Guide for Authors

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Your Paper Your Way

We now differentiate between the requirements for new and revised submissions. You may choose to submit your manuscript as a single Word or PDF file to be used in the refereeing process. Only when your paper is at the revision stage, will you be requested to put your paper in to a 'correct format' for acceptance and provide the items required for the publication of your article.

To find out more, please visit the Preparation section below. 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
• Main text, abstract, and title page
• 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)
Supplementary files (where applicable)

Manuscript components required at first submission:
• Keywords
• Highlights
• Data/code availability statement. "Available upon request" is not acceptable without further specification; see below for further description as well as special requirements for Toolbox papers. Must be included in Methods or paper may be returned without review.
• Ethics statement. See below for specifics on animal studies, human studies, as well as use of public datasets. Must be included in Methods or paper may be returned without review.
• Disclosure of competing interests or affirmative statement that there are none.
• Referee suggestions and contact details. See below to ensure that your suggested reviewers do not have a conflict of interest; serious violations may result in a paper being rejected without external review. Please also indicate if the paper is being submitted through the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium and you would like to request the same reviewers.

Further considerations
• Manuscript should be 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference List must be cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission must be obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
• Journal policies detailed in this guide should be reviewed prior to manuscript preparation and submission
• All manuscripts submitted to NeuroImage are screened via plagiarism detection software. Consideration should be given when writing Methods sections in particular. If your methods closely follow those of a prior paper and you wish to re-use the same text for clarity, this should be explicitly stated at the beginning of the relevant portion of text

For further information, visit our Support Center.

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.

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').

Ethics in publishing

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

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. The ethics statement must indicate that written informed consent was obtained from participants, as well as a statement identifying the specific institutional ethical review committee who approved the study.

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 should be considered. Clear justification is required that sex is not a variable of relevance for studies comprising only a single sex. Failure to do so may impact on the editorial assessment of a submitted manuscript. Reporting of the age or developmental state of animals is also required.

If the study involves the re-analysis of previously published datasets (from the author or other groups) or public/shared datasets, the ethics statement should describe both the original ethical review as well as any further ethical review or data use agreement pertinent to the submitted manuscript.

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 competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in two places: 1. A summary declaration of interest statement in the manuscript file. If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. This summary statement will be published if the article is accepted. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Declaration of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in both places and that the information matches. More information.

Originality declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been previously published in a peer-reviewed journal or proceedings (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. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check. Papers that contain plagiarism may be rejected without external review, and the editors may notify supervisors, department heads, and/or funding bodies, especially in repeated or egregious cases.

Authors must state in their cover letter if a brief version of the study has been published as a conference proceeding. In this case, the Authors should clarify the additional work that has been completed and added to the submitted full report. The proceeding paper must be available to the editorial team in order to judge the relative novelty and contribution of the full paper.

Authors are able to upload their author manuscript to a public-domain preprint server upon submission to NeuroImage. The editorial team will not consider a publicly available (non-peer reviewed) preprint as a prior publication.

Author contributions

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

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 be published as a corrigendum.

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.

Publication options and open access
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

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. Please see below ("After acceptance") for compliance with NIH Public access policy.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

New Submissions

Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts your files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process. As part of the Your Paper Your Way service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately.


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.

Formatting requirements
There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions.
If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.
Divide the article into clearly defined sections.

Please ensure that the manuscript format is optimized for peer review, with 1.5 or double-spacing, page numbers and numbered lines. Figures and tables embedded in text
Please ensure the figures and the tables included in the single file are placed next to the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the bottom or the top of the file. The corresponding caption should be placed directly below the figure or table.

There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the article number or pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct.

Data and code availability statements

All papers must include a statement regarding the availability of all data used in the study. Where data was downloaded from the public domain, the source and means of obtaining the data should be stated. Data, or metadata (e.g. activation maps, connectivity matrices) that were newly acquired for the present study should ideally be made available to the community via a suitable open repository, preferably at the time of paper submission. If data is not able to be made openly available then a reasonable rationale should be provided, such as ethics or privacy issues of clinical data, or restrictions imposed by the administering institution. If data is only to be made available via a request to the Authors, then the conditions of such a request, and any restrictions should be clearly stated. These might include:

  • The need for a formal data sharing agreement
  • The need for approval from the requesting researcher's local ethics committee
  • The need to submit a formal project outline
  • Requirements for co-authorship or inclusion in the author byline

For further information on data sharing, see the "Data Resource" paper type or consider possible reporting of research data via Data in Brief.

All papers must also include a statement regarding the availability of software and code used in the study. Where third party code was used, the version and a repository of that code must be stated and cited appropriately. Where new code was developed for the execution of the study, then it should ideally be made available to the community via a suitable open repository, preferably at the time of paper submission.

