The Editorial Board encourages authors to familiarize themselves with the information below to ensure that their submissions are handled efficiently and evaluated fairly in accordance with the JCI's guidelines and policies.
Revised December 4, 2014 | Revision history
[Back to top]
Research manuscripts provide substantial new mechanistic insights into biology and disease. They are complete descriptions of studies of scientific importance and broad interest to the JCI readership.
Clinical Medicine submissions report new medical therapies, interventions, diagnostic advances, or observational studies in humans that have the potential to change medical practice. Reports of interest include intervention trials, new procedures, or diagnostic advances that provide an early demonstration of clinically relevant outcomes.
Technical Advance submissions report new and important research tools and techniques that could have broad impact. Technical Advances optimally also include application of the technique to a specific question relevant to understanding or treating a disease.
Note: The recommended length for Research, Clinical Medicine, and Technical Advance submissions is 9,000 words; the maximum allowable length of an accepted manuscript is 12,000 words, including the text of legends, tables, and references.
Brief Report articles are discrete, highly significant findings reported in a shorter format of 3,500 words or fewer in length; this strictly enforced word limit includes all text (the title page, main text, references, legends, and table). Brief Reports are limited to 3 figures and 1 table (if applicable). Figures and tables may not be substituted for each other (e.g., it is not acceptable to include 2 figures and 2 tables, or 4 figures and no tables). The size of a figure must not exceed one-half of a portrait-oriented page. The Statistics and Study Approval sections must be included in the main text Methods section. A complete, detailed description of methods is also required and may appear in the main text, a Supplement, or a combination of both.
[Back to top]
Manuscripts must be submitted through the JCI’s submission website. An account is required in order to proceed with submission; authors can register for accounts or access their existing accounts by following the instructions at the-jci.org. In brief, during the online submission process, submitters are asked to state adherence to JCI editorial policies; specify funding sources; upload the manuscript and supporting documents; and enter a cover letter, abstract, author list, and keywords. During this process, authors may suggest a member of the Editorial Board with appropriate expertise to handle their submission. In addition, authors may note up to 2 reviewers they wish to exclude and reason(s) for exclusion.
Once the submission information is complete, submitters of original and de novo manuscripts are required to pay a nonrefundable fee of US$75, which helps support journal operations. The fee is not required for revised submissions. Payment by credit card (Visa/MasterCard/American Express only) is strongly encouraged; checks drawn in US dollars are acceptable (a US$25 fee is assessed for returned checks). The JCI does not accept purchase orders or bank wire transfers. Manuscripts will not be considered until payment is received. Note that the submission fee is charged regardless of whether the manuscript is sent for external review.
[Back to top]
Research, Technical Advance, and Clinical Medicine manuscripts include the following sections (see Requirements specific to Clinical Medicine submissions):
Note: The recommended length for Research, Technical Advance, and Clinical Medicine submissions is 9,000 words; the maximum allowable length of an accepted manuscript is 12,000 words, including the text of legends, tables, and references.
Brief Reports include:
Note: The maximum allowable length for an accepted Brief Report manuscript is 3,500 words, including the text of legends, tables, and references.
For all manuscripts, ensure that:
The manuscript title should be clear, concise, descriptive, and limited to 10 words including conjunctions. Subtitles, colons, and nonstandard abbreviations are unacceptable. For publication, titles may be revised by the JCI to ensure clarity and accessibility to our wide readership, with the final approval of the authors.
First and last names of all authors, as well as their affiliations (departments, institutions, and locations) during the period when the work was performed. Assign affiliation footnotes consecutively using superscript numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). If any author's affiliation has changed since completion of the work, specify the present affiliation and location below the numbered list. Provide the complete name, address, telephone number (including country code, where applicable), and e-mail address of the corresponding author. If the author list includes a consortium/study group as author (e.g., CARDIoGRAM Consortium) without specifying the individuals’ names, list the members of each consortium named and their affiliations in the Supplemental material; add the following sentence to the Acknowledgments section: “See Supplemental Acknowledgments for consortium details.”
