Synopsis

• No costs at either end (authors - readers)
• Double blind peer review process

Article types: original research, reviews, technical reports, medical hypotheses, commissioned articles, special issue articles, editorials, and translated articles from non-English language journals

• Your paper, your way; no formatting rules until acceptance
• No restrictions on word count, figures, tables, or references
• Unrestricted online supplemental information
• Publication of articles reporting negative research results

Publishing fees

At this stage, the submission and publication of manuscripts is free for all authors. The published articles are made freely available to online readers.

Manuscript preparation

Manuscripts are prepared according to the ‘your paper, your way’ style in terms of formatting. However, your submission must contain:

1. A separate cover page with the title, list of authors, affiliation(s) of all authors, email address of all authors, and the full address and contact information of the corresponding author. This cover page must be uploaded as a separate document in Editorial Manager.
2. A cover page containing only the title, as part of the main manuscript. This version will be sent to reviewers for double blind evaluation of your work.
3. A graphical abstract; preferably embedded in the main manuscript.
4. An abstract and keywords.
5. Manuscript text, figures, tables, and references; preferably all embedded in the main manuscript.

Although the authors are free to structure the manuscript as they please, it is recommended to follow the downloadable template provided by JCTR for original research papers.docx (95.4 KB) and review papers.docx (95.0 KB) . These exemplary manuscript templates were designed such that your work is easy to follow by readers and reviewers, i.e., the people who decide on the value and fate of your work. For clarity and referencing purposes, the numbering of sections and subsections is encouraged. JCTR has also provided a downloadable template for the cover page, cover letter (not required for submission), and an examplary rebuttal.pdf (42.5 KB) that authors are welcome to use.

JCTR has no restrictions on word count, the number of figures and tables, and the number of references. However, it is strongly advised to proportion the amount of text in the main manuscript to the amount of available data and the essence of the study. Data that are clearly deducible from the figures and tables should not be repeated in the text. There is ample room in the online supplement to present second-order information, which may pertain to any part of the main manuscript. For the sake of reproducibility and clarity, JCTR does strongly encourage authors to report all the data of the study and to provide a detailed description of the methods. However, authors are requested to strategically allocate primary data to the main manuscript and secondary data to the online supplemental information.

JCTR has proofreading and illustration services available to optimize your manuscript.

The ‘your paper, your way’ style applies to initial submissions and resubmissions. Upon acceptance of the manuscript, the authors are required to format the manuscript according to the JCTR formatting rules.

Manuscripts must be submitted through the Editorial Manager system.

In order to increase the chances that an article is sent out for review, JCTR encourages authors to understand how manuscripts are handled.

Peer review process

Submitted manuscripts are handled according to the flow chart below. Authors should take note of the pre-screening procedure by the editorial office to prevent a desk reject. The items that are prescreened are addressed separately below. It should be noted that the journal actively screen for plagiarism with the assistance from embedded tools in the Editorial Manager system, and the handling editor is in charge of the crosscheck.  

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Editors' responsibilities: 

The handling editors are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the fairness, timeliness, and quality of the peer-review process. Peer-review tasks are assigned to external reviewers with the proper expertise. These external reviewers are chosen by the handling editor to whom the task has been delegated. 

JCTR scope

JCTR aims to publish research that ultimately benefits the patient. Accordingly, the published papers should address any clearly defined clinical problem in an attempt to elucidate or (partly) resolve that problem. The research areas covered by JCTR are essentially unrestricted. A non-exhausted list of research areas is provided on the About JCTR page. The main requirement is that original research contains ex vivo, in vivo, and/or clinical data as depicted below. In vitro data will be published in exceptional cases. Such exemptions are made for articles addressing for example molecular pathways that lie at the basis of a disease, novel biotechnological approaches for e.g., the production of drugs, or new techniques that improve clinical diagnostics and prognostics. Contributions from academic institutions and industry are welcome. Submissions on negative research results are encouraged. In case of doubt, please contact the editor-in-chief.

