Guide for Authors

GASTROENTEROLOGY

Instructions for Authors
Please address all inquiries to:
Gastroenterology Editorial Office
American Gastroenterological Association
4930 Del Ray Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814-3015
Phone: (301) 941-2615
Fax: (301) 654-1140
gastro@gastro.org

Gastroenterology publishes clinical and basic studies of all aspects of the digestive system, including the liver and pancreas, as well as nutrition. The types of articles Gastroenterology publishes include original papers, review articles, and special category manuscripts. Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org). Gastroenterologyis a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (http://www.publicationethics.org).

Gastroenterology strongly encourages the submission of papers on a breadth of clinical topics in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, randomized controlled trials (phases II-IV but typically not phase I), high-quality observational studies, and novel case series.

Gastroenterology is interested in all aspects of clinical trials including treatment, prevention, diagnosis, screening, and quality of life. High-quality meta-analyses are also welcome. Publication priority will be determined by factors such as novelty, impact upon clinical practice, strength of the experimental design, and mechanistic insight.

Gastroenterology is interested in all aspects of high impact translational and basic studies that would be of interest to our broad readership. These aspects include defining a critical physiologic or disease process/pathway, or mechanism for disease progression or protection; identifying a genetic cause, modifier, or association with disease; describing a novel experimental disease model; characterizing a novel GI-related mechanism of drug action; preclinical studies that describe a potential novel therapy, diagnostic, or prognostic marker or tool that is related a disease.

Gastroenterology has a total circulation of approximately 17,000-about 12,000 in the United States and 5,000 in other countries. 80% of subscribers are AGA members. In the United States, about 75% of subscribers are physicians, and about 25% of subscriptions go to residents, medical schools, and libraries. About 68% of the papers published originate overseas.

Gastroenterology is abstracted and indexed in Biological Abstracts, CABS, Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, Excerpta Medica, Index Medicus, Nutrition Abstracts, and Science Citation Index.

Gastroenterology is ranked 1st of 76 journals in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology category on the 2014 Journal Citation Reports®, published by Thomson Reuters, and has an Impact Factor of 18.187. Its immediacy index, which is a measure of how topical and urgent work published Gastroenterology is, is 5.669, the highest in the field. On average, authors receive decisions on their manuscripts within three weeks.

Information about Article Types
Submission Checklist
Manuscript Processing and Review
Publication
Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest Policy
Plagiarism, Duplicate Submission/Publication Policy
Image Manipulation Policy
Open Access Policies
Continuing Medical Education/Maintenance of Certification
Author Fees
Clinical Trials
Reporting Meta-Analyses of Genetic Studies
Distribution of Material Described in Published Papers

INFORMATION ABOUT ARTICLE TYPES

All manuscripts must be submitted via http://www.editorialmanager.com/gastro

**For more information, please see our Figure Submission FAQs at http://www.gastrojournal.org/content/faqs**

Original Articles (See full information about article types here)
Full-length reports of original research relevant to clinical, basic, and translational studies. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title page: title; authors' names; authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors); author contributions to manuscript
  • Word count: 7,000 words (inclusive of main text; references; table/figure legends).
    • Approximately 1,000 words of the total count should appear in the "Materials and Methods" section of the manuscript.
  • Abstract: 260 words, structured as follows: background and aims; methods; results; conclusion; 4-5 keywords.
  • Tables/Figures: seven tables (no panels) and/or figures total.
    • Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
  • Randomized Controlled Trials: Provide CONSORT checklist and patient flowchart as supplemental attachments.
  • Clinical Trials:
    • Provide the clinical trial registry website and trial number at the end of the "conclusions" section of the abstract.
    • Include a statement in the "methods" section of the manuscript affirming that "all authors had access to the study data and reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
    • Include the clinical trial protocol in English as a supplemental attachment.
  • Revised manuscripts:
    • References: please list names of authors who share first authorship in bold text. In addition, include the phrase "Author names in bold designate shared co-first authorship" at the end of the references section.
    • Short summary: please prepare a 1 or 2 sentence "lay summary" of each original research article's findings. It should be approximately 25-30 words and very briefly summarize the article's very basic findings. You will have an opportunity to enter this summary on the Editorial Manager website as you are submitting your revision. It will appear on the Gastroenterology table of contents if your paper is ultimately accepted.

Brief Reports (See full information about article types here)
Topics of reports may include, but are not limited to, identification of the genetic basis of a disease, a description of a unique case series, novel techniques, new animal models of human disease, and mechanistic insights. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: Only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title Page: title; authors' names; authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors); author contributions to manuscript.
  • Word Count: 1,200 (inclusive of main text and table/figure legends).
  • Abstract: 100 words; unstructured (no headings).
  • Tables/Figures: Two tables (no panels) and/or figures total.
    • Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
  • References: Limited to 15.
    • Format: Jones RS, et al. Gastroenterology 2011; 2: 373 -380 (only the first author is listed, unless manuscripts with joint first authors are cited, and article title is not included).
  • No section labels should be included.
  • Provide a supporting document with a detailed Methods section.
  • Revised manuscripts: In the references, please list names of authors who share first authorship in bold text. In addition, include the phrase "Author names in bold designate shared co-first authorship" at the end of the references section.

Clinical Challenges and Images in GI (See full information about article types here)
This article type is presented as an unknown with the diagnosis hinging on the correct interpretation and integration of the image and clinical data. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title Page: title (cannot reveal diagnosis); authors' names (limit of three); authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors).
  • Word Count: Q&A format (one page each).
  • Abstract: not required.
  • Tables/Figures: no limit.
    • Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
    • Each figure should be labeled with letters only (i.e., no subpanels).
    • All necessary information pertaining to figures must be included in the text (i.e., no figure legends).
    • The inclusion of three or more images will qualify the submission for online-only publication.
  • References: limited to three.

