Instructions for Authors

Spine Surgery and Related Research

Instructions for Authors

Scope and Aim

Spine Surgery and Related Research (SSRR), the official open-access journal of the Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research, is an international, peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal directed to spine physicians and scientists. The journal publishes original articles in the form of spine-related research comprising basic and clinical research, including suggestive case reports and splendid technical notes. SSRR requires that all manuscripts be prepared in accordance with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals.”

Article Types

Submitted articles should be placed into one of the following categories:

a) Original Article
Original Articles should present detailed studies of original research.
b) Review Article
Review Articles should provide a broad overview and updates on a specific field in the scope of SSRR.
c) Case Report
Case Reports present the details of rare medical or clinical cases. Case Reports will not be accepted unless they are extremely instructive/informative or can be transferred to another journal, including Journal of Spine Research (JSR), the official journal of the JSSR, based on editorial decision.
d) Technical Note
Technical Notes present the tips pertaining to surgical techniques for traditional/novel surgical procedures with their clinical outcomes.

Articles that have been previously published or are being considered for publication in another journal in any language will not be accepted. The Editorial Committee makes decisions on acceptance of the peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Peer Review System

All submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief of SSRR to evaluate the eligibility for possible publication. Subsequently, the manuscripts will be sent to corresponding expert reviewers in the field of the study for peer review.

SSRR applies double-blind review: both the reviewer and author are unaware of each other’s identities throughout the review process.

The main document of the submitted manuscript should adhere to the following requirements:

  • Not include the name of the affiliation anywhere in the manuscript, including the Figures and Tables.
  • Refer to the authors’ previous work as that of a third person, e.g., replace “…as we have reported in our previous study19” with “as it has been reported previously19
  • Not include the references to funding sources, such as identifier of the government-related funds.
  • Not include acknowledgments.
  • Declare the Conflicts of Interest (COI) on the title page (if applicable).

Reviewers are not allowed to contact the authors directly before, during, or after the reviewing process to discuss any information that is presented in the manuscript. Reviewers must keep the manuscripts and information obtained strictly confidential and must not publicly discuss or disclose the contents and any other information of the manuscript to the third party.

Preparation of Manuscript

The current information is based in part on “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals,” as published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). For any information that is not mentioned in these guidelines, authors should refer to the ICMJE Recommendations.

Manuscripts that do not follow the instructions below WILL BE RETURNED to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review.

General Formatting

All articles should be written in English and formatted as per the standard letter size [8 1/2 × 11 inch (21 × 28 cm)] paper with at least 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides. The organization of the manuscript should be in the following order: Title page, Abstract, Key Words, Main Text, References, Tables, Figure Legends, and Figures. All elements of the manuscript, including Abstract, Main Text, References, Tables, and Figure Legends, should be typed double spaced.

Online Manuscript Submission

Submit manuscript electronically via ScholarOne system in the following order: Title page, Main Text, Tables, and Figures (≥300 dpi). The total size of the uploaded files should be within 100 MB. On submission, the manuscript will be automatically checked for plagiarism, and can be sent back to the corresponding author if the plagiarism rate is 30% or higher.

In submission, 1) Title Page and 2) Manuscript files are mandatory:

1) Title Page

The title page should be prepared separately from the main document to ensure anonymity of the manuscript during the review process.

The title page should include the following information:

  1. Title of the manuscript
  2. Names of all authors
  3. Institutional affiliations of all authors
  4. Corresponding author’s name, address, telephone number and e-mail address
  5. Conflicts of Interest
  6. Sources of financial support that require acknowledgment
  7. Type of contribution of the authors
  8. Approval code issued by the institutional review board (IRB) and the name of the institution(s) that granted the approval.
  9. Acknowledgements

*For a sample Title page, please click here.

2) Manuscript

Abstract and Key Words

Manuscript should include a structured Abstract with no more than 300 words and the following headings:

Original Articles: Structured Abstract (Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions)
Review Articles: Structured or Unstructured Abstract (Systematic Review Articles should include a structured abstract.)
Case Reports: Introduction, Case Report, Conclusions
Technical Notes: Introduction, Technical Note, Conclusions

Three to eight key words must be included following the Abstract.

