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Author Guide


An Introduction to Cureus

The Cureus Publishing Process

Cureus is committed to providing easy and timely article publication. Below you’ll find an overview of the steps required to publish a peer-reviewed article in Cureus. By offering a largely do-it-yourself publishing process, Cureus expects all submitting authors to adhere to our rigorous submission process and requirements. This stringent process ensures that all articles meet the Cureus standard when submitted for peer review, and eventually, publication.

Important: Cureus does not tolerate plagiarism, data or figure manipulation, knowingly providing incorrect information, copyright infringement, inaccurate author attributions, attempts to inappropriately manipulate the peer review process, failures to declare conflicts of interest, fraud and libel. Cureus pledges to vigorously pursue and investigate any offending parties to ensure that their transgressions are recognized by their employer, institution and/or relevant governing body.

Article submissions are limited to one per month per submitting author. At this time, we do not accept articles with a dentristy focus.

Cureus publishing requirements exist in part to ensure that each published article is accepted for indexing in PubMed Central (PMC). All requirements listed below must be met in order for your articles to be published in Cureus and indexed in PMC.

If you encounter issues adhering to the Cureus submission requirements listed below, please attempt to alter or adjust your article. If your issues persist, you can contact us at support@cureus.com. For more detailed instructions, please see our Author Instructions.

  1. The submitting author enters all article information, including all co-authors, article text (generally entered via copy and paste) and any relevant media. The author is then required to disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and adhere to any relevant ethics statements. Lastly, the author enters contact information for five soon-to-be-invited reviewers. (View our comprehensive Author Instructions for a more detailed look at the submission process.)
  2. Once satisfied with the article draft, the author requests that an Editor-in-Chief (EIC) approve the article for peer review. The author may not edit the article during editor approval or peer review.
  3. The EIC approves the article for peer review after confirming that the article draft meets all Cureus requirements and is ready for peer review.

    Once the article has been approved, peer review invitations are emailed to the preselected reviewers. The editor also invites additional reviewers with relevant domain knowledge at this time.

    Important: Cureus offers free peer-reviewed article publishing for the conscientious author. If an article draft submitted for peer review does not meet Cureus requirements due to poor writing quality or incomplete/poorly formatted references, the decision to grant peer review will be deferred by an editor.

    The author will then be required to seek out a professional editing service if he/she wishes to resubmit the draft. Repeated sloppy and careless article submissions have forced us to institute this policy.

  4. The article is unlocked for editing when the required minimum number (2) of anonymous reviews have been submitted. The author may now choose to:
    1. Make revisions while awaiting additional reviews (all article versions are saved and available to both author and reviewers).
    2. Make revisions and request that the article is re-reviewed.
    3. Make revisions and request editorial approval to publish, while also providing explanatory comments regarding all review-based revisions.
  5. Upon receiving the approval request, the EIC ensures that all reviewer comments have been acknowledged. If the revised manuscript does not adequately reflect reviewer feedback, the EIC is likely to defer publication of the article. The author is then notified that further revision is required.
  6. The author is notified via email when the article has been approved for publication. The author may then sign in and publish the article, at which point he/she will also be asked to “rate” the anonymous reviewers. This unique process allows the author to acknowledge the vital contributions made by reviewers, while also providing constructive feedback and helping to build a stronger and more respectful scholarly community.

The Cureus publishing process may vary in length due to article complexity, length and the availability of reviewers with sufficient domain knowledge. Cureus strives to publish articles within five to seven days of submission. In order to accelerate the review process, authors are encouraged to invite multiple reviewers with relevant domain knowledge.

Accepted Article Types

Cureus accepts five article types. To be considered for publication, each article type must include the following sections. Only original articles may include abstract subheadings.

  1. Original article
    1. Abstract
    2. Introduction
    3. Materials & Methods
    4. Results
    5. Discussion
    6. Conclusions
    7. References
  2. Review article
    1. Abstract (no subheadings)
    2. Introduction & Background
    3. Review
    4. Conclusions
    5. References
  3. Case report
    1. Abstract (no subheadings)
    2. Introduction
    3. Case Presentation
    4. Discussion
    5. Conclusions
    6. References
  4. Technical report
    1. Abstract (no subheadings)
    2. Introduction
    3. Technical Report
    4. Discussion
    5. Conclusions
    6. References
  5. Editorial
    1. Editorial
    2. References

Author Instructions

Role of the Submitter

Articles should be submitted by the author. The listed article submitter will be considered the submitting and corresponding author, and will assume all responsibility throughout the article’s peer review and publication. Cureus does not distinguish between submitting and corresponding authors in order to keep this process simple and efficient.

