Author Guidelines

  1. General Points

Electronic submission: Submissions are only processed online at URL: http://ijer.skums.ac.ir/

Terms of submission

Unsolicited manuscripts will be considered for publication concerning the considerations below:

  1. The originality of the work;
  2. It neither has already been published nor is being examined with another journal; and
  3. The accepted paper will be considered as the sole property of IJER and may be subject to copyediting before publication.

Note: Submission must be done by one of the authors.

  1. Reporting Guidelines

Reporting guidelines have been codified for different types of works, including STROBE for observational studies, CONSORT for randomized trials,  PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and STARD for studies of diagnostic accuracy. Authors must follow these guidelines since they assist authors in describing the study in sufficient detail so that the work can be examined easily and systematically. Authors of systematic reviews must explain the protocols used for finding, choosing, retrieving, and synthesizing data. Reliable resources of reporting guidelines are the NLM's Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives and the EQUATOR Network.

  1. Types of Articles

Manuscripts should be in one of the formats below:

Full Original Research

Full original research must represent research, be methodologically accurate, and be relevant to global health policy and management. A manuscript reporting original research should include a clear aim or hypothesis; design and materials and methods (including study setting, participants, inclusion and exclusion criteria, sampling and data); statistical analysis and interpretations; the main results of the study, discussion of the findings; study limitations and the conclusion. An original research article must be written in around 5000 words, including tables, figures, and references, and should present novel observations pertinent to the journal’s scope. The abstract should be structured and include a maximum of 250 words. A total of 5 Tables/Figures are allowed to appear and there is no limitation for the number of references. A total of 6 Tables/Figures are allowed to appear and the number of references should not exceed 45.

Reviews

A review article (up to ~8000 words, including tables, figures, and references) must include an abstract and discussion of the literature relevant to any subject consistent with the journal’s scope. Review articles must include brief material and methods, be well-focused, and sensibly document evaluations of timely related subjects. The abstract should be structured and not exceed 250 words. A total of 5 Tables/Figures are allowed to appear and there is no limitation for the number of references.

Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews should raise a clear narrow research question and be done using a reproducible methodology, including an inclusive search protocol to seek out unpublished and published works using a screening process according to inclusion and exclusion criteria, PRISMA follow diagram and checklist, the process of evaluating the quality of studies and bias risk, acceptable reasons for excluding studies, reliable and valid quality assessment instruments used to conduct the review, data extraction tools and protocols, and qualitative and quantitative analysis (meta-analysis). The abstract must be structured and not exceed 250 words.

Mini-Reviews

Mini-Reviews represent reasonably focused and appropriately documented evaluations of timely relevant subjects. They should be written in approximately 4000 words (including tables, figures, and references). The subjects may be controversial or may be relevant to a sharply focused field compared to those conventionally addressed in reviews. The abstract should be structured and contain a maximum of 250 words.

Short Communications

The updated guidelines to prepare short communications appear in the Guide for Authors. Short communications aim to present a preliminary report and quickly propagate original and significant information. For example, a short communication may accentuate a special aspect of a question or a novel finding that may be especially noticeable. Short articles include but are not limited to innovations in modeling and simulation, development of new materials, novel theories and experiments, and mechanisms explanation, and therefore particularly influence the field rather than reports on incremental research.

Communications should be written in approximately 2000 words, including tables, figures, and references. The publication should have an unstructured abstract (in at most 150 words), main text, and 8-15 references, as well as 1-2 Tables/Figures.

Short Communications are published following the topical sections in the table of contents with the Short Communication heading.

Commentaries

Commentaries represent the author’s viewpoint and should contain approximately 1000 words (tables, figures, and references) to critique an original research article to be published and are conventionally submitted by the reviewers. The abstract should be unstructured and be written in 100-150 words. A total of three Tables/Figures are allowed to appear in the publication with a maximum of 10-15 references.

Case reports

Case reports are to present extremely rare cases (described in a maximum of ~1500 words, including tables, figures, and references). These reports must contain an introduction, case description, discussion, and conclusions. Patient confidentiality must be ensured. No identifying facts should appear. The patient should provide consent if applicable. The abstract should be unstructured and not exceed 150 words. A total of 1-2 Tables/Figures are allowed to appear in the report with at most 10-15 references.

Letters to Editor

Letter to Editor represents the author’s idea (within a maximum of ~1000 words including tables, figures, and references). If a letter challenges an article’s content already appearing in the journal, the authors of the article will be provided an opportunity to publish their response in the same issue where the letter appears. The total number of Tables/Figures should not exceed one and 10-15 references are allowed.

