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Information for authors

Authors wishing to submit a manuscript must first submit a proposal to the Editorial Office. Instructions for preparation and submission of a proposal can be viewed here. Proposals will be evaluated by the Editorial Team and an invitation will be sent out by the Editorial Office of approved proposals. Manuscripts of approved proposals must be submitted online. Once you have prepared your manuscript according to the instructions below please visit the online submission web site. Instructions on submitting your manuscript online can be viewed here.

Please, follow the instructions for submission carefully; the Editors reserve the right to return manuscripts that do not comply.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process.

Table of contents:

1 - Scope
2 - Ethics of scientific publishing
3 - Submission of proposals
4 - Guidelines for preparation of manuscript
5 - To accompany manuscript at submission
6 - Review procedure
7 - Proofs
8 - Offprints
9 - Open Access option for authors

1- SCOPE

Human Reproduction Update publishes comprehensive and systematic review articles in human reproductive physiology and medicine.

Basic, transitional and clinical topics related to reproduction are of primary interest. This includes all the relevant areas of reproductive genetics, reproductive epidemiology, reproductive endocrinology, reproductive immunology and reproductive oncology.

Reviews on mechanisms of action of hormones and regulatory molecules in female and male reproductive axis functions and pathologies, as well as on diagnostic and therapeutic topics in reproductive medicine are welcome.

2 - ETHICS OF SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING

Please note that Human Reproduction journals adhere strictly to the
Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on good publication practice (http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/guidelines/reports/2003/2003pdf15.pdf) (see Human Reproduction Update 2001, 7, pp 437 442).

Submission of a paper implies that it reports an unpublished synthesis of previously published primary research finding and that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published tables, illustrations or text are to be included, then this should be clearly indicated in the manuscript and the copyright holder's permission must be obtained. Copies of such permission letters should be enclosed with the paper. Previously published material can be cited in a later review or commentary article, but must be expressly indicated using quotation marks if necessary. Republication of an English language translation is (under certain circumstances) acceptable, provided that full and prominent disclosure of the original source is made.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will be considered a double publishing offence and treated appropriately.

Plagiarism

A proportion of manuscripts submitted to the ESHRE Journals are routinely screened with iThenticate anti-plagiarism software in an attempt to detect and prevent plagiarism. Any manuscript may be screened, especially if there is reason to suppose part or all of the text has been previously published. Prior to final acceptance any manuscript that has not already been screened will be put through iThenticate. More information about iThenticate can be found here

Plagiarism of text from a previously published manuscript by the same or another author is a serious publication offence. Small amounts of text may be used, but only where the source of the material quoted is clearly acknowledged. Wherever verbatim text is used, this must be clearly indicated by the use of quotation marks. Verbatim use of text must be kept to a minimum.

Any alleged offence is considered initially by the Editorial Team (comprising the Editor-in-Chiefs of HR, HRU and MHR; the Deputy Editor of HR and members of the Editorial Office) and later by the ESHRE Publication Committee. ESHRE reserves the right to reject papers on this basis alone, to bar authors from advisory positions on the journal or from membership of ESHRE, and to publish details of any transgression both in the printed and online versions of the journal. Other sanctions as recommended by COPE (such as informing the author's institutional head, publishing a notice of retraction etc) may also be considered.

3 - SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

Proposals for manuscripts may be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief by email editorial@humanreproduction.co.uk. The proposal must include:

Top page:
Detailing title, authors (and affiliations), key words (maximum of five), topic heading, table of contents, and deadline for submission
Abstract:
Detailing the value of the proposed topic (250-300 words).

An invitation will be sent out by the Editorial office of approved proposals and commissioned reviews. This will place a manuscript submission stub under the author’s name on the manuscript submission site.

Manuscripts will only be able to be submitted through these processes.