Submitting on behalf of an author: If an administrator wishes to submit an article on behalf of an author, the administrator must do so while signed in with the author’s Cureus account. Additionally, all Cureus email notifications sent during the submission process will be sent to the submitting author (not the administrator). For these reasons, we strongly recommend that authors submit their own work.

Submitting an Article

Authors must complete the following steps in order to submit an article draft for peer review. Authors may save and exit the submission process at any time by clicking “Exit” in the top right corner of the page.

Important: Cureus operates a free, merit-based publication system, in which we publish all articles that satisfy Cureus requirements and contain no fraudulent or dangerous science. It is therefore the responsibility of the submitting author to meet us halfway by submitting an article draft that meets all listed requirements. Repeated sloppy and careless article submissions have resulted in the following policy:

Authors have only one chance to submit a draft of acceptable writing quality that also meets all Cureus publishing requirements (as detailed below). Submitting an unacceptable draft will result in an editor-issued deferral. Once deferred, the author must utilize a professional editing service prior to re-submitting, such as Peak Medical Editing (available to Cureus authors at a special discounted rate). Cureus is not financially affiliated with Peak Medical Editing.

  1. Getting Started

    Are you submitting on behalf of a channel? Are you entering a competition? Designate your article as a channel and/or competition article here, then choose the article type (original, review, case report, technical report, editorial). It’s important to make sure this information is correct, as you’ll be unable to change it after moving on to the Title, etc. section.

  2. Title, etc.
    Title

    Enter the article title in Title Case. Do not enter the title in all caps. Beginning with this step, you may preview your draft at any time to get a sense of how it will appear when published.

    Abstract

    Enter your article abstract. Abstracts are limited to 3,500 characters. Only original articles should include subheaders.

    Categories

    Select up to three article categories. (You must select at least one.)

    Keywords

    Add at least one and up to ten keyword to your article. Keywords will allow your article to be more easily searchable when published.

  3. Authors

    Add any additional co-authors (including email addresses and affiliations). You may add as many authors as you wish. Each additional entry must include an email address and affiliation. When adding authors who already have confirmed Cureus accounts, no author information may be entered or changed.

    There is only one primary (first) author. The submitting author is listed as the primary author by default; this can be changed by dragging and dropping the authors into the desired order.

  4. Disclosures

    Please provide all relevant information pertaining to any human or animal subjects and disclose any relevant conflicts of interest (COI). You may also add acknowledgements at this time.

    In the event that human or animal subjects are included in the article, please provide the relevant IRB names and approval numbers and confirm that informed consent was obtained or waived. This information should be included in the body of the article.

    The submitting author is responsible for including all co-author COI and disclosure information. Are you unsure about potential conflicts of interest among your co-authors? You can send an email request for this information directly to your co-authors from inside the submission process.

    Conflicts of interest may involve 3rd party payment or service for any aspect of the submitted work, relevant financial activities outside the submitted work, patents that could be considered broadly relevant to the work and any relationships not covered previously.

    Based on the provided information and disclosures, Cureus will automatically generate an Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures to be included alongside the published article. Please see the Publication Ethics and Conflicts of Interest sections of the Author Guide to view a detailed breakdown of required statements and disclosures.

  5. Article

    Enter the main article content here. Article sections will vary depending on the article type selected earlier in the submission process. We recommend against composing your article directly in the text field. Instead, compose your article in the word processor of your choice and then copy and paste your article text into the appropriate section. Please do not include section names (e.g. Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, etc.) as these will be added automatically.

    References should be cited using square brackets. These can be placed mid-sentence or at the end of the sentence before the period. For example: This is an example sentence [1]. If multiple references are cited in one sentence, please list them as follows: [1-4], [1,3], [5,9-12], etc. Footnotes are not permitted. Citations are not permitted in figure, table or video titles. They should instead be included in the media legend.