For ToolBox and Software papers, code must be made available to the Reviewers, via a suitable means, at the time of submission (see further details below).

This statement will appear in the Methods section of the paper and separately with your published article on ScienceDirect information. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.

Original research papers

Communicating original research papers form the core objective of NeuroImage. Such papers must lie within the journal's scope and strive for the highest standards of innovation, significance, technical accuracy and reproducibility. For further information, see the journal home-page.

Review papers

NeuroImage publishes review papers that address and synthesize research areas of outstanding current interest that lie within the scope of the journal. Such papers are usually invited but submitted reviews may be considered. If you plan to submit a review, we encourage you to contact the Editor-in-Chief or a Senior Editor with the relevant expertise, outlining the rationale, intended scope and novelty of the proposed review, prior to submission. Review papers should provide an authoritative and critical perspective. Review papers that are restricted to literature reviews, without broader interpretation and integration, are unlikely to fare well in editorial or peer review.

Comments and Controversies

NeuroImage encourages brief commentaries that address issues of outstanding interest to the field. This may include contentious themes of general relevance to the neuroimaging community, or specific issues that relate to recently published papers in the journal. Such commentaries should be brief (less than 1500 words), with a succinct abstract (~100 words), a short biography of relevant references, and up to 2 figures.

Where a commentary addresses a perceived limitation in a recently published (target) article, the tone of the report should be constructive, collegial and address the broader context. Where there is no clear conflict of interest, the Authors of the target article may be invited to appraise the submission for factual errors and will usually be invited to publish a brief (500 word) rejoinder.Authors submitting a commentary on a manuscript should use the protocol under "Submitting a commentary" when uploading their paper. ToolBox and Software papers

NeuroImage encourages submission of Toolbox and Software papers. Such manuscripts should report novel and comprehensive software developments of relevance and significance to the field. Toolbox and Software manuscripts should identify the problem addressed, the computational architecture of the software, and its utility. Similarities and differences (and pros and cons) with respect to existing software/toolboxes should be described, both with respect to the underlying algorithms and the practicalities of usage. The use of the software should be clearly illustrated through application to meaningful real data. Underlying algorithms not previously published and validated should be validated. Manuscripts that report software of very narrow functionality, minor plug-ins for existing toolboxes and extensions of existing algorithms of limited breadth are unlikely to be selected for peer review. Toolboxes that make use of other existing neuroimaging software must be highly transparent about citing this, both in the paper, and when being used. The software should be available for use by the scientific community, ideally including source code for scientific transparency. This needs to be available at the time of submission, so that Reviewers can test the software and potentially inspect the code. Sample data should be made available, sufficient for replication of all demonstrations of the software that are provided within the manuscript. NEW! Registered reports

NEW! Registered reports (click here for more details). These submissions undergo a two-phase review process in which study rationale and methodology are considered prior to the research being undertaken.

Technical Notes

Technical notes are brief reports that focus on specific methodological developments of an experimental, computational or analytic nature. They should be concise, focussed on a specific technical issue and brief (~3000 words and 5 or fewer figures). Nonetheless they should report an innovative technical development of broad significance to the neuroimaging community. Technical notes should include empirical testing or validation of the core technique.

If this technical note focuses exclusively on the communication of a toolbox or software development, then it should be submitted as a Toolbox paper for which code and sample data availability are a prerequisite at the time of submission (see above). Papers of a software/toolbox nature but submitted as a technical note without code and sample data will be triaged without peer review. Data Resource Papers

NeuroImage publishes Data Resource Papers that report the creation of a new data resource, such as a new imaging-based cohort. These papers will be considered on their importance to the field, including the innovation of the imaging sequences, the size or uniqueness of the subject groups, or the integration of multimodal imaging with other data (phenotypic, genetic etc). NeuroImage will consider clinical cohorts where there is clear innovation in the imaging protocols that are developed and tailored to address unique disease markers and mechanisms. Meta-data from healthy and clinical cohorts may also be considered as a resource, such as a novel atlas. The study should be sufficiently advanced before a resource paper is considered, e.g. with most data already available. A Data Resource paper should demonstrate salient features of the data through example analyses.

A condition for publication of a data resource paper is that the broader community must be able to access the data and address questions of their own interest. Where ethical or governance issues preclude deposition of the data into a public repository, the authors should make clear any conditions that must be met - such as a data access agreement (between resource curators and external scientists applying for the data), proof of local ethics clearance, and other valid and necessary conditions. Data access conditions that are not sufficiently "Open", e.g., which mandate explicit collaboration or co-authorship with the data curators, are unlikely to be chosen for peer review.

