Information for authors

With its “Platinum Open Access” model, SMW has attracted great interest in the national and international medical world.

Open access publication • rapid listing in Medline • prompt editorial decisions • no page charges • online manuscript submission and tracking • fast peer review based on a broad spectrum of international academic referees • professional statistical reviewing • professional English copy editing

We look forward to receiving your paper!


The Swiss Medical Weekly accepts for consideration original and review articles from all fields of medicine. Contributions must be written in English.

Submission of a paper to "Swiss Medical Weekly" is understood to imply that the data contained there in has not previously been published (except in abstract form) or is being considered for publication elsewhere.

Prior to publication, all manuscripts, with the exception of Editorials and Technical comments, undergo a single blind peer review, conducted by independent experts in the field.

The guidelines for authors are based on the guidelines published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors («Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals»).

There are no "article processing charges" (APCs) or "page charges"associated with this journal.

All accepted articles are published immediately in full text in the Internet with immediate listing in Pubmed/Medline.


Article types

Original articles

These manuscripts report on a significant advance in clinical or experimental medical sciences.

Original papers can be of variable length, from single well-documented observations (1 figure/table and 1000 words of text) to comprehensive studies (4 or more display items; up to 5000 words of text).

Original articles should be organised according to the conventional pattern (for details, see the ICMJE recommendations):

  • Title page (title; authors; place of origin, hospital or institute
  • 3–10 keywords
  • Summary: this section should typically contain 250‒400 words (under no circumstances >600 words). The summary should contain a statement delineating what is known on the subject of the study, and what the current study adds to the body of knowledge. Summaries of clinical papers should be divided into the following headings: aims of the study; methods; results; and conclusions. The clinical trial registration number should be added at the end of the abstract. Summaries of reports of experimental science can be organised as indicated above, or else can be written as free unstructured text at the authors’ discretion.
  • Introduction
  • Materials and methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Statement on funding sources and conflicts of interest
  • Acknowledgments
  • Address for correspondence including e-mail address
  • References
  • Figure legends
  • Tables
  • Figures

Reporting guidelines have been developed for different study designs. Good sources for reporting guidelines are the EQUATOR Network and the NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives. Particular forms of articles submitted to SMW should adhere to the following guidelines:

SMW will handle Case reports similarly to “original articles” and will publish them as such provided that they fulfill strict criteria of quality and novelty. Specifically, publishable case reports will report fundamentally novel aspects of disease, or report a novel disease entity altogether. “Didactical” case reports will not be published.

Review articles

These articles will report on the state of the art in medical science and/or medical technologies. In most cases, prominent clinical and experimental scientists are invited by SMW to provide contributions. However, author-initiated submissions of review articles are also welcome.

We expect authors of reviews to be experienced and acknowledged in the relevant field. They should have actively participated in research of the topic of a review article and have specific personal experience. Rather than spontaneously submitting reviews, authors are encouraged to contact the editors’ office by e-mail [office] at an early stage of manuscript preparation.

Review articles can be submitted as:

  • Biomedical intelligence. These manuscripts provide an overview on the current state-of-the-art in a specific field.
  • Systematic reviews according to the PRISMA Statement.
  • Medical guidelines. Guidelines are to be embedded in a review article; the introduction should explain why this new guideline is necessary; the discussion should spell out how the new guideline differs from existing guidelines and why.

Reviews should include a summary covering all essential points (250-400 words, structured abstract for systematic reviews) and a list of references. The article text should typically not exceed 5000 words.

Please consider that, for a review article to be maximally useful, the quality and clarity of the illustrations is of great importance; figures should be self-explanatory and poignant. Also well-designed tables are important and will be gratefully welcomed by your readers.

Review articles should not include any primary data that were not previously published in original articles. Reviews, however, should include most of the sections detailed for original articles including statements on conflict of interests, acknowledgments and funding sources where appropriate, as well as figures and figure legends.

Viewpoints

These are typically invited short review articles which discuss original papers published in SMW or elsewhere. Viewpoints should not exceed 1300 words. Summaries are not necessary; a list of up to 10 references should be included.

Op-eds

These are short news articles, interviews or op-ed pieces on current issues at the interface between medical science and ethics, politics, education or other topics. They are to be considered as journalistic pieces, do not include figures or references, and will typically not be registered in the major science indexes.

Technical comments

These are comments on articles published in SMW. Technical comments should not exceed two pages, including illustrations, references and tables. Technical comments provide a forum for respectful debates on the conclusions (and occasionally the methodology) of papers published in SMW.


Editorial policies

Authorship / financial support

Authorship credit should be based only on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2, and 3 must all be met.

Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group do not, by themselves, justify authorship, nor does the fact of being in sole charge of the clinic or organisational unit in which the article was prepared. Such contributions should be listed as acknowledgements, as well as those of colleagues who provided reagents, discussions and critical input, editorial help, technical services, etc.

All authors must sign the author form. By their signature, the authors also certify that neither this manuscript, nor any other with substantially similar content by one or more of the same authors, has been published or accepted, or is currently being assessed by another journal with a view to publication. Previously published data can be reproduced in exceptional cases, provided that a full disclosure is made and a plausible reason for republication is given.

