Guidelines for Authors

Thank you for your interest in the AME Case Reports (ACR, AME Case Rep, Online ISSN: 2523-1995). ACR adheres to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (1), and the Cope of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors (2), issued by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Please refer to the following guidelines to help you prepare your manuscript. Feel free to contact the editorial office by email (acr@amegroups.com) should you have any questions. To ensure a swift peer review and publication process, manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions will be returned to the corresponding author for technical revision at preliminary review.

1. ABOUT THE JOURNAL

AME Case Reports (ACR, AME Case Rep, Online ISSN: 2523-1995) is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal publishing original and educationally valuable case reports in all medical disciplines. ACR has been indexed by PubMed/PMC since 2018. The journal aims to provide clinical information on common and rare cases for healthcare professionals, researchers and others.

2. MANUSCRIPT CATEGORIES

2.1 Case Report
Word limit: 2,500 words max. (excluding references, tables, and figures)
Abstract: Unstructured, 200-350 words max.
Key words: 3~5.
References: 20 max.
Figures/tables: 8 max. (combined)
Description: Case studies should present observations of diseases, clinical findings, or novel/unique treatment outcomes that are relevant to practitioners in general. The text should be arranged as follows: Introduction, Case Presentation, and Discussion. Only cases of exceptional interest and novelty are considered. For manuscripts that fail to qualify, editors may request that the authors shorten the manuscript for resubmission as another type of article.

2.1.1 Reporting checklist
Authors should prepare the case reports according to the CARE Guidelines and their submission should include a reporting checklist (a reformatted version has been made for the journal) as a supplementary material. The relevant page/line and section/paragraph number in the manuscript should be stated for each item in the checklist. A statement like “We present the following case in accordance with the CARE reporting checklist” should be included at the end of the “Introduction”. The manuscript should also include a Reporting Checklist statement in the footnote (see the “3.5 Footnote). Failure to do so will result in the manuscript being returned to the authors for their amendment.

The reformatted CARE checklist can be downloaded here.

Case reports should include an ethical statement indicating whether written consent has been obtained from the subject (or their parent / guardian). See the “3.5.4 Ethical Statement” section for details.

2.2 Editorial
Word limit: 2500 words max. (excluding references, tables, and figures)
Abstract: Not required
References: 25 max. (including the article being discussed)
Figures and Tables: 2 max. (combined)
Description: An Editorial is defined as a comment on an article or articles published in TP. Editorials are generally solicited by the editorial office and written by recognized leader(s) in the field.

2.3 Letter to the Editor
Word limit: 1,000 words max. (excluding references, tables, and figures)
Abstract: Not required.
References: 10 max.
Figures/tables: 1 max. (combined)
Description: We welcome the submission of letters regarding the content of the journal or other topics of interest to our readers. The journal may invite replies from the authors of the original publication, or forward letters to these authors. Correspondence is also referred to as a ‘Letter to the Editor’.

2.4 Others
In general, ACR accepts case report only. If you have any questions regarding the article category for submission to ACR, please contact the Editorial Office at: acr@amegroups.com.

3. MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The length of manuscripts must adhere to the specifications under the section “MANUSCRIPT CATEGORIES”.

Manuscripts should be presented in the following order: (i) Title page (title, running title, authors, institutions and affiliations, and Author contributions); (ii) abstract and keywords; (iii) the main text; (iv) Acknowledgments; (v) Footnote; (vi) References; (vii) Supplementary material; (viii) Figure legends; (ix) Tables (titled and with footnotes); (x) Figures (it is recommended that figures, tables and videos are provided in separate files).

Please note that changes to author information (except for the correction of grammatical errors) are not permitted after the manuscript has been accepted, nor can the manuscript be withdrawn after this point unless sufficient reasons are given.

3.1 Title page
The title page should include: a) the title of the article; b) the authors’ full names and institutional affiliations; c) the address, telephone and fax numbers, and effective e-mail address of the corresponding author(s) (extremely important for subsequent timely communication); d) a running title of no more than 60 characters (including spaces); e) disclaimers (if applicable); f) sources of support; g) word count; h) number of figures and tables; i) conflicts of interest.

