Guide for Authors

  • OSTEOARTHRITIS AND CARTILAGE is the official journal of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International. The Journal serves as a focal point and forum for the exchange of ideas for the many kinds of scientists, specialists and practitioners concerned with osteoarthritis and cartilage. One of its aims is to foster the cross-fertilization between clinical and basic sciences of the various disciplines involved. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage publishes manuscripts representing originality and scientific excellence on all aspects of osteoarthritis, cartilage and cartilage repair. The Journal welcomes clinical, epidemiological, experimental, translational and other types of research relevant to osteoarthritis and cartilage. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage aims for an independent, fair and rapid peer review of submitted manuscripts.

    Submission of Manuscripts

    Manuscripts are to be submitted through the Elsevier Editorial System on-line submission and peer-review system. Access to Osteoarthritis and Cartilage Elsevier Editorial System is as follows:

    http://ees.elsevier.com/oac/

    In order to access Editorial Manager, mouse click on Register in the upper left corner. Once you have established your Username and Password, you can sign on as an author and enter the information for submitting a new manuscript.

    Prepare your manuscript for upload as follows:• Create a file containing just the title page and abstract
    • Create a file containing the main text of the manuscript, including all references, excluding the title page and abstract
    • Do not include figures within the main text file, but supply these as separate image files

    For any additional information, please contact the Editor:
    Stefan Lohmander, at
    Department of Orthopedics
    Lund University Hospital
    SE-22185 Lund
    Sweden
    Email: OAC@elsevier.com

    Submissions become the property of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International.

    Please read and follow the instructions to authors outlined below. Failure to follow these instructions will delay processing of the manuscript.

    1. MANUSCRIPT FORMAT

    The maximum word count listed for each type of article excludes title page, abstract, tables, figure legends, acknowledgements and contributions, and references.

    Manuscript format should comply with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals' (http://www.icmje.org).

    In all matters of style, please consult the Manual of Style (ed. 8) published by the American Medical Association. Number each page sequentially and add line numbers, including the title page, abstract, text, references, figure legends, and tables. Authors are responsible for providing a manuscript written in clear English. Delay or rejection may result when papers are poorly written and in need of extensive editing. Where appropriate, authors should obtain the help of an individual or organization competent in Medical Scientific English, where English is the primary language.

    Additional points: insert an extra blank line at the end of headings and paragraphs; type text without end of line hyphenation, except for compound words; be consistent with punctuation and only insert a single space between words and after punctuation.

    Avoid abbreviations whenever possible, and never use unfamiliar abbreviations. When use of an abbreviation is customary, list the full word on its first appearance followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Once identified, the abbreviation should be used consistently throughout the text.

    Measurements should be expressed in metric units wherever possible, and along with physical and chemical quantities, should be abbreviated as recommended in the instructions to authors of the current volume of Journal of Biological Chemistry. Symbols of units of measurement must accord with the Système International (SI). Abbreviations for SI units and statistical terms are those in Baron DN (ed.) Units, Symbols and Abbreviations: A Guide for Medical and Scientific Editors and Authors, 5th ed. London: Royal Society of Medicine Press. Preferred alternative units may be given in parentheses.

    Generic names should be used for drugs. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand name and the name of the manufacturer in parentheses at the first mention of the generic drug name in the methods section.

    Guidelines for the reporting of many different types of studies are available through the EQUATOR network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research; http://www.equator-network.org/).

    Ten recommendations for Osteoarthritis and Cartilage manuscript preparation, common for all types of studies

    The aim of these recommendations is a clear, complete, and unambiguous presentation of data, methods, and results. It is of paramount importance, and one of the tenets of good research that presented studies and experiments can be reproduced, and that the description of their outcome includes sufficient information to allow a reasonable assessment of unavoidable limitations and weaknesses. In one word: transparency.