Letters to the Editor (See full information about article types here)
Letters to the Editor allow the opportunity to offer novel perspectives and opinions on papers published in Gastroenterology. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: Only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title Page: title; authors' names (limit of three); authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors).
  • Word Count: 750 (inclusive of main text and table/figure legends).
  • Abstract: not required.
  • Tables/Figures: Not permitted.
  • References: Up to eight.
    • Format: Jones RS, et al. Gastroenterology 2011; 2: 373 -380 (only the first author is listed, unless manuscripts with joint first authors are cited, and article title is not included).
  • Must reference an article in press or an article appearing in the current issue at time of submission. (e.g., a response to a July article must be submitted by the end of July).

Gastroenterology in Motion (See full information about article types here)
This article type contains two parts: (1) video and narration; (2) published text with relevant figures/tables. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: Only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title Page: title; authors' names; authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors); author contributions to manuscript.
  • Word Count: 1,000 (inclusive of main text, references, and table/figure legends) and must include the following sections:
    • Introduction (one paragraph without a header).
    • Description of technology (one paragraph).
    • Video description (up to two paragraphs).
    • Take home message (implications/significance of video demonstration [one to 8 sentences]).
  • Abstract: not required.
  • Tables/Figures: Two tables (no panels) and/or figures total.
    • Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
  • Videos: Up to two (maximum length of five minutes each; 160 MB) in MPEG (.mpg), Quicktime (.mov), or Microsoft (.avi) formats.
  • Concise legends must accompany each video in the manuscript document.
  • References: Limited to 8.
    • Format: Jones RS, et al. Gastroenterology 2011; 2: 373 -380 (only the first author is listed, unless manuscripts with joint first authors are cited, and article title is not included)

Practical Teaching Cases (See full information about article types here)
Practical Teaching Cases showcase common clinical scenarios that are part of the knowledge base of GI. Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Manuscript: Only Microsoft Word documents will be accepted.
  • Title Page: title (cannot reveal diagnosis); authors' names (limit of three); authors' institutions; corresponding author contact information; conflict of interest statement (for all authors)
  • Abstract: not required.
  • Word Count: one page case description; a structured multiple choice question (4 possible answers, all plausible); one page discussion of correct answer.
  • Tables/Figures: no limit.
    • Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
    • All necessary information pertaining to figures must be included in the text (i.e., no figure legends).
  • References: Limited to 3.

Meeting Summaries
This section includes brief reports of symposia, conferences, and meetings in digestive disease research. They include critical commentary, connections among the presentations, and consensus, if any, that emerged from the meeting. The editors encourage authors of potential meeting summaries to propose submissions for this section in advance of scheduled meetings. Summaries must be submitted within two months after a meeting.

Mentoring, Education, and Training Corner
This section focuses on the education, development, and support of young learners and protégés in the field of digestive disease. Expert guest authors will provide reviews on a wide array of topics including career opportunities, steps for success, gender and ethnic diversity, training updates, and balancing home and work life. The material presented in this section will be organized by overarching themes. Submissions are by invitation only, but email inquiries (gastro@gastro.org) by prospective authors will be considered.

Editorials
Editorials express opinions on current topics of interest or provide comments on papers published elsewhere in the same issue. Submissions are by invitation only.

Reviews in Basic and Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (See full information about article types here)
Brief and Full Reviews are solicited by the board of editors and no unsolicited reviews will be considered.

Covering the Cover
This section provides a general preview of two clinical articles and two basic articles that appear in each issue and are of particular importance to our readership. As it is written by the section editors, no unsolicited submissions will be considered.

Selected Summaries
Selected Summaries are concise, expert overviews of articles recently published in other journals, books, and digital media that are of potential interest to our readership. Summaries are primarily written by a regular staff of contributors selected by the Section Editors.

Clinical Practice Updates (See full information about article types here)
This section provides authoritative, balanced, and comprehensive narrative reviews and rapid commentaries derived from the following sources: a) proposed guidelines which do not meet criteria for guideline grading; b) topics generated by the Clinical Practice Updates Committee (CPUC), Gastroenterology editors, and other AGA committees and members; c) summaries of important symposia (e.g., Freston Conference). As topics and authors are selected by CPUC, the AGA Institute Governing Board, and the Clinical Guidelines Committee, submissions are by invitation only.

SUBMISSION CHECKLIST

** All manuscripts must be submitted via www.editorialmanager.com/gastro**

All manuscripts should be double-spaced Microsoft Word documents and contain the following sections in the order given below:

Cover Letter
Gastroenterology strongly encourages authors to provide a concise introductory statement describing their manuscript and any relevant contextual information. Please note that the Cover Letter should not serve as the Title Page of your manuscript document. Additionally, authors should suggest two to five reviewers (including email addresses and phone number) as well as the associate editor they believe is best qualified to review the paper. Authors may also list non-preferred associate editors or reviewers, but the ultimate decision is at the sole discretion of the editor-in-chief and associate editor, respectively. Please be sure to state the reasons for any potential deviations from standard format and clarify any potential conflicts related to the exclusive nature of the publication. The Cover Letter should also categorize the manuscript into one of the following categories:

  • Clinical:
    • Alimentary Tract; Liver; Pancreas; or Biliary
  • Basic and Translational
    • Alimentary Tract; Liver; Pancreas; or Biliary
  • Brief Report:
    • Alimentary Tract, Liver, or Pancreas

