STANDARD REQUIREMENTS FOR MANUSCRIPTS SUBMITTED
TO SCIENCE AND PRACTICE JOURNAL “HUMAN ECOLOGY”
The peer-reviewed journal “Human Ecology” was founded in 1994 and represents a multi-disciplinary edition relating to theory and practice and focused on publication of original studies, surveys, communications, conference reports, reviews of articles on urgent issues of human ecology. The Journal subject and specialization include ecological-physiological principles of human vital activity, ecology of natural and social catastrophes, reproduction of population and demographic processes as well as issues of public health and social policy. The Journal includes the following main headings: Circumpolar Medicine;
Environment; Labor Ecology; Safety in Emergency Situations; Mentality Ecology; Environmental Physiology; Endoecology; Social Ecology; Childhood Ecology; Medical Ecology; Environmental Morphology; Education and Science Ecology; Ecology of Destiny and other. The Journal is focused at scientific community, practicing physicians, ecologists, biologists, social workers, education workers etc.
In 2004, the Journal “Human Ecology” was included into the list of periodicals published in the Russian Federation that recommend publication of main results of doctoral theses (medical and biological sciences). The new status of the Journal and its indexing in different national and foreign databases put in special claims to quality of published studies. The new typescript requirements were caused mainly by attempts to follow the global tendencies of evidence-based medicine development and to correspond to the international quality standards for scientific publications. These requirements were composed on the basis of “the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” worked out by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) taking into account the recent revisions of “the Uniform Requirements…” ICMJE in 2004 and 2006.
The Journal’s Editorial Body hopes that strict observance of these Requirements by manuscript authors helps to significantly improve the Journal’s quality and citing by home and foreign researchers.
The Journal’s Editorial Body will not consider manuscripts that do not correspond to these Requirements.
All articles submitted to the Editorial Body undergo careful reviewing. Manuscripts containing statistical data are sent to reviewers in statistics besides reviewers of the corresponding heading. If reviewers have questions, articles are returned to authors for improvement. The Editorial Body has the right to request an initial database that was used for calculations in cases, when questions about quality of statistical processing arise. A date of submission of an improved manuscript is to be considered as a final date of putting the manuscript into the printing plan.
The Editorial Body reserves the right to introduce editorial changes in texts that do not torture context of articles.
Preparation of materials
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editorial Body in two forms: an article text signed by all authors and a cover letter in hard copy, and an article in electronic form (a diskette 3.5’’–1.4 Мb or a compact disk) that can be also sent to the Editorial Body by e-mail. A cover letter to the Editorial Body of the Journal “Human Ecology” is prepared in the following form:
- Separately – a recommendation of an institution where the work was carried out (signed by a Rector/Vice-Rector for Science or an Institution Head/Deputy Head).
- Surname, name, patronymic, scientific degree, title and position of an author responsible for further communication with the Editorial Body
- Postal address for correspondence (with an indicated postcode), telephone number, fax, e-mail of an author responsible for correspondence
- Surnames, names, patronymics, scientific degrees, titles, positions, places of work, postal addresses (with indicated postcodes), telephone numbers and e-mails of all co-authors
- Full title of a manuscript submitted to the Editorial Body.
- Number of text pages, number of tables and figures.
- Indication of the heading to which an article is submitted.
- Authors should convince the Editorial Body that materials submitted in their article were not published in other prints. One should inform that some parts of the materials were already published and could be regarded as redundant publication. Copies of such materials should be attached to the submitted manuscript to help the Editorial Body to address the situation. It is not allowed to send articles that were published already in other journals or submitted for publication to other publishers’ houses.
8. Authors agree with the Rules of Manuscript Preparation for Publication approved by the Editorial Body of the Science and Practice Journal ”Human Ecology” published in the Journal and placed at the official site of the Journal on the Internet.
9. Authors are responsible for unlawful use in their scientific articles of intellectual property and copyright items according to the current Law RF.
10. Authors guarantee that publication of their scientific article does not infringe anybody’s copyright and transfer to the Journal founder for an indefinite period non-exclusive rights for use of the scientific article by way of publication of the article in the Journal issue and placement of full-text versions of issues or their parts on the Internet.
