Submission Guidelines

Submitting an Article Online

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Article Types

Research Articles

Research articles must describe the outcomes and application of unpublished original research. These should make a substantial contribution to knowledge and understanding in the subject matter and should be supported by relevant figures and tabulated data. Research articles should be no more than 8,000 words in length.

This section is peer reviewed.

Reviews

Reviews can cover topics such as current controversies or the historical development of studies as well as issues of regional or temporal focus. Papers should critically engage with the relevant body of extant literature. Review articles should be no longer than 3,000 words in length.

This section is peer reviewed.

Short Reports

Short reports must contain fewer than 3,000 words and should present original findings that have a narrow scope and can be briefly described.

This section is peer reviewed.

Meeting Reports

Reports of conferences and symposia in cancer research and related fields of study. Reports should be submitted within 3 months of the meeting.

This section is peer reviewed.

Editorial

Author Guidelines

Submissions should be made electronically through this website. Once submitted, the author can track the submission and communicate with the editors via the online journal management system.

Please ensure that you consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Failure to do so may delay the processing of your submission. A downloadable version of the style guide is available by clicking here.

Length
Submissions should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length for Research, Methods, and Review papers, although submissions of all lengths will be considered. Engagement papers should be around 3,000 words in length. All submissions should include an abstract of no more than 250 words. 

Structure

Title page

To ensure blind peer review, please only list the title and abstract on the submitted manuscript file.

The names of all authors, affiliations, contact details, biography (optional) and the corresponding author details must be completed online as part of the submission process. All authors must fit within the journal's definition of an author, available here.

Author names should include a forename and a surname. Forenames cannot include only initials.

  • J. Bloggs is not preferred. The full name, Joe Bloggs is required (this will enhance the 'findability' of your publication).

The affiliation should ideally include ‘Department, Institution, City, Country’. However only the Institution and Country are mandatory.

Abstract
Research articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarising the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading ‘Abstract’ and be easily identified from the start of the main text.

A list of up to six key words may be placed below the abstract (optional).

The Abstract and Keywords should also be added to the metadata when making the initial online submission.

Main text
The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should be given that allows non-specialists in the subject an understanding of the publication and a background of the issue(s) involved. Methods, results, discussion and conclusion sections may then follow to clearly detail the information and research presented.

Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in MS-Word’s ‘Style’ section.

Supplementary Files (optional)
Any supplementary/additional files that should link to the main publication must be listed, with a corresponding number, title and option description. Ideally the supplementary files are also cited in the main text.

e.g. Supplementary file 1: Appendix. Scientific data related to the experiments.

Note: additional files will not be typeset so they must be provided in their final form. They will be assigned a DOI and linked to from the publication.

Reproducibility
If data, structured methods or code used in the research project have been made openly available, a statement should be added to inform the reader how/where to access these files. This should include the repository location and the DOI linking to it. Read our reproducibility guide for more information on best practice and maximising the impact of your open data.

If data used in the research project has not been made available, a statement confirming this should be added, along with reasoning why.

The journal's data policy is available on the Editorial Policies page.

Ethics and consent (if applicable)
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. The identity of the research subject(s) should be anonymised whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian) and added to this statement. If a study involving human subjects/tissue/data was exempt from requiring ethical approval, a confirmation statement from the relevant body should be included within the submission.

Experiments using animals must follow national standards of care. For further information, click here.

Acknowledgements (optional)
Any acknowledgements must be headed and in a separate paragraph, placed after the main text but before the reference list.

Funding Information (if applicable)
Should the research have received a funding grant then the grant provider and grant number should be detailed. 

Competing interests
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references. Guidelines for competing interests can be found here. If there are no competing interests to declare then the following statement should be present: The author(s) has/have no competing interests to declare.

Authors' contributions
A sentence or a short paragraph detailing the roles that each author held to contribute to the authorship of the submission. Individuals listed must fit within the definition of an author, as per our authorship guidelines.

