Author Guidelines

1. Summary Table

Please view the table below for a summary on currently accepted article types and general manuscript style guidelines. Article types may vary depending on journal.

 Abstract (max. length)Running title (5 words)Figures and/or tables (combined)Manuscript (max. length)Peer reviewAuthor feesSubmitted to PubMed Central or other indexing databases
Original Research 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Review 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Book Review # # 1 1'000 words # # #
Brief Research Report 250 words # 4 4'000 words # # #
Case Report 350 words # 4 3'000 words # # #
Clinical Trial 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Community Case Study 350 words # 5 5'000 words # # #
Conceptual Analysis 350 words # 10 8'000 words # # #
Curriculum, Instruction, and Pedagogy 350 words # 5 5'000 words # # #
Data Report # # 2 3'000 words # # #
Editorial # # 0 1'000 words* # # #
Field Grand Challenge # # 1 2'000 words # # #
General Commentary # # 1 1'000 words # # #
Hypothesis and Theory 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Methods 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Mini Review 250 words # 2 3'000 words # # #
Opinion # # 1 2'000 words # # #
Policy & Practice Reviews 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Policy Brief 125 words # 5 3'000 words # # #
Perspective 250 words # 2 3'000 words # # #
Registered Report 350 words # 2 12'000 words # # #
Specialty Grand Challenge # # 1 2'000 words # # #
Study Protocol 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Technology and Code 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #
Systematic Reviews 350 words # 15 12'000 words # # #

* Editorials for Research Topics with 5 to 10 published articles have a maximum of 1'000 words, for Research Topics with more than 10 published articles the following applies: 1'100 words for 11 articles, 1'200 for 12 articles, 1'300 for 13 articles etc. up to maximum 5'000 words, for 50 or more papers.

Appendices and footnotes will be considered in the total length and word count of the article.

2. Manuscript Guidelines

2.1. Open access and copyright

All Frontiers articles from July 2012 onwards are published with open access under the CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license (the current version is CC-BY, version 4.0 This means that the author(s) retain copyright, but the content is free to download, distribute and adapt for commercial or non-commercial purposes, given appropriate attribution to the original article.

Upon submission, author(s) grant Frontiers an exclusive license to publish, including to display, store, copy and reuse the content. The CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license enables anyone to use the publication freely, given appropriate attribution to the author(s) and citing Frontiers as the original publisher. The CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license does not apply to third-party materials that display a copyright notice to prohibit copying. Unless the third-party content is also subject to a CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license, or an equally permissive license, the author(s) must comply with any third-party copyright notices.

Preprint Policy

Frontiers’ supportive preprint policy encourages full open access at all stages of a research paper, to share and generate the knowledge researchers need to support their work. Authors publishing in Frontiers journals may share their work ahead of submission to a peer-reviewed journal, as well as during the Frontiers review process, on repositories or pre-print servers (such as ArXiv, PeerJ Preprints, OSF and others), provided that the server imposes no restrictions upon the author's full copyright and re-use rights. Also note that any manuscript files shared after submission to Frontiers journals, during the review process, must not contain the Frontiers logo or branding.

Correct attribution of the original source in repositories or pre-print servers must be included on submission, or added at re-submission if the deposition is done during the review process.

If the article is published, authors are then strongly encouraged to link from the preprint server to the Frontiers publication to enable readers to find, access and cite the final peer-reviewed version. Please note that we cannot consider for publication content that has been previously published, or is already under review, within a scientific journal, book or similar entity.

2.2. Registration with Frontiers

Please note that the corresponding and all submitting authors MUST register with Frontiers before submitting an article. You must be logged in to your personal Frontiers Account to submit an article.

For any co-author who would like his/her name on the article abstract page and PDF to be linked to a Frontiers profile on the Loop network, please ensure to register before the final publication of the paper.

2.3. Manuscript Requirements and Style Guide

2.3.1. General standards

CrossMark Policy

CrossMark is a multi-publisher initiative to provide a standard way for readers to locate the current version of a piece of content. By applying the CrossMark logo Frontiers is committing to maintaining the content it publishes and to alerting readers to changes if and when they occur. Clicking on the CrossMark logo will tell you the current status of a document and may also give you additional publication record information about the document.

Word Files

If working with Word please use Frontiers Word templates.

LaTeX Files

If you wish to submit your article as LaTeX, we recommend our Frontiers LaTeX templates. These templates are meant as a guide, you are of course welcome to use any style or formatting and Frontiers journal style will be applied during typesetting.


Authors are required to specifically state in their legends how many times experiments were performed (in general we require n=3 as a minimum) and what specific statistical analysis was performed. Article Type

Frontiers requires authors to carefully select the appropriate article type for their manuscript, and to comply with the article-type descriptions defined in the journal’s "Article Types", which can be seen from the "For Authors" menu on any Frontiers journal page. Please note that not all articles types are available for all journals/specialties. Please contact us if you have any questions. Please pay close attention to the word count limits. Manuscript Length

Frontiers encourages its authors to closely follow the article word count lengths given in the Summary Table. The manuscript length includes only the main body of the text, footnotes and all citations within it, and excludes abstract, section titles, figure and table captions, funding statements, acknowledgments and references in the bibliography. Please indicate the number of words and the number of figures included in your manuscript on the first page. Language Editing

Frontiers requires manuscripts submitted to meet international standards for English language to be considered for publication.

For authors who would like their manuscript to receive language editing or proofing to improve the clarity of the manuscript and help highlight their research, Frontiers recommends the language-editing services provided by the following external partners:


Frontiers is pleased to recommend language-editing service provided by our external partner Editage to authors who believe their manuscripts would benefit from professional editing. These services may be particularly useful for researchers for whom English is not the primary language. They can help to improve the grammar, syntax and flow of your manuscripts prior to submission. Frontiers authors will receive a 10% discount by visiting the following link:

The Charlesworth Group

Frontiers recommends the Charlesworth Group Author Services, who has a long standing track record in language editing and proofing. This is a third-party service for which Frontiers authors will receive a discount by visiting the following link:

Note that sending your manuscript for language editing does not imply or guarantee that it will be accepted for publication by a Frontiers journal. Editorial decisions on the scientific content of a manuscript are independent of whether it has received language editing or proofing by the partner services, or other services. Language Style

The default language style at Frontiers is American English. If you prefer your article to be formatted in British English, please specify this on your manuscript first page. For any questions regarding style Frontiers recommends authors to consult the Chicago Manual of Style. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There are a few simple ways to maximize your article’s discoverability. Follow the steps below to improve search results of your article:

  • Include a few of your article's keywords in the title of the article;
  • Do not use long article titles;
  • Pick 5 to 8 keywords using a mix of generic and more specific terms on the article subject(s);
  • Use the maximum amount of keywords in the first 2 sentences of the abstract;
  • Use some of the keywords in level 1 headings. Title

The title should be concise, omitting terms that are implicit and, where possible, be a statement of the main result or conclusion presented in the manuscript. Abbreviations should be avoided within the title.