11. Date of manuscript sending.
12. All authors’ signatures.
Authors should also state financial or any other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest. For example, if a clinical trial of a medicinal agent is carried out, it is necessary to specify relationships of a researcher and a pharmaceutical company producing a studied preparation (if it was not stated in a manuscript’s text).
A cover letter can contain any other information useful for the Editorial Body.
Article electronic variants are prepared in the program Microsoft Word. An article text is printed on one side of sheets А4 with font Times New Roman, size 12 points with line spacing 1.5, portrait orientation with margin 2.5 сm all round and necessary page numbering. Tables and figures (illustrations, graphs, photographs) as well as their legends are placed on separate pages at the end of an article. Approximate arrangement of illustrations in a text is specified on margins to the right.
A review manuscript size should not exceed 12 pages of typewritten text (excluding abstracts, tables, illustrations and references). An original article manuscript size should not exceed 8 pages of typewritten text (excluding abstracts, tables, illustrations and references). Conference reports, short communications and book reviews should not take up more than 3 pages of typewritten text. Reviews, short communications, conference reports and new book reviews are structured according to an authors’ wish. Original article manuscripts should be divided into the following sections: “Introduction”, “Method’, “Result” and “Discussion of Results”.
Requirements to article content
Titles of articles should be possibly brief (not more than 120 symbols) and fairly present the content. Titles in the form of interrogative sentences as well as titles with ambiguous meanings should be avoided. It is necessary to use only standard abbreviations, not to use abbreviations in article titles. A full term instead of which an abbreviation is introduced should precede the first use of this abbreviation in a text.
A title page should carry the following information:
- Article title
- Surname and initials of each author
- Full names of all organizations to which authors are attributed. If authors work in different institutions, connections of each author with his/her institution is shown with use of an upper rail asterisk, for example:
ACCUMULATION OF RADIONUCLIDES IN TREE VEGETATION OF KOLA PENINSULA INDUSTRIAL REGIONS
*А. N. Kizeev, **А. N. Nikanov
*Polar-Alpine Botanic Garden-Institute of Kola Research Center Russian Academy of
**Research Laboratory of North-West Center of Hygiene, Kirovsk
- Abstract in the Russian language
- Key words
Abstracts provide brief but maximally informative content of scientific publications. Their volume should be from 150 to 250 words. Abstracts state in brief a study background and goals, basic methods including a research type, sample creation and basic analytical methods, main results in figures and levels of statistical significance and principal conclusions. New and important aspects of a study are noted in abstracts. An abstract is the only part of an article that is accessible in electronic format for wide readership, so it is an authors’ duty to provide accurate correspondence of abstracts to content of whole articles. Abstracts of literature reviews, descriptions of new research methods or data processing, descriptions of separate clinical cases or observations should motivate readers to address article full texts. Abstracts of original studies should be structured as follows: Goal; Methods; Results; Conclusions.
The subtitle “Key words” should be placed under an abstract and include 3-6 key words reflecting problems studied during research.
An article title, surnames and initials of each author, full names of all organizations to which authors are attributed, an abstract and key words in English are enclosed after tables, illustrations and references. The Editorial Body reserves the right to correct translations. For translation of abstracts and titles into English, it is recommended to use help of a professional translator for avoidance of doubt. As key words, it is desirable to use terms from the list of medical subject headings (MeSH, Medical Subject Headings) used in Index Medicus (www.pubmed.com).
In this section, a research background should be clearly formulated: a problem essence and its significance should be specified. Authors should introduce a studied problem to readers, to describe in brief what is known in this field, to mention works of other authors, to specify drawbacks of previous studies if there are any, in other words, to reason the necessity of their study. One shouldn’t list all published works on the topic, it is enough to mention the most significant works directly relating to the topic. It is recommended to make references not only to national, but also to foreign research in the studied topic.
At the end of this section, state a study goal or a hypothesis tested by authors. Specify tasks assigned to meet a goal. A goal is formulated in such a way that readers have a complete grasp of what is planned to study, persons that are going to be studied and methods. Data, results or conclusions that are presented further in an article shouldn’t be included in this section.
