Guide for Authors

Aims and Scope
Spine Deformity, the official journal of the Scoliosis Research Society, is an international peer-reviewed publication to disseminate knowledge on basic science and clinical research into the etiology, biomechanics, treatment methods and outcomes of all types of spinal deformities. The international members of the Editorial Board provide a worldwide perspective for the journal's area of interest.

The Journal will enhance the mission of the Society, which is to foster the optimal care of all patients with spine deformities worldwide.

All submissions are accepted with the understanding that they have not been, and will not be, published elsewhere in any format. Also, there should be no ethical concerns with the content or data collection. Spine Deformity reserves the right to request any research materials on which the paper is based.

The journal publishes original articles in the form of clinical and basic research. Spine Deformity will only publish studies that have institutional review board (IRB) or similar ethics committee approval for human and animal studies and have strictly observed these guidelines. The minimum follow-up period for follow-up clinical studies is 24 months. With the exception of reference presentation, Spine Deformity requires that all manuscripts be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.

Manuscript Submission

Spine Deformity uses a web based submission and tracking service, the EVISE. Authors must register via the journal home page http://www.evise.com/evise/jrnl/SDF. You will be e-mailed a confidential username and password that will enable you to access the system and submit and track the progress of your manuscript.

Please do not enter any information into taxonomy fields within EVISE. This field is for editorial office use only.Abstract, Manuscript, Figures and Tables, and Disclosure information must be prepared as SEPARATE files; the system requires that each of these files be uploaded separately and blocks incomplete manuscripts from being submitted to the office. Authors should use only those formats that are acceptable to the publisher, Elsevier, in order to ensure proper publication in the print issues. Please refer to the following individual sections for specific file requirements for text, tables, and figures. Each uploaded file must have a corresponding file extension (such as .doc, jpeg, tiff). Adherence to the guidelines is essential, and faulty manuscripts will be returned to authors for correction before peer-review.

Address all inquiries regarding manuscripts not yet accepted or published to the Journal's editorial office. The editorial office will acknowledge receipt of your manuscript and will give you a manuscript number for reference and tracking.

Revised Submission. Author's comments to the reviewers are required for revised submissions. Authors must address all the reviewer's concerns/suggestions, whether the change is made or not. Authors must also highlight the changes made within the text. Do not track the additions or deletions to the manuscript.

Patient anonymity and informed consent. It is the author's responsibility to ensure that a patient's anonymity be carefully protected and to verify that any experimental investigation with human subjects reported in the manuscript was performed with informed consent and followed all the guidelines for experimental investigation with human subjects required by the institution(s) with which all the authors are affiliated. Authors should mask patients' eyes, private parts and remove patients' names and personal data from all figures. Photographs of patients should have bars placed over the eyes.

Conflict of interest. Authors of manuscripts must submit a Conflict of Interest Statement at the time of submission of each manuscript. The form must reference the manuscript title. This statement has no bearing on the editorial decision to publish a manuscript, which will be based solely on the value of the article to the readers of The Journal. No article will be published until the completed conflict of interest form has been incorporated into the record kept on that manuscript in The Journal office. The statements selected by the author or authors will be printed with the published article.

The disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals", www.icmje.org/update.html. The form is available on the ICJME web site at http://www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and can be completed and submitted electronically. Please note that authors may sign the copyright transfer agreement form electronically.

Permissions. Authors must submit written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to use direct quotations, tables, or illustrations that have appeared in copyrighted form elsewhere, along with complete details about the source. Any permissions fees that might be required by the copyright owner are the responsibility of the authors requesting use of the borrowed material. Permission documentation must be submitted with the manuscript.

Manuscript Preparation and Format

Manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions WILL BE RETURNED to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review.

General. All manuscripts should be submitted in English, and formatted for standard 8½ x 11-inch (21 x 28-cm) paper with at least a 1-inch (2.5 cm) margin on all sides and double spaced. Manuscript pages should be consecutively numbered.

Style. Pattern manuscript style after the American Medical Association Manual of Style (10th edition). Stedman's Medical Dictionary (27th edition) and Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) should be used as standard references. Refer to drugs and therapeutic agents by their accepted generic or chemical names, and do not abbreviate them. Use code numbers only when a generic name is not yet available. In that case, supply the chemical name and a figure giving the chemical structure of the drug.

Capitalize the trade names of drugs and place them in parentheses after the generic names. To comply with trademark law, include the name and location (city and state in USA; city and country outside USA) of the manufacturer of any drug, supply, or equipment mentioned in the manuscript. Use the metric system to express the units of measure and degrees Celsius to express temperatures, and SI units rather than conventional units.

In keeping with the anonymity of the review process, the authors' names and institutions should not appear on any of the manuscript pages except the title page. Grants and other acknowledgments should be noted on a separate page.

