• No costs at either end (authors - readers)
• Article types: original research, reviews, technical reports, medical hypotheses, commissioned articles, special issue articles, and editorials
• Publication of translated articles from non-English language journals
• Your paper, your way; no formatting rules until acceptance
• No restrictions on word count, figures, tables, or references
• Unrestricted online supplemental information
• Publication of articles reporting negative research results
• Double blind review process

Publishing fees

At this stage, the submission and publication of manuscripts is free for all authors. The published articles are made freely available to online readers.

Article types

Original research articles Original articles report on data from experimental studies. The manuscripts should contain an introduction, materials and methods, results, and discussion section. Authors are allowed to combine the results and discussion section. For examples, please see the published JCTR articles.

Review articles may encompass all types of reviews as described by Grant and Booth in Health Info Libr J 2009;26:91-108. A summary of the types of reviews as described in the Grant and Booth paper can be downloaded here JCTR GUIDELINE - Types of Reviews.pdf (30.3 KB) .

Technical reports
Technical reports present a new experimental model, method, treatment or intervention, test procedure, or tool that is relevant for clinical and translational research, diagnostics/prognostics, or analysis of data sets. Reports on clinical trial setup and management as well as experimental design are also acceptable, as long as these contain non-normative information and add value to the standard protocol.

Medical hypotheses
Medical hypothesis articles provide authors with the freedom to speculate about everything related to human disease and the alleviation thereof. The aim of these articles is that a conceptual framework is provided for medical phenomena or novel (potential) technologies. Ideally, the conceptual framework should spawn new research, so it is recommended that current bottlenecks and future directions are explicitly addressed. Examples include biochemical or physiological pathways that may explain the elusive pathogenesis of a disease, description of novel technologies, including those that are patented, that have not yet been clinically tested, epidemiological prediction models, etc. Authors may also theorize on inexplicable findings in their own studies or those published by others. All conjecture must be supported by valid premises that in turn are backed up by (ancillary) data, either derived from literature or from focused experiments. Medical hypothesis articles should provide thorough insights and abide by all facets of critical reasoning and logic. Because of their nature, the articles will typically undergo a more stringent review process than the other types of articles.

Commissioned articles
Commissioned articles are timely articles on niche-transcending, broadly applicable themes in clinical and translational research, often written against a backdrop of current developments and events. The topics are announced by the editorial board on the Commissioned article page . Editors will work with the authors on the framework and content of the article. Typically, proponents as well as adversaries of the topic will make up the team of authors to ensure a balanced, multi-perspective view on the subject matter. Authors should contact the editor-in-chief about their interest in contributing a commissioned article and provide a tentative outline and list of co-authors. Contributors are remunerated for the commissioned article upon acceptance. Commissioned articles will undergo regular peer review.

Special issue articles
Special issues are a collection of timely, high-quality articles on a particular topic that are published together in an extraordinary single issue of the journal under the auspices of guest editors. Interested guest editors should contact the editor-in-chief regarding the hosting of a special issue. Special issue articles will undergo regular peer review.

Editorials are peer-reviewed contributions from editorial board members.

Articles from non-English language journals

Science is advanced by publications that educate and expand our knowledge. Such publications have a maximum effect when they reach a wide audience. In order to facilitate this process, JCTR will publish the English version of high-quality articles that have been published in a non-English language journal. Publication of non-English journal articles will only proceed on the condition that no copyright laws are violated. JCTR has a multi-lingual editorial board (including Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch, Czech, and French) and offers translation services to interested authors. Please contact the managing editor for more information.

Manuscript preparation

Manuscripts are prepared according to the ‘your paper, your way’ style in terms of formatting. However, your submission must contain:

1. A separate cover page with the title, list of authors, affiliation(s) of all authors, email address of all authors, and the full address and contact information of the corresponding author. This cover page must be uploaded as a separate document in Editorial Manager.
2. A cover page containing only the title, as part of the main manuscript. This version will be sent to reviewers for double blind evaluation of your work.
3. A graphical abstract; preferably embedded in the main manuscript.
4. An abstract and keywords.
5. Manuscript text, figures, tables, and references; preferably all embedded in the main manuscript.