    The purpose of the ten recommendations is to describe what information should be presented to the reader, and how, for facilitating his or her interpretation of the presented findings, not to specify how the authors should evaluate and interpret their data. Additional guidelines and details are available in this Guide for Authors of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage for manuscripts presenting specific types of research.

    1. State the research question and the purpose of the study. Is the ambition to describe an observation, to generate hypotheses or to test a pre-specified hypothesis?

    2. Describe the source of study participants, patients, cadavers, animals, tissues, cell lines, etc., and how many of these units that have been included in the study. What inclusion criteria did you use? How representative is your sample? To what population do you wish to generalize the findings of your study? Note that direct generalization to other cases than those studied requires information on the variability between independent cases. If all observations have been sampled from one subject, animal or cell line, direct generalization cannot be made beyond this.

    3. When observations can be presented individually, either numerically or graphically, this should be preferred. In some cases such presentation could in itself be sufficient, in other cases it may complement the summary measures in the manuscript or in a web supplement. When fewer than four observations are presented, they should as a rule be described individually, not as an aggregate.

    4. When presenting data in aggregated form, always provide the number of included observations (n) as well as measures of central tendency (mean, median, etc.) and dispersion (standard deviation, range, etc.). If repeated measurements or replicates are used, present both the number of independent samples and the number of repeated observations per independent sample.

    5. Describe all statistical methods in the statistical methods section, using well recognized terms such as Student's or Satterthwaite's t-test rather than names that are unique to a particular statistical software package such as "independent groups t-test". You should always identify the statistical software and version used.

    6. The validity of the results from statistical tests relies on certain assumptions being fulfilled. For example, Student's t-test is based on the assumptions of independent observations, Gaussian distribution and homogeneous variance. Describe in the statistical methods section whether you have examined if these assumptions are fulfilled, how you performed this investigation, and what the results were. When departures from the assumptions are detected, a change to an alternative method (for example a non-parametric) may be necessary to get valid results.

    7. Generalizations from observed data are often made using hypothesis tests. The resulting P-values describe the inferential uncertainty in terms of risk of a false positive conclusion. It should be recognized that: (1) tested hypotheses always relate to the generalization of an observation, never to the observation itself, (2) that a statistically significant finding is not necessarily practically important, and (3) that a statistically insignificant test does not necessarily indicate similarity.

    8. Generalizations from observed data can also be made using interval estimation. Confidence intervals provide more information on the inferential uncertainty than is included in a P-value because they describe a range of plausible and interpretable values, not just a probability. It is important to recognize that this range of plausible values represents the uncertainty in a generalization, not the dispersion of observed data. While standard deviations and ranges can be used to describe dispersion, confidence intervals and standard error of the means represent uncertainty. When this uncertainty is presented in text and tables, or graphically with error bars, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage recommends using 95% confidence intervals instead of S.E.M.

    9. If one-sided statistical tests, one-sided confidence intervals, Bonferroni corrections, simultaneous confidence intervals, or other departures from the conventional 5% significance and 95% confidence level are used, explain and motivate your reasons for this.

    10. The level of statistical rigor (and remaining inferential uncertainty in the results) should be in parity with the purpose of the study and the author's conclusions. For example, a confirmatory randomized clinical trial has little room for multiplicity issues arising from the testing of multiple endpoints. If such issues exist, they should be properly addressed already in the design of the trial. Hypothesis generating studies, on the other hand, can be analyzed without concerns for multiplicity, and case-reports (studies with very small n) may be entirely descriptive with no need for evaluation of inferential uncertainty.

    A brief description of the analysis strategy in the statistical methods section will facilitate the reading of the manuscript. Authors are strongly recommended to save statistical code, output from data analyses, and raw data and raw images for possible review, should the editors request this.

    Adherence to these recommendations will greatly facilitate the review of manuscripts, decrease the likelihood of multiple revisions, and improve the chances of acceptance for publication.

