Guide for Authors

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Types of article

Manuscripts of high standard in the form of original research, multicentric studies, meta analysis, and systematic review, are accepted. Current reports can be submitted as brief communications. Case reports must include review of current literature, clinical details, outcome and follow up. Letters to the editor must be a comment on or pertain to a manuscript already published in the IJMM or in relation to preliminary communication of a larger study.

Narrative Reviews, Special Articles or Guest Editorials
These articles are accepted on invitation. Those who are desirous of submitting a review article, special article or guest editorial are required to send a single page outline to the editor at editorijmm2020@gmail.com as an attachment, and if found suitable, will be invited to write the manuscript. The narrative review article should have the following sections: Abstract (structured- 300 words; Background, Objectives and Content), Keywords (3 to 5), Article, Conclusions, References (maximum 40)
See details below for specific requirements of every article type.

Original research articles and multicentric studies:
We encourage original research articles. These articles must have text shorter than 2500 words, excluding references and abstract.
Title: Title of the article should be short, yet sufficiently informative so as to be useful in indexing and information retrieval.
Abstract :The abstracts should be brief (less than 300 words) and structured to contain purpose, methods, results and conclusions of the paper. It should only highlight the principal findings and conclusions so that it can be used by abstracting services without modification. Conclusions and recommendations not found in the text of the article should not be inserted in the abstract.
The text of the article is to be under the following headings and the word limit is 2500 words excluding tables and references:
Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion.
Key Words: Three to five key words.
Figures and Tables: The article should have a maximum of 5 tables and, or figures.
References: The article can have a maximum of 30 references.

Systematic reviews and Meta-analysis
Systematic reviews are limited to 3500 words. Word count for Meta-analysis is optional.
Abstract: Structured abstract of maximum 300 words with the following sections: Background; Methods; Results; Conclusions. Introduction and Objectives; Methods: should include Data sources; Study eligibility criteria; Participants; Interventions; Statistical analysis Results; Discussion; Conclusions.
Keywords: 3 to 5 Keywords
Figures and Tables: The article should have a maximum of 5 tables and, or figures.
References: Maximum 50 references

Brief communications:
Recommended for brief observations of a study that does not warrant a full length paper. It may be divided into sections as for the full paper, but not exceeding 1000 words.
Abstract: It should have an abstract (unstructured) limited to 100 words
Keywords: Minimum three and maximum five key words
Figures and Tables: Illustrations and tables, when included, should be limited to one each.
References: References must be as few as possible and not more than 15.

Case reports:
Recommended for description of uncommon infections. It should be divided into introduction, case history and discussion. Case reports with good documentation including follow up, are preferred. It is advisable to include the clinician who is involved in patient management and procedures, as a co-author, for better documentation of clinical background of the case.
Abstract: The report should have an unstructured abstract limited to 100 words
Keywords: Up to a maximum of 3 keywords
Figures and Tables: Illustrations and images are encouraged in case reports but should be limited to one each.
References: Maximum of 10 references allowed for case reports.

Infectious disease Grand rounds:
The word limit is 1000 words. It should be in the following sections:
A brief case history including laboratory / radiological investigations ? preliminary reports, photographs, if any Differential diagnosis
Additional investigations leading to final diagnosis
Learning pearls
Microbiological perspectives
Clinical perspectives
Take- home points
Abstract: unstructured abstract of maximum 100 words
Keywords: 2 to 3 keywords
Figures & Tables: Maximum 1 of each of figure and table References: A maximum of 5 references are allowed.

Picture of a microorganism
High-quality images of pathogens should be of special interest. It should have an informative title and be accompanied by no more than 250 words and 1 reference. 3 to 5 keywords. No abstract required.

Letters to Editor:
It must be addressed to the editor. Correspondence can be related to previously published articles or for presentation of preliminary, or novel results. It should be limited in length to 300 words and should be continuous without headings. It may include 2-3 paragraphs, not more than 5 references and one table or figure.

Review articles, Special Articles or Guest Editorials:
These articles are accepted only on invitation. Those who are desirous of submitting a review article, special article or guest editorial are required to send a single page outline to the editor at editorijmm2020@gmail.com as an attachment, and if found suitable, will be invited to write the manuscript. The review article should have the following sections: Abstract (structured- 300 words), Keywords (3 to 5), Article, Conclusions, References (maximum 50)

Book reviews:
Authors of books seeking review may submit two copies of the book to the editor. The editor invites experts in the field to submit a review of the book. Alternatively, a review may be submitted voluntarily to the editor along with a copy of the book.

Contact detail for submission

Those who are desirous of submitting a review article, special article or guest editorial are required to send a one page outline to the editor at editorijmm2020@gmail.com, as an attachment, and if found suitable, will be invited to write the manuscript.

Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.

Ensure that the following items are present:

One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address

All necessary files have been uploaded:
Cover Letter:
Prepare a cover letter in this format, detailing the highlights of your research, and any other significant points that you would like to highlight to the editor.