3.2 Abstract and keywords
The abstract must adhere to the specifications under the section ‘2. Manuscript Categories’. The abstract of an original article, as well as those of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, should be structured into four paragraphs with the following subheadings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The abstracts for all the other manuscript types should be unstructured. The abstract should not contain any abbreviations or acronyms, citations, figures, or tables. General statements (e.g., “the significance of the results is discussed’’) should be avoided. After the Abstract, 3-5 keywords should be provided.

Where relevant, the clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract. For studies that have a registration number, this number should be included initially when a trial acronym is used to refer to the trial in the report or to other trials discussed in the paper. For data that have been deposited in a public repository and/or are the subject of analysis elsewhere, the distinctive, persistent data set identifier, the repository name, and the number should be included at the end of the abstract.

3.3 Text
Format: Text should be double-spaced throughout. The pages should be numbered.
Font: A clearly readable font (e.g., Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Verdana) with 10 or 12 pt. font size.
Language: English. British or American spelling is acceptable but must be consistent throughout.

3.4 Acknowledgments
Textual material that names the parties that the author wishes to thank or recognize for their assistance (e.g., producing, funding, or inspiring the work, or assisting in the research on which the work was based).

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the ‘Acknowledgments’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include an individual who provided purely technical help, writing or language editing assistance, or a department chairperson who provided only general support. If a part of the manuscript has been presented elsewhere (e.g. meeting presentation/poster history), a corresponding statement should be provided in the acknowledgment section. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

The ‘Acknowledgments’ section should also detail all funding sources for the work in question. There must be a section “Funding” within the “Acknowledgments” section. If the research was carried out without funding, "None" should be stated in this section.

In providing details of funding, authors should adhere to the following guidance:

  • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, (i.e., ‘National Institute of Health’, not ‘NIH’). Grant numbers should be given in brackets (e.g., [grant number xxxx]).
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma (e.g. [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]).
  • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (with ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
  • Where certain sources of funding were received by a specific author, the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number: ‘to [author initials]’.

Example: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].’

3.5 Footnote
3.5.1 Reporting Checklist

For articles written in accordance with specific reporting guidelines, the author must include the “Reporting Checklist” section in the footnote and indicate, “The authors have completed the XXXX reporting checklist.”

If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the author’s completed checklist will be published online alongside the manuscript.

3.5.2 Peer Review File
With a commitment to openness and accountability, and to increase the level of transparency throughout our peer review process, ACR has decided to implement a transparent peer review process as an option for all manuscripts submitted to the journal from March 19, 2020.

The practice will see the inclusion of a “peer review file” (a record of reviewer reports and author replies) in the footnote of the corresponding article. The peer review file will be published online (only) along with the article.

For more details, please refer to: http://acr.amegroups.com/announcement/view/169.

3.5.3 Conflicts of Interest
All authors will be asked to fill in the ICMJE’s unified disclosure form (http://www.icmje.org/conflicts-of-interest/). Each author should submit a separate form and is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the submitted information. The corresponding author should use the information in the form completed by each author to create the COI statement for the manuscript. The statement (but not the forms) must be included along with the submission. The statement should include the initials of the author along with the conflicts of interest. The following examples show the format in which the Conflicts of Interest statement should appear in the manuscript:

“Conflicts of Interest: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.”

“Conflicts of Interest: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form. KSS and VS are former employees of Scanco Medical AG. NV is a current employee of Scanco Medical AG. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.”

If the paper is accepted, the completed ICMJE’s unified disclosure forms will be required and will be published alongside the article.

For more about the journal’s policy on conflicts of interest, visit: http://acr.amegroups.com/page/about/conflicts-of-interest.

3.5.4 Ethical statement
Please note that all articles submitted to our journal must include an Ethical Statement containing the following wording: “The authors are 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.”