    You can add figures, tables and video to the media library by clicking the Insert Media button located in the toolbar or the Media Library link located in the left sidebar. Although you can upload or copy/paste figures, tables and video to the media library using either method, you must click the Insert Media button to insert the figure, table or video into your article. For information on uploading figures and adding tables and video to your media library, please refer to the Media Library section of the Author Guide.

    Each figure, table or video must be mentioned in the paragraph immediately preceding it. To refer to a specific figure, table or video within the body of your article, please adhere to the following format (with # representing the media number):

    • (Figure #)
    • (Tables #, #)
    • (Videos #-#)

    If letters (e.g. 1A, 2B, etc.) are affixed to the numbers (with X representing the letter):

    • (Figure #X)
    • (Tables #X, #X)
    • (Videos #X-#X)

    If you wish to refer to figures, tables or videos within a sentence and not within parentheses (e.g. “This was a particularly complicated procedure, as can be seen in Figure 1”), please adhere to the following format (the same applies for both tables and videos as well):

    • Figure #
    • Fig. #
    • Figures #, #
    • Figures #-#
    • Figure #X
    • Fig. #X
    • Figures #X, #X
    • Figures #X-#X

    All articles must adhere to Cureus formatting styles - no paragraph indentations, only one line return after each paragraph and only one space between sentences. Please remove any text styling before copying and pasting your text into the appropriate field.

    Please ensure that subheadings are in the subheading style available via the Styles dropdown menu. Additionally, please ensure that each subheading is entered in sentence case (only the first letter of the first word is capitalized, along with proper nouns, etc.).

    Cureus supports only one subheading level. If more than one subheading level is needed, please italicize the subheading and place it on a separate line, in title case. You may also choose to enter a colon (:) and a single space after the subheading (non-italicized) and begin your text on the same line.

    Formulas: Cureus supports LaTex. Formulas may be built using LaTeX during your submission or you may copy/paste and convert your pre-prepared formulas. Please keep this in mind when preparing your manuscript.

    Appendices (optional): Add any supplemental information and media here.

  6. References

    Creating references is simple with our automated converting tool. Simply copy and paste your reference list from a text document and select “Convert references.” We’ll do our best to detect each reference type based on its formatting.

    Once all references have been converted, please preview (and edit as necessary) each reference to ensure that it has been converted correctly. When editing your converted references, please do not add punctuation at the end - punctuation will be added automatically. If you prefer, you can also enter your references one-by-one.

    Please adhere to the following requirements for each reference type. Submissions that do not follow these requirements will not be published. Please pay particular attention to the following:

    • All references must return a positive result when clicked.
    • Do not reference a website that no longer exists. (Defunct journals may still be referenced.)
    • When referencing a book (chapter or whole), editors (if available), publisher and publisher location must be listed.
    • When referencing a journal article, only the first letter of the first word should be capitalized. (Note: Book titles should be listed in title case, i.e. the first letter of each word is capitalized.)
    • Website references must include an access date and the name of the citation (i.e. not just the URL).
    • List only the volume number of the journal. Issue and supplement numbers are not needed. If referencing a book chapter, please include the edition and volume numbers.
    • Please list the page numbers of the cited chapter or article.
    • The DOI number should be added to the end of the reference, if available. The “DOI” abbreviation should not be included.

    Please view the References section for more detailed instructions.

  7. Reviewers

    The submitting author is required to invite a minimum of five individuals with requisite domain knowledge to review the article. Prior to the forwarding of a review invitation, each author-submitted reviewer is carefully vetted by Cureus editorial staff with a specific focus on relevant scientific expertise.

    In addition to author-invited reviewers, Cureus editorial staff will handpick selected members of the Cureus editorial board and/or allied specialists from the larger scientific community to review articles within their area of specialty.

  8. Summary

    The summary contains a section-by-section outline of your article. You can review each aspect of your article and jump directly to a specific section of the submission process if you’d like to make changes.

    If any issues with the reference citations are detected, you will receive a notification and list of the citation or reference-related issues (e.g. missing citations, missing references, incorrectly formatted citations). All issues must be fixed in order to proceed to the next step and submit your article.

