Authors are encouraged to follow the relevant reporting guidelines available at https://www.equator-network.org/
. The EQUATOR network provides a database of reporting guidelines, aiming to improve the reliability of published health research literature by promoting transparent and accurate reporting.
Authors are encouraged to refer to the checklists provided for the following study designs:
RECORD or STROBE reporting guidelines for observational studies
STARD reporting guidelines for diagnostic/prognostic studies
CONSORT for randomised clinical trials (clinical trials should also be registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov or an appropriate comparable platform, and this should be reported in the Methods section)
STREGA for genetic association studies.
Suggested structure of articles:
Include a separate Title page with:
- Title (maximum 85 characters)
- All authors names (as they should appear in PubMed)
- Author affiliations
- Corresponding author’s postal and email address
- A short title (maximum 46 characters, including spaces)
- A minimum of four keywords describing the manuscript
- Word count of the full article (maximum length 3500 words, excluding references, figure legends, abstract, significance statement and acknowledgments).
The abstract should be no more than 250 words in length. Please divide up your abstract using the headings Objective (giving the context of the study), Design, Methods, Results and Conclusions. Avoid abbreviations and references in this section.
Please provide a significance statement of no more than 120 words, which conveys the main message of the paper, its novelty and its importance to the understanding and management of endocrine disease. The statement should describe your work at a level that would enable a broad audience to understand the significance of the article’s findings.
The introduction should set the study in context by briefly reviewing relevant knowledge of the subject; follow this with a concise statement of the objectives of the study.
Materials and methods
Provide sufficient information for other workers to repeat the study. If well-established methods are used give a reference to the technique and provide full details of any modifications.
- Include the source of chemicals, reagents and hormones and give the manufacturer’s name and location (town, country) in parentheses.
- Give the generic name, dose and route of administration for drugs.
- Specify the composition of buffers, solutions and culture media.
- Use SI symbols, give concentrations in mol/L and define the term % as w/v or v/v for all solutions. For international units use IU (U should be used for enzyme activity).
- Specify the type of equipment (microscopes/objective lenses, cameras, detectors) used to obtain images.
- Specify any image acquisition software used, and give a description of specialized techniques requiring large amounts of processing, such as confocal, deconvolution, 3D reconstructions, or surface and volume rendering.
The results should read as a narrative leading the reader through the experiments and investigations performed. Referencing and mention of others studies is permitted in the Results section where necessary or helpful.
Should not simply re-state results, but should put them in the broader context and highlight the importance and novelty of the work.
Declaration of interest, Funding and Acknowledgments, Data sharing/availability statement
All references cited in the text must be included in the reference list and vice versa. However, if a reference consists of only a web address do not include it in the reference list but cite it in the text, giving the date the page was accessed.
References should be provided in numerical order as cited in the text (Vancouver style).
Tables should be concise. Tables too large for print publication should be submitted as supplementary data.
- Number tables in the order they are cited in the text
- Include a title – a single sentence at the head of the table that includes the name of the organism studied
- Use footnotes to provide any additional explanatory material, cross-referenced to the column entries
- Give a short heading for each column
- Restrict the use of abbreviations in tables and explain any abbreviation you use in the table legend
- Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines, colour or shading
- Do not highlight p values in bold to indicate that they are significant
- Please provide exact p value numbers with up to two decimals only (unless p<0.001) (exception: genetic studies.)
Supplemental methods, results, tables and figures should be submitted as a single file, wherever possible, and labelled 'Supplemental File for Review' upon submission.
Supplementary data too large for print publication or exceeding the bounds of the manuscript (e.g. videos) may be submitted separately for online publication.
Supplementary information will be reviewed as part of the manuscript, evaluated for its importance and relevance and, if accepted, will be referenced in the text of the article, directing readers to the website. All supplemental items should be cited in the text of the main manuscript.
Human subjects research
Authors must include a statement that consent has been obtained from each patient after full explanation of the purpose and nature of all procedures used. For research requiring ethics committee approval, please include a statement to this effect in the manuscript. Also indicate whether patient consent was obtained in line with the below policy. We will be unable to accept research papers without this statement.
Where possible, identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Any identifiable patient must be shown the manuscript to be published before being asked to give consent. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available online or in print after publication. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. We no longer publish pictures with black bands across the eyes without a signed consent form, because bands fail to mask someone’s identity effectively.
Authors submitting case reports are required to state that they have obtained informed consent from the patient or the patient's guardian for publication of the submitted article and accompanying images. Authors should obtain written consent from the patient for use of potential identifiable material including photographs.
