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Guide for Authors

INTRODUCTION

Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine

Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine is an open access journal which covers the full spectrum of obstetrics and gynecology research. The aim of the Journal is to publish original research (clinical and translational), specifically new developments and breakthroughs in gynecology oncology, oncofertility, pelvic medicine, maternal-fetal health care, reproductive medicine, public health, disease prevention and cutting-edge research of obstetrics and gynecology worldwide. The journal is also devoted to the publication of clinical and investigative articles to promote the application of new advances and techniques in gynecology and obstetrics.

Article Types

Contributions falling into the following categories will be considered for publication: research paper, review article, short communication, editorials, short review, case report, practice guidelines, opinion paper, etc. that will have an impact on the understanding of health and disease and that has the potential to change the practice of women's health care. Please ensure that you select the appropriate article type from the list of options when making your submission. Authors contributing to special issues should ensure that they select the special issue article type from the list. Length should not exceed the stipulation, please see Table 1.
Table 1

Contact Details for Submission

For queries concerning the submission process or journal procedures please visit the Elsevier Support Center. Authors can determine the status of their manuscripts within the review procedure using Elsevier Editorial System.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

Queries about specific submission requirements may be addressed to either of the managing editors. Email: gocm@pku.edu.cn; Phone 8610–010–88324270

Ethics in Publishing

For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see https://www.elsevier.com/publishingethics and https://www.elsevier.com/journal-authors/ethics.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must:

  • include a statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived)
  • include the name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee's reference number if appropriate
All materials must adhere to high ethical and animal welfare standards. Any use of animals must be based on ethological knowledge and respect for species-specific requirements for health and well-being. A statement indicating that the protocol and procedures employed were ethically reviewed and approved, and the name of the body giving approval, must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript.

Consent for publication:

If your research or manuscript contains any individual person's data in any form (including any individual details, images or videos), consent for publication must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. All presentations of case reports must have consent for publication.

Declaration of Interest

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also https://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest.

Role of the Funding Source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Submission Declaration

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication section of our ethics policy for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Elsevier Researcher Academy

Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.

Peer Review

This journal operates a single blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then sent to a minimum of 2 independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. For more information on the types of peer review, please visit: https://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/peer-review.

Copyright

During the acceptance of a manuscript, authors will be asked to complete a ‘Journal Publishing Agreement’. Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. An e–mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a ‘Journal Publishing Agreement’ form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

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

Every peer-reviewed research article appearing in this journal will be published open access. This means that the article is universally and freely accessible via the internet in perpetuity, in an easily readable format immediately after publication. The author does not have any publication charges for open access. A CC BY-NC-ND user license manages the reuse of the article. All articles will be published under the following license: (see https://www.elsevier.com/openaccesslicenses).

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.

Language Services

All manuscripts must be written in clear and grammatically correct English. Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service (https://webshop.elsevier.com/language-editing-services/language-editing/) available from Elsevier's Author Services or customer support site (https://service.elsevier.com).

Language improvement
Manuscripts should be complete, readable, and accurate. Common language issues should be avoided. A careful proof-read should be done to minimize typographical, grammatical and bibliographical errors before submission.

For authors from non-English speaking backgrounds, who often face some uncertainties about the quality of the expressions or flow of text. Luckily, there are a number of great free online tools available to help and the following are such examples. We encourage the authors to have a look at them and, if so inclined, utilize them to improve the manuscript before submission:
–Tencent Mr. Translator App in WeChat
http://fanyi.youdao.com/
https://fanyi.baidu.com/
https://translate.google.cn/
–Do a Microsoft Word ‘spell–check’ and ‘grammar–check’
–Ask a colleague who has good English language skills to proofread your manuscript.

Editorial Policies

For information on Editorial Policies for journal publication refer to http://www.keaipublishing.com/en/authors-and-editors/editorial-policies/.

