Guide for Authors

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

    • Page charges
    BEFORE YOU BEGIN
    • Ethics in publishing
    • Human and animal rights
    • Conflict of interest
    • Submission declaration
    • Contributors
    • Authorship
    • Changes to authorship
    • Clinical trial results
    • Copyright
    • Role of the funding source
    • Funding body agreements and policies
    • Open access
    • Language (usage and editing services)
    • Submission
    • Referees
    PREPARATION
    • Double-blind review
    • Article structure
    • Essential title page information
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Abbreviations
    • Acknowledgements
    • Units
    • Database linking
    • Artwork
    • Illustration services
    • Tables
    • References
    • Supplementary data
    • Submission checklist
    AFTER ACCEPTANCE
    • Use of the Digital Object Identifier
    • Online proof correction
    • Offprints
    AUTHOR INQUIRIES

    Page charges

    This journal has no page charges.

    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.

    Please ensure a copy of ethical approval and/or the CALDICOTT Guidelines’ form is included with your submission

    Human and animal rights

    If the work involves the use of animal or human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/index.html; EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/lab_animals/legislation_en.htm; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals http://www.icmje.org. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

    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.

    Submission declaration

    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 including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

    Contributors

    Each author is required to declare his or her individual contribution to the article: all authors must have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation, so roles for all authors should be described. The statement that all authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure.

    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.

    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 (less than 500 words) abstract or table. However, divulging results in other circumstances (e.g., investors' meetings) is discouraged and may jeopardise consideration of the manuscript. Authors should fully disclose all posting in registries of results of the same or closely related work.

    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 publication fee for this journal is 2500, 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/yfoot/default.asp.

    Referees

    Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

    Double-blind review

    This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author name(s) are not allowed to be revealed to one another for a manuscript under review. The identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. For more information please refer to http://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/peer-review. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
    Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names and affiliations, and a complete address for the corresponding author including telephone and e-mail address.
    Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any Acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

    Article structure

    Please ensure all pages and lines are numbered

    Introduction
    State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

    Material and methods
    Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

    Experimental
    Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.

    Results
    Results should be clear and concise.

    Discussion
    This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

    Conclusions
    The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

    Brief Summary
    The Brief Summary should consist of 3 bullet points summarizing What Is Already Known and an additional 3 bullet points summarizing What This Study Adds

    Appendices
    If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

    Essential title page information

    Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
    Author names 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.

    Abstract

    A concise and factual abstract, of no more than 300 words, is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. 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). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

    Keywords

    Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 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.

    Abbreviations

    Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

    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.

    Database linking

    Elsevier encourages authors to connect articles with external databases, giving their readers one-click access to relevant databases that help to build a better understanding of the described research. Please refer to relevant database identifiers using the following format in your article: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN). See http://www.elsevier.com/databaselinking for more information and a full list of supported databases.

    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 the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
    • Number the illustrations 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
    If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
    Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
    EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
    TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
    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) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or on the Web only. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.
    Please note: Because of technical complications which can arise by converting color figures to 'gray scale' (for the printed version should you not opt for color in print) please submit in addition usable black and white versions of all the color illustrations.

    Illustration services

    Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/illustrationservices) offers Illustration Services to authors preparing to submit a manuscript but concerned about the quality of the images accompanying their article. Elsevier's expert illustrators can produce scientific, technical and medical-style images, as well as a full range of charts, tables and graphs. Image 'polishing' is also available, where our illustrators take your image(s) and improve them to a professional standard. Please visit the website to find out more.

    Figure captions
    Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

    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.

    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
    Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
    Example: '..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ....'
    List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
    Examples:
    Reference to a journal publication:
    [1] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2010) 51–59.
    Reference to a book:
    [2] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
    Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
    [3] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 281–304.

    Journal abbreviations source
    Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations: http://www.issn.org/services/online-services/access-to-the-ltwa/.

    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:
    • Keywords
    • All figure captions
    • All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
    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 are cited in the text, and vice versa
    • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)
    • 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.

    • Ethical approval has been included • Funding sources have been specified, or specify that no funding was received

    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.

    Online proof correction

    Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
    If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
    We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately - please upload all of 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.

    Offprints

    The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/offprints). Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/booklets).



    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.

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