The patient (or parent or guardian) must give written informed consent for publication by signing our consent form
. Signed consent forms should then be retained in the patient's clinical notes for future reference, and a copy should be made available for review by the Editor on request.
The manuscript reporting this patient's details should state that 'Written informed consent for publication of their clinical details and/or clinical images was obtained from the patient/parent/guardian/ relative of the patient'. If the patient is deceased the authors should seek permission from a relative and include a statement to this fact. If neither the patient or a relative can be traced, we can only publish if we are satisfied the information has been sufficiently anonymised, making it impossible to identify the patient with any certainty.
Permission is not required to publish the 'recordings' listed below, provided that, the recordings are effectively anonymised by the removal of any identifying marks, and patient details (i.e. patient name, date of birth, name of hospital) from images before submission:
- Images taken from pathology slides
- Laparoscopic images
- Images of internal organs
- Ultrasound images
When such an image is accompanied by text that could reveal the patient's identity through clinical or personal detail, however, a signed consent form and declaration as listed above, will be required before publication.
Papers reporting clinical trials will only be considered if the trials have been pre-registered according to the guidelines set out in The Lancet 364 (9438) 911--912
Authors should also refer to the CONSORT 2010 Statement
, and in particular the checklist within it, when preparing manuscripts detailing clinical trials.
Authors must state the clinical trial registration number within their article.
Experiments with animals must be performed in accordance with international, national and institutional requirements. Include a statement that investigations have been approved by the local ethical committee, along with the following:
- Give the full binomial Latin names for all experimental animals other than common laboratory animals
- State the breed or strain and source of animals, and give details of age, weight, sex and housing
- Detail the procedures and anaesthetics used, including doses given
Articles will only be considered if the procedures used are clearly described and conformed with the international and national legal and ethical requirements, as well as the requirements outlined by the institution in which the work took place. A statement identifying the committee approving the study must also be included in the Methods section.
Authors are encouraged to refer to the ARRIVE guidelines
, and in particular the checklist within them, when preparing manuscripts detailing animal experiments.
Editors reserve the right to request further information on the exact procedures and ethical approval obtained as part of the review process. Papers may be rejected on ethical grounds should the editors feel the study does not adequately meet current international guidelines for humane research.
Experiments with genetically engineered mice
In inbred mice, genetic strain effects can have significant effects on phenotype. Because of this the following controls for experiments with genetically-manipulated mice should be used: parental inbred strain, or wild-type littermates.
Human genotype–phenotype association studies
Until recently almost all genotype–phenotype observations were done using candidate gene approaches. The sequencing of the human genome and the comprehensive mapping of haplotypes of human SNPs have revolutionized gene association studies, which can now be conducted through genome-wide approaches. Unfortunately, many of the reported genotype–phenotype associations are questionable, and have not been replicated. EJE recognizes that genotype–phenotype association studies, performed by either genome-wide or candidate gene approaches, are of potential interest as a first step in the discovery process, although subsequent validation will be needed to confirm or refute the observation. However, these initial association reports must be methodologically sound. To ensure this the journal has adopted the recommendations made by the NCI-NHGRI Working Group on Replication in Association Studies (Nature 447 (7145) 655--660
), and authors should adhere to these criteria as listed below.
These criteria are intended for studies of genotype–phenotype associations assessed by genome-wide or candidate-gene approaches:
- Statistical analyses demonstrating the level of statistical significance of a finding should be published or at least available so that others can attempt to reproduce the reported results
- Explicit information should be provided about the study’s power to detect a range of effects
- The study should be epidemiologically sound, with careful accounting for potential biases in selection of subjects, characterization of phenotypes, comparability of environmental exposures (when possible) and underlying population structure in cases and controls
- Phenotypes should be assessed according to standard definitions provided in the report
- Associations should be consistent (within the range of expected statistical fluctuation) and reported for the same phenotypes across study subgroups or across similar phenotypes in the entire study group
- Significance should not depend on altering the quality control methods beyond standard approaches that could change inclusion or exclusion of large numbers of samples or loci
- Measures to assess the quality of genotype data should include results of known study sample duplicates or publicly available samples
- The results for concordance between duplicate samples (if applicable) as well as completion and call rates per SNP and per subject should be disclosed, along with rates of missing data
- A subset of notable SNPs should be evaluated with a second technology that verifies the same result with excellent concordance, because no technology is error-free
- Associations with nearby SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium with the putatively associated SNP should be reported (and should be similar)
- The results of replication studies of previous findings should be reported even if the results are not significant
- Testing for differences in underlying population structure in case and control groups should be performed and reported
- Appropriate correction for multiple comparisons across all statistical tests examined should be reported. Comparison to genome-wide thresholds should be described. Similarly, for bayesian approaches, the choice of prior probabilities should be described
Gene and protein nomenclature
Wherever possible, manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with approved gene nomenclature.