  1. Preparation of Manuscripts Text

Manuscripts submitted must be in DOC format written with Times New Roman (size 12) and be double-spaced. Authors are advised to see an article recently published in the journal.

Blinded article file: This file should contain the main text, from Abstract until References (including tables). The file should contain no information on the authors' names or initials, affiliations, or acknowledgments. 

a. Title page

Publication Types: Original Article, Review Article, Short Communication, Letter to Editor, Viewpoint, etc.

Article title: The title represents a brief description of the whole work and should include facts that, along with the abstract, will help to specifically and sensitively retrieve the article from electronic databases. The IJER requires that information on the study design be included in the title (especially systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and randomized trials).  Complex or numerous chemical formulae and long systematic names should be avoided as much as possible.

Running title: A short title of no more than 40 characters (including spaces) must be provided as well.

Authors’ names: Full names (first, middle, and family) for all the authors of an article should be provided followed by the superscript number(s) for their respective affiliation(s) (for example, Mark Junior Smiths1). The name(s) of the corresponding author(s) should be followed by an asterisk (e.g., Mark Junior Smiths*). In the case of an ambiguous family name (e.g., a double name), the ambiguity should be clarified. In addition, the affiliations of all the authors should be provided and specified with superscript numbers before correspondence information (e.g. Faculty of ….). For all authors, Open Researcher and Contributor Identification (ORCID) should be provided.

Correspondence: Complete postal address(es), telephone and fax number(s) (with country and area code) and email(s) of the corresponding author(s) must be provided.

Disclosure of relationships and activities: Disclosure information of each author must be a part of the manuscript; The ICMJE has codified a uniform Disclosure Form for use by ICMJE member journals, yet the ICMJE advises the authors to adopt it for other journals. Despite this form, editors may need to declare disclosure of relationships and activities on the manuscript’s title page or other sections so that the corresponding author does not need to collect disclosure forms from all authors.

b. Abstract page

Abstract: A factual concise abstract (up to 250 words) is needed. The abstract must be assumed as separate from the main. Citing references in the abstract must be avoided. In addition, non-standard abbreviations should be avoided; however, they must be defined in their first appearance if they are needed. The abstracts of original research articles, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses must be structured. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should incorporate the study's purpose, basic procedures (sampling, settings, measurements, statistics), main results including statistical and clinical significance if applicable), and conclusions. 

Keywords: Three to six keywords must be provided after the abstract. (Notice: Readers conventionally use search engines to retrieve publications using keywords; therefore, keywords should be identifiable for databases for visibility purposes.)

Keywords must be selected from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and the abstract should precisely represent the article’s content.

Notice: Original research articles may also be published in their brief format by the editor’s offer. The authors can also submit their manuscripts for potential publication in a brief format. An unstructured abstract of a maximum of 200 words is essential. The main body should be limited to 2000 words, without any headings or subheadings. At most 2 Tables and/or Figures are allowed to appear and the maximum number of references should be 15.

c. Introduction

This section should unambiguously and summarily (up to 600 words) represent satisfactory literature. The final paragraph of this section should clearly state the work’s main objectives.

d. Materials and Methods (Patients and Methods for clinical investigations)

This section should give so sufficient details that readers could reproduce the procedure. The manufacturing details of the instruments used (e.g., company’s name, city, country) and their catalog number, if applicable, should also be provided. Procedures described in previous publications should be referred to, and only modifications should be explained. Potential risks that may be faced throughout the experiments should be stated. Any risks related to procedures, chemicals, or instruments should be clarified. If it is necessary to use live animals or humans, the author must clearly state that all experiments were conducted as per respective regulations and institutional instructions and also mention the institutional committee(s) that approved the study protocol. It should also be stated that informed consent was provided by human subjects for any experimentation with them.

i. Selection and Description of Participants

The sampling of observational or experimental participants (healthy individuals or patients, including controls) should be fully and clearly explained, such as inclusion and exclusion criteria and the source population. Because the relevance of such variables as age, sex, or ethnicity is not consistently known at the time of study design, researchers should aim for the inclusion of representative populations into all study types and at least provide descriptive data for them and other related demographic variables.

