Guide for Authors

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Information for Authors

SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE is a new PubMed indexed open access journal affiliated with the journal SURGERY and striving to incorporate the strongest tenets of the open science movement including encouraging distribution of author preprints, rigorous and transparent reviewing, and data sharing. As such, SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE will provide leading edge dynamic, transparent, and interactive access to process and data.

SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE seeks original, high quality basic and clinical science submissions and timely, rigorous review manuscripts in the broad field of general surgery; these submissions should be of interest to an international audience. Case reports and book reviews are not accepted by the journal.

SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE strives for a fast, detailed reviewing process, aiming to return the first decision in less than 30 days from submission. Rapid online manuscript publication will follow acceptance. Authors are encouraged to submit original data for review.

All manuscripts should be submitted online at Please note: To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check

The policies and procedures for SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE generally follow those of the International Committee of Medical Journal , as published in the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication" (updated October 2008;

Manuscripts are considered for publication if and only if the article and its key features (1) are not under consideration elsewhere, (2) have not been published, and (3) will not appear in print or online prior to appearing in SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE. This restriction does not apply to abstracts or posters published in connection with scientific meetings; in addition, press reports arising from a conference will not be considered prior publication, provided that authors who discuss their conference presentation or poster with reporters are careful not to offer more detail about their work than was contained in the oral or poster presentation.

Submission of a manuscript is understood to indicate that the authors have complied with all policies as delineated in this document. Individuals who violate these policies are subject to editorial action including but not limited to (1) disclosure of violations to employers, funding agencies, or other journal offices and/or (2) publication of a retraction, correction, editorial expression of concern, or editorial. ll authors must observe most strictly the rules against dual publication.

All authors must observe most strictly the rules against dual publication.

Types of Papers

Research Paper. These manuscripts should represent original research, either clinical or basic science. Consideration for publication is based on originality, scientific content, and appropriate analysis. Emphasis should be placed on novel information.

Reviews. SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE will not routinely publish simple review papers based solely on a literature review. On occasion, the Editor will solicit a clinical review on a specific topic. Exceptions include formal true systematic reviews (not just review articles) which are well-executed and either relevant or timely; however, these will be reviewed critically and should follow the outline suggested by PRISMA (

Technical Note. Brief, clear description of novel techniques or novel approaches to surgical disease will be considered for publication. These manuscripts may be accompanied by small case series using the approach.

Letters to the Editor. The Editor invites comments in the form of letters that express differences of opinion or supporting views of previously published editorials or recently published papers in SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE. Each letter must not exceed 500 words, should be typed with double spacing, and must include complete references. The editorial board reserves the rights to accept, reject, or excerpt letters without changing the views expressed by the writer. No anonymous correspondence will be published; therefore each author should include his or her complete address.

Reviewing Process

The Journal has a single-blind reviewing process. Two or more referees are asked to review each article. Acceptance for publication is based on originality, significance, and scientific merit; these manuscripts should further the knowledge and practice of surgery. Revisions may be made to add clarity and understanding without altering the meaning and to follow a consistent editorial approach by SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE. 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. Editors are not involved in decisions about papers which they 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 of the journal's usual procedures, with peer review handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups.

Online manuscript submission

All manuscripts should be submitted online. Please go register, log in, and follow the instructions. When uploading your manuscript on the site, please be aware of the following:

  • MS Word is the preferred word-processing program. Please do not upload anything as a PDF file; the system will build a PDF for you.
  • The title page should be uploaded as a separate Word document.
  • The following text elements (abstract, main text, references, appendices, figure legends, and tables) should be in a single file.
  • Number pages consecutively and double-space text.
  • Each figure file should be created at the proper resolution (see guidelines below) and uploaded as a separate file (TIFF or EPS are the preferred formats).
  • The comments section should include the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three potential reviewers. Final solicitation of reviewers will be at the Editor's discretion.

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


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.

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

Open Access

This journal is a gold open access journal. All articles will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by your choice of one of the following Creative Commons user licenses:

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

Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY): available only for authors funded by organizations with which we have established an agreement with. For a full list please see

Elsevier has established agreements with funding bodies. This ensures authors can comply with funding body open access requirements, including specific user licenses, such as CC-BY. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees.

Informed consent and patient details

Manuscripts describing research involving human subjects must document both IRB approval/exemption and that informed consent was obtained from patients who served as subjects of the investigation. A statement about HIPAA compliance is also necessary for human studies from the United States and other countries in which the protection of patient information by obtaining patient consent is required by law. In the event that either the Editor or referees question the propriety of the human investigation with respect to the risk to the subjects or to the means of obtaining informed consent, SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE may request more detailed information about the safeguards employed and the procedures used to obtain consent. Minutes of the local human experimentation committees that reviewed and approved the research may also be requested.