References
All references cited within the submission must be listed at the end of the main text file.

 

Permissions

The author is responsible for obtaining all permissions required prior to submission of the manuscript. Permission and owner details should be mentioned for all third-party content included in the submission or used in the research.

If a method or tool is introduced in the study, including software, questionnaires, and scales, the license this is available under and any requirement for permission for use should be stated. If an existing method or tool is used in the research, it is the author's responsibility to check the license and obtain the necessary permissions. Statements confirming that permission was granted should be included in the Materials and Methods section.

 

 

Language & Text

Capitalisation
For the submission title:

Capitalise all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and subordinate conjunctions (i.e. as, because, although). Use lowercase for all articles, coordinate conjunctions and prepositions.

  • Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan
  • Person Recognition Is Easier from Faces than from Voices

Headings within the main text:

First level headings in the text should follow the same rule as the main title.

For lower-level subheadings, only capitalise first letter and proper nouns.

Spelling
Submissions must be made in English. Authors are welcome to use American or British spellings as long as they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission.

  • Colour (UK) vs. Color (US)
  • Centre (UK) vs. Center (US)

When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used.

  • World Health Organization, not World Health Organisation


Grammar
American or English grammar rules may be used as long as they are used consistently and match the spelling format (see above). For instance, you may use a serial comma or not.

  • red, white, and blue OR red, white and blue


Font
The font used should be commonly available and in an easily readable size. This may be changed during the typesetting process and will not necessarily be the published font.

Underlined text should be avoided whenever possible.

Bold or italicised text to emphasise a point are permitted, although should be restricted to minimal occurrences to maximise their efficiency.

Lists
Use bullet points to denote a list without hierarchy or order of value. If the list indicates a specific sequence then a numbered list must be used.

Lists should be used sparingly to maximise their impact.

Quotation marks
Use single quotation marks except for quotes within another speech, in which case double quotation marks are used.

Quotations that are longer than three lines in length must be in an indented paragraph separate from the main text.

The standard, non-italicised font must be used for all quotes.

It must be clear from the text and/or citation where the quote is sourced. If quoting from material that is under copyright then permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.

If some of the original quote is being omitted then an ellipsis with a space on either side must be used to break the text.

  • ‘each sample … was processed in identical environments’

Words added to the original quote text, to enhance clarity, must be placed within square brackets

  • ‘the country [France] was ranked number one for cuisine’


Acronyms & Abbreviations
With abbreviations, the crucial goal is to ensure that the reader – particularly one who may not be fully familiar with the topic or context being addressed – is able to follow along. Spell out almost all acronyms on first use, indicating the acronym in parentheses immediately thereafter. Use the acronym for all subsequent references.

  • Research completed by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows …

A number of abbreviations are so common that they do not require the full text on the first instance. Examples of these can be found here.

Abbreviations should usually be in capital letters without full stops.

  • USA, not U.S.A

Common examples from Latin origin do not follow this rule and should be lower case and can include full stops.

  • e.g., i.e., etc.

 

Use of footnotes/endnotes
Use endnotes rather than footnotes (we refer to these as ‘Notes’ in the online publication). These appear at the end of the main text, before ‘References’.

All notes should be used only where crucial clarifying information needs to be conveyed.

Avoid using notes for purposes of referencing, with in-text citations used instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note.

Please insert the endnote marker after the end punctuation.


DATA & SYMBOLS

Symbols
Symbols are permitted within the main text and datasets as long as they are commonly in use or have explanatory definition on their first usage.

Hyphenation, em and en dashes

There is no set rule on the use of hyphenation between words, as long as they are consistently used.

Em dashes should be used sparingly. If they are present, they should denote emphasis, change of thought or interruption to the main sentence and can replace comas, parentheses, colons or semicolons.

  • The president’s niece—daughter of his younger brother—caused a media scandal when…


En dashes can be used to replace ‘to’ when indicating a range. No space should be around the dash.

