Special Report: Expert Collection

A guide for authors submitting to the Expert Collection


Special Reports are short review-style articles that summarize a particular niche area, be it a specific technique or therapeutic method.

Word limit

The word limit for Special Reports is 1,500-3,000 words (not including figures, tables or references).

Every article must contain

All article types should have a concise, informative title that contains no brand names.

Including address, academic qualifications and job titles of all authors, as well as telephone number and email address of the author for correspondence on a separate cover sheet as the peer reviewers will not be aware of the authors’ identity.

Please note that only the address of the first author of the article will appear on Medline/PubMed, not necessarily the corresponding author.

Maximum 200 words.  

The aim of the abstract is to draw in the interested reader and provide an accurate reflection of the content of the paper. We therefore request the following structure is followed for special report articles:

Introduction: Authors are required to describe the significance of the topic under discussion.
Areas covered: Authors are required to describe the research discussed and the literature search undertaken.
Expert Opinion: Authors are required to summarize briefly their Expert Opinion section.

References must not be included in the abstract.

A brief list of keywords, in alphabetical order, is required to assist indexers in cross-referencing. The keywords will encompass the therapeutic area, mechanism(s) of action, key compounds and so on.

Please provide, in the form of a bulleted list (five or six points), statements covering the key aspects of the paper.

Incorporating basic background information on the area under review.

Body of the special report paper covering the subject under review, using numbered subsections.

The conclusion for all articles should contain a brief summary of the data presented in the article. Please note that this section is meant to be distinct from, and appear before, the ‘Expert Opinion’ section.

500-1000 words (included in overall word count).

To distinguish the articles published in the Expert Collection (Expert Review and Expert Opinion) series, authors must provide an additional section entitled ‘Expert Opinion’. This section affords authors the opportunity to provide their interpretation of the data presented in the article and discuss the developments that are likely to be important in the future, and the avenues of research likely to become exciting as further studies yield more detailed results. The intention is to go beyond a conclusion and should not simply summarise the paper.

Authors should answer the following:

1. How could the advances or research being discussed impact real world outcomes (diagnosis, treatment guidelines, effectiveness, economics, drug utilisation etc.)? Can changes be realistically implemented into clinical/research practice? What is preventing adoption in clinical practice?
2. What are the key areas for improvement in the area being discussed and how can current problems and limitations be solved? Are there any technical, technological, or methodical limitations that prevent research from advancing as it could?
3. What potential does further research hold? Is there a definitive end-point?
4. Does the future of study lie in this area? Are there other more promising areas in the field which could be progressed?
5. How will the field evolve in the future? In your perspective, what will the standard procedure have gained or lost from the current norm in five or ten years?

At the end of the Expert Opinion section, authors are challenged to include a speculative viewpoint on how the field will have evolved five years from the point at which the special report was written.

A maximum of 100 references is suggested. Ensure that all key work relevant to the topic under discussion is cited in the text and listed in the bibliography. Reference to unpublished data should be kept to a minimum and authors must obtain a signed letter of permission from cited persons to use unpublished results or personal communications in the manuscript.

Important references should be highlighted with a one/two-star system and brief annotations should be given (see the journal’s Instructions for Authors page for examples and for a more detailed description of our referencing style).

Up to 5 figures and 5 tables are permitted. For further information on tables and figures, please see our formatting guide. Permission to reproduce previously published figures should be sought in writing by the authors, preferably prior to submission, and any permission documentation (licences, written approval etc.) should be uploaded alongside the manuscript.

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