Provide a statement consistent with the JCI’s conflict of interest policy. If no author has a conflict, include the following: “The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.”
The abstract may not contain any primary data or references; all nonstandard abbreviations must be defined.
Provide a paragraph titled “Author contributions” specifying how each author (identified by initials) contributed to the manuscript. Examples include designing research studies, conducting experiments, acquiring data, analyzing data, providing reagents, and writing the manuscript. Multiple contributions may be listed for a single individual, and more than one individual may be associated with a single contribution.
An Acknowledgments paragraph states sources of support in the form of grants, equipment, or drugs. Other appropriate acknowledgments (for example, to other scientists for their help or advice) may also be included.
Authors of accepted manuscripts may provide related supplemental data to be posted online along with the published manuscript. This may include figures, tables, videos, or appendices but excludes large datasets. All Supplemental Data information (except videos) should be combined into a single PDF file. Before submission, carefully review all files; they will not be checked by a copy editor. The JCI is not responsible for any errors contained in data supplements.
A detailed conflict of interest policy is available here. All authors are expected to disclose financial relationships, consultancies, stock or equity interests, patent-licensing arrangements, or any other interest of a financial nature, whether or not directly related to the subject material of the study, since it could undermine the objectivity, integrity, or perceived value of the publication.
If samples have been randomly assigned to experimental groups or processing order, a statement specifying the randomization procedure should be included in Methods.
If investigators have been blinded to the sample group allocation during the experiment or analysis of the experimental outcome, a statement describing the level of blinding should be included in Methods.
Authors must provide sufficient details about the sample collection to distinguish between independent biological replicates and technical replicates. Biological replicates represent samples from different sources, while technical replicates represent an assay of a sample from the same source multiple times. The exact number of samples (n) for each figure panel representing multiple experiments must be included in the figure or its legend. For representative experiments, authors must state the number of times this experiment was repeated.
The Methods section should include an adequate description of the experimental procedures to allow researchers in the field to reproduce the work. Authors may include additional methods in the supplemental materials as needed.
Authors must fully describe all statistical tests used during the analysis in the methods, and the statistical test used must also be reported in the relevant figure legend. We encourage authors to describe methods used to assess whether the data met the assumptions of the statistical test utilized (e.g., normal distribution). Authors must specify whether statistical tests are one-sided or two-sided. When making multiple comparisons on a single data set, authors should choose statistical tests that account for multiple groups (such as ANOVA rather than a series of t tests). The statistical analysis should also correct for repeated measures when comparing multiple measurements within subjects. A statement describing inclusion/exclusion criteria must be included in Methods if any samples were excluded from the analysis. Error bars must be defined, either in Methods or in the legends themselves; e.g., “Data represent mean ± SEM.” Variance around the mean and statistical analysis should not be presented if fewer than 3 independent samples are included.
All clinical investigation must have been conducted according to Declaration of Helsinki principles. All human studies must have been approved by the appropriate institutional review board(s), and a specific declaration of such approval must be made in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the Methods section, including a statement indicating that written informed consent was received from participants prior to inclusion in the study. Participants should be identified by number, not by name. Manuscripts without declaration of ethical approval for experiments will not be reviewed. For manuscripts that include patient photographs, a separate statement must be included, in the Study Approval section of Methods, that written informed consent was provided for pictures appearing in the manuscript.
Authors are encouraged to follow the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) guidelines for reporting on animal studies. For animal models, the precise genotype, strain, source, number of backcrosses, sex, and age of animals studied must be provided in the manuscript. All animal studies must have been approved by the appropriate institutional review board(s), and a specific declaration of such approval must be made in a stand-alone paragraph at the end of the Methods section.
Authors must describe the source of all cell lines utilized. Authors are also encouraged to include information regarding authentication of cell lines and testing for mycoplasma contamination.
A description of all antibodies used is included in Methods, providing the source and catalog/clone number for commercial antibodies or a description/reference to a description of the generation of custom antibodies.