In general, the submission of a Case Report should be accompanied by written consent from the subject (or their parent/guardian) before publication; this is particularly important where photographs are to be used or in cases where the unique nature of the incident being reported makes it possible for the subject to be identified. Authors should also state that the study conformed to the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in 2013), available at: https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects. Please describe this information in both the “Case Presentation” section and the “Ethical Statement” section on Footnote. For example:

Ethical Statement: The authors are 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. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee(s) and with the Helsinki Declaration (as revised in 2013). Written informed consent was obtained from the patient.

Where illustrations include recognizable individuals, living or deceased, great care must be taken to ensure that consent for publication has been given. Patient anonymity should be preserved. Photographs need to be cropped sufficiently to prevent human subjects from being recognized and the eyes and eyebrows (at a minimum) must be masked using Coarse Pixilation to make the individual unrecognizable.

The Editorial Office may request copies of the informed consent documentation at any time. While the Editorial Board recognizes that it might not always be possible or appropriate to seek such consent, the onus will be on the authors to demonstrate that this exception applies in their case.

The Journal retains the right to reject any manuscript on the basis of unethical conduct in studies.

3.6 References
Sources should be referenced according to the Vancouver reference style. In text references should be identified using numbers in round brackets. Where more than one number is required, they should appear consecutively [e.g., "cancer-related mortality (19)”; “denocarcinoma (29,30)”]. References (including in the text, tables and figure legends) should be numbered consecutively and consistently according to the order in which they first appear in the text.

The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. For reports with up to three authors, all the author names should be listed. However, if a report has more than three authors, the first three authors should be listed followed by “et al.”

  • McLeer-Florin A, Lantuéjoul S. Why technical aspects rather than biology explain cellular heterogeneity in ALK-positive nonsmall cell lung cancer. J Thorac Dis 2012;4:240-1.
  • Lin X, Li W, Lai J, et al. Five-year update on the mouse model of orthotopic lung transplantation: Scientific uses, tricks of the trade, and tips for success. J Thorac Dis 2012;4:247-58.

For other styles of publication or Internet articles, see http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html.

Below are two examples for management of the reference:
a.     If you manage references manually or in other way, you could refer to the reference example below:
Lin X, Li W, Lai J, et al. Five-year update on the mouse model of orthotopic lung transplantation: Scientific uses, tricks of the trade, and tips for success. J Thorac Dis 2012;4:247-58.
b.     If you use “Endnote” (a commercial reference management software package produced by Clarivate Analytics, used to manage bibliographies and references when writing essays and articles), the reference style file for AME journals can be directly downloaded here: https://cdn.amegroups.cn/static/public/reference-style.ens.

3.7 Tables
Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, the information contained in the text. All tables should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. Each table should be on a separate page; tables must be typed and editable in a tabular format that is convenient for copyediting and typesetting; they should not be inserted as images. Please refer to the examples for different cases.

Each column must have an appropriate heading and, if measurements are given, the units should be provided in the column heading. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses; all abbreviations must be defined in footnotes. Footnote symbols: †, ‡, §, ¶, should be used (in this order), and *, **, *** should be reserved for P-values. Statistical measures such as SD or SEM should be identified in the headings.

If the tables have been reproduced from another source, a letter or permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) authorizing the reproduction of the material must be submitted as supplemental material along with the manuscript.

3.8 Figures
All illustrations (line drawings and photographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be cited in the order in which they appear in the text. Magnifications should be indicated using a scale bar on the illustration. Please refer to the specification (file types, resolution, image size, file size etc.) for more detailed requirements.

If the figures have been reproduced from another source, a letter from the copyright holder (usually the publisher) authorizing the reproduction of the material must be attached to the covering letter.

Where illustrations include recognizable individuals, living or deceased, great care must be taken to ensure that consent for publication has been given. Patient anonymity should be preserved. Photographs need to be cropped sufficiently to prevent human subjects from being recognized and the eyes and eyebrows (at a minimum) must be masked using Coarse Pixilation to make the individual unrecognizable.