Witty or creative titles are welcome, but only if relevant and within measure. Consider if a title meant to be thought-provoking might be misinterpreted as offensive or alarming. In extreme cases, the editorial office may veto a title and propose an alternative.

Authors should try to avoid, if possible:

  • Titles that are a mere question without giving the answer.
  • Unambitious titles, for example starting with "Towards", "A description of", "A characterization of", "Preliminary study on".
  • Vague titles, for example starting with "Role of...", "Link between...", "Effect of..." that do not specify the role, link, or effect.
  • Include terms that are out of place, for example the taxonomic affiliation apart from species name.

For Corrigenda, Book Reviews, General Commentaries and Editorials, the title of your manuscript should have the following format:

  • "Corrigendum: Title of original article"
  • "Book Review: Title of book"
  • General Commentaries

    • "Commentary: Title of original article" (This does not apply to Frontiers Commentaries)
    • "Response: Commentary: Title of original article"
  • "Editorial: Title of Research Topic"

For article types requiring it, the running title should be a maximum of 5 words in length. (see Summary Table) Authors and Affiliations

All names are listed together and separated by commas. Provide exact and correct author names as these will be indexed in official archives. Affiliations should be keyed to the author's name with superscript numbers and be listed as follows: Laboratory, Institute, Department, Organization, City, State abbreviation (USA, Canada, Australia), and Country (without detailed address information such as city zip codes or street names).

Example: Max Maximus, Department of Excellence, International University of Science, New York, NY, USA.

The Corresponding Author(s) should be marked with an asterisk. Provide the exact contact email address of the corresponding author(s) in a separate section.


Dr. Max Maximus


If any authors wish to include a change of address, list the present address(es) below the correspondence details using a unique superscript symbol keyed to the author(s) in the author list. Consortium/Group and Collaborative Authors

Consortium/group authorship should be listed in the manuscript with the other author(s). In cases where authorship is retained by the consortium/group, the consortium/group should be listed as an author separated by “,” or “and”. Consortium/group members can be listed in a separate section at the end of the manuscript.

Example: John Smith, Barbara Smith and The Collaborative Working Group.

In cases where work is presented by the author(s) on behalf of a consortium/group, it should be included in the manuscript author list separated with the wording “for” or “on behalf of”. The consortium/group will not retain authorship.

Example: John Smith and Barbara Smith on behalf of The Collaborative Working Group. Headings and Sub-headings

You may insert up to 5 heading levels into your manuscript (not more than for example: Heading title). Abstract

As a primary goal, the abstract should render the general significance and conceptual advance of the work clearly accessible to a broad readership. In the abstract, minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references. See Summary Table for abstract requirement and length according to article type.

For Clinical Trial article types, please include the Unique Identifier and the URL of the publicly accessible website on which the trial is registered. Keywords

All article types: you may provide up to 8 keywords; at least 5 are mandatory. Text

The entire document should be single-spaced and must contain page and line numbers in order to facilitate the review process. Your manuscript should be written using either LaTeX or MS-Word.

Templates are available (see above) Nomenclature
    • The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum. Non-standard abbreviations should be avoided unless they appear at least four times, and defined upon first use in the main text. Consider also giving a list of non-standard abbreviations at the end, immediately before the Acknowledgments.
    • Equations should be inserted in editable format from the equation editor.
    • Italicize Gene symbols and use the approved gene nomenclature where it is available. For human genes, please refer to the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC). New gene symbols should be submitted here. Common Alternative gene aliases may also be reported, but should not be used alone in place of the HGNC symbol. Nomenclature committees for other species are listed here. Protein products are not italicized.
    • We encourage the use of Standard International Units in all manuscripts.
    • Chemical compounds and biomolecules should be referred to using systematic nomenclature, preferably using the recommendations by IUPAC.
    • Astronomical objects should be referred to using the nomenclature given by the International Astronomical Union provided here.
    • Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) for ZOOBANK registered names or nomenclatural acts should be listed in the manuscript before the keywords. An LSID is represented as a uniform resource name (URN) with the following format:

For more information on LSIDs please see Inclusion of Zoological Nomenclature section. Sections

Your manuscript is organized by headings and subheadings. The section headings should be those appropriate for your field and the research itself. For Original Research Articles, it is recommended to organize your manuscript in the following sections or their equivalents for your field:


Succinct, with no subheadings.

Materials and Methods

This section may be divided by subheadings. This section should contain sufficient detail so that when read in conjunction with cited references, all procedures can be repeated. For experiments reporting results on animal or human subject research, an ethics approval statement should be included in this section (for further information, see section Materials and Data Policies)


This section may be divided by subheadings. Footnotes should not be used and have to be transferred into the main text.


This section may be divided by subheadings. Discussions should cover the key findings of the study: discuss any prior art related to the subject so to place the novelty of the discovery in the appropriate context; discuss the potential short-comings and limitations on their interpretations; discuss their integration into the current understanding of the problem and how this advances the current views; speculate on the future direction of the research and freely postulate theories that could be tested in the future.

For further information, please see Additional Requirements for specific article types including General Commentaries, Case Reports and Data Reports amongst others or you can check the descriptions defined in the journal’s "Article Types", which can be seen from the "For Authors" menu on any Frontiers journal page. Acknowledgments

This is a short text to acknowledge the contributions of specific colleagues, institutions, or agencies that aided the efforts of the authors. Author Contributions Statement

The Author Contributions Statement is mandatory and should represent all the authors. It can be up to several sentences long and should briefly describe the tasks of individual authors. Please list only 2 initials for each author, without full stops, but separated by commas (e.g. JC, JS). In the case of two authors with the same initials, please use their middle initial to differentiate between them (e.g. REW, RSW). The Author Contributions Statement should be included at the end of the manuscript before the References. Conflict of Interest Statement

A Conflict of Interest Statement needs to be included at the end of the manuscript before the references. Here, the authors need to declare whether or not the submitted work was carried out in the presence of any personal, professional or financial relationships that could potentially be construed as a conflict of interest. For more information on conflicts of interest, see our Editorial Policies. Contribution to the Field Statement

When you submit your manuscript, you will be required to briefly summarize in 200 words your manuscript’s contribution to, and position in, the existing literature of your field. This should be written avoiding any technical language or non-standard acronyms. The aim should be to convey the meaning and importance of this research to a non-expert. While Frontiers evaluates articles using objective criteria, rather than impact or novelty, your statement should frame the question(s) you have addressed in your work in the context of the current body of knowledge, providing evidence that the findings - whether positive or negative - contribute to progress in your research discipline. This will assist the Chief Editors to determine whether your manuscript fits within the scope of a specialty as defined in its mission statement; a detailed statement will also facilitate the identification of the Editors and Reviewers most appropriate to evaluate your work, ultimately expediting your manuscript's initial consideration.

