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This page includes information about the aims and scope of SpringerPlus, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.
Aims & scope
Inclusive scope. SpringerPlus accepts manuscripts from all disciplines of Science. We accept manuscripts describing original research as well as case descriptions and methods, and we expressly encourage submission of data reports and large datasets.
Open Access. Articles are published Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This means easy compliance with the Open Access Policy of the 80+ institutions and 40+ funders all over the world who made open access to publications mandatory.
Easy submission. SpringerPlus does not have a restriction on the number of words or figures. Authors are welcomed to submit audio, video, large tables or data files as supplementary data. We do not require extensive formatting; we will accept the manuscript in any appropriate formatting already present. All articles will be published online-only and open access.
Rigorous peer review. All submissions will be peer reviewed, and our reviewers are asked to focus their attention to data presented in the article. Note that we will not reject a manuscript because it is out of scope or for its perceived importance, novelty or ability to attract citations: we will publish any study that is scientifically sound.
Clear and fast editorial process. Review and decision will be fast and our editorial policy is clear: we will either accept your manuscript for publication or not, our editors will not ask for additional research. Authors are encouraged to submit any available review reports for the submitted manuscripts that resulted from a previous submission as these may help the SpringerPlus review process.
Broader scope, same high standards. Springer announces SpringerPlus, a new type of scientific journal. SpringerPlus provides you as an author with an alternative route to journal publication, accepting high quality research across all areas of scientific investigation. SpringerPlus simple submission method and fast processing enables you to publish your research efficiently whilst keeping additional effort to a minimum. And because SpringerPlus is part of the SpringerOpen portfolio, publishing with us fulfils open access mandates while retaining your copyrights. This enables distribution to the largest possible audience; maximizing visibility and citations for your work. With its broad scope, SpringerPlus publishes scientific research across all disciplines of science. The essential requirement for acceptance is simply high quality of research. All articles deemed scientifically and methodologically sound by peer review will be published in SpringerPlus.
All scientifically valid data is worth sharing. Often manuscripts are scientifically worthy but may not be accepted in existing journals for a variety of reasons. The topic may fall outside the scope of a given journal, or the research may not contribute to the desired Impact Factor. SpringerPlus is perfect for the publication of these research types, as well as interdisciplinary studies and emerging areas of research that may not fit into existing journals. Articles detailing statistically negative correlation frequently have difficulty finding publication, despite the fact that the analysis may have just as much scientific value as articles covering positive correlations. SpringerPlus provides an outlet to bring all of these results to the attention of your peers. In addition to traditional journal articles, there may be other types of investigative output suitable to publish.
All articles published by SpringerPlus are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.
Authors of articles published in SpringerPlus are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the SpringerOpen copyright and license agreement.
For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.
Open access publishing is not without costs. SpringerPlus therefore levies an article-processing charge of £720/$1205/€870 for each article accepted for publication. We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. Generally, if the submitting author's institution is a Member the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are Supporter Members, however, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. For further details, see our article-processing charge page. To apply for a waiver please submit your manuscript to SpringerPlus, you are able to request a waiver from our submission system.
SpringerOpen is working closely with Thomson Reuters (ISI) to ensure that citation analysis of articles published in SpringerPlus will be available.
Publication and peer review process
Why should you as an author consider SpringerPlus?
- Inclusive scope. SpringerPlus accepts interdisciplinary manuscripts describing original research as well as case descriptions and methods. In addition to research manuscripts, data reports, image collections, meta-analyses, descriptive reports and datasets are expressly encouraged for publication through SpringerPlus.
- Open Access. Articles are published online and Open Access under the Creative Commons Attribution License. This means easy compliance with the Open Access Policy of the 80+ institutions and 40+ funders from all over the world who have made open access to publications mandatory.
- Easy submission. SpringerPlus places no restrictions on the number of words or figures in an article. You are also encouraged to submit audio, video, large tables or data files as supplementary data. In addition, no extensive formatting is required; SpringerPlus will accept manuscripts in any appropriate format.
