Requirements for manuscripts


UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS FOR MANUSCRIPTS SUBMITTED  

TO «SCIENCE AND HEALTHCARE»

 

«Science and Healthcare» is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal, which publishes original articles, literature reviews, short communications and conference reports covering all areas of clinical medicine and public health. The primary audience of the journal includes biomedical scientific community, practicing physicians, doctoral- and master- students in the fields of medicine and public health.

 

These guidelines for authors are based on «the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals», developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which includes editors of highly ranked international medical journals, such as Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine etc. The authors can read the Russian version of the «Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals» revision 2004 in the International Journal of Medical Practice (Issue 2, 2005). Issues of authorship, conflicts of interests, peer review and malpractice in research are also discussed in the same issue of the International Journal of Medical Practice. Moreover, in these guidelines we used the experience of Russian journals such as Siberian Medical Journal and Human Ecology, which underwent a successful transition to internationally indexed journals.  The document takes into account the most common errors observed in both Kazakhstani and international medical journals. Special attention is given to the recommendations on description of research methodology, choice of statistical methods, presentation and interpretation of the results. The Editors hope that adherence to these Uniform Requirements will contribute to improvement of the quality of the journal and to increase the number of citations by national and international researchers.

 

Please, note that manuscripts, which do not follow these Uniform Requirements, will not be considered.

 

All articles submitted to the will go through a peer review procedure. Manuscripts containing results of statistical tests will be sent to a statistical reviewer. The Editorial Office has the right to request an original depersonalized database that was used for statistical analysis in cases, when questions about the quality of analysis arise. The Editorial Office reserves the right to make editorial changes in the text of the articles without changing the context.  

           

All manuscripts should be submitted to the Editorial Office in electronic form in a MS Word format as an attachment to an e-mail.  A manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter which should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief and include the following information:

 

  1. Title of the manuscript
  2. Full names of all authors and their affiliations
  3. Full name and address (postal address, phone, fax, e-mail) of the corresponding author
  4. Number of words in the manuscript
  5. Number of tables and figures
  6. Date of the submission
  7. Signature of the corresponding author
  8. Statement about the fact that the data presented in the manuscript have not been published and are not under consideration elsewhere.
  9. Statement about potential conflicts of interest including financial source for the study
  10. Cover letter may contain any other information, which can be useful for the Editorial Office.

 

An electronic version of the manuscript should be submitted in the MS Word format.  The text should be written using font Times New Roman, size 12 points, line spacing 1.5, portrait orientation and page numbering including the title page. Tables and figures (illustrations, graphs, photographs) as well as legends to them should be submitted in the same file together with the main text, but on separate pages after the References section. The number of figures and tables should not exceed five.

 

An original article should contain between 2000 and 3000 words excluding abstract, acknowledgements, references, tables and figures. A review article may be up to 5000 words long. The number of references should be between 20 and 30 for original articles and no more than 100 for review papers.

Conference reports, short communications and book reviews should not be longer than 1500 words. Original articles should contain the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References.

 

Guidelines for original articles

 

Titles of articles should be informative, but brief, not exceeding 180 symbols. Titles with questions and ambiguous meaning should be avoided. Only standard abbreviations can be used in the manuscripts. Please, do not to use abbreviations in the title. A full term instead of which an abbreviation is introduced should precede the first use of this abbreviation in the text.

Title page

     A title page should contain the following information:

  • Article title (in bold)
  • Surnames and initials of all authors
  • Full address of the corresponding author including phone and e-mail
  • Affiliations of all authors indicated with uppercase numbers as shown in the example below:

Ecological studies in health sciences

Grjibovski A.M.1-3, Ivanov S.V.4

  1. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  2. International Kazakh – Turkish University, Turkestan, Kazakhstan
  3. International School of Public Health, Northern State Medical University, Arkhangelsk, Russia
  4. North-Western State Medical University named after I.I. Mechnikov, St. Petersburg, Russia

Second page

The second page should contain an abstract in three languages (Russian, Kazakh and English) and key words. The abstract should provide brief, but informative content of the article. The abstract should be structures as follows: Introduction, Aims, Methods, Results and Conclusions. The abstract should not be longer than 300 words.  The abstract should state in brief the rationale for the study and its aims, type of research, sampling and data collection procedure, statistical methods, main results and conclusions. Novelty of the findings can also be underlined in the abstract. Given that the abstract is often the only section of an article which is accessible in electronic format for wide readership; the authors must ensure that the abstract is not only attractive, but it accurately reflects the content of the article.

