Instructions for authors

1. General

1.1 Conditions of acceptance of a submission

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For ethics in publishing consult COPE.

Authors are invited to comply with the "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals", which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at:, polices established by the Council of Science Editors (CSE), World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and others.

1.2 Authorship

Especially the ICMJE recommends that all those designated as authors meet all of the criteria they describe. The list of criteria is available at Those contributors who do not meet all of the criteria shall be acknowledged.

1.3 Conflict of interest

Authors must disclose whether or not they have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. They should also state that they have full control of all primary data and that they agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.

Especially publications in Life Sciences and Medicine are invited to be accompanied by the "Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form" at the initial submission.

Any additional conflict of interest, on personal or any other level must also be disclosed. The author is advised to fill out the Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form, and finishing by Generate Disclosure Statement". This statement shall be reproduced in the article manuscript.

1.4 Publication Ethics and protection of research participants

All laws and regulations should be strictly followed. If required, authors are requested to indicate ethical declarations issued by their institution and concerning their research, including permit numbers, in the Material and Methods section. Authors are requested to fully comply with the ICMJE recommendations in this respect, particularly with the patient's right to privacy, as well as the necessity to have the patient's written consent.

1.5 Reporting guidelines and clinical trial registration

For all studies based on clinical trials, depending on the study design, reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, STARD should be followed. For more information about these guidelines authors should visit the websites of the EQUATOR network or the corresponding sources at the NLM website. The policy for clinical trial registration by the ICMJE is given in their recommendations. These should be followed by the authors in this journal.

1.6 Publication fees

The journal applies the EDP Sciences’ Liberty APC model, where the author choses the amount he decides to pay. For more information please refer to the Article-processing charges.

1.7 Open access

All articles published by 4open are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Articles are available from the website of the journal (, from PubMed Central a, from Europe PubMed Central, in various formats. Authors are the copyright holders of their articles. All articles bear the following mention: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1.8 Open Data and Open Code

1.8.1 Open Data

4open authors are invited to upload supplemental datasets related to their research to an online repository, making it available for both human and machine reading in order to further aid the acceleration of scientific discovery.

Authors are invited to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR data principles. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. The principles are available here.

To summarize this, the dataset should be findable through a complete set of metadata, including a license for re-use and a data identifier (DOI or other). The dataset is accessible when access is open. Interoperable means that the data can be used and combined with other datasets in a format that is sufficiently widely distributed. Re-usability is achieved when the dataset is deposited with a corresponding Creative Commons open license and is downloadable. Further, re-usability includes that parameters how this dataset has been collected and machine and experimental conditions are documented.

1.8.2 Open Code

4open authors are invited to make this publicly available in order to make the research methodology explicit and allow for the replication of processes in subsequent exploratory research.

2. Types of papers

Below are listed the types of publications are considered:

  1. Research Article
  2. Review Article
  3. Brief Report
  4. Rapid Communication
  5. Letter
  6. Case Report
  7. Perspectives & Opinion
  8. Methodology
  9. Editorial
  10. Invited Comment
  11. Data Descriptor
  12. History
  13. Video Article
  14. Doctorate / Inaugural & PhD. / Habilitation

The article types Research Article, Review Article, Case Report, Editorial and Invited Comment shall be chosen in the same context as commonly used in other scientific journals.

Brief Reports shall be used for short announcements of research results.

Rapid Communications shall be used when updating research results in a quick manner.

Authors shall chose the Letter type when commenting an already published work.

Perspectives & Opinion are the format authors chose when commenting or discussing existing or future scientific findings and directions. This article type has a structure similar to the structure of a Review article, with no strict framework for the presentation.

Data descriptors shall describe sets of data that authors have deposited in data registries. The content of this article shall describe how these data can be used for further investigations.

The History article type shall be used when historical perspectives are provided by the author. This article type has a structure similar to the structure of a Review article, with no strict framework for the presentation.

A Video Article uses video sequences for illustrating research findings. The structure chosen for this article shall be similar to the structure of a research article.

