Guide for Authors

  • Surgery is a monthly journal that builds into a textbook and which is distributed worldwide. Each issue of Surgery is themed and may contain related or complimentary basic science and anatomy. Surgery provides a comprehensive surgical text over a three-year period. The contents of Surgery are carefully planned to encourage immediate readership of individual issues and subsequent use for reference and study. The coverage of each specialty is at least as comprehensive as that of a textbook, and the fast production time allows due emphasis to be given to recent advances.

    Author guidelines
    Level
    Subjects should be covered at a level appropriate to the MRCS and AFRCS examinations. The “target” readership is basic surgical trainees, but it is also read by established surgeons who wish to keep up-to-date in areas outside their specialty, and by surgical teachers who are attracted by the authoritative articles and excellent illustrations and clinical images.

    Style
    Surgery aims to publish up-to-date, precise, concise authoritative reviews. The articles must not make unsubstantiated claims, and eponyms must not be used without explanation. Drug treatments must be defined precisely–phrases such as “full antibiotic prophylaxis”, “appropriate antibiotics” and “anti-tetanus prophylaxis” need precise descriptions. Investigations or treatments must be linked with guidance about which are the most appropriate in particular circumstances.
    Surgery commissions articles from experts who it expects will not find difficulty in meeting these conditions. We prefer articles to be written by single authors, but acknowledge that time restrictions often make it more practicable for two authors to work together. The author may invite a colleague (e.g. Research Fellow, Specialist Registrar) to contribute, but the article must reflect the authority and expertise of the senior author. Surgery is unwilling to publish an article with more than two authors.
    Surgery aims to cover its topics in three years in 36 issues, each focused on an aspect of the surgical syllabus with linked articles on pathology and physiology. Each issue of Surgery has a set number of pages that cannot be exceeded. Much editorial work is involved in planning the overall design of each issue and the commissioned length of each article cannot be exceeded.

    Text
    Please submit your article in WORD format on CD or by email.

    Submission deadlines
    Each issue of Surgery is themed. Your article must be received on time so that it can be passed through the editorial process. Late articles cannot be moved into another issue (e.g. a urology article cannot be placed in a cardiothoracic issue) so please adhere to the submission deadline detailed in your commissioning letter and contract.

    Illustrations
    Illustrations are paramount to the “appeal” of an article. For each illustration, subtract 200 words from the total number of words commissioned.
    Photographs of intraoperative surgery seldom convey much information–a diagram is better. Radiographs, CT scans, MRI scans and ultrasound illustrations are more comprehensible by (preferably) an accompanying line diagram or arrows and markers on a tracing paper overlay. Legends must be used to explain the figure. Photomicrographs demand more comprehensive legends than other figures. Colour transparencies and radiographs will be returned when your contribution is published (or sooner if requested). Black-and-white prints and rough artwork will not be returned unless requested.
    Illustrations can also be submitted on CD/by email as separate JPEG/TIFF files (minimum resolution of 300 dpi). Do not send them embedded within the WORD document.

    Copyright and permissions
    You must seek permission from the original publisher if you do not own the full copyright for multiple use (including print and electronic media) of all illustrations submitted for publication, When requesting permission from a publisher, please inform them that Surgery is a review journal used mainly for teaching and not a primary research publication.

    Consent
    Permission from patients is necessary. Please obtain written consent from the patient if there is a possibility that the patient could be identified from a photograph submitted. Photographs showing a patient's face can be masked with a black oblong to cover the eyes or by pixellation of the eyes. Please contact Janet Knox if you require a consent form for your illustration.

    Colour transparencies
    Colour transparencies should be good-quality 35-mm transparencies. Each should be clearly marked with your name, figure number, and the orientation.

    Black-and-white photographs
    Glossy prints should be provided; they should be of good quality and good contrast. Please do not write on the back of your photographs. Instead, attach a label with your name, the figure number and the orientation. Particular features that may be overlooked by the less experienced reader should be identified on a tracing paper overlay, not on the photograph. If arrows are required, they will be added by our production department to your specification provided on an overlay–those supplied by illustration departments are not always suitable for reproduction.

    Line drawings
    Diagrams and other line drawings will be redrawn so finished artwork is not required. Your “roughs” should be explicit, with clear labelling and illustrations to help our artist. Please indicate appropriate colours to be used on artwork.

    Radiographs
    Original films are acceptable, but black-and-white prints or slides are preferred. It is often helpful to provide a rough diagram indicating the anatomical features and the abnormality. Do not write on radiographs with a felt-tip pen.

    ECG traces
    ECGs will be redrawn on a standard background grid. The quality of your material is therefore unimportant, but originals, photocopies or life-size photographs of originals should be sent. Beware of the distortion often introduced when ECGs are photocopied.

    PowerPoint™ presentations
    PowerPoint™ presentations must be converted for printing purposes and this procedure can affect image quality; the original slide in a JPEG/TIFF format is preferable.

    Headings (see “Heading checklist” attached)
    We have four levels of heading; please indicate the relative importance of each heading by numbering from 1–4 if confusion is likely.

    Lists
    It is often helpful to break up the text by using lists if appropriate (see examples in the copies of Surgery enclosed).

    Units
    SI units should be used; blood pressure readings should be quoted in kPa and mmHg.

    Abstract and keywords
    An abstract and keywords appear at the start of the article and are extremely important. Please supply a 250-word abstract, together with 5–10 keywords.

    References
    You can use up to 25 references for your contribution. Each reference must be clearly marked in the text and at the end of the article. Surgery uses the Vancouver style:

    Journals
    Houghton DJ, Gray HW, MacKenzie K, et al. The tender neck: thyroiditis or thyroid abscess? Clin Endocrinol 1998; 48: 521–4.

    Books
    Monson J, Duthie G, O¿Malley K, eds. Surgical emergencies. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1999.

    Drugs
    Use generic names only. Dose and route of administration should be stated.

    Proofs
    Your manuscript will be edited for content, style and length by the Specialty Editors, the Series Editors and by our editorial staff. You will be sent a copy of the edited manuscript in galley form and this is your opportunity to make alterations. You will be sent a final page proof of your article closer to publication; only essential alterations are made to page proofs.

    Queries
    Your contribution will be dealt with by the editorial team. Contact Roger Wayman if you have a query.

    Heading checklist
    This checklist is a list of conventional subheadings (and some important less conventional ones). While not all headings in the checklist can be allied to every contribution, they are an aide-mémoire to ensure that you adopt a parallel approach to that of your fellow contributors.

    Definition
    Aetiology
    Epidemiology (UK and worldwide)
    Pathology and pathogenesis (brief account)
    Diagnosis (history, physical examination, investigations)
    Differential diagnosis
    Management
    Complications, disabilities and their management
    Rehabilitation
    Prognosis and explanation to patient
    Prevention of disease/condition developing

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