 

Key words in Russian, Kazakh and English should be placed under the abstracts in the corresponding language and include 3-6 key words reflecting the content of the article. MeSH terms (www.pubmed.com) should be used in English.  

 

Introduction

 

In this section, the authors present background and rationale for the study, describe in brief what is known in the field, present relevant papers of other authors and specify what remains unknown. It is strongly recommended to cite not only regional or national, but also international publications in the field.  At the end of this section, the authors state the aims of the study. The aims should be clearly formulated so that the readers have an understanding of what is planned. No methods, results or conclusions should be in this section.

 

 Methods

 

This section should provide detailed description of the methods which were used in the study according to the original study protocol. This section should not be brief. Description of the methods should allow the reader to replicate the study in his or her setting. One should keep in mind that a published study is not only a source of information, but also an educational material for junior researchers. Besides, detailed descriptions in this section allow readers to assess independently the advantages and disadvantages of the study as well as validity and generalizability of the results. The following information should be presented in the Methods section: type of study, sampling procedure, data collection, data presentation, data analysis and ethical considerations.

  1. Type of study

In this subsection, the type of study should be is clearly specified (descriptive study, case report, ecological study, cross-sectional study, cohort study, case-control study, experimental study, etc. It is recommended to specify the year and month of data collection, particularly if conditions with seasonal variation were studied. In literature reviews, inclusion and exclusion criteria for publications should be clearly indicated.

  1. Methods of selection of study participants

In this subsection, the authors should specify how patients or laboratory animals were selected for observations or experiments. Inclusion and exclusion criteria should be presented. Sampling procedure (simple random sampling, stratified sampling, systematic sampling, cluster sampling, multistage sampling etc.) should be clearly specified. We recommend presenting sample size calculations, particularly if the samples are small. For experimental studies, it is necessary to indicate whether a randomization procedure was used. Besides, one should indicate whether the procedure of “blinding”

3. Data collection

All aspects of data collection, measurements or implementation of medical or diagnostic interventions should be described in detail, so that it is possible to replicate the study in a different setting using the presented description. If necessary, make a reference to the detailed description of the method used. If a researcher uses his/her own modification of an earlier described method or proposes a new method, he/she needs to present a brief description of the this modification, as well as the reasons against use of generally accepted methods. Names of medicines, chemical substances, doses and ways of administration of medicines used in the study should be specified. All equipment used in the study should should be mentioned with a reference to the producer.

  1. Data presentation

This subsection contains information on all variables used in the study, their coding, selection of reference groups etc.

  1. Data analysis

Inadequate presentation of this section is often among the main reasons for rejection of Kazakhstani articles submitted to international peer reviewed journals. It is necessary to describe the methods used for data processing so thoroughly that the readers who have access to the original data file can analyze the data themselves and obtain the same results. In some cases, the Editorial Office can request the data file from the authors for re-analysis. In this subsection, definitions to all statistical terms, symbols and abbreviations used in the paper should be presented. For example, М – arithmetic mean, SD – standard deviation, m – standard error of the mean, Md – median, Mo – mode, etc. If statistical hypotheses were tested, one should specify the significance level.

The Editorial Board does not recommend using only p-values and recommend presenting confidence intervals for the estimates. In description of statistical methods, references to manuals and guides should be given. In addition to statistical hypothesis testing we recommend calculating effect size. If several statistical tests are used in the study, one should mention all of them and indicate what criteria in what situation were used. Imprecise descriptions of data analysis are not informative and should be avoided. The use of statistical tests should be justified. For example, if parametric tests were used, one should present how the conditions for use of parametric tests were tested (normal distribution, homogeneity of variance, etc). Description of statistical tests should be unambiguos. For example, if means of two independent samples were compared using Student’s t-test, one should indicate which of the t-tests was used (for independent samples, for paired samples or for one sample). If a correlation analysis was performed, one should specify what correlation coefficient (Pearson, Spearmen, Kendall, etc) was calculated. If an unconventional method of data analysis was used, one should justify the use of this method, provide brief description as well as the reference.  If software was used for data analysis, one should indicate its name, version and manufacturer.

  1. Ethical principles

All experimental studies should follow the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 and its subsequent revisions. No personal information should be presented. The authors are advised to state whether the study was approved by the Ethics Committee.

