Manuscript preparation & submission

Article types

Our journals publish many different types of article, details of which can be found on the individual journal home pages. However, we predominantly publish one of four main article types:

Research articles should describe a piece of original research, with results (positive or negative) which advance the scientific field or add evidence to a proposed theory. All research articles are expected to be appropriately referenced, citing all prior research pertinent to the work being presented.

Review articles are typically commissioned by the editor-in-chief. If you have an idea for a review article, please contact the appropriate editor-in-chief in the first instance.

Editorials are usually reserved for the editor-in-chief and editorial board. However guest editorials will occasionally be commissioned. Again, if you wish to be considered for writing an editorial, please email the editor-in-chief.

Letters: We encourage readers of the journal to engage in formal communication with the journal via a Letter to the Editor. Letters should typically be short (<500 words), concise and consist of no more than 3 authors and 5 references. Letters to the Editor should be submitted via the manuscript submission system.

HBKU Press style guide

Language: We accept manuscripts written in English, and in Arabic for select journals. You may use American or British spellings throughout, but not a mixture.

All manuscripts submitted should be well written to avoid rejection by reviewers for poor use of language.

HBKU Press has now collaborated with Enago. HBKU Press authors receive a 30% special discount on all English Editing services provided by Enago. To send your manuscript for editing or to ask for a quote, please visit the HBKU Press-Enago official page: www.enago.com/qscience 

Typography: For ease of reviewing, we kindly ask that submitted manuscripts be double line spaced.

Text should be left-justified, with no hyphenation at line breaks.
Titles, headings and subheadings should have only the first word and proper nouns capitalized.
Again, to make reviewers lives simpler, we ask that you number all pages.

Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are having difficulty reproducing a special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full.  Similarly for mathematical equations, standard TeX instructions and abbreviations may be used, e.g. sqrt(s) for square root of s.

All special characters used should be embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF.

Genes, mutations, genotypes, and alleles should be indicated in italics, and authors are required to use approved gene symbols, names, and formatting. Protein products should be in plain type.

Preparing main manuscript text, inc. general guidelines

Title Page: 
This page is a necessary requirement when submitting your manuscript and should include the following information:

  • Full title of the manuscript
  • All authors' names
  • All authors' affiliations
  • Corresponding author's email address and telephone number
  • Keywords for the article

Abstract & keywords:
The abstract should be between 200-300 words with a maximum of 500 words. Please do not cite references in the abstract and limit the use of acronyms and abbreviations. For biomedical papers, the following headings should be used in the abstract:

  • Background
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Trial registration (where research reports controlled health care intervention, please list your trial registry, along with unique identifying number).

After the abstract, include a line of keywords (3-6) of your choosing.

The Background section should be written in such a way that researchers who are not specialists in this area can understand the background to the research and its aims. Clinical research should include a summary of the literature to indicate why this study was necessary and what it contributes to the field. The section should end with a brief statement of what is being reported in the article.

The Methods section should include the design of the study, setting, participants and materials involved, and the type of analysis used.
Particular attention should be paid to the following scenarios:

  • Use of animals: State the species, strain, number used, and pertinent descriptive characteristics. When describing surgical procedures, identify the pre-anesthetic and anesthetic agents used and the amounts, concentrations, routes, and frequency of administration of each.
  • Human studies: Indicate that the study was approved by an appropriate institutional ethics committee and that the subject gave informed consent [NB proof of written consent should be submitted with the manuscript]
  • Drugs & devices: List the name and manufacturer of all reagents, equipment and devices used in the study. Generic, rather than trademark, names are preferred.

Results & Discussion:
Results and Discussion may be combined or presented as separate sections. They may also be further divided into appropriate subsections with informative headings. Results of statistical analysis should include, where appropriate, relative and absolute risks or risk reductions, and confidence intervals.

Conclusions should clearly state the main conclusions of the research, and state their importance and relevance.

List of abbreviations:
Authors are asked to define abbreviations and acronyms in the text at first mention, but may, optionally, include a list of abbreviations after the conclusion section.

Competing interests:
All potential conflicts of interest must be listed in this section. Any personal or financial relationship with an individual or an organization which may influence your interpretation of the results of the study should be disclosed here.

Where authors have no competing interests, please state so in this section.

In the case of authors not providing any text for this section, and have not done so after prompting during the review stage, it will be filled with the following text:

The authors of this study declined to declare any competing interests.

Before declaring there are no competing interests, we ask the authors to consider the following cases.

  • Have you received any money, directly or indirectly (fees, salaries, funding) from an organization which could financially gain, or lose, from the publication of this study, now or in the future?
  • Is an organization paying the Article Processing Charge for this article? If so, please state.
  • Do you hold stocks, shares or options with a company which could gain, or lose, financially from this publication, now or in the future?
  • Do you hold, or are you applying for, a patent relating to any part of this work?
  • Have you benefitted financially from any company which holds similar patents?
  • Are there any non-financial conflicts of interest, such as personal, political, religious, ideological, intellectual or commercial? If so, please list.

