Guide for Authors

Author information pack

• Types of Articles
• Manuscript Submission
• Submission checklist
• Ethics in publishing
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration
• Use of inclusive language
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open Access fee
• Language (usage and editing services)
• Confidentiality/Informed Consent/IRB or Ethics Committee Review
• Submission
• Clinical Trial Registration
• Manuscript Preparation
• Preparing Electronic Files
• Essential title page information
• Abstract, Key Words, and Running Title
• Disclosures and Acknowledgments
• Artwork
• Illustrations
• Tables
• References
• Research data
• Proofs
• Offprints

Types of Articles

The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management publishes the following types of articles:

Original Articles present new information that makes a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject. The text should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract (see below), Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Disclosures and Acknowledgments, and References. Word limit: 3500 words, not including references.

Review Articles describe and evaluate previously published material in order to suggest new approaches or ideas. The Journal accepts both systematic and narrative reviews of high quality. Word limit: 7000 words, not including references. An abstract is required (see below).

Brief Reports present new information, comparable to an Original Article but effectively described in a paper requiring no more than 2500 words (not including references). An abstract is required (see below). Although most Brief Reports use the same headings as an Original Article, this structure is not required.

Brief Methodological Reports describe new information focused on research methodology, including statistical innovations and cross-validation of previously validated instruments. An abstract is required (see below). Although most submissions use the same headings as an Original Article, this structure is not required. The length should be no more than 2500 words (not including references).

Brief Quality Improvement Reports describe the results of national and international quality improvement projects. Submissions should describe the impact of the intervention, either in terms of change over time or relative to a comparator. An abstract is required (see below). Section headings are: Background, Measures, Intervention, Outcomes, Conclusions/Lessons Learned. The report should include no more than 10 references and two graphs or tables. The length should be no more than 2500 words (not including references).

Clinical Notes are case series or small observational studies describing new or interesting clinical observations. An abstract is required (see below). Although the same headings as an Original Article may be used, this structure is not required. The length should be no more than 2000 words (not including references).

Palliative Care Rounds present an informative case followed by a brief narrative review of the topic it highlights. The goal is to provide case-based information relevant to the clinical practice of palliative care. An abstract is not required. Headings should include Introduction, Case Description, and Comment. The length should be no more than 2500 words (not including references).

Ethical Issues in Palliative Care presents an informative case followed by a brief analysis of an ethical issue or dilemma. An abstract is required (see below), and headings should include Introduction, Case Description, and Comment. The narrative should use fictitious initials for patients and families; change gender, age, and other nonessential identifiers; and avoid specific reference to the home institution. The length should be no more than 2500 words (not including references).

Letters. The JPSM welcomes correspondence pertaining to issues of interest to readers. Letters are subject to review. Single case reports are generally considered for publication as a Letter. Letters written to comment on a previously published article may be forwarded to the article's author for a response. Letters should be no more than five double-spaced pages (approximately 1250 words), plus no more than 10 references and one table or figure. Note: Letters to the Editor are published online only. The title and a link to the Journal website will appear in the print table of contents.

Special Articles. Those manuscripts that do not fit into the above categories may be published if they present new or relevant information. Word limit: 7,500 words, including references. An abstract is required (see below).

Media Reviews. Books, monographs, films, and other materials submitted for review should be sent to the editorial office of the Journal, c/o David Newcombe, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 20 North Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA.

Manuscript Submission

The JPSM uses a web-based online manuscript submission and review system. Please go to to submit your manuscript electronically. The website guides authors stepwise through the creation and uploading of the various files.

All correspondence, including the Editor's decision and request for revisions, will be by e-mail. Authors may send queries concerning the submission process, manuscript status, or journal procedures to the Editorial Office at

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:
• 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.

Conflict 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. A conflict of interest form is integrated into the submission process and must be completed before your submission is finalized. See also

Submission declaration

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see, 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 including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder. This information may be included in the cover letter.

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').


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.

Manuscripts should be submitted exclusively to the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Manuscripts are reviewed and edited with the understanding that the authors are transferring all copyright ownership to the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

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

Role of the 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.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

Open Access fee

The gold open access publication fee for this journal is $3000, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access
Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our open access page for further information. Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and it begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form. Find out more.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.

Language (usage and editing services)

Manuscripts should be written in proper 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 or visit our customer support site for more information.

Confidentiality/Informed Consent/IRB or Ethics Committee Review

It is the author's responsibility to ensure patient anonymity in case reports and elsewhere. Identifying information such as names, initials, hospital numbers, and dates must be avoided. Reports of studies involving human subjects must include a statement verifying:
1) that all patients/other paticipants provided written informed consent or that an institutional review board/ethics committee determined that informed consent was not required; and 2) the study was approved by the investigator's institutional review board/ethics committee.


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.