 

Results

This section should contain only the results which were obtained using the methods specified in the previous section and in accordance with the aims of the study. One should not compare the results with findings from other studies or discuss own findings in this section. The results should be presented in the text, tables and figures in natural sequence using the same structure as specified in the Methods. Information presented in the text should not be duplicated in tables or figures and vice versa.  Only those results which are relevant to the aims of the study should be presented. General characteristics of the sample must be presented in Table 1. We recommend presenting not only measures of central tendency for continuous data, but also the measures of variability or confidence intervals for means. Means and standard deviations should be presented with one or two decimal points. For categorical data we recommend presenting absolute numbers, proportions and confidence intervals for proportions. Proportions below 1% can be presented with two decimals while other proportions can be presented with one decimal. We do not recommend using statements like “p<0.05”, because they are not informative enough. Instead of using “p<0.05” or “p>0.05” we recommend presenting exact p-values with three decimal points (p<0.001 is an exception).

 

The authors should remember that statistical significance does not imply causality or the fact that the findings are clinically important. Units of measurement should correspond to the International System of Units SI.

 

Tables should be numbered with Arabic numbers.  Each table should have a self-explanatory title making it possible to read the table without reference to the text.  Use uppercase Arabic numbers for footnotes under the table. Tables should not include information that does not belong to the study goals and tasks.  

 

Figures. All figures, illustrations and photographs should be presented electronically. Photographs should be in JPEG format. Figures can be in Ехсеl or JPEG formats. All figures should have titles and be understandable without reference to the main text. All figures should be numbered with Arabic numbers.

 

Discussion

 

In original articles the Discussion section is often considered as the most important part of the article showing the ability of the author(s) to critically evaluate their findings, assess their validity and compare the findings with the results from other studies.

 

The Discussion section usually begins with a short summary of the main findings of the paper (not more than 2–3 sentences). The main results are those which answer the main research question of the study specified in the Aims. There is no point in drawing attention to side results simply because some statistically significant differences have been detected. One should not repeat the results in this section, but rather compare the findings with the results from other studies. It is important not only to compare the results, but also to speculate on why different results were obtained. An important part of the Discussion section is a subsection on advantages and disadvantages of the study. This information is seldom presented by Kazakhstani authors, but is required in international peer reviewed journals. It is better to critically evaluate the study in the Discussion section than get criticized by reviewers or the readers. Possibilities of application of the obtained results in practice can also be discussed. The authors may suggest directions for further studies based on the study results. One may formulate new hypotheses and speculate about the mechanisms that may explain the findings

 

Conclusions are the last part of the main text of the article. They can be presented in the end of the Discussion section or as own section. Conclusions should logically stem from the main results of the study and be in line with the study aims. Overstepping the data is a common feature of articles published in the countries of the former Soviet Union, which is criticized by international reviewers.

 

References

 

References should be written in accordance with GOST 7.0.5.–2008. References in the text should be given in square brackets and marked by Arabic numerals according to the References listed alphabetically (first national, then international). Surnames of international authors should be given in original spelling. The number of references should be between 20 and 30 for original articles and no more than 100 for review papers. We do not recommend citing conference abstracts, newspaper publications, personal communications and other sources which are not peer reviewed. References should be presented in both Russian and English- Examples on how to cite different types of publications in Russian and English (same references) are presented in the two lists below:

 

  1. Кисляк  О.  А.,  Стародубова  А.  В.  Значение  определения артериальной жесткости и центрального давления для оценки сердечно-сосудистого риска и результатов лечения пациентов с артериальной гипертензией // Сonsilium Medicum. 2009. № 10. URL: http://con-med.ru/magazines/consilium_medicum/3508/3516/?sphrase_id=2236  (дата обращения: 30.08.2013).
  2. Мачинская Р. И., Крупская Е. В. Созревание регуляторных структур мозга и организация внимания у детей младшего школьного возраста // Когнитивные исследования : сб. науч. трудов. М. : Изд-во Института психологии РАН, 2008. Вып. 2. С. 32–48.
  3. Попова  О.  Н.  Характеристика  адаптивных  реакций внешнего дыхания у молодых лиц трудоспособного возраста, жителей Европейского Севера : автореф. дис. … д-ра мед.наук. Москва, 2009. 34 с.
  4. Поскотинова  Л.  В.  Вегетативная  регуляция  ритма сердца и эндокринный статус молодежи в условиях Европейского Севера России. Екатеринбург : УрО РАН, 2010. 229 с.
  5. Решетник  Л.  А.  Клинико-гигиеническая  оценка микроэлементных дисбалансов у детей Прибайкалья : дис. … д-ра мед. наук. 2000. 362 с.
  6. Терещенко  Ю.  В.  Трактовка  основных  показателей вариабельности  ритма  сердца  //  Материалы  межрегиональной конференции «Новые медицинские технологии на службе первичного звена здравоохранения», Омск, 10–11 апреля, 2010. С. 3–11.
  7. Чащин  В.  П.,  Гудков  А.  Б.,  Попова  О.  Н.,  Одланд И. О., Ковшов А. А. Характеристика основных факторов риска нарушений здоровья населения, проживающего на территориях активного природопользования в Арктике // Экология человека. 2014. № 1. С. 3–12.
  8. Berner  J.,  Furgal  C.  Impacts  of  a  Warming  Arctic  // Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Scientific Report. Ch. 15. Cambridge University Press, 2005. Р. 863–906.
  9. Kudayeva  I.  V.,  Masnavieva  L.  B.,  Budarina  L.  A. Metallic  mercury  effect  on  the  indices  of  oxidative  stress  in persons  with  neurological  disorders  //  European  Journal  of Natural History. 2008. N 3. Р. 54–55.

