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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • For research articles - please confirm that you have stated the methods section whether participants provided informed consent, whether the consent was written or verbal. Where applicable, Institutional Review Board ethic’s approval reference must be cited in the Method section.
  • For individual case reports/series: Please confirm you have included a statement regarding written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorised representative. The necessary consent forms should be uploaded at the time of submission. JNDS prefers the consent form published by BMJ Case Report, which is available in several languages and can be downloaded through:
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Please upload figures as individual files, rather than as figures embedded in the word document. Consent form for case reports should be submitted in .PDF format. Please keep individual files under 1.8 Mb (<1,800 Kb) in size for the upload.

Author Guidelines

1. What do we publish?

1.1 Aims & Scope

Before submitting your manuscript to Journal of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (JNDS), please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

1.2 Article Types

Editorial Commentaries

Think pieces on clinical medicine or health policy, written in an essay style. 1500 words plus up to two tables or figures. Usually few references but up to 15 references can be allowed. Ideas for illustrations are welcome.


Communication in response to articles previously published in JNDS. 300 words and up to 5 references. Please note that we do not accept letters commenting on published case reports.

Case Reports

3000 words plus up to three tables, three figures and up to 20 references. Manuscripts should include pertinent literature analysis. You must have a signed patient consent form from the patient/guardian before submitting. If the patient is deceased we strongly encourage you to get consent from the next of kin.


Updates of management and/or recent advances on major clinical topics. We require a clear account of the methods by which the evidence for the review was gathered. Reviews are up to 3500 words, up to five tables or figures, and up to 50 references.

Original Research

Original research on important clinical and professional topics. 3500 words, up to five tables or figures, and up to 30 references.

Quality Improvement Projects

Articles which outline how quality improvement programmes are set up, their measurable benefits and lessons learnt, particularly if these are widely applicable. Authors of improvement reports are strongly encouraged to consult the SQUIRE guidelines ( (Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence) regarding the format and content. Please note, authors of improvement reports must use the downloadable SQUIRE template to submit their project.

Innovation in Surgery and Health

We welcome submissions from researchers, practitioners and clinicians. The aim of the journal section is to disseminate information regarding innovation in surgery. Authors should submit articles outlining innovative projects (at any stage) that  they are personally involved with or are notable and in the public domain in the form of a review article. Educational articles will also be welcomed on any topic within the innovation sphere. In order to encourage collaboration, submissions should include an author bio (200 words max) which will detail background information, next steps and requirements for idea progression.  Authors are reminded to be aware of copyright and patent law before submitting any articles. Up to 2000 words.

1.3 Make your article discoverable

When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords.


2. Editorial policies

2.1 Peer review policy

JNDS adopts a two tier review process. All submissions undergo an initial Editorial board review. Only those manuscripts deemed of sufficient quality and meeting the aims and scopes of JNDS will progress to a second review. The second tier review is a double blind process by external reviewers, whereby the credentials of the author(s) will not be available to the reviewers.  The Editorial team will make final decision on the submission. Editorial decisions are final.

2.2 Authorship

Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors. Please include a statement to confirm this in the Cover Letter.

The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

  • Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
  • Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
  • Approved the version to be published,
  • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

Contributors: these should to be listed in a contributor section, before the Acknowledgements.

Guarantor: JNDS requires the authors to designate a guarantor. This is usually one of the authors. The guarantor takes responsibility for the integrity of the work and confirms that he or she controlled the decision to publish.

2.3 Acknowledgements

Other people and organisations may recognised in an Acknowledgements section.

2.3.1 Writing assistance

Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

2.4 Funding

JNDS requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please enter acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

It is the policy of JNDS to require a declaration of competing interests (also known as conflicts of interest) from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Competing Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

Medical research involving human participants must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

For research articles, authors are required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent, whether the consent was written or verbal. Where applicable, Institutional Review Board ethic’s approval reference must be cited in the Method section.

Written informed consent is required when reporting individual cases or case series. A statement is required regarding written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorised representative. The necessary consent forms should be uploaded at the time of submission. JNDS prefers the consent form published by BMJ Case Report, which is available in several languages and can be downloaded through:

Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

2.7 Clinical trials

JNDS conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.

2.8 Reporting guidelines

The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.

Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.