4 - GUIDELINES FOR PREPARATION OF MANUSCRIPT

Manuscript length

Manuscripts should have a structured abstract of less than 500 words, 6000-10000 words of text, 3-5 tables, 2-3 figures and 200-300 references. It should be written using clear and concise English, with English standard spelling and conventions.

Language editing

OUP offers pre-submission language editing through Oxford Language Editing, a service for researchers all over the world. Language editing, particularly if English is not your first language, can be used to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by the journal editors and reviewers. Visit www.oxfordlanguageediting.com to find out more about the freelance editors available and the different services offered. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.

Style

Special care should be taken regarding the overall flow and readability of the paper. For Biochemical and Bacterial terminology follow the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) recommendations Genotypes must be italicized; phenotypes should not.

Units of measurement should be in Systéme International (SI) units and those recommended by the IUPAC should be used wherever possible. Standard units of measurements and chemical symbols of elements may be used without definition in the body of the paper. Abbreviations should be given in brackets after their first mention in the text, and used thereafter. For centrifugation rates give g values rather than rpm, as this will vary according to rotor diameter.

Format

Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word format. The text should be double spaced and line numbers are mandatory.

Manuscript structure (listed in order of appearance on the manuscript)

Title page (page 1)

a - Title
Should not exceed 25 words and should be specific and informative.

b - Running title
Should not exceed 50 characters.

c - Authors
Give first name and family name of all authors.

d - Address
The department, institution, city and country should be given with postal code for each author. An e-mail address will be published for the corresponding author, who should be clearly identified. Current addresses should be provided for all authors.

Table of contents (page 2)

A concise Table of Contents should include the first and, if suitable, second order headings used throughout the manuscript.

Abstract (page 3)

The abstract should not more than 500 words which clearly summarizes the content of the manuscript.

It should be formatted with the headings: Background, Methods, Results and Conclusions.

Note that online abstracts are published for viewing in isolation to the main body of the manuscript and should be self explanatory.

Key words
Up to five key words must be supplied by the author. The key words, together with the title and abstract, are used for online searches. They should therefore be specific and relevant to the paper.

Text body of the manuscript (from page 4)

Comprehensive reviews should provide a general background of the focal topic, followed by the update knowledge and by future perspectives which may be interesting to reproductive experts and to other scientists.

Systematic reviews, with or without a meta-analysis, MUST be reported in accordance with PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and aims to ensure the transparent and complete reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses (http://www.prisma-statement.org/). Authors must provide the following: (i) a flow chart and (ii) a checklist. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses that determine diagnostic accuracy should be reported according to QUADAS (Quality Assessment of Studies of Diagnostic Accuracy included in Systematic Reviews).

Author’s roles

Manuscripts must include details for the contributions of each of the authors, including participation in study design, execution, analysis, manuscript drafting and critical discussion (refer to ‘Authorship’ section).

Acknowledgements

Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies.

Funding

With respect to funding of research, in line with the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) guidelines (http://www.wame.org/wamestmt.htm#fundres), the journal considers it the responsibility of the author to protect the integrity of the research record from bias related to the source of funding by fully declaring all sponsorships, the roles played by sponsors in the research as well as institutional affiliations and relevant financial ties. Funding sources should be listed in the manuscript in the Funding section. Grant numbers should be given.

Where no specific funding was sought for the study, and departmental funds were used to support the authors throughout the study period and manuscript preparation, this should be acknowledged, giving department names.

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. Click here for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Reference citations within the text

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. Each reference should be cited by author and date. If there are two authors please list both, if more than two please use first author then et al. Permission to cite personal communications (J. Smith, personal communication) should be obtained by the corresponding author. Unpublished data should be cited as (unpublished data) and should not be included in the reference list. Either of the above should be used only when essential.

References to papers accepted for publication, but not yet published, should be cited as such in the reference list e.g. Bloggs A (2007) In vitro fertilization. Hum Reprod, in press.

