Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Download Guide for Authors in PDF

Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI), the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, was launched in 1995 and publishes manuscripts presenting the results of original research in clinical microbiology, infectious diseases, bacteriology, mycology, virology and parasitology, including immunology and epidemiology as related to these fields. The journal also publishes editorials, commentaries and reviews, as well as guidelines originating from ESCMID Study Groups and ESCMID-sponsored conferences.

Please see for submission instructions. Manuscripts must be submitted via the account of the Corresponding Author. Please enter author names in full, following the conventional use of capitalization (do not use either all lower case or all upper case). Correct and individual e-mail addresses must be entered for all authors (do not enter the corresponding author's address for co-authors; this will delay the review process until all co-authors’ addresses are furnished). Please upload manuscripts as Word documents rather than pdf files.

In case of difficulty, please contact ScholarOne. For security reasons, the Editorial Office is unable to provide passwords.

Reporting guidelines

Certain research designs should be reported in CMI articles according to reporting guidelines: CONSORT for randomized controlled trials; STROBE for observational studies (including its extensions, STROME-ID for reporting of molecular epidemiology for infectious diseases and STROBE-AMS for reporting epidemiological studies on antimicrobial resistance); PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analysis; STARD for diagnostic studies; CHEERS for economic evaluations; ORION for outbreak reports and interventional, non-randomized studies of nosocomial infections; TRIPOD for prediction models; and ARRIVE for animal studies. The appropriate checklist should be submitted at the time of the article submission. All reporting guidelines can be found at the EQUATOR network site:

Article types

Original article
We accept the submission of original articles in any format. However, we encourage authors to provide a structured abstract (see below) and a text shorter than 2500 words which will be of help to the editors in the decision process before sending the article for peer-review. When accepted, we will ask the article to be formatted according to the CMI Guide for Authors (please see below).

The title of original articles should be descriptive rather than declarative. The first part of the title should describe the question that was addressed (e.g., Incidence of severe pain after Herpes Zoster; or Antibiotic A versus Antibiotic B for diverticulitis; or In vitro synergy of Antibiotic A and Antibiotic B against Escherichia Coli); and the second part the design of the study (e.g., prospective cohort study; or randomized controlled trial; or using the checkerboard technique).

A structured abstract of 250 words maximum should be divided into the following sections: Objectives; Methods; Results; Conclusions. The Abstract should be as informative as possible: e.g. it should include the absolute number of included patients or of strains tested; denominators and numerators rather than just rates or percentages.

Original Articles should not exceed 2500 words. Original articles should contain a maximum of 4- 5 tables and figures (more can be included as supplementary material. Please refer to the section below for further guidelines). Data should be provided in Tables and Figures and not repeated in the text. Text should be used to emphasize important points. The text should be divided into the following sections: Introduction; Methods; Results; Discussion.

We urge authors to structure their Discussion according to the recommendations of Docherty and Smith: BMJ 1999;318:1224-5; namely: summary of the principal findings; findings of the present study in light of what was published before; strengths and limitations of the study; meaning of the study; understanding possible mechanism; implications for practice or policy; implications for future research.

The maximum number of references is 30.

Articles will be published online only or in the print issue as well at the discretion of the Editor. Like all articles published in CMI, online-only Original Articles will be fully citable and indexed. Each Original Article will have the abstract included in the accompanying print issue and will be referenced in the table of contents.

If you consider submitting the results of a survey as an original article please read our guidance for authors of surveys

Research note
Research notes are restricted to a maximum of 1200 words; 1-2 tables or figures; and 15 references. They should contain a structured abstract and structured text as described above. All Research Notes will be published online only, and their abstracts included in the accompanying print issue and referenced in the table of contents.

Systematic review
Systematic reviews address a clear question, and use pre-defined methods to identify and include studies, appraise their methodological rigour, and extract data. Meta-analysis is optional. More details on our expectations on systematic reviews are given here Systematic reviews should contain a structured abstract of maximum 300 words with the following sections: Background; Objectives; Data sources; Study eligibility criteria; Participants; Interventions; Methods; Results; Conclusions. These reviews are limited to 3500 words.

Narrative review
We are happy to publish reviews that are helpful to our readers on relevant topics not recently reviewed. These should be short (2500 words or fewer and maximum 60 references), evidence-based, their search strategy explicit, and the implications of their results for patient management, health policy and future research thoughtfully discussed. We ask for a structured abstract with the following sections: Background; Objectives; Sources; Content; Implications (maximum 300 words in length).

CMI publishes "How to" reviews with an in-depth explanation on how to do things that are of interest to our readers. These topics of interest might be new laboratory techniques (in the clinical laboratory or in the research one); programs (e.g. how to establish an antibiotic stewardship effort in a hospital in which there is none); or analysis (e.g. how to use interrupted time-series analysis) (please see The structure of the "How to" review is similar to the narrative review, including the Abstract.

Theme issues
Theme issues consist of 3-5 narrative reviews addressing the different aspects of one topic. To serve as a Guest Editor of a theme issue please contact the CMI Editor-in-Chief, Leonard Leibovic: with an outline of the topic and of each of the reviews, including names of proposed authors for the reviews. The format of the reviews is that of narrative reviews (please see above). The reviews are accompanied by an Editorial written by the editor of the theme issue. For the Editorial's format, please see the instructions for Commentary.