The section should include only those methods which were supposed to be used at a project planning stage according to an original study protocol. If in the process of a study implementation, a need in additional methods appears, they should be presented in the section “Discussion”. The section should be very detailed, so that readers could independently assess methodological benefits and implications of a study as well as reduplicate it if desired.
In this section, it is recommended to present clear descriptions of the following aspects (it is not necessary to separate them into subsections): a study type; methods of selection of study participants; methods of measurements; methods of data presentation and processing; ethical principles.
- Type of a study
In this subsection, a type of an implemented study is clearly specified (a literature review, observational, experimental etc.). In implementation of an observational study, it should be indicated, if the study is descriptive or analytical. In analytical studies, a kind of a study is determined: cross-sectional (one stage study), case-control, cohort, environmental (correlation) etc. It is recommended to specify a year and a month of a study implementation, particularly if symptoms with seasonal variation were studied. In literature reviews, criteria of their publication selection should be clearly indicated.
- Methods of selection of study participants
In this subsection, it is clearly specified how patients or laboratory animals were selected for observations or experiments. Criteria for inclusion of potential participants in a study and exclusion from it are specified. It is recommended to indicate the total formation for participant selection, what is also used for result extrapolation. If the parameter “race” or “ethnicity” was used in a study, it should be explained how the parameter was assessed and why it was important to use it. For observational studies, one should specify methods of sample creation (simple random, stratified, systematic, cluster, multistage etc.) and to ground inclusion of that exact number of participants in a study. For experimental studies, it is necessary to indicate presence or absence of study participants’ randomization. A randomization procedure description should be presented. Besides, one should indicate, if a masking procedure was carried out. Calculations of sampling minimum necessary size for check of statistical hypotheses or retrospective calculation of statistical power for main calculations are welcome.
- Measurement technique
All procedures of parameter measurements, data collection, medical or diagnostic interventions should be described in detail, so that it is possible to reduplicate a study according to a presented description. If necessary, it is possible to make a reference to a detailed description of used methods. If a researcher uses his/her own variant of an earlier described method or proposes a new method, it is necessary to present a brief description of the used variant or the proposed method, as well as any reasons against use of generally accepted methods. Titles of medicinal agents (both trade and international), chemical substances, doses and ways of administration of preparations applied in a study should be specified. Used devices, instruments, medicinal preparations etc. should be accompanied by references to manufacturers.
- Methods of data presentation and processing
This subsection is often the main reason for rejection of publication of Russian scientists’ articles abroad.
It is necessary to describe used methods of data processing so thoroughly that readers having access to basic data can check results. In cases of doubt, the Editorial Body can request basic data from article authors in order to check presented results. In this subsection, definitions to all statistical terms, symbols and abbreviations used in an article should be given. For example, М – arithmetical mean, SD – standard deviation, m – standard error of arithmetical mean, Mе – median, Mo – mode, etc. If statistical hypotheses were checked in a study, one should specify the significance critical level (р) accepted by authors. Hypotheses must be stated clearly and described in popular language.
The Journal Editorial Body does not recommend to rely only on use of the reached level of significance during check of statistical hypotheses, as the value р does not indicate complete information. It is recommended to present results with corresponding errors and uncertainty parameters (confidence intervals). In description of statistical methods, references to manuals and guides should be given with obligatory page indications. Besides statistical procedures for check of hypotheses, it is recommended to calculate the effect value for most significant comparisons.
If several statistical criteria were used in a study, one should mention all of them and indicate which of criteria and in what situations were used. Blurred descriptions of data statistical processing like “variation-statistical processing was conducted with the use of the generally accepted statistical parametric and nonparametric methods with the use of the package of applied programs Statistica” are uninformative and impossible. Articles containing statements like that will be at once sent for adaptation without further reviewing. This will make time from manuscript submission to the Editorial Body till publication significantly longer. Application of one or other methods of data processing should be clearly reasoned. For example, if parametric criteria were used, one should describe what criteria were used for distribution check. It is necessary to specify how observation of conditions necessary for use of methods was checked. Each of used criteria should be specified so that to exclude different interpretations. For example, if sample means were compared with help of a Student criterion, one should indicate which of the Student criteria (for independent samples or for paired observations) was used in the study. It is not enough to say that a correlation analysis was used, it is necessary to indicate which of the correlation coefficients was calculated. In use of the multidimensional methods for data processing, it is specified, what was a method of selection of variables for inclusion into models and what categories were used as comparison categories. If a rare method of data processing was used, it is necessary to indicate, why exactly that method has been chosen, to make a reference to a literary source and to describe in brief the used method.
