Research Articles

Criteria

This section should cover only original research pertaining to the journal’s scope and aims.

Cover letter

As a guide, the cover letter should contain the following sections (some of which can be repeated in the manuscript):
Title of the manuscript How the work in the manuscript fits the journal scope If the work includes software/apps/devices, please state availability if they are not in the app stores and also reasons to why they are not in the stores Target audience that would be interested in the app/device Authors' contributions Acknowledgements Competing interests statement

Preparing your manuscript

We strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. The following are guidelines for the article types:

Title page

The title page should:
present a title that includes a suitable description of what the article reports list the full names, institutional addresses and email 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

Abstract

The Abstract of the manuscript should not exceed 350 words and must be structured into separate sections:
Background, the context and purpose of the study; Findings, the main results; Conclusions, brief summary and potential implications.
Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract.

Keywords

Three to ten keywords representing the main content of the article.

Introduction

The Introduction section should explain the background to the study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature and why this study was necessary.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

Declarations

​​​​​​​All manuscripts must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations':
Availability of data and material Competing interests Funding Authors' contributions Acknowledgements
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.

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.

Funding

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.

Authors' contributions

The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section.

Acknowledgements

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.

Formatting your references

The journal recommends the use of Harvard or the American Psychological Association (APA, see http://www.apastyle.org/)reference styles. However, we will accept other referencing formats so long they are consistently used in the manuscript.

Authors may wish to make use of reference management software to ensure that reference lists are correctly formatted.

Preparing figures

Figures can be provided within the manuscript, but must be of high quality when magnification. Figure titles and legends should be provided accompanying the figure Tables should NOT be submitted as figures but should be included in the main manuscript file. Multi-panel figures (those with parts a, b, c, d etc.) should be submitted as a single composite file that contains all parts of the figure. Figures should be numbered in the order they are first mentioned in the text. Figures should be uploaded in the correct orientation. Each figure should be closely cropped. Please note that it is the responsibility of the author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures (or tables) that have previously been published elsewhere. In order for all figures to be open access, authors must have permission from the rights holder if they wish to include images that have been published elsewhere in non open access journals. Permission should be indicated in the figure legend, and the original source included in the reference list.

Preparing tables

When preparing tables, please follow the formatting instructions below.
Tables should be numbered and cited in the text in sequence using Arabic numerals (i.e. Table 1, Table 2 etc.).