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INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS

General information


The Italian Journal of Gender-specific Medicine is a peer-reviewed four-monthly journal which aims to increase the development and promotion of a “culture” of gender-specific medicine both in Italy and internationally.
The journal is devoted to the study of the sex and gender differences in all diseases and it is addressed to clinical researchers, pharmacologists, decision-makers, payors and health professionals in order to enhance not only the national and international experiences in basic, clinical and translational research, but also the social, political and cultural realities.
The central part of each issue is dedicated to the scientific discussion and includes the following material: editorials, narrative or systematic reviews, original articles, special articles in areas such as health policy, ethics and health care delivery, brief communications, and letters to the editor.
The “Gender-specific medicine watch” section includes updates on the dissemination of the gender-specific medicine in Italy and on the European, national and local laws and regulations, summaries of particularly important contributions issued in the international journals, announcements and reports of events and conferences, interviews with leading exponents of the institutional and regional healthcare system.

Editorial policies and ethics


For conflicts of interest, authorship and ethical aspects the journal makes reference to the document of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). This is a constantly updated position statement.

Conflicts of interest. Particular attention should be paid to the declaration of the possible existence of economic conflicts of interest. The latter, in fact, if expressed, do not constitute grounds for penalisation in the evaluation of the work. On the contrary, should the editors or reviewers determine the existence of potentially conflicting interests (participation in satellite symposia or involvement in research projects) not declared by one or more authors, this may constitute a reason for rejecting the publication proposal. The journal editorial staff does not consider such possible conflicts of interest as “cultural or intellectual”. In other words, having spoken positively or negatively about classes of drugs, specific approaches to clinical practice or health policy strategies is not a reason for prejudice in the evaluation of proposed content.

Plagiarism. It may seem obvious, but the importance of not drawing content from sources that are not mentioned in the bibliography is stressed. Publishing houses now have software or control techniques that are able to discover almost all attempts at plagiarism already in the phase of editorial review of the contributions.

Authorship. It is important that only those who actually contributed to the preparation of the content are listed as authors. The conditions for signing an article are those described in the editorial by Phil Fontanarosa et al. published in JAMA in December 2017: Fontanarosa P, Bauchner H, Flanagin A. Authorship and team science. JAMA 2017; 318(24).

Research ethics and patient consent. Protection of human individuals in research. When reporting experiments on human individuals, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the WMA Helsinki Declaration. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. 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.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.
Protection of animals in research. When performing experiments on animals or animal tissues, authors should seek approval by an institutional ethics committee and should strictly follow the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals. At time of manuscript submission, authors should provide information on the study approval by an institutional ethical committee.

Data sharing policy. A submission to the journal implies that materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any researcher wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes, without breaching participant confidentiality. The journal strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible.

SAGER reporting Guidelines for Sex and Gender Equity in Research. This journal has adopted the SAGER reporting Guidelines for Sex and Gender Equity in Research.
These guidelines apply to original research articles and review papers. Authors should use the terms sex and gender carefully in order to avoid confusing both terms. Where subjects can also be differentiated by gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances), the research should be conducted similarly at this additional level of distinction. Where the subjects of research comprise organisms capable of differentiation by sex, the research should be designed and conducted in a way that can reveal sex-related differences in the results, even if these were not initially expected.

Copyright. Articles will be accepted provided that they are original, and that they are not going to be published elsewhere afterwards. Authors are solely responsible for the scientific content. The copyright of the articles is transferred to the Publishing House and no part of the papers may be reproduced in any form and by any means by third parties.

Review procedure. The Italian Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine employs a single-blind peer review process to evaluate manuscripts.
Submitted manuscripts are evaluated for scope, scientific accuracy, novelty, and interest for the readership by the Scientific editors. Every manuscript is treated by the scientific editors and reviewers as privileged information, and reviewers are instructed to exclude themselves from review of any manuscript that might involve a conflict of interest.
Only those manuscripts that seem to meet our scientific and editorial criteria are sent out for peer review. If the scientific editors find the work of insufficient interest or otherwise inappropriate or not-original, the manuscript is rejected without external review.
Manuscripts considered of potential interest to our readers are assigned by the scientific editors to at least two reviewers. Reviewers are chosen among the scientific committee or they can be external reviewers on the basis of the field discussed in the manuscript.
On the basis of the reviewers' advice, several different possibilities are taken into account:

  • The manuscript can be accepted with or without editorial revisions.
  • The authors can be solicited to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns of the reviewers. Thereafter, a reassessment of the manuscript is carried out by the reviewers or by the editors.
  • The manuscript can be rejected, but the editors can suggest the authors to resubmit the manuscript after further work.
  • The manuscript can be definitely rejected, typically on the basis of low interest, lack of novelty, insufficient scientific advance or major technical problems.

As far as the invited articles are concerned, the review process is generally limited to the formal aspects and it is carried out exclusively by the editorial board.

Article type and requirements


Editorials focus on the current state of a problem or provide an opinion on a controversial topic. They should have a length of maximum 1000 words and no more than 12 references.

Reviews should offer an overview of the literature as wide and updated as possible. Manuscript should have a length of maximum 6000 words. It should include references as well as a summary of at least 200 words in English and Italian (only for Italian authors) and up to five key words (MeSH headings, whenever possible. Refer to: www.nlm.nih.gov/ mesh/meshhome.html).
Figures and tables would be appreciated. Please, include also five “key messages” summarizing the main messages on which the reader’s attention should focus.