The terms related to sex and gender should be used appropriately, otherwise, the gender of study participants and the sex of animals or cells must be reported, and the methods of determining sex and gender must be described. If the study has been conducted with only one sex, authors should give the reason, except in obvious cases, (e.g., prostate cancer). Authors should describe the procedure to determine race or ethnicity and explain their relevance. Authors should use precise and respectful terms to describe participants and avoid stigmatizing language.

ii. Technical Information

The study's main and secondary aims–namely primary and secondary objectives-should be determined. Procedures and instruments (followed by the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses) should be explained in sufficient detail to allow the readers to repeat the study protocol. Established procedures, such as statistical methods (see below), should have references; methods that have already appeared but are not widely known should also have references and briefly described; considerably modified or new procedures should be described, their use should be justified, and their limitations should be mentioned. All chemicals and drugs, such as generic names, doses, and administration routes must be mentioned. Scientific and genes’ names should be properly provided.

iii. Statistics

Data analysis methods should be clearly and sufficiently described to allow access to the original data to decide whether they are appropriate for study purposes and to verify the obtained results. If applicable, findings should be quantified and presented with appropriate measures of error or uncertainty (e.g., confidence intervals), because statistical hypothesis testing, such as P values, alone may not represent decisive information on estimate precision and effect size. The design of the study and statistical methods should be supported by referring to standard works as much as possible. Statistical terms, symbols, and abbreviations should be defined. The statistical software package(s) including their versions must be mentioned. Exploratory analyses, including subgroup analyses, should be specified.

e. Results

Results should be presented in a logical sequence through the text, tabulation, and illustrations, with the main findings, reported first. Do not repeat reporting the data through both tabulation and illustration and in the text. Data on all primary and secondary outcomes already determined in the Methods section should be provided. Supplementary materials and technical nuances can be given in an appendix so that they will also be accessible but will not interrupt the text, or they can appear only in the journal's electronic version.

Numeric results should be expressed as both derivatives (for example, percentages) and the absolute number from which the derivative had already been drawn. The number of tables and figures should be limited so that they will really contribute to the argument of the study and to supporting data. Tables with numerous entries can be replaced with graphs. Technical terms in statistics should not be used non-technically, such as random (suggesting a randomizing device) and normal, significant, etc.

Data should be reported by demographic characteristics, e.g., gender and age.

f. Discussion

It is recommended to briefly state the main results, and potential explanations or mechanisms for them at the beginning of the discussion. The novel and substantial dimensions of the work should be accentuated and the findings should be contextualized in the whole previous relevant observations. The limitations of the study, the potential implications of the observations for the clinical settings, and further studies should be stated, as well. If applicable, the potential impact or relationship of studied variables, including gender and age, should be discussed concerning the findings, and the data's limitations. Do not repeat the information provided in other sections of the paper.

g. Conclusion

The potential relationships between conclusions and the objective (s) of the work should be explored but unqualified arguments not sufficiently backed by the data should not be addressed. Especially, statistical and clinical significance should be clarified, and arguments about economic aspects should be avoided unless the work entails relevant economic aspects. New hypotheses must be adequately supportable and be clearly labeled.

h. References

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the citations concerning the content of the respective references, which should be numbered sequentially in order of their appearance in the manuscript's text, and the numbers should be superscripted with no parentheses. The references should be listed in a separate section, under the References heading, following the manuscript's text and double-spaced. Unpublished observations or results and personal communications should be parenthesized in the text.

The references should have been published within the past 5 years.

References list must be organized as per the Vancouver style including the following items:

Numbered references should appear at the end of the article and consist of surnames and initials of all authors when six or less; otherwise, list the first six and then add et al. The title of the article, the name of the journal, the year of publication, the volume (issue) number, and the first and last page numbers should also be provided.

Authors. Title. Journal's name (Abbreviated according to the MEDLINE). Year; Volume (Issue): first-page number-last-page number.

Notice: In case of the standardized abbreviations of the names of the journals that are not indexed in the MEDLINE, consult the ISSN List of Title Word Abbreviations available at: https://www.issn.org/services/online-services/access-to-the-ltwa/

Example:

Larkin J, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, Grob JJ, Cowey CL, Lao CD, et al. Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab or Monotherapy in Untreated Melanoma. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(1):23-34.

For books, the names and initials of all authors, the full title, place of publication, publisher, year of publication, and page numbers should be provided.

Authors. Title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year. (pp. Page Numbers of Chapter).

i. Tables

Tables should be prepared in either DOC or RTF format. Tables are aimed to convey information briefly and show it clearly; they also increase the precision of the information presented. Tabulating data rather than reporting them in text allows shortening the manuscript's length.

Tables must be numbered consecutively in the order of their first appearance in the text and be preceded by a short and self-explanatory title. Tables’ titles should allow readers to comprehend their content without consulting the manuscript’s text. All tables must be cited in the main text.

Give each column a short or an abbreviated heading. Authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain all nonstandard abbreviations in footnotes, and use symbols to explain information if needed. Symbols may vary from journal to journal (alphabet letter or such symbols as *, †, ‡, §), so check each journal's instructions for authors for required practice. Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean.

