Instruction for authors

Download SICOT-J instructions for authors in PDF format.

1 General

1.1 Conditions of acceptance

Submission of a manuscript implies that the work has not been published and is not submitted for publication anywhere else. Publication must be approved by all authors. Authors should accept publication fees. For all enquiries relevant to ethics in publishing, please consult COPE

Authors are invited to comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals”, which were established and made available by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) at:

1.2 Authorship

The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content ; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Furthermore the ICMJE recommends that all those designated as authors meet all 4 of the aforementioned criteria for authorship; and reciprocally, all those who meet all 4 of the aforementioned criteria for authorship should be identified as authors.

The list of criteria is available at Those contributors who do not meet all of the authorship criteria shall simply be acknowledged.

1.3 Conflict of interest

Authors must disclose whether or not they have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. They should also state that they have full control of all primary data and that they agree to allow the journal to review their data if requested.

Therefore the manuscript must be accompanied by the "Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form" at the initial submission.

Any additional conflict of interest, on personal or any other level must also be disclosed (please find below, in section 3.5.5, more information on how to introduce Conflict of Interest in your article).

1.4 Publication Ethics and protection of research participants

All laws and regulations should be strictly followed. Authors are requested to indicate ethical declarations issued by their institution and concerning their research, including permit numbers, in the Material and Methods section. Authors are requested to fully comply with the ICMJE recommendations in this respect, particularly with the patient’s right to privacy, as well as the necessity to have the patient’s written consent.

1.5 Reporting guidelines and clinical trial registration

Depending on the study design, reporting guidelines such as CONSORT, STROBE, PRISMA, STARD should be followed. For more information about these guidelines authors should visit the websites of the EQUATOR network or the corresponding sources at the NLM website. The policy for clinical trial registration by the ICMJE is given in their recommendations. These should be followed by the authors in this journal.

1.6 Publication fees

SICOT-J has implemented a Two-Tier APC payment system. The publication fees for articles accepted in SICOT-J are displayed here.

1.7 Open access

All articles published by SICOT Open Journal are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Articles are available from the website of the journal (, from PubMed Central as soon as the indexation of the journal is effective and from Europe PubMed Central, in various formats. Authors are the copyright holders of their articles. All articles bear the following mention: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1.8 Manuscript compliance with the instructions for authors

Authors are invited to carefully read the below instructions. Articles not compliant with these instructions will be immediately sent back to the author. In order to avoid these additional delays in the publication of their articles, authors should know that their articles will enter the peer review process only if they are compliant after re-submission. The most frequent reasons for sending back a manuscript are:

  • No line numbering.
  • Wrong reference style.

A frequent reason of immediate rejection is plagiarism. Using the Similarity Check tool allows to detect even minimal plagiarism. Thus authors are invited to read the corresponding chapter and apply the given indications in order to avoid this sanction.

1.9 Data sharing policy

Authors may be invited to share with the peer reviewers during the article evaluation process in a confidential manner the data on which the research is based. Further, as long as the publication of data is not in opposition with patients’ privacy, authors are invited to upload supplemental datasets related to their research to an online repository. Doing so makes it available for both human and machine reading in order to further aid the acceleration of scientific discovery.

Authors are invited to prepare and deposit their data according to the FAIR data principles. FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. The principles are available here. To summarize this, the dataset should be findable through a complete set of metadata, including a license for re-use and a data identifier (DOI or other). The dataset is accessible when access is open. Interoperable means that the data can be used and combined with other datasets in a format that is sufficiently widely distributed. Re-usability is achieved when the dataset is deposited with a corresponding Creative Commons open license and is downloadable. Furthermore, re-usability implies that parameters describing how this dataset has been collected needs to be disclosed. Machine and experimental conditions must be documented.

2 Types of papers

Seven types of articles are considered:

  1. Original articles
  2. Review articles
  3. Surgical Techniques
  4. Case reports
  5. Congress Proceedings
  6. Editorials
  7. Letters to the Editors

3 Presentation of manuscripts

Use Times 12 with 1.5 interline throughout the manuscript and avoid unnecessary formatting. Number pages. Use up to three subheading levels in total. Italics should be used in the text for all scientific names and other terms such as genes, mutations, genotypes and alleles. SI units should be used throughout the manuscript. The whole text should be numbered (use the appropriate option in WORD), in order to quickly identify changes proposed during the peer review process.

3.1 Limits of numbers of words, references, figures and tables

  • Original article: not more than 2,500 words with an abstract of 250-300 words, not more than 5 figures and 3 tables, and a maximum of 25 references, 2-3 videos
  • Review Article should have no more than 3,500 words and 50-70 references
  • Surgical techniques: not more than 1500 words, 10 figures, 15 references and 5 videos
  • Case Report: Not more than 1500 words, and 5 references
  • Letter to the Editor: are limited to 500 words and 5 references

3.2 Order of parts

In accordance with the ICMJE guidelines, the instructions of authors have been updated. Your manuscript must include the following sections between the Discussion (Conclusion) and References : Conflict of Interest, Funding, Ethical approval, Informed consent, Authors contributions, Acknowledgements.