    Recommended reading
    1. Cumming G, Fidler F, Vaux DL. Error bars in experimental biology. J Cell Biol 2007;177:7-11.
    2. Vaux D. Ten rules for the presentation and interpretation of data in scientific publications. Australian Biochemist 2008;39:37-9.
    3. Ranstam J. Sampling uncertainty in medical research. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2009;17:1416-9.
    4. Ranstam J. Reporting laboratory experiments. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2010;18:3-4.

    5. Ranstam J, Lohmander LS. What's in a number or in a picture? Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2010;18:1003-5.
    6. Ranstam J, Lohmander LS. Ten recommendations for OAC manuscript preparation, common for all types of studies. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2011;19:1079-80.

    1.1. Full length original research article

    Full length original articles should amount to no more than 4000 words, 8 figures and tables, and 50 references. Each of the following sections should be included in the manuscript in this order: Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Author contributions, Role of the funding source, Conflict of interest, References, Figure legends, each individual Table, each individual Figure. Specific recommendations relating to these manuscript sections follow below.

    1.1.1 Manuscripts reporting Clinical Trials

    All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in the journal should follow the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines, and include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a manuscript figure. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information. A copy of the study protocol and statistical analysis plan, if one has been developed, should be included with the submitted manuscript, together with a completed CONSORT checklist. This checklist can be found for downloading on the CONSORT website.

    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage has adopted the proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which requires, as a condition of consideration for publication of clinical trials, registration in a public trials registry such as http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ or http://www.isrctn.com/. All trials that began enrolling patients after July 1, 2005, must have been registered at or before onset of patient enrollment. Any trial which was still seeing patients on September 13, 2005, should have been registered before September 13, 2005. If the trial was complete before September 13, 2005, the trial should be registered before manuscript submission. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. Clinical trial manuscripts that do not fulfill these criteria will not enter the editorial process, but will be returned to the authors.

    For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects of health outcomes. Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome (for example drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, dietary interventions, and process-of-care changes). Health outcomes include any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) do not currently require registration. Further information can be found at http://www.icmje.org. Disclosure of Clinical Trial Results. In line with the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the journal will not consider results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which primary registration resides to be prior publication if the results posted are presented in the form of a brief structured (500 words) abstract or table. However, divulging results in other circumstances (e.g., investors' meetings) is discouraged and may jeopardize consideration of the manuscript. Authors should fully disclose all posting in registries of results of the same or closely related work..

    .

    1.1.2 Reporting observational studies in epidemiology

    Manuscripts submitted for publication in the journal reporting observational studies in epidemiology should conform with the recommendations of the STROBE initiative (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology). Checklists for different types of observational studies are available at http://www.strobe-statement.org/index.html. It is recommended that a completed checklist is submitted with the manuscript. Adherence to these recommendations will greatly facilitate the review of manuscripts, decrease the likelihood of multiple revisions, and improve the chances of acceptance for publication.

    1.1.3 Reporting animal and laboratory experiments

    To fully understand the context, methods, data and conclusions that relate to an experiment, the reader must have access to appropriate background information. The experiment should be described in a way that makes it possible for the reader to repeat it. A clear description of the chosen study design is necessary for the reader's understanding of both the experiment and the statistical analysis of the data generated by the experiment.

    Additional information relevant to the high quality reporting of animal model studies in osteoarthritis research may be found in the following OAC publications: Reference 1), Reference 2 and Reference 3

    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage supports the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines to improve standards of reporting of animal experiments and ensure that the data can be fully evaluated and utilized [http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/page.asp?id=1357] (Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, Emerson M, Altman DG (2010) Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research. PLoS Biol 8(6): e1000412. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000412). Adherence to these recommendations will greatly facilitate the review of manuscripts, decrease the likelihood of multiple revisions, and improve the chances of acceptance for publication.