3. Presentation of manuscripts

Use Times 12 with 1.5 interline throughout the manuscript and avoid unnecessary formatting. Number pages. Use up to three subheading levels in total. Italics should be used in the text for all scientific names and other terms such as genes, mutations, genotypes and alleles. SI units should be used throughout the manuscript. Manuscripts may be submitted in WORD format as well as in Latex.

3.1 Title and authors

3.1.1 Title

Title should be simple, concise and informative. A shortened version of the title consisting of a maximum of 75 characters (including spaces) for running headers should also be provided.

3.1.2 Author(s) name(s) and affiliations

A list of all authors, as well as corresponding addresses, should be provided. Addresses should contain all information necessary for an effective mail delivery. E-mail and telephone numbers should also be provided to speed up communication between Editorial Office, readers and authors.

3.2 Order of parts

Manuscripts should be prepared according to the following order:

  • Abstract and 4-6 keywords (if required)
  • Introduction
  • Material and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conflict of interest
  • Acknowledgements
  • Tables
  • Figure Legends
  • References

Reviews, Perspectives and opinions, Letters, Methodology, Case Reports and other very long articles may use a different presentation, using only the appropriate

3.3 First page, title

The first page should include: title of paper, list of all authors with full given and family names, addresses of all authors, and name of corresponding author with email address. The title should be short and descriptive, and less than 250 characters in length (including spaces).

All individual disclosures of conflict of interest of all co-authors shall also be indicated on this page.

3.4 Abstracts

Except for Editorials, Letters and Invited Comments, an abstract should accompany each manuscript; it should be completely self-contained, not exceeding 250-300 words and written as a single paragraph. Mathematical expressions should be avoided.

For articles in the discipline of Life sciences / Medicine the abstracts of Original articles, Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses shall be submitted with the IMRAD structure, containing: Introduction, Methods, Results And Discussion.

Abstracts of articles publishing results of clinical trials shall be compliant with the CONSORT checklist regarding all items of reporting. The registration number of the clinical trial shall be included at the end of the abstract, when available.

3.5 Main text

3.5.1 Introduction

No subsection. This section is headed "Introduction".

3.5.2 Materials and Methods

This part may be presented as several subsections (up to two levels of subheadings). All information regarding deposit of data and code underlying the published research should be mentioned in this section, by indicating especially by hyperlinks where the information can be found.

3.5.3 Results

This section may be presented as a single part or as several subsections; maximum of two subheading levels.

3.5.4 Discussion

This section may be presented as a single part or as several subsections; maximum of two subheading levels. The last subsection can be "Conclusions". Follow instructions for citations. In certain cases, it might be appropriate to mix the results and discussion in a single section, headed "Results and discussion".

3.5.5 Conflict of Interest

This section, mandatory in articles in the disciplines of life sciences and medicine must be inserted before the Acknowledgements. This section shall describe whether yes or no, each individual author has to disclose any kind of conflict of interest.

Depending on the type of conflict, the following sentences are recommended to be added for each author (please use the authors' initials here):

  • For author AA receiving personal funding please state:
    "AA has received funding from" and note the source.
  • In case BB's institution received any sort of support, state:
    "The institution of BB has received funding from…" and note the source.
  • If CC received no financial support please state,
    "CC certifies that he or she has no financial conflict of interest (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) in connection with this article."
  • If DD has received or may receive any personal payment or other benefit from a commercial entity (eg, serve as a consultant), please note:
    "DD has or may receive payments or benefits from … (note the source) related to this work."

3.5.6 Acknowledgements

This section must be concise. No subdivisions. Mention here colleagues and grants. See also the above section about authorship (see 1.2) and mention here all those persons not meeting all the criteria necessary for authorship.

3.4.7 References

This section should be arranged according to the precise format detailed below. Only works cited in the text should appear here. Citation of unpublished papers and grey literature should generally be avoided. Software cited in the Material and Methods should have a citation. Papers may be cited as "in press" only when they have been accepted for publication (in this case, include the DOI).

4. Tables

Tables (numbered as Table 1, Table 2, etc.) should be presented as one per page. Avoid complex formatting and use the basic Table format in Word or Excel.

5. Figures

5.1.1 Figure numbers and legends

Figures should be numbered as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. They are referred to in the text as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Legends are grouped on a separate page.

