The information below details the section headings that you should include in your manuscript and what information should be within each section.
Please note that your manuscript must include a 'Declarations' section including all of the subheadings (please see below for more information).
The title page should:
- present a title that includes, if appropriate, the study design
- list the full names and institutional addresses for all authors
- if a collaboration group should be listed as an author, please list the Group name as an author. If you would like the names of the individual members of the Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records, please include this information in the “Acknowledgements” section in accordance with the instructions below
- indicate the corresponding author
The Abstract should not exceed 350 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract must include the following separate sections:
- Background: the context and purpose of the study
- Results: the main findings
- Conclusions: a brief summary and potential implications
Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.
The Background section should explain the background to the study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature and why this study was necessary.
This should include the findings of the study including, if appropriate, results of statistical analysis which must be included either in the text or as tables and figures.
For research articles this section should discuss the implications of the findings in context of existing research and highlight limitations of the study. For study protocols and methodology manuscripts this section should include a discussion of any practical or operational issues involved in performing the study and any issues not covered in other sections.
This should state clearly the main conclusions and provide an explanation of the importance and relevance of the study to the field.
The methods section should include:
- the aim, design and setting of the study
- the characteristics of participants or description of materials
- a clear description of all processes, interventions and comparisons. Generic names should generally be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses
- the type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate
List of abbreviations
If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations can be provided.