Although the authors are free to structure the manuscript as they please, it is recommended to follow the downloadable template provided by JCTR for original research papers.docx (95.4 KB) and review papers.docx (95.0 KB) . These exemplary manuscript templates were designed such that your work is easy to follow by readers and reviewers, i.e., the people who decide on the value and fate of your work. For clarity and referencing purposes, the numbering of sections and subsections is encouraged. JCTR has also provided a downloadable template for the cover page, cover letter (not required for submission), and an examplary rebuttal.pdf (42.5 KB) that authors are welcome to use.

JCTR has no restrictions on word count, the number of figures and tables, and the number of references. However, it is strongly advised to proportion the amount of text in the main manuscript to the amount of available data and the essence of the study. Data that are clearly deducible from the figures and tables should not be repeated in the text. There is ample room in the online supplement to present second-order information, which may pertain to any part of the main manuscript. For the sake of reproducibility and clarity, JCTR does strongly encourage authors to report all the data of the study and to provide a detailed description of the methods. However, authors are requested to strategically allocate primary data to the main manuscript and secondary data to the online supplemental information.

JCTR has proofreading and illustration services available to optimize your manuscript.

The ‘your paper, your way’ style applies to initial submissions and resubmissions. Upon acceptance of the manuscript, the authors are required to format the manuscript according to the JCTR formatting rules.

Manuscripts must be submitted through the Editorial Manager system.

In order to increase the chances that an article is sent out for review, JCTR encourages authors to understand how manuscripts are handled.

Manuscript handling

Submitted manuscripts are handled according to the flow chart below. Authors should take note of the pre-screening procedure by the editorial office to prevent a desk reject. The items that are prescreened are addressed separately below. It should be noted that the journal actively screen for plagiarism with the assistance from embedded tools in the Editorial Manager system, and the handling editor is in charge of the crosscheck.  

manuscript handeling.png

Editors' responsibilities: 

The handling editors are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the fairness, timeliness, and quality of the peer-review process. Peer-review tasks are assigned to external reviewers with the proper expertise. These external reviewers are chosen by the handling editor to whom the task has been delegated. 

JCTR scope

JCTR aims to publish research that ultimately benefits the patient. Accordingly, the published papers should address any clearly defined clinical problem in an attempt to elucidate or (partly) resolve that problem. The research areas covered by JCTR are essentially unrestricted. A non-exhausted list of research areas is provided on the About JCTR page. The main requirement is that original research contains ex vivo, in vivo, and/or clinical data as depicted below. In vitro data will be published in exceptional cases. Such exemptions are made for articles addressing for example molecular pathways that lie at the basis of a disease, novel biotechnological approaches for e.g., the production of drugs, or new techniques that improve clinical diagnostics and prognostics. Contributions from academic institutions and industry are welcome. Submissions on negative research results are encouraged. In case of doubt, please contact the editor-in-chief.

Figure 2 - Heger201501005.jpg

Impact and relevance of the study

The impact and relevance of a study are important criteria for JCTR to ensure that the goal of the journal, namely to disseminate information that will ultimately benefit patients, is upheld within the scope of JCTR. Accordingly, a study introducing a novel liquid biopsy technique to diagnose a given cancer at high accuracy will receive priority over a study reporting on an improved method to diagnose cancer at 1% greater accuracy than the gold standard technique. Authors can significantly reduce the chances of a desk reject decision by explaining the impact and relevance of their study in the manuscript and cover letter.

Conflict of interest policy

Contributing authors are obligated to disclose all possible and actual conflicts of interest related to the submitted work in accordance with the ICMJE guidelines.

Reviewers are obligated to contact the managing editor when the manuscript under review constitutes a potential or actual conflict of interest. 