Papers published in Advance Access are citeable using the DOI and publication date. An example of an Advance Access citation is given below:
Gilad, Y. and Lancet, D. Population Differences in the Human Functional Olfactory Repertoire. Mol. Biol. Evol. Advance Access published March 5, 2003, doi:10.1093/molbev/msg013.

The same paper in its final form would be cited:
Gilad, Y. and Lancet, D. Population Differences in the Human Functional Olfactory Repertoire. Mol Biol Evol 2003; 20: 307-314. First published March 5, 2003, doi:10.1093/molbev/msg013

Reference list

Please use the following style. Note that correct punctuation and journal abbreviations must be used in order to run the search programs used to edit the manuscript. Incorrectly types references take a lot of time to correct, for which we reserve the right to charge. Up to 10 authors should be included after which et al. should be used. Refer to the following examples.

Authors. Title. Journal date: issue; pg-pg

Biggers JD, McGinnis LK. Evidence that glucose is not always an inhibitor of mouse preimplantation development in vitro. Hum Reprod 2001:16;153-163.

Gekas J, Thepot F, Turleau C, Siffroi JP, Dadaoune JP, Briault S, Rio M, Bourouillou G, Carre Pigeon F, Wasels R et al. Chromosomal factors of infertility in candidate couples for ICSI: an equal risk of constitutional aberrations in women and men. Hum Reprod 2001:16; 82-90.

Elliot WH, Elliot DC. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 2nd edn, 2001. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Warren MA, Li TC, Klentzeris D. Cell biology of the endometrium: histology, cell types and menstrual changes. In Chard T and Grudzinskas JG (eds) The Uterus. 1994. Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, pp.94-125.

Tables

Each table should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Please avoid complex constructions. Each item of data should be in a separate cell and should be produced using Word or Excel format. Each table should be self explanatory and include a brief descriptive title. Footnotes to the table indicated by superscript lowercase letters are acceptable but should not include extensive detail. References to the tables in the text should be indicated in the margins and referenced sequentially as Table 1, 2 etc. Where more than three tables are submitted there is a possibility that some tables may be published only on the journal’s website.

Figure legends

Each legend must be self contained, with all symbols and abbreviations used in the figure defined. Care should be taken to present data clearly and without unnecessary descriptive detail (e.g. forest plots).

Figures

Full instructions on preparing the figures are available as part of the online submission instructions. Please follow these instructions carefully as failure to do so will delay publication of your manuscript (please note: the editors reserve the right to charge for extensive changes). In preparing graphs authors should avoid background tints and 3D effects and maintain a consistent label size and aspect ratio (the x/y axis ratio) throughout a paper. Figure and axes titles should be clear and NOT in bold text.

If previously published tables, illustrations or text are to be included, then this should be clearly indicated in the manuscript and the copyright holder's permission must be obtained. Copies of such permission letters should be enclosed with the paper.

5 - TO ACCOMPANY MANUSCRIPT AT SUBMISSION

The following must be completed and can all be found on the author signature form:

a) Signatures from each author agreeing to their inclusion in the list of authors in order of appearance on the manuscript, along with a brief description of each author's role in the study. Human Reproduction Update adheres strictly to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines regarding Authorship and Contributorship (see www.icmje.org). All authors must indicate their individual contribution to the paper. Justification of authorship includes 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. All authors must meet contributions (1), (2) and (3).

b) Human Reproduction Update is committed to ensuring that all papers submitted to the journal are treated in a fair and unbiased way. As such, authors must declare any interests that they (or others) could consider to lead to a perceived bias. These biases (or perceived biases) can be of a financial, personal or professional nature, including (but not restricted to). Disclosure of potential conflict of interests:

1) financial competing interests, such as stock ownership, paid employment, board membership, patent application (pending and actual), research grants (from whatever source), travel grants and honoraria for speaking or participation at meetings and gifts;
2) personal competing interests, such as membership of lobbying organizations and relationships with editors of Human Reproduction Update;
3) professional competing interests, such as acting as an expert witness, membership of Government advisory board and organizations and funding bodies.