  9. Submit

    Please preview your article draft one last time and make sure that everything looks good. You cannot submit your draft without first previewing your work. When you’re satisfied, click the ‘Submit for Editorial Preview’ button. Once your article has been approved by our editorial team, the review invitation emails will be sent out and the peer review process will begin. For more information on what happens next, please see The Cureus Publishing Process.


Media Library

Any figures, tables or video you’d like to insert in your article must first be added to the media library. The media library is scoped to the article currently being submitted. In other words, each article you submit to Cureus will have its own unique media library featuring figures, tables and video. A title must be included with each uploaded media file. (Descriptions/legends are optional.) Citations are not permitted in media titles, but may be included in the media legend.

You can add figures, tables and video to the media library by clicking the Insert Media button located in the toolbar or the Media Library link located in the left sidebar. Although you can add media to the media library using either method, you must click the Insert Media button to insert the figure, table or video into your article.

Figure Requirements

The following figure file types are accepted: .PNG (preferred), .JPG/.JPEG, .TIF/.TIFF

All figures must be uploaded at a minimum width of 900 pixels.

Extraneous white space should also be cropped from your figure prior to changing size.

Articles containing figures less than 900 pixels wide WILL NOT be accepted as they must meet PMC requirements in order to be published in Cureus.

We strongly recommend uploading figures at a width of 1600 pixels to ensure that your article is presented in the best possible quality when viewed both onscreen and in print (PDF format).

If you need to resize your figure(s), please do not stretch the image using MS Paint or a similar application. Many options exist to revise figures without diminishing quality. In addition to applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, some programs are freely available for download, including GIMP and InkScape.

Table Requirements

Acceptable table file types: .XLS, .DOC

All tables must be cell-based (images will not be accepted) and created in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word or the Cureus media library. All tables will be formatted in accordance with PMC standards. Please ensure that each line of data is in a separate row. Line returns within a cell are not accepted. Formatting options are limited to help ensure a clear and consistent final product.

Video Requirements

Cureus accepts YouTube and Vimeo videos. Please upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo first, and then copy and paste the website URL while adding a title (required) and caption (optional).

References

Reference Limits

In order to continue offering free publication, Cureus has instituted reference limits for peer-reviewed articles. The maximum allowed number of references varies by article type.

  • Review articles: 50 references
  • Original articles: 30 references
  • Technical reports: 20 references
  • Case reports: 10 references
  • Editorials: 5 references

Material that has not yet been accepted for publication should be noted as “unpublished data” and should not be included in the reference list. The reference list should only include publications cited within the article text.

All material included in the reference list must have been previously published in citable journals or books. If you wish to reference material that does not meet this specification, such as an abstract, poster, unpublished data or personal communication, please include the citation within the text of your article.

References should be cited using square brackets. These can be placed mid-sentence or at the end of the sentence before the period. For example: This is an example sentence [1]. If multiple references are cited in one sentence, please list them as follows: [1-4], [1,3], [5,9-12], etc. Footnotes are not permitted.

Please number references in the order in which they are mentioned in the text; they should not be alphabetized. All co-authors must be cited when creating a reference. If more than three authors, you may insert “et al.” after the first three authors. Author names should be formatted as seen in the examples below.

Journal names should be abbreviated according to the Index Medicus system. For more information, please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

Please adhere to the following requirements for each reference type. Submissions that do not follow these requirements will not be published. Please pay particular attention to the following:

  • All references must return a positive result when clicked.
  • Do not reference a website that no longer exists. (Defunct journals may still be referenced.)
  • When referencing a book (chapter or whole), editors (if available), publisher and publisher location must be listed.
  • When referencing a journal article, only the first letter of the first word should be capitalized. (Note: Book titles should be listed in title case, i.e. the first letter of each word is capitalized.)
  • Website references must include an access date and the name of the citation (i.e. not just the URL).
  • List only the volume number of the journal. Issue and supplement numbers are not needed. If referencing a book chapter, please include the edition and volume numbers.
  • Please list the page numbers of the cited chapter or article.
  • The DOI number should be added to the end of the reference, if available. The “DOI” abbreviation should not be included.

