Instructions for Authors
Before Submission
Make sure your manuscript fits the journal's Aims and Scope.
Manuscripts should be prepared in .doc or .docx format. Please follow the word limit described in the Article Types section listed below. Please consider to use the journal template file provided here (Download Manuscript Template).
Please use clear, unambiguous, technically and grammatically correct English throughout the manuscript.
Manuscripts should be submitted via the online editorial management system.
Article Types
The following article types are accepted for submission to this journal (all must be original and can not have been published or under consideration for publication elsewhere, either fully or partially):
Article — A paper contains original research results that has not been published elsewhere. The work should report scientifically sound experiments and provide a substantial amount of new information. Articles should have a maximum word count of 12,000 (not including title, abstract, and references list), may contain no more than 15 Figures, Schemes/Tables, and should include the most recent and relevant references in the field. Articles should have the following structure: (1) Abstract and Keywords, (2) Introduction, (3) Materials and Methods, (4) Results, (5) Discussion and (6) Conclusions (optional).
Review — A paper comprehensively sums up the current state of research on a particular topic. Reviews should be critical and constructive and provide recommendations for future research. No unpublished material (unpublished/original data, submitted manuscripts, or personal communications) should be presented. Reviews should have a maximum word count of 12,000 (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may contain no more than 15 Figures, Schemes/Tables. Reviews should have the following structure: (1) Abstract and Keywords, (2) Introduction, (3) Subsections relevant for the subject, (4) Discussion, (5) Conclusions and (6) Future Directions.
Systematic Review — A paper presents a synthesis of previous research, and uses clearly defined methods to identify, categorize, analyze and report aggregated evidence on a specific topic. No unpublished material (unpublished/original data, submitted manuscripts, or personal communications) should be presented. Systematic Reviews should have a maximum word count of 12,000 (not including title, abstract, and references list) and may contain no more than 15 Figures, Schemes/Tables. Systematic Reviews should have the following structure: (1) Abstract and Keywords, (2) Introduction, (3) Methods (including study design, participants, interventions, comparators, systematic review protocol, search strategy, data sources, study sections and data extraction, and data analysis), (4) Results (including a flow diagram of the studies retrieved for the review, study selection and characteristics, synthesized findings, and assessment of risk of bias), (5) Discussion (including summary of main findings and limitations) and (6) Conclusions.
Case Report — A short description of important scientific observations that are missed or undetectable in clinical trials. Case Reports present detailed information on the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment (including all types of interventions), and outcomes of an individual patient. They usually describe new or uncommon conditions that serve to enhance medical care or highlight diagnostic approaches. Case Reports should have the following structure: (1) Abstract and Keywords, (2) Introduction, (3) Detailed Case Description, (4) Discussion and (5) Conclusions.
All submitted manuscripts must meet the international English language standards in order to be considered for publication. Both British and American spellings are accepted, as long as one spelling is used consistently throughout the text. To facilitate proper peer-review of your manuscript, it is essential that it is submitted in grammatically correct English. Authors whose native language is not English are strongly advised to ensure the grammatical correctness of their paper prior to submission. Papers with serious deficiencies in English will be rejected without peer-review.
Accepted manuscripts authored by non-English native speakers must be edited by an English editor. The authors may choose an independent professional English editing service or consult with a native English-speaking colleague.
Manuscript Preparation
Cover Letter
Cover letter should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, or the invited Guest Editors for submissions going to Special Issues / Topic Collections. Enter your cover letter into the online editorial management system or upload a single PDF containing the full cover letter. The length limit is one page. The cover letter should include the following information:
Summarise the study's contribution to the scientific literature;
Relate the study to previously published work;
Confirm that neither the manuscript nor any parts of its content are currently under consideration or have been published in another journal.
The title of your manuscript should be clear, specific and appealing. It should be concise and no more than 20 words and accurately describe the work. Avoid acronyms, abbreviations and jargon in the title. When gene or protein names are included, the abbreviated name rather than full name should be used.
