Guidance notes for authors of systematic reviews, systematic maps and other related manuscripts

Version: 2 July 2017

Types of submission

We accept the following types of manuscript in relation to conduct of systematic reviews:

Systematic Review (SR): A comprehensive summary and critical appraisal of existing evidence as it relates to answering a research question, conducted using methods which seek to minimise risk of bias in results and conclusions. A systematic review may include a meta-analysis, which uses statistical techniques to pool the results of multiple individual studies into a combined summary result. Note that ENVINT does not accept meta-analyses which do not critically appraise the included evidence.

Systematic Map (SM): A comprehensive summary of the characteristics and availability of evidence as it relates to broad issues of policy or management relevance. Systematic maps do not seek to synthesise evidence but instead to catalogue it, utilising systematic search and selection strategies to produce searchable databases of studies along with detailed descriptive information.

Protocol for a Systematic Review or a Systematic Map: A prospective description of the methods to be used in conducting a systematic review or systematic map. ENVINT accepts protocols as full publications, so long as authors commit to completing the SR or SM within a reasonable amount of time (normally 18 months) and publish their SR or SM in ENVINT.

Methodology: Methodology papers describe new techniques which advance best practices in the design and conduct of systematic reviews and systematic maps.

Commentary: Essays by experts giving their personal view on developments in the field of systematic reviews and systematic maps, best practice requirements, challenges, misconceptions etc. which will advance community understanding of how best to conduct and make use of systematic reviews and systematic maps.

Submission requirements

Systematic Reviews

Systematic review manuscripts must comply with reporting requirements set out in the PRISMA Statement (Moher et al. 2009). Manuscripts must include a structured abstract, while manuscript sections and sub-sections should be laid out as far as practical in a fashion consistent with those described in the PRISMA statement.

Authors demonstrate compliance with the PRISMA Statement by completing a PRISMA Report, adapted for the purposes of ENVINT (version 1.1, 17 February 2017). The PRISMA report should be completed with supporting quotes as well as references to line numbers and must be submitted alongside the manuscript as supplemental material.

ENVINT endeavours to publish systematic reviews of only the highest quality. Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the Editors at an early stage of conducting their systematic review for up-to-date advice on meeting our publication standards.

While there is no word or figure limit on systematic reviews, to function effectively as summaries of the evidence manuscripts should be as concise as possible. Authors are encouraged to make full use of supplemental information in submitting manuscripts.

Systematic maps

Systematic map manuscripts must comply with reporting requirements set out in the ENVINT PRISMA-SM report, adapted by the journal for systematic maps from Moher et al. (2009) and guidance on systematic maps published by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE 2017). Manuscripts must include a structured abstract, while manuscript sections and sub-sections should be laid out as far as practical in a fashion consistent with those described in the ENVINT PRISMA-SM report.

Authors demonstrate compliance with ENVINT PRISMA-SM by completing an ENVINT PRISMA-SM Report (version 1.0, 24 February 2017). The report should be completed with supporting quotes as well as references to line numbers and must be submitted alongside the manuscript as supplemental material.

ENVINT endeavours to publish systematic maps of only the highest quality. Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the Editors at an early stage of conducting their systematic map for up-to-date advice on meeting our publication standards.

While there is no word or figure limit on systematic maps, to function effectively as summaries of the evidence they should be as concise as possible. Authors are encouraged to make full use of supplemental information in submitting manuscripts.

Protocols

Systematic reviews: Submitted protocols for systematic reviews must be registered in PROSPERO or another appropriate protocol database and comply with reporting requirements set out in the PRISMA-P Statement (Moher et al. 2015). Manuscripts must include a structured abstract, while manuscript sections and sub-sections should be laid out as far as practical in a fashion which is consistent with those described in the PRISMA-P statement. Revisions to SR protocols must be completed prior to commencement of screening the literature for inclusion in the SR.

Compliance with the PRISMA-P Statement is demonstrated by completion of a PRISMA-P Report, adapted for the purposes of ENVINT (version 1.0, 15 March 2017). The PRISMA-P report should be completed with supporting quotes rather than line numbers and submitted alongside the manuscript as supplemental material.

While there is no word or figure limit on systematic review protocols, they should be as concise as possible. Authors are encouraged to make full use of supplemental information in submitting manuscripts.

Systematic maps: Submitted protocols for systematic maps must be registered in an appropriate protocol database and comply with reporting requirements set out in the ENVINT PRISMA-SM-P report, adapted by the journal for systematic maps from Moher et al. (2015) and guidance on systematic maps published by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE 2017). Manuscripts must include a structured abstract, while manuscript sections and sub-sections should be laid out as far as practical in a fashion consistent with those described in the PRISMA-SM-P report. Revisions to SM protocols must be completed prior to commencement of screening the literature for inclusion in the SM.

Compliance with journal requirements is demonstrated by completion of an ENVINT PRISMA-SM Report (version 1.0, 15 March 2017). The report should be completed with supporting quotes as well as references to line numbers and must be submitted alongside the manuscript as supplemental material.

While there is no word or figure limit on systematic map protocols, they should be as concise as possible. Authors are encouraged to make full use of supplemental information in submitting manuscripts.

Methodology

Methodology papers should be concise presentations of an advancement in methods in systematic review and systematic mapping. While there is no formal word limit, most manuscripts would be expected to be 1200-2500 words in length, with 2-5 figures and an appropriate number of citations.

Commentaries

Commentaries should be concise, in most cases being 1200-1500 words in length with 1-3 figures and an appropriate number of citations.