In case data from another published or unpublished source is used, permission must be obtained and the source should be acknowledged completely.

Additional tables containing backup data that are too comprehensive to be published in printable version may be accessible in the journal’s electronic version, provided by an archival service, or the authors will supply them for the readers directly. In this case, it must be informed to the readers from where this additional information can be accessed. Such tables should also be submitted with the manuscript so that they can be examined by peer reviewers.

j. Figures

The figures must be prepared with a resolution of at minimum 300 dpi at full size (after publication). In the case of diagnostic images including ultrasound and CT scan, and also pictures of specimens or photomicrographs, the image file should have high resolution. Before-and-after images should be taken with the same resolution, light color, and direction. Because blots serve as primary evidence in a wide variety of scientific articles, the journal may require the deposition of their original images on the website.

Figures, as with tables, should be self-explanatory, because they may be used separately in slide presentations. Titles and detailed explanations must be provided in the captions, not on the illustrations.

Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Arrows, symbols, or letters in photomicrographs should be detectable from the background. The internal scale should be explained and staining methods in photomicrographs should be identified.

Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order by which they appear in the text. If a figure has been published previously, the source must be stated and written permission obtained from the copyright holder must be submitted for its reproduction. Permission is essential under any circumstances except for materials in the public domain.

Notice: All tables and figures must be inserted into and cited in the manuscript’s main text (e.g., Table 1).

k. Units of Measurement

Measures of height, length, weight, and volume should be expressed in metric units or their decimal multiples.

The temperature should be expressed in degrees Celsius (°C). Blood pressure should be expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) unless other units are specifically required.

Authors must consult the Information for Authors for reporting units of measures and should report laboratory information in both local and International System of Units (SI).

Editors may require the authors to use non-SI or alternative units because SI units are not universally used. Medication concentrations can be reported in either SI or mass units, but the alternative units should be parenthesized where appropriate.

1. Abbreviations and Symbols

Only standard abbreviations should be used as nonstandard abbreviations may confuse the readers. The parenthesized abbreviation preceded by the spelled-out abbreviation should be provided at first appearance unless the abbreviation represents a standard unit of measurement.

Ethical Issues

Clinical or experimental studies may face ethical challenges (e.g., Institutional Ethical Approval for working with animal or human subjects). Therefore, all authors, reviewers, and editors are required to take into consideration the guidelines codified by COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)ICMJE, and Equator Network in both research ethics and scientific writing. If applicable, authors should state relevant declaration(s), otherwise, the following sentence should be provided: “None to be declared".

The cover letter must include a statement declaring that the study complies with current ethical considerations.

Ethical considerations (including plagiarism, data fabrication, misconduct, falsification, duplicate, or redundant publication) must be fully observed by the authors.

Please consult the guidelines below provided by COPE for editors and reviewers that may also be useful for authors:

Ethical considerations

In addition, the institutional ethics code (for all types of studies) and clinical trial registration number (for RCTs), if applicable, should be written in the Ethical approval section.

Human subjects

Studies on human subjects must include a statement in the Materials and Methods section reading that the study is following ethical considerations, the approval was obtained from the respective ethics committee, and also participants provided written informed consent. As well, the study protocol must comply with the ethical standards of human experimentation as per the 1975 Helsinki Declaration codified by the National Academy of Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication 86-23 revised 1985).

Experimental animals

Reports of animal studies must include a statement in the “Materials and Methods” section reading that the study was done following ethical considerations and approval was obtained from the respective ethics committee for the protocol. Besides, it must be stated that human care for the animals used in this study was provided following the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals".

Informed Consent

For reporting studies on human subjects, any applicable ethical considerations and informed consent must be mentioned in the "Materials and Methods" section. The author is required to state in this section that informed consent was provided by human subjects for conducting experiments on them. As JHP follows ICMJE, please consult their guideline for further information.

Conflict of Interests

The authors must briefly state any conflict of interest in the final paragraph of the manuscript. All sources of funding must be mentioned. If the research has been funded by no institution, the following sentence should appear in this section: “Authors declare no conflict of interests”.

To prevent the authors’ potential conflict of interest from being overlooked, it is strongly recommended to provide this information in the cover letter. Authors must determine all types of potential conflicts of interest before the initiation of the review process. Declared conflict of interest will not necessarily lead to rejection of the manuscript rather the editors will be required to publish the declared conflict of interest in the accepted manuscript. The followings are some examples of conflicts of interest:

  1. Direct financial payment made to an author for the study or manuscript production by the funder of a service or product examined in the study;
  2. Ownership of contributions by an author in the company funding a product service examined in a study (or in a company funding a competing product); and
  3. Personal consulting for other institutions or companies with a financial interest in promoting specific products and services.

