• General Information
• Electronic manuscript submission and review
• On the cover
• Ethics in publishing
• Studies in humans and animals
• Informed consent and patient details
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Use of inclusive language
• Author contributions
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Open access
• Submission
• Blinding
• Guidelines for Original Articles
• Guidelines for Systematic Reviews
• Guidelines for Randomized Clinical Trials
• Guidelines for Case Reports
• Clinician's Corner
• Digital Orthodontics
• Guidelines for Miscellaneous Submissions
• Checklist for Authors
• Double anonymized review
• Article structure
• Essential title page information
• Highlights
• Abstract
• Acknowledgments
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Video
• Data visualization
• Research data
• Submission Checklist
• Permissions
• Proofs
• Offprints

General Information

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics publishes original research, clinical trials, systematic reviews, and other material related to orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.Clinical articles, including Case Reports, are now published in the AJO-DO Clinical Companion

Submitted manuscripts must be original, written in English, and not published or under consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts will be reviewed by the editor and peer reviewers and are subject to editorial revision. Authors should follow the guidelines below.

Statements and opinions expressed in the articles and communications herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the editor(s) or publisher, and the editor(s) and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for such material. Neither the editor(s) nor the publisher guarantees, warrants, or endorses any product or service advertised in this publication; neither do they guarantee any claim made by the manufacturer of any product or service. Each reader must determine whether to act on the information in this publication, and neither the Journal nor its sponsoring organizations shall be liable for any injury due to the publication of erroneous information.

Electronic manuscript submission and review

The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics uses Editorial Manager (EM), an online manuscript submission and review system.

To submit or review an article, please go to the AJO-DO EM website:

Rolf G. Behrents, Editor-in-Chief
E-mail: [email protected]

Send other correspondence to:
Stacey Kauffman, Managing Editor
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
E-mail:[email protected]

On the cover

To submit a smiling patient photo for use on the cover of the Journal, please send an e-mail to: [email protected].

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information on Ethics in publishing.

Studies in humans and animals

If the work involves the use of human subjects, the author should ensure that the work described has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans. The manuscript should be in line with the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and aim for the inclusion of representative human populations (sex, age and ethnicity) as per those recommendations. The terms sex and gender should be used correctly.

Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human subjects. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

All animal experiments should comply with the ARRIVE guidelines and should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments, or the National Research Council's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed. The sex of animals must be indicated, and where appropriate, the influence (or association) of sex on the results of the study.

Informed consent and patient details

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author but copies should not be provided to the journal. Only if specifically requested by the journal in exceptional circumstances (for example if a legal issue arises) the author must provide copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals. Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

Conflict of interest

Each author should complete and submit a copy of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Form for the Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest, available at

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Author contributions

For transparency, we encourage authors to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing - original draft; Writing - review & editing. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing

Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement, it is recommended to state this.

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Language (usage and editing services)

Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's Author Services.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.


The AJO-DO uses a blind review process; the identity of the author and the location of the research are concealed from the reviewers, and the identities of the reviewers are concealed from the author. The following submission items are sent to reviewers during the review process and should not contain any identifying information.
Highlights * Manuscript * Figures * Tables * Other Material
The title page, which should contain complete author information, is not sent to reviewers. In the manuscript, please pay special attention to Material and Methods and Acknowledgments sections; wherever author or the author's institution is mentioned, use the "hidden" format in Word to conceal it, or move it to the title page.

Guidelines for Original Articles

Submit Original Articles via EM:

Before you begin, please review the guidelines below.

1. Title Page. Put all information pertaining to the authors in the Title Page. Include the title of the article, full name(s) of the author(s), as well as each person's institutional affiliations and positions and email address; identify the corresponding author and include an address, telephone numbers, and an e-mail address. This information will not be available to the reviewers.

2. Abstract. Structured abstracts of 250 words or less are preferred. A structured abstract contains the following sections: Introduction, describing the problem; Methods, describing how the study was performed; Results, describing the primary results; and Conclusions, reporting what the authors conclude from the findings and any clinical implications.

3. Manuscript. The manuscript should be organized in the following sections: Introduction and literature review, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, References, and figure captions. Express measurements in metric units, whenever practical. Refer to teeth by their full names. For style questions, refer to the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition. Cite references selectively, and number them in the order cited. Make sure that all references have been mentioned in the text. Follow the format for references in "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" (Ann Intern Med 1997;126:36-47); DOI numbers are optional but encouraged. Include the list of references with the manuscript proper. Submit figures and tables separately (see below); do not embed figures in the word processing document.