Title Page
A Title Page must be included as the first page of the manuscript document. It should also contain the following sections in the order given below:

  • Title: include animal species; use no abbreviations; limited to 120 characters (with spaces).
  • Short Title: limited to 45 characters (with spaces).
  • Author(s): list full names of all authors; their positions and institutions; location of department and institution where the work was performed.
  • Grant support: list grant support and other assistance.
  • Abbreviations: list abbreviations (in alphabetical order) not mentioned in the Style Guide following the Instructions to Authors. (Note: In general, the use of abbreviations is discouraged).
  • Correspondence: provide contact information (i.e., name, physical address, email address, telephone, and fax numbers) of the corresponding author.
  • Disclosures: list any potential conflicts (financial, professional, or personal) relevant to the manuscript. If an author has nothing to disclose, this must be stated.
  • Transcript Profiling: list accession number of repository for expression microarray data.
  • Writing Assistance: list names and funding source for individuals who provided writing assistance.
  • Author Contributions: provide a short descriptive statement detailing the contributions of each co-author (e.g., study concept and design; acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; statistical analysis; obtained funding; administrative, technical, or material support; study supervision).

Abstract
An Abstract should be included after the Title Page. It should not exceed 260 words or include any footnotes or references. Abbreviations should be avoided and spelled out at first mention. If your article type requires a structured abstract (see above), it should be organized as follows:

  • Background & Aims: describe the importance of the study and the precise research objective(s) or study question(s).
  • Methods: include information on the following aspects of study design when applicable. The methods section may employ subheadings at the discretion of the author.
    • Design: describe the basic study design (e.g., randomized controlled trial, cross sectional study, cohort study, case series, survey, etc.). Source of all non-standard reagents need to be explicitly stated.
    • Setting: specify whether the study was conducted in a primary or tertiary care setting, in an ambulatory care clinic or hospital, in the general community, etc.
    • Participants: indicate the number of study subjects and how they were selected, recruited, and assigned to the intervention.
    • Intervention: report the method of administration and duration of the intervention.
  • Results: provide the main outcomes of the study including confidence intervals or P-values. Report the absolute values and risk differences so that readers can determine the absolute, as well as the relative, impact of the results.
  • Conclusions: state only conclusions that are directly supported by the evidence and the implications of the findings.
  • Keywords: include 3-4 keywords associated with your manuscript, separated by semicolons (e.g., active vitamin D; parathyroid hormone-related peptide; hypercalcemia; bone resorption). The keywords should be different than the words in the title of your manuscript. Should your manuscript be accepted, the keywords will appear with the published manuscript, making it easier to find in literature search engines such as PubMed.

Video Abstracts
Authors are encouraged to submit video abstracts with their manuscripts at the revision stage. To submit, please choose the item type "Video Abstract" in Editorial Manager. Discussion points should include the motivation for undertaking the study, a brief overview of methodology, and the highlights of how the results advance the field of digestive disease. Video abstracts must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Format: videos will only be accepted in MPEG, MOV, AVI, GIF.
  • Length: must not exceed 5 minutes.
  • Quality: sound and picture must be clear (please film in a quiet, well-lit environment).
  • Language: English. If your native language is not English, we strongly encourage you to submit two versions of your video: one in English and one in your native language.
  • Clarity: author must speak clearly.
  • Introduction: authors must introduce themselves at the beginning of the video, including their full name, position, and institution.
  • Location: authors are encouraged to show their laboratories and techniques or procedures related to their study.
  • Relevance: content must be relevant to accepted manuscript.
  • Appropriateness: content must be free of language that is offensive, defamatory, abusive, profane, or threatening.
If your article is accepted by Gastroenterology, the AGA Institute will hold the copyright to your video abstract as with your manuscript. To reuse the video abstract in any form, you must first obtain permission. To do so, please contact Elsevier permissions at permissionshelpdesk@elsevier.com.

Body of Paper
In addition to the main content of your manuscript, be sure to include the following (if applicable):

  • Describe ethical guidelines followed (for human or animal studies).
  • Cite approval of institutional human research review committee or animal welfare committee; describe in detail hazardous procedures or chemicals involved, including precautions observed.
  • For studies that are quality improvement (QI) related, authors must include a statement about IRB review in the Methods section. Authors must include one of the two statements: 1) This study received IRB approval, and include protocol number; or 2) This study was exempt from IRB review after institutional IRB review.
  • Outline statistical methods used.
  • When describing the results of hypothesis testing, report P-values and/or confidence intervals; avoid using phrases such as "not significant."
  • Identify drugs and chemicals used by generic name (if trademarks are mentioned, manufacturer name and city are given).
  • All gene and protein names must be written according to NCBI or HUGO nomenclature.
  • Official NCBI gene full names and symbols are preferred, although "Other Aliases" will be accepted. The Editors acknowledge that exceptions to these guidelines exist, and these will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

References
Each submission must include references listed using superscripted Arabic numerals by order of appearance in the text. Please be sure to cite personal communications and unpublished data directly in text without being numbered. All abbreviations should follow the Index Medicus abbreviations. Please ensure your references follow Gastroenterology style requirements:

  • Article: (list 3 authors, followed by et al.): 13. Meltzer SJ, Ahnen DJ, Battifour H, et al. Protooncogene abnormalities in colon cancers and adenomatous polyps. Gastroenterology 1987; 92:1174-1180.
  • Book: 18. Day RA. How to write and publish a scientific paper. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information, 1979.
  • Article in Book: 22. Costa M, Furness JB, Llewellyn-Smith IF. Histochemistry of the enteric nervous system. In: Johnson LR, ed. Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Volume 1. 2nd ed. New York: Raven, 1987:1-40.