Example Statement on: Markram K and Markram H (2010) The Intense World Theory – a unifying theory of the neurobiology of autism. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 4:224. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2010.00224

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect up to 1 in 100 individuals. People with autism display an array of symptoms encompassing emotional processing, sociability, perception and memory, and present as uniquely as the individual. No theory has suggested a single underlying neuropathology to account for these diverse symptoms. The Intense World Theory, proposed here, describes a unifying pathology producing the wide spectrum of manifestations observed in autists. This theory focuses on the neocortex, fundamental for higher cognitive functions, and the limbic system, key for processing emotions and social signals. Drawing on discoveries in animal models and neuroimaging studies in individuals with autism, we propose how a combination of genetics, toxin exposure and/or environmental stress could produce hyper-reactivity and hyper-plasticity in the microcircuits involved with perception, attention, memory and emotionality. These hyper-functioning circuits will eventually come to dominate their neighbors, leading to hyper-sensitivity to incoming stimuli, over-specialization in tasks and a hyper-preference syndrome. We make the case that this theory of enhanced brain function in autism explains many of the varied past results and resolves conflicting findings and views and makes some testable experimental predictions.

2.3.2. References

All citations in the text, figures or tables must be in the reference list and vice-versa. The references should only include articles that are published or accepted. Data sets that have been deposited to an online repository should be included in the reference list, include the version and unique identifier when available. For accepted but unpublished works use "in press" instead of page numbers. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, or personal communications should be cited within the text only, for the article types that allow such inclusions. Personal communications should be documented by a letter of permission. Website urls should be included as footnotes. Any inclusion of verbatim text must be contained in quotation marks and clearly reference the original source. Preprints can be cited as long as a DOI or archive URL is available, and the citation clearly mentions that the contribution is a preprint. If a peer-reviewed journal publication for the same preprint exists, the official journal publication is the preferred source.

The following formatting styles are meant as a guide, as long as the full citation is complete and clear, Frontiers referencing style will be applied during typesetting.

  • SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, and HUMANITIES: For articles submitted in the domains of SCIENCE, ENGINEERING and HUMANITIES please apply Author-Year system for in-text citations.

Reference list: provide the names of the first six authors followed by et al. and doi when available.

In-text citations: these should be called according to the surname of the first author, followed by the year. For works by 2 authors include both surnames, followed by the year. For works by more than 2 authors include only the surname of the first author, followed by et al., followed by the year. For Humanities and Social Sciences articles please include page numbers in the in-text citations.

Article in a print journal:

Sondheimer, N., and Lindquist, S. (2000). Rnq1: an epigenetic modifier of protein function in yeast. Mol. Cell. 5, 163-172.

Article in an online journal:

Tahimic, C.G.T., Wang, Y., Bikle, D.D. (2013). Anabolic effects of IGF-1 signaling on the skeleton. Front. Endocrinol. 4:6. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2013.00006

Article or chapter in a book:

Sorenson, P. W., and Caprio, J. C. (1998). "Chemoreception," in The Physiology of Fishes, ed. D. H. Evans (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press), 375-405.


Cowan, W. M., Jessell, T. M., and Zipursky, S. L. (1997). Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development. New York: Oxford University Press.


Hendricks, J., Applebaum, R., and Kunkel, S. (2010). A world apart? Bridging the gap between theory and applied social gerontology. Gerontologist 50, 284-293. Abstract retrieved from Abstracts in Social Gerontology database. (Accession No. 50360869)


Marshall, S. P. (2000). Method and apparatus for eye tracking and monitoring pupil dilation to evaluate cognitive activity. U.S. Patent No 6,090,051. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Perdiguero P, Venturas M, Cervera MT, Gil L, Collada C. Data from: Massive sequencing of Ulms minor's transcriptome provides new molecular tools for a genus under the constant threat of Dutch elm disease. Dryad Digital Repository. (2015)

Theses and Dissertations:

Smith, J. (2008) Post-structuralist discourse relative to phenomological pursuits in the deconstructivist arena. [dissertation/master’s thesis]. [Chicago (IL)]: University of Chicago


Smith, J. (2008). Title of the document. Preprint repository name [Preprint]. Available at: https://persistent-url [Accessed March 15, 2018].


World Health Organization. (2018). E. coli. [Accessed March 15, 2018].

For examples of citing other documents and general questions regarding reference style, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Frontiers Science Endnote Style

Frontiers Science, Engineering and Humanities Bibstyle

  • HEALTH, PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS: For articles submitted in the domain of HEALTH or the journal Frontiers in Physics and Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics please apply the Vancouver system for in-text citations.

Reference list: provide the names of the first six authors followed by et al. and doi when available.

In-text citations: these should be numbered consecutively in order of appearance in the text – identified by Arabic numerals in the parenthesis for Health articles, and in square brackets for Physics and Mathematics articles.

Reference examples

Article in a print journal:

Sondheimer N, Lindquist S. Rnq1: an epigenetic modifier of protein function in yeast. Mol Cell (2000) 5:163-72.

Article in an online journal:

Tahimic CGT, Wang Y, Bikle DD. Anabolic effects of IGF-1 signaling on the skeleton. Front Endocrinol (2013) 4:6. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2013.00006

Article or chapter in a book:

Sorenson PW, Caprio JC. "Chemoreception,". In: Evans DH, editor. The Physiology of Fishes. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press (1998). p. 375-405.


Cowan WM, Jessell TM, Zipursky SL. Molecular and Cellular Approaches to Neural Development. New York: Oxford University Press (1997). 345 p.


Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza's computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, editor. Genetic Programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming; 2002 Apr 3–5; Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer (2002). p. 182–91.


Pagedas AC, inventor; Ancel Surgical R&D Inc., assignee. Flexible Endoscopic Grasping and Cutting Device and Positioning Tool Assembly. United States patent US 20020103498 (2002).


