Guidelines and Policies
About the journal
Autopsy and Case Reports (Autops Case Rep) is an electronic open access journal quarterly published by the Hospital Universitário da Universidade de São Paulo – HU/USP, under the ISSN 2236-1960.
Mission and scope
The journal's mission is to significantly contribute to the development of clinical thinking skills, diagnostic methods, management, classification, and treatment of diseases. Preference will be given to manuscripts on academic autopsies with clinical-pathologic-radiologic correlation and excellent image documentation. Nevertheless, surgical pathology case reports, clinical case reports, research trials and original articles will be also suitable and considered for publication. Cases of forensic autopsies from external causes of death will not be considered for publication.
Autopsy and Case Reports is a medical journal directed at the health professionals regardless of their specialty or area of health science. However, the journal focusses mostly on the medical community. The journal provides the opportunity to learn on the basis of case reports, which have become progressively discredited by the majority of medical journals. The A&CR Editorial Board's opinion is that case reports are an invaluable resource for knowledge expansion and teaching purposes. In this way, the journal is directed not only at the senior health professionals but also at the novices.
Autopsy and Case Reports supports the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the World Association of Medical Editors guidelines on editorial independence, the publication best practices code by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and the EQUATOR network checklists and advice for good research reporting.
Indexing and preservation
All articles published are indexed and deposited in full text version for preservation in PubMed Central® (PMC) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/2811/) and at Revistas USP repository of Universidade de São Paulo (http://www.revistas.usp.br/wp/?p=76).
Autopsy and Case Reports will accept for evaluation original articles, letter to the editor, images (to the section Image in focus - gross view), editorials, autopsy case reports and clinical case reports that represent original work and are not under evaluation nor submitted to another journal. The forensic autopsy case reports will be accepted for evaluation if the autopsy discloses a natural cause of death. Furthermore, articles that have already undergone evaluation for another journal should also send the corresponding rejection letter during submission.
Autopsy and Case Reports will only consider submitted articles written in English, and depending on the editorial evaluation, authors may be requested to resubmit the manuscript after an English language revision performed by a professional English medical editing service provider.
Concepts presented in the published articles are exclusive responsibility of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the journal or its Editorial Board.
The submission and acceptance dates of the manuscript will be published at the end of the article together with the conflict of interest and financial support statements, as stated by authors.
Articles submitted to Autopsy and Case Reports will undergo through the following double-blind peer-review process:
Articles that fail to comply with the editorial policies and formatting guidelines will be returned for adjustments.
The first stage of evaluation is an editorial, language and scope review carried out by one of the Scientific Editors. Articles may be rejected or assigned to a handling Editor to carry out the peer-review evaluation.
In this final stage of the article evaluation a handling Editor sends the manuscript to an in-depth review by at least two members of the journal's Editorial Board and/or external ad hoc reviewers. Articles may be rejected or accepted with minor or major revisions requested.
In case of a discrepancy between the two reviewers’ opinions, the journal elects a third reviewer. The final decision takes into account the evaluation of the Editor-in-Chief and the editor in charge of the article.
Articles sent to authors for revision should be returned within a maximum of 10 days, otherwise the process will be interrupted and the article may be rejected.
The timeframe for the publication of an article depends on the editorial cycle, which involves steps that may not rely directly on the journal's responsibility. The most time-consuming steps are the peer-review process and the author’s response to the editorial requirements. Thus, the period between submission and publication is quite variable, but does not exceed 3 months.
Articles not accepted for publication will always be returned to the authors with the Editor's and/or Reviewer's comments.
The rejection rate of submitted articles over the past 12 months was 33.33%.
Articles should be structured according to the journal's section as described below.
Original articles: Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion. Maximum 3,000 words.
Clinical case report or correlation: Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction (optional), Case Report, and Discussion. Maximum 2,500 words.
Autopsy report: Title, Abstract, Keywords, Case Report, Autopsy Presentation, Clinical Discussion, and Conclusion. Maximum 3,000 words. Manuscripts involving a review of the literature may exceed this word limit.
Letters to the Editor: At least 1,000 words presenting a maximum of 6 references.
Image in Focus: This section is reserved for the publication of macroscopic findings of Anatomic Pathology specimens obtained in surgeries or autopsies. Eventually, the gross findings images may be accompanied by microscopic or imaging documentation, Submission to this section without the pathological gross view documentation will not be accepted. The gross findings should have a maximum of 500 words, 1–4 pictures, and 6 references or a bibliography. Images should be sent separately as jpeg files and sized as 17 × 13 cm with a resolution of 300 dpi. Pictures will be gathered in twos, threes, or fours, depending on the Editorial Council’s choice.
