Guidelines for authors

Aims and Scope

Journal of Surgical Simulation is the first academic journal dedicated to publishing new research, scholarly articles and critiques of existing research in the fields of surgical simulation, surgical education, patient safety agendas, telesimulation and surgical technologies.

Article Types

Journal of Surgical Simulation publishes original articles, review articles, pictorial articles, case reports and editorials in the following fields:

  • All aspects of surgical simulation in any surgical speciality
  • All aspects of surgical education including e-learning.
  • Any topic addressing patient safety
  • Learning new surgical technologies
  • Telesimulation
  • Telemedicine and telelearning/mentoring
  • Simulation centres (see Instructions for Simulation Centres series below).


Manuscripts should be submitted online using the Editorial Manager manuscript tracking system. The system is easy to use and there are online instructions.

Queries regarding the submission process may be sent to:

In case of difficulty please e-mail: stating the problem you have encountered.

Articles should be prepared in Microsoft Word according to the guidelines detailed below.


Each submission should be accompanied by a statement confirming that all authors have seen and approved the manuscript, and that the manuscript is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. There is an opportunity to make this statement during the online submission process. The email addresses of all authors should be provided and each author will be contacted by email to verify their contribution.

The ICJME recommends the following criteria for authorship. Authorship credit should be based on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, 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.

Anyone else who has contributed but does not qualify for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section.

For further guidelines on authorship please refer to the ICJME’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals .


All research must have been carried out with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee, and a statement to this effect must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript. During the submission process authors are asked to confirm that where human or animal subjects have been involved, they have abided by the ethical standards of the local responsible committee on human or animal experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Declaration of Helsinki (World Medical Association, 1964, Declaration of Helsinki) and subsequent amendments (see the World Medical Association website, Ethics section).

Conflict of Interest

It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to declare any potential conflicts of interest they or any of their co-authors may have. Any financial or personal relationships with organizations or other people which could be thought to bias their work must be disclosed. Examples of financial conflicts include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patents or patent applications, and travel grants current during the work submitted.

On submission, authors will be asked to confirm that there is no conflict of interest. If they are unable to do so, a list of the conflict(s) of interest for each author should be submitted in the relevant section of Editorial Manager, separately from the manuscript file, in the form of a Disclosure Statement, as the author would wish it to appear in the article. For further information and guidance please refer to the ICMJE website. If the corresponding author wishes to give the Editor further information relating to potential conflicts of interest this may be included in a covering letter with the electronic submission.

Patient Confidentiality

The manuscript should not include any personal medical information or images of identifiable patients. All information that would permit identification of the patient should be removed. If there is any doubt, the consent of the patient should be obtained in writing, and to ensure confidentiality, retained by the author rather than sent to the journal. During the online submission process the author is required to confirm that any necessary patient consent has been obtained.

Peer Review

All manuscripts will first be reviewed by the Editors. At this stage some manuscripts may be returned if they are deemed to be outside the aims and scope of the journal, or if they have not been presented in accordance with the submission requirements. All manuscripts considered suitable by the Editors will be subject to double blind peer review (with the exception of the Simulation Centres series for which a single blind process will be used). An anonymous version of the manuscript will be used for review purposes.

A different process is used for special issue articles which are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and the Guest Editor, with reference to other reviewers if necessary, prior to acceptance.

Authors may follow the progress of their manuscript during the peer review process by logging into the online submission system. Once a decision has been made on whether to publish the manuscript the corresponding author will be notified by email.

Open Access and Copyright

Articles are published with immediate open access. All content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are able to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal for non-commercial purposes without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. Copyright is retained by the author (or the author’s employer if they have claimed the copyright). Authors have the right to redistribute and reuse their article, for example by emailing a copy to colleagues or posting a copy on a departmental website, provided it is correctly attributed. Authors may reuse their own figures and tables in other publications.

For enquiries about commercial re-use of an article please contact [javascript protected email address].

Publishing Agreement

Upon submission of a manuscript, authors are asked to sign a Publishing Agreement. Journal of Surgical Simulation offers two licensing options to authors:

There will be a publication charge which may vary according to which license is to be used. For charges please refer to our Editorial Policy.

Detailed Guidelines on Manuscript Preparation

Through the online submission system, authors will be asked to enter the following details:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Authors’ names, affiliations, academic degrees and email addresses
  • Keywords (maximum of six)
  • Subject classifications (selected from a list)
  • Conflict of interest statement

They will then be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Title page: the title page should include the title of the article, the names of all contributors along with the name(s) and address(es) of the institution(s) where they work, and their email address(es). The corresponding author’s email, postal address, telephone and fax number must be clearly stated separately.
  • Manuscript file(s) ensuring that this has been made anonymous for double blind peer review (please ensure the title, abstract and keywords are also included in the manuscript file, but not the authors’ names or affiliations).
  • Figures and tables
  • Acknowledgements

Note: figures and tables may be uploaded as separate files or may be included in the manuscript document but should be presented on separate pages at the end of the text, after the References (not integrated into the text). Where possible it is preferable for each figure to be uploaded as an individual file.

The system converts the uploaded information and files into a combined PDF file for viewing and approval. There will be an opportunity to edit the submission as required before it is sent to the journal. Upon approval by the author, the submission is complete and the Editor is notified. The Editor will receive the full PDF and all submitted documents and information.