Perdiguero P, Venturas M, Cervera MT, Gil L, Collada C. Data from: Massive sequencing of Ulms minor's transcriptome provides new molecular tools for a genus under the constant threat of Dutch elm disease. Dryad Digital Repository. (2015)

Theses and Dissertations:

Smith, J. (2008) Post-structuralist discourse relative to phenomological pursuits in the deconstructivist arena. [dissertation/master’s thesis]. [Chicago (IL)]: University of Chicago


​​Smith, J. Title of the document. Preprint repository name [Preprint] (2008). Available at: https://persistent-url [Accessed March 15, 2018].


World Health Organization. E. coli (2018). [Accessed March 15, 2018].

For examples of citing other documents and general questions regarding reference style, please refer to Citing Medicine.

Frontiers Health Endnote Style

Frontiers Health and Physics Bibstyle

2.3.3. Disclaimer

Any necessary disclaimers which must be included in the published article should be clearly indicated in the manuscript.

2.3.4. Supplementary Material

Frontiers journals do not support pushing important results and information into supplementary sections. However, data that are not of primary importance to the text, or which cannot be included in the article because it is too large or the current format does not permit it (such as movies, raw data traces, power point presentations, etc.) can be uploaded during the submission procedure and will be displayed along with the published article. All supplementary files are deposited to FigShare for permanent storage, during the publication stage of the article, and receive a DOI.

The Supplementary Material can be uploaded as Data Sheet (word, excel, csv, cdx, fasta, pdf or zip files), Presentation (power point, pdf or zip files), Supplementary Image (cdx, eps, jpeg, pdf, png or tif), Supplementary Table (word, excel, csv or pdf), Audio (mp3, wav or wma) or Video (avi, divx, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg or wmv).

Supplementary material is not typeset so please ensure that all information is clearly presented, the appropriate caption is included in the file and not in the manuscript, and that the style conforms to the rest of the article. To avoid discrepancies between the published article and the supplementary material, please do not add the title, author list, affiliations or correspondence in the supplementary files. For Supplementary Material templates (LaTex and Word) see Supplementary Material for Frontiers.

Suggested Fonts

The title is written in title case, centred, and in 16 point bold Times New Roman font at the top of page.

Headings and subheadings need to be defined in Times New Roman, 12, bold.

The text of the abstract section should be in 12 point normal Times New Roman.

The body text is in 12 point normal Times New Roman.

2.3.5. File Requirements

For Latex Files, when submitting your article please ensure to upload all relevant manuscript files including:

  • tex file
  • PDF
  • .bib file (if the bibliography is not already included in the .tex file)

Figures should be included in the provided pdf. In case of acceptance, our Production Office might require high resolution files of the figures included in the manuscript in eps, jpg or tif format. In order to be able to upload more than one figure at a time, save the figures (labeled in order of appearance in the manuscript) in a zip file, and upload them as ‘Supplementary Material Presentation’.

To facilitate the review process, please include a Word Count at the beginning of your manuscript, one option is teXcount which also has an online interface.

During the Interactive Review, authors are encouraged to upload versions using ‘Track Changes’. Editors and Reviewers can only download the PDF file of the submitted manuscript .

2.4. Figure and Table Guidelines

2.4.1. CC-BY Licence

All figures, tables, and images will be published under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence and permission must be obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including re-published/adapted/modified/partial figures and images from the internet). It is the responsibility of the authors to acquire the licenses, to follow any citation instructions requested by third-party rights holders, and cover any supplementary charges.

2.4.2. General Style Guidelines for Figures

The maximum number of figures and tables for all article types are shown in the Summary Table. Frontiers requires figures to be submitted individually, in the same order as they are referred to in the manuscript, the figures will then be automatically embedded at the end of the submitted manuscript. Kindly ensure that each table and figure is mentioned in the text and in numerical order.

For graphs, there must be a self-explanatory label (including units) along each axis. For figures with more than one panel, panels should be clearly indicated using labels (A), (B), (C), (D), etc. However, do not embed the part labels over any part of the image, these labels will be added during typesetting according to Frontiers journal style. Please note that figures which are not according to the guidelines will cause substantial delay during the production process.

Permissions may be necessary in the following scenarios:

      • Republishing
      • Modifying/adapting
      • Partial Figures

It is the responsibility of the authors to acquire the licenses, to follow any citation instructions requested by third-party rights holders, and cover any supplementary charges.

2.4.3. General Style Guidelines for Tables

Tables should be inserted at the end of the manuscript. If you use a word processor, build your table in word. If you use a LaTeX processor, build your table in LaTeX. An empty line should be left before and after the table.

Please note that large tables covering several pages cannot be included in the final PDF for formatting reasons. These tables will be published as supplementary material on the online article abstract page at the time of acceptance. The author will notified during the typesetting of the final article if this is the case. A link in the final PDF will direct to the online material.

For additional information, please see our Editorial Policies: 3.5 Image Manipulation.

2.4.4. Figure and Table Requirements


Legends should be preceded by the appropriate label, for example "Figure 1" or "Table 4". Figure legends should be placed at the end of the manuscript (for supplementary images you must include the caption with the figure, uploaded as a separate file). Table legends must be placed immediately before the table. Please use only a single paragraph for the legend. Figure panels are referred to by bold capital letters in brackets: (A), (B), (C), (D), etc.

Image Size

Figure images should be prepared with the PDF layout in mind, individual figures should not be longer than one page and with a width that corresponds to 1 column or 2 columns.

      • All articles are prepared using the 2 column layout: 2 column articles can contain images 85 mm or 180 mm wide.

2.4.5. Format

The following formats are accepted:

TIFF (.tif) TIFF files should be saved using LZW compression or any other non-lossy compression method.

JPEG (.jpg)

EPS (.eps) EPS files can be uploaded upon acceptance

Color Image Mode

Images must be submitted in the color mode RGB.

Resolution Requirements

All images must be uploaded separately in the submission procedure and have a resolution of 300 dpi at final size. Check the resolution of your figure by enlarging it to 150%. If the resolution is too low, the image will appear blurry, jagged or have a stair-stepped effect.

Please note saving a figure directly as an image file (JPEG, TIF) can greatly affect the resolution of your image. To avoid this, one option is to export the file as PDF, then convert into TIFF or EPS using a graphics software. EPS files can be uploaded upon acceptance.

Chemical Structures

Chemical structures should be prepared using ChemDraw or a similar program. If working with ChemDraw please use Frontiers ChemDraw Template, if working with another program please follow the guidelines given below:

Drawing settings: chain angle, 120° bond spacing, 18% of width; fixed length, 14.4 pt; bold width, 2.0 pt; line width, 0.6 pt; margin width 1.6 pt; hash spacing 2.5 pt. Scale 100% Atom Label settings: font, Arial; size, 8 pt.

Assign all chemical compounds a bold, Arabic numeral in the order in which the compounds are presented in the manuscript text. Figures containing chemical structures should be submitted in a size appropriate for incorporation into the manuscript.