4. Figures. Digital images should be in TIF or EPS format, CMYK or grayscale, at least 5 inches wide and at least 300 pixels per inch (118 pixels per cm). Do not embed images in a word processing program. If published, images could be reduced to 1 column width (about 3 inches), so authors should ensure that figures will remain legible at that scale. For best results, avoid screening, shading, and colored backgrounds; use the simplest patterns available to indicate differences in charts. If a figure has been previously published, the legend (included in the manuscript proper) must give full credit to the original source, and written permission from the original publisher must be included. Be sure you have mentioned each figure, in order, in the text.

5. Tables. Tables should be self-explanatory and should supplement, not duplicate, the text. Number them with Roman numerals, in the order they are mentioned in the text. Provide a brief title for each. If a table has been previously published, include a footnote in the table giving full credit to the original source and include written permission for its use from the copyright holder. Submit tables as text-based files (Word is preferred, Excel is accepted) and not as graphic elements. Do not use colors, shading, boldface, or italics in tables. Use a period to indicate the decimal point, and not a comma. Do not submit tables as parts A and B; instead, divide into 2 separate tables. Do not "protect" tables by making them "read-only." The table title should be put above the table and not as a cell in the table. Similarly, table footnotes should be under the table, not table cells.

6. Model release and permission forms. Photographs of identifiable persons must be accompanied by a release signed by the person or both living parents or the guardian of minors. Illustrations or tables that have appeared in copyrighted material must be accompanied by written permission for their use from the copyright owner and original author, and the legend must properly credit the source. Permission also must be obtained to use modified tables or figures.

7. Copyright release. All authors will be asked to e-sign a copyright release before the article is published. In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, which became effective February 1, 1978, all manuscripts must be accompanied by the following written statement, signed by all authors: "The undersigned author(s) transfers all copyright ownership of the manuscript [insert title of article here] to the American Association of Orthodontists in the event the work is published. The undersigned author(s) warrants that the article is original, does not infringe upon any copyright or other proprietary right of any third party, is not under consideration by another journal, has not been previously published, and includes any product that may derive from the published journal, whether print or electronic media. I (we) sign for and accept responsibility for releasing this material." Scan the printed copyright release and submit it via EM.

8. Use the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Form for the Disclosure of Conflict of Interest (ICMJE Conflict of Interest Form). If the manuscript is accepted, the disclosed information will be published with the article. The usual and customary listing of sources of support and institutional affiliations on the title page is proper and does not imply a conflict of interest. Guest editorials, Letters, and Review articles may be rejected if a conflict of interest exists.

9. Institutional Review Board approval. For those articles that report on the results of experiments of treatments where patients or animals have been used as the sample, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is mandatory. No experimental studies will be sent out for review without an IRB approval accompanying the manuscript submission.

Guidelines for Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses must be prepared according to contemporary PRISMA (Preferred Reporting for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) standards. The AJO-DO will screen submissions for compliance before beginning the review process. To help authors understand and apply the standards, we have prepared a separate Guidelines for AJO-DO Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. This guide includes links to a Model Orthodontic Systematic Review and an accompanying Explanation and Elaboration document. These documents have been prepared in accordance with PRISMA guidelines and the "PRISMA Statement for Reporting Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses of Studies that Evaluate Health Care Interventions: Explanations and Elaboration" (

These guidelines are supplemental to the Guidelines for Original Articles, which describe how to meet general submission requirements, such as figure formats, reference style, required releases, and blinding. However, we have made these guidelines more relevant to orthodontics and have adapted the reporting template to encourage transparent and pertinent reporting by introducing subheadings corresponding to established PRISMA items.

Further information on reporting of systematic reviews can also be obtained in the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions (

Guidelines for Randomized Clinical Trials

Randomized Clinical Trials must meet current CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) requirements. The AJO-DO will screen submissions for compliance before beginning the review process. To help authors understand and apply the standards, we have prepared a separate document, Guidelines for AJO-DO Submissions: Randomized Clinical Trials. This document contains links to an Annotated RCT Sample Article and The CONSORT Statement: Application within and adaptations for orthodontic trials.

These guidelines are supplemental to the Guidelines for Original Articles, which describe how to meet general submission requirements, such as figure formats, reference style, required releases, and blinding.

Guidelines for Case Reports

Effective April 1, 2021, please submit new Case Reports to the AJO-DO Clinical Companion, Author Guidelines are available at the Clinical Companion website.

Clinician's Corner

Effective April 1, 2021, please submit new Clinician's Corner articles to the AJO-DO Clinical Companion, Author Guidelines are available at the Clinical Companion website.

Digital Orthodontics

Articles published in the Digital Orthodontics section will rely on or feature an emerging technology.

