FREE FORMAT SUBMISSION

Our journal accepts free format submissions. However, you can use following template to save time during revisions.

We don’t enforce stringent formatting requirements, but all manuscripts should include the necessary elements:

Author Information, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Conclusions, Figures and Tables with Captions, Funding Information, Author Contributions, Conflict of Interest and other Ethics Statements. For more information, please refer to the Journal Instructions for Authors.

Your references can follow any style, provided that the formatting is consistent throughout the paper. It is vital to include author(s) name(s), journal or book title, article or chapter title (if needed), year of publication, volume and issue (if applicable), and page numbers. Including DOI numbers (Digital Object Identifier) is not required but highly recommended. The reference management software packages EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, and Reference Manager are endorsed.

When your manuscript progresses to the revision stage, you will be asked to format the manuscript according to our journal’s guidelines.

COVER LETTER

Each manuscript submission should include a cover letter. This letter should present the full names and affiliations of the authors and any necessary details about identifying text removed from the manuscript; you may append the complete version of your manuscript to the cover letter. The cover letter should be concise and explain why the content of the paper is significant, placing the findings in the context of existing work, and why it fits the scope of our journal. Confirm that neither the manuscript nor any parts of its content are currently under consideration or published in another journal. Any previous submissions of the manuscript to our journal must be acknowledged. The names of proposed and excluded reviewers should be submitted in the submission system, not in the cover letter.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Authors are encouraged to include a biography (maximum 150 words) with their submission. The biography should be a single paragraph and should include the following points:

  • Authors’ full names followed by current positions
  • Educational background, including institution information and year of graduation (type and level of degree received)
  • Work experience
  • Current and previous research interests
  • Memberships in professional societies and awards received.

RESEARCH MANUSCRIPT SECTIONS

Introduction: The introduction should succinctly place the research in a broader context, explaining why it is significant. It should define the objectives of the study and its relevance, including specific hypotheses being tested. The current state of the field should be critically reviewed, and key publications should be cited. If applicable, discuss diverging and controversial hypotheses. Conclude the introduction by briefly outlining the study’s primary aim and summarising the main findings. Ensure the introduction is clear to researchers working outside the paper’s field.

Results: Provide a precise and concise summary of the experimental results, their interpretation, and the experimental conclusions that can be drawn.

Discussion: Authors should discuss the results in light of previous studies and the hypotheses presented. Discuss the results and their implications broadly and highlight any limitations of the study. Potential directions for future research can also be discussed. This section may be combined with Results for brevity.

Methods: Describe your methods with enough detail for others to replicate and build on your published results. New methods and protocols should be described in detail, while well-established methods can be briefly described and appropriately cited. Include the name and version of any software used and clarify whether the computer code used is publicly accessible. Include any pre-registration codes, if applicable.

Conclusions: This section is optional, but you may add it if the discussion is unusually lengthy or complex.

Patents: This section is not obligatory but may be added if there are patents resulting from the work reported in the manuscript.

AUTHORSHIP

Our journal adheres to the guidelines provided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which specify that the following criteria should be met for authorship of a manuscript:

  • Significant contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Writing the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Those who contributed to the work but do not meet the criteria for authorship should be acknowledged in the acknowledgments section. Further guidance on authorship is provided by the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Any changes to the author list should be approved by all authors, including any who have been removed from the list. The corresponding author should act as the liaison between the editor and other authors, keeping co-authors informed and involving them in major decisions about the publication. We reserve the right to ask for confirmation that all authors meet the authorship criteria.

REVIEWERS RECOMMENDATION

Authors are welcome to suggest potential reviewers. Our editorial team will verify the absence of any conflicts of interest before reaching out to those reviewers and will not consider those with competing interests. Reviewers are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest. Authors may also indicate potential peer reviewers they wish to exclude from consideration in the peer review of their manuscript during the initial submission process. The editorial team will respect these requests provided they do not hinder the objective and thorough evaluation of the submission.

REVIEWER SUGGESTIONS

During the submission process, we ask you to propose three potential reviewers with the relevant expertise to evaluate the manuscript. Note that our editors may not necessarily contact these referees. Please supply comprehensive contact details (address, website, phone, and e-mail). The suggested reviewers should not be current collaborators of the co-authors nor have published with any of the co-authors within the last three years. Ideally, they should come from different institutions than the authors. You can also propose suitable Editorial Board members of the journal as potential reviewers. Reviewers may also be suggested from among the authors that you frequently cite in your paper.

ENGLISH CORRECTIONS

To facilitate the peer-review process, it is crucial that your manuscript is submitted in grammatically correct English. Some guidance on specific language points can be found here.

Our journal provides minor English editing by native English speakers for all accepted papers. Note that this service doesn’t cover extensive English editing. Your paper could be returned to you at the English editing stage if substantial editing is required. You may opt to use a paid language-editing service before submitting your paper for publication. If you use an alternative service that provides a confirmation certificate, please forward a copy to the Editorial Office.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

No Interference with Editorial Decisions

Preserving editorial independence is crucial and our journal does not influence editorial decisions. All articles published by us undergo peer review and evaluation by our independent editorial boards, with no involvement from our staff in the acceptance of manuscripts. When making an editorial decision, we trust the academic editor to base their decision only upon:

  • The appropriateness of chosen reviewers;
  • Quality of reviewer feedback and author responses;
  • Overall scientific excellence of the paper.