Competing interest statements should be included in an appropriate position in the manuscript.

The above statements are in line with the recommendations of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) with regard to funding of research (www.wame.org/wamestmt.htm) and competing interests (www.wame.org/resources/publication-ethics-policies-for-medical-journals).

It is a condition of publication that authors assign a 'licence to publish' to ESHRE. Upon acceptance, a 'licence to publish' form must be completed. Authors may use their own material in future publications provided the Journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication and permission agreed.

Page charges are NOT levied.

6 - REVIEW PROCEDURE

The Editorial team consists of the Editor-in-Chief, a Deputy Editor, the Editorial Office Team and the Editorial Board (consisting of the Associate Editors).

Except where clearly stated to the contrary, all submitted manuscripts are externally peer-reviewed. Each manuscript is internally pre-reviewed by the Editorial team and, if suitable for full review, allocated to an Associate Editor according to specific subject area.

Expert reviewers are selected by the Associate Editors, in collaboration with the Editorial Office.

Reviewers are selected from competent experts within the field, with care being taken to ensure that reviewers don’t have an unreasonable conflict of interest with authors or content of the review.

The reviewers are asked to comprehensively review the manuscript, looking at all content including supplementary material and produce a detailed list of criticisms and suggestions for improvement. Confidential comments and assessments to the Associate Editor and Editor-in-Chief may be given by the reviewers. The reviewers' reports are considered by the Associate Editor who provides a summary report and a recommendation regarding publication to the Editor in Chief.

The final decision of the Editor-in-Chief and the review reports are usually returned to the authors within eight weeks of submission.

Revisions to manuscript should be made as promptly as possible. The revisions should include a letter specifically addressing/answering each of the reviewers’ points in the order in which they were given in the decision letter. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s) answering matters raised point by point.

Authors of revised manuscripts should upload a version of the manuscript with changes marked (using Microsoft track changes [preferred] or by highlighting text) and a clean copy of the manuscript.

Major revisions will be re-reviewed by the full review team. Manuscripts that were accepted with minor revisions will be assessed for compliance with the review comments and for journal style.

A final decision on publication will be made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals, authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form. Please note that the journal now requires authors to complete their copyright licence to publish form online.

If an author has reasons for dissatisfaction with the review process, the Editor in Chief is willing to consider a well supported appeal.

Articles submitted by the Editor in Chief or by Associate Editors will be considered completely independently of these people.

7 - PROOFS

Authors are sent page proofs for checking by the production editor approximately 4-6 weeks after acceptance of the article. Proofs are sent by e mail as PDF files and should be checked and returned within 3 working days of receipt. Extensive changes of an essential nature may be made only by insertion of a Note added in Proof. A charge may be made to authors who insist on amendment to the text at the proof stage. It is the authors' responsibility to check that all the text and data as contained in the page proofs are correct and suitable for publication. We request that authors pay particular attention to author names and affiliations as it is essential that these details are accurate when the article is published.

8 - OFFPRINTS

Authors will receive a URL linking them to a press ready PDF version of their published work, free of charge. Additional printed copies can be purchased by using the order form sent with the proofs of the paper.

9 - OPEN ACCESS OPTION FOR AUTHORS

Human Reproduction Update authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in Human Reproduction Update can use the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) for their articles.

All other authors may use the following Creative Common licence for their articles:
• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges vary according to which Creative Commons licence you select. The open access charges are as follows.

Charges for CC-BY
• Regular charge - £2125 / $3400 / €2763
• List B Developing country charge - £1063 / $1700 / €1382
• List A Develloping country charge - £0 / $0 / €0

Charges for CC-BY-NC
• Regular charge - £1875 / $3000 / €2438
• List B Developing country charge - £938 / $1500 / €1219
• List A Develloping country charge - £0 / $0 / €0

*Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.