Figures must be legible. Check the following:

      • The smallest visible text is no less than 8 points in height, when viewed at actual size.
      • Solid lines are not broken up.
      • Image areas are not pixilated or stair stepped.
      • Text is legible and of high quality.
      • Any lines in the graphic are no smaller than 2 points width.

2.5. Funding disclosure

Details of all funding sources must be provided in the funding section of the manuscript including grant numbers, if applicable. All Frontiers articles are published with open access under the CC-BY Creative Commons attribution license. Articles published with Frontiers automatically fulfil or exceed the requirements for open access mandated by many institutions and funding bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Medical Research Council, Research Councils UK, and the Wellcome Trust. Frontiers submits funding data to the Open Funder Registry which is a funder identification service from CrossRef resulting from collaboration between scholarly publishers and funding agencies.

2.6. Materials and Data Policies

Frontiers is committed to open science and open data, we require that authors make available all data relevant to the conclusions of the manuscript. Generated data should be available and cited in accordance with our data citation guidelines. We aim to achieve the best community standards regarding data availability, ensuring increased levels of transparency and reproducibility in our published articles.

Our policies on data availability are informed by community-driven standards, which Frontiers endorses, such as the Transparency and Openness TOP) guidelines, and the joint declaration of data citation principles produced by FORCE 11.

2.6.1. Availability of Materials

Authors are required to make all materials used to conduct their research available to other researchers. Research materials necessary to enable the reproduction of an experiment should be clearly indicated in the Materials and Methods section. Relevant materials such as protocols, analytic methods, and study material should preferably be uploaded to an online repository providing a global persistent link/identifier. If this is not possible, authors are strongly encouraged to make this material available upon request to interested researchers, and this should be stated in the manuscript.

Resource Identification Initiative

Authors wishing to participate in the Resource Identification Initiative should cite antibodies, genetically modified organisms, software tools, data, databases, and services using the corresponding catalog number and RRID in your current manuscript. For more information about the project and for steps on how to search for an RRID, please click here.

2.6.2. Availability of Data

Frontiers requires that authors make the “minimal data set” underlying the findings described and used to reach the conclusions of the manuscript, available to any qualified researchers. The data should be FAIR – findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable – so that other researchers can locate and use the data. However, exceptions are granted if data cannot be made publicly available for legal or ethical reasons.

To comply with best practice in their field of research, authors are required to make certain types of data available to readers at time of publication in specific stable, community-supported repositories such as those listed below. Authors are encouraged to contact our data availability office at prior to submission with any queries concerning data reporting. Exceptions related to Availability of Data

We strongly encourage sharing the maximal amount of data, however where ethical, legal or privacy issues are present the data should not be shared. In cases where some or all data cannot be shared for legal, ethical or privacy restrictions, the authors should make these limitations clear in the Data Availability Statement at the time of submission.

Possible limitations to making data publicly available include patient confidentiality and participant privacy. Authors are required to share raw, anonymized data on request to the corresponding author. Before sharing any confidential/identifiable human data, authors should ensure that the data shared are in accordance with the ethical consent provided by participants. We require that the authors demonstrate that the publication of such data does not compromise the anonymity of the participants or breach local data protection laws.

In situations where access is restricted to protect confidential or proprietary information, authors are required to explain the restrictions on the dataset and make the data available upon request with permission of the third party. The Data Availability statement should include all necessary contact information to request access to the dataset.

2.6.3. Data Citation Guidelines

Authors are encouraged to cite all datasets generated or analyzed in the study. Where datasets are cited, they should be included in the references list to maximize future usability. The following format should be used:

[Dataset] Author names. (year) Data Title. Repository name. Version. Persistant identifier

2.6.4. Data Availability Statements

Data availability statements are required for all articles published with Frontiers. During the submission process, authors will be asked to detail the location of the raw data underlying the conclusions made in the manuscript, and whether it will be made available to other researchers following publication. Authors will also be asked for the details of any existing datasets that have been analysed in the manuscript. These datasets should be cited in accordance with our data citation guidelines.

A statement will be automatically generated using the information provided in the submission form; however, manuscripts containing incomplete or incorrect statements will be prevented from entering the review process.

Examples of acceptable statements
      • Datasets are in a publicly accessible repository:

        The datasets [GENERATED/ANALYZED] for this study can be found in the [NAME OF REPOSITORY] [LINK]

      • Original datasets are available in a publicly accessible repository:

        The original contributions presented in the study are publicly available. This data can be found here: [link/accession number].

      • Existing datasets are available in a publicly accessible repository:

        Publicly available datasets were analyzed in this study. This data can be found here: [link/accession number].

      • Information for existing publicly accessible datasets are contained within the article (e.g. for studies using greater than 10 accession numbers):

        The datasets presented in this study can be found in online repositories. The names of the repository/repositories and accession number(s) can be found in the article/supplementary material.

      • All relevant data is contained within the article:

        The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/supplementary files, further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author/s.

      • Restrictions apply to the datasets:

        The datasets presented in this article are not readily available because [VALID REASON]. Requests to access the datasets should be directed to [text input].

      • Data has been obtained from a third party:

        The data analyzed in this study was obtained from [SOURCE], the following licenses/restrictions apply [RESTRICTIONS]. Requests to access these datasets should be directed to [NAME, EMAIL].

      • Datasets are available on request:

        The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.

2.6.5. Mandatory data and required repositories

Authors are required to deposit the following mandatory data-types in public, community-supported repositories, such as those listed below, prior to publication of an associated Frontiers manuscript:
Data-typeRequired RepositoriesMetadata Standard
Genetic and genomic sequence (DNA/ RNA)^ GenBank
DNA Data Bank of Japan
European Nucleotide Archive
Metagenomic sequence EBI Metagenomics MiXS
DNA and RNA trace or short-read sequencing data NCBI Trace Archive NCBI Sequence Read Archive MiXS
Genetic polymorphism data, including SNP and CNV data dbSNP
European Variation Archive
Gene expression data; chromatin immunoprecipitation data (deep-sequencing or microarray) ArrayExpress
Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)
Data linking genotype to phenotype dbGaP  
Protein sequence data UniProt  
Proteome profiling data PRIDE
Small molecule, protein, protein complex data structural data Crystallography Open Database
Cambridge Structural Database
wwPDB (Protein DataBank)
Electron Microscopy Databank
Taxonomy data Zoobank  

^ Genetic sequence variants should be annotated according to the guidelines established by the Human Variome Project.