Editors and Editorial Staff as Authors

Editorial staff or editors are not permitted to handle their own academic work. Submissions authored by editorial staff/editors will be assigned to at least two independent external reviewers. Decisions will be made by other Editorial Board Members who have no conflict of interest with the author. Journal staff are not involved in the processing of their own work submitted to any of our journals.

EDITORIAL PROCEDURES AND PEER-REVIEW

  • Pre-Check
  • Upon submission, our journal’s Managing Editor conducts an initial technical pre-check to evaluate:
  • The manuscript’s overall relevance to the journal/section/Special Issue;
  • Compliance with high-quality research and ethical standards;
  • Levels of rigor qualifying it for further review.

The academic editor (i.e., the Editor-in-Chief for regular submissions, the Guest Editor for Special Issue submissions, or an Editorial Board member in cases of a conflict of interest or regular submissions if approved by the Editor-in-Chief) is notified of the submission and invited to conduct an editorial pre-check. During this stage, the academic editor assesses the submission’s suitability concerning the journal’s scope, as well as its overall scientific validity, including reference relevance and the correctness of the applied methodology. Academic editors may decide to reject the manuscript, request revisions before peer-review, or continue with the peer-review process and suggest suitable reviewers.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

In line with The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines, “Authors should avoid agreements with study sponsors, both for-profit and non-profit, that interfere with authors’ access to all of the study’s data or that interfere with their ability to analyse and interpret the data and to prepare and publish manuscripts independently when and where they choose.”

All authors must disclose all relationships or interests that could unduly influence or bias their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include but are not limited to financial interests (like memberships, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, grants or other funding, paid expert testimonies and patent-licensing arrangements) and non-financial interests (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, personal beliefs).

Authors can disclose potential conflicts of interest via the online submission system during the submission process. Declarations regarding conflicts of interest can also be collected via our journal’s disclosure form. The corresponding author must include a summary statement in the manuscript in a separate section “Conflicts of Interest” placed just before the reference list. The statement should reflect all the potential conflicts of interest disclosures collected in the form.

Below are examples of disclosures:

Conflicts of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C has been a consultant and an expert witness for Company Z. Author D is the inventor of Patent X.

If no conflicts exist, the authors should state:

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Peer-Review

Once a manuscript passes the preliminary checks, it will be assigned to at least two independent experts for peer-review. A double-blind peer-review process is employed, where the identities of authors are unknown to the reviewers.

For regular submissions, our in-house assistant editors invite experts, including those recommended by an academic editor. These experts may include Editorial Board Members and Guest Editors of the journal. Authors’ suggested potential reviewers may also be considered. Reviewers should not have published with any of the co-authors in the past three years and should not currently work or collaborate with any of the institutions of the co-authors of the submitted manuscript.

Editorial Decision and Revision

All articles, reviews, and communications published in our journal undergo the peer-review process and receive at least two reviews. The in-house editor will communicate the decision of the academic editor, which will be one of the following:

Accept after Minor Revisions:

The paper is essentially accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. Authors are given five days for minor revisions.

Reconsider after Major Revisions:

The manuscript’s acceptance would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point-by-point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. Typically, a maximum of two rounds of major revision per manuscript is provided. Authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within a suitable timeframe, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for additional comments. If the required revision time is estimated to be longer than 2 months, we will recommend that authors withdraw their manuscript before resubmitting to avoid unnecessary time pressure and to ensure all manuscripts are adequately revised.

Reject and Encourage Resubmission:

If additional experiments are needed to support the conclusions, the manuscript will be rejected, and the authors will be encouraged to re-submit the paper once further experiments have been conducted.

Reject:

The article has serious flaws and/or does not make an original significant contribution. No offer of resubmission to the journal is provided.

All reviewer comments should be responded to in a point-by-point fashion. Where the authors disagree with a reviewer, they must provide a clear response.

Author Appeals

Authors may appeal a rejection by sending an email to the Editorial Office of the journal. The appeal must provide a detailed justification, including point-by-point responses to the reviewers’ and/or Editor’s comments using an appeal form. Appeals can only be submitted following a “reject and decline resubmission” decision and should be submitted within three months from the decision date. Failure to meet these criteria will result in the appeal not being considered further. The Managing Editor will forward the manuscript and related information (including the identities of the referees) to a designated Editorial Board Member. The Academic Editor being consulted will be asked to provide an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. This decision will then be validated by the Editor-in-Chief. A rejection decision at this stage is final and cannot be reversed.

Production and Publication

Once accepted, the manuscript will undergo professional copy-editing, English editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination, and publication on our journal’s website.

PROMOTING EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSIVENESS

Our Managing Editors encourage the Editors-in-Chief and Associate Editors to appoint diverse expert Editorial Boards. This reflects our multinational and inclusive workplace ethos. We pride ourselves on creating equal opportunities without regard to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or socio-economic status. Discrimination has no place in our workplace, and editors of our journals are to uphold these principles highly.