3.9 Videos
The journal will accept digital files in mp4, flash video (flv.), MPEG (MPEG video file), DVD video, mov., avi., and mwv. formats or videos on CD / DVD. Contributors are asked to be succinct, and the editorial office reserves the right to request a shorter video if necessary. Video files can be submitted online at: http://acr.amegroups.com/pages/view/submit-multimedia-files

  • Duration: Video files should be limited to 20 minutes.
  • Quality: Please set the video aspect ratio as 4:3 or 16:9 (widescreen). The original video should be of high quality with the resolution > = 1280*720, the frame rate > = 24 frames per second and the bit rate > = 5 Mbps.
  • In-video text: All text notes, explanations, or descriptions, etc. in the video must be provided in English. The logo or watermark of the hospital / institution should not appear on screen. Any patient information should be erased from the video.
  • Video legends: Legends should be provided for the video files. The video files should be numbered consecutively in their order of reference in the text.

3.10 Abbreviations and symbols
Use only standard abbreviations; All abbreviations should be defined when they are first used in the text unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement and a list of full terms should be provided in the manuscript.

3.11 Supplementary appendix
The Supplementary Appendix should be paginated, with a table of contents, followed by the list of investigators (if there are any), text (such as methods), figures, tables, and then references. The supplementary appendix should not be included in the article’s reference list.

The Appendix must be submitted in a Word file. The Appendix will not be edited for style. It will be presented online as additional information provided by the authors.

The published article will contain a statement that supplementary material exists online and will provide the reader with a URL and / or link. Refer to the following example for how to reference the supplementary appendix in the text of the article: “Many more regressions were run than can be included in the article. The interested reader can find them in a supplementary appendix online.”

4. STYLE OF THE MANUSCRIPT

Manuscripts must follow the style of the Vancouver agreement detailed in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ revised ‘Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication’, as presented at: http://www.ICMJE.org/.

  • Author name: Each author’s given name should be followed by their surname. The first letter of the surname should be capitalized. A hyphen can be used in the surname depending on the rule in the author’s region.
    Note: Author names will be published exactly as they appear in the manuscript file. Please double-check the information carefully to make sure it is correct. If applicable, an ORCID should be placed after the name of the author.
  • When abbreviating an author’s name, the first letter of each capitalized word will be used for the name’s abbreviation, i.e., “Shaoling Li” becomes “SL.” The first letter of the second name SHOULD NOT be capitalized, or else it will be included in the abbreviation. However, if the author wishes to use an abbreviation that includes their second name, they should write their second name using a hyphen to connect it with its anterior word, i.e., “Shao-Ling Li” to become “SLL.”
  • Spelling: British or American spelling is acceptable but must be consistent throughout.
  • Units: All measurements must be given in SI or SI derived units.
  • Abbreviations must be used sparingly and only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially, the full term should be given, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter, only the abbreviation should appear.
  • Trade names: Drugs should be referred to by their generic names. If proprietary drugs have been used in the study, these should be referred to by their generic name, with the proprietary name and the name and location of the manufacturer mentioned in parentheses.

5. AUTHORSHIP AND CONTRIBUTORSHIP

6. COPYRIGHT AND PERMISSIONS

7. PEER REVIEW PROCESS

8. ARTICLE PROCESSING CHARGES

9. PROOFS
Page proofs will be sent to the author via e-mail. Page proofs should be returned within three working days, preferably by e-mail. Corrections should be marked on the actual proof and provided in a numbered list. Lengthy additions should be avoided but, when necessary, should be provided in an MS Word file with explicit instructions regarding placement.

10. OFFPRINTS AND REPRINTS
Authors will be sent a free URL link to the published online article for their personal use. Authors who wish to purchase hard-copy offprints should fill in the offprint order form, which will be sent with the author’s proof. Orders should be sent to the Editorial Office. Orders for reprints should be sent to the Publisher’s Office.

11. SUBMITTING AND TRACKING MANUSCRIPTS
All articles are submitted and the entire review process is managed electronically through the OJS system (http://acr.amegroups.com/login), which has been developed to provide authors with a straightforward online submission process.

For any questions, please contact our Editorial Office by e-mail: acr@amegroups.com.

References
1. Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/.
2. CODE OF CONDUCT AND BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR JOURNAL EDITORS: http://publicationethics.org/files/Code_of_conduct_for_journal_editors.pdf.


Updated on August 10, 2020