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Author Instructions

The International Journal of Spine Surgery complies with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, available at: Potential authors should pay close attention to the requirements concerning human rights and disclosure of financial and other conflicts of interest.

All manuscript pages, blinded and unblinded, should be provided as Word files or rich text files.

Authors may wish to see the Journal's Criteria for Publication.


A structured abstract is a required component of each manuscript submission. The abstract must include 5 paragraphs and total 300 words or less. If abstract is not formatted correctly, the article will be returned to the author for the necessary revisions.

The abstract should contain subheadings. The following is an example:

  • Background (with clear statement of primary research question)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions / Level of Evidence
  • Clinical relevance (when applicable)

At least 3 key words should be included following the abstract so visitors can easily locate articles by topic.


The primary manuscript must be blinded (any Acknowledgements or Conflicts of Interest that name the authors or their institution must be included in the Unblinded Title Page, as seen below) and must use the Vancouver style of references (sequentially numbered, not in alphabetical ordered). Any manuscript that is unblinded or using a non-Vancouver style of references will be promptly returned. Your manuscript should not have line numbering enabled; we'll add line numbers during the submission process.

Vancouver style example


Vancouver style1 has references cited and numbered in the order they appear in the article,2 rather than having a list of references in alphabetical order...


1. Lastname, firstname. Article title. Journal. Year;Vol:Issue. pages. DOI.

2. Authorlast, Authorfirst. Article title. Journal. Year;Vol:Issue. pages. DOI.

A complete manuscript must include the following sections with each section clearly labeled by the following section headers:


State the problem that led to the study including a concise review of the literature. State your hypothesis and the purpose of the study.

Materials and methods

Describe the study design (prospective, retrospective, inclusion and exclusion criteria, duration of study) and the study population (demographics and length of follow up).

Statistical Methods

Discuss the statistical framework of the study that supports your hypothesis and conclusions. Statistical data should include n and p-values; any relevant charts, graphs, or tables that further strengthen the argument.


Include findings of the study as exemplified by the statistical results. Explanation of relevant tables, charts, and graphs.


Provide an overview of the study. Compare and contrast results with expectations and/or standards. Discuss any inconsistencies in data or results, unexpected conclusions, etc.

If the authors have a direct conflict of interest regarding the manuscript (that is, Author A is an employee of Device Company B whose technology is examined in the paper), please confirm that there is a blinded conflict of interest statement on the Blinded Manuscript file (this statement would read "All authors are employees of a company involved in the manufacture of a device examined in this study," "Author 1 receives royalties from a company involved in the manufacture of a device examined in this study," etc.).


High-resolution electronic pictures, illustrations, charts, and graphs must be submitted as separate files from the manuscript in PNG, or TIFF format. JPEG images are also acceptable, but not a preferred format.

Electronic image files may be embedded into a Microsoft Word or PDF document TO SHOW PLACEMENT ONLY. The files should be uploaded separately from the manuscript. Electronic image files must have a resolution of 300 dots-per-inch (dpi) or greater.

PDFs, Microsoft Excel files, or PowerPoint files are not acceptable submission formats.


All references must be properly cited according to the American Medical Association (AMA) standards. If claims are not supported by clinical study results and/or the standard cross-referencing of other publications, the manuscript will not be eligible for submission. Manuscript guidelines also require that:

  • The submission be seen, reviewed, and approved by all contributing authors
  • Copyright transfer form is completed and signed by all listed authors
  • Lead author's contact form is completed and includes address, telephone number, and e-mail
  • References are numbered sequentially (Vancouver style). If references are not numbered sequentially, your paper will be returned to you for correction.
  • Citations should be superscripted rather than in brackets. If you are using a Reference Manager (we particularly like Mendeley, Colwiz, and Zotero, all of which are great free alternatives to EndNote and other reference managers), your references will be automatically formatted if you've selected AMA style or one based on AMA style.


Unblinded Title Page

List the title of the manuscript and the author's names in the order in which they should appear. Provide a complete mailing address for each author. Clearly designate the lead author and provide her/his mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. Any Acknowledgement or Conflict of Interest disclosures that might unblind the manuscript should be on the Unblinded Title Page instead. Instiutional Review Board (IRB),Research Ethics Committee, or local equivalent approval should be stated on the title page.

Copyright Transfer & Author Agreement; Financial Disclosures

Material appearing in the International Journal of Spine Surgery is covered by copyright. All authors must sign a Copyright transfer and Author agreement form upon acceptance of the manuscript by The International Journal of Spine Surgery. Copyright forms are handled by the production department of the publisher once the manuscript is accepted and scheduled for publication.

The form must reference the manuscript title, assigned International Journal of Spine Surgery manuscript number and corresponding author. It must be submitted by post mail, by fax, or in PDF format. The same form has a section for authors to indicate potential conflicts of interest. The authors must supply full disclosure of financial arrangement between any author and any company whose product or competing product plays a prominent role in the manuscript.


Authors may submit additional materials with each manuscript, including:

  • Cover letter
  • Figures and/or tables: figures must be submitted electronically. Each figure and/or table must be labeled separately and attached as a separate file.
  • Acknowledgements (these typically unblind the paper; please see our notes on blinding above)


As an author, you (or your employer or institution) may do the following:

  • Reproduce (print or electronic) the article for your own personal use, including for educational purposes
  • Reproduce and distribute such copies (including through e-mail) of the article to research colleagues for their personal use only. Reproductions must not be used commercially or systematically, e.g., via an e-mail list or list server)
  • Post a pre-print version of the article on Internet Web sites including electronic pre-print servers, and to retain indefinitely such version on such servers of sites
  • Post a revised personal version of the final text of the article (to reflect changes made in the peer review and editing process) on your personal or institutional Web site or server
  • Present the article at a meeting or conference and distribute reproductions to the delegates attending such a meeting
  • For your employer, if the article is a 'work for hire', created within the scope of your employment agreement. Your employer may use all or part of the information in the article for other intracompany use (e.g., training)
  • Retain patent and trademark rights, and rights to any processes or procedure described in the article
  • Include the article in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation (provided that this is not to be published commercially)
  • Use the article or any part thereof in a printed compilation of your works, such as collected writings or lecture notes (subsequent to publication of your article in the journal)
  • Prepare other derivative works, to extend the article into book-length form, or to otherwise reuse portions or excerpts in other works, with full acknowledgement of its original publication in the International Journal of Spine Surgery


Ethical Standards

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors must indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Institutional approval or exemption from review will be noted in the published article.

Patient anonymity and informed consent

It is the author's responsibility to ensure that a patient's anonymity be carefully protected and to verify that any experimental investigation with human subjects reported in the manuscript was performed with informed consent and followed all the guidelines for experimental investigation with human subjects required by the institution(s) with which all the authors are affiliated. Authors should mask patients' eyes, private parts and remove patients' names from all figures. Photographs of patients should have bars placed over the eyes. In addition, permission from the patient is required and must be submitted with the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest in the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated

as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged in the manuscript. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading “Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:”. For example: Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: A has received honoraria from Company Z. B is currently receiving a grant (#12345) from Organization Y, and is on the speaker’s bureau for Organization X – the CME organizers for Company A. For the remaining authors none were declared.

Each author must complete and submit the journal's copyright transfer agreement, which includes a section on the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" ( These COI statements will be published with the manuscript.