Handling editors are to disclose potential and actual conflicts of interest to the managing editor. Reviewers and handling editors will be unassigned from the respective manuscript in case of a conflict of interest situation.

Ethics approval

All animal protocols must be performed in accordance with institutional guidelines and/or the NIH guide for the care and use of laboratory animals (8th edition, 2011)following approval by the institutional review board. Both should be explicitly confirmed in the materials and methods section. Data should be reported in line with the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting in vivo experiments. A guide for the design and validation of rodent models for biomedical research purposes can be found in Hollingshead MG, J Natl Cancer Inst 2008;100:1500-10.

With respect to clinical studies, only results from clinical trials approved by an institutional review board and entered into an acknowledged clinical trial will be sent out for peer review. The registry identifier should be included in the materials and methods section of the manuscript and a full link to the registry web page should be cited as reference. In accord with the guidelines stipulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), JCTR recognizes the following clinical trial registries: (new registrations after June 20, 2011)

Authors wishing to submit results from unregistered trials will be requested to make their study protocols available to the editor-in-chief, accompanied by a letter detailing why the study was not registered. The decision to subject these manuscripts to peer review is always at the discretion of the editors.

Preparation guidelines for clinical manuscripts:

• Prospective randomized clinical trials must adhere to the CONSORT guidelines and must include a CONSORT flow chart.
• Observational studies should conform to the STROBE statement.
• Additional manuscript type-specific preparation criteria can be found on the website of the EQUATOR network.

Data reporting and statistical analysis

All experimental data reported in the results section must be accompanied by an account of how the data were obtained in respective methods section. qPCR experiments should be reported as per the MIQE guidelines. A practical guide to performing qPCR can be found in Taylor S et al., Methods 2010;50:S1-5.

Authors should perform robust statistical analysis. The book Intuitive Biostatistics by Harvey Motulsky is an accessible and authoritative guide to statistics recommended by JCTR. A synopsis of the book is provided on the GraphPad website. A summary of which statistical test to use can be downloaded here ( JCTR GUIDELINE - Statistics.pdf (19.0 KB) ). For more complex statistical analyses, authors are encouraged to involve a statistician in the data analysis. JCTR has statisticians and epidemiologists in the editorial board who will be asked to validate the statistical methods in selected manuscripts.

English language

Good and effective communication of your data boils down to the proper and correct use of language. Authors are strongly encouraged to carefully proofread the manuscript before submission. A guide for writing scientific papers is made available to contributors who are interested in improving their scientific writing and English skills. JCTR offers proofreading services for authors who need linguistic assistance.

Copyright policies

The Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC-BY-NC) permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Copyright in any article published by Journal of Clinical and Translational Research is retained by the author(s). Authors grant the journal a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. Authors also grant any third party the right to use the article freely provided that it is not used for commercial purposes and its original authors, citation details and publisher are identified.

Correction and retraction policies

JCTR recognizes its responsibility in notifying and correcting errors in its previously published work. Complaints and disagreements over published work in JCTR should be primarily addressed to the editor-in-chief and the handling editor. The four categories of publishable amendments are described below.

An erratum is published to rectify an important error made by the journal.

A corrigendum is published to rectify an important error made by the author(s). JCTR will only consider publishing readers' criticisms of published original articles when the authors present compelling evidence that the major conclusion or claim of the original article is incorrect. Refutations are sent out for peer review and, where possible, to the external reviewers who reviewed the original paper.

A retraction is published to nullify previously published invalid results. All authors must sign a retraction form specifying the error and stating briefly how the results and conclusions are affected. The handling editor of the original paper will seek peer reviewers' advice and impose the most appropriate amendment in case that the co-authors cannot reach an agreement.

An addendum is published to add peer-reviewed information to a previously published paper. An addendum is only published when the handling editor receives criticism from the readers that contains compelling evidence that additional information must be added to improve understanding of a crucial part of the published work.