Figure 2 - Heger201501005.jpg

Impact and relevance of the study

The impact and relevance of a study are important criteria for JCTR to ensure that the goal of the journal, namely to disseminate information that will ultimately benefit patients, is upheld within the scope of JCTR. Accordingly, a study introducing a novel liquid biopsy technique to diagnose a given cancer at high accuracy will receive priority over a study reporting on an improved method to diagnose cancer at 1% greater accuracy than the gold standard technique. Authors can significantly reduce the chances of a desk reject decision by explaining the impact and relevance of their study in the manuscript and cover letter.

Conflict of interest policy

Contributing authors are obligated to disclose all possible and actual conflicts of interest related to the submitted work in accordance with the ICMJE guidelines.

Reviewers are obligated to contact the managing editor when the manuscript under review constitutes a potential or actual conflict of interest. 

Handling editors are to disclose potential and actual conflicts of interest to the managing editor. Reviewers and handling editors will be unassigned from the respective manuscript in case of a conflict of interest situation.

Ethics approval

All animal protocols must be performed in accordance with institutional guidelines and/or the NIH guide for the care and use of laboratory animals (8th edition, 2011)following approval by the institutional review board. Both should be explicitly confirmed in the materials and methods section. Data should be reported in line with the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting in vivo experiments. A guide for the design and validation of rodent models for biomedical research purposes can be found in Hollingshead MG, J Natl Cancer Inst 2008;100:1500-10.

With respect to clinical studies, only results from clinical trials approved by an institutional review board and entered into an acknowledged clinical trial will be sent out for peer review. The registry identifier should be included in the materials and methods section of the manuscript and a full link to the registry web page should be cited as reference. In accord with the guidelines stipulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), JCTR recognizes the following clinical trial registries:

www.anzctr.org.au
www.clinicaltrials.gov
www.ISRCTN.org
www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/index/htm
www.trialregister.nl
https://eudract.ema.europa.eu/ (new registrations after June 20, 2011)

Authors wishing to submit results from unregistered trials will be requested to make their study protocols available to the editor-in-chief, accompanied by a letter detailing why the study was not registered. The decision to subject these manuscripts to peer review is always at the discretion of the editors.

Preparation guidelines for clinical manuscripts:

• Prospective randomized clinical trials must adhere to the CONSORT guidelines and must include a CONSORT flow chart.
• Observational studies should conform to the STROBE statement.
• Additional manuscript type-specific preparation criteria can be found on the website of the EQUATOR network.

Data reporting and statistical analysis

All experimental data reported in the results section must be accompanied by an account of how the data were obtained in respective methods section. qPCR experiments should be reported as per the MIQE guidelines. A practical guide to performing qPCR can be found in Taylor S et al., Methods 2010;50:S1-5.

Authors should perform robust statistical analysis. The book Intuitive Biostatistics by Harvey Motulsky is an accessible and authoritative guide to statistics recommended by JCTR. A synopsis of the book is provided on the GraphPad website. A summary of which statistical test to use can be downloaded here ( JCTR GUIDELINE - Statistics.pdf (19.0 KB) ). For more complex statistical analyses, authors are encouraged to involve a statistician in the data analysis. JCTR has statisticians and epidemiologists in the editorial board who will be asked to validate the statistical methods in selected manuscripts.

English language

Good and effective communication of your data boils down to the proper and correct use of language. Authors are strongly encouraged to carefully proofread the manuscript before submission. A guide for writing scientific papers is made available to contributors who are interested in improving their scientific writing and English skills. JCTR offers proofreading services for authors who need linguistic assistance.

Copyright policies

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright in any article published by Journal of Clinical and Translational Research is retained by the author(s). Authors grant the journal a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. Authors also grant any third party the right to use the article freely provided that it is not used for commercial purposes and its original authors, citation details and publisher are identified.