Editorial: this section is generally restricted to the editorial board and their invited writers. However, any manuscript concerned to autopsies will be considered for publication, after a editorial review, by writers that spontaneously want to contribute.
Autopsy and Case Reports requests the information about the contributions of each author named as having participated in the submitted manuscript, regardless the quantity and quality of their contribution. Autopsy and Case Reports supports and requests authors to strictly follow the ICMJE recommendation concerning the authorship designation (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html).
Authors contributions will be included at the end of the published article.
Changes in authorship (order, inclusions or exclusions) after submission of the manuscript will only be possible with a written request signed by all authors.
Grossly inadequate use of the English language can contribute to the decision to reject a manuscript for publication. Accepted manuscripts may require copy editing. Autopsy and Case Reports does not have personnel or a budget for copy editing, so the costs of copy editing must be borne by the authors, but the authors may choose any copy editor they wish. Authors should bear in mind that copy editing to the satisfaction of the scientific editors of Autopsy and Case Reports is essential to eventual publication and may take several rounds of negotiation between the journal’s scientific editors responsible for content and copy editors. Autopsy and Case Reports highly recommends the editing service of Ms. Ruth Blaikie (email@example.com), who has been working for the journal for many years and is well acquainted with the medical language needed to correctly and accurately convey the scientific content. As part of the editing service, Miss Blaickie will follow the Autopsy and Case Reports journal's preferred style, and the references. The journal requires the editing certificate inserted in the submission log.
The authors are requested to advise if the manuscript is in accordance with their institutional ethical research committee.
For Clinical Case Reports or Research Articles, which involve data or pictures from patients, the authors are requested to state in the declaration form if the informed consent was collected and achieved. The informed consent should be kept under the researcher responsibility and made available if requested by the journal.
For Autopsy & Case Reports, a specific informed consent signed by the deceased patient’s responsible relative or carer regarding the publication of the patient’s medical history, lab results, and pictures of gross and microscopic findings also should be retained by the authors. In case of forensic autopsies, a similar consent is also requested (GO TO Informed Consent).
Publication ethics and malpractice statement
The Autopsy and Case Reports editorial board monitors and safeguards the ethics in any step of editorial process, maintaining the integrity of the academic record, hampering that business needs compromise the ethical standards and actively making sure that there is no plagiarism or publication of fraudulent data.
The Autopsy and Case Reports editorial team has complete responsibility and authority to reject or accept an article. The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content. Submitted manuscripts are confidential documents and will be exclusively evaluated by their academic merit and its accordance with the journal’s scope, without regard to the authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Governmental policies or other institution outside the journal won’t interfere with the edition and publishing process.
The editors will not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher, as appropriate. Editors and editorial board members will not use any information of a submitted manuscript for their research purposes before the article is actually published. Information obtained by the Journal staff as a result of handling the paper will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the papers.
Editors will take active measures when ethical concerns are raised about a submitted or published manuscript, investigating issues according to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) available flowcharts when dealing with cases of suspected misconduct.
The editors will be assisted by the peer-review process. The reviewers will be kept anonymous and asked to be objective, to declare no conflict of interest, to maintain confidentiality and guide or recommend of works not yet cited.
A&CR requires a brief description of all the authors contribution for the paper development. The author's contribution will be published at the end of the text.
Conflict of interest
In accordance to the Federal Council of Medicine’s resolution number 1595, of May 18, 2000, and the Sanitary Surveillance National Agency RDC 102 of November 30, 2000, the Autopsy and Case Reports editors request that all authors of a manuscript express their disclosure of provide a full disclosure of any potential Conflict of Interest by filling the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure FORM, available at http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf.
Studies involving humans
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed; therefore informed consent is necessary. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions or photographs, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent/guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve; however, an informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For autopsy case reports the authorization for the autopsy performance (which may contains the purposes of the autopsy - scientific documentation) is accepted as an informed consent. In this particular case, any information that may violate the anonymity of the corpse should be omitted. The authors are asked to provide the informed consent and keep it under their responsibility. In case of any eventual journal request, the authors will be requested to show it. During submission, the authors have only to declare they have collected this informed consent when it is necessary.
Copyright and publishing license
Authors retain copyright granting the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.
Autopsy and Case Reports accepted articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. Under this License, the authors agree to have the CC-BY-NC license applied to their work, which retains the author's ownership of the copyright for their article and permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original authors and source are properly cited. This facilitates freedom in re-use and also ensures that the journal's content can be mined without barriers for the needs of research.