Authors are encouraged to consider deposition in public, community-supported repositories of the data-types listed below:
Data-typeRecommended RepositoriesMetadata Standard
Protein-protein interaction data Database of Interacting Proteins (DIP) MIMIx
Metabolite and metabolome profiling data MetaboLights
Human Metabolome Database
Small-molecule screening data, chemical compound data PubChem CIF
Flow cytometry data Flow Repository  
Brain Imaging data / Neuroimaging data OpenNeuro
NeuroVault [Statistical maps]
Trait data TRY database  
Phenology data National Phenology Network  
Any data FigShare
Dryad Digital Repository

2.6.6. Code

Frontiers is committed to open science and open data, we require that authors make available all code used to conduct their research available to other researchers. Code necessary to enable the reproduction of an experiment should be clearly indicated in the Materials and Methods section, and where possible code should be uploaded to an online repository (such as or code ocean) providing a global persistent link/identifier.

Our policies on code availability are informed by community-driven standards, which Frontiers endorses, such as the Transparency and Openness (TOP) guidelines, and the joint declaration of data citation principles produced by FORCE 11. Exceptions related to Code availability

We strongly encourage sharing original code where possible. In situations where custom code is proprietary, an exception will be granted providing that all relevant software needed to replicate the results of the study are available commercially for researchers. Details of the proprietary software used should be listed in the materials and methods section.

At submission, authors should declare any intellectual property relating to the code and themselves in a conflict of interest statement.

2.6.7. Inclusion of RNAseq Data

Studies employing RNASeq for comparative transcriptomic analyses must contain at least 3 biological replicates (unless otherwise justified). Each biological replicate should be represented in an independent library, each with a unique barcode if libraries are multiplexed for sequencing. Validation on a number of key transcripts highlighted in the study is also highly recommended.

Full data accompanying these experiments must be made available to reviewers at the time of submission in a freely accessible resource e.g the sequence read archive (SRA) or European Nucleotide Archive (ENA). Depending on the question addressed in a manuscript, de novo assemblies of transcriptomes may also require multiple replicates and assembled sequences together with sequence annotation must be made freely available e.g figshare or dryad.

2.6.8 Inclusion of Proteomics Data

Authors should provide relevant information relating to how peptide/protein matches were undertaken, including methods used to process and analyse data, false discovery rates (FDR) for large-scale studies and threshold or cut-off rates for peptide and protein matches. Further information should include software used, mass spectrometer type, sequence database and version, number of sequences in database, processing methods, mass tolerances used for matching, variable/fixed modifications, allowable missed cleavages, etc.

Authors should provide as supplementary material information used to identify proteins and/or peptides. This should include information such as accession numbers, observed mass (m/z), charge, delta mass, matched mass, peptide/protein scores, peptide modification, miscleavages, peptide sequence, match rank, matched species (for cross-species matching), number of peptide matches, etc. Ambiguous protein/peptide matches should be indicated.

For quantitative proteomics analyses, authors should provide information to justify the statistical significance, including biological replicates, statistical methods, estimates of uncertainty, and the methods used for calculating error.

For peptide matches with biologically relevant post-translational modifications (PTMs) and for any protein match that has occurred using a single mass spectrum, authors should include this information as raw data or annotated spectra, or submit data to an online repository (recommended option; see table below).

Raw or matched data and 2-DE images should be submitted to public proteomics repositories such as those participating in ProteomeXchange. Submission codes and/or links to data should be provided within the manuscript.

2.7. Statistics

Frontiers requires that all statements concerning quantitative differences should be based on quantitative data and statistical testing. For example, if a quantitative statement is made regarding the abundance of a certain protein based on a western blot, we request that the blot be scanned and the abundance assessed quantitatively using the correct analytic software (e.g. ImageJ) and statistics in order to support that statement.

Statistics should/must be applied for independent experiments. The number of independent samples and the deviation parameters (e.g. Standard Error of the Mean, Standard Deviation, Confidence Intervals) should be clearly stated in the Methods or the Figure legends. In general, technical replicates within a single experiment are not considered to be independent samples. Where multiple comparisons are employed (e.g. microarray data or Genome-wide association studies), any analysis should correct for false positive results. Descriptions of statistical procedures should include the software and analysis used, and must be sufficiently detailed to be reproduced.

3. Editorial Policies and Publication Ethics

Frontiers’ ethical policies are a fundamental element of our commitment to the scholarly community. These policies apply to all the Frontiers in journal series. Frontiers has been a member of the Committee of Publication Ethics since January 2015 and follows COPE guidelines where applicable.

3.1. Authorship and Author Responsibilities

Frontiers follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines which state that, in order to qualify for authorship of a manuscript, the following criteria should be observed:

      • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work;
      • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
      • Provide approval for publication of the content;
      • Agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Contributors, who do not meet these criteria, but nonetheless provided important contributions to the final manuscript should be included in the acknowledgements section. It is the authors responsibility to get written approval by persons named in the acknowledgement section. In order to provide appropriate credit to all authors, as well as assigning responsibility and accountability for published work, individual contributions should be specified as an Author Contributions statement. This should be included at the end of the manuscript, before the References. The statement should specify the contributions of all authors. You may consult the Frontiers manuscript guidelines for formatting instructions. Please see an example here:

AB, CDE and FG contributed conception and design of the study; AB organized the database; CDE performed the statistical analysis; FG wrote the first draft of the manuscript; HIJ, KL, AB, CDE and FG wrote sections of the manuscript. All authors contributed to manuscript revision, read and approved the submitted version.

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal and editorial office during the submission process, throughout peer review and during publication. The corresponding author is also responsible for ensuring that the submission adheres to all journal requirements including, but not exclusive to, details of authorship, study ethics and ethics approval, clinical trial registration documents and conflict of interest declaration. The corresponding author should also be available post-publication to respond to any queries or critiques.

Requests to modify the authors list after submission should be made to the editorial office using the authorship changes form.

3.2. Research Integrity

Material submitted to Frontiers must comply with the following policies to ensure ethical publication of academic work:

      • Original content and duplicate publication: Frontiers only publishes original content. Authors confirm the submission of original content in the Terms & Conditions upon submission. Manuscripts submitted to Frontiers must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere, either in whole or in part. If an article has been previously submitted for publication elsewhere, Frontiers will only consider publication if the article has been definitively rejected by the other publisher(s) at the point of submission to Frontiers.
      • Redundant publication: Frontiers considers the submission and publication of very similar articles based on the same experiment or study to be unethical.
      • Fabrication and falsification: Frontiers opposes both the fabrication of data or images (i.e. fake or made up data) and the falsification of data or images (i.e. the intentional misrepresentation or deceptive manipulation of data).
      • Plagiarism: Plagiarism occurs when an author attempts to present previously published work as original content. Every manuscript submitted to Frontiers is screened for textual overlap by the software CrossCheck, powered by iThenticate. Manuscripts found to contain textual overlap are not considered for publication by Frontiers. For more details on what constitutes plagiarism, please see here.

