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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.


Cover Letter

Authors should submit electronically a brief 1-paragraph introduction of the work to the editor-in-chief. The letter may also include suggested reviewers for the work that have expertise in the subject area, along with email contact information (suggested reviewers may not have any conflict of interests or be affiliated with any of the authors' institutions). Any unusual circumstances surrounding the research or explanations for deviations from standard procedures or format should be explained in the cover letter.


When using abbreviations, write the full name of the abbreviated item followed by the abbreviation in parentheses at the point of first mention within the body of the manuscript. Do not use abbreviations in the abstract or title of the manuscript. Authors are cautioned not to overuse abbreviations, particularly for items that are unfamiliar to most readers in the abbreviated format.

Title page

The title page should contain the following information:

  • Full title of the manuscript
  • Full name, degrees, professional email, academic affiliation, and phone number for each author; authors should be limited to those individuals who contributed in an important manner to the study design, data collection and analysis, or writing of the paper
  • Department and institution where work was performed
  • Grant support for the work if applicable
  • Designated Corresponding Author to whom all communications regarding the manuscript should be directed; include full postal address for this individual
  • A shortened version of the title that is 45 characters or less to be used as a running title.
  • At least 4 to 8 keywords associated with the work


Original science, reviews, case studies, and protocols/methods papers should include a structured abstract with the following headings:  Introduction/Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions (max 250 words).

Figures, Graphics and Photos

If Figures, Graphics, and Photos are to be incorporated in the work, authors should not embed them in the manuscript text file. Please upload each of these as separate files using one of the following formats: EPS, TIFF, and JPEG. For each Figure, Graphic or Photo, please include the appropriate number in order of appearance (e.g. Figure 1, etc.) in the manuscript to allow the editor to identify where it should be placed within the manuscript. A figure legend page should be included in the manuscript after the list of references and the tables; this page should list each figure title separately followed by a legend describing details of the work: e.g. Figure 1: Name of Figure; Legend – details of the work.


Tables must be cited in text and numbered according to order of appearance (e.g. Table 1, etc.) to allow the editor to identify where it should be placed within the manuscript. Explanatory matter and source notations for borrowed or adapted tables should be placed in a table footnote, not in the title or table body. Tables should follow the list of references in the manuscript immediately before the Figure Legend page.

Body of the Manuscript

Manuscripts should be double-spaced. Content requirements for specific types of papers include the following:

  • Original research or quality improvement manuscripts: Format the manuscript with the following sections: Introduction/Background; Methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusion. Word limit is set at 4000 words (excluding references and tables); rationale for manuscripts submitted exceeding this word count must be fully explained in the Cover Letter to the editor. Reporting Guidelines:The reporting guidelines for the type of research conducted (pdf (elsevier.com); A Consensus-Based Checklist for Reporting of Survey Studies (CROSS) - PMC (nih.gov); (STROBE - Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (strobe-statement.org); (CONSORT-2010-Checklist-MS-Word.doc (live.com) or for quality improvement studies (SQUIRE | SQUIRE 2.0 Guidelines (squire-statement.org) should be cited within the methods section of the manuscript; authors must also upload a completed copy of the relevant reporting guideline checklist as a separate PDF. 
  • Case study manuscripts: Format the manuscript with the following sections: Introduction/Background; Methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusion. Word limit is set at 2500 words (excluding references and tables).
  • Pro/con debates: Format the manuscript into two main sections: 1) Overview of the controversy. 2) Pro-opinion – One author provides support for the targeted practice including a discussion of rationale supported by available evidence; 3) Con-opinion – provide rationale against the targeted practice including a discussion of evidence supporting this recommendation; 4) brief conclusion. All pro/con debates must be fully referenced. Maximum word count is 3500 words (excluding references and tables).
  • Stroke Center Certification Corner: Manuscripts submitted to this special section should be double-spaced, referenced and should not exceed a total word count (excluding references and tables) of 2500.