Large datasets for gene expression microarrays, SNP arrays, and high-throughput sequencing studies must be deposited in a public repository. Microarray data must be deposited in a MIAME-compliant public database. High-throughput sequencing data must be deposited in a MINSEQE-compliant public database. Provide the relevant accession numbers in the text of the main manuscript. Deposition of other types of large datasets in a public repository is strongly encouraged. Other supporting datasets must be made available to any interested reader on the publication date from the authors directly. Researchers who encounter a persistent refusal by an author of a paper to comply with these guidelines should contact the Editors’ office by e-mail at email@example.com.
Authors must submit original nucleotide or amino acid sequence data to GenBank, the EMBL-EBI database, DNA Databank of Japan (DDBJ), or another appropriate publicly available database in general use in the field that gives free access to researchers from the date of publication.
For any new chemical compound described, the chemical structure must be reported. Authors must also provide adequate data to support assignment of identity and purity of the compounds. For most compounds, chemical identity should be established through spectroscopic analysis. Authors should include adequate experimental and characterization data in Methods or Supplemental Methods. Methods describing the synthesis of new compounds must also be included.
For authors reporting T cell assays and NK cell assays, we recommend including Minimal Information About T cell Assays (MIATA) in Methods, figure legends, or elsewhere as appropriate.
Authors describing new software that they have developed are encouraged to report the source code for software in the Supplemental Methods or include a statement regarding how the software can be obtained.[Back to Manuscript preparation]
In accordance with the requirements set forth in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), we ask that authors provide specific information regarding the ethical treatment of research participants, patient consent, patient privacy, protocols, authorship, and competing interests. A Clinical Medicine submission must include:
The JCI recommends that authors check the Equator Network for a list of reporting guidelines for each study type.
A systematic review is a literature review that follows an explicit protocol to systematically identify, appraise, and synthesize the findings of studies that address a similar question. A meta-analysis is a quantitative synthesis of the results of a systematic review.
The JCI defines observational studies as those in which the assignment of the medical intervention is not at the discretion of the investigator.
[Back to top]
All JCI research articles are freely available online at the journal's website immediately upon publication. Charges (in US$) assessed to authors help support publication of the JCI. Authors will receive an invoice with the publication proofs. For publication of Research, Clinical Medicine, and Technical Advance articles, authors will be assessed $4500. For Brief Reports, the publication fee is $2,900.
For publication, titles and abstracts may be revised by the JCI to ensure clarity and accessibility to our wide readership, with the final approval of the authors.
Proofs will be sent to the corresponding author, who will be asked to answer copy editor queries and make any necessary corrections. If the corresponding author will be unavailable, JCI staff must be informed of another author responsible for the proof. The proof must be returned within 2 days; late proofs could lead to a delay in publication.
The JCI deposits all articles in PubMed Central, and all research is available three months after publication. Authors of articles published in the JCI do not need to submit their accepted articles separately to PubMed Central. This satisfies the NIH Public Access Policy and other similar funder requirements.
The Editorial Board recognizes that some authors may wish to publicize their work in the lay press. An embargo date and time is established for each article to be published in the JCI, and violation of the embargo by authors is considered grounds for withdrawal of the manuscript from publication and/or other measures that the Editors may choose to take. Any specific questions about the JCI embargo policy should be addressed to the Science Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Back to top]
The JCI considers the following to be prior publication and therefore unacceptable:
The Science Editors assign manuscripts to appropriate Associate Editors. Papers may be rejected without external review if the Associate Editor, together with a Science Editor or the Editor-in Chief, determines that the study does not significantly advance the field or the subject material is inappropriate for the JCI’s readership. When papers are sent for external review, the choice of reviewers is made by the Associate Editor and may include reviewers suggested by the authors. Requests by authors to exclude a specific potential reviewer will be honored to the greatest extent possible if a compelling reason is provided. At least two, and generally three, expert referees are asked to review the manuscript in a timely manner and to assign a priority based on content, originality, quality, relevance, and interest. Authors are informed of the final decision by e-mail, with applicable comments from reviewers and Editors included.
