Guide for Authors

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

    BEFORE YOU BEGIN
    • Ethics in publishing
    • Conflict of interest
    • Submission declaration and verification
    • Authorship
    • Changes to authorship
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Open access
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Submission
    PREPARATION
    • Use of word processing software
    • Article structure
    • Essential Title Page Information
    • Body of Manuscript
    • Highlights
    • Acknowledgements
    • Units
    • Artwork
    • Tables
    • Permission to Reprint
    • References
    • Video Data
    • AudioSlides
    • Supplementary data
    • Submission Checklist
    • Deadline
    AFTER ACCEPTANCE
    • Use of the Digital Object Identifier
    • Proofs
    • Copyright
    AUTHOR INQUIRIES


    The purpose of Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: A Comparative Atlas is to provide technique-based articles in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery by renowned surgeons in the field, presented in atlas format. An issue contains two articles each in adult, congenital, and general thoracic surgery that explore a single topic each in a point/counterpoint approach. The two articles in each area compare, through a number of illustrations and summary comments, techniques that achieve similar results.
    Note: The format of this Journal is distinctly different from that of other publications. Introductory and Summary text are minimized; the focus of the article is the narrative description of the procedure within the figure legends.

    Ethics in publishing

    For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see http://www.elsevier.com/publishingethics and http://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/ethics.

    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.

    Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery requires authors of all articles to disclose any conflict(s) of interest. If an author of an article has a financial relationship with one or more companies whose products are featured in the article, the AATS and its designees will resolve the conflict prior to utilization of the article and the nature of the relationship will be disclosed on the first page of the published article. The absence of any declaration of a conflict of interest indicates that none exists. Authors who violate our disclosure policy will be denied the privilege of publishing their work in any AATS journal for one to two years, depending upon the severity of the offense.

    Submission declaration and verification

    Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see http://www.elsevier.com/postingpolicy), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck http://www.elsevier.com/editors/plagdetect.

    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.

    Changes to authorship

    This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
    Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
    After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.

    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.

    Open access

    This 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 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 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.

    To provide open access, this journal has a publication fee which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders for each article published open access.
    Your publication choice will have no effect on the peer review process or acceptance of submitted articles.

    The open access publication fee for this journal is $1,700 USD, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy: http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing.

    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.

    Submit your article
    Please submit your article via http://ees.elsevier.com/ottcvs/.

    Use of word processing software

    It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier: http://www.elsevier.com/guidepublication). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
    To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

    Article structure

    Your manuscript should consist of the following elements, each starting on a separate page:
    •Title page
    •Body of the manuscript consisting of short introduction, detailed figure legends describing each figure (maximum of 15 with permission for re-use, if required), and short closing section. Please note figures (TIF or EPS files) are submitted individually during the electronic submission process.
    •References if applicable

    All parts of the manuscript (including references and legends) should be double-spaced—that is, with a full line of space after every line.

    Subdivision - unnumbered sections
    Divide your article into clearly defined sections. Each subsection is given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line. Subsections should be used as much as possible when cross-referencing text: refer to the subsection by heading as opposed to simply 'the text'.

    Essential Title Page Information

    Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
    Author names, degrees, 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.
    Acknowledgment of grant support. Supply when appropriate ("Supported in part by...").

    Body of Manuscript

    The body of your article should consist of five parts:

    • 1. Abstract: A short abstract of no more than 250 words. A concise abstract describing the procedure within. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s).
    • 2. Keywords: Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 5 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.
    • 3. A short introductory section of no more than three double-spaced manuscript pages: Its purpose is to provide the reader with brief background information about the procedure under discussion from your prospective. This would be an appropriate time to mention any specific anatomic considerations or unique technical problems inherent in the procedure. This section of the manuscript should also provide the reader with an understanding of the steps you take in selecting appropriate candidates for the procedure as well as any particular diagnostic challenges or potential pitfalls. Inclusion of photographic reproductions of pertinent imaging studies is encouraged.
    • 4. The main section of 10 to 15 drawings or photographs of the surgical procedure in a step-by-step format, accompanied by highly detailed and descriptive legends, through which the reader can follow the exact procedure from incision to closure. Authors should feel free to use their own artist, although the publisher cannot cover these costs. Authors wishing to use the illustrator provided by the publisher must inform the editorial office of this request as soon as possible after accepting their invitations.
    • 5. A short closing section of no more than two double-spaced manuscript pages that includes any special considerations for postoperative care and follow-up, the results you expect to obtain with this procedure, and your conclusions regarding its place vis-à-vis other approaches to the treatment of the same or similar conditions. Opinions regarding the comparison of this procedure to others are encouraged. This section may include a short list of selected references. Illustrations of postoperative imaging studies or tables describing results obtained with this technique may be included in this section.

