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HPB publishes original articles, reviews, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials, all of which are submitted to rigorous peer review. HPB subscribes to the policies published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and adheres to publishing ethics guidelines published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
HPB operates an online submission and peer review system that enables authors to submit articles online and track their progress via a web interface. Any queries regarding manuscript submission should be directed to the HPB Editorial Office ([email protected]).
Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://www.editorialmanager.com/hpb
Please note that HPB no longer publishes Case Studies, Technical Reports, Image of the Issue and How I do it. Authors interested in submitting manuscripts in these categories are encourage to submit to the "My HPB" website instead.
The Editors commission leading articles of 800-1000 words and up to ten references. A single author is preferred. Submissions may be subject to peer review and the Editors retain the right to alter textual style.
Reviews (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Priority will be given to work that addresses a topic of current interest. All meta-analyses of randomized trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the PRISMA statement, which is designed to improve manuscript quality. Authors must include a suitable PRISMA flow chart in their submission (click here for an example) as well as the checklist (upload the checklist under the file designation 'Other'). Further advice on suitability is available from the Editorial Office: [email protected]
Reviews must include a structured abstract (maximum 200 words), should not exceed 3,500 words of text and 50 to 75 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 4 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.
Useful resources for Authors of review articles include the article ‘Systematic reviews and meta-analysis for the surgeon scientist’ by Galandiuk and colleagues, and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.
HPB will consider for publication Cochrane review articles that have been substantially shortened and re-written for a surgical audience, but such submissions must state this on the title page of the manuscript, and copies of the original article must be sent to the editorial office for consideration. You must also apply for permission from the Cochrane Library – further information on how to do this is available in the Cochrane Manual. These articles will be subject to the usual HPB peer review process.
Prospective clinical trials
HPB expects all authors to register prospective clinical trials in a suitable electronic and freely accessible registry (e.g. www.clinicaltrials.gov, www.controlled-trials.com), according to the ICMJE guidelines1,8. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between an intervention and a health outcome. The registration number of the clinical trial should be quoted at the end of the abstract. If you wish the Editor to consider an unregistered trial, please explain why the trial has not been registered.
In addition, all randomized clinical trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the CONSORT statement and investigators must include a suitable CONSORT flow chart in their submission (click here for an example) as well as the checklist (upload the checklist under the file designation 'Other'). The primary end point and power calculation must be clearly stated, and randomized clinical trials should be clearly identified as such in both the title and the abstract.
Randomized clinical trials must include a structured abstract (maximum 200 words), should not exceed 3,000 words of text and 50 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 5 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.
Original articles should normally be in the format of Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. Original articles must include a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer (further information can be found below), should not exceed 5,000 words of text and 50 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 5 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.
The Editors welcome topical correspondence from readers relating to articles published in the Journal. Letters must be no more than 250 words in length, including no more than five references.
The Editors may seek an invited commentary which will accompany a topical original article. This should normally be fewer than 500 words with no more than five references. The Editors retain the right to alter textual style.
Guidelines that accompany an article may be considered for publication in the journal. If you intend to prepare guidelines from a consensus meeting and are interested in submitting them to the journal please consult with the Editorial Office ([email protected]) in the first instance.
On submission of the manuscript the corresponding author must warrant that the article is an original work, has not been published before, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in its final form, in either printed or electronic media.
Publication of abstracts and presentations at scientific meetings will not jeopardise full publication. Authors should declare that any republication of the data (e.g. in secondary analysis or translation) will not constitute redundant publication, will not breach copyright, and will reference the original publication.
Redundant (multiple) publication
HPB does not consider the following to be prior publication: abstracts and posters at conferences, results presented at meetings (for example, to inform investigators or participants about findings) and results databases (data without interpretation, discussion, context or conclusions in the form of tables and text to describe data/information where this is not easily presented in tabular form). Manuscripts that have been published previously in another language should state this on the title page of the submission. Manuscripts that have been previously published in English that are submitted with the aim of serving different audiences are not generally accepted by HPB (an exception to this is the publication of substantially shortened Cochrane Review articles; see section 2.b).
Editors may request copies of related publications if they are concerned about overlap and possible redundancy.
Sub-group analyses, meta-, and secondary analyses should be clearly identified as analyses of data that have already been published, and must refer to the primary source.
Research and publication misconduct
HPB adheres to COPE guidelines[ii] and will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (including falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, redundant publication and authorship misdemeanours). In such cases, HPB will follow the processes set out in the COPE flowcharts12. Authors found guilty of misconduct can expect their behaviour to be reported to the head of the relevant institution, and details of the case may be highlighted in the pages of the journal13. If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of an article published in HPB, please write to the Editorial Office: [email protected]
The journal requires authors of human transplantation manuscripts from the Peoples Republic of China to provide statements to confirm (1) that consent was obtained to the use of donor organs for transplantation, either from the donor in life or from the family of the donor; and (2) that none of the donors were prisoners who were executed. These two statements are distinct and must both be provided before a manuscript can enter the review process. These criteria are designed to provide reassurance that ethical standards of organ donation have been met, in keeping with the editorial policy of HPB.
Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed.
Declaration of interest
All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in two places: 1. A summary declaration of interest statement in the title page file (if double anonymized) or the manuscript file (if single anonymized). If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Declaration of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in both places and that the information matches. More information.
Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder.
HPB subscribes to the policy of uniform requirements for manuscripts; this facilitates resubmission of papers to journals without extensive recasting. Authors are advised to consult the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. HPB accepts the criteria for authorship proposed in the ICMJE 1, 10 and subscribes to the COPE guidelines on good publication practice 2. These guidelines are summarised below.
For research papers, Authorship should be decided at the launch of the study. The Authorship credit should be based on 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. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3.
Contributors who do not qualify as Authors should be listed and their particular contribution described in the Acknowledgements section of the article. On submission of the article, the corresponding author will be asked to confirm how all individuals listed as Authors meet the appropriate authorship criteria, that no-one who qualifies for authorship has been omitted from the list, that written authorization has been received from all co-authors, that contributors and all funding sources (for Authors and Contributors) have been properly acknowledged and that authors and contributors have approved the acknowledgement of their contribution.
The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all authors have seen, approved and are fully conversant with the contents of the manuscript. All authors are responsible for the accuracy of the manuscript, including all statistical calculations and drug doses.
All authors listed within the manuscript must be added as co-authors of the manuscript on Scholar One at submission.
Results of multicentre studies may be reported under the name of the organizing group; however, the group should identify individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should meet the criteria for authorship described above. The individual authors who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript should list the members of the larger authorship group in an appendix to their acknowledgements.
Use of inclusive language
Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.
Each author is required to declare their individual contribution to the article: all authors must have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation, so roles for all authors should be described. The statement that all authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure.
Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.
Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.
For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.
Author rights As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.
You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement, it is recommended to state this.
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's Author Services.
Preferred file formats
Manuscripts must be written in English and prepared in 12-point type in one of the standard fonts: Times New Roman, Helvetica or Courier. It must be double spaced.
The full title page, main text and tables must be submitted as a single document in Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Please do not submit text in PDF format (.pdf). Figures prepared as true images (e.g., .tif, .jpg or .eps) can be submitted as separate files.
Use of word processing software
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork. To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.
The main text of the paper may have separate Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion sections (these sections may not be applicable to all article types, e.g. reviews). A short Acknowledgements paragraph may also be included. When quoting specific materials, equipment and proprietary drugs, the name and address of the manufacturer must be given in parentheses. Generic names should normally be used. Any data mentioned in the abstract or discussion must be presented in the results section of the main text.
It is appreciated that there are a variety of writing styles, but the HPB editorship would like to ensure a degree of uniformity in the presentation of the manuscript. Ensure that the Abstract describes the content of the manuscript accurately. The Abstract may be all that is seen when a search engine is used and will draw potential readers to the contents of the main article. The Introduction should be focused and brief, putting the current study into context. Methodology and Results sections should be well structured and should avoid redundancy. If tables are used, avoid repetition of results in the text. Avoid the use of personal pronouns and ensure that patients are not referred to as cases. The Discussion should focus on the results of the study and discuss these in the context of the existing literature. Highlight those areas of the study that bring new information to the reader.
Tables and illustrations
Please refer to the Article Types regarding the limit of number of figures and tables for each manuscript category.
Submit each illustration as a separate file except compound figures e.g. 1a, 1b, 1c etc, which should be supplied as a single file. Tables should be included as part of the main text file at the end of the manuscript, not embedded in the text. Type each table on a new page with a brief title. Supply artwork at the intended size for printing. Line drawings are acceptable as clear black on white graphics and must be high quality. Use hatchings, not tints. All illustrations must be supplied at the correct resolution:
1200 dpi (dots per inch) for black and white line art (simple bar graphs, etc.)
300 dpi for halftones (black and white photographs).
600 dpi for combination halftones (photographs that also contain line art such as labelling or thin lines).
Illustrations in colour are encouraged and will be printed at no cost to the author. Label each illustration with the figure number and lead authors name. Indicate the top of the illustration and a measure of magnification for photomicrographs. Include explanations of symbols and shading within the figure, use arrows to identify particular areas of interest. Survival curves must be accompanied by a table giving the actual numbers of patients involved and should be truncated when the numbers at risk are small; that is, when they are less than one-third of the starting figure. Include in the legends to illustrations, and the footnotes to tables, brief but comprehensive explanations of all the information presented. Look at recent issues of the Journal for examples of accepted layout.