The journal authorizes the archiving of articles (in thematic and institutional repositories, as well as personal webpages) only after the publication of the article on the journal’s website.
Manuscript formatting guidelines
Autopsy and Case Reports recommends that the submitted article is in accordance with the editorial quality standard established in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals (www.icmje.org).
Articles should be prepared in Word for Windows, Arial font with double spacing. Tables, graphs, drawings and pictures should be adequately indicated in the body of the main manuscript, numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and with headlines. The same data in graphs should not be repeated. The number of tables should be limited to 7. Tables will be edited by the Autopsy and Case Reports editors according to the journal’s standards. Illustrations (pictures, drawings, graphs, etc.) should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and cited as figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
Use only well-established nomenclature and acronyms in the manuscript. Do not include abbreviations in the title and Abstract.
During submission authors are asked to send the following files:
Title Page file
Main manuscript file
Original figure files
Declaration of responsibility and license agreement file
Zip file with Conflict of Interest disclosure Forms
1. Title Page file
The Title Page should contain the following information:
Authors names and designated and agreed order.
Institutional affiliation of the authors, followed by their postal and email addresses. The telephone number of the corresponding author is requested.
ORCID of each author (for personal inscription go to https://orcid.org/signin)
Contribution description of each co-author.
Institution where the article was developed/written.
Financial support disclosure statements for each author including institution or agency name and grant number.
Conflict of interest statements for each author.
Acknowledgments can be included if applicable.
2. Main manuscript file
The main manuscript file structure should follow the requirements as described in our Section Policies.
Title: This should be concise and explanatory, not exceeding 45 characters (including spaces).
Abstract: Should be on a separate page and should not exceed 250 words
Keywords: Up to 5 keywords separated by a semicolon, based on MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) – the NLM controlled vocabulary used for indexing articles in PubMed. MeSH is available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html
Main manuscript body: structured according the requirements described in the Section Policies above.
References: should be numbered sequentially as superscript citations in the text, after punctuation. They should be listed according to the sequence of appearance in the text, according to the rules of the United States Library of Medicine - Vancouver style. Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the ICMJE guidelines, and may be checked at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/journals. See some examples in the Bibliographic References Examples section.
Responsibility for the accuracy of bibliographical references lies with the authors. Whenever reference management software is used (such as Endnote and Reference Manager), the field codes should be disabled before submitting the document, and the text should be converted into plain text. In order to convert references added through Reference Manager or Endnote to plain text, the author may use the software itself, which allows field codes to be removed (in “Remove Field Codes”).
3. Original figure, files
Autopsy and Case Reports reserves the right to edit the pictures according to its standards. However, their publication will require the author's agreement. The resolution of the images should be as close as possible to 300 dpi and size 17 × 13 cm to allow the best edition and reproduction. Images should be sent separately in JPEG extension files, not inserted in .docx files neither in .pptx files, but must be cited in the manuscript. In case the author intend to show an image as a quartet or duet, please send the pictures singly with the files discriminated as Fig 1A, Fig 1B and etc...This way helping the journal to edit them in quartets or duets according to the author's desire and the journal's standards. Drawings, and graphs should also be uploaded in JPEG format and sent separately (not inserted in the manuscript file). Similarly to the pictures, they should be cited in the manuscript. The resolution of the drawings and graphs should also be as close as possible to 300 dpi and size 17 × 13 cm to allow the best edition and reproduction. Tables should be sent in the body of the manuscript. The number of pictures is limited to 12 (duets, and quartets counts as one figure). Pictures and drawings should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and cited as figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
4. Declaration of responsibility and license agreement file
All authors must sign the Declaration of Responsibility and License Agreement. By signing this form the authors accept that the manuscript will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence, as well as declare if the eventual existence of any financial support and conflict of interest have been stated. Moreover the authors must declare that the manuscript was held in accordance with the procedures and regulations adopted by the Research Ethics Commission of the Institution of origin. Autopsy and Case Reports also asks the authors to collect and archive an informed consent in all human clinical research, and in case reports when the patient's privacy may be menaced by any possible identification data. The Informed consent once obtained should be kept under the researcher responsibility and made available if requested by the journal. The authors are asked to state in the declaration form if the informed consent was collect and archived. The declaration form can be obtained here.
5. Zip file with Conflict of Interest disclosure Forms
Each author must fill and save the ICMJE Conflict of Interest disclosure form (http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf) and the submitting author must upload them in a single Zip file.
Bibliographic References Examples
Below we have included a small sample of the most common used bibliographic references. Please check an extensive list with much more samples and details at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html.