We reserve the right to contact the affiliated institutions of authors, who have not acted according to good research and publication practices.

3.3. Translations

Frontiers accepts manuscript submissions that are exact translations of previously published work. This should be clearly stated in the manuscript upon submission. Permission from the original publisher and authors needs to be sought and also stated in the manuscript, and the relevant documents should be provided as supplementary data for verification by the Editor and the editorial office. The original work from which the manuscript has been translated should be clearly referenced.

      • "This is a (‘language’) language translation/reprint of (‘insert title here’) originally published in (‘insert name here’). (‘Insert name here’) prepared this translation with support from (insert name of funding source, if any). Permission was granted by (‘Insert name here’).”

Please note that Frontiers may request copies of related publications if there are any concerns about overlap or possible redundancy.

3.4. Plagiarism and Duplication

Frontiers checks all submitted manuscripts for plagiarism and duplication, and publishes only original content. Those manuscripts where plagiarism or duplication is shown to have occurred will not be considered for publication in a Frontiers journal. It is required that all submissions must consist as far as possible of content that has not been published previously. In accordance with COPE guidelines, we expect that “original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the appropriate citations.” This condition also applies to an author’s own work.

For submissions adapted from theses, dissertations, conference abstracts or proceedings papers, please see the following sections for more information.

Theses and Dissertations

Frontiers allows the inclusion of content which first appeared in an author’s thesis so long as this is the only form in which it has appeared, is in line with the author’s university policy, and can be accessed online. If the thesis is not archived online, it is considered as original unpublished data and thus is subject to the unpublished data restrictions of some of our article types. This inclusion should be noted in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and the thesis should be cited and referenced accordingly in the Reference list. For some examples, please check our in Manuscript Requirements and Style Guide at 2.3.1

Conferences, Proceedings and Abstracts

Manuscripts that first appeared as conference papers must be expanded upon if they are to be considered as original work. You are required to add a substantial amount of original content in the form of new raw material (experiments, data) or new treatment of old data sets which lead to original discussion and/or conclusions, providing value that significantly exceeds the original conference version. As a rule of thumb, at least 30% of content must be original. Authors submitting such work are required to:

- Seek permission for reuse of the published conference paper if the author does not hold the copyright (proof of permission should be submitted as supplementary material or sent to with the manuscript ID upon submission).

- Cite the conference in the Acknowledgements section, or the references section if applicable


Although permissible, extended manuscript content which previously appeared online in non-academic media, e.g. blogs, should be declared at the time of submission in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

3.5. Image Manipulation

Frontiers takes concerns regarding image manipulation seriously. We request that no individual features within an image are modified (eg. enhanced, obscured, moved, recycled, removed or added). Image processing methods (e.g. changes to the brightness, contrast or color balance) must be applied to every pixel in the image and the changes should not alter the information illustrated in the figure. Where cropped images of blots are shown in figures, a full scan of the entire original gel(s) must be submitted as part of the supplementary material. Where control images are re-used for illustrative purposes, this must be clearly declared in the figure legend. If any form of image processing is legitimately required for the interpretation of the data, the software and the enhancement technique must be declared in the methods section of the manuscript. Image grouping and splicing must be clearly stated in the manuscript and the figure text. Any concerns raised over undeclared image modifications will be investigated and the authors will be asked to provide the original images.

3.6. Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest can be anything potentially interfering with, or that could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, full and objective peer review, decision-making or publication of articles submitted to Frontiers. Personal, financial and professional affiliations or relationships can be perceived as conflicts of interest.

All authors and members of Frontiers Editorial Boards are required to disclose any actual and potential conflicts of interest at submission or upon accepting an editorial or review assignment.

The Frontiers review system is designed to guarantee the most transparent and objective editorial and review process, and because handling editor and reviewers' names are made public upon the publication of articles, conflicts of interest will be widely apparent.

Failure to declare competing interests can result in the rejection of a manuscript. If an undisclosed competing interest comes to light after publication, Frontiers will take action in accordance with internal policies and Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines.

What Should I Disclose?

As an author, disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest should be done during the submission process. Consider the following questions and make sure you disclose any positive answers:

      • Did you or your institution at any time receive payment or services from a third party for any aspect of the submitted work?
      • Do you have financial relationships with entities that could be perceived to influence, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work?
      • Do you have any patents and copyrights, whether pending, issued, licensed and/or receiving royalties related to the research?
      • Do you have other relationships or activities that readers could perceive to have influenced, or that give the appearance of potentially influencing, what you wrote in the submitted work?

If you failed to disclose any of the potential conflicts of interest above during submission, or in case of doubt, please contact as soon as possible the Frontiers Editorial Office at with the details of the potential conflicts.

Example statement: “Author xxx was employed by company xxxx. All other authors declare no competing interests.”

The handling editors and reviewers will be asked to consider the following potential conflicts of interest before accepting any editing or review assignment:

FAMILY 1. Are any of the authors a spouse or significant other, a member of the same family or a very close personal friend? Review Editors should also not be a member of the same family as the handling editor.
COLLABORATIONS 2. Are you currently hosting or have hosted a Frontiers Research Topic with any of the authors within the past 2 years? Are you currently hosting a Frontiers Research Topic with the Editor?
3. Are you currently collaborating or have you collaborated on a research project or a publication with any of the authors within the past 2 years?
4. Are you currently collaborating or have you collaborated with any of the authors as an advisor or in any other direct supervisory capacity in the past five years?
5. Are you currently collaborating or have you collaborated with any of the authors as a student or in any other direct subordinate capacity in the past five years?
Note: Review Editors should not accept assignments if they have a close professional relationship with the handling editor, which in their view could affect the objectivity of the review.
AFFILIATION 6. Are you affiliated with the same institution as the editor? Are you affiliated with the same institution as any of the authors? If so, has this resulted in interactions, collaborations, or mutual interests with the authors that would compromise your impartiality in conducting this review?
7. Are you a current member of a committee or department that coincides with an affiliation with the editor or any of the authors?
FINANCIAL 8. Do you have a business or professional partnership with any author?
9. Do you have financial interests or business relations with any organization involved in this research or in the preparation of the manuscript?
10. Do you have any financial interest or competing interests in the content of the manuscript that might affect your ability to perform an objective review?