If a package of statistical programs was used for data processing, one should indicate its name and version. It is not necessary to inform, what computer was used for data processing since such information does not have practical value.
- Ethical principles
If an article contains a description of manned experiments, it is necessary to indicate if the procedure corresponded to the standards of the Ethical Committee responsible for this aspect of the work or to the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 and its revision of 1983. One shouldn’t call surnames and initials of patients, numbers of case histories, particularly if an article is accompanied by illustrations or photos. If laboratory animals were used in a study, it is necessary to specify animals’ species and number, used methods of anesthesia and sacrifice according to the “Rules of Work with Experimental Animals” approved by the USSR Ministry of Health or rules adopted in authors’ institutions, the recommendations of the National Research Council or the applicable law.
The section is destined only for presentation of main research results. Results received during a study are not compared with results of analogous studies of other authors and are not discussed.
Results should be presented in a text, tables and figures in natural sequence on the basis of priority of study tasks and goals. It is not recommended to duplicate in a text results presented in tables or in figures and vice versa. Only significant observations relating to study tasks are described, separated and summarized. General characteristics of samples or studied groups should be presented in a table with indication of main studied symptoms. It is necessary to specify not only average values, but also measures of dispersion or confidence intervals for means and fractions.
Mean values should not be more exact than by one decimal sign in comparison with basic data. In descriptions of fractions, it is necessary to specify absolute numbers of observations, particularly in small samples. Percent is stated with two decimal signs only if a fraction is less than 1 %. If a fraction is 1-10 %, one decimal sign is enough. Use of 95 % confidence intervals is welcome both for mean values and fractions.
The reached level of significance for each of used statistical criteria should be given within the accuracy of three decimal signs. The Editorial Body highly recommends to avoid formulas like р < 0.05 (exception is in cases when p < 0.001). Instead of the formulas p > 0.05 or “differences are insignificant” one should specify the absolute value р within the accuracy of thousandths (e.g., р = 0.032). Besides the reached level of significance, it is recommended to give actual criteria values and a number of degrees of freedom. For example, the Pearson’s chi-square criterion represents the following in presence of two numbers of freedom: χ2 = 29.2, d. f. = 2, р < 0.001. It is not correct to indicate that “the differences between the average values are reliable (unreliable)”, it is more correct to say about statistically significant (or insignificant) differences.
It should be always noted that detection of statistically significant differences does not mean that reliable or clinically significant differences as well as cause-effect relations are present.
We recommend all authors to find out more about most frequently occurring mistakes of statistical processing and data presentation in an article published in issue № 1 of International Journal of Medical Practice 2005.
Units of measurement are given in accordance with the International System of Units SI.
Tables make it possible to present available data briefly and vividly and in all necessary details. Accumulation of results in the form of tables allows to reduce a text size significantly. Tables are numbered with Arabic figures successively in order of their first reference in a text. Each table should have a heading making it possible for readers to understand what data the table presents without reading the article text. Side heads and table graphs should be also entitled. If abbreviations are used, they are decoded in notes under the table. All explanations are given in the same place. For footnotes, it is recommended to use uppercase asterisks (* ). Tables should not be awkward and include information that does not belong to study goals and tasks. In use of tables from other sources, it is necessary to mention the information sources. It is not recommended to present more than 5 small tables in one article.
Illustrations. All diagrams, illustrations and photographs should be presented in the electronic form with a view to black-and-white print. Photographs should be sharp and in the format JPEG. Diagrams, schemes and figures can be in the Ехсеl or JPEG formats. If photographs of humans are used, those persons should not be recognizable, or a written permission for publication of the photographs should be enclosed. All illustrations should have headings and be understandable without reference to an article text. In figure legends, all legend keys are described. All illustrations are numbered with Arabic figures successively in order of their first reference in a text. In use of illustrations from other sources, it is necessary to mention information sources. It is not recommended to present more than 5 illustrations in one article.
