Guidelines for Authors

Content type | Submission guidelines | Manuscript guidelines | Figures and illustrations | Supplementary materials | Review and publication process

Publication ethics | Editorial policies

Manuscripts submitted to AboutOpen must be an original contribution not previously published in any language or country (except as an abstract or preliminary report) and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.  If the manuscript submitted includes parts (quotations, tables, or illustrations) to which the authors do not own copyright, then written permission from the copyright owner must be submitted upon acceptance, along with full details on the original source. Allow ample time to request and receive permission. Any permission fees required by the copyright owner are the responsibility of the authors. If the manuscript includes parts of text or images generate by a Large Language Model (LLMs, such as ChatGPT or similar) please inform the editor in the acknowledgment section.

AboutOpen is committed to a fair and transparent editorial and publication policy, detailed here

Manuscript submitted to AboutOpen are published after having successfully completed their peer review process. The publication of open access articles is covered by article processing charges (APC) paid by the author after acceptance. There are no submission fees, no fees for rejected articles and there is no additional cost for manuscript length, colour items or supplementary files, including videos. APC is waived for invited contributions.

Authors contributing to AOP agree to publish their articles under the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license, which allows third parties to re-use the work without permission as long as the work is properly referenced and the use is non-commercial. Click here to read our Open Access policy. All readers have unlimited access to the full text of all articles published in the journal, without subscription or other firewalls, with no embargo period. All of this journal content is archived in Portico, which provides permanent archiving for electronic scholarly journals.

Prior to submission, we invite you to review the detailed information on Authorship, as well as relevant information on research integrity and ethics.  

For details on our publication process please review our editorial policies.

Submission guidelines
Step 1: Register on the Journal website;
Step 2: Read these guidelines and prepare your submission files (Title page, Manuscript, Figures, Supplementary materials if included)
Step 3: Log in;
Step 4: Click on Submit now

Once you have started a new submission, you can leave it and continue later, as the system will save your information. The corresponding author will be able to track the progress of the submission through the system. Should you have any difficulties, please contact the Journal Office. All submissions receive a unique reference number: please include it in all correspondence.

During the submission process, you will find a space to enter any comments which your would like to share with the editors. Use this space to suggest potential reviewers for your manuscript or if you wish to suggest opposed reviewers. Please provide institutional email addresses where possible, or information which will help the Editor to verify the identity of the reviewer (for example an ORCID or Scopus ID). Intentionally falsifying information, for example suggesting reviewers with a false name or email address, will result in rejection of your manuscript and may lead to further investigation.

Manuscript guidelines
The Journal follows the AMA Manual of Style for manuscript submitted to biomedical journals. Set your document as A4 (International Standard: ISO 216) paper, use double-line spacing, Arial font size 12, do not justify the right margin, add line numbers and page numbers. Include figures and legends in the word file where they are cited. Save your manuscript as a Word document (.doc, .docx, or previous; Open Office or RTF formats).

All submissions should consist of one file which must include  title page, text, references and additional elements as required and indicated below.

Title page
It must include the following information:

  • Full title (max 135 characters including letters and spaces), which must be concise and informative.
  • Short title (max 75 characters, including letters and spaces).
  • All authors, identified as indicated in our policy on authorship, listed as first name, initials, and last name (i.e., Paul M. Smith) with highest academic or medical degree first.
  • Institutional affiliation for each author, using superscripts and not symbols (e.g., Paul M. Smith1).
  • Corresponding author’s information (full mailing address, phone numbers, email address);
  • Clinical Trial Protocol number when submitting a Clinical Trial Protocol.
  • List of supplementary material, with a short description.
  • Abstract, not longer than 250 words and divided in the sections indicated in each content type
  • Keywords: provide up to 6 keywords in alphabetical order under which you believe the article should be indexed. Use terms from the Medical Subject Headings list from lndex Medicus whenever possible. A library of terms is available at
  • Acknowledgements. List in this section:
    a) Any substantial contribution when provided by a person different from the author and list all other persons who do not fulfil authorship criteria. Written permission must be obtained to include the names of all individuals included in the Acknowledgments section.
    b) The assistance of medical writing experts.
    c) All participating group authors who do not meet the full authorship criteria.
    d) If your article was previously published as preprint, supply full reference and a link to the preprint version
  • Each author’s contributor role to the manuscript following the CredIt Taxonomy
  • Data Availability Statement (DASs): Provide a statement in the acknowledgments about where data supporting the results reported in a published article can be found, including, where applicable, unique identifiers linking to publicly archived datasets analyzed or generated during the study. Examples:
    a) Data publicly available : The data presented in this study are openly available in [repository name], reference number [reference number], [DOI] or [URL]
    b) Data available on request : The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to [insert reason here].
    c) 3rd party data: Restrictions apply to the availability of these data, obtained from [third party] and available at [URL] with the permission of [third party].
    c) Data sharing not applicable: No new data were created or analyzed in this study or The data presented in this study are available as supplementary material to this article
  • Disclosures for all authors :
    a) Conflict of interest: Financial conflict of interest may exist if any financial gain is brought to the author or to his/her family, business partners, or employer by direct or indirect commission; stock ownership or options in manufacturing company; involvement in any for-profit or not-for-profit corporation where the author or his/her family is a director or recipient of a grant, including consultant and travel costs reimbursement.
    Non-financial competing interest may be political, personal, or intellectual.
    b) Funding and financial support: Payment or services from a third party (government, commercial, private foundation, etc.) to support the research and the work reported.