Source of Funding

Authors must declare the source of funding for their research at the submission of the manuscript. Suppliers of equipment and materials including their place (e.g., city, country) should be stated as well. The information will appear in the Acknowledgements of the published manuscript.

Open Access and Copyright

The International Journal of Epidemiologic Research (IJER) is a Platinum Open Access Journal disseminated based on the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which authorizes anyone to copy, remix, redistribute, adapt, and transmit the work in case the source is appropriately referred to. At the submission of an article, authors must declare their agreement to adhere to an open access Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0) by signing the copyright form found in the link: Template Copyright Form. According to these terms, authors reserve ownership of their article’s copyright. The license is aimed to ensure that the article will be accessible as much as possible and that the article can be indexed in as many scientific archives as possible. The PDF files and abstracts of all articles published in the journal are accessible free of charge to everyone immediately after publication.

Acknowledgment

Authors must disclose any types of technical, scientific, financial, and statistical assistance. Contributors who do not fulfill the prerequisites of authorship may be shortly acknowledged in the final paragraph of the manuscript. All funding sources must be disclosed.

In the Acknowledgements, the date and the code of the approval document issued for the protocol of the study from which the paper has been obtained must be stated.

ORCID

All authors of the articles published in the IJER should have an ORCID in the Scientific CV platform. If needed, please refer to the ORCID website and register to have your ORCID issued.

Editorial Policies Outline

The International Journal of Epidemiologic Research (IJER) follows the guidelines of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) policies, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing and publishing of scientific works.

Authorship

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), eligibility criteria for authorship are as follows:

  1. Considerable involvement in study design and conception, or the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data;
  2. The drafting of the manuscript or critical examination for important intellectual content;
  3. Approval of the final version of the manuscript before publishing;
  4. Provident agreement to be responsible for all dimensions of the reported study to ensure that queries on the rectitude or integrity of all parts of the article will be properly examined.

Authorship means substantial contributions to all the above-mentioned criteria; otherwise, the person(s) involved in conducting the study or drafting the manuscript should be acknowledged.

Sole participation in funding, data collection, or overall supervision of the research team does not mean authorship.

The authors’ list should follow the extent of their contribution to conducting the study and writing the manuscript. The list submitted with the initial completed submission cannot be changed without the provision of the written agreement of all the authors in the following steps of the manuscript processing and statement of the reason for the change through an email sent by all the authors.

Notice: The journal is not responsible for addressing or concluding any type of dispute regarding authorship disputes. Any change in a published article’s authorship can be made only if an erratum or correction is published.

For further information, please refer to “the International Standards for Authors" recommended by COPE.

The IJER Authorship Standards

  1. Authors’ names should not be added and deleted, and their order should not be changed after the manuscript submission;
  2. Each article must have at least one corresponding author;

       3. Authors are advised not to be co-first authors. Authors in the same institution could not be the co-first authors.

Clinical Trial Registry

The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as “any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome.”  According to the definition, the IJER considers the reports of clinical trials that hold a clinical trial registry code allowing all potential readers free online access to them for publishing. Based on the IJER’s policy, it is mandatory to register the protocols of trials in a public registry approved by the ICJME -- a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform available from the following link:

www.who.int/ictrp/network/primary/en/index.html

Research Reporting Instructions

Authors are recommended to refer to the EQUATOR Network reporting instructions below to prepare their manuscript:

  • Observational studies in epidemiology: STROBE guidelines and MOOSE guidelines
  • Randomized controlled trials (RCTs): CONSORT guidelines
  • Quality improvement studies: SQUIRE guidelines
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: PRISMA guidelines and MOOSEguidelines
  • Case reports guidelines: CAREguidelines
  • Diagnostic accuracy studies: STARD guidelines

Preprints and conference articles

Information welcomes submissions presented as preprints if they have not been peer-reviewed. A preprint is a draft of an article available online before submission to a journal.

Authors are allowed to present their preprint with no restrictions on place and time.

If the manuscript is accepted for publishing, the authors are strongly encouraged to link from the preprint to their formal publication via its Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Conference papers are considered as expanded and high-quality provided that they meet the requirements below: (1) Expanded to the requirements of original research; (2) made reference to and appearing on the article’s first page; (3) if the authors do not hold the copyright of the published conference paper, they should obtain the acceptable permission from the copyright holder; (4) authors are requested to declare in the cover letter that the manuscript is a conference paper and changes with reference to the original conference paper. Pilot studies (including works of unqualified statistical robustness) are not published.