permission letter with the manuscript submission.

    Figure and Video Submission

    Submit figures online in EPS, JPEG, TIFF format, in a Word document, or Powerpoint slides (in separate files, not embedded in the manuscript document). Color figures are welcome and will appear at no cost to authors. If a figure has been previously published, by you or by others, obtain permission and acknowledge fully in the figure legend. Remove all patient identifying marks (Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy


    Supplementary video files should be provided in one of the formats listed below to ensure that the majority of potential users have the best chance of being able to view the video both now and in the future. Recommended upper limit: for ease of download, the recommended upper limit for the size of a single file is 10 MB. Remove all patient identifying marks (

    Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy).

    Formats for video
    • MPEG (*.mpg): Preferred movie format. MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 format required; highest possible quality required.
    • Apple QuickTime (*.mov): Acceptable movie format. Highest possible quality required.
    • Microsoft Audio/Video Interlaced format (*.avi): Acceptable movie format. Highest possible quality required.

    Disclosure Statement

    Each author must disclose in detail at the time of submission all competing interests on the JACS

    Disclosure Information

    form. Include all affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in, or in financial competition with, the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript. Certify that all financial and material support for this research and work are clearly identified in the manuscript. Acknowledge any grant support.


    The Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) endorses:
    • The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals

    , including statements related to "Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy," established by editors in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom (N England J Med 1997;336:309-315).
    • The revised CONSORT statement (JAMA 2001;285:1987-1991).
    • The AMA Guidelines for Websites (JAMA 2000;283:1600-1606).
    • The Consensus Statement on Surgery Journals Authorship-2006 (J Am Coll Surg 2006;203:94-95).
    • The COPE Guidelines (Committee on Publication Ethics) (J Am Coll Surg 2010;211:131).
    • JACS is a member of the Association of Medical Editors, which has more than 1,500 members in 91 countries representing 965 journals (June 2007).

    Updated August 2011


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