For all revised manuscripts, the corresponding and first author must check each citation listed in the Reference Section. For Revised manuscripts, please list names of authors who share first authorship in bold text. In addition, please include the phrase "Author names in bold designate shared co-first authorship" at the end of the references section. This allows giving due credit to joint first authors (see the "Comment from the Editor" in the October 2012 issue of Gastroenterology for more on this topic). For Brief Reports, where only the first author is listed followed by et al, please list the joint co-first authors in bold lettering follow by et al (Smith T, Jones R, et al. Journal name...).

Tables
Tables may either be uploaded separately or included at the end of the manuscript document. Most table editor programs can be placed within the manuscript file successfully. Tables should be prepared without the use of tabs.

Figures
Please use the following guidelines when preparing figures for Gastroenterology. For more information, please see our Figure Submission FAQs.

  • Images: All figures should be of high quality (300 PPI or greater when set to the size you would want the figure to print legibly). The physical size of a figure cannot exceed 7 inches wide by 9 inches tall. All figures should be prepared in portrait orientation. Figures may not span more than one journal page.
    • Multiple Panel Figures: Please submit all panels together in a single attachment.
  • Acceptable Formats: Please submit figures as separate attachments in JPEG, TIFF, EPS, or PDF formats (300 PPI resolution).
    • Figures should not be created in programs such as Word or PowerPoint. Images become compressed when embedded in these programs and will not be as clear and high-resolution as the originals. Software such as Adobe Illustrator should be used for figure creation. For questions regarding the conversion of other file formats to JPEG or TIFF, please view our Figure Submission FAQs.
  • Font: Text presented in figures should be 8-10 point sans-serif (preferably Arial or Helvetica), but may not go below 6 point or above 13 point, except for panel labels. Panel labels must be 16 point Arial bold letters (A, B, C). Please avoid placing panel labels over images.
  • Photographs: Remove all names and all other patient identifiers from photos and radiographic studies.
  • Line Art and Graphs: AGA staff reserves the right to reformat and/or redraw graphs, charts, and other line art to ensure stylistic consistency across AGA Institute journals. Please ensure that any graphs or line art is submitted in at least 300 PPI resolution. 3D style art is not accepted.
  • Figure Legends: Please do not embed or flatten the text into the image files. Figure legends should be included at the end of the manuscript body. AGA staff reserves the right to reformat to ensure stylistic consistency across AGA Institute journals.
  • Gel electrophoresis labels: Protein molecular weight or DNA marker sizes must be indicated on all figure panels showing gel electrophoresis.
  • File Naming: Figures should be named consecutively such as "figure 1.tif," "figure 2.jpg," etc., with the file extension appended (.tif, .jpg, .eps, etc). Each figure should be saved as a separate electronic file.
  • Color Files: Figures should be submitted in the CMYK color space. Authors are encouraged to present color figures in a manner that will allow the data to be interpreted by colorblind readers. Gastroenterology suggests that authors present dual-labeled images in green and magenta rather than in green and red. See the website of the Jfly data depository for Drosophila researchers (http://jfly.iam.u-tokyo.ac.jp/color/) for more information on how to make figures and presentations intelligible for a colorblind audience.

Supplemental Material We encourage you to submit non-essential figures or portions of your manuscript as supplementary material for online-only publication, as this is highly beneficial to our readership. Authors who offer supplementary information must ensure those materials are readily available upon request. However, please note that the following items MUST be within the main text and not provided as supplemental information:
  • "Materials and Methods" section.
  • References cited within the main text.

Exceptions to this rule include tables of primers or antibodies with legends in such tables describing details of the use of such reagents.

The portions of your manuscript that you would like to be included as supplementary material (including figures and tables) should be uploaded separately from the manuscript as "supporting documents."

MANUSCRIPT PROCESSING AND REVIEW

Submissions
Submit your manuscript via Editorial Manager (www.editorialmanager.com/gastro). The editorial office receives over 2,000 manuscripts a year. Each new manuscript receives a unique number and information on the manuscript is recorded on our internal network. Editorial staff may only release information on manuscripts to the corresponding author(s). The editorial office will e-mail a letter to the corresponding author acknowledging receipt of a new or revised manuscript.

Review process
Each manuscript is assigned to an associate editor who has expertise on the subject. If the manuscript is judged to be appropriate and competitive for publication by the associate editor, it is sent to experts in the appropriate area for peer review. The associate editor chooses two to four reviewers, who remain anonymous. Authors are encouraged to suggest an associate editor and four to six reviewers in the cover letter, though final assignments are at the discretion of the handling editor.

Reviewers provide comments for the editor and for the authors. The journal expects reviewers to treat manuscripts as confidential communications and not to use the content for their own purposes or make copies of the manuscripts. Reviewers are also expected to declare to the editor any possible conflicts of interest.

Decisions
The single most important criterion for acceptance is the originality of the work. However, a decision to accept a manuscript is not based solely on the scientific validity of its content. Other factors affecting decisions include the extent and importance of new information in the paper compared with that in other papers being considered, perceived impact, the journal's need to represent a wide range of topics, and the overall suitability for Gastroenterology. Decision letters usually, but not always, convey all factors considered for a particular decision. Occasionally, the comments to the authors may appear to be inconsistent with the editorial decision, which takes into consideration reviewers' comments to the editor, as well as the additional factors listed above.