Manuscripts should be prepared according to the following order (Reviews, very long articles may use a different presentation):

  • Title Page
  • Abstract and 4–6 keywords
  • Introduction
  • Material and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conflict of interest
  • Funding
  • Ethical approval
  • Informed Consent
  • Authors contributions
  • Acknowledgements
  • Tables
  • Figure Legends
  • References

3.3 First page, title

The first page should include: title of paper, list of all authors with full given and family names, addresses of all authors, and name of corresponding author with email address. The title should be short and descriptive, and less than 250 characters in length (including spaces). All individual disclosures of conflict of interest of all co-authors shall also be indicated on this page.

To keep the identity of the authors concealed to the referees, as per SICOT-J’s double-blind peer review procedure, the main manuscript shall be submitted without any information regarding the authors. The text file of the manuscript shall nevertheless contain all the other elements, including Title, Abstract, Keywords and the text structured as described in the sections below.

3.4 Abstracts

The abstracts of Original articles, Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses shall be submitted with the IMRAD structure, containing: Introduction, Methods, Results And Discussion. It shall not contain more than 250-300 words.

Abstracts of articles publishing results of clinical trials shall be compliant with the CONSORT checklist regarding all items of reporting.
The registration number of the clinical trial shall be included at the end of the abstract, when available.

3.5 Main text

3.5.1 Introduction

No subsection. This section is headed “Introduction”.

3.5.2 Materials and Methods

This part may be presented as several subsections (up to two levels of subheadings).

3.5.3 Results

This section may be presented as a single part or as several subsections; maximum of two subheading levels.

3.5.4 Discussion

This section may be presented as a single part or as several subsections; maximum of two subheading levels. The last subsection can be “Conclusions”. Follow instructions for citations. In certain cases, it might be appropriate to mix the results and discussion in a single section, headed “Results and discussion”.

3.5.5 Conflict of Interest

This mandatory section must be inserted before the Acknowledgements. This section shall describe whether yes or no, each individual author has to disclose any kind of conflict of interest.

Depending on the type of conflict, the following sentences are recommended to be added for each author (please use the authors’ initials here):

  • For author AA receiving directly research funding please state:
    "AA has received funding from" and note the source.
  • In case BB’s institution received any sort of support, state:
    "The institution of BB has received funding from…" and note the source.
  • If CC received no financial support please state,
    "CC certifies that he or she has no financial conflict of interest (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) in connection with this article."
  • If DD has received or may receive any personal payment or other benefit from a commercial entity (e.g., serve as a consultant), please note:
    "DD has or may receive payments or benefits from … (note the source) related to this work."

If you do not have any conflict of interest to declare, please include the following statement : “The authors declare that they have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to report”.

3.5.6 Funding

This mandatory field should not be left empty. All sources of funding should be indicated in this section. Authors must describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in :

  • the study design
  • the collection, analysis and interpretation of data
  • writing of the report
  • and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

For compliance purpose, funding sources should be listed as follows:

“Funding: This work was supported by the A Foundation [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the B Agency [grant number zzzz];”

If no funding has been provided for the research, please include the following statement : “This research did not receive any specific funding”.>

3.5.7 Ethical Approval

This mandatory field should not be left empty.

  • If your study requires ethical approval, please include the ethical protocols followed and the name of the committee, which approved the study. For example : “This study received ethical approval from the Ethics committee of X hospital under the protocol number XXXX.”
  • If your study does not require ethical approval, please state that : “Ethical approval was not required.”

3.5.8 Informed Consent

In accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013, a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained must be included for experimentation involving humans.

  • When informed consent has been obtained, it must be stated in the published article : “Written informed consent was obtained from all patients and/or families”.
  • If not applicable, the following sentence should be used : “This article does not contain any studies involving human subjects”.

3.5.9 Authors contributions

Authors should use this section to outline their individual contributions to the article with the corresponding roles.

The following format should be used :

J. Arnaud : Conceptualization, Methodology ; T. Gaston : Writing original draft ; R. Raymond : Visualization, Investigation ; M. Leroy : Supervision ; B. Arnaud : Writing, Reviewing and Editing.

3.5.10 Acknowledgements

This section must be concise. No subdivisions. Mention here colleagues and grants. See also the above section about authorship (1.2) and mention here all those persons not meeting all the criteria necessary for authorship.

The names of the individuals who provided assistance during the research should be listed with a clear contribution statement (e.g. S. André : language editing; B. Champion : proofreading the article, etc.) Examples of activities that alone (without other contributions) do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. Those, whose contributions do not justify authorship, may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. "Clinical Investigators" or "Participating Investigators"), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," "provided and cared for study patients", "participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript"). Please ensure that all individuals have given written permission to be acknowledged.

3.5.11 References

This section should be arranged according to the precise format detailed below in Section 8. Only works cited in the text should appear here. Citation of unpublished papers and grey literature should generally be avoided. Software cited in the Material and Methods should have a citation. Papers may be cited as “in press” only when they have been accepted for publication (in this case, include the DOI).