We encourage all authors to complete and share with the Corresponding Author the ICMJE Disclosure of Interest form.

Manuscript text
Divide the text as indicated for each content type and structure your manuscript file in Manuscript Text, Figure legends, Tables, and Referencese commas (,) to separate thousands and full stop (.) for decimals (e.g. 12,354.55). Include tables in the manuscript file, before the references. Number all figures (graphs, charts, photographs, and illustrations) in the order of their citation in the text. Please embed your figures and graphs in the manuscript and supply them as high-resolution separate files.
If relevant to your study, include a statistical methods section, describing adequately the methods used to allow reproduction by independent analysis of the dataset. Include a Include a statement on how the data presented were selected including prospective sample size calculations, the reasons for including/excluding subjects or data points, and what steps the authors have taken, if any, to exclude intentional or unintentional bias in recruitment, measurement, data retention, analyting and comment. Keep discussion to a minimum in this section of the manuscript.

Units of Measure
Laboratory values are expressed using conventional units of measure, with relevant Système International (SI) conversion factors expressed secondarily (in parentheses) only at first mention. Articles that contain numerous conversion factors may list them together in a paragraph at the end of the Methods section. In tables and figures, a conversion factor to SI units should be provided in a footnote or legend. The metric system is preferred for the expression of length, area, mass, and volume. For more details, see the Units of Measure conversion table on the AMA Manual of Style website.

Names of drugs, devices, and other products
Use non-proprietary names of drugs, devices, and other products, unless the specific trade name of a drug is essential to the discussion.

Cancer classification scheme
Authors are encouraged to use the American Joint Commission on Cancer TNM Classification scheme.

Use only standard abbreviations: the full term for which an abbreviation stands for should precede its first use in the text. Do not use abbreviations in the title. All abbreviations must be spelled out when they are used.

Research reporting guidelines
AboutOpen endorses the EQUATOR Network initiative, which promotes the transparent and accurate reporting of health research. Authors are required to identify the relevant reporting checklist for their study type and ensure that it is completed and submitted along with their manuscript. Adhering to these guidelines enhances the quality and clarity of research reporting, ultimately contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

Figure legends and legends for supplementary material
At the end of the manuscript, include a short title (max 15 words) and a legend (max 300 words) for each figure. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the figures, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend.
For photomicrographs, include the type of specimen, original magnification or a scale bar, and stain in the legend. For gross pathology specimens, label any rulers with unit of measure. Digitally enhanced images (CT/MRI, blots, photographs, photomicrographs, ultrasound images, x-ray films, etc.) must be clearly identified in the figure legends as digitally processed images. References used within figure legends should be included in the reference list and numbered in consecutive order according to the figure citation in the text.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation. Personal communications, unpublished data, abstracts, and oral or poster presentations should be limited and incorporated in parentheses within the text without a reference number. A signed permission should be included from each individual identified in a personal communication or as a source for unpublished data, as well as the date of communication.
References must be double line spaced and numbered consecutively in order of appearance within the text, using the automated numbering tool of Word.
Identify references in text, tables, and legends in Arabic numerals in parentheses, i.e., (7).
List all authors when six or fewer; when seven or more, list only the first three and add et al.
References used within tables or figure legends should be included in the reference list and numbered in consecutive order according to the table/figure citation in the text.
Journals’ names should be abbreviated according to Index Medicus/Medline. If there is any doubt about abbreviation of a journal name, it should be spelled out completely.
Any references to studies (including books or articles) that have been accepted for publication, but not yet published, should indicate where they will be published and have the term “in press” in place of volume and page numbers. These must be updated prior to publication, if possible.
Do not add a discussion or comment to a reference.
Suffixes such as Jr, Sr, and III follow author’s initials.