3.7. Bioethics

All research submitted to Frontiers for consideration must have been conducted in accordance with Frontiers guidelines on study ethics. In accordance with COPE guidelines, Frontiers reserves the right to reject any manuscript that editors believe does not uphold high ethical standards, even if authors have obtained ethical approval or if ethical approval is not required.

3.7.1. Studies involving animal subjects

All research involving regulated animals (i.e. all live vertebrates and higher invertebrates) must be performed in accordance with relevant institutional and national guidelines and regulations. Frontiers follows International Association of Veterinary Editors guidelines for publication of studies including animal research. Approval of research involving regulated animals must be obtained from the relevant institutional review board or ethics committee prior to commencing the study. Confirmation of this approval is required upon submission of a manuscript to Frontiers; authors must provide a statement identifying the full name of the ethics committee that approved the study. For most article types, this statement should appear in the Materials and Methods section. An example ethics statement:

This study was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Basel Declaration and recommendations of [name of guidelines], [name of committee]. The protocol was approved by the [name of committee].

Should the study be exempt from ethics approval, authors need to clearly state the reasons in the declaration statement and in the manuscript. Studies involving privately owned animals should demonstrate the best practice veterinary care and confirm that informed consent has been granted by the owner/s, or the legal representative of the owner/s. Frontiers supports and encourages authors to follow the ARRIVE guidelines for the design, analysis and reporting of scientific research.

Humane Endpoints

All manuscripts describing studies where death is an endpoint will be subject to additional ethical considerations. Frontiers reserves the right to reject any manuscripts lacking in appropriate justification.

3.7.2. Studies involving human subjects

Research involving human subjects is expected to have been conducted in accordance with the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. Studies involving human participants must be performed in accordance with relevant institutional and national guidelines, with the appropriate institutional ethics committee's prior approval and informed written consent from all human subjects involved in the study including for publication of the results. Conformation of this approval is required upon submission of a manuscript to Frontiers; authors must provide a statement identifying the full name of the ethics committee that approved the work and confirm that study subjects (or when appropriate, parent or guardian) have given written informed consent. For most article types, this statement should appear in the Materials and Methods section. An example ethics statement:

This study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of [name of guidelines], [name of committee]. The protocol was approved by the [name of committee]. All subjects gave written informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Should the study be exempt from ethics approval, authors need to clearly state the reasons in the declaration statement and in the manuscript. In order to protect subject anonymity, identifying information should not be included in the manuscript unless such information is absolutely necessary for scientific purposes AND explicit approval has been granted by the subjects.

3.7.3. Inclusion of identifiable human data

Frontiers follows the ICMJE recommendations on the protection of research participants, which state that patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. We require non-essential identifiable details to be omitted from all manuscripts, and written informed consent will be required if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained.

It is the responsibility of the researchers and authors to ensure that these principles are complied with, including the obtaining of written, informed consent.

Written informed consent can be documented on a form provided by an institution or ethics committee, and it must clearly state how the identifiable data will be used. Frontiers also makes available its own form , which may be used for this purpose, but use of the Frontiers form is not required if a suitable alternative form of consent, meeting the ICMJE recommendations, is used. We consider it to be the author' duty to encourage participants or patients whose consent for publication is required to read and understand the ICMJE guidelines, for their information prior to completing the consent form. Participants should also be encouraged to ask any questions and to ensure they are comfortable before they sign the consent form.

The completed consent forms should be stored by authors or their respective institutions, in accordance with institutional policies. Frontiers does not need to view the completed form, and this should not be included with the submission. The completed form should be made available on request from the editor or editorial office, both during the review process and post-publication.

The determination of what constitutes identifiable data lies with our editors and editorial office staff, and manuscripts may be rejected if the required consent documents cannot be provided. Please note that written informed consent for publication is required for all case report articles where the patient or subject is identified or identifiable.

3.7.4. Clinical Trials

The World Health Organization defines a clinical trial as "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes." In accordance with the Clinical Trial Registration Statement from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMEJ), all clinical trials must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the onset of participant enrolment. This requirement applies to all clinical trials that begin enrolment after July 1, 2005. To meet the requirements of the ICMJE, and Frontiers’, clinical trials can be registered with any Primary Registry in the WHO Registry Network or an ICMJE approved registry.

Clinical trial reports should be compliant with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) both in terms of including a flow diagram presenting the enrolment, intervention allocation, follow-up, and data analysis with number of subjects for each and taking into account the CONSORT Checklist of items to include when reporting a randomized clinical trial.

The information on the clinical trial registration (Unique Identifier and URL) must be included in the abstract.

3.8. Corrections

Frontiers recognizes our responsibility to correct errors in previously published articles. If it is necessary to communicate important, scientifically relevant errors or missing information, and compelling evidence can be shown that a major claim of the original article was incorrect, a Correction should be submitted detailing the reason(s) for and location(s) of the change(s) needed using the below template. Corrections can be submitted if a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading, e.g. an error in a figure that does not alter conclusions OR an error in statistical data not altering conclusions OR mislabeled figures OR wrong slide of microscopy provided, or if the author / contributor list is incorrect when a deserving author has been omitted or somebody who does not meet authorship criteria has been included. The contribution to the field statement should be used to clearly state the reason for the Correction. Please note, a correction is not intended to replace the original manuscript.

The title of the submission should have the following format: "Corrigendum: Title of original article". It is advised to use the corrigendum Word and LaTeX templates.

If the error was introduced during the publishing process, the Frontiers Production Office should be contacted.

3.9. Retractions

As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Frontiers abides by their guidelines and recommendations in cases of potential retraction.

Frontiers also abides by two other key principles, as recommended by COPE:

      • Retractions are not about punishing authors.
      • Retraction statements should be public and linked to the original, retracted article.

While all potential retractions are subject to an internal investigation and will be judged on their own merits, Frontiers considers the following reasons as giving cause for concern and potential retraction:

      • Clear evidence that findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
      • Findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution, permission or justification (i.e. cases of redundant publication)
      • Major plagiarism
      • The reporting of unethical research, the publication of an article that did not have the required ethics committee approval
      • Legal issues pertaining to the content of the article e.g. libellous content
      • Major authorship issues i.e. proven or strongly suspected cases of ghostwriting or sold (‘gift’) authorship
      • Politically-motivated articles where objectivity is a serious concern
      • The singling out of individuals or organizations for attack
      • Faith issues (e.g. intelligent design)
      • Papers that have made extraordinary claims without concomitant scientific or statistical evidence (e.g. pseudoscience)

Readers who would like to draw the editors' attention to published work that might require retraction should contact the authors of the article and write to the journal, making sure to include copies of all correspondence with authors.

Please find more details on our comments and complaints policy here

3.10. Support and Ethical concerns

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