Guide for Authors

  • ARTICLES should deal with original research or reviews of topics defined in the aims of the journal. Radiotherapy and Oncology publishes original material only. It is therefore understood that the content of the paper has not previously been published in the same or a similar form and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The act of submitting a manuscript to the journal carries with it the right to publish that paper.

    Articles and other text material published in Radiotherapy and Oncology represent the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the opinions, official policy, or recommendations of ESTRO, the publisher, or the institution with which the author is affiliated, unless the contrary is specified.

    These guidelines generally follow the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals". The complete document appears at http://www.icmje.org.

    MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

    Radiotherapy and Oncology uses an online manuscript submission and peer review process.
    Papers and correspondence should be submitted online at http://www.ees.elsevier.com/ro and the instructions on the site should be closely followed. Authors may submit manuscripts and track their progress to final decision. Reviewers can download manuscripts and submit their reports to the Editors electronically.

    The full contact details for the Editorial Office are shown below:

    Professor Jens Overgaard, M.D., Radiotherapy and Oncology Secretariat, Department of Experimental Clinical Oncology, Aarhus University Hospital, Nörrebrogade 44, Building 5, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark (Tel: +45 78 46 26 29; Fax: +45 86 19 71 09; E-mail: ro@oncology.dk)

    In a covering letter, please identify the person responsible for editorial correspondence (address, telephone and fax numbers and email address). The covering letter must be signed by the corresponding author on behalf of all authors. 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. Also include details of any previous submission.

    Acknowledgements
    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship as defined above should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    Conflict of Interest
    At the end of the text, under a subheading "Conflict of Interest Statement" all authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.

    Role of the Funding Source
    All sources of funding should be declared as an acknowledgement at the end of the text. Authors should declare the role of the study sponsors, if any, in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, the authors should so state.

    Ethical Considerations
    Work on human beings that is submitted to the journal should comply with the principles laid down in the DECLARATION OF HELSINKI; Recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects, adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964, amended by the 29th World Medical Assembly, Tokyo, Japan, October 1975, the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983, and the 41st World Medical Assembly, Hong Kong, September 1989. The manuscript should contain a statement that the work has been approved by the appropriate ethical committees related to the institution(s) in which it was performed and that subjects gave informed consent to the work. Studies involving experiments with animals must state that their care was in accordance with institution guidelines. Where applicable, the dose and schedule of anaesthetics and analgesics should be reported. The editors reserve the right to reject papers in which, in their opinion, the ethical justification is questionable.

    TYPES OF PAPERS
    1. Full length original papers (max. 3000 words)
    Describe original scientific work in the field of radiation oncology or related areas. The content of the paper should be sufficient to reach valid conclusions. Full papers should include a structured abstract and be divided into sections (Introduction; Materials and Methods; Results; Discussion; References; Tables; Figures) and should not normally exceed 6 printed pages, including references and a maximum of 6 tables/figures. Additional material can be submitted as supplementary files.

    2. Short communications and technical notes (max. 2000 words)
    Provide a brief but complete account of a particular piece of work, e.g. Phase I or II study, and should in total be no longer than 4 printed pages, normally including a maximum of 2 figures or tables. A summary of not more than 50 words should be included (not a structured abstract), but the manuscript can have fewer subheadings (e.g. short introduction; materials and methods; results and discussion). Authors are advised to see a recent issue of the journal for size and lay-out.

    3. Review articles
    Rigorous critical assessment of clinical and/or laboratory research in a field of interest to the journal and its subscribers. Reviews are normally solicited by the Editors, and it is suggested that authors wishing to contribute a review article contact the Editor-in-Chief.

    4. Editorials and commentaries
    Editorials and commentaries relate to articles in the journal or to issues of relevance for the readership. This type of communication is normally solicited by the Editors.

    5. Letters to the Editor
    On topics of current interest or commenting upon material previously or simultaneously published in the journal. They should be limited to 500 words and may include 1 table or figure.