Manuscripts should be no longer than 2700 words of text, excluding the abstract and references. Case Reports should be no more than 750 words of text. All Case Reports must have a Structured Abstract and will be published online only. All papers published online only will be completely referenced and indexed.Case Reports. The manuscript should be succinct and informative reporting on a specific case, or a series of related cases. Text length should be brief (8 double spaced pages) and include a structured abstract and references.

Authorship

1. Each author is responsible for the content and accuracy of the entire manuscript, with the exception of students, residents, and fellows. Each author should participate in the content and design of the study, the preparation of the manuscript and its revisions, and final approval.
2. Other individuals who contribute effort to the process should be identified as "contributors" and acknowledged at the end of the manuscript together with their contribution.
3. The order and inclusion should be decided by consensus among the authors themselves and acknowledged in writing.
4. In-text citations should include the first and second authors.Adherence to these policies is mandatory unless, upon appeal, exclusion is made by the Editorial office.

Statistical guidelines.

1. Please report the statistical package(s) you use (if any) and the version #.
2. For studies with small n, please report both %'s and n's.
3. Please report 95% confidence intervals for point estimates.
4. In addition to reporting p-values, also report the statistical test coefficient, so for example for a correlation, please indicate a Pearson correlation r=.xx, p=.yy; for a t-test, report the means for the 2 groups and t=x.xx, df=zz, p=.yy. Please indicate if you are reporting 1-tail or 2-tail significance levels. If a power analysis was performed please report that.
5. Please do not over-interpret non-significant findings. If there is a "non significant" finding, then the power or the Beta error should be given so that the reader can determine whether the "non significant" finding was not a chance occurrence.
6. Where appropriate, please report the validity and/or reliability of the instruments or measurements you are using

Submit manuscript electronically to http://www.evise.com/evise/jrnl/SDF in the following order:

1. Title page should include.

a. Full manuscript title.
b. Authors' names, Professional degree letters following each author's name, institutional affiliations.
c. Corresponding author responsible for proofreading and reprint requests (name, address, telephone, and fax numbers, and e-mail address).
d. Permission to reproduce copyrighted materials or signed patient consent forms
e. IRB approval/Research Ethics Committee, or local equivalent stated on title page
f. Funding sources

2. Structured Abstract (300 words). Limit structured abstracts to 300 words with the following sections:

a. Study design,
b. Objectives,
c. Summary of background data,
d. Methods,
e. Results,
f. Conclusions
g. Level of Evidence (see table)

3. 3-5 Key Points

4. Manuscript text with line and page numbers (2700 words for regular submissions; 750 words for Case Reports). Text in the following format: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Figure legends.

Abbreviations should appear in parentheses immediately after the term first appears in the text, unless it is a standard unit of measure.

Terms.

a. The accepted nomenclature of the journal follows the Revised Glossary of Terms of the SRS which can be accessed at http://www.srs.org/professionals/glossary/SRS_revised_glossary_of_terms.htm
b. Do not use the term hardware. Acceptable terms include implants and instrumentation. The use of the terms constructs or montage may be used if the reference is to a particular pattern of fixation points for the instrumentation.
c. Blood loss should be reported as cc. as well as the percentage of the Estimated Blood Volume (%EBV) to express blood loss related to the patient's weight.

5. References. Authors are responsible for verifying the accuracy and completeness of references. References should appear in brackets and should be cited in numeric order in the text and listed at the end of the article in citation order. Unpublished data including presentations and posters at national meetings, personal communications, and other materials not accessible to the reader should not be listed as references but rather given in parentheses in the text. Do not use the linked endnote feature in your word processing program when formatting your references.

If there are more than three authors, name only the first three authors and then use et al. Refer to the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus for abbreviations of journal names, or access the list at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/serials/lji.html.

Sample references are given below:

Journal article
Guiot BH, Khoo LT, Fessler RG. A minimally invasive technique for decompression of the lumbar spine. Spine 2002;27:432-8.

Book chapter
Sweitzer S, Arruda J, DeLeo J. The cytokine challenge: Methods for the detection of central cytokines in rodent models of persistent pain. In: Kruger L, ed. Methods in Pain Research. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2001:109-32.

Entire book
Atlas SW. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2001.

Software
Epi Info [computer program]. Version 6. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1994.

Online journals
Friedman SA. Preeclampsia: A review of the role of prostaglandins. Obstet Gynecol [serial online]. January 1988;71:22-37. Available from: BRS Information Technologies, McLean, VA. Accessed December 15, 1990.

Database
CANCERNET-PDQ [database online]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 1996. Updated March 29, 1996.

World Wide Web
Gostin LO. Drug use and HIV/AIDS [JAMA HIV/AIDS web site]. June 1, 1996. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/special/hiv/ethics. Accessed June 26, 19977.