Articles from Periodicals
Salomon L, Rabii R, Soulie M, et al. Experience with retroperitoneal laparoscopic adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma. J Urol. 2001;165(6):1871-4.
Benseñor IM, Atta JA, Martins MA, editors. Semiologia clínica. São Paulo: Sarvier; 2001. Portuguese.
Parts of Books
Moss DW, Henderson AR. Clinical enzymology. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, editors. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders; 1999. p. 617-721.
Montgomery R, Conway TW, Spector AA. Bioquímica: casos y texto. 5th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 1992. p. 41-90: Estructuras de las proteínas. Spanish.
Online Submission Guidelines
Autopsy and Case Reports uses an online submission system where authors may submit and to track the evaluation progress of their manuscripts.
Accessing the online submission system
Check if you already have an account at: click here
If you are not registered, register at: user registration
Submit your manuscript at: http://autopsy.submitcentral.com.br
Instructions for Submission
Submissions to the Autopsy and Case Reports journal must only be made through online submission system. We urge authors to read all the instructions listed above before initiating the submission process.
One of the authors should sign up at the site, where he will get a username, password, and instructions about the submission process in submission system of the journal. Once registered, the author may sign in the system anytime with his login and password.
After registering, the author is directed to the user page, which lists the many roles he may have in the journal (author, reviewer, or editor). Clicking on the role of author, a list of his active and filed submissions appears, and a new submission may be initiated.
The submission process has 5 steps, with instructions available at each one. The author does not have to finish all 5 steps at once and may return anytime to his list of active and “incomplete” submissions.
It is essential to rigorously follow instructions that appear while submitting an article, paying special attention to metadata, which should be carefully filled in.
The names of all authors of the article should be added to the site during submission in the same order in which they appear on the Title Page of the manuscript. Their email addresses, institutions of origin, titles, and functions should also be included. Authors’ data should not appear in the manuscript, but should be included in the Title Page and in the submission system. Once the submission is completed, all the co-authors will receive an email to confirm their accordance with the submission.
Fill out the proper fields with the Title, Authors, and Abstract, and upload the files as described in the formatting guidelines section.
To initiate the process of registering and submitting, please click on Online Submissions.
Submission Preparation Checklist
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission’s compliance with all of the following items. Submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
The contribution is original, unique, and not being evaluated for publication by another journal. Otherwise, justify in "Comments to the Editor."
The Title Page includes the article's title the names, titles, institutions of origin, and email addresses of all the co-authors, as well as a postal address and telephone number of the corresponding author, the contribution description of each co-author, the institution where the article was developed, financial support, and conflict of interest statements.
Author names, affiliations and other manuscript metadata such as title, keywords etc have been correctly entered in the proper field during the online submission.
Files for submission are in Word format (Microsoft Office). The text is an A4 page, double spaced, Arial 12 font. Tables appear at end of the document, after the references. Pages are numbered, starting with the Title Page as page 1. The size of each document should not exceed 2MB in size. Pictures, drawings and graphs should be sent separately in JPEG format with 300 dpi and sized 17 × 13 cm. See more at Main manuscript file.
The manuscript contains all the textual elements required according to the type of article, including Abstract (with up to 250 words structured according to the journal’s guidelines), and Keywords. In “Methods,” the approval by the Research Ethical Committee of the institution of origin should be explicit. See more at Main manuscript file.
Informed consent declaration (ICD) was properly collected whenever necessary as instructed in the informed consent section. See more at Ethical Concerns.
References are numbered in order of appearance in the text, and the style complies with the norms of the journal. If a type of reference management software is used, field codes are removed from the article submitted, making it possible to convert the reference list into plain text.
Declaration of responsibility and license agreement file. The declaration form can be obtained here.
Submitted documents rigorously comply with all other norms and guidelines for publication outlined in the Autopsy and Case Reports web site.
All authors of the article are informed of the editorial policies of the journal. Authors have read the manuscript that is being submitted and agree with it.
Writing a Good Abstract (http://bjournal.com.br/writing_a_good_abstract.html)
Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication (http://www.icmje.org/index.html)
The Système International (SI) (http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units) in metric units is used for units and abbreviations of units.
Instructions to Make Quality Images for Publications - http://cjs.cadmus.com/da/
Writing Papers for Scientific Journals (http://www.bjournal.com.br/lectures_english.html)
How Editors Evaluate Scientific Papers for Publication (http://bjournal.com.br/2006_como_editores_avaliam_english_aug_10.zip)
Sense About Science (http://senseaboutscience.org)
PLoS Biology Guidelines for Table and Figure Preparation (http://www.plosbiology.org/static/figureGuidelines)
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