Decisions on peer-reviewed papers are e-mailed to the authors an average of three weeks from the date of submission. We make every effort to contact authors within 3-7 days for manuscripts that are rejected internally without review. All manuscripts are evaluated promptly by at least two members of the board of editors prior to making such decisions. Because our overall acceptance rate is 10-12%, typically 60-65% of submissions are rejected internally. Editors are not able to answer any pre-submission inquiries from authors.

Fast-Track Review for Manuscripts Rejected by High-Profile Journals
Gastroenterology offers a "fast-track review" option for clinical and basic research manuscripts that were previously submitted to and turned down by similar high-profile journals that publish cutting-edge, impactful research. Authors who qualify for this option must also submit the complete, unaltered decision letter and all reviewer comments they received from the previous journal. We advise authors considering this option to use their best judgment in determining what constitutes a high-profile journal, and to also consider the nature of the reviews they have on hand; if they are unlikely to be able to address them then it is also unlikely that we will be able to accept this work. As with all original manuscript submissions, the editors and editorial office cannot answer pre-submission inquiries as to whether or not a paper is likely to be approved for fast-track status; it must be submitted through Editorial Manager to make this determination.When submitting a clinical or basic research manuscript for fast-track review consideration, please select the clinical, basic, or brief report article type that best matches your manuscript, and indicate the fast-track request in your cover letter. If the manuscript is approved for fast-track status, Gastroenterology's board of editors will make a decision within 5-14 days that will include one of the following outcomes:

  • The authors will receive a decision letter asking for a revised manuscript based on both the reviews from the previous journal and any additional comments raised by the board of editors or consulting editors of Gastroenterology (including our statistical editors).
  • The editors may decide that the manuscript requires additional peer review and send it to additional invited reviewers (who will not see the reviews from the other journal), without guarantee of ultimate acceptance (the authors will be promptly made aware of this).
  • The authors will be informed that their manuscript did not meet the selection criteria for Gastroenterology that is needed for further evaluation. For these papers, we will inquire with our sister journals, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology or Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology (depending on the focus of the manuscript), whether they would consider reviewing the manuscript for potential publication, after which the authors will decide how to proceed. We aim to make this process as swift as possible so our authors receive a prompt but thoroughly vetted decision.

Manuscripts that do not match the criteria for fast-track consideration will be subject to routine submission processing by the editorial office, as outlined elsewhere in these Instructions. Only original research manuscripts would be eligible for fast-track status; not article types such as reviews, letters to the editor, clinical challenges, etc.

PUBLICATION

Accepted manuscripts with all necessary materials for publication accounted for are sent to Else vier and are indexed on PubMed soon after acceptance. Within three to five business days, they will be uploaded to Gastroenterology online (http://www.gastrojournal.org/) under "Articles in Press" for preprint viewing by subscribers. Once authors have had the opportunity to review proofs of their manuscripts, these author-corrected proofs will replace the uncorrected proofs, followed by the final articles on PubMed.

There is a press embargo for all studies published in Gastroenterology until they are posted online in our Articles in Press section. Please forward your acceptance email to your institution press officer for promotional consideration. We ask that your PR contacts share promotion plans and/or address any questions to media@gastro.org. Please see our embargo policy at http://www.gastrojournal.org/content/embargo for more details.

Manuscripts are copyedited to make them consistent with journal style; if a particular section in the manuscript is not clear or requires additional information, the copyeditor will direct questions to the author. These questions, or "author queries," will appear in the margins of the proofs that are sent to the author. All abstracts and titles will be reviewed and possibly modified by the journal's science editor. Authors can review changes at the Accept with Revision stage of their manuscripts. All line art will be reviewed and possibly modified by the journal's graphics staff. Authors can review changes at the proof stage of their manuscripts.

The time between acceptance and print publication is approximately three months. The corresponding author can expect proofs of the article approximately two months after acceptance. Authors receive proofs for the primary purpose of checking the accuracy of the typesetting; authors are not to revise or rewrite their articles at this stage. If, after acceptance of their paper, authors become aware of important information they believe should be added to their manuscript, they should contact the editorial office at gastro@gastro.org.

Authors are required to return proofs to the publisher within 48 hours. If changes are not returned within 48 hours, the manuscript will move forward in the production process.

Reprints
Forms for ordering article reprints will be sent with proofs to authors and should be returned with the corrected proofs. Authors do not receive free reprints, and therefore are responsible for ordering their own reprints (minimum order: 100) from the publisher.

ETHICAL STANDARDS

Gastroenterology strongly discourages the submission of more than one article dealing with related aspects of the same study. In almost all cases, a single study is best reported in a single paper.

The journal editors consider research/publication misconduct to be a serious breach of ethics and will take action as necessary to address such misconduct, which includes submission or publication of information that:

  • is intentionally erroneous,
  • has been published elsewhere by a different author without acknowledgment (plagiarism),
  • has been published elsewhere by the same author without acknowledgment (duplicate publication),
  • is subsequently published elsewhere by the same author without acknowledgment, attribution, or permission from the AGA Institute, as holder of the copyright, to reprint or adapt the material.

The publication of abstracts or posters is not considered duplicate publication but should be disclosed in the cover letter accompanying the manuscript submission.

Each author who submits a manuscript to Gastroenterology must attest to several author statements in the manuscript management system, thereby assigning copyright of the manuscript to the AGA Institute and affirming authorship responsibility, manuscript originality, payment of author fees, IRB/animal care committee approval, role of study sponsor, financial disclosures, and funding sources.

Breaches of Gastroenterology's ethical standards may result in proscribed submission for all authors of the concerned manuscript and, when appropriate, notification of the authors' institutions. All authors are fully responsible for the content of the manuscript.