Discussion of results
In articles describing original studies, this section begins with a brief (not more than 2–3 sentences) presentation of a study main results. Results corresponding to study goals and tasks are considered as main results. There is no point in drawing attention to side results, only because statistically significant differences have been detected during statistical hypotheses checking. Materials described in sections “Introduction” and “Methods” are not to be repeated in this section. It is necessary to specify new and important aspects of a study and, just as important, to explain reasons for obtaining these particular results. One should describe available shortcomings of a study, especially if they can influence significantly obtained results or their interpretation. Besides, one should note study strengths or its advantages over other studies in the field. Discussion of virtues and shortcomings of a study is an important part of the section and is qualified to help readers to interpret obtained results. It is always necessary to remember, that it is better to draw attention of readers to available shortcomings (there is no such thing as a perfect study), than to get a situation when these shortcomings are noted by reviewers or readers. In the section, it should be described, how obtained results correlate with results of similar studies conducted by other authors. Instead of bare mention of previous studies, one should try to explain why obtained results differ or do not differ from results of other authors. Possibilities of application of obtained results should be discussed as well as limitations of their application if any. It needs to determine directions of further studies resulting logically from study results. It is possible to formulate new hypotheses, only if it is justified, and one should clearly specify that these are only hypotheses. Sometimes in this section, operational recommendations for use of study results in practice can be presented.
Conclusions should proceed from study goals avoiding unfounded statements and conclusions which are not based on presented observations or calculations. For example, there is no point in making conclusions about economic expediency of application of a new method of treatment of patients with a disease Х, if in an article, comparative economic effectiveness is not analyzed. It is not worth to state priorities referring to incomplete work.
References should represent a brief bibliographical description of cited papers according to the State Standard 7.0.5–2008. For example:
- Кисляк О. А., Стародубова А. В. Значение определения артериальной жесткости и центрального давления для оценки сердечно-сосудистого риска и результатов лечения пациентов с артериальной гипертензией // Сonsilium Medicum. 2009. № 10. URL: http://con-med.ru/magazines/consilium_medicum/3508/3516/?sphrase_id=2236 (дата обращения: 30.08.2014).
- Мачинская Р. И., Крупская Е. В. Созревание регуляторных структур мозга и организация внимания у детей младшего школьного возраста // Когнитивные исследования : сб. науч. трудов. М. : Изд-во Института психологии РАН, 2008. Вып. 2. С. 32–48.
- Попова О. Н. Характеристика адаптивных реакций внешнего дыхания у молодых лиц трудоспособного возраста, жителей Европейского Севера : автореф. дис. … д-ра мед. наук. Москва, 2009. 34 с.
- Поскотинова Л. В. Вегетативная регуляция ритма сердца и эндокринный статус молодежи в условиях Европейского Севера России. Екатеринбург : УрО РАН, 2010. 229 с.
- Решетник Л. А. Клинико-гигиеническая оценка микроэлементных дисбалансов у детей Прибайкалья : дис. … д-ра мед. наук. 2000. 362 с.
- Терещенко Ю. В. Трактовка основных показателей вариабельности ритма сердца // Материалы межрегиональной конференции «Новые медицинские технологии на службе первичного звена здравоохранения», Омск, 10–11 апреля, 2010. С. 3–11.
7. Чащин В. П., Гудков А. Б., Попова О. Н., Одланд И. О., Ковшов А. А. Характеристика основных факторов риска нарушений здоровья населения, проживающего на территориях активного природопользования в Арктике // Экология человека. 2014. № 1. С. 3–12.
8. Berner J., Furgal C. Impacts of a Warming Arctic // Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Scientific Report. Ch. 15. CambridgeUniversity Press, 2005. Р. 863–906.
9. Kudayeva I. V., Masnavieva L. B., Budarina L. A. Metallic mercury effect on the indices of oxidative stress in persons with neurological disorders // European Journal of Natural History. 2008. N 3. Р. 54–55.
Bibliographical references in a text should be given in square brackets and marked by Arabic numerals according to References representing cited works listed alphabetically (first – national, then foreign). Surnames of foreign authors should be given in original spelling. It is desirable to refer to newer publications (not older than 10 years). For original articles, a number of sources should not exceed 20, for observational articles – 50.