- Peer review. All submissions will be subjected to rigorous peer review to guarantee the quality and soundness of the research. Reviewers are asked to limit their attention to evaluating the data presented in the article. Peer reviewers will not evaluate a manuscript according to its subject, perceived importance, novelty or ability to attract citations. You are encouraged to submit any available review reports that resulted from a previous submission as these may speed up the SpringerPlus review process.
- Transparent and fast editorial process. SpringerPlus offers a speedy decision process and the editorial policy is clear: SpringerPlus will evaluate your manuscript on the quality of the research. Editors will not ask you to do additional research; the manuscript will either be accepted or rejected.
- High visibility. All articles published are freely available on the SpringerOpen website as well as on SpringerLink. Additionally they are included in many bibliographic databases so that your work can be found easily and cited by researchers and clinicians around the world.
Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My SpringerPlus, a personalized section of the site.
Please see our reprints website for information about reprinting articles.
SpringerPlus will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.
Any manuscript, or substantial parts of it, submitted to the journal must not be under consideration by any other journal. In general, the manuscript should not have already been published in any journal or other citable form, although it may have been deposited on a preprint server. Authors are required to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights, or the rights of a third party.
Correspondence concerning articles published in SpringerPlus is encouraged. A 'post a comment' feature is available on all articles published by SpringerPlus. Comments will be moderated by the editorial office (see our Comment policy for further information) and linked to the full-text version of the article, if suitable.
SpringerOpen is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions. In order to safeguard the quality of SpringerOpen journal publications, Springer has developed a policy on Publishing Integrity which is in line with the philosophy of COPE.
We follow the principle that we have a prime duty to maintain the integrity of the scientific record. Springer’s Policy on Publishing Integrity addresses:
- Clear definitions of what violation of Publishing Integrity is.
- A manual on how to identify such a violation (in the document referred to as an Act of Misconduct).
- Clear (COPE) examples of what such an Act of Misconduct looks like in practice.
- Clearly defined actions which have to be undertaken by the Editor and Springer when such an Act is a clearly proven fact.
- Q & A – a useful list of Questions and Answers on the definition of Publishing Integrity.
Please find the full document of Springer's Policy on Publishing Integrity here.
Submission of a manuscript to SpringerPlus implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that any experimental research that is reported in the manuscript has been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee. Research carried out on humans must be in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration, and any experimental research on animals must follow internationally recognized guidelines. A statement to this effect must appear in the Methods section of the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval, with a reference number where appropriate. Informed consent must also be documented. Manuscripts may be rejected if the editorial office considers that the research has not been carried out within an ethical framework, e.g. if the severity of the experimental procedure is not justified by the value of the knowledge gained.
For all articles that include information or clinical photographs relating to individual patients, written and signed consent from each patient to publish must also be made available if requested by the editorial staff.
SpringerPlus's publisher, Springer, has a legal responsibility to ensure that its journals do not publish material that infringes copyright, or that includes libellous or defamatory content. If, on review, your manuscript is perceived to contain potentially libellous content the journal Editors, with assistance from the publisher if required, will work with authors to ensure an appropriate outcome is reached.
The involvement of scientific (medical) writers or anyone else who assisted with the preparation of the manuscript content should be acknowledged, along with their source of funding, as described in the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) guidelines on the role of medical writers in developing peer-reviewed publications. If medical writers are not listed among the authors, their role should be acknowledged explicitly.
Standards of reporting
SpringerPlus supports initiatives aimed at improving the reporting of biomedical research. We recommend authors refer to the EQUATOR network website for further information on the available reporting guidelines for health research, and the MIBBI Portal for prescriptive checklists for reporting biological and biomedical research where applicable. Authors are requested to make use of these when drafting their manuscript and peer reviewers will also be asked to refer to these checklists when evaluating these studies. Checklists are available for a number of study designs, including randomized controlled trials (CONSORT), systematic reviews (PRISMA), observational studies (STROBE), meta-analyses of observational studies (MOOSE), diagnostic accuracy studies (STARD) and qualitative studies (RATS). For authors of systematic reviews, an additional file, linked from the Methods section, should reproduce all details concerning the search strategy. For an example of how a search strategy should be presented, see the Cochrane Reviewers' Handbook.