ASCI members. Any current ASCI member who is a corresponding author of a first-round submission to the JCI may designate one submission per calendar year to be guaranteed for external peer review. Submissions must fit within the scope of the journal and will be held to the same standard as other manuscripts considered by the Editorial Board. Please note previously submitted manuscripts are not eligible for guaranteed external review. Upon submission of a manuscript, eligible ASCI members who have not yet used this option for the calendar year will receive an e-mail notification that the option is available and must respond within 2 days to elect this option.
The peer-review process rests on the assumption that an assigned reviewer will treat all manuscripts as privileged information. A reviewer may request advice from another party, subject to the general principle of confidentiality and notification of the JCI.
Manuscripts may be accepted with no changes, provisionally accepted pending minor revisions, or rejected. For a rejected manuscript, if the reviewers and the Board believe that the paper, if appropriately revised, will merit a high enough priority to be published in the JCI, the authors are invited to submit a revision. All revised manuscripts are carefully reexamined. While acceptance cannot be guaranteed, the Board will make every effort to ensure that revised manuscripts are accepted presuming that the authors are able to address all reviewer criticisms and that no new studies published in the interim have compromised the paper’s novelty. If the authors of a rejected manuscript believe that a serious scientific error occurred during the review process, they may send a rebuttal explaining why the Board should reconsider the decision (see Contacting the JCI). While few rebuttals are successful in reversing the original decision, they are taken seriously, and their handling can take several weeks; we receive a large number of manuscripts each week to which we must give first priority.
If authors of rejected manuscripts are subsequently able to make new advances that go far beyond the original submission, they may consider submitting a substantially revised manuscript for de novo review. The authors should refer to the prior version in their cover letter, particularly to indicate how the present version differs. The Editors will make a determination of whether the work is substantially advanced beyond the original submission. Note that de novo submissions are considered as new papers and may be sent to the same or independent referees.
Questions regarding manuscript handling and status should be addressed to email@example.com. To avoid the possibility of misinterpretation and/or errors in communication, information will be given only to the corresponding author and will not provide extensive details (e.g., exact status of review, the name of the handling Editor, or a predicted time to final decision).
Questions concerning editorial policies or decisions should be addressed to the Science Editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other members of the Editorial Board do not take calls or written inquiries from authors concerning decisions or other editorial matters. In general, responses are sent after evaluation of the written material and subsequent discussion by the Editorial Board.
Authors may submit inquiries to the JCI regarding manuscripts of potential suitability. Inquiries must include the manuscript abstract and a statement detailing the reasons why the manuscript might be of interest to the journal’s readership. Decisions on such inquiries are not a substitute for peer review but are intended to provide informal guidance to authors in determining where to submit their research for full peer review.
By submitting a manuscript to the JCI, the authors agree to subject it to the confidential peer-review process outlined above. However, all manuscripts remain the property of the submitting author(s) unless a decision to accept the manuscript is made and the authors officially assign copyright to the ASCI.
As of the date of publication, authors will be required to make materials and methods used available to academic researchers for their own use. No exceptions will be made to this policy. This requirement includes antibodies, cell lines, and any newly created mutant animals. Animals can be made available through the authors' institution or via a publicly available repository. Other reagents, methods, etc., must be made available to the academic community. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will be considered a violation of the authorship agreement and could result in retraction of the published article.
Large datasets for gene expression microarrays, SNP arrays, and high-throughput sequencing studies must be deposited in a public repository. Microarray data must be deposited in a MIAME-compliant public database. High-throughput sequencing data must be deposited in a MINSEQE-compliant public database. The relevant accession numbers must appear in the main text of the manuscript. Deposition of other types of large datasets in a public repository is strongly encouraged. Other supporting datasets must be made available to any interested reader on the publication date from the authors directly. Researchers who encounter a persistent refusal by an author of a paper to comply with these guidelines should contact the Editors’ office by e-mail at email@example.com.
In general, the JCI adheres to guidelines established by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity. For further information, refer to the Office’s website at http://ori.hhs.gov/.