6. Tables. Tables should be comprehensible without reference to the text and should not be repetitive of descriptions in the text. Create tables using the table creating and editing feature of your word processing software (e.g., Word, Pages). Do not use Excel or comparable spreadsheet programs. Cite all tables in the text, and number them in order of appearance. Each table should be typed double-spaced on a separate sheet of paper, include the table title, appropriate column heads, and explanatory legends (including definitions of any abbreviations used). Acknowledgement of previously published material should be given in a footnote to the Table, and the source should be included in the Reference list.

7. Figure legends. Figure legends should be supplied for each figure and should be brief and not repetitive of the text. Define all arrows and other such indicators appearing on the illustration. All figures should be cited in the text and numbered in the order of appearance. Any source notation for borrowed figures should appear at the end of the legend. Legends should be double-spaced on a separate sheet of paper.

8. Figures (eps, jpeg, tiff,). Illustrations accompanying your manuscript must be submitted electronically and be in JPEG, TIFF or EPS format. Do not embed images into other software programs. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please refer to Elsevier's Author Artwork Instructions. In accordance with HIPAA, remove any writing that could identify the patient (e.g., names, initials, and patient numbers).Figures should be consecutively numbered (Arabic) as they appear in the text and accompanied by legends.

9. Conflict Of Interest. The form available on the ICJME web site at http://www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf is to be used, with a separate form completed and submitted for each author.

Manuscript Checklist (for author reference only)

1. Title page
2. Structured Abstract (300 words)
3. 3-5 Key Points
4. Manuscript text with page numbers
5. References double-spaced and cited in the order of appearance
6. Tables
7. Figure legends
8. Figures (eps, jpeg, tiff,)
9. Conflict of interest form completed for each author

Types of Studies
Therapeutic Studies-Investigating the Results of Treatment Prognostic Studies-Investigating the Effect of a Patient Characteristic on the Outcome of Disease Diagnostic Studies-Investigating a Diagnostic Test Economic and Decision Analyses-Developing an Economic or Decision Model
Level I
  • High-quality randomized controlled trial with statistically significant difference or no statistically significant difference but narrow confidence intervals
  • Systematic review2 of Level-I randomized controlled trials (and study results were homogeneous3)
  • High-quality prospective study4 (all patients were enrolled at the same point in their disease with ≥80% follow-up of enrolled patients)
  • Systematic review2 of Level-I studies
  • Testing of previously developed diagnostic criteria in series of consecutive patients (with universally applied reference "gold" standard)
  • Systematic review2 of Level-I studies
  • Sensible costs and alternatives; values obtained from many studies; multiway sensitivity analyses
  • Systematic review2 of Level-I studies
Level II
  • Lesser-quality randomized controlled trial (e.g., <80% follow-up, no blinding, or improper randomization)
  • Prospective4 comparative study5
  • Systematic review2 of Level-II studies or Level-I studies with inconsistent results
  • Retrospective6 study
  • Untreated controls from a randomized controlled trial
  • Lesser-quality prospective study (e.g., patients enrolled at different points in their disease or <80% follow-up)
  • Systematic review2 of Level-II studies
  • Development of diagnostic criteria on basis of consecutive patients (with universally applied reference "gold" standard)
  • Systematic review2 of Level-II studies
  • Sensible costs and alternatives; values obtained from limited studies; multiway sensitivity analyses
  • Systematic review2 of Level-II studies
Level III
  • Case-control study7
  • Retrospective6 comparative study5
  • Systematic review2 of Level-III studies
Case-control study7
  • Study of nonconsecutive patients (without consistently applied reference "gold" standard)
  • Systematic review2 of Level-III studies
  • Analyses based on limited alternatives and costs; poor estimates
  • Systematic review2 of Level-III studies
Level IV Case series8 Case series
  • Case-control study
  • Poor reference standard
No sensitivity analyses
Level V Expert opinion Expert opinion Expert opinion Expert opinion
Levels of Evidence for Primary Research Question1

  1. A complete assessment of the quality of individual studies requires critical appraisal of all aspects of the study design.
  2. A combination of results from two or more prior studies.
  3. Studies provided consistent results.
  4. Study was started before the first patient enrolled.
  5. Patients treated one way (e.g., with cemented hip arthroplasty) compared with patients treated another way (e.g., with cementless hip arthroplasty) at the same institution.
  6. Study was started after the first patient enrolled.
  7. Patients identified for the study on the basis of their outcome (e.g., failed total hip arthroplasty), called "cases," are compared with those who did not have the outcome (e.g., had a successful total hip arthroplasty), called "controls."
  8. Patients treated one way with no comparison group of patients treated another way.

This chart is reprinted from The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.