Standardised gene nomenclature should be used throughout. Human gene symbols and names can be found in the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) database and any enquiries, or requests for new gene symbols, should be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nomenclature committees for other species are listed at http://www.genenames.org/about/faq#otherspecies. For mutation nomenclature please use the guidelines suggested by the Human Genome Variation Society.
Data and materials release
Submission of a manuscript to SpringerPlus implies that readily reproducible materials described in the manuscript, including all relevant raw data, will be freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes. We generally encourage authors to make research data underlying articles accessible. Appropriate repositories from all academic disciplines for the storage of data sets can be found at re3data.org - Registry of Research Data Repositories. Nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences, and atomic coordinates should be deposited in an appropriate database in time for the accession number to be included in the published article. In computational studies where the sequence information is unacceptable for inclusion in databases because of lack of experimental validation, the sequences must be published as an additional file with the article.
Any 'in press' articles cited within the references and necessary for the reviewers' assessment of the manuscript should be made available if requested by the editorial office.
Nucleotide sequences can be deposited with the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL/EBI) Nucleotide Sequence Database, or GenBank (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
The accession numbers of any nucleic acid sequences, protein sequences or atomic coordinates cited in the manuscript should be provided, in square brackets with the corresponding database name; for example, [EMBL:AB026295, EMBL:AC137000, DDBJ:AE000812, GenBank:U49845, PDB:1BFM, Swiss-Prot:Q96KQ7, PIR:S66116].
The databases for which we can provide direct links are: EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (EMBL), DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ), GenBank at the NCBI (GenBank), Protein Data Bank (PDB), Protein Information Resource (PIR) and the Swiss-Prot Protein Database (Swiss-Prot).
Mass spectrometry data should be supplied in the mzML format recommended by the HUPO Protein Standards Initiative Mass Spectrometry Standards Working Group guidelines (http://www.psidev.info/index.php?q=node/80). We also recommend that the data is deposited in the ProteomeExchange (http://proteomexchange.org/) through the PRIDE website (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/), and protein interaction data can be submitted to members of the IMEx consortium (http://www.imexconsortium.org/submit-your-data).
Protein structures can be deposited with one of the members of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank. Nucleic Acids structures can be deposited with the Nucleic Acid Database at Rutgers. Crystal structures of organic compounds can be deposited with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.
Chemical structures and assays
Functional genomics data (such as microarray, RNA-seq or ChIP-seq data)
Where appropriate, authors should adhere to the standards proposed by the Functional Genomics Data Society and must deposit microarray data in MIAME-compliant format in one of the public repositories, such as ArrayExpress or Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Deposition of high-throughput functional genomics sequencing data (such as RNA-Seq or ChIP-Seq data) with ArrayExpress or GEO in compliance with MINSEQE is also required.
We encourage authors to prepare models of biochemical reaction networks using the Systems Biology Markup Language and to deposit the model with the BioModels database, as well as submitting it as an additional file with the manuscript.
Appeals and complaints
Authors who wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact the Editor-in-Chief who will provide details of the journal's complaints procedure.
SpringerPlus requires authors to declare any competing financial or other interest in relation to their work. All competing interests that are declared will be listed at the end of published articles. Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read 'The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests'.
SpringerPlus's publisher, SpringerOpen, is a member of the CrossCheck plagiarism detection initiative. In cases of suspected plagiarism CrossCheck is available to the editors of SpringerPlus to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts by using the plagiarism detection tool iThenticate. CrossCheck is a multi-publisher initiative allowing screening of published and submitted content for originality.
Citing articles in SpringerPlus
Articles in SpringerPlus should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.
Article citations follow this format:
Authors: Title. SpringerPlus [year], [volume number]:[article number].
e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. SpringerPlus 2009, 1:115.
refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.
Why publish your article in SpringerPlus?
SpringerPlus's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.
Speed of publication
SpringerPlus offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through SpringerPlus, SpringerOpen and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.
Online publication in SpringerPlus gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example to relevant databases and papers).
Promotion and press coverage
Articles published in SpringerPlus are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on SpringerPlus's pages and on the SpringerOpen homepage.
In addition, articles published in SpringerPlus may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in SpringerPlus.
Authors of articles published in SpringerPlus retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the SpringerOpen copyright and license agreement).
For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from SpringerOpen, please click here.