Outside financial support or other financial or personal relationships in connection with the submitted manuscript must be indicated in the author’s form and in the Conflict of interest section of the manuscript. SMW expects authors to disclose any perceived financial conflict, if, for example, any of the authors may stand to gain financially, directly or indirectly (e.g. through stock option arrangements), from the publication of the manuscript.

Plagiarism detection

EMH Swiss Medical Publishers Ltd. is a member of CrossCheck, a service offered by CrossRef and powered by iThenticate software. iThenticate is a plagiarism-screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers, and billions of web content. Authors, researchers and freelancers can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting www.ithenticate.com.

Problems concerning scientific misconduct are dealed following the guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Obligation to register clinical trials

We encourage the registration of clinical trials in any primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or in ClinicalTrials.gov.

The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns people or a group of people to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Health-related interventions are those used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; examples include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, educational programmes, dietary interventions, quality improvement interventions and process-of-care changes. Health outcomes are any biomedical or health-related measures obtained in patients or participants, including pharmacokinetic measures and adverse events. The ICMJE does not define the time of first patient enrollment, but best practice dictates registration by the time of consent of the first patient.

Ethics approval of research

We require every article reporting results of prospective research using human subjects or samples, or results of animal research, to include a statement that the study obtained ethical approval, including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s) and the number/ID of the approval(s). Where ethical approval is not required, the manuscript should include a clear statement of this and the reason why.

When reporting research involving human data, authors should indicate in the methods section whether the procedures followed were assessed and approved by a legally qualified ethics review committee (institutional or national) or, if no formal ethics committee is available, were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013. 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 study. Approval by a responsible review committee does not preclude editors from forming their own judgement whether the conduct of the research was appropriate.

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate in the methods section whether the institutional and national guides for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Protection of patients’ rights to privacy

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients that the material will be available via the Internet after publication. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.

Patient consent should be written and archived by the authors and not submitted to the journal. The authors should provide the journal with a written statement that they have received and archived written patient consent. A standard informed consent form may be obtained from the publisher.

Review process

Prior to publication, all manuscripts, with the exception of Editorials and Technical comments, undergo a single blind peer review, conducted by independent experts in the field. During the review process, authors can check the status of their submitted manuscript via the online manuscript submission and review system.

The Editorial Board may decline a paper on the basis of internal review. They will then rapidly return the manuscript, usually within two weeks.


Preparation of manuscript

Use only standard abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title of the manuscript. The spelled-out abbreviation followed by the abbreviation in parentheses should be used on first mention unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement. Use abbreviations only for items that are used repeatedly in your manuscript.

Always use SI units. Results in other units may be added in parentheses.

Tables and figures should be commented upon in the text and their position marked at the appropriate point.

Tables should be provided with captions, numbered consecutively and each reproduced on a separate page of the manuscript. The editor, on accepting a paper, may recommend that additional tables containing important backup data too extensive to publish be published on the SMW website. In that event an appropriate statement will be added to the text. Submit such tables for consideration with the paper. Lengthy tables should be included only if absolutely necessary; extensive tables and datasets (e.g. sequencing results) may be archived by SMW as supplementary materials and will be linked to the respective article.

Figures should each be submitted with a legend. Captions should be formulated so as to allow the figure to be understood without reference to the text. All abbreviations employed should be explained in the caption if not already included in the list of abbreviations.

Please group logically related panels into multipanel figures, and adjust the size of each panel such that all graphs are approximately the same size within the same figure. For labels, use sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial) of a uniform and easily readable size. A resolution of at least 300 dpi at publication size is required. Figures exported from screen presentation files (e.g. Powerpoint) are not of sufficient quality. Figures should be prepared in a graphics program (e.g. Photoshop, Illustrator). Gimp and Inkscape are acceptable, royalty-free alternatives to commercial graphics programs.

If you have included in your article figures or tables from other publications, you must obtain permission from the publisher to use them before submission of the manuscript: an image that has been published before can be used in Swiss Medical Weekly only if the copyright holder has given permission. If you are including figures or tables that have been adapted from published papers, then you are also responsible for obtaining the publisher’s permission to adapt them. Please submit a copy of this permission with your article.

References should follow the standards summarised in the NLM’s International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References webpage.


Copyright

The open access publication of the articles requires that the copyright in the accepted article is transferred to Swiss Medical Publishers Ltd., Basel, for the duration of the statutory copyright term. The Publishers thereby acquire the right to use the article an unlimited number of times, to adapt it (e.g. for the purpose of abstracts), to translate it, duplicate it, communicate it, make further use of it, publish or distribute it, in any form and via any medium (including the Internet) and to grant free of charge to the author himself, to third parties and to the general public the corresponding rights of use, adaptation etc.


Supplements

For publication of congress abstracts or other scientific contents the SMW supplements offer many advantages. As official special issues of an established journal they are appreciated in the scientific community. Archiving in the publishing house and in libraries ensures long-lasting conservation and availability of publications.

SMW supplements are available in full text via the journal’s online archive.

If you are planning a supplement we shall be very happy to assist you.

Submit your manuscript online

Receipt of your paper will be acknowledged by an email containing a reference number, which should be used in all future communications. During the review process, authors can check the status of their submitted manuscript via the online manuscript submission and review system.

Submit online
Laboratory equipment