Guidelines for Miscellaneous Submissions

Letters to the Editor and their responses appear in the Readers' Forum section and are encouraged to stimulate healthy discourse between authors and our readers. Letters to the Editor must refer to an article that was published within the previous six (6) months and must be less than 500 words including references. Submit Letters via the Editorial Manager Web site. Submit a signed copyright release with the letter.

Brief, substantiated commentary on subjects of interest to the orthodontic profession is published occasionally as a Special Article. Submit Guest Editorials and Special Articles via the Web site.

Books and monographs (domestic and foreign) will be reviewed, depending upon their interest and value to subscribers.

Checklist for Authors

____Title page, including full name of each author, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and position, and email address of each author, and full mailing address and contact information for the corresponding author. A Different author may be designated as the contact person for the article after it is published.

____ CRediT Author Statement, formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example

____Highlights (up to 5 Highlights, written in complete sentences, 85 characters each, including spaces).

____Abstract (structured, 250 words; a graphical abstract is optional)

____Manuscript, including references and figure legends

____Figures, high resolution and in TIF or EPS format


____Copyright release statement, signed by all authors

____Photographic consent statement(s)

____ICMJE Conflict of interest statement for each author

____Permissions to reproduce previously published material

____Permission to reproduce proprietary images (including screenshots that include a company logo)

Double anonymized review

This journal uses double anonymized review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Anonymized manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

Article structure


Provide an adequate background so readers can understand the nature of the problem and its significance. State the objectives of the work. Cite literature selectively, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

Material and Methods

Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. If methods have already been published, indicate by a reference citation and describe only the relevant modifications. Include manufacturer information (company name and location) for any commercial product mentioned. Report your power analysis and ethics approval, as appropriate.


Results should be clear and concise.


Explain your findings and explore their significance. Compare and contrast your results with other relevant studies. Mention the limitations of your study, and discuss the implications of the findings for future research and for clinical practice. Do not repeat information given in other parts of the manuscript.


Write a short Conclusions section that can stand alone. If possible, refer back to the goals or objectives of the research.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


Highlights are optional yet highly encouraged for this journal, as they increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point).


A structured abstract using the headings Introduction, Methods, Results, and Conclusions is required for Original Article, Systematic Review, Randomized Controlled Trial, and Techno Bytes. An unstructured abstract is acceptable for Case Report and Clinician's Corner.

Graphical abstract

Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration Services to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements.


Collate acknowledgments in a separate section at the end of the article before the references; do not include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title page, or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (eg, providing help with language or writing assistance, or proofreading the article).

Formatting of funding sources

List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.

If no funding has been provided for the research, it is recommended to include the following sentence:

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Image manipulation

Whilst it is accepted that authors sometimes need to manipulate images for clarity, manipulation for purposes of deception or fraud will be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. For graphical images, this journal is applying the following policy: no specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (e.g. changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend.

Electronic artwork

General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
• Ensure that color images are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.

Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.
• Embed your images in the Word document.

Color artwork

Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) in addition to color reproduction in print. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions

Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.


Please submit tables as editable text (Word) and not as images. Upload tables separately, together in one file if the tables are small, or as individual files; do not embed tables in the manuscript. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.


Citation in text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference links

Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is highly encouraged.

A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.

Web references

As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

Preprint references

Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

References in a special issue

Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the list (and any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

Reference management software

Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley. Using citation plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

Reference style

Text: Indicate references by superscript numbers in the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. Sci Commun 2010;16351-9.
Reference to a book:
2. Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 4th ed. New York: Longman; 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age. New York: E-Publishing Inc; 2009. p. 281-304.
Note shortened form for last page number. e.g., 51-9, and that for more than 6 authors the first 6 should be listed followed by 'et al.' For further details you are referred to 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals' (J Am Med Assoc 1997;277:927–34) (see also


Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data linking

If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Data statement

To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.

Submission Checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address
• Phone numbers
All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
• All figure captions
• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
• References are in the correct format for this journal
• All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Web)

For any further information please visit our customer support site at


To use information borrowed or adapted from another source, authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher). This is necessary even if you are the author of the borrowed material. It is essential to begin the process of obtaining permissions early; a delay may require removing the copyrighted material from the article. Give the source of a borrowed table in a footnote to the table; give the source of a borrowed figure in the legend of the figure. The source must also appear in the list of references. Use exact wording required by the copyright holder. For more information about permission issues, contact [email protected] or visit

Permission is also required for the following images:

•Photos of a product if the product is identified or can reasonably be identified from the photo
•Screenshots that involve copyrighted third-party material, whether a reasonably identifiable user interface or any nonincidental material appearing in the screenshot


One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download the free Adobe Reader, version 9 (or higher). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site.
If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and scan the pages and return via e-mail. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.


The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Webshop.

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published.