Author List and Affiliations
Authors' full first given and family names must be provided. Middle name initial(s) can be added. Affiliations: complete address information including Department, University, or Organizational Affiliation, City, postcode, State/Province (if applicable), and Country/Area. At least one author should be designated as corresponding author. All authors are encouraged to provide their 16-digit ORCID (e.g., 0000-0001-2345-6789) to be included in the final published paper to distinguish them from other researchers. ORCIDs can be added into the online editorial management system during manuscript submission, or at final proofreading stage when paper is accepted for publication.
The abstract should be a total of about 200 words maximum, one paragraph length. The abstract must be concise, self-contained, and complete enough to appear separately in abstract publications. For a research paper, briefly state the problem or the purpose of the research, indicate the theoretical or experimental plan used, summarize the principal findings, and point out major conclusions. Do not supplement or evaluate the conclusions in the abstract.
Do not cite references, Figures, Schemes, Tables, or Sections of the paper in the abstract. Do not include equations, schemes, or structures that require display on a line separate from the text. Use abbreviations and acronyms only when necessary. Define abbreviations at first use in the abstract (and again at first use in the text).
Three to ten pertinent keywords need to be added after the abstract. We recommend that the keywords are specific to the article, yet reasonably common within the subject discipline.
The introduction should provide a concise and appropriate context for the study, namely, the nature of the problem and its significance of being carried out. It should state the specific purpose of, or the hypothesis being tested by, the work. Authors should review the state-of-the-art research in the field and cite only those directly pertinent references. Finally, include a brief description of the main objective and conclusions of the work.
Materials and Methods
Materials and methods should be given in sufficient detail so that interested readers can reproduce the work and obtain comparable results. Describe the procedures used in detail. Cite well-established and standard methods properly and give only the details needed. In case computer software is used, the name and version of the software should be presented clearly, including whether the relevant program code is available.
Present your results in logical sequence in the text, Figures, Schemes, and Tables. The results should be concise and precise, in which the most important findings should be summarised or emphasised.
Authors should highlight the main findings as well as the limitations of the work, compare the results with the recent studies in the field, and relate the results to the original working hypotheses. The logical implications of the results should be briefly discussed. Mention future research or applications when warranted.
Results and Discussion can be combined as one section.
Authors can put the interpretation into the context of the original problem, and summarize the main points in this section. This section is not mandatory.
All funding resources should be identified and clarified. Please clearly indicate the financial support for the conduct of the research and/or the cover of the publication costs.
Data Availability
Authors should state any data associated with an article whenever possible, i.e., where data supporting the results reported in a published article can be found, including hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study.
Supplementary Materials
Authors may submit supplementary files to be made available alongside their article. The supplementary files will be available to the reviewers during the peer-review process.
Supplementary material is available online only on the article's webpage (it is not published in the final PDF of the article). Supplementary files are not copy-edited nor proofread by the editorial office, and it is the authors' responsibility to guarantee the scientific accuracy of these files.
Acknowledge anyone who contributed substantially to the work but do not meet the authorship criteria. Do not include their titles.
Do not include funding sources in the Acknowledgments. Funding information should only be listed separately in the Funding section.
Author Contributions
Each author should contribute substantially to the work. For research articles with several authors, please submit an authorship statement specifying their individual contribution. Authors are recommended to refer to the CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Writing – original draft; Writing – review & editing.
Conflicts of Interest
Authors must disclose and declare any personal, professional or financial conflicts of interest that may inappropriately influence the research work. If there is no conflict of interest to declare, please state "The authors have no conflict of interest to declare".
The manuscript should have both in‐text citations and a final reference list. For every in‐text citation, there should be a full citation in the reference list and vice versa. In the reference list, the names of the first six authors (followed by et al. if more than six authors) should be provided. The DOI (when available) should be placed at the end of each reference.