    6. Announcements
    The inclusion of announcements, etc. is at the discretion of the Editors and the Publisher and subject to space availability. Request for inclusion of a meeting announcement should be send to the ESTRO secretariat (see address in journal).

    NOTE: The instructions to authors must be followed strictly, and manuscripts not adhering to the instructions may be delayed or omitted from editorial handling. Typical errors are related to the number, quality and format of figures and tables, incorrect list of references (MUST be in order of appearance), or insufficient description and reporting of endpoints and statistical analysis.

    Title Page. Make titles brief, informative and specific, but avoid abbreviations in title. State authors' full names and academic addresses of hospital or academic institution where the work was done, mailing address for reprints if different from above. Supply corresponding author's mailing address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address, if available (to be used during editorial communication and for later contacts).
    Indicate on the title page the total number of pages, tables and figures included in the manuscript. Include a running head (shortened form of title) of no more than 40 characters.
    3 - 6 keywords for indexing should be provided on the title page.

    Abstract. Type the abstract on a separate page. Full paper manuscripts should include a structured abstract (of not more than 200 words). The abstract should concisely define the significant aspects of the article and it should contain four paragraphs, labelled Background and Purpose, Material and Methods, Results, and Conclusions. For review articles and special features, a non-structured abstract can be accepted. Short communications and technical notes should have a (less than 50 words) non-structured abstract. Abstracts are not required for editorials, commentaries and Letters to the Editor.

    Text style. All units must be clear and either use or relate to the SI-system. Absorbed dose should be given in Gray (Gy). Abbreviations must be defined when first used in the text, and excessive use of abbreviations should be avoided.

    Reporting radiotherapy technique. Radiotherapy techniques and dose fractionation schedules should be reported in sufficient detail to allow the reader to evaluate if they are appropriate. The description should include the following: tumour dose definition, permitted dose variation, target volume description, permitted dose to critical normal tissues. For the specification of doses and target volumes the authors are strongly encouraged to follow the ICRU recommendations. Dose-planning, simulation, verification and quality assurance procedures should be described. Dose-fractionation details should include total dose, dose per fraction, overall treatment time, interval between fractions in multiple-fractions-per-day schedules. Dose-rate should be stated when relevant. Biological equivalent dose units (e.g. BED or other derived quantities) should not be reported instead of these details of the fractionation schedule.

    Reporting of treatment outcome. All clinical endpoints should be clearly and explicitly defined. Endpoints requiring prolonged observation of the patient, e.g. local control, late toxicity or survival, should be estimated using actuarial methods and the starting date and the date of an event or censoring should be defined. The pattern of follow-up should be stated and the specific diagnostic procedures, for example to detect a relapse, should be described. Any report of the outcome of cancer treatment should include data on both treatment effect and treatment-related toxicity. It is strongly recommended that toxicity be recorded and reported using a standard system developed for radiotherapy. Late sequelae should be reported as actuarial estimates, preferably at five years or more of follow-up. Quality-of-life (QOL) measures should not be reported as surrogate endpoints for toxicity. It is recommended that QOL be evaluated using a validated and standardized scale.

    Reporting clinical outcome studies. Controlled clinical trials should test a clearly defined a priori hypothesis and the primary outcome measures for tumour effect and toxicity should be stated. Any supplementary comparisons of treatment effect should be clearly identified as exploratory. In an attempt to improve the quality of reports on clinical outcome, the journal has adopted a set of guidelines for such reports that meets the minimum requirements defined in the CONSORT statement (http://www.consort-statement.org). The background for these guidelines is presented in the review by S. M. Bentzen (Towards evidence based radiation oncology: improving the design, analysis, and reporting of clinical outcome studies in radiotherapy, Radiotherapy and Oncology 46: 5--18, 1998) and the guidelines are reproduced in schematic form together with this instruction. Any report on clinical outcome studies, whether the study applies randomized controls or not, must be accompanied by a filled-in copy of this form at the time of submission. The form may be copied from the journal or retrieved here.