    Highlights

    Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate file in the online submission system. Please use 'Research highlights' in the file name and include 2 to 3 bullet points (maximum 20 words per bullet point). See http://www.elsevier.com/highlights for examples.

    Acknowledgements

    Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

    Units

    Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

    Drug Names
    All drug names cited in the manuscript should be generic and followed by brand name, manufacturer, and city and state or country in parentheses.

    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 12-point Times New Romanfont.
    • Number the illustrations with Arabic numerals (Fig 1, Fig 2) 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
    Images should be provided in EPS or TIF format. Graphics software such as Photoshop and Illustrator, not presentation software such as PowerPoint, CorelDraw, or Harvard Graphics, should be used to create the art. Color images must be CMYK, at least 300 DPI. Gray scale images should be at least 300 DPI. Combinations of gray scale and line art should be at least 1200 DPI. Line art (black and white or color) should be at least 1200 DPI.
    The maximum width of illustrations after reduction is 7 inches.
    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.

    Color artwork
    Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color on the Web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) in addition to color reproduction in print. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

    If the author wishes to include color figures that have not been approved by the Associate Editor, the cost of color plates must be borne by the author. The publisher can provide estimates for this option.

    Illustrations services
    You may use your own illustrator or ask the editorial office for one provided by the publisher.

    Figure Captions
    Legends should be typed double-spaced, numbered with Arabic numerals (Fig 1, Fig 2), in the manuscript document and should not be attached to the illustrations themselves. Legends should be sufficiently detailed to allow understanding of the entire procedure without reference to the text. A maximum of one manuscript page per figure may be used for these legends, although most legends will probably be only one-third to two-thirds of a page in length. Legends referring to the introductory or concluding elements of the manuscript should be brief and should be provided on a separate page following the references.

    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.

    Permission to Reprint

    For any materials that have been borrowed from another copyright holder, authors are responsible for applying to the original copyright holder for permission to reprint in both print and electronic versions. Authors must submit copies of letters granting permission with the submitted manuscript. All reprinted figures and tables should be accompanied with the line “Reprinted with permission” followed by the appropriate reference number (e.g., “Reprinted with permission23”). Authors are responsible for bearing any costs associated with granting print or electronic rights.
    Be cautioned not to submit the same figure or table simultaneously to two publishers on the assumption that one article will publish before the other and that the publisher of the first article will grant permission for reuse of the material. Publication of one article may be delayed unexpectedly, necessitating withdrawal of material from the other article.

    References

    Citation in text
    Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

    Reference links
    Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

    Web references
    As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

    Reference style
    Although not required, references may be included if appropriate. Reference numbers in the text follow numerical order and are enclosed in parentheses. References are listed in the order in which they are referred to in the text, not in alphabetical order; they must follow the style of the samples below. Please note that manuscripts in press may be referenced; however, manuscripts that have been submitted for publication but not yet accepted should not be referenced. All references must be complete when the manuscript is submitted.