 

References

  1. Kislyak O. A., Starodubova A. V. The significance of arterial rigidity and central arterial pressure measurement for the evaluation of arterial hypertension patient cardiac risk and treatment results. Consilium Medicum. 2009, 10. Available at: http://con-med.ru/magazines/consilium_ medicum/3508/3516/?sphrase_id=2236 (accessed 30.08.2013).
  2. Machinskaya R. I., Krupskaya E. V. Sozrevanie regulyatornykh struktur mozga i organizatsiya vnimaniya u detei mladshego shkol’nogo vozrasta [Brain regulatory functions maturing and attention organization in primary schoolchildren]. Kognitivnye issledovaniya. Sb. nauch. trudov [Cognitive Research. Digest of Scientific Papers]. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN Publ., 2008, iss. 2, pp. 32-48.
  3. Popova O. N. Kharakteristika adaptivnykh reaktsii vneshnego dykhaniya u molodykh lits trudosposobnogo vozrasta, zhitelei Evropeiskogo Severa (avtoref. dokt. diss.) [Characteristics of external respiration adaptive reactions in young able-bodied persons living in European North. Author’s Abstract of Doct. Diss.]. Moscow, 2009, 34 p.
  4. Poskotinova L.V. Vegetativnaya regylyaziya ritma serdza i endokrinnyi statys molodezhy v ysloviyakh Evropeiskogo Severa Rossii [Vegetative regulation of heart rate and endocrine status of young people in conditions of the European North of Russia]. Yekaterinburg, Ural Branch of RAS Publ., 2010, 229 p.
  5. Reshetnik L. A. Kliniko-gigienicheskaya otsenka mikroelementnykh disbalansov u detei Pribaikal’ya (dokt. diss.) [Clinical-hygienic estimate of trace elements disbalance of children in the Cisbaikalia. Doct. Diss.]. 2000, 362 p.
  6. Tereshchenko Yu. V. Traktovka osnovnykh pokazatelei variabel’nosti ritma serdtsa [Interpretation of main indices of heart rate variability]. Materialy mezhregional’noi konferentsii «Novye meditsinskie tekhnologii na sluzhbe pervichnogo zvena zdravookhraneniya», Omsk, 10-11 aprelya 2010 [Proceedings of Interregional Conference “The New Medical Technology at Initial Stage of Public Care”, Omsk, 10-11 April 2010]. Omsk, 2010, pp. 3-11.
  7. Chashchin V. P., Gudkov А. B., Popova О. N., Odland J. Ö., Kovshov А. А. Description of Main Health Deterioration Risk Factors for Population Living on Territories of Active Natural Management in the Arctic. Ekologiya cheloveka [Human Ecology]. 2014, 1, рр. 3-12. [in Russian]
  8. Berner J., Furgal C. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Scientific Report. Ch. 15. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 863-906.
  9. Kudayeva I. V., Masnavieva L. B., Budarina L. A. Metallic mercury effect on the indices of oxidative stress in persons with neurological disorders. European Journal of Natural History. 2008, 3, pp. 54-55.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to avoid omitting of important information in some specific types of studies, authors are recommended to check the instructions using the links below:

 

Research type

Guideline

Source

Randomized controlled trials

CONSORT

www.consort-statemet.org

www.mediasphera.ru/recom/consort.htm

Studies of accuracy of diagnostic tests

STARD

www.consort-statement.org/stardstatement.htm

http://www.mediasphera.ru/recom/tabl1.htm

Meta-analysis   of  controlled trials

QUOROM

http://www.mediasphera.ru/recom/quorom.htm

Observational epidemiological studies

STROBE

www.strobe-statement.org

Meta-analysis of observational studies

MOOSE

www.consort-statement.org/initiatives/moose/moose.pdf