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IJMSC Information for Authors

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The International Journal of MS Care (IJMSC) is a peer-reviewed international publication focusing on multiple sclerosis (MS)and related autoimmune disorders of the central nervous system. The primary goal of IJMSC is to publish original articles covering various clinical aspects of MS, particularly those relevant to the multidisciplinary management of the disease and its consequences.

Topics include neurologic, nursing, rehabilitative, psychological, and psychosocial care and quality-of-life issues of people with MS and reflect the diversity of the journal’s readership. Categories of manuscripts considered include original research, clinically relevant reviews of the literature, short reports, case reports, consensus statements, controversies, book reviews, and letters to the editor.

EDITORIAL OFFICE CONTACT INFORMATION

Charlene Belsole, Project Manager, IJMSC, Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research, U10 Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44119; fax: 216-445-0331; IJMSC@mscare.org .

POLICIES FOR AUTHORS

Editorial and publication policies for authors are based on the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) ( http://www.icmje.org/ ). In addition, IJMSC follows the guidelines for publication ethics put forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ( http://publicationethics.org/ ) and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) ( http://www.wame.org/ ).

Authorship. Individuals designated as authors must 1) substantially contribute to the conception and design or acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data; 2) draft or critically revise the article for important intellectual content; 3) approve the final version; AND 4) a gree 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 or other contributors who do not meet all four criteria should be recognized in the Acknowledgments section. Generally, no more than six authors should be listed.

For further details, refer to our Authorship and Contributorship Policy. All authors (the corresponding author and each coauthor) whose papers have been accepted for publication must read, complete, and sign an Authorship Form that includes a Copyright Transfer Agreement, an Authorship Statement, and a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement. An e-mail with a link to the Authorship Form is included in the acceptance letter (see sample Authorship Form ).

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest. Authors must disclose all relationships (financial and nonfinancial) that could be viewed as presenting conflicts of interest. Disclosures for all authors should be listed in a Disclosures section at the end of the manuscript, following the Acknowledgments section and preceding the References. If an author has no conflicts of interest to disclose, this should be stated. In addition, each author must declare conflicts of interest as part of the online manuscript submission process. For further details, refer to our Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy .

Funding/Support. All financial and material support for the work should be clearly and completely identified in a Funding/Support section at the end of the manuscript, following the Disclosures section and preceding the References. Write “none” or an equivalent statement if applicable.

Ethical Approval of Studies. For studies involving human participants, institutional review board or ethics committee approval should be reported in the Methods section, as well as the obtainment of informed consent or waiver of informed consent. All human investigation must be conducted according to the principles expressed in the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (October 2013 version; for the full text, see https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/ ). If a report is deemed to be exempt from IRB or Ethics Committee review, then written documentation of the exemption from the IRB or Ethics Committee must be provided. IJMSC does not publish studies involving animals.

Patient/Research Participant Privacy and Confidentiality. Patients and research participants have a right to privacy that should not be violated. Authors must ensure that only information that is clinically or scientifically relevant and important is included in a submitted manuscript. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. If a manuscript is a case report and/or contains detailed case descriptions or photographs, the author must obtain written signed permission from the patient(s) (or legally authorized representative[s]) to publish the information in both print and electronic/online form, even if reasonable steps were taken to preserve anonymity. Such informed consent should include an opportunity for the patient to read the manuscript to be submitted for publication or waive the right to do so. If such informed consent has been obtained, this should be indicated in the Methods or Acknowledgments section. The consent document should be kept in the patient’s file. You may use IJMSC ’s consent form here .

Duplicate/Previous Publication or Submission. Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have not been published previously in print or electronic format, including preprint databases and institutional repositories, and are not under consideration by another publication or electronic medium. Copies of possibly duplicative materials (ie, those containing substantially similar content or using the same or similar data) that have been previously published or are under consideration elsewhere must be provided at the time of manuscript submission. If any portion of the manuscript, including tables and figures, has been previously published, written permission to reproduce this material in IJMSC must be obtained from the copyright owner(s) and relevant permission releases provided. The cover letter must state that the manuscript has not been submitted or published in another journal. Posters and presentations at scientific meetings do not constitute prior publication, but must be mentioned at the end of the manuscript.