A Data Resource Paper should be structured the same as a standard NeuroImage paper, with Introduction, Methods, Results and a brief Discussion. The Introduction should highlight the innovation and importance. The Methods section must describe (1) The type of data, (2) The data format, (3) Acquisition methods and parameters, (4) Any preprocessing and de-identification; (5) The data source location(s); (6) Accessibility and data repository, including instructions for accessing the data; (7) An ethics statement, and (8) Any existing related articles. These details can be largely incorporated in Table form where expedient. The Results section should provide summary cohort statistics and sufficient example analyses to preface the utility of the data. The CRediT author statement and acknowledgement should follow the same principles as standard papers.

Peer review

This journal operates a single 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 (and usually three) 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.

The Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium

NeuroImage is a member of the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium (NPRC). The NPRC has been formed to reduce the time expended and, in particular, the duplication of effort by, and associated burden on Reviewers involved in the peer review of original neuroscience research papers. It is an alliance of neuroscience journals that have agreed to accept manuscript reviews from other Consortium journals. By reducing the number of times that a manuscript is reviewed, the Consortium aims to reduce the load on Reviewers and Editors and speed the publication of research results.

If a manuscript has been rejected by another journal in the Consortium, Authors can submit the manuscript to NeuroImage and indicate that the referees' reports from the first journal be made available to the Editors of NeuroImage.It is the Authors' decision as to whether or not to indicate that a set of referee's reports should be forwarded from the first journal to NeuroImage. If an author does not wish for this to happen, the manuscript can be submitted to NeuroImage without reference to the previous submission. No information will be exchanged between journals except at the request of Authors. However, if the original referees' reports suggested that the paper is of high quality, but not suitable for the first journal, then it will often be to an author's advantage to indicate that referees' reports should be made available.Authors should revise the original submission in accordance with the first journal's set of referee reports, reformat the paper to NeuroImage 's specification and submit the paper to NeuroImage with a covering letter describing the changes that have been made, and informing the Editors that the Authors will ask for the referee's reports to be forwarded from the first Consortium journal.The Editors of NeuroImage will use forwarded referees' reports at their discretion. The Editors may use the reports directly to make a decision, or they may request further reviews if they feel such are necessary.Visit for a list of Consortium journals, as well as further information on the scheme. Referees

Please suggest up to five Reviewers for your paper. These Reviewers should have the appropriate domain-specific expertise. Authors should not suggest Reviewers whom have a clear conflict of interest. A Reviewer has a conflict of interest if they:

  • Have published together within the last five years;
  • Have been co-investigators on the same grant within the last five years;
  • Are currently collaborating with a view to imminent publication or grant submission;
  • Are in the same department/school/faculty;
  • Have a close social or financial relationship that precludes an unbiased opinion
  • Have a mentor-trainee relationship [e.g. graduate or post-doctoral advisor].

Authors whom suggest conflicted Reviewers, meeting one of these criteria, may have their paper rejected prior to peer review and with no opportunity for peer review. Corresponding Authors should therefore ask all other Authors prior to submission to endorse the list of suggested Reviewers prior to submission.

If a suggested Reviewer does meet one of these criteria but you still wish to nominate them, you must clearly state the potential conflict and the reason for special consideration (for example if you have both been Authors on an unrelated consortia-style paper).

Authors can list opposed Reviewers who may otherwise be selected by the editorial team but meet one of these criteria. Please ensure to state an explicit reason. Editors may choose to ignore this request if the stated reason is simply "conflict of interest". Editorial decisions

Editors may issue one of a number of decisions, in some cases without further external review. Papers that do not fit the journal's mission, competitiveness profile, preparation standards (including required components noted above), may be rejected or recommended for transfer to another journal.

Article transfer service: This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information. Appeals: If you wish to appeal an decision, you must prepare a formal appeal letter for the Senior Editor who communicated the decision. The appeal should contain a copy of the decision letter and final round of reviews together with a clear argument supporting your appeal. The appeal will be considered by the Senior Editor, together with the Handling Editor and (possible) members of the editorial board or Editor-in-Chief. The senior editor will endeavor to provide you a response to your appeal within 10 working days. Rejected papers: The decision to reject a paper is final and no such paper should be resubmitted without prior editorial approval. Papers that are resubmitted without prior approval will be triage rejected without further review. Reject with option to resubmit: Papers that have been rejected, but provided with an option to resubmit, should follow the instructions in the decision letter. The expectation of the journal's Editors is that any resubmission will be the result of significant rewriting and additional experimentation or analyses as required to address all Reviewer and Editor concerns. Authors resubmitting previously rejected manuscripts are required to: 1) Identify the manuscript as a resubmitted manuscript in the cover letter to the Editor, including identification of the prior title and manuscript number; 2) Address all Reviewer concerns from the final reviews of the previous, rejected manuscript; and 3) Include a "Response to Reviewers" document that includes those reviews from the previous version and the responses to those reviews. You will also be requested to indicate this status during the submission process in Editorial Manager.