It is undesirable to refer to report abstracts, newspaper publications, unpublished observations and private communications. Manuscript’s authors should compare references with original documents. Authors are absolutely responsible for accuracy of bibliographic sources, including those translated into English.
References are submitted in two variants:
1. Russian-language variant together with foreign sources according to the State Standard 7.0.5–2008.
2. Transliterated variant in Latin letters with a translation of publication sources into English.
At the site http://www.translit.ru/, it is possible to use for free the program of transliteration of Russian texts to the Latin alphabet (variant BSI).
Here is an example of the above-given references transliteration:
1. Kislyak O. A., Starodubova A. V. The significance of arterial rigidity and central arterial pressure measurement for the evaluation of arterial hypertension patient cardiac risk and treatment results. Consilium Medicum. 2009, 10. Available at: http://con-med.ru/magazines/consilium_medicum/3508/3516/?sphrase_id=2236 (accessed 30.08.2013).
2. Machinskaya R. I., Krupskaya E. V. Sozrevanie regulyatornykh struktur mozga i organizatsiya vnimaniya u detei mladshego shkol’nogo vozrasta [Brain regulatory functions maturing and attention organization in primary schoolchildren]. Kognitivnye issledovaniya. Sb. nauch. trudov [Cognitive Research. Digest of Scientific Papers]. Moscow, Institut psikhologii RAN Publ., 2008, iss. 2, pp. 32-48.
3. Popova O. N. Kharakteristika adaptivnykh reaktsii vneshnego dykhaniya u molodykh lits trudosposobnogo vozrasta, zhitelei Evropeiskogo Severa (avtoref. dokt. diss.) [Characteristics of external respiration adaptive reactions in young able-bodied persons living in European North. Author’s Abstract of Doct. Diss.]. Moscow, 2009, 34 p.
4. Poskotinova L.V. Vegetativnaya regylyaziya ritma serdza i endokrinnyi statys molodezhy v ysloviyakh Evropeiskogo Severa Rossii [Vegetative regulation of heart rate and endocrine status of young people in conditions of the European North of Russia]. Yekaterinburg, Ural Branch of RAS Publ., 2010, 229 p.
5. Reshetnik L. A. Kliniko-gigienicheskaya otsenka mikroelementnykh disbalansov u detei Pribaikal’ya (dokt. diss.) [Clinical-hygienic estimate of trace elements disbalance of children in the Cisbaikalia. Doct. Diss.]. 2000, 362 p.
6. Tereshchenko Yu. V. Traktovka osnovnykh pokazatelei variabel’nosti ritma serdtsa [Interpretation of main indices of heart rate variability]. Materialy mezhregional’noi konferentsii «Novye meditsinskie tekhnologii na sluzhbe pervichnogo zvena zdravookhraneniya», Omsk, 10-11 aprelya 2010 [Proceedings of Interregional Conference “The New Medical Technology at Initial Stage of Public Care”, Omsk, 10-11 April 2010]. Omsk, 2010, pp. 3-11.
7. Chashchin V. P., Gudkov А. B., Popova О. N., Odland J. Ö., Kovshov А. А. Description of Main Health Deterioration Risk Factors for Population Living on Territories of Active Natural Management in the Arctic. Ekologiya cheloveka [Human Ecology]. 2014, 1, рр. 3-12. [in Russian]
8. Berner J., Furgal C. Impacts of a Warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Scientific Report.Ch. 15. CambridgeUniversity Press, 2005, pp. 863-906.
9. Kudayeva I. V., Masnavieva L. B., Budarina L. A. Metallic mercury effect on the indices of oxidative stress in persons with neurological disorders. European Journal of Natural History. 2008, 3, pp. 54-55.
Rejected articles are not sent back.
For information about cost of article publication, please contact the Editorial Body.
Ph.D. candidates’ articles are published free of charge (sole author). It is necessary to submit a certificate of study in a postgraduate training program attested by an institution’s head.
Address of Editorial Body: Northern State Medical University, “Human Ecology”, Troitsky Ave. 51, 163000 Arkhangelsk, Russia, Tel.: +7 8182 206563; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.