Review of manuscripts
Upon submission to Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine, a manuscript is assigned to an editor, who enlists reviewers to assist in the evaluation of the manuscript. The review process is confidential, which infers a bond of trust among the authors, editor, and reviewers. The editor is trustee of the manuscript until the review process is completed and ensures that the review process is fair, thorough, and confidential. Reviewers are asked not to share the contents of the manuscript with anyone, except that they may ask a colleague to assist with the review with approval of the editor. Communication with authors should only be through the editor. Reviewers should notify the editor of conflicts of interest that may compromise their ability to provide a fair and unbiased review. Moreover, they must recognize their responsibilities in maintaining the confidential nature of the review.

Authors could recommend information of appropriate reviewers when submitting the manuscript to streamline the review process. Upon submission, authors may provide the names, institution, and email addresses of 2–3 potential reviewers for editorial consideration. Suggested reviewers may include anyone knowledgeable in the area of study presented. These recommendations will be considered by the editor when assigning reviewers. Reviewers should not be mentors or former colleagues, and ideally should not be in the same city as the author (unless there is no person with the needed expertise outside of this city).

Acceptance
The acceptance of a paper implies that it has been reviewed and recommended by at least two peer reviewers. The Editor–in–Chief's decision is final.

Rejected manuscripts
If a manuscript is rejected, the corresponding author may discuss the matter with the section or senior editor assigned to the manuscript. If the author believes a rejection decision was erroneous or biased, he/she may appeal the decision directly, in writing, to the editor–in–chief. The editor–in–chief will review the author's reasons, as well as all materials related to the manuscript, and will accept or deny the appeal. A rejected manuscript may be resubmitted for publication only if this course of action has been specifically recommended by the Editor–in–Chief.

Time limit of manuscript revision
A reviewed paper returned to authors for revision must be returned to the editor within 6 weeks. Otherwise, the paper may be treated as a new submission. Under special circumstances, editors may email to the editorial office to explain the reason for time extending and may obtain the agreement of revision delay beyond 6 weeks.

If the re-submission of a revised manuscript is over 3 months from the starting date on which invited to revise, and has not obtained the agreement of delay by the Editorial Office, they are deemed to have abandoned the amendment and the manuscript is treated as withdrawn.

Authorship

Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. 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.


To satisfy the requirement for authorship, each contributor must meet all four criteria above. Contributors meeting fewer than the four criteria listed here should be listed in the Acknowledgments section of an article.

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

Changes to Authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only if approved by the journal Editor.

Before the manuscript has been accepted: requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Editorial Office (gocm@pku.edu.cn) from the corresponding author and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail) signed by all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Managing Editors will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) processing of the manuscript is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
After the manuscript has been accepted: only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors. If the manuscript has already been published online, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Submission

Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Poorly written and/or presented manuscripts may be returned to authors for upgrading by Editorial Office, prior to a review for scientific merit.

Submit your article
Please submit your manuscript via Editorial Manager.

Potential reviewers
Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of two potential reviewers. Reviewers must not be subject to a conflict of interest involving the author(s) or manuscript(s). The editors are not obligated to use any reviewer suggested by the author(s).

Submission Checklist

Authors should use the fewest files possible to facilitate the review and editing processes. The manuscript file includes all from the Title page to Figures and Tables.
The following list will be useful during the final checking of a manuscript prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:

  • E-mail address
  • Full postal address

All necessary parts have been included in the manuscript:
  • Keywords
  • All figures (including relevant captions)
  • All tables (including table titles, descriptions and footnotes)
  • Figures should be provided in a separate file, while tables may be presented either in a separate file or at the end of your manuscript file.
  • Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)

Further considerations
  • Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'.
  • Use either the American spelling or the British Spelling, but not the mixture.
  • All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa.
  • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web).
  • A Conflict of Interest Statement is provided even if the authors have no competing interests to declare.
  • Check the manuscript PDF file, which is generated by EM system for peer view, and ensure it is complete, readable, and accurate.