All human studies that are prospective, whether they are randomized or not, MUST be registered in a national or international registry available to the public before they can be published. A readily available registry is the website where the study can be registered quickly and easily.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Animal/Human experiments

For animal and all human experiments, the sex used must be indicated. If both males and females were used, the number from each sex must be indicated, and it must be indicated whether the sex was considered a factor in the statistical analysis of the data. If only one sex was used, the rationale for using only one sex must be indicated. For cell culture experiments, the sex from which primary cell cultures or tissues were obtained must be indicated. The authors are also encouraged to include sex of cell lines. If cells or tissues from both sexes were used without regard to sex, this should be indicated.

Experimental Animal Studies
Animal studies must be reported in accordance with the ARRIVE guidelines (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) and must include the checklist as supplemental material. A blank form can be downloaded for completion here. An example of a completed checklist can be found at (The example checklist is based on an original publication by Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, Emerson M, Altman DG (2010) Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research. PLoS Biol 8(6): e1000412. The institutional protocol number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article.

Ethics in publishing

Work on human beings that is submitted to Surgery Open Science should comply with the principles laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki (Recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects. Adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964, amended by the 29th World Medical Assembly, Tokyo, Japan, October 1975, the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983, and the 41st World Medical Assembly, Hong Kong, September 1989). The manuscript should contain a statement that the work has been approved by the appropriate ethical committees related to the institution(s) in which it was performed and that subjects gave informed consent to the work. Studies involving experiments with animals must state that their care was in accordance with institution guidelines. Patients and volunteers' names, initials, and hospital numbers should not be used.

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 title page file. If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. This summary statement will be ultimately published if the article is accepted. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Conflict 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.


The following format must be used for all submitted manuscripts:

-- The cover letter should provide (1) the category of manuscript (i.e., original report, review article, etc); (2) statement that the material has not been previously published or submitted elsewhere for publication and will not be sent to another journal until a decision is made concerning publication by SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE; (3) information about any personal conflicts of interest of any of the authors; and (4) names of sources of outside support for research, including funding, equipment, and drugs (see below, Financial Support). The cover letter should be submitted as a separate file. Any financial support whatsoever from industry must be acknowledged as a financial disclosure of all the authors in the cover letter and on the title page of the manuscript. For instance, if a study is funded partially or totally by Industry, this needs to be stated clearly followed by a statement disclosing whether or not each author has any financial interest in the company (etc) funding the study. It will be the Editor's discretion whether or not this represents too much of a conflict of interest to warrant publication.

-- The title page should include the full name and highest achieved degree of each author, the institution from which the work originated, sources of financial support, and the exact and complete address, business and home telephone numbers, e-mail address, and fax number of the one author who will be responsible for correspondence, galley proofs, and reprint requests. If applicable, include Twitter and/or Instagram handle(s) of author(s) so that @SurgeryOpen can acknowledge authors when posting a link to published work.

-- A structured abstract of no more than 250 words must accompany the manuscript and consist of four paragraphs, each with its introductory label: Background (stating the purpose of the study), Methods, Results, and Conclusions. This abstract should be numbered page two of the manuscript.


Highlights are optional yet highly encouraged for this journal, as they increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights 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).


-- Standard abbreviations should be used consistently throughout the manuscript. The use of unusual abbreviations is discouraged but, if necessary, the term should be spelled out in full the first time it appears, followed immediately by the abbreviation in parentheses. The abbreviation only should be used from that point on. A separate page of all abbreviations used is suggested to aid the manuscript reviewers. For currently accepted usage, consult the Manual of Style of the American Medical Association; Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors and Publishers; and the Chicago Manual of Style by The University of Chicago Press.


-- Illustrations should be submitted electronically. When submitting the illustrations electronically, please use either an EPS or TIFF file format. Graphics software such as Photoshop and Illustrator should be used to create art. Figures submitted using presentation software such as PowerPoint, CorelDraw, or Harvard Graphics are not acceptable. Color images need to be saved as CMYK, at least 300 dots per inch (dpi). Gray scale images should be at least 300 dpi. Line art (black and white or color) and combinations of gray scale and line art should be at least 300 dpi. Make sure that the figure number is marked clearly on the figure or part of the electronic file name (i.e., Figure1.tif). Please note that once you create digital art at low resolution, you cannot adjust it. You must create your art at the proper resolution (300 dpi) to begin with. For step-by-step instruction and screen shots on how to create your art correctly the first time, go to Elsevier's Author Gateway ( and click on "Artwork Instructions."

-- Legends must be provided for all illustrations. The legend should not appear anywhere on the figure. If a figure has been previously published, the legend must give full credit to the original source. Permission from the copyright holder for reproduction in your article must be submitted with your manuscript.