  • 10-25 years
  • pp. 10-65


Numbers

For numbers zero to nine please spell the whole words. Please use figures for numbers 10 or higher.

We are happy for authors to use either words or figures to represent large whole figures (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as the usage is consistent throughout the text.

If the sentence includes a series of numbers then figures must be used in each instance.

  • Artefacts were found at depths of 5, 9, and 29 cm.

If the number appears as part of a dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then the figure must be used.

  • This study confirmed that 5% of…

If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelt, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number.

  • Fifteen examples were found to exist…
  • The result showed that 15 examples existed…

Do not use a comma for a decimal place.

  • 2.43 NOT 2,43

Numbers that are less than zero must have ‘0’ precede the decimal point.

  • 0.24 NOT .24

Units of measurement
Symbols following a figure to denote a unit of measurement must be taken from the latest SI brochure. See http://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf for the full brochure.

Formula
Formulae must be proofed carefully by the author. Editors will not edit formulae. If special software has been used to create formulae, the way it is laid out is the way they will appear in the publication.


FIGURES & TABLES

Figures
Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask to re-render or omit it.

All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).

Each figure must have an accompanying descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the figure image. A short additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description.

  • Figure 1: 1685 map of London.
  • Figure 1: 1685 map of London. Note the additional of St Paul’s Cathedral, absent from earlier maps.

Figure titles and legends should be placed as a list after the references.

The source of the image should be included, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of authorisation (if needed). If using images from an archive then please provide the name of the archive, the collection and the acquisition number.

  • Figure 1: Firemen try to free workers buried under piles of concrete and metal girders. Photo: Claude-Michel Masson, published in Le Figaro (16 January 1964), p. 18. Reproduced with permission of the photographer.

If your figure file includes text then please present the font as Ariel, Helvetica, or Verdana. This will mean that it matches the typeset text.

NOTE: All figures should be placed within the text file upon submission and during the review process. You do not need to upload individual figure files at the submission stage, although you have the opportunity to do so, should you wish to provide high-resolution files for review. If the submission is accepted for publication you will be asked to upload the files individually to ensure that the publication retains the highest quality. Images should be in colour and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB. Standard formats accepted are: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS. For line drawings, please provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps).

Tables
Tables must be created using a word processor's table function, not tabbed text.

Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.

All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.). The shortened word ‘Tab’ should not be used to cite a table.

Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.

Tables should not include:

  • Rotated text
  • Colour to denote meaning (it will not display the same on all devices)
  • Images
  • Vertical or diagonal lines
  • Multiple parts (e.g. ‘Table 1a’ and ‘Table 1b’). These should either be merged into one table, or separated into ‘Table 1’ and ‘Table 2’.

NOTE: If there are more columns than can fit on a single page, then the table will be placed horizontally on the page. If it still can't fit horizontally on a page, the table will be broken into two.

 

References

In-text citations 
Every use of information from other sources must be cited in the text so that it is clear that external material has been used.

If the author is already mentioned in the main text then the year should follow the name within parenthesis.

  • Both Jones (2013) and Brown (2010) showed that …

If the author name is not mentioned in the main text then the surname and year should be inserted, in parenthesis, after the relevant text. Multiple citations should be separated by semi-colon and follow alphabetical order.

  • The statistics clearly show this to be untrue (Brown 2010; Jones 2013).

If three or fewer authors are cited from the same citation then all should be listed. If four or more authors are part of the citation then ‘et al.’ should follow the first author name.

  • (Jones, Smith & Brown 2008)
  • (Jones et al. 2008)

If citations are used from the same author and the same year, then a lowercase letter, starting from ‘a’, should be placed after the year.

  • (Jones 2013a; Jones 2013b)

If specific pages are being cited then the page number should follow the year, after a colon.

  • (Brown 2004: 65; Jones 2013: 143)

For publications authored and published by organisations, use the short form of the organisation’s name or its acronym in lieu of the full name.

