Guidelines for preparation of manucript

Authors can use our online manuscript submission platform. You can find it here.

Manuscript length

Original articles should not exceed 5000 words and have a maximum of 4 Tables and 4 Figures with a maximum of 60 references. They should contain a Structured Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Review papers must contain a methods section which demonstrates clearly the search procedure and methods of analysis and summarization. They should have at least 5000 words and a maximum of 10 000 words of text with a maximum of 200 references, 5 Tables and 5 Figures.

Summaries of PhD’s are supposed to give an overview of the different papers which are part of that particular PhD. They should have at least 6000 words and a maximum of 10 000 words of text with a maximum of 200 references, 5 Tables and 5 Figures.

Perspective, Opinion and Viewpoint papers cover a wide variety of topics of current interest in health care, medicine, and the intersection between medicine and society. We welcome submissions and proposals. Perspective, Opinion and Viewpoint articles are limited to 4000 words and usually include a maximum of two Figures and/or two Tables. There is a maximum of 40 references.

Letters to the editor must not exceed 175 words, not including references if it is in reference to a recent Journal article, or 400 words in all other cases. A letter must have no more than five references and one figure or table. Letters referring to a recent Journal article must be received within eight weeks after its publication.

Short communications should be limited to a maximum of 1800 words of text (not including the running title, title page, abstract and references) and a maximum of two Figures and/or Tables.

Case Reports will only be accepted if they highlight important innovations with wide applicability, or previously unpublished complications of new techniques or medications. Case reports do not require an abstract and should be no more than 1800 words. Only one table or illustration is permitted. Authors must confirm in their manuscript that they have obtained the written permission of those whose 'case' is being presented.

Editorials are no more than 1200 words in length and contain no more than one Figure or Table and a maximum of 10 references. Editorials usually provide commentary and analysis concerning an article in the issue of the Journal in which they appear. They may include 1 figure or table.

Style

Manuscripts should be written using clear and concise English, with English (U.K.) standard spelling and conventions.

Units of measurement and abbreviations

Units of measurements should be expressed using the metric system. Abbreviations should be given in brackets after their first mention in the text, and used thereafter.

Format

Double spacing on one side of the paper only. Number each page top right. Number lines. Avoid underlining. Differentiate clearly letters O, I and numbers 0, 1. Ensure unusual symbols are written clearly.


Structure (listed in order of appearance on published manuscript)

Title

Should not exceed 25 words and should be specific and informative.

Running title

Should not exceed 50 characters.

Authors

Give initials and family name of all authors. A maximum of 10 authors may be listed.

Address

The department, institution, city and country should be given with postal code for each author. An e-mail address will be published for the corresponding author, who should be clearly identified. Current addresses should be provided for all authors.

Abstract

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words clearly summarizing the findings of the manuscript. Note that online abstracts are published for viewing in isolation to the main body of the manuscript and should be self-explanatory.

Key words

Up to six key words must be supplied by the author. The key words, together with the title and abstract, are used for online searches. They should therefore be specific and relevant to the paper.

Acknowledgements

Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies.

Reference citations within the text

Each reference should be cited by author and date. If there are two authors please list both, if more than two please use first author then “et al”. Permission to cite personal communications (J.Smith, personal communication) should be obtained by the corresponding author. Unpublished data should be cited as (unpublished data) and not included in the reference list. References to papers accepted for publication, but not yet published, should be cited as such in the reference list e.g. Pennings G (2008) Ethical issues of infertility treatment in developing countries. Hum Reprod, in press.

Reference list

A correct use of journal abbreviations is mandatory. Up to 3 authors can be included after which et al. should be used. Refer to the following examples.

De Sutter P, Delbaere I, Gerris J et al. Birthweight of singletons after assisted reproduction is higher after single- than after double-embryo transfer. Hum Reprod. 2006;21:2633-7.

Elst P, Ahankour F, Tjalma W. Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. Management of recurrent cervical cancer. Review of the literature and case report. 2007;28:435-41.

Serour GI. Attitudes and cultural perspectives on infertility and its alleviation in the middle East area. In Vayena E, Rowe PJ and Griffin PD (eds) Current Practices and Controversies in Assisted Reproduction. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 2002, 41-9.

References are listed in alphabetical order at the end of the article.

Tables

Each table should be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals. Each table should be self-explanatory and include a brief descriptive title. Footnotes to the table indicated by superscript lowercase letters are acceptable but should not include extensive experimental detail. References to the tables in the text should be indicated in the margins and referenced sequentially as Table I, II etc.

Figures

Each figure should be numbered consecutively as Figure 1, Figure 2 etc. References to the figures in the text should be indicated in the margins and referenced sequentially. In preparing graphs authors should avoid background tints.

Colour productions are free of charge.

Figure legends

Each legend must be self-contained, with all symbols and abbreviations used in the figure defined.


Review procedure

All submitted manuscripts are peer reviewed. Each manuscript is pre-reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and if suitable allocated to an Associate Editor according to specific subject area. If the Associate Editor considers that a paper would have only a limited chance of acceptance following peer review, the Associate Editor may recommend rejection without peer review.

The expert reviewers' reports are considered by the Associate Editor who provides a summary report and a recommendation regarding publication. The Editor in Chief is consulted if there is a disagreement between the Associate Editor's and reviewers' recommendations or if any other concern arises during the review process. The Editor in Chief also takes the final decision on papers classified by the reviewers and Associate Editor as having only low or medium priority for publication. The decision and reports are usually returned to the authors within six weeks of submission.

Articles submitted by the Editor in Chief or by Associate Editors will be considered completely independently of these people.

Ethics

Submission of a paper implies that it reports unpublished work and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published tables, illustrations or text are to be included, then this should be clearly indicated in the manuscript and the copyright holder's permission must be obtained. Copies of such permission letters should be enclosed with the paper.

Plagiarism of text from a previously published manuscript by the same or another author is a serious publication offence. Small amounts of text may be used, but only where the source of the material quoted is clearly acknowledged. Fraudulent data or data stolen from other authors is also unethical and will be treated accordingly. Papers can be rejected on this basis alone. Other sanctions as recommended by COPE (such as informing the author's institutional head, publishing a notice of retraction etc) may also be considered.

Conflict of interests

The authors of all articles must inform the editors of any possible conflict of interest. This includes any financial interest the authors may have in the company producing products described in the article; as well as stock, stock options, direct employment, consulting status or membership in a speaker’s bureau.

Statistics

Inadequate or incorrect statistical analyses frequently cause rejection or delays in the review of manuscripts. Where appropriate, authors should seek advice from a professional statistician before the manuscript is submitted.