    The design and analysis of experiments using microarray technology poses some specific challenges, and authors intending to submit such studies to Osteoarthritis and Cartilage are recommended to read the article "Churchill GA. Fundamentals of experimental design for cDNA microarrays. Nature Genetics suppl. 2002;32:490-5. Doi10.1038/ng1031". Many journals, including Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, now also require, as an example, that authors reporting microarray-based experiments comply with the Minimum Information about a Microarray Experiment (MIAME) checklist (link to http://www.mged.org/Workgroups/MIAME/miame.html) as a prerequisite for publication. Similar minimum information guidelines are available for reporting proteomics (MIAPE http://www.psidev.info/miape/) and other types of 'omics' studies. For further reading on evolving reporting guidelines, see Minimum reporting guidelines for biological and biomedical investigations (MIBBI) (http://www.mibbi.org).

    Analysis units. Describe the experimental unit clearly. This is usually the smallest unit that can be independently randomized to a group, i.e. it should be possible to randomize any two experimental units to different groups. The experimental unit should also be the statistical analysis unit.

    Experimental design. Describe the randomization procedure, and present the number of randomized units, replicates and number of times the experiment is repeated. If blinding is used this should also be described. Formal experimental designs, like randomized block, latin square, split-plot, etc., have been developed and are described in a number of statistical textbooks. State clearly if one of these formal designs are used. If this is not the case, describe and explain the used design in detail.

    1.2 Brief report of original research

    Brief reports may be submitted for the rapid communication of results of significant interest and novelty. Brief reports should follow the general manuscript format described above, but not exceed an abstract of 250 words, a main text of 2000 words, 15 references, and 2 figures and/or tables.

    1.4 1. Narrative Reviews, Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses

    The suggested word count is 4000, a maximum of 8 tables and/or figures and 100 references. Reviews should include an abstract. Recommendations relating to relevant sections of this manuscript type follow below (link).

    Reviews may come in different formats. The Systematic Review format is preferred wherever possible and appropriate. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be reported following the recommendations of the PRISMA statement (http://www.prisma-statement.org) . Osteoarthritis and Cartilage strongly recommends that a completed PRISMA checklist accompanies the submitted manuscript and that the study protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis is registered in the public database PROSPERO http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/. Following these recommendations will greatly facilitate the review of manuscripts, decrease the likelihood of multiple revisions, and improve the chances of acceptance for publication.

    1.3 Editorial

    The purpose of an editorial is to stimulate discussion and thought in a brief format. As such, it may contain personal opinion and comment as supported by evidence. Editorials often provide perspectives linked to an article in the same issue. Editorials also provide a forum for the editors to inform readers of updates or changes in editorial policies.

    Editorials should be no longer than 1500 words with a maximum of 2 figures and/or tables and 15 references. Recommendations relating to relevant sections of this article type follow below (link).

    1.4 Narrative Reviews, Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses'

    The suggested word count is 4000, a maximum of 8 tables and/or figures and 100 references. Reviews should include an abstract. Recommendations relating to relevant sections of this manuscript type follow below.

    Reviews may come in different formats. The Systematic Review format is preferred wherever possible and appropriate. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be reported following the recommendations of the PRISMA statement (http://www.prisma-statement.org) . Following these recommendations will greatly facilitate the review of manuscripts, decrease the likelihood of multiple revisions, and improve the chances of acceptance for publication.

    1.5 Letter to the Editor

    Comments regarding articles published in the Journal, or other current matters, are solicited and should be submitted as 'Letter to the Editor'. Such Letters, which should not be original research communications (see Brief Report the appropriate format for such manuscripts), are subject to editorial review. When a published article is subjected to comment or criticism, the authors of that article will be invited to submit a letter of reply.

    Letters are no more than 800 words, no abstract, no tables or figures, and maximum 8 references. Recommendations relating to relevant sections of this form of article follow below.

    1.6 Supplementary data

    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage now accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background methods and datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published alongside the electronic version of your article, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please ensure that data is provided in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authors.authors/authorartworkinstructions.

