An Introduction to Publishing with Cureus
Cureus is committed to providing easy, timely and affordable article publication. By offering a largely do-it-yourself publishing process, we expect all submitting authors to adhere to our rigorous submission process and requirements. This stringent process ensures that all articles meet the Cureus standard and also allows for many of our authors to publish at no cost.
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.
Important: 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. Articles published in Cureus will appear in PubMed Central approximately six weeks after publication.
Article Draft to Publication Process
If you encounter technical issues during the submission process, please email [email protected].
- The submitting author enters all article information, including all co-authors and corresponding affiliations, and copy-pastes the article text while adding 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 potential reviewers. (View our comprehensive Author Instructions for a more detailed look at the submission process.)
Once satisfied with the article draft, the author submits the article for an initial review by the Cureus editorial team. (Channel and competition articles are exempt.) Based on this review, the article will be directed down one of the following paths:
- If all Cureus editorial requirements have been met, the article will be forwarded for a more in-depth review before ultimately entering peer review.
- If substantial copy editing is needed, our Preferred Editing service will be required to proceed.
- If severe language issues are present, professional third-party language editing services will be required prior to resubmission.
The article is approved for peer review after the following has been confirmed:
- All Cureus editorial requirements have been addressed.
- Preferred Editing service has been purchased, if required.
- Professional third-party language editing services have been utilized, if required.
The article is unlocked for editing when two reviews have been submitted. The author may now choose to:
- Wait for additional reviews (all article versions are saved and available to the author and reviewers) before revising and submitting for publication approval.
- Make revisions and request that the article is re-reviewed by those same reviewers.
- Make revisions and submit for publication approval, while also providing a brief explanation of the revisions.
- Upon receiving the publication request, the editor ensures that all reviewer comments have been acknowledged. If the revised manuscript does not adequately reflect reviewer feedback, the editor is likely to defer publication of the article. The author is then notified that further revision is required.
- The author is notified via email when the article has been approved for publication. The author signs in and publishes the article and also rates 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 2-3 weeks of submission. In order to accelerate the review process, authors are encouraged to invite multiple reviewers with relevant domain knowledge.
Qualifying for Free Publication
As stated above, all non-channel and non-competition article submissions receive an initial review to determine if the article meets all Cureus editorial requirements (as listed in this Author Guide) and qualifies for free publication
This initial review focuses on the following areas: reference formatting and accuracy; media quality, formatting, labels and placement; spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation errors; author names and affiliations, proper use of acronyms and initialisms; text and article formatting.
Articles with minimal errors will be permitted to publish for free. (Preferred Editing will be an option for those authors who wish to purchase it.) Articles with too many errors will be required to purchase our Preferred Editing service (use our calculator to estimate potential editing fees) and articles with severe language issues will require professional language editing by a third party in order to be considered for peer review and free publication in Cureus. Please note that DIY editing services such as Grammarly will not be accepted.
Accepted Article Types
Cureus accepts five article types. To be considered for publication, each article type must include the sections listed below. Only original articles may include abstract subheadings.
Original articles report original research and are classified as primary literature. This is the most common type of journal manuscript used to publish full reports of data from research. Original articles may also be referred to as research article, research, or just article, as this format is suitable for many different fields and different types of studies. Meta-analysis articles should be submitted as original articles. Cureus is very selective regarding submissions that utilize survey-based methodologies concerning general knowledge, awareness and attitudes without a clear scientific impact.
Original articles are limited to 30 references and contain the following sections: abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references.
Review articles give an overview of existing literature in a field, often identifying specific problems or issues and providing a balanced analysis derived from available published work on the topic. Review articles provide a comprehensive summary of research on the selected topic, and a perspective on the state of the field and where it is heading. Review articles can be one of two types, broadly speaking: literature reviews or systematic reviews. Cureus does not accept “brief” or “mini” reviews. Bibliometric analysis articles are only accepted when correctly submitted to a Cureus channel.
