Research articles should report on original primary research.
Research articles should report on original primary research.
Preparing your manuscript
The title page should:
- present a title that includes, if appropriate, the research design
- list the full names and institutional addresses for all authors
- if a collaboration group should be listed as an author, please list the Group name as an author and include the names of the individual members of the Group in the “Acknowledgements” section in accordance with the instructions below
- indicate the corresponding author
The abstract should briefly summarize the aim, findings or purpose of the article. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. See the criteria section for this article type (located at the top of this page) for information on abstract and article word limits.
Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.
The Introduction section should explain the background to the study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature and why this study was necessary.
This should include the findings of the study including, if appropriate, results of statistical analysis which must be included either in the text or as tables and figures.
Discussion (can be combined in ‘Results and Discussion’ section)
For research articles this section should discuss the implications of the findings in context of existing research and highlight limitations of the study. For methodology manuscripts this section should include a discussion of any practical or operational issues involved in performing the study and any issues not covered in other sections.
This should state clearly the main conclusions and provide an explanation of the importance and relevance of the study to the field.
Methods/Experimental (can also be placed after Introduction)
The methods section should include:
- the aim, design and setting of the study
- the characteristics of participants or description of materials
- a clear description of all processes and methodologies employed. Generic names should generally be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses
- the type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate
- studies involving human participants, data or tissue or animals must include statement on ethics approval and consent
List of abbreviations
If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations should be provided.
All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':
- Availability of data and materials
- Competing interests
- Authors' contributions
- Authors' information (optional)
Please see below for details on the information to be included in these sections.
If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.
Availability of data and materials
For all journals, BioMed Central strongly encourages all datasets on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely to be either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main paper or additional supporting files, in machine-readable format (such as spreadsheets rather than PDFs) whenever possible. Please see the list of recommended repositories in our editorial policies.
For some journals, deposition of the data on which the conclusions of the manuscript rely is an absolute requirement. Please check the Criteria section for this article type (located at the top of this page) for journal specific policies.
For all journals, authors must include an “Availability of data and materials” section in their article detailing where the data supporting their findings can be found. If you do not wish to share your data, please state that data will not be shared, and state the reason.
For instructions on how to cite your data and format this section see preparation/style and formatting.
If you wish to co-submit a data note describing your data to be published in BMC Research Notes, you can do so by visiting our submission portal. Data notes support open data and help authors to comply with funder policies on data sharing. Co-published data notes will be linked to the research article the data support (example).
For more information please email our Research Data Team.
All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section. See our editorial policies for a full explanation of competing interests. If you are unsure whether you or any of your co-authors have a competing interest please contact the editorial office.
All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared.
The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section.
Please acknowledge anyone who contributed towards the article who does not meet the criteria for authorship including anyone who provided professional writing services or materials.
Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section.
See our editorial policies for a full explanation of acknowledgements and authorship criteria.
Group authorship: if you would like the names of the individual members of a collaboration Group to be searchable through their individual PubMed records (where applicable), please ensure that the title of the collaboration Group is included on the title page and in the submission system and also include collaborating author names as the last paragraph of the “Acknowledgements” section. Please add authors in the format First Name, Middle initial(s) (optional), Last Name. You can add institution or country information for each author if you wish, but this should be consistent across all authors.
You may choose to use this section to include any relevant information about the author(s) that may aid the reader's interpretation of the article, and understand the standpoint of the author(s). This may include details about the authors' qualifications, current positions they hold at institutions or societies, or any other relevant background information. Please refer to authors using their initials. Note this section should not be used to describe any competing interests.
Footnotes should be designated within the text using a superscript number. It is not allowed to use footnotes for references/citations.
Examples of the American Psychological Association (APA) reference style are shown below. For further guidance, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and the respective web site of the Association (http://www.apastyle.org/).
See our editorial policies for author guidance on good citation practice.
Web links and URLs: All web links and URLs, including links to the authors' own websites, should be given a reference number and included in the reference list rather than within the text of the manuscript. They should be provided in full, including both the title of the site and the URL, as well as the date the site was accessed, in the following format: The Mouse Tumor Biology Database. http://tumor.informatics.jax.org/mtbwi/index.do. Accessed 20 May 2013. If an author or group of authors can clearly be associated with a web link, such as for weblogs, then they should be included in the reference.
Example reference style:
Article within a journal
Harris, M., Karper, E., Stacks, G., Hoffman, D., DeNiro, & R., Cruz, P. (2001). Writing labs and the Hollywood connection. Journal of Film Writing, 44(3), 213-245.
Article by DOI (with page numbers)
Slifka, M.K., & Whitton, J.L. (2000). Clinical implications of dysregulated cytokine production. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 78(2), 74-80. doi:10.1007/s001090000086.
Article by DOI (before issue publication and without page numbers)
Kreger, M., Brindis, C.D., Manuel, D.M., & Sassoubre, L. (2007). Lessons learned in systems change initiatives: benchmarks and indicators. American Journal of Community Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10464-007-9108-14.
Article in electronic journal by DOI (no paginated version)
Kruger, M., Brandis, C.D., Mandel, D.M., & Sassoure, J. (2007). Lessons to be learned in systems change initiatives: benchmarks and indicators. American Journal of Digital Psychology. doi: 10.1007/s10469-007-5108-14.
Calfee, R.C., & Valencia, R.R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Book chapter, or an article within a book
O'Neil, J.M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men's and women's gender role journeys: Metaphor for healing, transition, and transformation. In B.R. Wainrib (Ed.), Gender issues across the life cycle (pp. 107-123). New York: Springer.
Online First chapter in a series (without a volume designation but with a DOI)
Saito, Y., & Hyuga, H. (2007). Rate equation approaches to amplification of enantiomeric excess and chiral symmetry breaking. Topics in Current Chemistry. doi:10.1007/128_2006_108.
Complete book, also showing a translated edition [Either edition may be listed first.]
Adorno, T.W. (1966). Negative Dialektik. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. English edition: Adorno, TW (1973). Negative Dialectics (trans: Ashton, E.B.). London: Routledge.
Abou-Allaban, Y., Dell, M.L., Greenberg, W., Lomax, J., Peteet, J., Torres, M., & Cowell, V. (2006). Religious/spiritual commitments and psychiatric practice. Resource document. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psych.org/edu/other_res/lib_archives/archives/200604.pdf. Accessed 25 June 2007.
German emigrants database (1998). Historisches Museum Bremerhaven. http://www.deutsche-auswanderer-datenbank.de. Accessed 21 June 2007.
Supplementary material/private homepage
Doe, J. (2006). Title of supplementary material. http://www.privatehomepage.com. Accessed 22 Feb 2007.
Doe, J. (1999). Trivial HTTP, RFC2169. ftp://ftp.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2169.txt. Accessed 12 Feb 2006.
ISSN International Centre (2006). The ISSN register. http://www.issn.org. Accessed 20 Feb 2007.
Figures, tables and additional files
See General formatting guidelines for information on how to format figures, tables and additional files.