Guide for Authors

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Guidelines for Authors on the construction of articles

The purpose of Medical Hypotheses is to publish interesting theoretical papers. The journal will consider radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas provided they are coherently expressed.

Medical Hypotheses is not, however, a journal for publishing workaday reviews of the literature, nor is it a journal for primary data (except when preliminary data is used to lend support to the main hypothesis presented). Many of the articles submitted do not clearly identify the hypothesis and simply read like reviews.

These notes are designed to help authors formulate an article for Medical Hypotheses in such a way that the article is clearly distinguishable from a review. These are guidelines only and the Editor is happy to accept other formats provided that the principal requirements are met.

An hypothesis

Roughly speaking, an hypothesis should be an organized logical structure (or model) that accounts for (some) known facts, and which has real world consequences that are (in principle) observable.

The consequences of an hypothesis constitute predictions that may be tested against observations and experiments to determine whether some of them are (apparently) fulfilled. Most articles for Medical Hypotheses should fulfil the requirements of an hypothesis, and the logic of the proposals should be clearly stated and evaluated.

Medical Hypotheses is a general journal and articles need to be intelligible to a wide audience in medicine and bioscience, including those who may not be specialists in the field. Clarity of presentation and concision are key requirements.

Abstract/ Summary

The abstract should present the paper in microcosm. It should contain explicit details of the hypothesis being advanced, the main lines of supporting evidence and the most important implications.

Introduction/Background

The introduction should be a concise introduction to the scientific area to be addressed, supported by appropriate references and should set the scene for the hypothesis. The introduction should not be an attempt to review the evidence in detail.

The Hypothesis/Theory

The hypothesis needs to be set out in explicit detail. Typically it should be clear why and how the hypothesis is different from current thinking, how the idea has evolved, and why it is important. The scientific logic of the hypothesis should be clearly evident (eg. the steps in its causal assumptions).

Evaluation of the hypothesis/idea

The proposed hypothesis should be evaluated in the light of known and published information. Generally, this entails an evaluation of both evidence in support and evidence (apparently) against the hypothesis. Only relevant, and critically evaluated, papers should be cited. An hypothesis should, if correct, have implications and make predictions. These predictions are (in principle) amenable to further observation and experimentation that could tend to confirm or refute the hypothesis. Typically, authors would be expected to indicate how their hypothesis might be tested.

Empirical data

Inclusion of extensive new data is not usually acceptable in Medical Hypotheses papers. However, at the Editor's discretion, pilot data may be included when it is required for support of the proposed hypothesis, and when it is unlikely to be published in its own right.

Consequences of the hypothesis and discussion

The importance of the hypothesis may need to be stated explicitly, with a discussion of the potential implications for the area of science under discussion if the hypothesis were to be confirmed.

Types of Articles

  • Research article (Regular hypotheses research papers)
  • Short Communication
  • Correspondence


Research article (Regular hypotheses research papers):
Presentation and discussion of a biomedically or clinically motivated approach that has required the development of innovative novel hypothesis or hypotheses. As described in the AIMS of Scope, Medical Hypotheses is a forum for ideas in medicine and related biomedical sciences. What motivated to develop a novel hypothesis may be discussed, but the new hypothesis be discussed so that generalizability is clear with citations of already published research, ideally with an assessment of its range of applicability. Propose future research directions or a critique with the range of problems for which it may not be an appropriate solution. There should be a methodological approach that summarize its introduction, clinical applications, uses, successes, and limitations of the hypothesis. Article should be adequately cited with recent publications. Please choose the article type "FLA Hypotheses Article" during the submission process. For further details see guide for authors.

Short Communication:
These are articles, generally shorter than research papers, that tend to discuss previously published articles or a theme that is an important area of focus for the hypothesis basis of biomedical/clinical research and its application.

Correspondence:
Medical Hypotheses welcomes correspondence, especially when letters are linked to previous publications in the journal. Alternatively, letters can summarise extensions of previous work, draw attention to new evidence relating to theories, describe new ideas, or make general comments concerning the journal or its field of interest. Letters should be 400 words maximum length, inclusive of any references.

