Author Guidelines

 

Manuscript types

The Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery accepts:

  • Original articles
  • Review articles
  • Case reports
  • Case series
  • Perspectives
  • Guides
  • Videos
  • Letters.

 

Standards

All manuscripts submitted to the journal are screened by the editorial team. Manuscripts are immediately rejected if they do not follow the author guidelines, are not in line with the aims of the journal, or are well short of the standard required for publication.

 

Manuscript requirements

Authors should be aware of AJOPS' requirements for manuscript type (word count, abstract structure, number of figures and tables and references). See details on this page.

Authors should refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals in particular their guidelines for preparing manuscripts for submission to medical journals [here].

Reporting guidelines have been developed for different study designs; examples include CONSORT Statement for randomised trials, STROBE for observational studies, PRISMA Statement for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and STARD for studies of diagnostic accuracy.

AJOPS encourages authors to follow these guidelines because they help authors describe the study in enough detail for it to be evaluated by editors, reviewers, readers and other researchers evaluating the medical literature.

Authors of review manuscripts are encouraged to describe the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data; this is mandatory for systematic reviews. Good sources for reporting guidelines are the EQUATOR Network and the NLM's Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.

Source: ICMJE guidelines for preparing manuscripts

Other reporting guidelines that have been developed to assist authors submitting cases include PROCESS for case series and CARE case reports.

 

Human studies—ethics approval

  • The name of the ethics committee and approval number must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript.

 

Clinical trials—registration and reporting

  • AJOPS strongly encourages authors to register trials with the [Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry](http://www.anzctr.org.au/)
  • Clinical trials should be identified in the title of the manuscript
  • Authors should include the name of the trial register and their clinical trial registration number in the Methods section of the manuscript.

 

Randomised control trial—reporting

  • Radomised controlled trials should be identified in the title of the manuscript.

 

Patient consent

A statement confirming that patient consent has been obtained for the publication of related images and data must be included at the end of the text and before the references. For privacy reasons patient consent forms should be held by the treating institution. Use the statement:

"Patients/guardians have given informed consent to the publication of images and/or data."

 

Conflict of interest

Authors must declare any conflicts of interest. This statement should follow the patient consent statement. Use the statement:

"The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose."

 

Funding declaration

Authors must include a statement as to whether or not they have received funding for the research, authorship and/or publication of the paper. This statement should follow the statement on conflict of interest. Use the statement:

"The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article."

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

Full-length reports of current research in either basic or clinical science.

Word count: Maximum 3000 words including abstract, main text, figures/tables

Abstract: Maximum 250 words; structured (include subheadings Introduction, Methods, Results and Conclusion)

Keywords: 5 keywords based on MESH terms

Main text: Structured (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion)

Figures and tables: Maximum 8; each counts as 250 words

References: No limit

 

REVIEW ARTICLES

Systematic review offer a comprehensive analysis of a specific topic with reference to all the available literature. Systematic reviews are evidence-based, have a clearly described methodology, include meta-analysis where appropriate and provide a quantitative summary.

Narrative reviews describe and discuss broad scientific topics with reference to selected literature. They can be evidence-based but generally provide a qualitative summary of the topic.

Word count Maximum 4800 words including abstract, main text, figures/tables

Abstract Maximum 250 words; for systematic reviews use subheadings (Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion); narrative reviews may have an unstructured summary

Keywords5 keywords based on MESH terms

Main text Structured (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion); systematic and narrative review articles should include information about the databases used for literature searches, the time period and how the information was extracted.

Figures and tables Maximum 8; each counts as 250 words

References No limit

 

CASE REPORTS

Case reports describe interesting or unusual cases and provide clinical insight into patient care. The generally accepted format for a case report includes a title, introduction/background, case, discussion, conclusion and references.

Word count Maximum 1000 words 

Introduction: Maximum 150 words; this is an unstructured summary (abstract not required). 