4 Tables

Tables (numbered as Table 1, Table 2, etc.) should be presented as one per page. Avoid complex formatting and use the basic Table format in Word or Excel.

5 Figures

5.1 Figure numbers and legends

Figures should be numbered as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. They are referred to in the text as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Legends are grouped on a separate page.

5.2 Technical information

All figures are published free of charge (i.e. they are included in the publication fee), including color photographs and diagrams. However, only photographs of scientific interest and pertaining to the subject of the article should be included. Color illustrations, especially diagrams, should be understandable even, if they are printed as grey levels.

Figures should be prepared to be of good quality both when they are viewed onscreen as HTML and when the PDF is printed. Figures may be arranged as “plates”, but keep in mind that PDFs are prepared to be printed on A4 pages.

The electronic submission system will accept PNG (preferred), TIFF (with compression), and EPS files, with appropriate resolution (300 dpi for colour photographs, 600 dpi for halftone work, 1200 dpi for line work). JPG format is not recommended – PNG is preferred.

Manuscripts with figures of insufficient technical quality will be immediately sent back for revision by the editorial team and will not begin the review process before correct files are uploaded. In other words, sending a manuscript with incorrect figures will gain nothing and may delay its possible publication.

6 Online material

Online material may include data too long to be included in the manuscript, additional illustrations and movies. Online material is subjected to strict refereeing. Formats accepted are: PDF, graphic formats for supplementary figures (see 5.2), MPEG for videos. Files should preferably be less than 20 Mb.

7 Mathematics, statistics and significant figures

Write mathematical equations as simply as possible. Statistical software should be clearly indicated and cited.

Figures should be indicated with a reasonable number of digits, coherent with the significance of the result. This is especially important for the abstract.

8 References

Authors are encouraged to use a reference manager software. The below given format of the references is mandatory, authors are invited to strictly follow these guidelines.

8.1 References in the text

References are numbered as [1], [2,3,7] or [5–9]. This allows copious lists of references without lengthening the text itself. The use of numbered references does not mean that author names and dates of cited papers are prohibited in the text, but this should be used only if necessary.

Example: Many studies [1–9] have addressed … (no special need to indicate authors here). In 2013, Smith [10] claimed that … but Dupont [11,12] later demonstrated that… (names of authors and dates are useful here).

8.2 Presentation of references

References are numbered and sorted in the order of appearance in the text. Words in titles are not capitalised. No journal name begins with “The”.

The common structure of each reference follows always the below example:

Journal articles

Names of authors (Year of publication) Title of publication, Journal name, Volume Number, pages.

Book chapter

Names of authors (Year of publication) Title of chapter, in: Book Title, Names of Editors, Name of Publisher.

Complete book

Names of authors (Year of publication) Book Title, Location of Publisher, Name of Publisher.


Journal articles

  1. Mella C, Villalón IE, Núñez A, Paccot D, Díaz-Ledezma C (2015) Hip arthroscopy and osteoarthritis: Where are the limits and indications?, SICOT J, 1, 27
  2. Krishnan H, Krishnan SP, Blunn G, Skinner JA, Hart AJ (2013) Modular neck femoral stems, Bone Joint J, 95B, 8, 1011-1021
  3. Sievänen H, Kannus P (2007) Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Fragility Fracture. PLoS Med 4(6): e222. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040222

Book chapter

  1. Amendola A,. Bonasia DE (2011) The menisci: Anatomy, healing response, and biomechanics, in The Knee Joint Bonnin M, Amendola NA, Bellemans J, MacDonald SJ, Menetrey J, Editors Paris, Heidelberg, Springer.

Complete book

  1. Bonnin M, Amendola NA, Bellemans J, MacDonald SJ, Menetrey J (2011), The Knee Joint. Paris, Heidelberg, Springer.

9 Electronic submission

Authors should use the electronic submission system powered by Editorial Manager. Before you begin submission, prepare the following:

  • A list of full names of all authors and a valid email address for each of them (copy and paste from first page of manuscript);
  • A Word file of the manuscript;
  • A Word file of the covering letter, explaining why the manuscript is of importance and any other detail.
  • The electronic files of all figures, with appropriate resolution and technical quality (see 5.2).

The submission system will produce a PDF from these elements, which will be submitted for your approval, and will eventually be sent to the referees after evaluation by the Editors.

Authors who wish to send confidential comments about their manuscript to the Editor should send a separate email.

10 Post-publication corrections

The published version of a SICOT-J article constitutes its Version-of-Record (VoR).

Should an author discover a material error or inaccuracy in their own published article, they should promptly notify the Editor(s)-in-Chief and the Publisher of the journal so that appropriate action can be taken in order to correct the issue and ensure that the VoR of their SICOT-J article remains exact, complete and authoritative.

A thorough investigation involving the Publisher, the Editor(s)-in-Chief, the author and/or the Editorial Board may be needed hence undertaken in some cases when problems affecting SICOT-J published articles are reported, and so as to assess the severity of the situation.

Depending on the circumstances and significance of a reported issue, the journal may have to publish a Correction, a Retraction, an Expression of Concern or even remove the article, in accordance with the COPE Post-publication guidelines.