    1.7 Manuscript sections

    1.7.1. Title page
    Title page should include affiliations and email addresses for each co-author, and full contact details for the corresponding author.
    When appropriate include a separate running title.

    1.7.2. Abstracts

    Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. The abstract should be structured into sections, at least including the following: (1) Objective; (2) Design - if clinical to include setting, selection of patients, details on the intervention, outcome measures, etc.; if laboratory research to include details on materials and methods; (3) Results; (4) Conclusions. For further detail on how to construct an abstract please refer to the guidelines published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 2004;291:125-9).

    Keywords

    Immediately after the abstract, provide a list of 3-6 keywords, using English 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.

    Running headline

    A running title of not more than 40 characters (including spaces), suitable for page headings, should be provided at the bottom of the title page if the full title is longer than 40 characters.

    1.7.3 Introduction

    Introduction should be brief, to the point, and contain the background that motivated the study. You may assume that the reader is familiar with e.g. the fact than osteoarthritis is a common joint disease, there's no need to repeat that in this journal.

    1.7.4 Method

    Methods shall contain details relevant to the conduct and interpretation of the study. This includes a description of statistical methods sufficiently detailed so that an investigator with access to the data can verify the results (see section below on statistics). Classification criteria should be reported on patients (where relevant) by a brief description of the clinical features of patients, and by reference to the criteria used. Use of subheadings that aid clarity is encouraged.

    1.7.5 Results

    Avoid undue repetition of data in text and tables. Brief comments on the significance of the results is appropriate, but broader aspects of interpretation is reserved for discussion. Use of subheadings to aid clarity is encouraged.

    It should be recognized in the results presentation that a statistically significant effect or difference not necessarily is of interest, it may be too small to be relevant. It is therefore better to specify the effect size/standardized response mean, and presenting the uncertainty with a 95% confidence interval, than describing an effect as statistically significant, or not statistically significant. P-values should be presented numerically, without categorization, e.g. write p = 0.15, not ns, and p = 0.03, not p < 0.05. When computer printout says p = 0.0000, write p < 0.0001. Confidence intervals should be presented as (lower limit, upper limit).

    1.7.6 Discussion

    Discussion section should contain a concise discussion of the findings in context of relevant published data. Which of your results are confirmatory, which are novel? Specifically, how do your results advance this field of research? A section on limitations of interpretation of results due to the selection of methods, materials or patients is often recommended. Avoid lengthy extrapolation and speculation.

    1.7.7 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship as defined below should be listed here. 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. All persons acknowledged must give their written permission.Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the responsible entity and who paid for this assistance.

    1.7.8 Contributions

    All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed as authors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate parts of the content.

    All authors should have made substantial contributions to all three of sections (1), (2) and (3) below:

    (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

    Each manuscript should be accompanied by a declaration of each author's contributions relating to sections (1), (2) and (3) above. This declaration should also name one or more authors (including email addresses) who take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to finished article. These declarations will be included in the published manuscript.

    A declaration of contributions can include the following points, to be modified as appropriate:

    • Conception and design
    • Analysis and interpretation of the data
    • Drafting of the article
    • Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content
    • Final approval of the article
    • Provision of study materials or patients
    • Statistical expertise
    • Obtaining of funding
    • Administrative, technical, or logistic support
    • Collection and assembly of data

    Any change in authors, author order or contributions after initial submission must be approved in writing by all authors, and changes must be explained to the editor.

    1.7.9 Role of the funding source

    All sources of funding should be declared in this section. Authors should declare the role of study sponsors, if any, in the study design, 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 state this.

    1.7.10 Competing interests

    At the end of the manuscript text, under a subheading "Competing interest statement" every author must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could potentially and inappropriately influence (bias) their work and conclusions. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and research grants or other funding.

    The existence of competing interests is common and often inevitable. Competing interests are not inherently unethical, but not declaring them is.