Review articles are limited to 5 authors and 50 references and contain the following sections: abstract, introduction and background, review, conclusions, references.
Case reports present the details of real patient cases from medical or clinical practice. Cases may contribute significantly to the existing knowledge on the field or showcase less novel results. The report is expected to discuss the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease. A goal of case reports is to make other researchers aware of the possibility that a specific phenomenon might occur.
Case reports are limited to 5 authors and 20 references and contain the following sections: abstract, introduction, case presentation, discussion, conclusions, references.
Technical reports are formal reports designed to convey technical information in a clear and easily accessible format. They are typically divided into sections which allow different readers to access different levels of information. A technical report (also scientific report) is a document that describes the process, progress, or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusions of the research.
Technical reports are limited to 5 authors and 20 references and contain the following sections: abstract, introduction, technical report, discussion, conclusions, references.
Editorials include perspective pieces, opinion articles or commentaries. Before submitting an editorial, the author must communicate via email with Cureus Editors-in-Chief to directly convey the rationale and importance of the proposed article. Editorials will only be approved if submitted by senior clinicians or researchers with an established publishing history.
Editorials are limited to 5 authors and 5 references and contain the following sections: abstract, editorial, references.
Before Getting Started: SEO Tips to Boost Article Visibility
It’s important to do everything you can to boost the search engine visibility of your articles. Here are two easy tips that will help drive your articles to the top of search engine results.
Optimizing Article Keywords
The majority of traffic to your published article will arrive directly from Google. Increase your article’s discoverability with these easy tips:
- Create a search engine friendly title. (Include 1-2 keywords related to your topic.)
- Optimize your abstract. (Place keywords in the first two sentences and repeat several times throughout the remainder of your abstract.)
- Use keywords throughout your article. (Make sure the keywords are consistent with your topic and field of study.)
Backlinking to Cureus Articles
Do you have a profile or bio page on your hospital or university’s website? Adding hyperlinks on this page that link to your Cureus articles will provide a big boost to their “importance” in the eyes of Google and other search engines. The result? Higher ranked results when your article’s topic or keyword are searched.
The Role of the Submitter
Articles should be submitted by the author. The submitting author will assume all responsibility throughout the article’s peer review and publication. The submitting author may designate a co-author to serve as corresponding author.
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 merit-based publication system, in which we publish all articles that satisfy Cureus editorial requirements and contain no fraudulent or dangerous science. It is the submitting author’s responsibility to meet us halfway by submitting an article draft that meets all listed editorial requirements.
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 it cannot be changed after moving on to the Title, etc. section.
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 see how the published version will be displayed.Abstract
Enter your article abstract. Abstracts are limited to 3,500 characters. Subheaders are permitted in original article abstracts only.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.
Add any additional co-authors (including email addresses and complete affiliation including location). Review articles, case reports, technical reports and editorials may feature a maximum of five authors. (Original articles do not have an author limit.) Each additional entry must include an email address and affiliation with location included. Medical students should list the article category as their department (e.g. neurosurgery, family medicine, etc.). When adding authors who already have confirmed Cureus accounts, no author information may be entered or changed, however, each co-author must update his/her profile to ensure a complete name and affiliation is listed.
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.
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.
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.
Enter the main article content here. Article sections will vary depending on the article type selected earlier in the submission process. We do not recommend 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 are added automatically.
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.
The conclusions section should be 1-2 paragraphs. Articles with 1-2 sentence conclusions will not be accepted.
Numbers 1-9 should be spelled out except in cases of measurement. (e.g. 7 mm) Numbers higher than nine should be entered numerically. (10, 100, 463, 1,932, etc.)
Citations: References should be cited using square brackets. These must be placed at the end of the sentence before the period. For example: This is an example sentence . 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, video or interactive model titles. They should instead be included in the media legend or table cells.