With numerical reference citations, start with "1" and number consecutively throughout the paper, including references in text and those in Figures, Schemes, Tables, and other non-text components. If a reference is repeated, do not give it a new number; use the original reference number. In the text, reference numbers should be placed in square brackets [ ], and placed before the punctuation; for example [1], [1–3] or [1,3]. Do not use superscript text to indicate citations. Authors are encouraged to insert hyperlinks to the in-text citations so that they can be linked to the reference list.
References list shall follow the following style, depending on the type of work (provide as much detail as possible if the type of reference is not one of the following):
Journal Article
Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (Year). Title of the article. Journal Full Title, Volume(Issue), firstpage–lastpage. (when available)
Book with Authors
Surname, A. A., & Surname, B. B. (Year). Book Title (3rd ed., Vol. 1). Publisher. (when available)
Book with Editors
Surname, A. A., & Surname, B. B. (Eds.). (Year). Book Title (3rd ed., Vol. 1). Publisher. (when available)
Book Chapter
Surname, A. A., & Surname, B. B. (Year). Title of the chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Book Title (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. firstpage–lastpage). Publisher. (when available)
Unpublished Work
Surname, A. A., & Surname, B. B. (Year of the draft written). Title of Unpublished Work. Status (Unpublished manuscript; Manuscript in preparation; Manuscript submitted for publication).
Accepted Work
Surname, A. A., & Surname, B. B. (in press). Title of Accepted Work. Journal Full Title.
Conference Paper
Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (Day–Day Month Year). Title of Presentation. Name of Conference, City, Country/Area. (when available)
Conference Proceedings as Journal
Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (Year). Title of Presentation. Journal Full Title, Volume(Issue), firstpage–lastpage. (when available)
Conference Proceedings as Book
Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (Year). Title of Presentation. In A. A. Editor, B. B. Editor, & C. C. Editor (Eds.), Book Title (pp. firstpage–lastpage). Publisher. (when available)
Unpublished Thesis/Dissertation
Surname, A. A. (Year). Title of Thesis [Unpublished Level of Thesis]. Degree-Granting University.
Published Thesis/Dissertation
Surname, A. A. (Year). Title of Thesis [Level of Thesis, Degree-Granting University]. Name of Repository. Website URL
Newspaper Article
Surname, A. A., Surname, B. B., & Surname, C. C. (Day Month Year). Title of Newspaper Article. Newspaper Title. Website URL (accessed Day Month Year).
Surname, A. A. (Year). Title of Site. Website Title. Website URL (accessed Day Month Year).
Appendix should be placed at the end of the manuscript (right below the References section). There can be more than one appendix. Each appendix must be labeled with a letter (A, B, C, etc.)
If appendices include Figures, Schemes, or Tables, treat them as they would be treated in the main text. Exception to the Figures/Schemes/Tables numbering rule: add the letter of the appendix (A, B, C, etc.) to the figure or table number (e.g., Figure A1, Table A1 would be the first figure and table in Appendix A, respectively).
Figures, Schemes, and Tables
All the Figures and Schemes must have a resolution of 300 dpi at final size. Check the resolution of your figure by enlarging it to 150%. If the image appears blurry, jagged or has a stair-stepped effect, the resolution is too low. Authors are encouraged to prepare Figures and Schemes in color (RGB at 8-bit per channel). The final publications will be produced using serif fonts, while sans-serif fonts are preferred in the Images/Schemes.
The JPEG, TIF, EPS, SVG, and PDF formats are preferred. Please keep in mind that in most cases, directly saving a figure as an image file (JPEG, TIF) or simply taking a screenshot could greatly affect the resolution, and may also increase the image file size a lot. In order to avoid this, authors are encouraged to export the original editable image files as PDFs, and send the PDF image files to the editorial office. The editorial team will further process the images.
Figures, Schemes, and Tables must be mentioned in the text and in numerical order, an explanatory title and caption must be added. All Figures, Schemes and Tables should be inserted into the main text close to their first citation and must be numbered following their number of appearance (Figure 1, Scheme I, Figure 2, Scheme II, Table 1, etc.). Figure panels are referred to by bold letters in brackets (either capital or lowercase should be consistently used throughout the entire manuscript), e.g., (A), (B), (C) or (a), (b), (c).