Manuscript:
Include keywords
• All figures (include relevant captions)
• All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
• Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided
• Indicate clearly if color should be used for any figures in print
Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)
Supplemental files (where applicable)

Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference List are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
• A competing interests statement is provided, even if the authors have no competing interests to declare
• Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed
• Referee suggestions and contact details provided, based on journal requirements

For further information, visit our Support Center.

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

Reporting guidelines
Certain research designs should be reported in IJMM 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.

Studies in humans and animals

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans. The manuscript should be in line with the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and aim for the inclusion of representative human populations (sex, age and ethnicity) as per those recommendations. The terms sex and gender should be used correctly.

Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed. The sex of animals must be indicated, and where appropriate, the influence (or association) of sex on the results of the study.

Informed consent and patient details

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author but copies should not be provided to the journal. Only if specifically requested by the journal in exceptional circumstances (for example if a legal issue arises) the author must provide copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

Declaration of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors should complete the declaration of interest statement using http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/ and upload to the submission system at the Attach/Upload Files step. This statement will be published within the article if accepted. More information.

Submission Declaration

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. Authors should complete the Undertaking and copyright form using this template and upload to the submission system at the Attach/Upload Files step.

Preprints
Please note that preprints can be shared anywhere at any time, in line with Elsevier's sharing policy. Sharing your preprints e.g. on a preprint server will not count as prior publication (see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information).

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 race, 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').

Author Contribution

For transparency, we encourage authors to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing - original draft; Writing - review & editing. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example-

Authorship

All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Change 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.

Clinical trial results

In line with the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the journal will not consider results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which primary registration resides to be prior publication if the results posted are presented in the form of a brief structured (less than 300 words) abstract or table. However, divulging results in other circumstances (e.g., investors' meetings) is discouraged and may jeopardise consideration of the manuscript. Authors should fully disclose all posting in registries of results of the same or closely related work.

Reporting clinical trials
Randomized controlled trials should be presented according to the CONSORT guidelines. At manuscript submission, authors must provide the CONSORT checklist accompanied by a 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 checklist and template flow diagram are available online.

Registration of clinical trials
Registration in a public trials registry is a condition for publication of clinical trials in this journal in accordance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recommendations. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. A clinical trial is defined as any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects of health outcomes. Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome (for example drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, dietary interventions, and process-of-care changes). Health outcomes include any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. Purely observational studies (those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator) will not require registration.

Copyright

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.

Role of funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some funding bodies will reimburse the author for the gold open access publication fee. Details of existing agreements are available online.

Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Subscription
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs.
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.
• The Author is entitled to post the accepted manuscript in their institution's repository and make this public after an embargo period (known as green Open Access). The published journal article cannot be shared publicly, for example on ResearchGate or Academia.edu, to ensure the sustainability of peer-reviewed research in journal publications. The embargo period for this journal can be found below.
Gold open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse.
• A gold open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf, e.g. by their research funder or institution.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For gold open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Elsevier Researcher Academy
Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop.

Submission

Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Submit your article
Please submit your article via www.editorialmanager.com/ijmmb/default.aspx.

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



Peer Review
This journal operates a double blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. More information on types of peer review.

Double-blind ReviewThis journal uses double-blind review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

Use of word processing software:
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork. To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

Article structure:


Subdivision - numbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line.

INTRODUCTION
State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results. Review of the literature should be restricted to reasons for undertaking the present study and provide only the most essential background.

Material and Methods:
Provide sufficient details to allow the work to be reproduced by an independent researcher. Methods that are already published should be summarized, and indicated by a reference. If quoting directly from a previously published method, use quotation marks and also cite the source. Any modifications to existing methods should also be described. Study group or sampling method should be clearly mentioned. Period when the study was carried out needs to be mentioned. The procedures adopted should be explicitly stated to enable other workers to reproduce the results, if necessary. New methods may be described in sufficient detail and also indicate their limitations. Established methods can be just mentioned with authentic reference and significant deviations, if any, given with reasons for adopting them. When reporting experiments on human subjects, it should be indicated whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards on human experimentation (as per the guidelines laid down by the Central Ethical Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research). The manuscript must state in the methods section that the study and data accumulation were carried out with approval from the appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) or institute ethical committee and that informed consent was obtained from the subjects. The nomenclature, the source of material and equipment used, with the manufacturer?s details in parenthesis, should be clearly mentioned, When reporting experiments on animals, procedures adopted for the care and use of laboratory animals need to be mentioned. Biomedical research involving animals must conform to generally accepted principles of animal maintenance and care. The drugs and chemicals used should be precisely identified, including generic name(s), dosage(s)and route(s) of administration. The statistical analysis and significance of the findings when appropriate should be mentioned. Unless absolutely necessary for a clear understanding of the article, detailed description of statistical treatment may be avoided. Articles based heavily on statistical considerations, however, need to give details particularly when new or uncommon methods are employed, others need to give only authentic references. Do not disclose identity/ institute name in the Material and Method or anywhere else in the Article file.

Theory/calculation:
A Theory section should extend, not repeat, the background to the article already dealt with in the Introduction and lay the foundation for further work. In contrast, a Calculation section represents a practical development from a theoretical basis.