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:
Manuscript:
• Title page
• Include abstract and 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) )
• A competing interests statement is provided. If the authors have no competing interests, please declare that the author/authors have no conflict of interest.
• A funding statement to be provided. If the authors have not received any funding for their paper, please declare that no funding received.
• A consent statement/ethical approval for the paper if Laboratory experiments including animals/Human studies was performed. 'If your study does not require it, then please state this: Consent statement/Ethical approval: Not required'..

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
• 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 on Ethics in publishing.

Declaration of competing 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 competing interest statement using This template and upload to the submission system at the Attach/Upload Files step. If there are no interests to declare, please choose the first option in the template. More information.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.

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. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Changes to authorship

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

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 a '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.

Permissions Information
Written permission to reproduce borrowed material (illustrations and tables) must be obtained from the original publishers and authors, and submitted with the typescript. Borrowed material should be acknowledged in the captions in this style: 'Reproduced by the kind permission of ... (publishers) from ... (reference)'.

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.

Open Access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

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 Author Services.

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 https://www.editorialmanager.com/ymehy/default.aspx

Referees
Please submit, with the manuscript, the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of 3 potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. It is required that potential referees not be from the same institution as the authors. Please only supply the names of referees who can commit to the review, if invited. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

Peer review

This journal operates a single anonymized 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. Editors are not involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Any such submission is subject to all the journal's usual procedures, with peer review handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups. More information on types of peer review.

What is peer review?
Peer review helps validate research, establish a method by which it can be evaluated, and increase networking possibilities within research communities

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.

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.

Vitae
Submit a short (maximum 100 words) biography of each author, along with a passport-type photograph accompanying the other figures. Please provide the biography in an editable format (e.g. Word), not in PDF format.

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.

Abstract

The abstract is the most important section of the paper since it will be widely and freely disseminated by scientific indexing systems, and will be read far more often than the whole paper. Great care should therefore be taken to provide an informative abstract which summarizes the main argument of the paper. The maximum length allowed is 400 words. The abstract should not contain any references, because it will sometimes be disseminated in isolation from the rest of the paper. Please ensure that you submit your abstract within the first page of your manuscript.

Keywords

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, 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 keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Abbreviations
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
Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

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.

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

Math formulae
Although we do not encourage presentation of mathematically derived hypotheses, however minimum math formulae may be presented. 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.

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.

Artwork

Electronic artwork

General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
• Ensure that color images are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
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 & 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. All line illustrations should present a crisp black image on an even white background. The illustrations should be 127 x 173 mm (5 x 7 in) in size, or no larger than 203 x 254 mm (8 x 10 in).
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.

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.

References

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.

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. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

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

Reference style
Refernce style: 3 Vancouver Numbered
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.
Example: '..... as demonstrated [3,6]. Barnaby and Jones [8] obtained a different result ....'
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] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, The art of writing a scientific article, J. Sci. Commun. 163 (2010) 51–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Sc.2010.00372.
Reference to a journal publication with an article number:
[2] J. van der Geer, J.A.J. Hanraads, R.A. Lupton, 2018. The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon. 19, e00205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00205.
Reference to a book:
[3] W. Strunk Jr., E.B. White, The Elements of Style, fourth ed., Longman, New York, 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
[4] G.R. Mettam, L.B. Adams, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: B.S. Jones, R.Z. Smith (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age, E-Publishing Inc., New York, 2009, pp. 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] M. Oguro, S. Imahiro, S. Saito, T. Nakashizuka, Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1, 2015. https://doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1.
Reference to software:
[7] E. Coon, M. Berndt, A. Jan, D. Svyatsky, A. Atchley, E. Kikinzon, D. Harp, G. Manzini, E. Shelef, K. Lipnikov, R. Garimella, C. Xu, D. Moulton, S. Karra, S. Painter, E. Jafarov, S. Molins, Advanced Terrestrial Simulator (ATS) v0.88 (Version 0.88), Zenodo, March 25, 2020. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3727209.

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

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 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 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.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

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 Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.



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