    1.7.11 References

    References should be listed in numerical sequence as they are cited in the text. Names of the first six authors are to be provided. The reference style is based on the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals' (http://www.icmje.org). Both journal and book references should contain inclusive page numbers.

    Personal communications and unpublished data should be cited in parentheses in the text, and not included in the numbered reference listed at the end of the article. Such citations from someone other than the authors (e. g., personal communication) can only be published if a signed letter of permission if provided.

    References to abstracts should be included only when essential, and then only if the abstract is from a readily accessible periodical (e.g., Federation Proceedings: FEBS Abstracts). Such references must contain the word (Abstract) after the title.

    References in the text should be identified by superscript numbers, inside punctuation at the end of the sentence, and numbered in order of appearance. Along with the entire manuscript, references should be double spaced.

    Examples of References

    Journal Articles

    1. Standard Journal Articles (List all authors when six or less; when seven or more, list the first six and add et al. Do not repeat page numbers).
    Wailing HW, Raggatt LJ, Irvine DW, Barmina OY, Toledano JE, Goldring MB, et al. Impairment of the collagenase-3 endocytotic receptor system in cells from patients with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2003;11:854-63.
    2. Corporate Author
    FDA Document: Guidelines for industry. The extent of population exposure to assess clinical safety: for drugs intended for long-term treatment of non-life-threatening conditions, ICH-EIA, March 1995; Federal Register March 1, 1995 (60FR11270).

    Books
    1. Personal Author(s)
    Moskowitz RW, Howell DS, Altman RD, Buckwalter JA, and Goldberg VM. Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and Medical/Surgical Management, Third Edition. Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders 2001.
    2. Corporate Author
    Drug Information for the Health Care Professional. Volume 1 USP DI. Micromedex, Thomson Health Care. Quebecor World. Taunton, MA, XXII 2002.
    3. Editor, Compiler, Chairman as Author
    Favus MJ. Primer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, IV. An official publication of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia 1999:1-502.
    4. Chapter in BookLozada CJ, Altman RD. Management of osteoarthritis. In: Arthritis and Allied Conditions, Koopman WJ, Ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins 2001:2246-63.

    1.7.12 Figure legends

    Legends for illustrations should be included on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. A legend must accompany each illustration.

    1.7.13 Illustrations and Tables

    Suggested position of figures and tables in the text should be marked in the manuscript and cited in the text in order of appearance. Arabic numbering should be used for both figures and tables. Each figure and each table should be submitted on a separate page.

    Each table should be appropriately numbered and typed on a separate page. Table legends should be typed above each table.

    Figures, especially charts, graphs and line drawings, are generally reduced in size for publication. Consider print page and column format when designing your figures and tables. All numbers, letters and symbols should be large enough that when reduced they will remain legible. Arrows should be added to radiographs, histology and other illustrations for clarity. Measures should be included in histology images to indicate magnification. Figures not properly prepared will be returned to the contributor for revision.

    Please refer to ethics and scientific misconduct section: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/intro.cws_home/ethical_guidelines regarding modifications of original images.

    When preparing their manuscript, authors should consider the most appropriate format to present their data. Certain graphics formats, such as bar graphs, often have low information content, and data and statistics may often be best presented in a table. The editors may request authors to revise graphics or change data presentation format prior to publication of accepted manuscripts.

    Figures should be appended in a readily available format (e. g., BMP, TIF, or PDF). There is no charge for a limited number of color figures. Submitting your artwork in detailed electronic format helps us to produce your work to the best possible standards, ensuring accuracy, clarity and a high level of detail. In general, figures in JPG or PPT do not provide sufficient detail in reproduction. A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on the Elsevier website: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authors.authors/authorartworkinstructions.

    Although not essential at the time of submission, written permission from publishers and authors to reproduce or adapt previously published illustrations and tables will be needed at time of acceptance and prior to the manuscript being forwarded to the publisher (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/copyright.