  • (ICRC 2000) NOT (International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2000)

Please do not include URLs in parenthetical citations, but rather cite the author or page title and include all details, including the URL, in the reference list.


Reference list

All citations must be listed at the end of the text file, in alphabetical order of authors’ surnames.

All reading materials should be included in ‘References’ – works which have not been cited within the main text, but which the author wishes to share with the reader, must be cited as additional information in endnotes explaining the relevance of the work. This will ensure that all works within the reference list are cited within the text.

NOTE: If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash.

NOTE: DOIs should be included for all reference entries, where possible.

NOTE: If a source has been accepted for publication but is not yet published, include this in the reference list as 'in press' and have the in-text citation read '(Author, in press)'. If a source has not been accepted for publication/is not publicly available, please do not include this in the reference list. Instead please cite this in the main text as '(Author, unpublished).


Reference format
This journal uses the Harvard system – see below for examples of how to format:

  • Books:

Author, A A Year Title. Place of publication: Publisher.

Barham, L and Mitchell, P 2008 The First Africans: African archaeology from the earliest toolmakers to most recent foragers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maher, B A and Thompson, R (eds.) 1999 Quaternary Climates, Environments and Magnetism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marchant, L F and McGrew, W C 2005 Percussive Technology: Chimpanzee Baobab Smashing and the Evolutionary Modelling of Hominin Knapping. In Roux, V and Bril, B (eds.) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominin behavior. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs. 341-350.

NOTE: If multiple works by the same author are being listed, please re-type the author’s name out for each entry, rather than using a long dash.

  • Journal articles:

Author, A Year Title. Journal name, vol(issue): page. DOI

Kingston, J D, Marino, B D and Hill, A 1994 Isotopic evidence for Neogene hominid paleoenvironments in the Kenya Rift Valley. Science, 264: 955-959. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.264.5161.955

NOTE: Please include DOIs for all journal articles where possible.

  • Newspaper articles:

Author, A Year Title. Newspaper, date of publication, page [URL, if online].

Patel, SS 2005 Climate; In a Marsh, Sifting the Past And Seeing the Future. The New York Times, 6 November [online access at http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800EEDF173EF935A35752C1A9639C8B63 last accessed 28 April 2014]

  • Conference papers:

Author, A Year Title of chaper. In: Title of conference proceedings, location, date, pp. page.

Carr, A 2011 Late Quaternary palaeohydrology and palaeoecology of southern Africa revealed by lipid biomarker analysis of rock hyrax middens In: INQUA, Bern, Switzerland on 22 July 2011. pp24-53.

  • Organisational publications/Grey literature:

Author group Year Title. Place of publication: Publisher

World Health Organization 2010 The world health report – Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.

  • Theses and dissertations:

Author, A Year Title. Unpublished thesis (PhD), institution.

Spry-Marques, VP 2012 The Adriatic Plain: A Last Glacial Human Refugium? Epigravettian Subsistence Strategies at the Site of Vela Spila (Korčula, Croatia). Unpublished thesis (PhD), University of Cambridge.

  • Webpages / PDFs:

Author, A Year Title, date of publication. Available at URL [Last accessed date month year].

Rincon, P 2007 Freeze 'condemned Neanderthals'. 20 February 2007. Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6341987.stm [last accessed 23 April 2014].

However, if following this particular system presents real difficulties then please contact the editor-in-chief so that we can consider your particular circumstances.

Submission Preparation Checklist

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. Any third-party-owned materials used have been identified with appropriate credit lines, and permission obtained from the copyright holder for all formats of the journal.
  3. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  4. All DOIs for the references have been provided, when available.
  5. Tables and figures are all cited in the text. Tables are included within the text document, whilst figure files are uploaded as supplementary files.
  6. Figures/images have a resolution of at least 150dpi (300dpi or above preferred). Each file is no more than 20MB per file. The files are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS (to maximise quality, the original source file is preferred).
  7. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  • Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Publication Fees

There is currently no Article Processing Charge (APC) for articles published in the journal.