Animal experiments
For any manuscripts which include data from animal experiments, Gastroenterology requires authors to adhere to standards articulated in the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE)(www.nc3rs.org.uk/ARRIVE), guidelines. Additionally, in the Methods section of the manuscript text, authors must include:

  • A statement of adherence to the above referenced standards;
  • A statement of institutional approval;
  • All relevant animal experimental information:
    • Sex and age of mice (or other in vivo models) for all the experiments;
    • The genetic background(s) of the mice or other experimental in vivo models;
    • For transgenic or genetic mouse models, whether the controls were sibling littermates or were purchased separately (if purchased separately, were the animals co-housed to minimize potential effects of different microbiota);
    • Specifics of diet composition;
    • Whether mice were fasted (and for how long) or not before a challenge or an assessment was carried out;
    • Type of bedding, caging system, and enrichment used for housing the mice;
    • If interventions were performed, were they done during light or dark cycle.
Any deviation from these standards or practices must be described in detail. Please refer to our commentary for comprehensive information.

Authorship
Each author must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content of the paper and must approve of the final version of the manuscript. Authorship should be based on substantive contributions to each of the following:

  • conception and design of the study;
  • generation, collection, assembly, analysis and/or interpretation of data;
  • drafting or revision of the manuscript;
  • approval of the final version of the manuscript.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

Potential Conflicts of Interest
The following are examples of conflicts of interest (COI) that may occur with editors, authors (including invited authors), and reviewers. Interactions considered pertinent are from the start of the research activity in a specific program until such time that a submission is anticipated to be published or one year from submission date, whichever is longer.

  • Editors: editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Examples of personal involvement with an author include former students, fellows, mentors, or relatives. Examples of professional involvement include academic rivalry, being from the same institution or research group as the author, evaluating a manuscript submitted by a member of the board of editors, or collaborating (e.g., co-authoring research article or grant) with an author. Examples of financial involvement include employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants/patents received, and royalties with an entity (or competing entity) discussed in the manuscript.
    • It is a COI for editors of the AGA Institute journals to hold a position of editorial responsibility for a competing publication. The ethics committee reviews disclosure statements submitted by editors and notifies either/both the secretary/treasurer and editor of any potential COI. The procedures contained in Section C of the "AGA/AGA Institute Policy on Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interest" apply if a COI is found to exist.
  • Authors: COI for an author may arise if there exists a financial arrangement (e.g., employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants/patents received, and royalties) with a company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or with a company that makes a competing product.
  • Reviewers: COI for reviewers exist when they have had an ongoing collaboration, original publications, or grants with the authors within the previous two years, except when part of a multicenter group from a different site; are from the same institution as the authors; or have any financial arrangements (e.g., employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants/patents received, and royalties) with a company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or with a company that makes a competing product.

Process
Potential COI are to be disclosed at the beginning of the peer-review process.

  • Editors: an associate editor having COI with a submitted manuscript must recuse himself from handling the manuscript and request that the manuscript be reassigned. The editor-in-chief having COI with a submitted manuscript must assign its review to an associate or guest editor for handling. A manuscript submitted by one of the members of the board of editors must be assigned to a guest editor.
  • Authors: the senior or corresponding author assumes full responsibility for supplying the following information on the title page at manuscript submission:
    • For each author, disclosure of any financial arrangement with any company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or that makes a competing product; or a statement for each author that there is no conflict to disclose.
    • A disclosure of all funding sources supporting the work and all institutional or corporate affiliations.
    • A list of individuals who provided writing assistance for the manuscript and the source of funds that supported this assistance.
    • In addition, at manuscript submission, each author must attest to several author statements in the manuscript management system, thereby assigning copyright of the manuscript to the AGA Institute and affirming authorship responsibility, manuscript originality, payment of author fees, IRB/animal care committee approval, role of study sponsor, financial disclosures, and funding sources.
    • Based on the information provided, the editors will determine whether COI exists and decide to either: a) reject the manuscript; or b) publish the manuscript with the COI disclosed.
  • Reviewers: when invited, reviewers must decline to review a manuscript if a potential COI exists. After review, reviewers must answer the following questions, which appear in the journals' manuscript tracking system:
    • Have you, the undersigned reviewer, had an ongoing collaboration, original publication or grant with the authors within the previous two years, except in the case of being a part of a multi-center group from a different site?
    • Are you, the undersigned reviewer, from the same institution as the authors?
    • Do you, the undersigned reviewer, have any financial arrangements (e.g., employment, consultancies, honoraria, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, grants/patents received, and royalties with an entity) with a company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or with a company making a competing product? Any reviewer answering "yes" to this question is prompted to describe the nature of their financial agreements.
    • If the reviewer discloses a potential COI after the review, the handling associate editor decides if the review should still be used to judge the manuscript.

Sanctions
Should an editor, author, or reviewer fail to disclose a potential COI and this is discovered after publication, the following sanctions may be applied according to the severity of the infraction:

  • Editors:
    • A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct from the editor-in-chief, in the case of an associate editor, or from the chair of the publications committee, in the case of the editor-in-chief.
    • Dismissal from the position.
  • Authors:
    • A letter from the editor of explanation and education where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
    • A letter from the editor of reprimand and warning as to future conduct.
    • A letter from the editor to the author's institution or funding body.
    • Publication of a notice detailing the author's failure to disclose the COI.
    • Publication of an editorial detailing the full details of the misconduct.
    • Refusal to accept future submissions from the author on a sliding scale of one-to-five years.
    • Formal retraction or withdrawal of the paper from the scientific literature.
    • Reporting the case to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).
  • Reviewers:
    • A letter from the editor of explanation and education where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
    • A letter from the editor of reprimand and warning as to future conduct.
    • A letter from the editor to the reviewer's institution.
    • Refusal to allow the individual to review for the journal on a sliding scale of one-to-five years.