    Obligation to register clinical trials. Radiotherapy and Oncology has adopted the proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. This policy applies to any clinical trial starting enrolment after July 1, 2005. For trials that begin enrolment before this date, registration will be required by October 31, 2005, before considering the trial for publication. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g. phase I trials) would be exempt. Further information can be found at http://www.icmje.org.

    Statistics. The description of statistical procedures should be included in the section of 'Material and Methods', for example under a separate sub-heading. Statistical methods should be clearly identified and described in sufficient detail for a knowledgeable reader to reproduce the analysis if he had access to the raw data. The choice of method should be motivated. When relevant, the statistical software used and its version number should be stated. The term 'significant' should be reserved for findings that are statistically significant at the 5% level. It should be stated whether P-values are from one- or two-sided tests. The journal encourages the reporting of 95% confidence intervals rather than simple P-values whenever relevant. A special concern is the statistical power of analyses showing that a parameter is not significantly associated with the outcome, despite previous reports of a significant association. Here, a confidence interval should be estimated for the effect of this parameter as an indication of the statistical strength of the reported non-significance. Multivariate analyses should be reported with a clear indication of the criteria for selection of parameters to be tested in the model, and how these parameters were represented ('scored') in the model. This applies both for parameters significantly associated with the outcome parameter and parameters for which this is not so.

    Tables. Tables should be typed, each on a separate page, numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals with respect to citation in the text, and only contain horizontal lines. A short descriptive heading should be given above each table, and any footnotes and explanations underneath. The data should be self-explanatory and should supplement, not duplicate, the text. Indication of previously published material should be included, and the sources should be included in the reference list with the reference number cited in the table. Abbreviations must be defined.

    Figures. Figures should only be used if they include important information not given in the text. Prepare figures with care, and note that the most simple figures often carry the clearest information. The journal would like to present the material as clearly as possible, but this demands that authors supply the most pedagogical and best designed graphic material. Please note there is a charge for publishing colour figures in print - see the section below on Colour illustrations for more details. Submission of colour figures with your manuscript implies that you are willing to meet the costs of reproducing these colour figures in the printed journal should your article be accepted for publication.

    Figures should be in a form and condition suitable for reproduction, viz. in final setting a single column (=7.7 cm) or exceptionally a whole page (=16.2 cm). Please calculate or, if possible, use a photocopier reduction device to ensure this. Also, lettering should be large enough to withstand reduction (a lower case 'n', after reduction by the Publisher, should not be smaller than 2 mm).

    Line drawings should be at a resolution of 1000dpi. Make figures specifically for the purpose of publication, and avoid prints from computerized slide programs. Secure consistency in symbols and line presentations. Avoid 3-dimensional presentations (especially 3-D histograms) unless strictly needed.

    Half-tone photographs should be in black and white, very sharp, well contrasting, and on glossy paper. Photographs should be trimmed to the width of a single column (=7.7 cm), or exceptionally the width of a full page (=16.2 cm). Magnification and staining materials should be indicated in photomicrograph legends.

    Colour illustrations. Submit colour illustrations as original photographs, high-quality computer prints or transparencies, close to the size expected in publication. Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF, EPS or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. Polariod colour prints are not suitable.
    There is a charge for publishing colour figures and illustrations in print. The charge is EURO 400.00 for the first colour figure and EURO 200.00 per figure for subsequent colour figures. Submission of colour figures with your manuscript implies that you are willing to meet the costs of reproducing these colour figures in the printed journal should your article be accepted for publication.

    Figure legends. Legends should be typed, with double spacing, on a separate page, and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Avoid subdivision of figures (e.g. 2a, 2b) unless it is used to identify a part of a full figure. Figure legends should be brief and specific and contain an explanation for all symbols and abbreviations given in the figure.

    References. Literature references in the text should be referred to by a number in square brackets, e.g. [2,12--15]. List all references at the end of the paper in order of appearance and numbered. The format of references (with the exception of the alphabetic order) should include:
    1. Names and initials of all authors when six or fewer. Otherwise list only the first three and add et al.
    2. Full title of the article or chapter.
    3a. For journals: Name of the journal (abbreviated as in Index Medicus), year of publication, volume number, first and last page numbers.
    3b. For books: Title of the book preceded by 'In:', names and initials (same rules as for authors), 'editor(s):' Publisher's name and city, year of publication; first and last relevant page numbers.