Main Text

Organize the manuscript into main headings as follows: the main headings, maximum word counts, and numbers of Tables and Figures for each manuscript type are as follows:

Original Articles
Main headings: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion
Word limit: 2,700 words
Number of Tables: No more than 5
Number of Figures: No more than 6

Review Articles
Word limit: 4,000 words
Number of Tables: No more than 7
Number of Figures: No more than 10

Case Reports
Main headings: Introduction, Case Report, Discussion
Word limit: 750 words
Number of Tables: No more than 3
Number of Figures: No more than 4

Technical Notes
Main headings: Introduction, Technical Note, Discussion
Word limit: 1,500 words
Number of Tables: No more than 3
Number of Figures: No more than 8

Define abbreviations at their first appearance in the text and in each Table and Figure and use the abbreviations consistently thereafter. If a brand name is cited, supply the manufacturer’s name and address (city and state/country). Line numbers and page numbers on each page are required to make it easier for reviewers to provide comments.

Unit of Measurement

All measurements should be in metric system and follow the International System of Units (SI).
Use a capital letter “L” for liter in the units of measurements in the Text, Figures, and Tables (e.g., g/dL, mg/dL, IU/L, mg/dL, and mEq/L).


The authors are responsible for the accuracy of their references. List the references just after the main text. Cite references in the text in the order of their appearance, showing the citations as superscripts (for example, show in superscript1). If there are more than three authors, name only the first three authors and then use “et al.”

For reference styles pertaining to other media formats or further details, please refer to Citing Medicine, which is published by the National Library of Medicine (US)

Journal article

  1. Guiot BH, Khoo LT, Fessler RG. A minimally invasive technique for decompression of the lumber spine. Spine. 2002;27(4): 432-8.

Journal article in a language other than English

  1. Paroussis D, Papaoutsopoulou C. [Porcelain laminate veneers (HI-ERAM)]. Odontostomatol Proodos. 1990;44(6):423-6. Greek.

Online journals

  1. Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 1 p.]. Available from:

Entire book

  1. Jenkins PF. Making sense of the chest x-ray: a hands-on guide. New York: Oxford University Press; 2005. 194 p

Book chapter

  1. Riffenburgh RH. Statistics in medicine. 2nd ed. Amsterdam (Netherlands): Elsevier Academic Press; c2006. Chapter 24, Regression and correlation methods; p. 447-86.


  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. The total heart: the ultimate interactive guide to heart health [CD-ROM]. PC 1.1a version. Eagan (MN): IVI Pub.; 1993. 1 CD-ROM: sound, color, 4 3/4 in. Accompanied by: 1 manual.


  1. MeSH Database [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). 2003 Apr – [cited 2011 Jul 8]. Available from:

Journal names should be abbreviated in in the standard form as they appear in the NLM catalog. If the journals are not included in the NLM catalog, use the ISSN List of Title Word for standard abbreviations of journal names. If you are uncertain, please use the full journal name.

For authors using EndNote, you can use the output style below for in-text citations and reference list.

Figure Legends

Legends must be prepared for all Figures presented in the manuscript. List each Figure Legend on a separate page after the references.

3) Tables and Figures

Figures and Tables may be produced with image processing or presentation applications; however, all Tables and Figures should be submitted in the following format: MS Word (.doc/.docx), MS PowerPoint (.ppt/.pptx), jpg, or tiff. Do not use MS Excel or comparable spreadsheet software.

Images should be at the minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Include the scale (bar) in images captured with scanning electron microscopes.

If any copyrighted or previously published materials, edited or otherwise, are used in the manuscript, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain the permission from the copyright owner(s) prior to making a submission. Also, the authors must cite the source and indicate the permission to use such materials in the corresponding Figure or Table caption, as required by the copyright owner(s).


All authors listed in the manuscript must meet the following criteria of contribution described by ICMJE in the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals.

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the research or the acquisition and analysis of data
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. Final approval of the version to be published
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

The corresponding author must ensure that a manuscript is read and approved by all authors prior to submission.

Contributors who do not meet the criteria above should not be listed as authors. Guest or honorary authorship is not permitted.

Those who do not qualify for an authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading with “Acknowledgements” the on the title page. Examples of activities that do not qualify a contributor for authorship are acquisition of funding, general supervision of a research group, or general administrative support and writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading.

Final author order must be established by the end of the revision phase of the peer review process. Adding, deleting, or changing the author names and their order is not permitted after the acceptance of the manuscript for publication.