At resubmission
  • Responses to the comments of reviewers or referees are organized clearly. For example, state each review comment and reply to each one by one, or use 2 columns of which one states the comment and the other the response.
  • Highlight the revised in the manuscript or present the revised in a different color such as dark blue or red instead of black, or built-in revision mode by Microsoft Office is recommended.

PREPARATION

General

Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine follows the style and form recommended in Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (8th ed.), Style Manual Committee, Council of Science Editors.
Authors should prepare manuscripts in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx format). Authors should upload manuscripts using the fewest files possible to facilitate the review and editing processes. All text should be aligned to the left, typed double-spaced, with all lines and pages numbered consecutively, using Times New Roman font at 12 points. Tables should be typed single-spaced at 12 or smaller points.

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

LaTeX

If the LaTeX file is suitable, proofs will be produced without rekeying the text. The article should preferably be written using Elsevier's document class 'elsarticle', or alternatively any of the other recognized classes and formats supported in Elsevier's electronic submissions system, for further information visit our Support Center.
The Elsevier 'elsarticle' LaTeX style file package (including detailed instructions for LaTeX preparation) can be obtained from the Quickguide: https://www.elsevier.com/latex. It consists of the file: elsarticle.cls, complete user documentation for the class file, bibliographic style files in various styles, and template files for a quick start.

Article Structure

Manuscripts should be organized in the following order:

  • Title page
  • Abstract and keywords
  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Author contributions
  • Conflict of interest
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • References
  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Appendix (optional)

Title Page

  • Title: Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible. Only wildly accepted and well-established abbreviations can appear in the title. Avoid using the word “effect” in the title where possible. If there is a (treatment) effect and it is of significance, this information should be made clear in the title.
  • Author names and affiliations: Under the title, names of authors should be typed (first name, middle initial, last name). Ensure all names are accurately spelled. If a family name includes more than one word, please underline the family name. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full post address of each affiliation, including 1) affiliated institution, 2) city, 3) country. If available, provide the e-mail address of each author.
  • Corresponding author: Please use an asterisk (*) to indicate the corresponding author, who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that telephone and fax numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author. If more than one corresponding author, use "(author's name)" and a comma to separate the corresponding authors' e-mail addresses. Maximum 2 corresponding authors.
  • Present/permanent address: If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a ‘Present address’ (or ‘Permanent address’) may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.
  • Maximum 3 authors who contributed equally to the work.

Abstract

A concise and factual abstract is required with no more than 300 words (see Table 1). The abstract should provide sufficient detail for the editors, reviewers, and readers to clearly understand the main message of your paper, and is a key component in assessing the quality of an article. The abstract must be divided into the following sections: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Keywords

The Abstract is followed by 2 to 6 keywords or phrases to be used for subject indexing. These should include important words from the title and should be singular, not plural, terms (e.g., “pig” not “pigs”). Avoid multiple concepts (e.g., “and”, “of”). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. Keywords should be typed in lowercase letters and separated by commas.

Introduction

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background. It contains a brief justification for conducting the research, the hypotheses to be tested, and the objective(s). Do not include study data or conclusions. Extensive discussion of relevant literature should be included in Discussion, not in Introduction.

Materials and Methods

States the type of study conducted and describes briefly, but in sufficient detail to permit others to replicate the study, its plan, patients, experimental animals or other species, materials, and controls; methods and procedures; and statistical method(s) employed. Institutional Review Board (IRB) issues are to be addressed here as stated under “Human and nonhuman experimentation” in the Editorial Policies section above. If the study was exempt from IRB approval, provide an explanation in this section.

Results

Results should be clear and concise, which explain or elaborate on data presented in the tables. Sufficient data, all with some index of variation attached, including significance level (i.e., P-value) should be presented to allow readers to interpret the results of the experiment.

One of the hallmarks for experimental evidence is repeatability. Care should be taken to ensure that experiments are adequately replicated. The results of experiments must be replicated, either by replicating treatments within experiments or by repeating experiments.