Scientific Misconduct. Scientific misconduct includes (but is not limited to) data fabrication; data falsification, including deceptive manipulation of images; and plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in a submitted or published paper, the Editor in Chief will initiate procedures as recommended by the ICMJE, COPE, or WAME and may publish an “expression of concern” pending the outcome of those procedures. If scientific misconduct is confirmed, a published article may be retracted. Retraction entails a published statement that the article is flawed or fraudulent and should be disregarded. The retraction will be listed in the print and electronic Table of Contents to ensure proper indexing, and will be linked to the original article in the online edition.

Plagiarism is the use of words, ideas, data, or graphics, whether published or unpublished, of another person as if they were one’s own and without giving appropriate credit to the true author. In self-plagiarism, an author uses material from his or her own previous work without citing the original source, resulting in duplication or redundancy. Either of these forms of plagiarism may involve violations of copyright. All manuscripts submitted to the IJMSC are checked for possible plagiarism (instances of overlapping and similar text) using the iThenticate software, through our participation in the SimilarityCheck (formerly CrossCheck) service provided by CrossRef ( http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck/index.html ). Similarity Check is a multipublisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality. Suspicion of possible plagiarism may also be raised by reviewers, and by readers after a manuscript is published. If plagiarism is suspected, guidelines issued by COPE ( Suspected Plagiarism in a SubmittedManuscript , Suspected Plagiarism in a PublishedManuscript ) will be followed to address the situation. Actions taken may include publishing an erratum or correction, retracting the article, and referring the matter to the author’s institution or appropriate regulatory body for investigation.  

Copyright Assignment. Articles appearing in IJMSC are copyrighted by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. All accepted manuscripts, including any supplementary material, become the sole permanent property of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the publisher. The Copyright Transfer Agreement is included on the Authorship Form that is sent to the corresponding author on acceptance. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that each author signs and returns a separate form. Articles will not be published without a signed copyright release from all authors. Transfer of copyright implies transfer of rights for printed, electronic, microfilm, and facsimile publication.  One exception to this policy: Authors who are US government employees who have prepared their manuscript as part of their official duties are not required to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement as, by law, their work is in the public domain. 

Funding Agency Public Access Policies. For manuscripts with funding from agencies (eg, NIH) that require final versions to be posted in publicly accessible repositories, the author retains the right to provide a copy of the final article, as published in IJMSC, to the funding agency for public archiving.

 

THE IJMSC PEER REVIEW PROCESS

All submissions are initially reviewed by the Editor in Chief, who assesses them for overall quality and appropriateness for the journal’s readership. A manuscript may be rejected at this stage or sent for external peer review to content experts in the particular subject area. Peer reviewers must disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest in reviewing specific manuscripts and disqualify themselves from a specific review if there is a potential for bias. In addition, reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality about the manuscripts they review.

IJMSC uses a single-blind peer-review process, in which reviewers’ identities are not revealed to authors, but authors’ identities are not hidden from reviewers. At least two reviewers are assigned to each manuscript. Authors are asked to suggest between two and five potential reviewers upon submission of their manuscript. These suggestions may or may not be followed by the Editor in Chief. Reviewers recommend that a manuscript be accepted, rejected, or revised and include comments for the Editor in Chief and the authors. Final decisions are made by the Editor in Chief. The corresponding author is notified of the decision by e-mail.

Appeals/Rebuttals. Appeals to reconsider a manuscript that has been rejected should be sent to the Editor in Chief with a rebuttal that fully addresses the reviewer comments. The Editor in Chief will investigate the review process that the manuscript went through and decide whether to obtain additional reviews or uphold the original decision. The final decision will then be conveyed to the author, and no further appeals will be considered.    


EDITING

All accepted manuscripts are edited for clarity, style, conciseness, and format according to AMA guidelines and IJMSC style. The edited manuscript is sent to the corresponding author, who is asked to answer any queries and approve the edited version for publication. The corresponding author is responsible for communicating with coauthors as needed about editorial changes or questions. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the final approved manuscript, including changes made during editing. Supplementary material is generally only edited for obvious typographical errors, inconsistencies, and minor style issues.