Media: Media is not permitted in the abstract, introduction or conclusions section of any article type. The only exception is the introduction section of a review article. Each article is permitted up to 25 media items.
To add media to your article first place your cursor in the desired location in the article section text field and click one of the Insert Figure, Table, Video or Interactive Model buttons on the article section toolbar. You will then be prompted to upload the figure, paste or create the table or paste the video or interactive model URL and add a title and optional legend.
Please visit our Media Guide for detailed instructions on adding each media type as well as examples of unacceptable media.
Subheaders: Cureus allows for three levels of subheaders. Both types of subheaders should be followed by a line return before the next paragraph begins.
Major subheaders should be formatted using the subheader style found in the “Styles” dropdown menu. Major subheaders should be in sentence case, i.e. the first word should be capitalized and all other words should be in lowercase, except proper nouns and acronyms/initialisms (such as GBM, SRS, etc.).
Minor subheaders should be in title case and italicized. If the article contains a third level of subheader, it should be in sentence case and lead off the paragraph, followed by a colon. E.g. Patient zero: This patient exhibited signs of…
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.
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.
For more detailed instructions, please view the References section.
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.
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.
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.
Purchasing Preferred Editing Service or Uploading Third Party Editing Service Receipt
If, after submission, you receive an email stating that our Preferred Editing service is required, you will be prompted to enter your payment information and resubmit the article.
If, after submission, you receive an email stating that professional third-party language editing is required, you will be prompted to enter the name of the service and upload an invoice or receipt when resubmitting the article.
Managing the Peer Review Process
You can oversee your article’s peer review from the My Documents tab of your dashboard. Monitor peer review progress with up-to-the-minute statistics, remind invited reviewers or invite new ones and view reviewer comments as they are submitted.
The maximum allowed number of references varies by article type:
- Review articles: 50 references
- Original articles: 30 references
- Technical reports: 20 references
- Case reports: 20 references
- Editorials: 5 references
The DOI (digital object identifier) is a string of numbers that uniquely identifies a published article. The DOI is permanently assigned to an article and provides a persistent link to current information about that article, including location. This enables readers to find the online article irrespective of any subsequent changes in the web site structure, in the management responsibility of the journal in which it was first published, or the location of the website on which the journal is hosted.
Cureus requires DOI numbers, when available, to be included in all references. If a DOI was not assigned, then try to find a link to the published paper and add the URL to the corresponding field in the reference
If you have a PubMed ID, but no DOI, you can try searching for the DOI using this tool.
Citing Unpublished Material
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 without DOI, poster, unpublished data or personal communication, please include the citation within the text of your article.
To cite an abstract without DOI, poster or other unpublished material in the body of your article, please use the following format: (Type of unpublished material: Author names. Title in Title Case. Meeting Title (if applicable); Date). If needed, repeated subsequent citations for the same item should be shortened to include first author name and date as follows: (Type of unpublished material: First author name, date).
References should be cited using square brackets. These should be placed at the end of the sentence before the period. For example: This is an example sentence . 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 seven authors, 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: The health impacts of globalization: a conceptual framework. Global Health. 2005, 1:14-16. Accessed: January 25, 2012. http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/1/1/14.
Article within a journal
Koonin EV, Altschul SF, Bork P: BRCA1 protein products: functional motifs. Nat Genet. 1996, 13:266-267.
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. Lewin RA (ed): Chapman and Hall, New York; 1993. 2:53-76.
Whole issue of journal
Ponder B, Johnston S, Chodosh L (Eds): Innovative oncology. In Breast Cancer Res 1998, 10:1-72.
Margulis L: Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. Yale University Press, New Haven; 1970.
Book with institutional author
Advisory Committee on Genetic Modification: Annual Report. London; 1999.
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 invite 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:
- 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).
- 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.)
- Declare all relevant conflicts of interest on behalf of all co-authors.
- 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).
- 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.
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 [email protected].
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.
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.
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