Prior to converting your references, please ensure they are formatted as follows:

Electronic journal articles

Huynen MMTE, Martens P, Hilderlink HBM: 2005 The health impacts of globalization: a conceptual framework. Global Health 1: 14. http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/1/1/14. Accessed: 25 January 2012.

Article within a journal

Koonin EV, Altschul SF, Bork P: BRCA1 protein products: functional motifs. Nat Genet 1996, 13:266-267.

Website

New child vaccine gets funding boost. (2001). Accessed: March 21, 2001, http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/story_13178.asp

Book chapter, or article within a book

Schnepf E: From prey via endosymbiont to plastids: comparative studies in dinoflagellates. In Origins of Plastids. Volume 2. 2nd edition. Edited by Lewin RA. New York: Chapman and Hall; 1993:53-76.

Whole issue of journal

Ponder B, Johnston S, Chodosh L (Eds): Innovative oncology. In Breast Cancer Res 1998, 10:1-72.

Complete book

Margulis L: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. New Haven: Yale University Press; 1970.

Book with institutional author

Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification: Annual Report. London; 1999.


If you choose to use reference management software, Cureus recommends EndNote for easy management and formatting of citations and reference lists. You can download Cureus' preferred style here.


Policies and Procedures

Open Peer Review

Cureus is a formally peer-reviewed medical journal. All submitted articles must undergo a single-blind peer review process in which reviewers know the identity of the authors, but authors do not know the identify of the reviewers.

Reviewers are made anonymous through Cureus' automated system. Once a reviewer accepts the review invitation, he or she is assigned a Greek letter to be used for identification purposes by the authors (e.g. Reviewer Alpha).

Authors are required to add a minimum of five reviewers when submitting their draft. Cureus Editors-in-Chief invite additional reviewers with relevant domain knowledge to ensure that comprehensive criticism is provided, thus ensuring the publishing process is both fruitful and efficient.

ICMJE Uniform Requirements of Authors

Cureus adheres to the ICMJE uniform requirements of authorship. All authors of an article must meet the following requirements:

"Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the article (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a article authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the article; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.
All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content."

Cureus suggests the following (or a similar) format. Please use initials to refer to each author.

AB carried out the molecular genetic studies, participated in the sequence alignment and drafted the manuscript. JY carried out the immunoassays. MT participated in the sequence alignment. ES participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. FG conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Any contributor who does not meet the criteria for authorship may be listed in the Acknowledgements section. Examples include a person who provided technical help or writing assistance or a department chair that provided general support.

The corresponding author’s role and responsibilities are to:

  1. Inform all co-authors when an article bearing their name has been submitted to Cureus. (Upon submission, each co-author will also receive an email requesting confirmation of authorship).
  2. Manage correspondence between Cureus and all co-authors, keeping the full co-author group apprised of the article progress. (Each co-author will receive automated email notifications confirming authorship, article publication, and, if necessary, article retraction.)
  3. Declare all relevant conflicts of interest on behalf of all co-authors.
  4. Ensure, to the best of his/her abilities, that the article fully adheres to all Cureus policies (including such items as publication ethics, data deposition, materials deposition, etc).
  5. Respond to all queries pertaining to the published article, while also providing relevant data and materials as requested.

Conflicts of Interest

Cureus requires all parties involved in the publication process (all authors, reviewers, Cureus EIC and post-publication SIQ™ scorers) to fully declare any potential conflicts of interest (COI).

Authors are required to declare all competing interests during the submission process. Reviewers are expected to consider any potential conflicts of interest before agreeing to review, and to declare, in detail, any relevant conflicts of interest before submitting their review. Editors-in-Chief are expected to recuse themselves from the publication process if they feel they have a conflict of interest in regards to the article.

All potential conflicts of interest should be declared. Please disclose a relationship and/or conflict of interest if faced with even the slightest amount of uncertainty as to its potential relevance. Examples of conflicts of interest include, but are not limited to: possible financial benefits if the article is published; prior working, or personal, relationships with any of the authors; patent or grant activity that could be considered broadly relevant to the work; personal material or financial gain (such as free travel, gifts, etc.) relating to the work; personal convictions (religious, political, etc.) which may have a bearing on the work, etc.