The terms significant and highly significant traditionally have been reserved for P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively. When available, the observed significance level (e.g., P = 0.027) should be presented rather than merely P < 0.05 or P < 0.01. Do not report P-values to more than 3 places after the decimal.

Discussion

Discussion should explore the significance of the results of the work. Discussion integrates the research findings with the body of previously published literature to provide the reader with a broad base on which to accept or reject the hypotheses tested. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature. Do not repeat the details of data presented under Results or present any new data here.

Conclusion(s)

The main finding or conclusions of the study may be summarized in a brief paragraph, which may stand alone or form a subsection of Discussion.

Author contribution

The names of authors with surnames capitalized and their CRediT roles(s) are listed in one paragraph.

Conflict of Interest

Present your statement of conflict of interest. If there are no interests to declare, the state may be “The author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest.”

Acknowledgements

An Acknowledgments section, if desired, shall follow the Conflict of interest section. List sources of financial support with grant numbers, experiment station, and those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.) in a succinct and appropriate manner but as not a long list of tributes and accolades.

References

Citation in Text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either ‘Unpublished results’ or ‘Personal communication’. Citation of a reference as ‘in press’ implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

References in a special issue
Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

References Management Software
This journal has standard templates available in key reference management packages EndNote (http://www.endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp) and Reference Manager (http://refman.com/support/rmstyles.asp). Using plug-ins to wordprocessing packages, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style which is described below.

Reference Style

Indicate references by (consecutive) superscript arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the text. The numerals are to be used outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. For further detail and examples you are referred to the AMA Manual of Style, A Guide for Authors and Editors, Ninth Edition, ISBN 0–683–40206–4, copies of which may be ordered from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (http://www.lww.com/index.html).

Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.

Examples:

Reference to a journal publication:
1. Quiroz Y T, Schultz A P, Chen K, et al. Brain imaging and blood biomarker abnormalities in children with autosomal dominant alzheimer disease: a cross-sectional study. JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(8):912–919. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.1099

Reference to a book:
2. Strunk W Jr, White EB. The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Macmillan; 1979.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, eds. Introduction to the Electronic Age. New York, NY: E–Publishing Inc; 1999:281–304.

Figures

Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine is a fully electronic publication. Authors are encouraged to use color to enhance figures. However, please only use color when absolutely necessary. Number figures according to their sequence in the text. Keep text in the figures themselves to a minimum. Provide sufficient information in captions so that figures can be understood without excessive reference to the text.

Figure captions
Figure captions should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself), a description of the figure, and abbreviation definitions. Place figure captions beneath figures.
Axes
It is permissible to use an abbreviation for the axis description as long as it is a common abbreviation or identified in the caption. Units of measures, when needed, follow the axis description, separated by a comma.

Electronic artwork

General Points

  • Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
  • Save text in illustrations as "graphics" or enclose the font.
  • Only use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times, Symbol.
  • Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
  • Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
  • Provide captions to illustrations separately.
  • Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
Formats
Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please “save as” or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as “graphics”
TIFF: color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1,000 dpi.
TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is'.
Please do not:
  • Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low;
  • Supply files that are too low in resolution;
  • Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color Artwork

Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF or JPEG, EPS or PDF, or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color on the Web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version.

Tables

Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Limit the data field to the minimum needed for meaningful comparison within the accuracy of the methods. For example, results should not be presented to 5 digits when the instrument used only reads to 2 digits. Papers with several tables must use consistent format. Abbreviations must match those used in the text. Units of measure for each variable must be indicated. Commas are used to separate items or headings from the units of measure. Footnotes to tables are marked by superscript numbers, and superscript letters are used for statistical comparisons. Each footnote begins a new line.

Appendix

A technical appendix, if desired, shall follow the Tables section. The appendix may contain supplementary material, explanations, and elaborations that are not essential to other major sections but are helpful to the reader. Tables and figures are formatted as follows: Appendix Table 1, Appendix Table 2. Appendix Fig. 1 and so on.