Duplicate publication and scientific fraud are rare events that have a very serious impact on the integrity of the scientific community. If the Board discovers or is presented with evidence of such problems, the Board will contact the appropriate official(s) at the institution(s) from which the manuscript originated. It is then left to the institution(s) in question to pursue the matter appropriately. Depending upon the circumstances, the journal may choose to publish errata, corrigenda, or expressions of concern, or to retract the manuscript in its entirety. If we detect any manipulation of images or figures prior to publication, we will automatically request all primary data for all figures for verification purposes.
When a member of the scientific community disagrees strongly with the methodology and/or conclusions of an article the JCI has published, but does not allege fraud, the JCI encourages the concerned individual to contact the authors of the article directly or to allow the natural corrective mechanisms of science to settle the issue with time.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation and American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct in research, and in its evaluation and related communication. It is important that the editors, authors, and referees conduct themselves in accordance with stringent standards and transparent policies for addressing potential conflicts of interest. Herein, we delineate what constitutes a potential conflict of interest for the JCI as it relates to editors, authors, and referees. Those found in violation of these policies may be subject to sanctions as determined by the JCI editors.
The JCI editors (Editor in Chief, Deputy Editors, Associate Editors, Executive Editor, and Science Editors) are responsible for maintaining the highest possible standards in evaluating contributions to the JCI as well as for maintaining the integrity of the Journal. In the interest of establishing full transparency, editors are obliged to disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest to the JCI. We have determined two tiers of potential conflict and corresponding actions to be taken. The editors will report changes to their potential conflicts as they occur. An annual formal review of all disclosures will be performed in the evaluation of compliance.
If an editor declares a first-tier potential conflict relating to 1, 2, or 3, this information will be published on the JCI website and the editor will be recused from editorial discussion and decisions related to the manuscript. An editor will be considered to be in conflict if a manuscript is funded solely by an organization with which the editor has a potential conflict, regardless of whether a research institution employs the authors.
The second tier of potential conflicts will necessitate only internal disclosure to the Editorial Board and the JCI staff. The editor in potential conflict will also be recused from editorial discussion and decisions related to the manuscript.
The Science Editors or other editorial staff member designated by the Editor in Chief will be responsible for recording and updating all potential conflicts. The Editor in Chief of the JCI will review any JCI editorial staff potential conflicts.
We are aware that other potential issues may arise, and these will be evaluated by the Editor in Chief on a case-by-case basis.
JCI editors are discouraged from serving as editors for other primary research journals for which they would make final decisions on manuscripts. All such editorial duties for other journals must be approved by the Editor in Chief.
In order to avoid even the appearance of potential favoritism to institutional colleagues, manuscripts from Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Duke-NUS, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute will not be handled by the Editorial Board at large, but instead in a separate process. In these circumstances, a Science Editor will be the only editor privy to the manuscript and, if the manuscript is sent for review, will work with an outside consultant to formulate a decision.
All authors are expected to disclose all financial relationships that could undermine the objectivity, integrity, or perceived value of a publication. The editors will keep the potential conflicts in mind while evaluating the manuscripts.
The JCI requires that all authors issue a statement disclosing all financial holdings, professional affiliations, advisory positions, board memberships, and patent holdings, as described below, even if they believe their conflict is not germane to the content of the submitted paper (these correspond to the first tier of potential conflicts defined for editors). Such potential conflicts will be published in a footnote if the manuscript is ultimately accepted. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to gather the list of potential conflicts from each author and to communicate the list of all potential conflicts to the editors with the submission.
Any questions concerning these potential conflicts should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referees should exclude themselves in cases where there is a material potential conflict of interest, financial or otherwise. We ask that referees inform the editors of any potential conflicts that might be perceived as relevant as early as possible following invitation to participate in the review, and we will determine how to proceed. Disclosing a potential conflict does not invalidate the comments of a referee, it simply provides the editors with additional information relevant to the review.
We ask referees to use their judgment in responding to our request for full disclosure, basing their response to the editors on the same financial criteria applied to authors and editors, as described above.
To avoid the possibility of misinterpretation and/or errors in communication, information will be given only to the corresponding author and will not provide extensive details (e.g., exact status of review, the name of the handling editor, or a predicted time to final decision).
Copyright © 2015 American Society for Clinical Investigation