A complete list of funding sources (institutional, corporate, grants, etc.) and relevant relationships and financial activities must be detailed in the Ethics Statements and Conflict of Interest Disclosures section of the article submission process.

The following COI sections contain questions posed to the authors during the submission process. All COI sections must be addressed in order to satisfy Cureus COI requirements and are reprinted below as they appear in the article submission process. The language contained in the four sections below is based upon the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. (Click each header to view the section as it appears in the submission process.)

The Work Under Consideration for Publication

Did you or your institution at any time receive payment or services from a third party (government, commercial, private foundation, etc.) for any aspect of the submitted work (such as grants, data monitoring board, study design, manuscript preparation, statistical analysis, etc.)?

Relevant Financial Activities Outside the Work

Please indicate all financial relationships (regardless of compensation amount) associated with the submitting author and all co-authors. You should disclose interactions with any entity that could be considered broadly relevant to your work. Report all relationships that were present during the 36 months prior to publication. Remember – if there is any question, it is better to disclose a relationship than not to do so.

For grants you have received for work outside the submitted work, only disclose support from entities that could be perceived to be affected financially by the published work, such as drug companies, or foundations supported by entities that could be perceived to have a financial stake in the outcome.

Intellectual Property: Patents & Copyrights

Do you have any patents, whether planned, pending or issued, that could be considered broadly relevant to this work?

Relationships Not Covered Previously

Are there other relationships or activities that readers could perceive to have influenced, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work?

Disclosure of 3rd Party Funding

Separately from declaring any conflicts of interest, Cureus also requires that authors disclose any payments or services received from a 3rd party (government, commercial, private foundation, etc.) for any aspect of the submitted work (such as grants, data monitoring board, study design, article preparation, statistical analysis, etc.).

This information is included in a disclosure statement attached to the final published article.

Human and Animal Subjects

Where applicable, Cureus requires that authors provide information detailing the relevant ethical standards which were met when conducting research involving the study of human and/or animal participants or tissue.

Authors are required to provide such information whenever research is conducted on humans or human tissue; on animals or animal tissue; when conducting field studies; or in any instance requiring the approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB). In cases that required IRB approval, the IRB that granted the approval should be named in the article.

This information is included in a disclosure statement attached to the final published article.

Human Subjects Research

For studies involving human subjects, appropriate approval must have been obtained from the relevant institutional review board or ethics committee. Before conducting the research, approval must have been obtained from an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee. The author must also include this information detailing their approval as part of their Materials & Methods section (including the name of the granting organization, the approval reference numbers and, optionally, the statement, approval letter and/or application approval).

Authors must include a statement confirming that informed consent was either obtained or waived. Where possible, a copy of the consent form should be provided as supplemental information. If consent was verbal instead of written, then an explanation should be provided (in the Materials and Methods section) and verbal consent must have been approved by the IRB which gave permission for the study.

Patient privacy and anonymity must be protected. Authors must confirm that no identifying information (such as names, images and identifying data) is included in the article. Exceptions may be made only if the individuals in question have provided explicit approval. For more information about patient privacy, anonymity and informed consent, please refer to the ICMJE Privacy and Confidentiality guidelines.

Animal Research

For studies involving regulated animals (which includes all live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates), appropriate approval must have been obtained according to either international or local laws and regulations. Before conducting the research, approval must have been obtained from an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee. Authors must also include this information detailing their approval as part of their Materials & Methods section (including the name of the granting organization and the protocol number). It should be noted that non-human primates research is subject to specific guidelines from the Weatherall (2006) report (The Use of Non-Human Primates in Research).

For research conducted on non-regulated animals, the author must explain why ethical approval was not required. The handling of experimental animals should be held to the highest standards kept by the author’s institution.

Cureus strongly encourages all authors to comply with the 'Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments' (ARRIVE) guidelines, developed by NC3Rs. Articles should be specific in descriptions of the organism(s) used in the study. When known, these descriptions should indicate strain names.

Publication Ethics and COPE

Cureus adheres to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines. Cureus EICs follow recommended COPE procedures whenever alerted to an issue requiring investigation.

Cureus is committed and adheres to the prevailing industry standards and procedures for investigating publication ethics.