For the purposes of double blind peer review, the Editorial Manager system will generate an abbreviated PDF containing an anonymous cover sheet, and the anonymous manuscript provided by the author, along with any figures and tables.

The manuscript itself should include the following:

  • Anonymous version of title page: no details of authors or affiliations.
  • Keywords: (maximum of six).
  • Abstract: a structured abstract (250 words maximum) should be provided in which the author should state succinctly the objective of the work, how it was carried out, the results and the conclusions. Please use Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions as the headings, if possible.
  • Introduction: The introduction should state the purpose of the investigation and give a short review of the pertinent literature.
  • Materials and methods: This section should be given in sufficient detail to permit repetition of the experimental work
  • Results: The results section should describe the outcome of the study. Data should be presented as concisely as possible, using tables and figures where appropriate.
  • Discussion: The discussion should be an interpretation of the results and their significance with reference to work by other authors. The final paragraph should provide a concluding interpretation of the results in terms of the original problem.
  • References: References should be identified in the text by Arabic numerals, numbered in the order cited in the next. References should be typed double spaced on pages separate from the text, in the Vancouver style. The abbreviations used for the periodical titles cited in the references should follow the style of Index Medicus. For journal articles, list surnames and initials of all authors when six or less, e.g.:
    • Cassera MA, Zheng B, Swanström LL. Data-based self-study guidelines for the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery examination. Surg Endosc 2012; 26: 3426-9.
    • Where there are more than six authors, please use et al.
    • Tan SC, Marlow N, Altree M, Babidge W, Field J, Hewett P, et al. Mentoring by surgeons or non-surgeons during laparoscopic simulator training: a comparative study. Journal of Surgical Simulation 2013; 1: 1-8.
    • For online articles, the volume, issue and page number may sometimes be replaced by the Digital Object Identifier (doi), which is usually found at the top of the article. The example reference above may also be listed as:
    • Cassera MA, Zheng B, Swanström LL. Data-based self-study guidelines for the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery examination. Surg Endosc 2012; 26: 3426-9. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2357-6.


      Cassera MA, Zheng B, Swanström LL. Data-based self-study guidelines for the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery examination. Surg Endosc. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2357-6.

Tables (unless being submitted as separate files).

List of figure legends.

Figures (unless being submitted as separate files).

Please also note the following points:

  • Abbreviations and acronyms: These should be used consistently, defined at first mention in the abstract and defined again in the main body of the text. Measurements should be given using the International System of Units (SI).
  • Illustrations. Authors are encouraged to supply images that illustrate the key points of the article. Each image should be accompanied by a caption and submitted in digital form (as TIFF, JPEG or GIF files). Please label one figure which may be used to illustrate the article in the journal contents list or in marketing material for the journal.
  • Permissions. Authors must ensure they obtain permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher or author) if they include in their manuscript any figures or tables that have been published elsewhere, either online or in print.
  • Review articles: unless stated otherwise or advised by the Editor or Editorial Office, there is no word limit or limit on tables and figures.
  • Acknowledgements: To ensure anonymity during peer review, please supply acknowledgements as a separate document and not as part of the manuscript. Any grant that requires acknowledgement should be mentioned. The names of funding organisations should be written in full. In particular, authors must acknowledge those companies who have supported the department(s) where the work was carried out or who have sponsored the study in any way.

A statement outlining the significance of the manuscript is helpful – please use the ‘Enter Comments’ section of the online submission process for this purpose. Alternatively you may include a covering letter with the electronic submission.

Preparing the Manuscript for Double Blind Peer Review

  • Ensure title page in the manuscript file is anonymous.
  • Make sure that no authors’ names or initials appear in the manuscript text, headers or footers. If necessary the phrase “blinded for review” can be used in place of a reference to the authors or institutions.
  • Remove your personal information from the metadata of any files submitted. This is often automatically added from identity information in your computer and can be viewed in the document “properties” in Microsoft Word.
  • Do not include authors’ names when choosing file names for your documents (including figures and tables).
  • Check that authors’ names to do not appear on the figures themselves
  • Do not include acknowledgements, funding sources, or conflict of interest statements in the manuscript file, but provide these in separate documents.
  • Take care when mentioning your own previously published work, and refer to this in the third person.
  • If it is necessary to cite your own unpublished work, the reference should read:

    Anonymous. Details omitted for double blind reviewing.

    If any such anonymous references are included, a list of the full references should be provided for the Editor in a separate document.

Instructions for Simulation Centres Series

We invite all leading teaching centres worldwide to submit a manuscript structured as below describing their simulation centre’s facilities. Priority will be given to influential simulation centres with a strong surgical focus and unique features that could inspire others in the simulation community.

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed but due to the nature of the content a single-blind review process will be used.

The manuscript should consist of the following elements:

  • Introduction and history
  • Key personnel
  • Facilities and equipment
  • Courses
  • Research and publications
  • The future, which should include your perceived “secrets for success” and tips on success in learning
  • Instructors and support staff
  • Trainees and/or research students
  • Contact information
  • High quality photographs and if possible a video of the centre

Download Guidelines for Authors

Download Publishing Agreement

Submit Your Article


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