Keywords 3 keywords based on MESH terms

Main text Structured text (Introduction/Background, Case, Discussion and Conclusion)

Figures and tables Maximum 3; these are not included in word count

References Maximum 10

 

CASE SERIES

Case series describe interesting or unusual cases involving one to five patients in similar situations and provide clinical insight into patient care, such as strategies for treatment and management where applicable. The generally accepted format for a case series includes a title, introduction/background, case, discussion, conclusions and references.

Word count Maximum 1500 words 

Introduction: Maximum 150 words; this is an unstructured summary (abstract not required). 

Keywords 3 keywords based on MESH terms

Main text Structured text (Introduction/Background, Case series, Discussion and Conclusion)

Figures and tables Maximum 3; these are not included in word count

References Maximum 15

 

OTHER MANUSCRIPT TYPES

Editorials

Editorials are invited by the Editors-in-Chief. They present views and perspectives related to published articles, current issues or journal policy. They are concise, scholarly, insightful and thought-provoking.

Word count Maximum 1000 words

Figures and tables 1-2; does not contribute to word count

References No limit

 

Features

Features are commissioned by the Editors-in-Chief. They can be on any topic that is of interest to readers that is related to current issues or journal policy. Features are typically articles but other submission types may be commissioned at the discretion of the Editors-in-Chief.

Word count Depending on manuscript type

Abstract Depending on manuscript type

Figures and tables Depending on manuscript type

References No limit

 

Guides

'How I do it' guides are focused descriptions of key aspects of operative technique. The title should start with 'How I do a...' followed by the technique (eg 'How I do Rhinoplasty'). Guides may be accompanied by supplementary material. Guides are evaluated by the Editors-in-Chief and may be subject to peer review at their discretion.

Word count Maximum 750 words

Abstract Not required

Structure Introduction, Operative Technique, Discussion

Figures and tables 1-2; does not contribute to word count

References Maximum 10

Supplementary video Up to 10MB in Quicktime, MPEG or AVI format. Video files should be uploaded to the author's Google Drive or Dropbox and a link sent to the Managing Editor: [email protected]

 

Letters

Letters are brief communications, concisely written, about content published in the journal. Letters offer a perspective or provide information pertinent to a particular topic. For letters responding to another letter, use the title format 'Response to [title of letter]' to ensure that readers can track the discussion.

Word count Maximum 300 words

Abstract Not required

Figures and tables Maximum 1; does not contribute to word count

References Maximum 5

 

Manuscript format

Submissions must adhere to the following format:

  • Microsoft Word file (.doc, .docx) with all identifying information removed
  • double spaced text
  • 12 point Times New Roman
  • first level headings in bold; second level headings in italic; and third level headings underlined
  • page numbers in the top right-hand corner of each page
  • tables embedded at the end of the manuscript, with simple outlines and no shading, limited to one data point to each cell with captions in italic below
  • Figures supplied as separate files with the figure number in the file name.

 

Manuscript parts

Title page

Authors are asked to submit a seperate title page with the following information included:

  • A concise, relevant and accurate title of no more than 80 characters, including spaces
  • Authors' names, qualifications, affiliations and ORCID id:
    • maximum of three qualifications eg MBBS PhD FRACS
    • each author's role/participation in the authorship of the manuscript.
      NB: if a submission has more than five authors, the inclusion of each name must be justified in the covering letter. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under ‘Acknowledgements’
    • NB: joint first authors will be indicated by an * and a note stating equal contribution.
  • Contact details for the corresponding author:
    • full name, postal addresses, email and telephone number.
  • Disclosures: Include a separate disclosure for each of the following:
    • Patient/consent for the publication of any images and/or data relating to the patient
    • Conflicts of interest relating to the authors
    • Financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of the manuscript.
  • Clinical trial registration:
    • Name of trial database where registered
    • Registration number and date registered
  • Ethics approval:
    • Name of review board/ethics committee
    • Ethics approval number
  • Acknowledgements: Authors must acknowledge anyone who contributed to the manuscript who is not an author. Corresponding authors are responsible for obtaining permission to acknowledge individuals and should confirm this in writing by forwarding email acceptance to AJOPS.
  • Word count: Total word count including the abstract and figures and tables (equivalent to 250 words each) NB: References are not included in word count
  • Keywords: AJOPS has adopted the use of medical subject headings or MESH terms a controlled vocabulary of biomedical terms used in MEDLINE (PubMed, PubMed Central).
  • Include five MESH terms for articles and three for cases.

