Manuscript preparation - Review articles
The following informative units are compulsory:
- Title: The title should be concise and informative. It accurately represents the content of the manuscript and should serve electronic retrieval of the article. Be cautious on using abbreviations and formulae. Classify the manuscript as a systematic review, meta-analysis or both.
- Author(s) information: The professional background of each contributor should be listed, including years of experience with the treatment interventions addressed in the case report. Please provide the e-mail addresses and full contact details of all authors, including postal address, telephone number and institutional addresses. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence.
- Word count: Please add the number of manuscript words, excluding abstracts, acknowledgements, tables, figures and references.
- Conflict of interest declaration: Conflict of interests information for each author (both author’s conflict of interests and sources of support for the work) should be summarized on the title page and presented in further detail on the conflict of interest form.
We strongly advise you to build your manuscript as follows:
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses benefit significantly from structured abstracts. Please provide a brief and balanced reflection on the contents of the manuscript.
- Introduction: elaborate briefly on the background of the study and clearly state the main objectives and questions addressed.
- Methods: summarize information sources, eligibility criteria, participants, interventions, study appraisal and synthesis methods.
- Results: present the main findings including key statistical results and trends.
- Discussion: provide a sharp summary of results, conclusions and clinical implications.
Please avoid lengthy background and confusing abbreviations. Most electronic databases index titles and abstracts only. The abstracts gain the widest exposure, so ensure that your abstract truly reflects the content of the manuscript and includes sufficient key information to enable references to your manuscript.
Keywords: please provide four to seven keywords that do not appear in the title of the document. Abbreviations or ambiguous terms are not allowed.
Familiarize the recipient with the rationale behind your research project and introduce your objectives and questions addressed with respect to participants, interventions, comparisons, outcomes and study design.
- Research protocol: indicate whether a review protocol has been developed/applied to specify objectives and methods.
- Please provide a clear description of research questions, participants, interventions, comparisons, outcomes and study design.
- Electronic databases: present an overview of electronic databases consulted (for instance PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scirus, ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar and CENTRAL) and a full electronic search strategy for at least one major database. Other potential information sources: cross-checking of references, citations in review papers, communication with scientists, library resources for relevant papers, books, abstracts, conference proceedings. Unpublished trials can be found via clinical trials registers. Try to prevent bias due to loss of studies.
- Eligibility: define criteria for eligibility. If more than one hypothesis has been tested, separate selection criteria should be provided for each hypothesis. Ideally, all randomized subjects in all studies satisfy all of the trial selection criteria, comply with all the trial procedures and provide complete data.
- Summarize the method for data extraction from reports and all variables for which data were sought.
- Provide methods applied to determine risk of bias in individual studies and across studies and how this information will be used in data synthesis.
- Specify methods of analysis and the main summary measures.
- Provide details with respect to study selection: number of studies, study characteristics (for instance study size, participants, interventions, outcomes) and reasons for exclusion (for each study that was not included).
- Summarize per study the results for all outcomes considered, effect estimates, confidence intervals and data on risk of bias within studies.
- Summarize results for each meta-analysis conducted, assessments of risk of bias across studies.
Offer an outline of the main results, explain the meaning of the findings and analyze your data in appropriate depth. The following elements should be included:
- The main findings of the study.
- An interpretation of the results: highlight their significance. Decide if your hypothesis is supported or whether it should be rejected. Offer potential explanatory mechanisms: mechanisms that may account for the study outcomes.
- Consider limitations and alternative plausible explanations for the findings.
- Explore the significance of study results for future research and clinical practice.
- Identify and acknowledge study limitations.
- Make suggestions for future research directions.
- Conclusion: offer a short conclusion based on the results and discussion, it may include suggestions for practice change.
Significant attributions can be acknowledged in this section.
Please document all sources accurately. References should be numbered in order of initial appearance in the text and appear in the reference list in numerical order, following the citation standards of the American Medical Association (AMA) reference citation format. For complete style manual online please go to www.amamanualofstyle.com
The editor will check the accuracy of all reference citations. However, we want to stress the importance of checking all references before submitting the paper to the journal. Every reference listed should be cited in the text and vice versa.