If you are unsure of a coauthors conflict of interest, please contact us in confidence at [email protected] 

Funding sources:
All sources of financial support for the research should be listed under this heading. Grant funding agency abbreviations should be spelled in full.

Authors' contributions:
In order to credit each author appropriately, the individual contributions of each should be specified.

For single-author papers, or those outside the biomedical and healthcare fields, this section may be omitted.

Each of the authors listed on the paper should have a substantive intellectual contribution to the published work. This means they should have done ALL THREE of the following:

  • contributed to the conception and design of the study OR to the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data
  • drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for content
  • given final approval to the manuscript version submitted for publication

A person should not be listed as an author if they do not fulfill all of the above criteria. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or supervision of the research group are not enough to justify authorship alone, however these contributions should be listed in the acknowledgements section.

The Authors' Contributions section should be formatted by referring to authors initials and a brief sentence on how they contributed to the research, particularly referring to the 3 points above. A final sentence should be included which states:
All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

All persons who have made substantial contributions to the manuscript (e.g., data collection, analysis, or writing or editing assistance), but who do not fulfill authorship criteria, should be named with their specific contributions.

All persons named in this section should have provided the corresponding author with written permission to be named in the manuscript.

All references should refer to full length publications in a peer reviewed journal. For journal specific reference formatting, please refer to the manuscript preparation guidelines for the journal in question.

General guidelines for reference formatting are as follows:

References should be cited in numeric order, according to first mention in the text. Refer to the citation in the text with the appropriate number in square brackets.

References should be formatted in the following style:

Citation number. Author 1 surname, initials; Author 2 surname, initials. Title of the cited paper. Journal name or abbreviation Year ;Volume: Article number (or Issue: Page range)

an example of the following would be:

3. Kokkinos, P; Myers, J. Exercise and Physical Activity Clinical Outcomes and Applications, Circulation 2010; 122 : 1637-1648

Web links:
Weblinks and URLs should be included in the reference list. They should be provided in full and state both the title of the site in bold and its URL in square brackets. They should additionally be numbered as per other cited references e.g.
14. BLAST Human Sequences [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/seq/BlastGen/BlastGen.cgi?taxid=9606]

Preparing illustrations and figures

Each figure should be provided as a single, separate file.

We prefer to receive figures in the following formats:


Preferred format for diagrams


Also very suitable for diagrams


Preferred format for photos and images


Acceptable, but non-preferred formats

The figure legends should be included in the main body text (for ease of formatting the final text). Please provide, for each figure, the figure number, short title and optionally, a detailed legend. 

An example would be:

Figure 2.  Graphic recording of aortic pressure (AoP), air flow signal, and end-tidal CO2 (EtCO2) curves in anesthetized swine. A) Spontaneous breathing during normal sinus rhythm, B) Spontaneous breathing following the induction of ventricular fibrillation (VF), and C) Gasping during untreated VF. Note the relative plateau in the inspiratory air flow of the spontaneous breaths compared with the sharp "peak" in the air

Note it is the responsibility of the author to cite any reproduced figures or obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures in the journal that have previously been published elsewhere.

Preparing tables

Tables should be numbered in sequence and contain a short title and, optionally, a detailed legend. An example would be:

Table 3. Study inclusion and exclusion criteria. A complete list of considerations for subjects in this study, ordered by relative importance.

Smaller tables, which will fit into the manuscript in portrait format, may be included in the main manuscript text. Larger tables, or those which are in landscape mode, should be submitted as supplementary files.

Please use table layout options in your word processing program to display tables. Using tabs to separate columns should be avoided. Please also avoid using colour and shading.

Tabular data may be uploaded as a supplementary file in either .xls, .xlsx or .csv formats.

Preparing supplementary files

We encourage authors to make the most of the journal's online environment by utilizing the ability to host additional, supplementary files alongside the main article text.

We currently have no restriction on the type of file to be uploaded, but we do ask that it is readable using widespread or free software or tools.

Some example of the kind of supplementary files you may wish to upload include:

  • Multiple photos of a site, procedure or subject
  • Video of surgical procedures
  • Audio commentaries
  • Presentations explaining the work in visual format
  • PDFs of correspondance, scans or additional documentation
  • Raw data in a universally readable (e.g. CSV) format

For video files we prefer: .mov .avi .mpg .mpeg .ogg
For audio files we prefer: mp3
For presentations we prefer: .xls .xlsx .pdf

For each supplementary file, please include a file name, file format, title of data and description of contents. Should it be needed, also supply a URL where a reader or reviewer can obtain the necessary software to view the contents of the file.

How to submit a manuscript

To submit a manuscript through our online submission and peer review system, click here and select the relevant journal to which you would like to submit your article.

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