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.
Essential title page information
• Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible. • Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author. • Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author. • Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.
Additional title page information
Please indicate; (a) the category in which the manuscript is being submitted (orignal article, review, randomized clinical trial); and (b) whether the paper is based on a previous communication to a society or meeting (with full details).
The Abstract must contain fewer than 200 words and presented in a structured format. Background: state why the study was done, the main aim and the nature of the study (randomized clinical trial, retrospective review, experimental study etc). Methods: describe patients, laboratory material and other methods used. Results: state the main findings, including important numerical values. Discussion: state the main conclusions, highlighting controversial or unexpected observations.
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.
Avoid using abbreviations. Terms that are mentioned frequently may be abbreviated but only if this does not impair comprehension. Abbreviations must be used consistently and must be defined on first use.
Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).
Formatting of funding sources
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].
It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.
If no funding has been provided for the research, it is recommended to include the following sentence:
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Numbers and units
Provide absolute numbers always; percentages may be given in addition but never on their own (percentages are not acceptable for sample sizes less than 50). Use the decimal point, not a comma; for example 5.7. Use a space and not a comma after thousands and multiples thereof; for example 10 000. Use SI units (International System of Units) except for the measurement of blood pressure (mmHg).
Statistics and design
Set out clearly the objectives of the study; identify the primary and secondary hypotheses, the chosen end-points and justify the sample size with a power calculation.
Clearly describe methods used for analysis; methods not in common usage should be referenced. Report results of statistical tests by stating the value of the test statistic, the number of degrees of freedom and the P value. Actual P values should always be reported to three decimal places, especially when the result is not significant. The results of the primary analyses should be reported using confidence intervals instead of, or in addition to, P values. For detailed guidance on the handling of statistical material consult the article by Murray 11.
Expressions of data
All results should be presented as actual numbers.
For nominal data with denominators greater than 50, percentages (as a whole number) should be provided alongside actual number.
For continuous data non parametric descriptors (median and range) and statistical analysis (e.g. Mann Whitney U) should be performed unless it can be shown (statistically) that data are normally distributed in which case it is reasonable to use parametric tests (e.g. student t-test).
Extensive use of tables is encouraged and data provided in tables should not be repeated in text. All tables, figures and graphs must have a stand alone legend which enables interpretation without the need to refer to the text.
P values should be standardised to 3 decimal places and should include actual values for those values that are non-significant.
For Kaplan-Meier curves the following should be adhered to:
a) Numbers at risk should be given below the x-axis in line with the time value.
b) Survival curves must be accompanied by a table giving the actual numbers of patients involved and each individual graph should be truncated when the numbers at risk are small; that is, the number at risk reaches the greater of either 1/10th of the original denominator or 5.
c) Censored variables should be shown.
Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, Crossref and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is highly encouraged.
A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, https://doi.org/10.1029/2001JB000884. Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.
Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.
Text: Indicate references by superscript numbers in the text. The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given. List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text. Examples: Reference to a journal publication: 1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2010;163:51–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Sc.2010.00372. Reference to a journal publication with an article number: 2. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon. 2018;19:e00205. https://doi.org/j.heliyon.2018.e00205. Reference to a book: 3. Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 4th ed. New York: Longman; 2000. Reference to a chapter in an edited book: 4. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, editors. Introduction to the electronic age, New York: E-Publishing Inc; 2009, p. 281–304. Reference to a website: 5. Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK, http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/aboutcancer/statistics/cancerstatsreport/; 2003 [accessed 13 March 2003]. Reference to a dataset: [dataset] 6. Oguro M, Imahiro S, Saito S, Nakashizuka T. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1; 2015. https://doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1. Note shortened form for last page number. e.g., 51–9, and that for more than 6 authors the first 6 should be listed followed by 'et al.' For further details you are referred to 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals' (J Am Med Assoc 1997;277:927–34)(see also Samples of Formatted References).
Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.
Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.
One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent by e-mail to the corresponding author (if we do not have an e-mail address then paper proofs will be sent by post) or a link will be provided in the e-mail so that authors can download the files themselves. To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Elsevier now provides authors with PDF proofs which can be annotated; for this you will need to download the free Adobe Reader, version 9 (or higher). Instructions on how to annotate PDF files will accompany the proofs (also given online). The exact system requirements are given at the Adobe site. If you do not wish to use the PDF annotations function, you may list the corrections (including replies to the Query Form) and return them to Elsevier in an e-mail. Please list your corrections quoting line number. If, for any reason, this is not possible, then mark the corrections and any other comments (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of your proof and scan the pages and return via e-mail. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication: please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.
The corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Author Services. Corresponding authors who have published their article gold open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.