5.1.2 Technical information

All figures are published free of charge (i.e. they are included in the publication fee), including color photographs and diagrams. However, only photographs of scientific interest and pertaining to the subject of the article should be included. Color illustrations, especially diagrams, should be understandable even, if they are printed as grey levels.

Figures should be prepared to be of good quality both when they are viewed onscreen as HTML and when the PDF is printed. Figures may be arranged as "plates", but keep in mind that PDFs are prepared to be printed on A4 pages.

The electronic submission system will accept PNG (preferred), TIFF (with compression), and EPS files, with appropriate resolution (300 dpi for colour photographs, 600 dpi for halftone work, 1200 dpi for line work). JPG format is not recommended - PNG is preferred.

Manuscripts with figures of insufficient technical quality will be immediately sent back for revision by the editorial team and will not begin the review process before correct files are uploaded. In other words, sending a manuscript with incorrect figures will gain nothing and may delay its possible publication.

6. Supplementary online material

Supplementary online material may include data too long to be included in the manuscript, additional illustrations and movies. Online material is subjected to strict refereeing. Formats accepted are: PDF, graphic formats for supplementary figures (see 5.1.2), MPEG for videos. Files should preferably be less than 20 Mb.

7. Mathematics, statistics and significant figures

For articles submitted in the discipline of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics the authors are invited to follow the Mathematics Subject Classification scheme.

Each manuscript must be assigned indexing codes. MSC numbers, developed jointly by the American Mathematical Society and Zentralblatt, may be found at the URL's: and Keywords are also required.


Equations, Lemmas, Theorems… should be numbered with the section: for example, equation 3 of Section 1, should be numbered equation (see 1.3). Numbering should be labelled on the right side.

Write mathematical equations as simply as possible. Statistical software should be clearly indicated and cited.

Figures should be indicated with a reasonable number of digits, coherent with the significance of the result. This is especially important for the abstract.

8. References

Authors are encouraged to use a reference manager software.

8.1 References in the text

References are numbered as [1], [2,3,7] or [5-9]. This allows copious lists of references without lengthening the text itself. The use of numbered references does not mean that author names and dates of cited papers are prohibited in the text, but this should be used only if necessary.

Example: Many studies [1-9] have addressed … (no special need to indicate authors here). In 2013, Smith [10] claimed that … but Dupont [11,12] later demonstrated that… (names of authors and dates are useful here).

8.2 Presentation of references

References are numbered in the order of appearance in the text. Words in titles are not capitalised. No journal name begins with "The".

Journal articles

  1. Imam S, Khanduja V (2011) Current concepts in the diagnosis and management of femoroacetabular impingement, Int Orthop, 35, 10, 1427-1435.
  2. Krishnan H, Krishnan SP, Blunn G, Skinner JA, Hart AJ (2013) Modular neck femoral stems, Bone Joint J, 95B, 8, 1011-1021
  3. Sievänen H, Kannus P (2007) Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Fragility Fracture. PLoS Med 4(6): e222. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040222

Book chapter

  1. Amendola A,. Bonasia DE (2011) The menisci: Anatomy, healing response, and biomechanics, in The Knee Joint Bonnin M, Amendola NA, Bellemans J, MacDonald SJ, Menetrey J, Editors Paris, Heidelberg, Springer.

Complete book

  1. Bonnin M, Amendola NA, Bellemans J, MacDonald SJ, Menetrey J (2011), The Knee Joint. Paris, Heidelberg, Springer.

9. Electronic submission

Authors should use the electronic submission system powered by Editorial Manager. Before you begin submission, prepare the following:

  • A list of full names of all authors and a valid email address for each of them (copy and paste from first page of manuscript);
  • A Word/Latex file of the manuscript;
  • A Word/Latex file of the covering letter, explaining why the manuscript is of importance and any other detail.
  • The electronic files of all figures, with appropriate resolution and technical quality (see 5.1.2).

The submission system will produce a PDF from these elements, which will be submitted for your approval, and will eventually be sent to the referees after evaluation by the Editors.

Authors who wish to send confidential comments about their manuscript to the Editor should send a separate email.