Because unclear or grammatically incorrect language may make it difficult for editorial staff and peer reviewers to understand the content, non-native speakers of English should have their manuscript read and corrected by a native English speaker or (preferably) a professional editor before initial submission. Many independent editing services are available that specialize in helping non-native English speakers prepare their papers for submission to English-language journals. For specific referrals, contact the Editorial Office.


CORRECTIONS

Requests to publish corrections should be sent to the Editorial Office. Corrections are reviewed by editors and authors, published in the next scheduled issue, and linked online to the original article.


MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

General. The authors must follow specific word limits for each article type (see table).

Article type


Original research: quantitative research

3,500 words (not counting references)

Original research: qualitative and mixed research

5,000 words (counting references)

Literature review

5,000 words (not counting references)

Short report

2,000 words (not counting references)

Case report

2,000 words (not counting references)

Consensus statement

5,000 words (counting references)

Controversy

3,500 words (not counting references)

Book reviews

500 words

Letters to the editor

500 words (not counting references)

References should be limited to no more than 30 if possible. Only essential tables and figures should be included. The combined number of tables and figures must not exceed 6 (total of 6 for regular and supplementary combined), with each graph or figure panel counted as a separate figure. Supplementary material such as tables or figures that are not essential but would be useful to include, or large tables that are unlikely to fit in the print version, should be labeled as such (eg, Table S1, Table S2) and included with the submission for consideration for online-only publication. Only 2 small tables or figures total (2 figures, 2 tables, or 1 of each) will generally be allowed in the print version. The final decision regarding the total number and size of tables and figures (both regular and supplementary) for each published manuscript rests with the Editor in Chief.

Submissions should adhere to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals ( www.icmje.org ). Refer to the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, 10th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2007) for stylistic guidelines.

P values: P values less than.001 (eg, .0007) should be written as P < .001, but otherwise exact P values are preferred. P values should not be rounded up to 1.0 or down to 0.

Reporting Guidelines. Reporting guidelines have been developed for different study designs; examples include

      • CONSORT ( http://www.consort-statement.org/ ) for randomized trials,
      • STROBE ( http://strobe-statement.org/ ) for observational studies,
      • PRISMA ( http://prisma-statement.org/ ) for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and
      • STARD ( http://www.stard-statement.org/ ) for studies of diagnostic accuracy.

Authors should follow these guidelines, which help ensure that the study is described in enough detail for it to be evaluated by editors, reviewers, readers, and other researchers. Authors of review manuscripts, particularly systematic reviews, should describe the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. Good sources for reporting guidelines are the EQUATOR Network ( http://www.equator-network.org/ ) and the NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives ( http://www.nlm.nih.gov/services/research_report_guide.html ).

Parts of the Manuscript. Manuscripts should include a title page, keywords, “Practice Points,” abstract, text, references, and tables and figures, if applicable. All elements of the manuscript should be typed, double spaced, in Microsoft Word. Do not use special formatting, headers and footers, or embedded footnotes or endnotes.

Page and Line Numbering. All pages of the manuscript should be numbered, and continuous line numbering should be used throughout. To add continuous line numbering in Microsoft Word: On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click Line Numbers, and then select Continuous.

Title Page. Include article title (generally ≤18 words and avoid emphasizing a conclusion or using a question); full name and highest degree of each author; name and location of departments and institutions with which each author is affiliated (in English); name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author; running head (≤45 characters with spaces); and 3 to 5 keywords.

Practice Points. In one or two sentences each, summarize the two or three most important concepts in your article for practicing MS clinicians, and list these as key “Practice Points” (≤100 words total for all practice points) on a separate page following the title page and preceding the abstract. Avoid repeating sentences from the abstract in the Practice Points. The Practice Points should be focused on the potential implications of the findings for clinical practice.

Abstract. Summarize the content of the paper in 250 words or less. The abstract should be understandable without reference to the text and should not contain references. Abstracts for reports of original data and systematic reviews (including meta-analyses) should be structured using the following headings: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions. For other types of manuscripts (including narrative reviews), you may use an unstructured abstract. Unstructured abstracts (≤200 words) are generally preferred for case reports and narrative reviews.