Clinical Trial Registration

JPSM requires that human clinical trials are registered before enrollment in order for the results to be published in the journal. Most Phase II and Phase III trials should be registered at either the National Institute of Health site at, the International Standard Randomized Controlled Trials site at, or an equivalent national site for public reporting of trials. For questions about the requirement to register at, please consult the Checklist and Elaboration for Evaluating Whether a Clinical Trial or Study is an Applicable Clinical Trial, which is available on the site. The Methods section of the paper reporting the results of a clinical trial should contain a statement about where the registration information is available to the public.

Submit your article
Please submit your article via

Peer Review
Manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management undergo initial editorial review. Selected manuscripts are sent for external peer review. Note that reviewers are not blinded as to the author's identity.

Manuscript Preparation

Submission items include a cover letter and all elements of the manuscript (including title page, key words, running title, manuscript text, disclosures and acknowledgments, references, tables and figures). Complete instructions for electronic artwork submission can be found at

Preparing Electronic Files

Text and graphics may be submitted as separate files in the following formats:

Text: Use Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, WordPro or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Check the accuracy of all file conversions.
Graphics: Create digital artwork after consulting the Artwork and media instructions page, which contains appropriate instructions. Please note that Elsevier allows the submission of MS Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) provided that they meet certain criteria (see information given on Electronic Artwork website). It is preferred to save files in JPEG or TIFF format. Label figures as referenced in text and include a list of figure legends. Essential title page information

The title page must include: all authors' full first and last names, degrees, and current institutional affiliations, cities and countries; the name, address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the designated corresponding author; and a list of the number of tables, figures, and references and the word count for the submission.

Abstract, Key Words, and Running Title

Abstract: A concise, structured abstract of not more than 250 words is required for Original Articles, Review Articles, Brief Reports, and Brief Methodological Reports. The abstract should have the following headings: Context, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. For Clinical Notes, Palliative Care Rounds, Ethical Issues in Palliative Care, and Special Articles, the Journal will accept either a structured or narrative abstract of no more than 250 words. For Brief Quality Improvement Reports, a structured abstract of no more than 150 words is required; headings are: Background, Measures, Intervention, Outcomes, Conclusions/Lessons Learned. Letters should not have abstracts. Abstracts should be on a separate page and follow the title page.

Key Words: Immediately after the abstract, please provide a maximum of 6 key words, using American 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 key words will be used for indexing purposes.

Running Title: Please provide a running title of no more than 45 characters and spaces.

NOTE: Abstracts, key words and running title must be included with the Word document of the submission, not just provided online.

Disclosures and Acknowledgments

For ALL types of manuscript submissions, except Letters, authors must complete the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest, which can be found here: 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 & 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.

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.



Black-and-white photographs or line drawings are preferred. Separate typed legends should accompany each figure. Every figure must be cited in the text. If original artwork/photos are used, permission must be obtained from the artist or photographer and credit must be given. If subjects of photographs are persons and they are identifiable, permission must be obtained.

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


Type each table double-spaced on a separate page, number in order of appearance, and give a brief descriptive title. Every table must be cited in the text. Explanatory information should be placed in footnotes; note that the Journal uses superscript, italic Arabic letters for footnotes, not other symbols, e.g., asterisks. If the data shown are from another source, acknowledgment must be given and permission obtained. Note: Lengthy tables may be published online only, with a link to the Journal website indicated in the print article text. The determination regarding online publication only will be made by the Editor-in-Chief.


Number references in order of their use in the text; do not alphabetize. Identify references in the text with Arabic numerals inside parentheses. When listing authors in the reference list: Five authors or less, list all five authors; six authors or more, list the first three authors followed by et al. For abbreviations of journal names, refer to List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus. Provide inclusive page numbers. Reference accuracy is the responsibility of the author(s). Please do not use EndNote to compile your reference list.

Examples of Reference Style:

Journal Article
Hatler CW, Grove C, Strickland S, Barron S, White BD. The effect of completing a surrogacy information and decision-making tool upon admission to an intensive care unit on length of stay and charges. J Clin Ethics 2012;23:129-138.

Book Chapter
Taylor C, Walker S. Compassion: luxury or necessity? In: Cobb M, Puchalski CM, Rumbold B, eds. Oxford textbook of spirituality in healthcare. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012:135-144.

Cassell EJ. The nature of suffering and the goals of medicine, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Online Citations
World Health Organization. Definition of palliative care. 2008. Available from: definition/en/. Accessed July 27, 2013.

Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications 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, Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.

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.

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

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. During the submission process, after uploading your manuscript, you will have the opportunity to upload your relevant datasets directly to Mendeley Data. 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.

Data statement
To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.


One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download Adobe Reader version 7 (or higher) available free from 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 return by fax, or scan the pages and 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 – please let us have all your corrections within 48 hours. 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. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.


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.

Note to NIH Grant Recipients
Elsevier will send to PubMed Central the author's manuscript on behalf of authors reporting research supported by an NIH grant. The author manuscript reflects any author-agreed changes made in response to peer review comments. Elsevier will authorize its public access posting on PubMed Central 12 months after final publication. Authors will receive further correspondence from PubMed Central after the manuscript is deposited.

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out">when your accepted article will be published.