-- Tables should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text, and given a brief, descriptive title. Omit all horizontal or vertical rules from the body of the table. Glossy prints and reduced versions of typewritten tables are unacceptable. All acronyms, abbreviations, and unusual units of measurement used in the title, headings, or body of the table should be fully explained in a footnote. For footnotes, use these symbols in sequence: *,†, ‡, §, ||, , #, **, ††, superscript lowercase letters. If a table or any data therein have been previously published, a footnote to the table must give full credit to the original source.


ALL manuscript must have three mandatory disclosures right before the Reference section. They are: Author Contribution, Conflict of interest, and Funding sources. These headings must be listed even if they all don't apply.


-- Only references cited in the text should be included in the reference list; cite references in the text by superscript numbers. The reference list must be numbered according to the order of mention of references in the text. The list format should conform to that set forth in "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" (Vancouver style) ( Do not cite as a reference any work that has not been published or accepted for publication. Manuscripts in preparation or submitted (but not yet accepted for publication) are not acceptable as a reference nor are oral presentations. Manuscripts fully accepted for publication but not yet published should be cited as "in press." Note that journal abbreviations must follow the style used in the Cumulated Index Medicus. For periodical references, give the surnames of authors and their initials, title of article, publication name, year, volume, and inclusive page numbers. For books, give the surnames of authors and their initials, chapter title (if applicable), editors' surnames and initials, book title, volume number (if applicable), edition number (if applicable), city of publisher, full name of publisher, year of publication, and inclusive page numbers of citation.

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.

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 and Zotero, as well as EndNote. Using the word processor 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.

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.

Examples (if six or fewer authors, list all; if seven or more, list first six and add "et al."):

For journals:

Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996;124:980-3.

For books:

Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.

For chapters:

Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, . Hypertension: patho-physiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465-78.

Video data

-- Video Clips. We will accept relevant video clips with accepted manuscripts for viewing online. For more information on the specific file requirements, please go to Author's Gateway for Elsevier's Artwork Instructions: . Once there, click on "Movies/animations" under "Multimedia files" from the menu on the left-hand side.


Highlights are required for each article. These are three to five result-oriented bullet points that provide readers with an at-a-glance overview of the main findings of your article. Think of them as a quick snippet of the results-short and sweet. Each Highlight must be 85 characters or fewer, including spaces, and the Highlights together must clearly convey only the results of the study. Ideas, concepts and methods are best saved for the abstract. Don't try to capture every piece of data or conclusion. Let the paper do the talking.

Research data

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

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

Data linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Mendeley Data
This journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. During the submission process, after uploading your manuscript, you will have the opportunity to upload your relevant datasets directly to Mendeley Data. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online.

For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.

Data statement

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

Additional information

-- Direct quotations, tables, or illustrations that have appeared in copyrighted material must be accompanied by written permission for their use from the copyright owner and original author along with complete information as to source. Photographs of identifiable persons must be accompanied by signed releases showing informed consent. Wording of the release should specify permission in all forms and media. Failure to get electronic permission rights may result in the images not appearing.

Disclosure of Financial Interests and Potential Conflicts of Interest. SURGERY OPEN SCIENCE requires all authors to provide full disclosure of any and all biomedical financial interests. Further, we require all authors on all types of articles (including letters) to specify the nature of potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise. This disclosure includes direct or indirect financial or personal relationships, interests, and affiliations relevant to the subject matter of the manuscript that have occurred over the last two years, or that are expected in the foreseeable future. This disclosure includes, but is not limited to, grants or funding, employment, affiliations, patents (in preparation, filed, or granted), inventions, honoraria, consultancies, royalties, stock options/ownership, or expert testimony. This policy of full disclosure is similar to the policies of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other such organizations. The conflict of interest statements should be included in the Disclosures section of the manuscript right before the References at the time of submission for all article types. If an author has no conflicts of interest to declare, this must be explicitly stated. Authors should contact the Editorial Office with questions or concerns, but should err on the side of inclusion when in doubt. The following is a sample text:

Dr. Einstein reports having received lecture fees from EMC Laboratories, and research funding from Quantum Enterprises. Dr. Curie disclosed consulting fees from RA Inc. Dr. Newton reported his patent on "Newtonian physics". Dr. Archimedes reported no biomedical financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.

The submitting author will be required to indicate that this information has been fully included in the manuscript at the time of submission. In addition, all authors are required to acknowledge that the conflict of interest disclosures are complete for both themselves and their co-authors, to the best of their knowledge, when completing the Manuscript Submission Form. Manuscripts that fail to include the complete statements of all authors upon submission will be returned to the corresponding author and will delay the processing and evaluation of the manuscript.

Financial Support

All direct and indirect financial support by extramural sources for the study or related studies must be acknowledged. The distribution of funding must be addressed by describing how all the funding was distributed: salary, support of authors, study coordinator, medical student, resident, fellow, statistician, secretary, or other; laboratory analyses/equipment; devices, medications or materials; administration duties; or as a non-restricted educational grant.