Abbreviations

For an unabbreviated term that is long or complex, use of an abbreviation may be helpful. Where such a term is continually referred to, it is written in full when it first appears in the abstract, in text and in tables and figures, followed by the subsequent abbreviation in parentheses; thereafter, the abbreviation is always used. Widely accepted and well-established abbreviations are allowed to appear without definition. However, the intended meaning must be unambiguous from the context.

Excessive use of abbreviations can confuse the reader. If an abbreviation such as it is not needed more than 3 times in the following text, it should not be used; the term it represents should be spell out, or the text in which it appears should be rewritten to eliminate the need for abbreviation.

  • The abstract, text, each table, and each figure must be understood independently of each other. Therefore, abbreviations shall be defined within each of these units of the manuscript.
  • Abbreviations should not be used in the title, key words, or to begin sentences, except when they are widely known and well-established throughout science (e.g., DNA, RNA) or are terms better known by their abbreviation (e.g., IgG).
  • Chemical symbols and three-letter abbreviations for amino acids do not need definition.
  • Do not use single–letter abbreviations that could be confused with chemical elements (e.g., P, C, S).
  • Plural abbreviations do not require “s”,
  • Do use abbreviated unit “s”, “min”, “h”, “d”, “wk”, “mo”, “y” rather than full words when it is used after a number, e.g. 2 h, 3 min, 20 s, 5 d.
  • P (probability) is always a big P in italics.
  • Liter is always a capital letter “L”, e.g. mL, dL.
  • “Table” is always capitalized and never abbreviated.
  • “Figure” is abbreviated to “Fig.”, except at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Except at the beginning of a sentence, “experiment” and “equation” preceding a numeral is abbreviated to “Exp.” and “Eq.”, e.g. Exp. 1, Eq. 1.

Miscellaneous Usage Notes

  • Use numerals rather than words to express numbers in text, titles, headings, tables, and figure captions except when they begin a sentence.
  • Use a comma separator in numbers greater than 999.
  • Insert spaces around all signs (except slant lines) of operation (=, −, +, ±, ×, ≥, >, ≤, or <) when these signs occur between 2 items.
  • Items in a series should be separated by commas, e.g. a, b, and c.
  • Units of measure not preceded by numbers must be written out rather than abbreviated (e.g., provide the following in milligrams per kilogram of diet) unless used parenthetically.
  • The use of names of commercial products should be minimized. Only generic names should be used in article titles.
  • Registered (® and trademark (©, ™) symbols should not be used, unless as part of an article title in the References section. Trademarked product names should be capitalized.
  • Non–English words in common usage will not appear in italics (e.g., in vitro, in vivo, ad libitum, in situ, a priori, i.e., et al., etc.).
  • Restrict the use of “while” and “since” to meanings related to time. Appropriate substitutes include “and”, “but” or “whereas” for “while” and “because” “even though” or “although” for “since”.

Math Formulae

Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images.
Present simple formulae in the line of text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y.
Display complex formulae separately from the text, and use MathType to enter complex formulae. If they are referred to explicitly in the text, number them consecutively.

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 LinkingIf 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 give 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.

AFTER ACCEPTANCE

Use of the Digital Object Identifier

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly ‘Articles in press’ because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. The correct format for citing a DOI is shown as follows (example taken from a document in the journal Physics Letters B):https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2010.09.059

When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

Proofs

One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download the free Adobe Reader, version 9 (or higher). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site.
If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and scan the pages and return via e-mail. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

Offprints

The corresponding author will be notified and receive a link to the published version of the open access article on ScienceDirect. This link is in the form of an article DOI link which will be valid forever and can be shared via email and social networks. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop (https://webshop.elsevier.com/article-services/article-offprints/). Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (https://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/booklets).

AUTHOR INQUIRIES

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