Guide for Authors

  • Submissions

    THE International Journal of Spine Surgery IS NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS ONLINE
    through Elsevier's Electronic Submission (EES) site. Please go to to register and begin the submission process.Editors and reviewers may also use this link to register and participate in peer review.

    The International Journal of Spine Surgery complies with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, available at: Potential authors should pay close attention to the requirements concerning human rights and disclosure of financial and other conflicts of interest.

    Following manuscript submission, authors will receive notification that the manuscript has been filed for review. After preliminary review, a member of the peer review team will again contact the authors with an approval or rejection notification based on our established submission guidelines. If the manuscript is approved, the peer review process begins. If the manuscript is rejected, a member of the peer review team will outline changes to be made before resubmission is possible. The peer review process itself, carried out for approved manuscripts, may result in acceptance or rejection. A member of the peer review team will outline changes to be made before either production or resubmission is possible. Manuscript production may impose further technical requirements, such as images of higher resolution, on accepted manuscripts at this stage.

    All manuscript pages, blinded and unblinded, should be provided as Word files or rich text files.

    A structured abstract is a required component of each manuscript submission. The abstract must include 5 paragraphs and total 300 words or less. If abstract is not formatted correctly, the article will be returned to the author for the necessary revisions.

    The abstract must contain the following subheadings:

    • Background (with clear statement of primary research question)
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusions / Level of Evidence
    • Clinical relevance (when applicable)

    At least 3 key words should be included following the abstract so SAS Journal visitors can easily locate articles by topic.

    Body copy should be double spaced with standard margins (1" top and bottom, 1.25" left and right). Pages should be sequentially numbered. A complete manuscript must include the following sections with each section clearly labeled by the following section headers:

    State the problem that led to the study including a concise review of the literature. State your hypothesis and the purpose of the study.

    Materials and methods
    Describe the study design (prospective, retrospective, inclusion and exclusion criteria, duration of study) and the study population (demographics and length of follow up).

    Statistical Methods
    Discuss the statistical framework of the study that supports your hypothesis and conclusions. Statistical data should include n and p-values; any relevant charts, graphs, or tables that further strengthen the argument.

    Include findings of the study as exemplified by the statistical results. Explanation of relevant tables, charts, and graphs.

    Provide an overview of the study. Compare and contrast results with expectations and/or standards. Discuss any inconsistencies in data or results, unexpected conclusions, etc.

    High-resolution electronic pictures, illustrations, charts, and graphs must be submitted as separate files from the manuscript in TIFF or EPS format. JPEG images are also acceptable, but not a preferred format.

    Electronic image files may be embedded into a Microsoft Word or PDF document TO SHOW PLACEMENT ONLY. Electronic image files must meet the following specifications:

    • Resolution: 300 dots-per-inch (dpi)
    • File Size: 4 by 6 inches
    • Color specifications: RGB or B&W

    Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint files are not acceptable submission formats.

    All references must be properly cited according to the American Medical Association (AMA) standards. If claims are not supported by clinical study results and/or the standard cross-referencing of other publications, the manuscript will not be eligible for submission. Manuscript guidelines also require that:

    • The submission be seen, reviewed, and approved by all contributing authors
    • Copyright transfer form is completed and signed by all listed authors
    • Lead author's contact form is completed and includes address, telephone number, and e-mail
    • References are numbered sequentially


    Unblinded Title Page
    List the title of the manuscript and the author's names in the order in which they should appear. Provide a complete mailing address for each author. Clearly designate the lead author and provide her/his mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address.

    Blinded Title Page
    The International Journal of Spine Surgery has a policy of blinded peer review. All manuscripts submitted for publication must include a Blinded Title Page. This page does NOT mention the authors' names, initials, or the institution at which the study was completed. Page headers may include the title but not the authors' names. Manuscripts not in compliance with the International Journal of Spine Surgery's policies in this respect will be returned to the lead author.

    IRB Approval
    A copy of the letter granting approval from the institutional review board or the animal utilization study committee is required. This letter may be submitted by post mail, by fax, or in PDF format online. The author must reference the manuscript title and corresponding authors on the fax cover sheet or in an accompanying letter.

    When informed consent has been obtained, it must be indicated in the submitted manuscript and will be noted in the published article.

    Copyright Transfer and Author Agreement
    Material appearing in the International Journal of Spine Surgery is covered by copyright. All authors must sign a Copyright transfer and Author agreement form upon acceptance of the manuscript by The International Journal of Spine Surgery. Copyright forms are handled by the production department of the publisher once the manuscript is accepted and scheduled for publication.

    The form must reference the manuscript title, assigned International Journal of Spine Surgery manuscript number and corresponding author. This form must be submitted by post mail, by fax, or in PDF format.

    Conflict of Interest
    If there is a conflict of interest, please supply full disclosure of financial arrangement between any author and any company whose product or competing product plays a prominent role in the manuscript in the space provided below.

    Authors may submit additional materials with each manuscript, including:

    • Cover letter
    • Figures and/or tables: figures must be submitted electronically. Each figure and/or table must be labeled separately and attached as a separate file. Tables should be submitted in their original file format
    • Acknowledgements

    As an author, you (or your employer or institution) may do the following:
    • Reproduce (print or electronic) the article for your own personal use, including for educational purposes
    • Reproduce and distribute such copies (including through e-mail) of the article to research colleagues for their personal use only. Reproductions must not be used commercially or systematically, e.g., via an e-mail list or list server)
    • Post a pre-print version of the article on Internet Web sites including electronic pre-print servers, and to retain indefinitely such version on such servers of sites
    • Post a revised personal version of the final text of the article (to reflect changes made in the peer review and editing process) on your personal or institutional Web site or server, with a link to the SAS Journal homepage,
    • Present the article at a meeting or conference and distribute reproductions to the delegates attending such a meeting
    • For your employer, if the article is a 'work for hire', created within the scope of your employment agreement. Your employer may use all or part of the information in the article for other intracompany use (e.g., training)
    • Retain patent and trademark rights, and rights to any processes or procedure described in the article
    • Include the article in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially)
    • Use the article or any part thereof in a printed compilation of your works, such as collected writings or lecture notes (subsequent to publication of your article in the journal)
    • Prepare other derivative works, to extend the article into book-length form, or to otherwise reuse portions or excerpts in other works, with full acknowledgement of its original publication in the International Journal of Spine Surgery


    Ethical Standards
    When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors must indicate 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. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Institutional approval or exemption from review will be noted in the published article.

    Informed Consent
    Patients have a right to privacy that must not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, will not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential.

    Conflicts of Interest
    Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decisionmaking. Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author's institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to those with great potential to influence judgment, and not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. The potential for conflicts of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself.(Adapted from ICMJE)


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