    2. EDITORIAL POLICIES

    Authorship

    See section 1.7.8

    Competing interests

    Every author must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could potentially and inappropriately influence (bias) their work and conclusions. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and research grants or other funding. Each co-author must declare competing interest by completing and uploading* the ICMJE form ((available here).

    The existence of competing interests is common and often inevitable. Competing interests are not inherently unethical, but not declaring them is.

    A separate statement must be submitted, signed by all authors, referable to validity of authorship, financial disclosure and the participation of those in the acknowledgment. Author disclosure form

    3. ETHICS

    Ethics approval of research on humans or animals

    Authors, in compliance with the Uniform Requirements, are required to include a statement (in reports of clinical trials or other experimentation on humans) whether "the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000". The reason for this statement is that some ethics committees are regulated by national law, not the Helsinki Declaration. They therefore sometimes approve studies that violate the principles of the Helsinki Declaration, and such studies should, according to both the Helsinki Declaration and the CIOMS (Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences http://www.cioms.ch/) not be accepted for publication.

    Studies involving experiments with animals must state that their care was in accordance with institution guidelines.

    Approvals as detailed above in this section must be explicitly stated in the submission cover letter. Approvals must also be explicitly stated in the manuscript, including the name and location of the approving ethics committee(s).

    Patient consent

    Manuscripts involving research on human subjects should contain a statement that they gave informed consent to the work.

    Patients have a right to privacy. Therefore identifying information, including patients' images, names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be included in videos, recordings, written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and you have obtained written informed consent for publication in print and electronic form from the patient (or parent, guardian or next of kin where applicable). If such consent is made subject to any conditions, Elsevier must be made aware of all such conditions. Written consents must be provided to Elsevier on request.

    Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note.

    If such consent has not been obtained, personal details of patients included in any part of the paper and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

    Scientific misconduct

    The editors of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage consider very seriously all possible forms of misconduct. We follow guidance and definitions provided by e.g. the Committee on Publication Ethics ( http://publicationethics.org/) the World Association of Medical Editors ( http://www.wame.org/) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) ( http://www.icmje.org/). Submitted manuscripts are randomly selected for computerized screening of plagiarism and redundancy.

    The WAME definition of scientific misconduct includes the following behaviours:

    Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to deceptive reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or wilful suppression and/or distortion of data.
    Plagiarism: The appropriation of the language, ideas or thoughts of another without crediting their true source and representation of them as one's own original work.
    Improprieties of authorship: improper assignment of credit, such as excluding others, misrepresentation of the same material as original in more than one publication, inclusion of individuals as authors who have not made a definite contribution to the work published or submission of multi-authored publications without the concurrence of all authors.
    Misappropriation of the ideas of others: an important aspect of scholarly activity is the exchange of ideas among colleagues. Scholars can acquire novel ideas from others during the process of reviewing grant applications and manuscripts. However, improper use of such information can constitute fraud. Wholesale appropriation of such material constitutes misconduct.
    Violation of generally accepted research practices: serious deviation from accepted practices in proposing or carrying out research, improper manipulation of experiments to obtain biased results, deceptive statistical or analytical manipulations, or improper reporting of results.
    Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research: including but not limited to serious or substantial, repeated, wilful violations of applicable local regulations and law involving the use of funds, care of animals, human subjects, investigational drugs, recombinant products, new devices, or radioactive, biological or chemical materials.
    Inappropriate behaviour in relation to misconduct: this includes unfounded or knowingly false accusations of misconduct, failure to report known or suspected misconduct, withholding of information relevant to a claim or misconduct and retaliation against persons involved in the allegation or investigation.
    Manipulation of images Manipulation of images is regarded as falsification of data. The editors of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage concur with the principles described in e.g. the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Neill, U., and Turka, L.A. 2007. Navigating through the gray (and CMYK) areas of figure manipulation: rules at the JCI. J. Clin. Invest. 117:2736; and Neill, US. All data are not created equal. J Clin Invest 2009;119:424) and the Journal of Cell Biology (Rossner, M., and Yamada, K.M. 2004. What's in a picture? The temptation of image manipulation 166:11-15. Authors are recommended to read these articles before submission to OAC.