Results:
Results should be clear and concise. Only such data that are essential for understanding the discussion and main conclusions emerging from the study should be included. The data should be arranged in unified and coherent sequence so that the report develops clearly and logically. Data presented in tables and figures should not be repeated in the text. Statistical tests and values must be mentioned in tables. Only important observations need to be emphasized or summarised.The same data should not be presented both in tabular and graphic forms. Interpretation of the data should be taken up only under the Discussion and not under Results.

Discussion:
This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature. Long, rambling and involved discussions should be scrupulously avoided. The discussion should deal with the interpretation of results without repeating what already has been presented under results. It should relate new finding to the known ones either comparing or contrasting and include logical deductions and scientific reasons for the outcome. The conclusions can be linked with the goals of the study but unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data should be avoided. Claiming of priority on work that is ongoing should also be avoided. A hypothesis should, if warranted be clearly labeled as such; recommendations may be included as part of the discussion, only when considered absolutely necessary and relevant.

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

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

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

Highlights:
Highlights are a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article. Highlights are optional and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). You can view example Highlights on our information site.

Structured Abstract:
A structured abstract, by means of appropriate headings as mentioned above, should provide the context or background for the research and should state its purpose, basic procedures (selection of study subjects or laboratory animals, observational and analytical methods), main findings (giving specific effect sizes and their statistical significance, if possible), and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. Original Papers require a structured abstract of less than 300 words

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.

Keywords:
Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using British spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Abbreviation:
Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.
Acknowledgements:
Acknowledgement should be brief and made for funding agencies or specific scientific assistance only. It is not necessary for providing routine departmental and institutional facilities. The Journal does not print acknowledgements for those who reviewed, discussed, edited, or typed a manuscript, or gave technical,helpful,crucial, or moral support or similar collegial aid to the authors. The Journal also does not publish acknowledgements of individuals who, by virtue of doing their job, contributed to the implementation of the study, e.g. secretaries, clinic coordinators, technicians, photographers, or technologists. At the request of the author, the Journal will acknowledge those who referred patients, translated references, provided extensive statistical assistance, or provided essential tissue, equipment, or other materials without which the study could not have been completed. It is mandatory for all manuscripts to mention conflict of interest if any or if none then mention must be made to that effect. Manuscripts without this statement will not be processed.
Formatting of funding sources:
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements: Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa]. It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding. If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following sentence:This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Math Formulae:
Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).
Footnotes:
Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Otherwise, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.

Image Manipulation
Whilst it is accepted that authors sometimes need to manipulate images for clarity, manipulation for purposes of deception or fraud will be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. For graphical images, this journal is applying the following policy: no specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.

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.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
Formats
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format. Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below): EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts. TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi. TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black and white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi. TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
? Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
? Supply files that are too low in resolution;
? Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color Artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) in addition to color reproduction in print. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Illustration Services:
Elsevier's WebShop 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.

Images, Figures and Illustrations:
Photographs, microphotographs and graphs to be numbered 1,2,3? along with Legend (technique, magnification if any, salient features). Good quality, high resolution images only. Microphotographs using staining techniques and images with relevant colours will be accepted only in colour and not as a black and white eg; a gram stained smear/ blood agar medium will not be accepted in black and white. Any legends for images/figures/tables must be provided on a separate page at the end of the text.

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

Tables:
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. Units of measurement should be abbreviated and placed below the headings. Statistical tests should be clearly mentioned with exact p values. Measurement variations such as SD and SE should be numbered.

References

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
Reference Links
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is highly encouraged.

A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, https://doi.org/10.1029/2001JB000884. Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.
Web References As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.
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.
References in a special issue Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.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.

References
Reference StyleThis journal follows Vancouver format for referencing, as described below.
Text: Indicate references by number(s) in square brackets in line with the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given. List: Number the references (numbers in square brackets) in the list in the order in which they appear in the text. Examples:
Reference to a journal publication:
[1] Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2010;163:51?9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Sc.2010.00372.
Reference to a journal publication with an article number:
[2] Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon.2018;19:e00205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00205 Reference to a book:
[3] Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 4th ed. New York: Longman; 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[4] 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; 2009, p. 281?304.
Reference to a website:
[5] Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK, http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/aboutcancer/statistics/cancerstatsreport/; 2003 [accessed 13 March 2003].
Reference to a dataset: [dataset] [6] Oguro M, Imahiro S, Saito S, Nakashizuka T. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1; 2015. https://doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1.
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.' For further details you are referred to 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals' (J Am Med Assoc 1997;277:927?34) (see also Samples of Formatted References).

Journal abbreviations sourceJournal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations

Video

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.
Data visualization
Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.
Supplementary Material
Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

Research DataThis journal encourages you to share data that supports your research publication in an appropriate data repository, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. If you are sharing data, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation.

Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Research Data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data Linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described. There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page. For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect. In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC:734053;PDB: 1XFN)

Mendeley Data
This journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. Before submitting your article, you can deposit the relevant datasets to Mendeley Data. Please include the DOI of the deposited dataset(s) in your main manuscript file. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online. For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.

Proofs

One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or, a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download the free Adobe Reader, version 9 (or higher). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site.
If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and scan the pages and return via e-mail. 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. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. 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.

Offprints

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 Webshop. 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.



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