Conflict of Interest and Sources of Funding

Authors must explicitly state whether potential conflicts of interest (COI) exist or not. This includes, but is not limited to, agreements for research support (including research funding and provision of equipment or materials), honoraria (such as lecture fees), consulting, employment, promotional fees, advisory role, stock ownership, patent/licensing fees, and any other financial, institutional or personal relationships with biotechnology manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, or other commercial organizations that has any interest in the subject matter, materials, or process(es) discussed in the manuscript. Any possible COI related to the study presented in the manuscript must be disclosed on the title page under the heading “Conflicts of Interest” using the following examples for each author:

“A (author name) received honoraria from Z (entity name); B holds an advisory role in Y; C is an employee of Company X.”

If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the disclosures will be published as they appear in this section. If there are no COIs, the authors should state “The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest” on the title page.

All authors will receive email notification to confirm and complete their COI disclosure after manuscript submission.

All sources of funding from entities such as government or non-profit organizations, which are relevant to the study, should be acknowledged on the title page under the heading “Sources of Funding.”

Ethical Considerations

  • Clinical research included in articles, which report on human subjects or materials of human origin, must comply with the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki, and it must be mentioned that the study had been approved by the relevant institutional or national review board (IRB). If no approval from any IRB was required, that must be explicitly stated in the manuscript.
  • All case studies must clearly indicate that written consent has been obtained from all patients and relevant persons (such as the guardian and the family members of the patient) to publish the information, including photographs.
  • Any data or information such as patient names, initials, hospital patient identification codes (patient IDs), specific dates, or any other information which may identify patients must not be presented anywhere in the manuscript, including the Figures and Tables. All pictures should focus on the affected areas only.
  • Articles reporting on research on human subjects must indicate in the “Materials and Methods” section that the research was approved by the IRB of the authors’ affiliated institutions and that the informed consent has been obtained from the patients. When doing so, use sentences such as “This study has been approved by our institution’s ethic committee,” without including the name of the institution. However, the approval code issued by the IRB and the name of the institution, which granted the approval, should be included on the title page.
  • Articles reporting on data from animal testing must indicate in the “Subjects and Methods” section the approval of the testing design by the affiliated institution’s Animal Care and Use Committee, without mentioning the name of the institution using the phrase “our affiliated institution.”
  • Authors of articles reporting on new DNA sequences must furnish that data to the Gene Bank and include the accession number for it in the article.

Proofing and Revision

After the acceptance of manuscript for publication, galley proofs will be available to the authors for corrections of minor errors such as spelling errors and omitted characters or letters. Any other corrections and revisions after the acceptance of a manuscript are not permitted unless requested by the Editorial Committee of the Journal. Authors are expected to perform the proofing, as instructed by the Editorial Office. Upon completion of the proofing, authors should immediately email the revised proof to the publisher.

Our Editorial Committee may make revisions to terminologies, phrasing, and other components of the manuscript without the consent of the author(s). Portions of the manuscript requiring corrections will be noted with comments indicating that the material must be rewritten.

Publication fee

For the first author who is a NON-MEMBER of the Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research, a publication fee of 50,000 yen (including tax) will be charged at the time of acceptance of manuscript for publication in SSRR. The fee is applicable to all types of manuscripts.


Copyright to articles and their contents published in SSRR belong to the Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research. However, anyone may download, reuse, copy, reprint, distribute, or modify articles published in the journal for not-for-profit purposes if they cite the original authors and source. For for-profit purposes, a written permission by the Editorial Committee of SSRR is mandatory.

Misconducts and Breach of Publication Ethics

All manuscripts submitted to SSRR must be the authors’ original work and not duplicate any other previously published work in any language. The authors must understand and guarantee that the same manuscript is not simultaneously submitted to another journal.

All authors are fully responsible for the originality and contents of their submitted manuscripts. All records and data presented in the manuscript must be accurate, without any fabrication, manipulation, or falsification.

All information and contents that originate from other resources must be credited and cited, as guided in the “References” section.

Any identified misconducts are subject to investigation by the Editorial Board of SSRR. All misconducts and breach of publication ethics, regardless of their level, may result in retraction, publication of formal notice of the misconduct, and formal embargo on future contribution to SSRR.


Contact information:
Spine Surgery and Related Research Editorial Office
Tel: +81 3-3910-4311
Fax: +81 3-3949-0230

[Print version] Instructions for Authors