This policy was developed in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

PLAGIARISM, DUPLICATE SUBMISSION/PUBLICATION POLICY

Definitions

  • Plagiarism is the unreferenced use of published and unpublished ideas. It may occur at any stage of planning, research, writing, or publication and applies to print and electronic versions.
  • Duplicate submission/publication, which occurs when two or more papers, without full cross-reference, share the same hypothesis, data, discussion points, or conclusions.

Sanctions
Should plagiarism or duplicate submission/publication be identified, the journal editors will apply the sanctions listed below according to the severity of the infraction. They will apply sanctions to individual authors depending on their type of involvement with the article, as provided at the time of submission on the title page.

  • A letter of explanation from the journal editors to the authors where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
  • A letter of reprimand from the journal editors as to future conduct.
  • A formal letter from the journal editors to the author's institution, employer, or funding body.
  • Publication of a notice or editorial in journal.
  • Refusal to accept submissions from the author for a range of one-to-five years.
  • Formal withdrawal or retraction of paper from the scientific literature.
  • Journal editors report the case to Office of Research Integrity, which promotes integrity in biomedical and behavioral research supported by the U.S. Public Health Service; monitors institutional investigations of research misconduct; and facilitates the responsible conduct of research through educational, preventive, and regulatory activities.
This policy was developed in accordance with the guidelines set forth by COPE and ICMJE.

IMAGE MANIPULATION POLICY

Definition*
Image manipulation is the misrepresentation of data by selectively altering portions of an image. The expectations for how images should be ethically handled are:

  • No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced.
  • The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (e.g., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend.
  • Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to every pixel in the image and as long as they do not obscure, eliminate, or misrepresent any information present in the original, including backgrounds. Non-linear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.
*Language used with permission from The Journal of Cell Biology.

Process
Journal graphics staff will screen images at random during the submission process and will review images that editors, reviewers, or readers suspect have been manipulated. If manipulation is suspected, the staff and editors will initiate an investigation with the authors and possibly their institutions.

SanctionsShould image manipulation be verified before or after publication of an article, one of the below sanctions will be applied, based on the severity of the infraction. The editor-in-chief and board of editors will determine, on a case-by-case basis, the severity of the infraction and corresponding sanction. Sanctions will be applied to individual authors depending on their type of involvement with the article, as provided at the time of submission on the title page.

  • A letter of explanation from the journal editors to the authors where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles.
  • A letter of reprimand from the journal editors as to future conduct.
  • A formal letter from the journal editors to the author's institution or employer.
  • Rejection or withdrawal of manuscript acceptance.
  • Publication of a correction or editorial.
  • Retraction of the published article.
  • Refusal to accept submissions from the author for a range of one-to-five years. For particularly egregious cases or series of cases, a life-time ban may be considered
The AGA reserves the right, on a case-by-case basis, to report particularly egregious cases to relevant funding bodies. This policy was developed in accordance with the guidelines set forth by COPE.
OPEN ACCESS POLICIES

Compliance With Funders' Open Access Policies
Gastroenterology's publishing partner, Elsevier, has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors who publish in Elsevier journals to comply with manuscript archiving requirements of various funding bodies (e.g., the National Institutes of Health) as specified as conditions of researcher grant awards. For a full list of funding bodies with which Elsevier has agreements, go to http://www.elsevier.com/about/open-access/open-access-policies/funding-body-agreements. These agreements and policies enable authors to comply with their funding body's archiving policy without having to violate their publishing agreements with Gastroenterology. The agreements and policies are intended to support the needs of the journal's authors, editors, and society publishing partners, and to protect the quality and integrity of the peer-review process.

Author-Sponsored Articles
Gastroenterology offers authors the option to sponsor immediate open access to their articles online at www.gastrojournal.org and www.sciencedirect.com. Authors can elect to sponsor their article only after receiving notification that their article has been accepted for publication in Gastroenterology. The charge for article sponsorship is $3,000, which is used to offset publishing costs of typesetting, tagging, and indexing of articles, hosting articles on dedicated servers, supporting sales and marketing costs to ensure global dissemination via www.gastrojournal.org and www.sciencedirect.com, and permanently preserving the published journal article. The fee excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as submission, page, and color figure charges, which are additional. Authors who have had their article accepted and who wish to sponsor their article to make it immediately freely available will be given the opportunity to complete the "RIGHTS AND ACCESS" portion of the author forms which will be provided electronically along with the author acknowledgment letter you receive after your final accepted manuscript has been sent to the publisher for processing.

Open Issue Highlights and Archives
The AGA supports free access to Gastroenterology on the broadest possible basis while adhering to a publishing model that is economically sustainable over a long horizon. To that end, for each issue of the journal, several original research articles are identified by the editor-in-chief as critical content for readers and thus are made immediately open access. Additionally, all content older than 12 months is free to all online. Also, many special sections of each new issue are immediately free to all online.

Manuscript Posting
Authors of articles published in Gastroenterology may voluntarily post their accepted manuscripts to personal websites or institutional repositories immediately upon acceptance.

CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION (CME)/MAINTENANCE OF CERTIFICATION (MOC)

Continuing Medical Education (Reader CME)
Each issue of Gastroenterology will contain two to three continuing medical education exams associated with articles that appear in the issue. AGA members can take the exams online free of charge. Non-AGA members are required to pay a $15 processing fee. For CME exams that accompany original articles, readers can claim 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and 1 MOC credit. For CME exams that accompany AGA Institute medical position statements and technical reviews, readers can claim 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ and 2 MOC credits.