Examples of reference style:

  1. Standard journal article
    Gass JD, Harbin TS Jr, Del Piero EJ. Exudative stellate neuroretinopathy and Coats’ syndrome in patients with progressive hemifacial atrophy. Eur J Ophthalmol 1991; 1: 2-10.
  2. Book
    Harrington DO, Drake MV. The Visual Field. Text and Atlas of Clinical Perimetry, 6th ed. St Louis: CV Mosby, 1990; 156.
  3. Chapter in book
    Harrington DO, Drake MV. The Visual Field. Text and Atlas of Clinical Perimetry, 6th ed. St Louis: CV Mosby, 1990; 156.
  4. Online-only reference
    References to web resources must always include the full link and the date the information was accessed and the link was live e.g.: Hussain N, Clive J, Bhandari V. Current incidence of retinopathy of prematurity, 1989–1997. Pediatrics 1999; 104: e26 Available at Accessed July 21, 2014.

Submit tables in your manuscript file before the reference list. Do not submit tables as separate files. Tables should be created in a Word document using the table tool and using double line spacing. Do not format tables using tabs and do not submit tables as figures.
As a general rule, tables should not unnecessarily offer duplicate information given within the text. Starting on a new page, type each table on a separate sheet. Tables should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals by order of citation in the text. Each table must include title (preferably no longer than 10-15 words), appropriate column headings, and explanatory legends (max 300 words), including definitions of any abbreviations used. References used within tables should be included in the reference list and numbered in consecutive order according to the table citation in the text. Identify statistical measures of variations such as SD and SEM.

Larger datasets, or tables too wide for A4 or Letter landscape page can be uploaded as supplementary material.

Figures and illustrations
Figure and illustrations submitted with an article must be original. Number all figures (graphs, charts, photographs, and illustrations) in the order of their citation in the text. Include a title for each figure (preferably no longer than 10-15 words). Figures must be submitted as individual files and have a high enough resolution for publishing. We recommend the following file formats:

  • EPS (suitable for diagrams and/or images)
  • PDF (suitable for diagrams and/or images)
  • Microsoft Word (suitable for diagrams and/or images, figures must be a single page)
  • PowerPoint (suitable for diagrams and/or images, figures must be a single page)
  • TIFF (suitable for images)
  • JPEG (suitable for photographic images, less suitable for graphical images)
  • PNG (suitable for images)
  • BMP (suitable for images)

Clinical photographs that identify an individual must be accompanied by a signed statement by the patient or guardian granting permission for publication for educational purposes or must be masked to prevent identification of the patient. Any figure that has been published elsewhere should have an acknowledgment to the original source; a copy of the permission to publish itmust accompany the submission.

Preparation of scientific images (clinical images, radiographic images, micrographs, gels, etc.) for publication must preserve the integrity of the image data. Digital adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color applied uniformly to an entire image are permissible as long as these adjustments do not selectively highlight, misrepresent, obscure, or eliminate specific elements in the original figure, including the background.

Please refer to the Artwork guidelinesfor more details.

Supplementary material
Authors may submit supplementary material to accompany their article. This material should be important to the understanding and interpretation of the report and should not repeat material within the print article. Supplementary material should be original and not previously published and will undergo editorial and peer review with the main manuscript. To ensure the integrity of the double-blind peer-review for submissions to AOP ensure to remove personal information from file properties on supplementary material.
Supplementary material must be listed on the title page of your submission and should be cited in the manuscript text in parentheses, in a similar way as when citing a figure or a table. Provide a legend for each supplementary material submitted. Supplementary material will not be edited or formatted; thus, the authors are responsible for the accuracy and presentation of all such material.

Appropriate content:

Expanded datasets and spread sheets, should be supplied in their original format or as PDF.
Type text using Arial font size 10, and single line spaced. The table title should be set in Arial font size 12, and bold. Headings within tables should be set in Arial font size 10 point, and bold. Table footnotes should be set in Arial font size 8, and single line spaced. If a table runs on to subsequent pages, repeat the column headings at the top of each page. Wide tables may be presented using a landscape orientation.

Additional digitized figures and illustration should be supplied according to the technical specifications for figures.

Video clips
Accepted file formats: .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .wmv, or .avi
Maximum size: 10 MB
Maximum length: 5 minutes
Verify that the videos are viewable in QuickTime or Windows Media Player.
For each video, provide a citation in the appropriate place in the manuscript text where a legend should also be included. If multiple video files are submitted, number them in the order in which they should be viewed.
Patients should not be identifiable, or their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the video. It is the author's responsibility to supply video files in the correct format. The Journal will not consider video material not submitted according to specifications.

For submission enquiries and for additional requests please contact Lucia Steele (Publication Manager):