2.9 Data sharing

JNDS strongly recommends all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles if the article to be published in the online version, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility, or to be made available to the Readers upon reasonable request.

Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor(s) may consider limited embargoes on proprietary data. The editor(s) can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations.


3. Publishing Policies

3.1 Publication ethics

 We encourage authors to refer to the ICMJE on ethics of publications.

3.1.1 Plagiarism

JNDS take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the Journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

3.1.2 Prior publication

If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in JNDS. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. If in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication, JNDS requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. JNDS’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants JNDS the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright.

3.3 Open access and author archiving

The Journal of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences is an open access journal.


4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

4.1 Formatting

The preferred format for your manuscript is Word or RTF.

4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

Figures: All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All figures must be accompanied by a figure legend. If figures are supplied in separate files, the figure legends must all be listed at the end of the main text file.

Photographic illustrations: Photographic illustrations should be rendered with at least 300 dpi; please use CMYK color conversion if possible. Graphs made with Office software such as Microsoft Powerpoint, can be provided in their original format to facilitate conversion into printable format with preserved quality. Any other line graphs/illustrations should preferably be provided in TIFF format with a resolution of at least 600 dpi to prevent ragged lines when printed. A figure image should be at least 160 mm in width at the appropriate resolution.

Abbreviations: the use of abbreviations should be minimised and denoted upon the first mention in the manuscript.

Units: All measurements should be expressed in SI units.

4.2.1 Generic considerations

These guidelines are designed to help authors prepare statistical data for publication and are not a substitute for the detailed guidance required to design a study or perform a statistical analysis. Each section of a scientific paper is addressed separately.


The number and source of data must be stated and conclusions which have a statistical basis must be substantiated by inclusion of pertinent descriptive statistics (mean or median, standard deviation [SD] or interquartile range, percentage coefficient of variation [%CV], 95% confidence limits, regression equations, etc.).


Experimental design, subject selection and randomization procedures should be described and analytical precision quoted when appropriate. The hypotheses to be tested by a statistical procedure must be stated and where appropriate power calculations for the sample size used should be given (it is recommended that the power is X80%). In case-control studies clearly define how cases and controls were selected and what matching has taken place.

We would advise authors to consider the STARD,1 CONSORT2 and STROBE3 statements for studies reporting diagnostic or clinical trials. They offer guidance on writing reports with complete clarity.


Unnecessary precision, particularly in tables, should be avoided. Rounded figures are easier to compare and extra decimal places are rarely important. Descriptive statistics require an additional digit to those used for the raw data. Percentages should not be expressed to more than one decimal place and not be used at all for small samples.

Graphs showing data of comparable magnitude should be of a similar size and design. All individual points should be displayed where possible by displacing overlapping points. Error bars showing the standard error of the mean (SEM) or interquartile range, as appropriate, can be used to aid interpretation of the data.


Statistical significance should not be equated to importance and P values should not be compared between different data sets or different statistical tests. Association should not be interpreted as causation without additional evidence.

4.3 Supplementary material

This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article.

4.4 Reference style

Journal of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences adheres to the Vancouver reference style

If you use EndNote to manage references, you can use the Vancouver EndNote output file.


5. Submitting your manuscript

Journal of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences is hosted on, a web based online submission and peer review system powered Open Journal Software. Visit to login and submit your article online.

Each manuscript should contain a title page and abstract.

Title page: The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), and the name, postal and email addresses of the author for correspondence, as well as a full list of declarations:

The title should be concise and informative, accurately indicating the content of the article. The short title should be no more than six words long.

Abstract: An abstract of no more than 300 words must accompany all articles. Research articles require structured abstracts with the following subheadings: Objectives, Design, Setting, Participants, Main outcome measures, Results, Conclusions. *An abstract is not required for the surgical case study*.

The correct order for declarations is: competing interests, funding, ethical approval, guarantor, contributorship, acknowledgements.

Authorship statement: this should be included either in the Cover letter, or in a separate section at the end of the manuscript, after the Acknowlegements


As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process NJDS is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

5.2 Information required for completing your submission

You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

5.3 Permissions

Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. 


6. On acceptance and publication

6.1 Article Progress

We will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

6.2 Promoting your article

Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible by using social media!


7. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Journal of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences editorial office as follows:

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