Successful completion of this CME activity enables the participant to earn up to 1 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the AGA's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Reviewer CME
Reviewers of articles for Gastroenterology are eligible to receive 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ per manuscript. The review must receive a passing grade to receive the credits. Contact Alexander Vaeth at gastro@gastro.org for more information.

AUTHOR FEES

The following is a complete list of fees authors should expect to pay during the manuscript submission process, as well as during the publication process for their accepted manuscripts.

Submission Fee
Authors submitting original basic or clinical manuscripts to Gastroenterology are required to pay a non-refundable $75 fee at submission via Editorial Manager. The submission process cannot be completed until the submission fee is paid. This fee applies to the following original research manuscript types:

  • Clinical - Alimentary Tract
  • Clinical - Liver, Pancreas & Biliary
  • Basic - Original Alimentary Tract
  • Basic - Liver, Pancreas, & Biliary
  • Brief Reports

All other article types, as well as solicited content, are exempt from submission fees. The submission fee applies to first drafts of a manuscript and authors will not be charged again when they submit a revision of the same manuscript.

Page Fees
Gastroenterology charges authors of original research articles a fee for each printed page published. This applies to accepted articles that are submitted on or after January 1, 2011. Authors will receive invoices for page charges shortly after the corrected proof of their accepted manuscript has been finalized. Page charges for non-AGA members are $100 per page. AGA members who are first or corresponding author at the time of submission will receive a 15% discount on page charges and pay $85 per page. Page charges apply only to unsolicited original research submitted as one of the following manuscript types:

  • Clinical - Alimentary Tract
  • Clinical - Liver, Pancreas & Biliary
  • Basic - Original Alimentary Tract
  • Basic - Liver, Pancreas, & Biliary
  • Brief Reports
Page charges do not apply to solicited content or online supplemental material.

Color Figure Fee
Authors are required to pay for the printing of color figures ($650 for the first color figure and $100 each for additional figures). If the manuscript is reviewed with color figures, it must be published with color figures, and printing fees must be paid for by the author. If the author does not wish to pay for printing color figures, then the figures must be uploaded in grayscale or black-and-white only to allow review of the data as they will ultimately be published in print. Authors may include color images to be published online-only by uploading the color files separately as supplemental files.
CLINICAL TRIALS

Registration
In accordance with the guidelines set for by ICMJE, authors of manuscripts involving clinical trials must provide full registration of their trial(s). A clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention and comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. The trial must have at least one prospectively assigned concurrent control or comparison group in order to trigger the requirement for registration. Appropriate online registries include https://clinicaltrials.gov/, http://www.isrctn.com/, http://www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/index.htm, http://www.anzctr.org.au/, http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/index.asp, or any primary registers that participate in the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trial Platform.

When submitting your manuscript via Editorial Manager, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please include the clinical trial registry web site and trial number at the end of the "Conclusions" section of the abstract in the manuscript Word document (this information will not count toward the 260 word limit). Example: ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT002209456.
  • Please include a statement in the "Methods" section of the manuscript that affirms all authors had access to the study data and reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
  • Please upload the clinical trial study protocol as a separate attachment.

Randomized Controlled Trials
Randomized controlled trials should be presented according to the CONSORT guidelines. Manuscripts that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be reviewed for publication.

When submitting your manuscript via Editorial Manager, you must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Please complete and upload as a separate attachment the CONSORT flow diagram that illustrates the progress of patients through the trial including recruitment, enrollment, randomization, withdrawal and completion, and a detailed description of the randomization procedure. The CONSORT template flow diagram can be found at http://www.consort-statement.org/.
  • Please complete and upload as a separate attachment the CONSORT checklist, which you can find at http://www.consort-statement.org/.

REPORTING META-ANALYSES OF GENETIC STUDIES

Gastroenterology requires all meta-analyses of genetic studies to follow the Human Genome Epidemiology Network (HuGENet) guidelines. To review the guidelines, go to http://www.cdc.gov/Genomics/hugenet/default.htm.

DISTRIBUTION OF MATERIALS DESCRIBED IN PUBLISHED PAPERS

Authors are expected to make available materials such as cell lines, cDNA clones, hybridomas, antibodies, biological reagents, unique animals, etc. to any qualified investigator. Prior to the submission of newly cloned genes or nucleic acid sequences, the journal requires authors to provide an accession number to a publicly accessible, recognized data repository (e.g., GenBank) on the title page of the manuscript.

Transcript profiling (expression microarray) data must be submitted to an appropriate repository (either NCBI's GEO or EBI's ArrayExpress). The data should preferably be MIAME compliant ( http://fged.org/projects/miame/). The repository URL and the data accession number must be included, both in the body of the manuscript and Editorial Manager, upon submission. The full dataset must be available to reviewers either via a download link or on a data disk (5 copies).

Other large datasets produced using genomics technologies (including but not limited to ChIP on Chip, Genotyping, aCGH, and Tilling Arrays) must be deposited in an appropriate public repository. The repository URL and the data accession number must be included, both in the body of the manuscript and Editorial Manager, upon submission. If there is no public repository for the submitted data, it is the author's responsibility to provide permanent publicly accessible links to the raw data and access for the reviewers.

Authors must also furnish information about the identity and purity of new chemical compounds. Experimental details and characterization data should be provided in either the main text or as supplemental material. Experimental details should be sufficient to allow other researchers to reproduce the synthesis of the compound.

These guidelines are a means of encouraging the free exchange of scientific information and to promote progress in all areas of gastroenterological investigation.