As manuscripts undergo double-blind peer review, author details and various declarations and disclosures should NOT be included in the manuscript, but only on the cover page. Therefore, all manuscripts have to be accompanied by a separate Cover Page, with:
- Full Author details
- Various declarations and disclosures as detailed below. If one of the below statements is not applicable, then that should be noted explicitly.
All authors in the order as agreed among the co-authors. Please make sure the order as submitted in the online submission platform ‘Editorial Manager’ is identical to the order on the cover page; and note that the corresponding author does not have to be the first author:
- Name (family name underlined)
- Full institutional affiliation (no abbreviations)
- Email address
Acknowledgements can include statements of gratitude to individuals or institutions that have assisted with the preparation of the publication, including peer reviewers when feedback has proved useful. In particular, authors should identify individuals who have provided reading and writing assistance.
When there is more than one author, authors must also acknowledge the nature and extent of the input from each author who made a substantial contribution to conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data, and/or to the drafting/revising of the paper for intellectual content. This statement should be omitted for single-authored articles.
Example: AB conceived of the idea. EF and GH undertook initial research. CD, EF, GH and AB developed the outline and key arguments. CD wrote the first draft. All authors contributed to subsequent drafts and approved the final submitted version.
When reporting on research involving human subjects, authors should include a statement that the study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required). This should include the name of the institutional review board(s) or ethics committee(s), the number/ID of the approval(s) where relevant, and a statement that participants gave informed consent before taking part (unless this was not required).
Authors are also invited to provide a detailed explanation of how moral, ethical and/or legal issues have been considered and addressed in their work. If this is not incorporated into the manuscript, it may be set out in a supplemental file to be uploaded during the submission. This information will be provided to peer reviewers, as they are required to consider and comment on the ethics (and where appropriate, legal implications) of submitted work. As a general ethical commitment, ABR encourages researchers to engage actively with individuals, communities and/or institutions that have contributed to the research and to, where applicable and appropriate, share any benefits of the research with them.
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Similar details on review and clearance must be included as a statement in the submission.
Please note that the Editorial Team may ask authors to provide the contact details of the institutional review board, research ethics committee or similar setup that reviewed the work for further information. For studies that have not been reviewed by an institutional review board, a research ethics committee or a similar setup, authors may be asked to explain what ethical issues they considered, how these were addressed, and how they justified their work.
Every person has a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent or other lawful basis. Identifying information, including the person’s name, initials, or other identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the person (or parent or guardian or designated authority) has given prior written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a person who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published and has given their free and valid consent to the publication.
Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity can often be difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.
Externally-funded projects should include due acknowledgement of the funding body, normally with the funder name and grant number or code.
Authors must also disclose all financial support, financial involvement in any organization or entity that has an interest, financial or otherwise, for and in the research and development of the manuscript that might result in a conflict of interest (see further below).
All submissions should be accompanied by a statement clearly indicating if there are any competing interests. Competing interests exist when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the research or development or publication of a manuscript) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). It may arise for all authors of an article when they have a financial or professional interest that may influence, possibly without their knowing, their interpretation or conclusions. To make the best decision about how to deal with an article, the Editorial Team should know about any such competing interest that authors might have. Competing interests may be inevitable and the Editorial Team will not refuse to publish articles simply because there may be a plurality of interests. Instead, this will ensure that the interests are transparent and stated in the publication.
If the authors consider that there is no conflict of interest, then this should be declared explicitly on the cover page.
Failure to fully declare interests or discovery of interests not disclosed could lead to withdrawal of the article.
Further resources on publishing ethics:
- Springer Nature: http://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/journal-author/journal-author-helpdesk/publishing-ethics/14214
- Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): https://publicationethics.org/
- “Conflict of Interest in Peer-Reviewed Medical Journals”, by the World Association of Medical Editors: http://wame.org/conflict-of-interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical-journals