Cureus does not tolerate plagiarism, data or figure manipulation, knowingly providing incorrect information, copyright infringement, inaccurate author attributions, attempts to inappropriately manipulate the peer review process, failures to declare conflicts of interest, fraud and libel. This list should not be considered exhaustive – those with additional questions should investigate additional resources found at the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Cureus pledges to rigorously enforce all standards, and promptly follow up on any transgressions. In extreme cases, this may call for article retraction and the reporting of individuals to their employer, institution or some appropriate body for further investigation. Any complaints or tips regarding the above should be directed to info@cureus.com.

Discipline Specific Standards

We strongly recommend all authors adhere to the reporting standards adopted by their field or study design. The following is a list of standards that should be followed depending on the study type:

Articles reporting on protein structures should follow the standards within the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (a general resource listing reporting standards and worldwide deposition databases for protein information).

Articles reporting on diagnostic accuracy studies (studies evaluating the ability of a test to differentiate between patients who have the target condition and those who do not have the target condition) should follow the STARD requirements.

Articles reporting on clinical trials must follow the WHO definition of a clinical trial. In accordance with the ICMJE guidelines, all trials initiated from July 1st, 2005 must be registered in an approved registry. Unregistered trials will not be considered.

Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses must use the PRISMA statement for clinical articles, which may be used for all non-clinical articles. Authors should include a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram to accompany their text and should state (within their Materials & Methods section) whether a protocol exists for their systematic review (if so, a copy of the protocol must be supplied as supplemental information). Authors may register their systematic review (e.g. in a registry such as PROSPERO) and should provide the registry number in their article. Systematic reviews or meta-analyses should include those terms in the title, abstract and/or full article.

Reports utilizing quantitative real time PCR should follow the MIQE guidelines and checklist.

Articles reporting on microarray experiments should conform to the standards published by the Functional Genomics Data Society, the most well known being the MIAME guidelines. The MIAME checklist must be provided, and all data from the experiments must be deposited in a publicly accessible database (ArrayExpress or GEO) with the accession numbers provided in the article.

Articles which report on medical observational/epidemiological studies (specifically cohort, case-control and cross-sectional studies) must adhere to the STROBE initiative.

In addition, Cureus suggests that authors consult the EQUATOR Network (a general resource listing various reporting standards for health research studies); the MIBBI Portal (a listing of minimum information guidelines from diverse bioscience communities); or the BioSharing site for additional reporting guidelines or checklists which might apply to their work.

Generally speaking, data should be referred to by the most specific identifier available for the database archive to which it is submitted.

Confidentiality

All information regarding submitted articles is confidential, and Cureus will never publicly comment on submitted or rejected articles. Additionally, reviewer identities will remain confidential unless permission is given to reveal those identities. Authors, reviewers and Editors-in-Chief must also treat all correspondence as confidential unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Commenting Policies

Cureus requires that all public comments follow the normal standards of professional discourse. Users must sign in to their Cureus profile in order to comment on an article or poster. Under no circumstances does Cureus allow anonymous or pseudonymous commenting or user profiles. Additionally, Cureus maintains a zero tolerance policy for any language deemed insulting, inflammatory, obscene or libelous.

All comments which do not meet these standards will be removed, while repeat offenders will have their commenting rights revoked.

Cureus publishes all accepted articles under a CC-BY license.

It is the author’s responsibility to obtain the appropriate permissions from the original publisher to republish any previously published text, figures, tables, supplementary information, etc., in an open access journal under a CC-BY license.

Cureus does not accept articles that have previously appeared in a recognized peer-reviewed journal (as this represents dual publication).

Cureus does accept submissions which have previously been presented at conferences or appeared in other ‘non-journal’ venues (for example: blogs or posters).

Retraction Policy

Cureus reserves the right to retract articles that are found to be fraudulent (e.g. containing data manipulation or misrepresentation) or in serious breach of one of our policies. Evidence of plagiarism, falsification of data, or other scientific misconduct associated with a published article is determined at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. Any scientific misconduct will result in removal of the article and the printing of a retraction as is consistent with the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. For more information on the Cureus retraction policy, please contact us at info@cureus.com.