Original articles should have a length of maximum 4000 words and should including references (max 20) as well as a summary of at least 200 words in English and Italian (only for Italian authors) and up to five key words (MeSH headings, whenever possible. Refer to: www.nlm.nih.gov/ mesh/meshhome.html). Manuscript should be structured as follows: introduction and objectives of the study; description of materials and methods; results obtained; remarks and analytical discussion of the results; conclusions (directly supported by the results). Summary should follow the IMRAD sequence: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion; summary should summarize the content of the article in a way as accurate as possible, without adding parts, and without minimizing possible limits of the study.
Figures and tables would be appreciated. Five “key messages” summarizing the main messages on which the reader’s attention should focus are also required.

Special articles should offer an overview in such areas as health policy, ethics, and health care delivery. They should have a length of maximum 4000 words and should including references (max 20) as well as a summary of at least 200 words in English and Italian (only for Italian authors) and up to five key words (MeSH headings, whenever possible. Refer to: www.nlm.nih.gov/ mesh/meshhome.html). Figures and tables would be appreciated. Five “key messages” summarizing the main messages on which the reader’s attention should focus are also required.

Short communications are suitable to rapidly disseminate the results of original studies. They should have a length of maximum 1500 words with a brief summary (100 words) in English and in Italian (only for Italian authors). It is allowed to include 1 table, 1 figure and essential references.

Letters to the Editor (up to 600 words) should ideally include remarks on topics dealt in recently issued numbers.

Gender-specific medicine watch section publishes updates on the dissemination of the gender-specific medicine culture in Italy and on the European, national and local laws and regulations, summaries of particularly important contributions issued in the international journals, announcements and reports of events and conferences, interviews with the leading exponents of the institutional and regional healthcare system. This section is edited by the Editorial office, even if external proposals are also considered.

Article submission


Articles should be submitted online via the PACE web portal (Pensiero Author CEnter), after having been creating an own account.

The submission should include the following files:

  1. A cover letter where the authors:
    (a) declare that the article is original and that they transfer the copyright to the Publishing House;
    (b) specify the article type;
    (c) specify the contribution given by each single author to the drawing up of the paper is required (in case of articles signed by different authors); all authors should have participating in conceiving the content and in the final review);
    (d) describe any potential conflict of interest for all authors (a conflict of interest exists when authors or their institutions have financial or personal relationship with other people or organizations that could inappropriately bias conduct and findings of the study. If it is clearly expressed, is not a reason for penalizing the article assessment. On the contrary, if the Editorial Office or reviewers find out a potential conflict of interest not declared by one or several authors, this may be a reason for rejecting the publication proposal);
    (d) permission to reproduce figures, if appropriate.
  2. The manuscript file as Word document.
  3. The photograpghs and figures as separate files (the following file format are acceptable: jpeg, tiff, ppt, eps, xls).
  4. The tables as separate files (Word or Excel).

 For any problem or request for clarification, please do not hesitate to contact Mara Losi (m.losi@pensiero.it).

Manuscript preparation


Manuscript should be written in American or British English. Please, remember to be consistent with the spellings throughout your manuscript.
The first page of the manuscript should contain the title, the authors’ names (in full) and surnames, and the Institute to which they are affiliated.
The second page should include the summaries and the key words.
Possible acknowledgements should be provided at the end of the manuscript before the references.
After the references, at the bottom of the last page, write the personal address of the author (including phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address).
Use Italics only in case of Latin words, and not for foreign words.
Use Bold for the titles of the sections, never in the text. The titles of possible subsections should be in clear font (not in capital letters and bold). Do not use Italics or Bold in the list of references.
The symbols of the units of measures should conform to those used by the International System (IS).
Abbreviations and acronyms should be inserted between brackets after the relevant full word(s). The pharmaceutical formulae should be indicated with the name of the active principle.

Tables and figures. They should be understandable also without reference to the text and should be numbered in Arabic numerals in a consecutive and independent way according to their citation within the paper.
Tables should be preceeded by a title. Each column within the table should have a heading. Abbreviations should be reported in full in the legend. If required, mention the source.
All photographs and figures should include a legend. The following file formats are acceptable: JPEG, TIFF or EPS: they must have a resolution of at least 300 dpi and a width of at least 160 mm at the base. Vectorial images (flow charts, schemes, and other non bitmap material) should be in Adobe Illustrator, Excel, Microsoft Power Point. If required, mention the source.

References. All references in the text must be numbered in superscript Arabical numerals without brackets and must be mentioned at the end of the article in the order in which they are quoted. References first cited in a table or figure legend should be numbered so they will be in sequence with references cited in the text at the point where the table or figure is first mentioned.
All references should conform to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publications of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. Titles of periodicals should be abbreviated in accordance with the Medline abbreviation of the US National Library of Medicine.
List all citation authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first six, followed by "et al". The following are sample references:

Examples:
Articles in journals
Fraser GE, Phillips RL, Harris R. Physical fitness and blood pressure in school children. New Engl J Med. 1983;67:405-10.
Books and chapter in a book
Astrand PO, Rodahe K. Textbook of work physiology. New York: Mc-Graw-Hill; 1986.
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
Electronic material
Cancer-Pain.org [Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.cancer-pain.org/

For anything else herein not specified, please refer to the following guide: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References.

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