We are looking for personal viewpoints; opinions; novel or exciting ideas, criticism (or praise) on topics relevant to our readers. A Commentary should be a short contribution: 1400 words or less, maximum 10 references.

Commentaries are published without an Abstract. However for the purpose of informing our peer- reviewers please upload 4-5 sentences describing your contribution in the box dedicated to Abstracts. These lines will not be published.

We publish the guidelines of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection (ESCMID). These guidelines are peer reviewed. In special cases we will consider the publication of other guidelines and position papers, if they fit the purpose of the journal and the aims of ESCMID. Our guide for reporting guidelines and position papers can be found here: for reporting guidelines consensus or position papers.docx. Please also see our Editorial on conflict of interest in guidelines:

In addition to GRADE we require a separate risk of bias appraisal of the individual studies and explanation of the GRADE classifications based on the GRADE items.

Please also see the ESCMID EOPs for guidelines:

Guidelines will be appraised using the AGREE-II tool.

Before submitting non-ESCMID guidelines, and preferably before writing them, please consult the Editor in charge of guidelines at the CMI, Professor Mical Paul:

Picture of a microorganism
High-quality images of pathogens should be of special interest, have an informative title and be accompanied by no more than 250 words and 1 reference.

Letters will be considered for publication if they contain constructive criticism on articles published within the previous 3 months, the authors of which will be given the right of reply. Letters must specify the title and authors of the article they are writing about.

Items of topical interest, including case reports presenting a significant advance in therapy or highlighting substantial scientific advances in understanding the mechanism(s) of the disease process, will also be considered under this heading. Letters should not exceed 800 words; have no more than 5 references and only 1 figure or table.

Letters should begin 'To the Editor'. Letters are published without an Abstract. However for the purpose of informing our peer-reviewers please upload 4-5 sentences describing your contribution in the box dedicated to Abstracts. These lines will not be published. Letters should have no more than 6 authors.

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication.

Human and animal rights

If the work involves the use of human participants, 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,; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals, Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed.

In some countries observational studies do not require patients? consent; and in some, research done in anonymized databases does not require the approval of an ethics committee. If this is the case with your research, please say so in the Methods section. Please see specific points on ethical considerations in research published in the CMI:

Experimental studies in animals

CMI has formulated its policy and the type of studies that are within its scope:

The EU Directive 2010/63/EU should be complied with. CMI encourages authors to submit their preclinical experimental animal work applying the standards on reporting, and to upload a completed ARRIVE checklist: with their manuscript. CMI invites authors to submit with the checklist a 3R supplementary document:, justifying the use of animals for their study and how the 3Rs were addressed.

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), 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 in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Articles should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of ethnicity, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, for instance by using 'he or she', 'his/her' instead of 'he' or 'his', and by making use of job titles that are free of stereotyping (e.g. 'chairperson' instead of 'chairman' and 'flight attendant' instead of 'stewardess').


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.

At the end of the text before the references please include a paragraph detailing the authors' contributions. Please use the CRediT taxonomy (Brand A, Allen L, Altman M, Hlava M, Scott J (2015) Beyond authorship: Attribution, contribution, collaboration, and credit. Learn Publ 28:151–155 ( Terms can be added according to context.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, 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.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Transparency declaration

CMI upholds the most rigorous standards of transparency, as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Each online submission must be accompanied by a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form:

One form should be completed by the each author. It is the corresponding author's responsibility to ensure that co-authors' disclosures are included. Upload these documents along with your other manuscript files.

For guidelines:

In addition to the submission of the COI Disclosure form please add a Transparency declaration at the end of your manuscript, which should include the following sections:

    Conflict of interest disclosure that should be identical to the content of the COI form that is submitted.

    Funding: Please state how the study was funded. If no external funding was received, please state that.

    Acknowledgments: All acknowledgements, including acknowledging services of a scientific writer or editorial assistance. Acknowledged individuals must be named in full and must agree to their acknowledgement. All results presented previously at a scientific meeting or in another public context must be acknowledged, giving the context, location and date of presentation. Previously published material or illustrations must be accompanied by the written permission of the copyright holder.

    Access to data: For randomized controlled trials, please state who has full access to the data and who is the guarantor for the data.

    Contribution: We encourage authors to disclose their personal contribution to the research and article.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). 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. 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.

For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Editorial process / Peer review

An automated message confirming receipt is sent upon submission. Please be aware that the submission process is not complete until you receive this message indicating a tracking number (CLM-XX-XXXX).

Submissions are initially reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and are either assigned to an Associate Editor or declined as being out of scope or lacking priority considering the current rate of rejection (c. 86%). The peer review process is managed by Associate Editors who are responsible for assessing priority and for selection of reviewers. Submissions may be declined without external review as deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors. Correspondence concerning papers that have been reviewed externally is between the Editor-in-Chief or an Associate Editor and the Corresponding Author.