- In gene and protein symbols, substitute Greek letters with the corresponding roman letter, eg TGFBR2 not TGFβR2
- Avoid hyphens unless they are part of the approved symbol, eg IGF1 not IGF-1
- Use arabic rather than roman numerals, eg BMPR2 not BMPRII
Follow species-specific formatting standards as follows:
Humans, non-human primates and domestic species
- Gene symbols should be in italics with all letters capitalised, eg SOX2
- Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols but not italicised, eg SOX2
- Please use symbols approved by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC)
Mice and rats
- Gene symbols should be in italics with only the first letter capitalised, eg Sox2
- Protein designations should be the same as the gene symbols except that all letters should be capitalised and in roman (ie not italicised), eg SOX2
- Please use symbols approved by the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice and the Rat Genome and Nomenclature Committee, which can be queried at the MGI website
Digital image integrity
No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. The groupings of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (eg using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or colour balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Nonlinear adjustments (eg changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend. Adjustments should be applied to the entire image. Threshold manipulation, expansion or contraction of signal ranges and the altering of high signals should be avoided.
Microscope images should be made available to referees in images that are at least 300 dpi at the size which they will be published. 'Pseudo-colouring' and nonlinear adjustment (for example 'gamma changes') are only allowed if unavoidable and must be disclosed.
Digital image guidelines
Recognizing that the inappropriate use of computer software for digital image analysis and processing can raise concerns, the journal has produced the following requirements for the representation of research data:
- No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced
- Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or colour balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Any such adjustments should be applied to the entire image
- Threshold manipulation, expansion or contraction of signal ranges and the altering of high signals should be avoided
- The legend to a digital image should state if and what digital modifications were applied
The following guidelines apply to digital images that that result from gel electrophoresis and blotting procedures:
- Band intensity should be quantified from several independent experiments. If only a "typical" experiment is shown in the figure, authors should be prepared to provide unprocessed images of gels or blots at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.
- Extensively cropped images are not acceptable. Images can be cropped to enhance clarity of presentation, but should always contain at least two markers (one with a smaller, one with a larger molecular size than the band of interest) with their molecular sizes indicated.
- Producing spliced images by combining lanes from gels or blots from different experimental runs should be avoided. A lane containing markers should be on the same gel for each run. If spliced images are presented, the vertical lanes obtained from gels or blots from different experimental runs should be clearly demarcated with lines.
- As the validity of immunoblots relies heavily on antibody specificity, an appropriate control (tissue from knockout mice or protein knockdown in cell lines) must be included, or alternatively a reference should be given in the methods section referring to such a control (Saper 2009; Burry 2011).
- The reuse of images of loading controls from other experiments or previous publications is unacceptable.
Burry RW 2011 Controls for immunocytochemistry: An update. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 59 6–12. (doi:10.1369/jhc.2010.956920)
Saper CB 2009 A guide to the perplexed on the specificity of antibodies. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 57 1–5. (doi:10.1369/jhc.2008.952770)
It is the author’s responsibility to document that the results are reproducible and that the differences found are not due to random variation. No absolute rules can be applied but, in general, quantitative data should be from no fewer than three replicate experiments. Appropriate statistical methods should be used to test the significance of differences in results. The term ‘significant’ should not be used unless statistical analysis was performed, and the probability value used to identify significance (eg P < 0.05) should be specified.
When several t-tests are employed, authors should be aware that nominal probability levels no longer apply. Accordingly, the multiple t-test, multiple range test, or similar techniques to permit simultaneous comparisons should be employed. Also, in lieu of using several t-tests, it is often more appropriate to utilize an analysis of variance (ANOVA) to permit pooling of data, increase the number of degrees of freedom, and improve reliability of results. Authors should use appropriate nonparametric tests when the data depart substantially from a normal distribution.
In presenting results of linear regression analyses, it is desirable to show 95% confidence limits.
When data points are fitted with lines, specify the method used for fitting (graphical, least squares, computer program). If differences in slopes and/or axis intercepts are claimed for plotted lines, these should be supported by statistical analysis.
Give sufficient details of the experimental design and analysis so that the reader can assess their adequacy and validity for testing the hypotheses of interest. In particular:
- Describe the numbers of experimental units used and the way in which they have been allocated to treatments
- Justify the omission of any observations from the analysis
- Describe methods of analysis precisely and state any necessary assumptions, as these may affect the conclusions that can be drawn from the experiment
Your article may be sent to the Statistical Advisor for comments.