Author Guidelines



  - a campaign to provide guidance for researchers when deciding which journal to publish their research in.

Preparation of Manuscript


  • Forename(s) and surnames of authors (see Authorship section below)
  • Author affiliations: department, institution, city, state, country
  • Abstract 300 words
  • 3–6 keywords
  • Running header (shortened title)
  • Corresponding author: name, physical address, phone, fax, email
  • Reference list
  • Double-spacing
  • 3-cm margins
  • Page numbers
  • Clear concise language
  • American spelling
  • Ensure tables and figures are cited 
  • The preferred electronic format for text is Microsoft Word
  • Manuscripts will be accepted in LaTeX as long as the native LaTeX and a PDF is also supplied
  • Use International Systems of Units (SI) symbols and recognized abbreviations for units of measurement
  • Do not punctuate abbreviations eg, et al, ie
  • Spell out acronyms in the first instance in the abstract and paper
  • Word counts are not specified. In general, shorter items range from 1000 to 3000 words and reviews from 3000 to 7,500
  • Generic drug names are used in text, tables, and figures
  • Suppliers of drugs, equipment, and other brand-name material are credited in parentheses (company, name, city, state, country)
  • If molecular sequences are used, provide a statement that the data have been deposited in a publicly accessible database, eg, GenBank, and indicate the database accession number.

While the editors fully understand the extra challenges posed to authors whose native language is not English, we must ask that all manuscripts be reviewed and edited by a native speaker of English with expertise in that area prior to submission.


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; 
3) Final approval of the version to be published; and
4) Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4.

When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (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 manuscript 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 manuscript; 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.

Increasingly, authorship of multicenter trials is attributed to a group. All members of the group who are named as authors should fully meet the above criteria for authorship/contributorship.

The group should jointly make decisions about contributors/authors before submitting the manuscript for publication. The corresponding author/guarantor should be prepared to explain the presence and order of these individuals. It is not the role of editors to make authorship/contributorship decisions or to arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

Changes to authorship

Dove does not permit the changing/adding/deleting of authors after submission of the paper. We support the GPP3 guidelines that indicate addition or removal of an author should only happen in rare cases, such as the work changing substantially in response to the reviewer or Editor's comments. 

Contributors Listed in Acknowledgments

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chairperson who provided only general support. Authors should declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If such assistance was available, the authors should disclose the identity of the individuals who provided this assistance and the entity that supported it in the published article. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under such headings as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described—for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, these persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.

Please note: the Authorship and “Contributors Listed in Acknowledgments” sections are reprinted from the ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Dove Medical Press  prepared this reprint. The ICMJE has not endorsed nor approved the contents of this reprint. The official version of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals is located at Users should cite this official version when citing the document.

Authorship: Common issues

Number of authors


Please note: The "Authorship: Common issues" section was reused from Battisti WP, Wager E, Baltzer L, Bridges D, Cairns A, Carswell CI, et al. Good Publication Practice for Communicating Company-Sponsored Medical Research: GPP3. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163:461-464. doi:10.7326/M15-0288 Appendix Table 2. Common Issues About Authorship.

Related Authors

Where authors of a paper are related this should be disclosed at the time of submission. Please provide details of the family relationship between such authors.

Figures and Tables

  • Submit as separate files and also as one combined file
  • Submit figures as JPG files
  • Number consecutively
  • Provide a descriptive heading/legend
  • Place abbreviations immediately below the table
  • Use superscript a, b, c… as identifiers
  • Supply Line Art 900 dpi, Combination (Line Art + Halftone) 900 dpi, Halftone 300 dpi
  • Graphics downloaded from Web pages are NOT acceptable
  • Submit multi-panel figures, ie with parts labeled a,b,c,d, as one file

Supplementary Data

Any supplementary data should be kept to 4 typeset pages or 2,400 words. If you have any more than this you should provide a link to the supplementary data on an external website, your institute’s website for example, and/or Dove Medical Press may be able to upload the raw supplementary data to the website and provide a link in your paper. We welcome video files either as supplementary data or as part of the actual manuscript to show operations, procedures, etc.  

Clinical Trial Registration

We require the registration of all clinical trials in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment.

Letter to the Editor

Manuscripts submitted as a Letter to the Editor:

  • Should relate to a paper previously published in a Dove Medical Press journal and be a concise account of agreement or disagreements with the published paper, or address an issue of wider concern within the scope of the journal;
  • Have a word count of no more than 750 words;
  • Have references formatted in the Dove Medical Press style.

Photo Essays

Manuscripts submitted as a Photo Essay should focus on the visual aspects of the topic presented. It should be a series of photographs that visually tell the story the author wishes to convey. The photos should be self-explanatory of very high quality. Photographs can be of clinical subjects, laboratory results (eg, slides, scans, magnetic resonance images, ultrasonograms) and therapeutic procedures. A Photo Essay should not exceed 300 words and should have no more than 10 references. The number of photographs is limited to 10, with a limit of 60 words for each legend. Please note that not all journals published by Dove Medical Press accept Photo Essays, please ask before submitting.

Submission of Manuscript

  • All manuscripts should be submitted via our website.  
  • By doing so you agree to the terms and conditions of submission
  • Keep a backup and hard copies of the material submitted


  • Authors are welcome to send an abstract or draft manuscript to obtain a view from the Editor about the suitability of their paper. Please email here and include which journal you are interested in submitting your manuscript to. Our Editors will do a quick review (not peer review) of your paper and advise if they believe it is appropriate for submission to their journal. This will be based on subject matter vs the aims and scope of the journal. It will not be a full review of your manuscript.

Reference Style

See Reference Style Guidelines  


  • You will receive the typeset page proofs for approval
  • Check amendments made by the editor have not rendered the material inaccurate
  • Check you have answered all the editor’s queries
  • Ensure your corrections are minimal and absolutely necessary
  • Mark the adjustments clearly in the text and margins, and keep a copy of what you send to the editor
  • Notify the editorial office of all corrections within 72 hours of your receipt of the material
  • Ensure all authors sign and return the Approval for Publication and final page of Publication Agreement


All Dove journals are members of and subscribe to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

We also support the international standards for editors and authors that were developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in Singapore in 2010.

Rejection Rate

The current rejection rate to May 2015 across all Dove journals is 43%. This has increased slightly from 37% in 2013.

Updated 6 October 2015