Revised submissions are handled directly by the Editor-in-Chief or an Associate Editor and should be resubmitted within 6 weeks. The intent is a short-term process of revision; however, some submissions may require several revisions. Although unusual, a submission may be declined after revision if the response to suggestions and requests is deemed incomplete or inadequate.

You can track your accepted article at You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via
Questions concerning the editorial process or an editorial decision should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief (

We work together with New Microbes and New Infections, to enable rapid publication of good quality articles that we are unable to accept for publication in CMI. Authors of selected articles rejected by CMI will be offered the option of having their article, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the New Microbes and New Infections editorial team. Publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. Please note New Microbes and New Infections is an open access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to


As can be expected we are not exempt from mistakes. You can address appeals on editorial decisions to the Editor-in Chief, Leonard Leibovici: Good grounds for appeal are gross misunderstandings of methods or analysis by the Editor or peer-reviewers. If your manuscript was rejected because we could not assign it a high enough priority for publication, the chances of a successful appeal are low.

Manuscript requirements

Manuscripts must be submitted in English, using British spelling. Authors unsure of English usage should consult someone proficient in the English language.

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 ( or visit our customer support site ( for more information.

Nonconformity to accepted standards of English usage or journal style may delay both the review and the editorial process. Brevity is an advantage as well as a requirement (see length restrictions under Manuscript Categories). In particular, text should not be repeated in more than one section; text and tables/figures should not be redundant. Consistency is important; contributions from different authors and text from different sources must be rewritten to create a coherent and homogenous text.

All manuscripts must be double-spaced, with wide margins, and should have continuous line numbers throughout.

Title page
All submissions in all manuscript categories must include a title page indicating the intended category, the title, the full names of the authors, the full names and institutional affiliations of each author, and a complete postal address, email address, and international telephone and fax numbers for the single Corresponding Author (telephone and fax numbers will not be published).

Graphical abstract
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration Services to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements.

Illustrations and figures

All colour illustrations and figures are published online, free of charge to the author.

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 published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
• Ensure that color images are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
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.

Illustration services
Elsevier's Author Services 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.


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.


Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographic citations lies entirely with the authors. The Vancouver Numbered style of referencing should be used. Please refer to Manuscript Categories above for guidance on the number of references to be included.
Citations in the 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 should not be in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
Citing and listing of web references. As a minimum, the full URL should be given. Any further information, if known (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; in square brackets in line with the text.
Text: Indicate references by numbers in the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.

Reference to a journal publication:
[1] Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2000;163:51–9.
Reference to a book:
[2] Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[3] Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age, New York: E-Publishing Inc; 1999, p. 281-–304.
Data Reference:
[4] Oguro M, Imahiro S, Saito S, Nakashizuka T. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1; 2015.

Note shortened form for last page number. e.g., 51–9, and that for more than 6 authors the first 6 should be listed followed by 'et al.'

Data references
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley. Using citation plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

Users of Mendeley Desktop can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the following link:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

Meeting abstracts, databases, articles in press
Meeting abstracts are not acceptable as references within the Methods section, but are acceptable as preliminary unpublished results (if not older than 2 years) and should be cited parenthetically within the text rather than in the list of References (e.g. 14th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, abstract XXX). Similarly, references to databases should be made parenthetically within the text, as should references to unpublished data, personal communications and articles submitted for publication. Copies of manuscripts in press or submitted manuscripts should be uploaded at the time of submission to facilitate the review process.


Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Supplementary material can 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. Please note that such items are published online exactly as they are submitted; there is no typesetting involved (supplementary data supplied as an Excel file or as a PowerPoint slide will appear as such online).
Supplementary material should be quoted in the text of the article in the appropriate places in the following style: see web-only Supplementary Table S1.
Please submit the material together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. If you wish to make any changes to supplementary data during any stage of the process, then please make sure to provide an updated file, and do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please also make sure to switch off the 'Track Changes' option in any Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published supplementary file(s). For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

Collaborative groups
If you wish to include a list of collaborators with your paper, you will need to provide a full list showing all of the detail that you would like to appear in your paper. We will also need to know if you wish the collaborators to be tagged for PubMed purposes or not.

If they do need to be tagged for PubMed then online they will appear as a secondary list within the main author list at the end, which can be expanded or hidden to just show the name of the collaborative group. In print the name of the collaborative group will appear at the end of the main author list with an asterisk that links to an appendix at the end of your paper or it can link to a footnote on the first page, which lists all of the names, if you would prefer.

If the collaborators do not need to be tagged for PubMed then the list can either be included as an Appendix at the end of your paper or as a Supplementary Appendix to be viewed online only. If so you will need to provide the appendix when submitting your paper and clearly show where you would like it to appear.

Availability of accepted article
This journal makes articles available online as soon as possible after acceptance. This concerns the Journal Pre-proofs (both in HTML and PDF format), which have undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but are not yet the definitive versions of record. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is allocated, thereby making it fully citable and searchable by title, author name(s) and the full text. The article's PDF also carries a disclaimer stating that it is an unedited article. Subsequent production stages will simply replace this version.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. 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 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. 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.


The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. 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 Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.