It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reproduce Figures, Schemes, and Tables that have been published elsewhere. Figures, Schemes, and Tables without such evidence are assumed to originate from the author.
Acronyms/Abbreviations/Initialisms should be defined (written in brackets) the first time they appear in the abstract, the main text, and the first Figure or Table, e.g., United Nations (UN).
SI Units
The Microsoft Word built-in equation editor should be used to write equations when preparing the manuscript. All the definitions, symbols, and the variables related to equations in the main text should also be written using the equation editor.
Publication Ethics Statement
Manuscripts submitted to Highlights of Clinical Medicine will undergo rigorous peer-review by external independent experts in the field. At Highlights of Science, we take the responsibility to ensure the highest standards of publication ethics. All parties involved in the publishing activities (authors, reviewers, editors, and the publisher) will have to agree upon standards of ethical behaviours stated by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Any cases of plagiarism (copying-pasting without acknowledgment, paraphrasing, inaccurate citation, etc.) will be zero tolerant.
Editorial and Peer-Review Process
1. Journal Editorial Office Assessment
The in-house editorial staff will make a first assessment of the manuscript submitted and check whether it fits the aims and scope of the journal. Manuscripts that are not properly prepared or do not meet the standards of the journal will be rejected before peer-review.
2. Academic Editor Assessment
An academic editor (members of the editorial board or invited guest editors) will be invited to check whether the manuscript is scientifically sound. If not, the manuscript will be rejected immediately before peer review.
Peer Review
Manuscripts submitted to Highlights of Clinical Medicine will be sent to at least two external reviewers for peer review. The journal applies a single-blind peer-review process for all the manuscripts, meaning reviewers know the identity of the authors, but authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript.
Authors and reviewers are given the choice to participate in Open Peer Review. In such cases, authors can choose to publish all the review reports and their corresponding responses to the review comments alongside their manuscript. In any cases, the reviewers' identities remain confidential during the peer review process unless they choose to sign their reviews, in which case, their identities will be disclosed after the final publication of the manuscript they reviewed.
Editorial Decision and Revision
Once enough review reports are collected, the in-house editorial staff will communicate with the academic editors to make a decision, which will be one of the following:
Accept — The manuscript is considered of high quality and can be published in its current form and requires no further corrections.
Minor Revisions — The manuscript has a very good chance of being accepted for publication after revision. Authors are asked to resubmit the revised paper within a given deadline, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewers for further comments.
Major Revisions — The manuscript has a chance of being accepted but would depend on the revisions. Authors are asked to resubmit the revised paper within a given deadline, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewers for further comments. Note that apart from exceptional circumstances, a maximum of one round of major revision is allowed per manuscript.
Reject and Encourage Resubmission — If very substantial changes are requested that are too significant to warrant a revision of the article in its current form, the manuscript will be rejected and the authors are encouraged to re-submit the paper once it has been substantially rewritten.
Reject — The manuscript has major flaws that could not be resolved by revision and resubmission.
Author Appeals
Authors may submit a formal appeal for rejections by sending an email to the journal editorial office with the word "Appeal" in the subject line. The appeal must provide a detailed justification and point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or academic editor's comments.
Decisions on appeals are final and cannot be reversed.
Production and Publication
Once accepted, the manuscript will undergo professional copy-editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination, and publication on the website.
Refer to the Highlights of Science editorial process at the Editorial Process section for more information.
Journal Menu
Journal Contact
Highlights of Clinical Medicine Editorial Office
Avenida Madrid, 189-195, 3-3
08014 Barcelona, Spain
Tel. +34 93 138 23 89
Jason Wang
Managing Editor
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Highlights Clin. Med., ISSN 2696-6530, Published by Highlights of Science
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