    Examples:
    Journal reference with six or less authors:
    [1] Thwaites D, Scalliet P, Leer J-W, Overgaard J. Quality assurance in radiotherapy. European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Advisory Report to the Commission of the European Union for the 'Europe Against Cancer Programme'. Radiother Oncol 1995;35:61-73.

    Journal reference with more than six authors:
    [2] Geara FB, Peters LJ, Ang KK et al. Intrinsic radiosensitivity of normal human fibroblasts and lymphocytes after high- and low-dose rate irradiation. Cancer Res 1992;52:6348-52.

    Book chapter reference:
    [3] Steel GO. Survival of clonogenic cells: cell-survival curves. In: Steel GO, Adams GE, Horwich A, editors. The Biological Basis of Radiotherapy. 2nd Edition, Amsterdam: Elsevier. 1989;45-63.

    Do not include numbered references to personal communications, unpublished data, and manuscripts 'in preparation' or 'submitted for publication'. If essential, such material may be incorporated at the appropriate place in the text. A written permission from a referred person should be included with the submission of the paper. Please note that the references should be appropriate references to the scientific literature. References to abstracts, course books, or commercial publications which are not accessible at the international libraries should be omitted.

    Electronic appendices.
    Preparation of supplementary data.
    Elsevier now accepts electronic supplementary material (e-components) 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 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 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 our artwork instruction pages at the Author Gateway at http://www.elsevier.com/artwork. Files can be stored on 3.5 inch diskette, ZIP-disk or CD (either MS-DOS or Macintosh).

    Manuscript handling and responsibilities. Review of manuscripts is conducted by the Editors, with the assistance of Editorial Board members and external reviewers. Authors will be notified of acceptance, rejection, or need for revision. Papers sent back to authors for revision must be returned to us within the time specified in our cover letter or the manuscript will be retired from further consideration. Acceptance is contingent on author submission of complete and consistent data, accurate reference list, and conclusions consistent with results demonstrated in the study. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies found after acceptance may warrant return of the manuscript. The decision to publish a manuscript is solely the responsibility of the Editorial Board.

    The author is responsible for all statements in his work, including changes made by the copy editors. Permissions to quote and reproduce text previously published must be obtained by the author. Accepted manuscripts become the property of the journal and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from both the editor and publisher. Files related to accepted and published papers will not be preserved nor returned after publication.

    Open Access

    This journal offers authors two choices to publish their research;
    1. 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

    2. 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-Non Commercial-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.

    Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY): available only for authors funded by organizations with which Elsevier has established an agreement. For a full list please see http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies

    Elsevier has established agreements with funding bodies. 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. http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies

    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 2500 USD, excluding taxes.

    Learn more about Elsevier’s pricing policy http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing

    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/authors). 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.

    If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases : contact Elsevier's Rights Department, Oxford, UK: Tel. (+44) 1865 843830; Fax (+44) 1865 843333; e-mail healthpermissions@elsevier.com. Requests may also be completed online via the Elsevier homepage (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/permissions).

    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.

    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.

    Special subject repositories. 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.

    Author enquiries. For enquiries relating to the submission of articles (including electronic submission where available) please visit Elsevier's Author Gateway at http://www.elsevier.com/authors. The Author Gateway also provides the facility to track accepted articles and set up e-mail alerts to inform you of when an article's status has changed, as well as detailed artwork guidelines, copyright information, frequently asked questions, and more.

    Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, are provided after registration of an article for publication.

    Authors in Japan: please note that upon request, Elsevier Japan will provide authors with a list of people who can check and improve the English of their paper (before submission). Please contact our Tokyo office: Elsevier K.K., Higashi Azabu 1-chome, Building 4F 1-9-15, Higashi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0044, Japan. Tel: +81 3 5561 5032; Fax: +81 3 5561 5045; e-mail: jp.info@elsevier.com

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