    Journal article, one author:
    Doty DB: Aortic valve replacement with homograft and autograft. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 8:249-258, 1996.
    Journal article, two or three authors:
    Cooper JD, Patterson GA, Trulock EP: Results of single and bilateral lung transplantation in 131 consecutive patients. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 107:460-471, 1994.
    Journal article, more than three authors:
    Elkins RC, Knott-Craig CJ, Ward KE, et al: Pulmonary autograft in children: Realized growth potential. Ann Thorac Surg 57:1387-1394, 1994.
    Journal article in press:
    Alvarez JM, Quiney NF, McMillan D, et al: The use of ultra-low aprotinin to reduce blood loss in cardiac surgery. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth (in press).
    Complete book:
    Kirklin JW, Baratt-Boyce BG: Cardiac Surgery (ed 2). New York, NY, Churchill Livingstone, 1993.
    Chapter of book:
    Castenda AR, Jonas RA, Mayer JE Jr, et al: Pediatric valve replacement, in Cardiac Surgery of the Neonate and infant, Philadelphia, PA, Saunders, 1994, pp 387-395.
    Book that is a new edition and is volumes:
    Sabiston DC Jr, Spencer FC: Surgery of the Chest, vol 1 (ed6). Philadelphia, PA, Saunders 1995.
    Chapter of book that is part of published meeting:
    Poirier VL, Frazier OH: Portable electric systems for long-term use, in Akustsu T, Koyanagi H (eds): Heart Replacement, Artificial Heart 4. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Artificial Heart and Assist Devices, August 7-8, 1992, Tokyo. New York, NY, Springer-Verlag, 1993, pp 103-114.
    Paper presented at a meeting:
    Bachet JE, Termignon J-L, Dreyfus G, et al: Aortic dissection: Prevalence, cause and results of late reoperations. Presented at the Seventy-third Annual Meeting of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Chicago, IL April 25-28, 1993.
    Journal article in journal that is a supplement:
    Mavroudis C, Zales VR, Backer CL, et al: Fenestrated Fontan with delayed catheter closure: Effects of volume loading and baffle fenestration on cardiac index and oxygen delivery. Circulation 86:85-89, 1992 (suppl 2).
    Abstracts:
    Kendall K, Sharp JW, McCarthy PM: Quality of life for hospitalized implantable LVAD patients. J Heart Lung Transplant 13:S72, 1994 (abstr).
    Editorials:
    Cox JL: Anatomy of the posterior septal space. Am J Cardiol 68:675-677, 1991 (editorial).

    Video Data

    Surgical Films: Operative Techniques has begun accepting video submissions. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit are strongly encouraged to to adhere to the guidelines detailed below. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 100 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. Please supply 'stills' with your file: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.
    Video Abstract Publications
    The journal of Operative Techniques now welcomes:
    Video articles

    • 1. The maximum file size is 100 MB (after conversion to mp4).
    • 2. Videos will be published in mp4 format only.
    • 3. Formats accepted for conversion include: mpg, avi, mov, wma, wmv, swf, rm, fla.
    • 4. Please provide a video still image file as well. This is the placeholder online and in print. A still photograph (formatted as described for the video) must be included with your submission (it can be any frame from the video or may be a separate image) - this will be used as an "icon" for the video link.
    • 5. A 250 word structured abstract must accompany the video.
    • 6. Highlights (similar to that required for a manuscript) must be included with the video submission.
    • 7. The maximum number of authors is four.
    • 8. The maximum number of references that can accompany the video submission is four.

    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.

    Supplementary data

    Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, 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 provide the data 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.

    Submission Checklist

    The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
    Ensure that the following items are present:
    One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
    • E-mail address
    • Full postal address
    • Phone numbers
    All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
    • Title page with (1) title of manuscript and (2) complete names, academic degrees, departments, and professional affiliations of all authors
    • Body of article
    • All figures
    • All figure captions
    • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
    • All supplementary multimedia material, appropriately marked
    Further considerations
    • Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
    • References are in the correct format for this journal
    • All references mentioned in the Reference list (if applicable) are cited in the text, and vice versa
    • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)
    • Informed consent has been received for patient photographs
    • Color figures are clearly marked as being intended for color reproduction on the Web (free of charge) and in print, or to be reproduced in color on the Web (free of charge) and in black-and-white in print
    • If only color on the Web is required, black-and-white versions of the figures are also supplied for printing purposes
    For any further information please visit our customer support site at http://support.elsevier.com.

    NOTE: Authors are requested to keep a copy of their final manuscript!

    Deadline

    It is of utmost importance to submit (1) the outline of your manuscript and (2) the files for each of your preliminary sketches for the illustrator by the author submission date. The date by which the final submission is due will be in your letter of invitation.

    Use of the Digital Object Identifier

    The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2010.09.059
    When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

    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.

    Copyright

    Authors contributing a manuscript do so with the understanding that, once it is accepted for publication, copyright in the article, including the right to reproduce the article in all forms of media now and hereafter known, shall be assigned exclusively to the publisher. The author will be asked to sign a copyright release form to this effect.



    You can track your submitted article at http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/89/p/8045/. You can track your accepted article at http://www.elsevier.com/trackarticle. You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via http://support.elsevier.com.

    If you have any questions related to the content or organization of your manuscript, please contact your Associate Editor (see contact information on first page of this document).
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