    A good summary rule is provided by the following quote from the article by Rossner and Yamada in the Journal of Cell Biology: "No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields, or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (e.g., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to the whole image and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend."

    4. PEER REVIEWAll manuscripts submitted to Osteoarthritis and Cartilage are peer reviewed, internally and or externally. A significant proportion of the submitted articles are rejected after a first review by the editor-in-chief and one or more editors for reasons of insufficient originality, scientific flaws, or an absence of message important to the readers of the Journal. This decision is forwarded to the authors within 1-2 weeks. The remaining manuscripts are by the deputy editors assigned to one of the associate editors who is responsible for selecting one or more external experts for a detailed review of the submitted work. Manuscripts are in addition reviewed by the biostatistics deputy editor when appropriate.

    Reviewers and editors advise the editor-in-chief, who is responsible for the final decision on a manuscript. The decision of the editor-in-chief is final. Any correspondence relating to manuscript decisions should be directed to the editor-in-chief using the email address oac@elsevier.com.

    As a part of their submission, the author should indicate closely related papers or manuscripts that have been submitted or published elsewhere in a note to the Editor.

    When received, Editorial Manager system will notify you of the manuscript number. This number is to be used in all correspondence with the editor.

    Only one major revision is allowed per manuscript, unless specific circumstances suggest otherwise and at the discretion of the Editors. In other words, a second major revision recommendation by the reviewers is the same as a reject decision by the editors, while minor revision is allowed following a major. Authors should therefore very carefully consider and respond to all the comments and suggestions of the reviewers. A revised manuscript should be accompanied by a separate detailed and carefully worded point-by-point response, detailing the 'comments' and 'actions' of the authors to each point raised by the reviewers.

    Peer review of papers submitted by Osteoarthritis and Cartilage editorial team

    Research articles authored by a member of the OAC editorial team are independently peer reviewed, and the member blinded to access to reviews and decisions in the Editorial Manager system. An editor will have no influence on decisions relating to the article.

    5. PUBLICATION

    Copyright

    Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to sign a "Journal Publishing Agreement" (for more information on this and copyright see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright). Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e-mail (or letter) 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).

    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 http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies.

    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 download these from http://www.elsevier.com/permissions.

    Proofs

    One set of page proofs in PDF format 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). Elsevier now sends PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 7 available free from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs. The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/acrrsystemreqs.html#70win. If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return 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. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all of your corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.

    Offprints
    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail or, alternatively, 25 free paper offprints. 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.

    6. FAST TRACK PUBLICATIONThe Journal will consider fast track publication requests. Note your request in the cover letter of your submission, and clearly motivate your request. If possible, contact the editorial office and the Editor-in-Chief in advance of your submission. A decision on publication will be reached within 2 to 3 weeks from submission. On-line publication will be within 5 days of acceptance, and rapid print publication can be accomplished within a month or two.

    7. MANUSCRIPT CHECKLIST

    Title Page
    • Title
    • Names, initials and appointment held by each author; name of the department or institution to which the work should be attributed and name and contact details of the author responsible for correspondence.
    • 250 word abstract structured into the following sections: (1) Objective; (2) Design (3) Results and (4) Conclusions.
    • 4-6 keywords

    Manuscript Preparation – Text
    • At end of discussion text add statements as appropriate regarding acknowledgements, contributions, declaration of funding and role of funding source, competing interests, and studies involving humans or animals.
    • Double spacing of entire text, including abstract and references
    • Liberal margins
    • Number pages sequentially
    • References should be listed in numerical sequence as they are cited in the text.

    Appended to Manuscript
    • Figure Legends
    • Figures
    • Tables
    • Supplemental Text/Video
    • Cover Letter
    • Author Disclosure Form
    • Conflict of Interest Statement

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