 

Figures

All figures (illustrations and photographs) should:

  • be supplied as separate files
  • include the figure number in the file name
  • be colour, where possible
  • be high-resolution (at least 300 dpi) and saved as a .eps, .tiff or .jpg file and
  • be accompanied by permission from the copyright holder where necessary

In the main body of the text, figures should be cited in consecutive order using Arabic numerals and contained in parentheses (Figure 1)

At the end of the manuscript, after the references, include a list of the figures with:

  • the number and full title of each figure
  • a legend for each figure with definitions of any symbols used and statistical measures of variation, such as standard deviation and error of the mean, identified.

 

Tables

Tables should be:

  • numbered consecutively throughout the text using Arabic numerals
  • be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information contained in the text
  • be presented on a separate page at the end of the manuscript
  • have columns with brief headings with units of measurement in parentheses
  • captioned with definitions of any symbols used and statistical measures of variation, such as standard deviation and error of the mean, identified.

Use the following symbols, in sequence: : †, ‡, §,|, ¶, ††, ‡‡ (*, **, *** should be reserved for P values)

 

References

The journal uses the Vancouver referencing style where references are:

  • numbered sequentially as they occur in the text using Arabic numerals
  • ordered numerically in the reference list at the end of the text
  • complete with all author names (_et al_ is no longer used).

For in-text citations, use:

  • Arabic numerals set in superscript following punctuation with no surrounding parentheses.

For example: 'Your in-text reference marker should appear after punctuation.4'

 

Style Guide

References:

 

Peer review and editorial process

All manuscripts submitted to the journal are screened by the editorial team. Manuscripts are immediately rejected if they do not follow these guidelines, are not in line with the aims of the journal, or are well short of the standard required for publication.

1. When an author submits their manuscript it is downloaded by journal staff and checked to ensure that all the submission requirements have been met. Once the submission is complete it is forwarded to the appropriate section editor for initial assessment.

2. Section editors assess manuscripts for their originality, educational value and scientific validity. If accepted for review, the section editor recommends three external reviewers.

3. Manuscripts have all identifying information removed before undergoing detailed assessment by two or more independent reviewers (double-blind peer review). Depending on the reviewers' recommendation, revised submissions may be accepted for publication or undergo a further round of review. Recommendations regarding revisions or corrections may be offered to help authors re-write their submission. If revisions are required, authors are given four weeks to re-submit their work.

4. A paper may go through more than one round of peer review before a recommendation is reached. The reviewers’ recommendation is sent back to the Section Editor for endorsement before final approval is sought from the Editors-in-Chief.

5. The Editors-in-Chief may accept or decline a submission. Once accepted, the manuscript is ready for editing.

Members of the editorial team can submit their own papers to the journal or appear as a co-author on a paper. When this occurs they are removed from all editorial tasks associated with the paper and another member of the editorial team is assigned responsibility for overseeing the peer review. A competing interest must be declared with the submission and any resulting publication.

The Editors-in-Chief may invite editorials and features. Features are not subject to peer review unless stated. Letters to the editor, media reviews, perspectives and video content are reviewed by the Editors-in-Chief.

If you experience any adverse event arising from review process, or would like to tell us your views, please email [email protected]

Publication

After a manuscript has been through peer review and is accepted for publication it is edited for language and style. When this is complete it is returned to the corresponding author for feedback. Once the author feedback is received, the manuscript undergoes a second round of corrections before the final edited manuscript is returned to the corresponding author for sign off. The final manuscript and associated figures and tables are then sent to typesetting.

Fees

Publication of accepted manuscripts is free for members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS). A small publication fee (AU$500) applies to published papers where none of the authors are members of ASPS or NZAPS. There is no fee for authors of papers invited by the Editors-in-Chief.

Copyright

The _Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery_ is an open access journal. All authors publish their work under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 licence. This licence lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honour or reputation.