Text. The narrative of a manuscript should typically follow the accepted method of presenting scientific, technical, and medical information by including these sections in sequence: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Subheadings are encouraged for Methods and Results sections but should be avoided in Introduction and Discussion. Avoid using uncommon abbreviations.

Acknowledgments. In addition to expressing thanks or acknowledging assistance, authors should list anyone who contributed to the manuscript but who does not qualify as an author and detail their contribution. Authors are responsible for informing anyone named in this section that they are being mentioned and obtaining their approval before publication (authors should keep documentation of this).

Financial Disclosures. See Policies for Authors section of this document for details.

Funding/Support. See Policies for Authors section of this document for details.

Prior Presentation : If any of the material has been read or exhibited at a meeting, include a sentence with type of presentation, name of meeting, date(s), and location.

References. References (≤30 if possible) must be numbered consecutively and cited by number in the text in the correct order. Recent references (published within the past 5 years) are preferred. Follow AMA style guidelines. (If you are using reference-handling software, please select JAMA reference style.) Examples:

Journal —Author SW, Author K, AuthorER, et al. Article title. J Title. 2014;27:1893-1898.

Book— Author J, Author C, Author L. Chapter title. In: Editor J, ed. Book Title . Publisher Name; 2010:175-212.

Electronic publication— US Department of Agriculture. Food Guide Pyramid . http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/nal. Accessed April 15, 2013.

Personal communication— Personal communications should not be in the reference list but rather should be mentioned parenthetically within text. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to cite the personal communication from the person named and keeping documentation.

Tables and Figures. Tables and figures must be numbered separately and cited in the text in the correct order. Each table and figure should have a concise title. Figure legends (titles and other information) should appear on a separate page after the reference list, followed by each table on a separate page. Digital figures are preferred and must be submitted as separate files (one for each distinct image or chart) in original PowerPoint or Word files. PDFs created from PowerPoint or Word are also acceptable, as are EPS files. Photographs should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and should be submitted as JPEG. All tables and figures reprinted from other publications should be accompanied by a complete citation of the source, and, if any substantial portion is to be reproduced, written permission to reprint the item must be obtained by the author from the copyright owner(s) and sent with the submission. If a table has been created from the text of a previous publication, “Data from…” should be placed as a footnote with the appropriate reference or citation, This need to obtain permission and acknowledge the source also applies to reproducing measurement tools such as scales. It is not the journal’s responsibility to verify the copyright status for tables, figures, and measurement tools. 

Supplementary material. Supplementary tables should appear on separate pages after the regular tables. Supplementary figure legends should also appear at the end of the manuscript file, but the figure files should be uploaded onto the submission system separately.

Submission Procedure. Manuscripts should be submitted using the online submission system located at http://ijmsc.msubmit.net .The submission should be accompanied by a cover letter stating that the paper is being submitted exclusively to IJMSC . Questions regarding the suitability or status of a submission should be directed to Dr. Francois Bethoux or Charlene Belsole at IJMSC@mscare.org .

 

PERMISSIONS

Permission requests to reproduce material from IJMSC should be sent to the Editorial Office. Letters requesting permission should include the issue and page number on which the material appears and the name of the publication in which the material will be reproduced.

 

CHECKLIST FOR MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION

To facilitate manuscript submission, we encourage the corresponding author to have the following at hand before beginning to enter information into the submission system. Submissions lacking any of these items will not progress to initial review by the Editor in Chief.

□ Cover letter with statement of exclusive submission

□ Full name, highest degree, and affiliation of each author

□ Address, telephone number, and e-mail of corresponding author

□ 3 to 5 keywords

□ Practice Points

□ Abstract (structured for reports of original data and systematic reviews)

□ Main text

□ Acknowledgments section and/or Prior Presentations section if applicable

□ Financial Disclosures section listing conflicts of interest for ALL authors

□ Funding/Support section listing all sources of financial and material support, even if none

□ References

□ Tables with titles and figures with captions (written permissions if applicable)


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