Use of word processing software
Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). 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: Original research papers

Original research papers should confirm to the following guidelines. The structure of Review, Comments and ToolBox papers should be adapted to their content.

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.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

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.

Results should be clear and concise.

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.

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 can be employed for mathematical derivations or formulations that are important for the paper but are not the primary focus of the paper. Appendices are subject to peer review. 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.


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

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.


Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article 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.


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.

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.

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.

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
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 should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Should this not be the case, indicate the position of footnotes in the text and present the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article.


Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Preferred fonts: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Indicate per figure if it is a single, 1.5 or 2-column fitting image.
• For Word submissions only, you may still provide figures and their captions, and tables within a single file at the revision stage.
• Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be provided in separate source files.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
Regardless of the application used, 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 the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.
• 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 Author Services 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.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. 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.


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.


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.

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:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.

Reference formatting
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the article number or pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct. If you do wish to format the references yourself they should be arranged according to the following examples:

Reference style
Text: All citations in the text should refer to:
1. Single author: the author's name (without initials, unless there is ambiguity) and the year of publication;
2. Two Authors: both Authors' names and the year of publication;
3. Three or more Authors: first Author's name followed by 'et al.' and the year of publication.
Citations may be made directly (or parenthetically). Groups of references can be listed either first alphabetically, then chronologically, or vice versa.
Examples: 'as demonstrated (Allan, 2000a, 2000b, 1999; Allan and Jones, 1999)…. Or, as demonstrated (Jones, 1999; Allan, 2000)… Kramer et al. (2010) have recently shown …'
List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters 'a', 'b', 'c', etc., placed after the year of publication.
Reference to a journal publication:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2010. The art of writing a scientific article. J. Sci. Commun. 163, 51–59.
Reference to a journal publication with an article number:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., Lupton, R.A., 2018. The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon. 19, e00205.
Reference to a book:
Strunk Jr., W., White, E.B., 2000. The Elements of Style, fourth ed. Longman, New York.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G.R., Adams, L.B., 2009. How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in: Jones, B.S., Smith , R.Z. (Eds.), Introduction to the Electronic Age. E-Publishing Inc., New York, pp. 281–304.
Reference to a website:
Cancer Research UK, 1975. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. (accessed 13 March 2003).
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] Oguro, M., Imahiro, S., Saito, S., Nakashizuka, T., 2015. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions. Mendeley Data, v1.

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


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 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.

Third party data sharing repositories are used at your own discretion and are in no way affiliated to NeuroImage or Elsevier.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.

Inline supplementary material

Articles in NeuroImage have offered the possibility to include supplementary material for some time. This has now been improved, as supplementary material can now be placed inline with the article. This means that the supplementary figures or tables will appear within the text of the online (HTML) article in an expandable viewing box - delivering the supplementary information at the appropriate place to increase its visibility and place it into context.

Submission of inline supplementary material (ISM) is very similar to submitting regular supplementary material. The main difference is you will now need to indicate where the Inline Supplementary Material should appear within your article, by including an instruction such as: "Insert Supplementary Table 1 here" or by referencing the Inline Supplementary Material in the body of the text e.g. "see Inline Supplementary Table 1". For more information and to see an example visit

Data in Brief
You have the option of converting any or all parts of your supplementary or additional raw data into a data article published in Data in Brief. A data article is a new kind of article that ensures that your data are actively reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and made publicly available to all upon publication (watch this video describing the benefits of publishing your data in Data in Brief). You are encouraged to submit your data article for Data in Brief as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of your manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your data article will automatically be transferred over to Data in Brief where it will be editorially reviewed, published open access and linked to your research article on ScienceDirect. Please note an open access fee is payable for publication in Data in Brief. Full details can be found on the Data in Brief website. Please use this template to write your Data in Brief data article.

Online proof correction

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.

US National Institutes of Health voluntary posting/ "Public Access Policy"

Elsevier facilitates author posting in connection with the voluntary posting request of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), referred to as the NIH Public Access Policy (see, by posting the peer-reviewed author's manuscript directly to PubMed Central on request from the author, 12 months after formal publication. Upon notification from the Editorial Office of acceptance, we will ask you to confirm via e-mail (by e-mailing us at that your work has received NIH funding (with the NIH award number) and that you intend to respond to the NIH request. Upon such confirmation, Elsevier will submit to PubMed Central on your behalf a version of your manuscript that includes all changes made during the review and proofing process, for posting 12 months after the formal publication date. This will ensure that you will have responded fully to the NIH request policy. There will be no need for you to post your manuscript directly to PubMed Central, and any such posting is prohibited.

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (see more information on this). Permitted third party reuse of 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.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information. It is the policy of Elsevier that Authors need not obtain permission in the following cases only: (1) to use their original figures or tables in their future works; (2) to make copies of their papers for use in their classroom teaching; and (3) to include their papers as part of their dissertations.


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.