ANZ Journal of Surgery

Cover image for Vol. 85 Issue 5

Edited By: John P. Harris

Impact Factor: 1.118

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 133/204 (Surgery)

Online ISSN: 1445-2197

Author Guidelines

The Editorial Board of the ANZ Journal of Surgery invites authors to submit articles for publication on any aspect of surgery. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to refuse publication or to edit articles according to the requirements of the Journal. Manuscripts that are approved for publication may appear as print and/or digital content.


Editorials are commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief from members of the Editorial Board. They usually occupy one page of the Journal i.e. about 800 words (minus 250 words for an illustration and 35 words for each reference).

Perspectives are welcome on any topic. They can be overview statements, personal views, or studies based on surveys. Perspectives should contain a tight linear argument and be more than just a mini-review. They should contain about 1,000 words (minus 250 words for an illustration and 35 words for each reference). Abstracts are not required (type ‘n/a’ in the Abstract box). Perspectives are evaluated by the Editors and may not be subjected to peer review.

Original Articles
Original articles are welcome on any aspect of surgery, including the basic surgical sciences. The text is preceded by a structured abstract. Original articles are subjected to peer review.
Original articles should follow the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion). Subheadings may also be used to clarify the content. The Introduction must briefly outline the context of the study and justify its performance. End by stating the aim of the study and identify any pre-specified subgroup analyses. In the Methods section describe the techniques and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the study. Describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and declare their limitations. Clearly identify the numbers of animals, subjects, or patients. The Methods section should include only information that was available before the start of the study: information obtained during the conduct of the study belongs in the Results section. Present your results in a logical sequence; and repeat that sequence throughout the text, tables, and illustrations. Only emphasize the main findings in the text when data are presented in tables or illustrations. In the Discussion emphasize the important findings, limitations of the study, implications of the findings in the context of other relevant studies, and your conclusions. The conclusions should relate to the aims of the study and must be supported by the results.
Original articles must have a structured abstract of less than 250 words (include a word count at the end of the abstract). Abstracts are the only part of the article indexed in many electronic databases, and they are the only part of the article that many readers access, so it is particularly important that authors construct abstracts with great care. Abstracts should follow the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) and must be free of non-standard abbreviations or references. Include a description of the study design: appropriate terms include 'clinical trial', 'cohort study', 'case-control study', 'structured review', 'retrospective clinical study', and 'retrospective review of prospectively collected data'. There must be no ambiguity about whether the study concerns animals or patients.
Original articles - including allowances for figures and tables - must not exceed five pages (or approx. 4000 words, including figures/references) when printed in the journal. Authors should make estimates of the length of their manuscripts by referring to similar articles in recent issues of the journal - each page contains about 800 words, a typical illustration occupies the same space as 250 words, and the average length of each reference is about 35 words. Include a word count of the text (minus the references) at the end of the abstract. Original articles that exceed five journal pages may be subjected to editing when the page proofs are supplied to the authors.

Review Articles
Review Articles are welcome on any aspect of surgery, including the basic surgical sciences. Systematic reviews must have a structured abstract (as per original articles), whilst narrative reviews may have an unstructured abstract that is less than 250 words. (include a word count at the end of the abstract). Review articles - including allowances for figures and tables - must not exceed six pages (or approx. 4800 words, including figures/references) when printed in the journal. Authors should make estimates of the length of their manuscripts by referring to similar articles in recent issues of the journal - each page contains about 800 words, a typical illustration occupies the same space as 250 words, and the average length of each reference is about 35 words. Include a word count of the text, minus the references, at the end of the abstract. Review articles that exceed six journal pages may be subjected to editing when the page proofs are supplied to the authors. Review Articles are subjected to peer review.

Images for Surgeons
Images for Surgeons should contain a brief case report followed by a discussion. They should contain about 750 words, up to 10 references, no headings, and up to three high-quality illustrations each displaying different aspects of the case. Where appropriate, use labels/arrows to indicate the abnormalities in supplied images to orientate the reader. Abstracts are not required (type ‘n/a’ in the Abstract box). Images for Surgeons are evaluated by the Editors and may not be subjected to peer review.

Letters to the Editor
etters may be submitted to the Editor on any topic, including case reports, but letters commenting on papers published in recent issues of the Journal are most welcome. Such Letters must include the article reference in the title, e.g., 'Concerns about natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (RE: ANZ J Surg 2010, 80: 397-9)'. Timely discussions are promoted by publishing selected letters on the 'Opinions' page of before they appear in the print journal. Letters contain up to 300 words without headings, no more than one illustration, and up to four references. Published correspondence may be edited for length, grammatical correctness, and journal style. Authors will be asked to approve editorial changes that alter the substance or tone of a letter.

Media Reviews
Media Reviews may be submitted to the Editors about any material of interest to surgeons that appears in either print or a digital format. Book reviews are often commissioned by the Editors. Media Reviews contain up to 600 words. There must be full disclosure of any potential conflict of interest.

How to Do It
We welcome focused descriptions of key aspects of operative technique. The title of the article should start with 'How to do' e.g., ‘How to do a hemicorporectomy’. Summary articles in the print journal will be supplemented by the online publication of the full text and videos. ‘How to do it’ articles should occupy one page of the print journal e.g., contain between 550 and 600 words, one illustration and up to 6 references. These articles do not require an abstract (type ‘n/a’ in the Abstract box) and should not contain any headings. The supplementary text file can contain up to 5,000 words and 30 references. The preferred formats for the videos are QuickTime, MPEG, and AVI. Please try to restrict the file size to 5Mb maximum. Files over 10Mb will not be accepted due to download issues. For more information on file size and type go to Please check all supplementary material (i.e. videos and full text files) carefully before submission, as these will not be copyedited before uploading to our website.

Non-Clinical Practical Skills for Surgeons
Practical Skills for Surgeons articles are welcome on any topic and aspect of surgery that involve a practical non-clinical skill (for example How to write a paper, How to write a medico-legal report). Summary articles in the print journal will be supplemented by the online publication of the full text and images on the journal web site These articles should contain up to 4000 words, including 4 illustrations (counted as 250 words each) and references (35 words each). These articles do not require an abstract (type ‘n/a’ in the Abstract box). The supplementary text file for the web site can contain up to 5,000 words. Please check all supplementary material carefully before submission, as these will not be copyedited before uploading to the journal website.

The Journal complies with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication" updated February 2006 ( Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their work, including all statistical calculations and drug doses.

The title is a concise label that allows readers to scan for relevance. The nature of the study must be clearly signposted (e.g. ‘Open versus laparoscopic adrenalectomy: a clinical trial’; ‘The evaluation of laparoscopic adrenalectomy in an animal model’). Strive for an interesting title that is also an accurate label. Avoid the use of abbreviations.

Key words
Five key words are required to index the content of articles. They should be selected from the US National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list

Pre-acceptance English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Visit our site to learn about the options. All services are paid for and arranged by the author. Please note using the Wiley English Language Editing Service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted by this journal.

Clinical trials
Clinical trials should be clearly identified as such in the title and abstract. A clinical trial is any study that prospectively assigns humans into groups to study the relationship between an intervention and a clinical outcome. Clinical trials should adhere to the guidelines outlined in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement and all manuscripts must include a flow chart showing the progress of patients through the trial. Trials that started after 1 January 2008 must be registered in one of several free and publicly accessible electronically searchable databases such as the one administered by the USA National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is located at The trial registration number must be listed at the end of the structured abstract.

Systematic reviews
All systematic reviews of clinical trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the MOOSE report by the CONSORT Group Authors should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. Authors are also encouraged to use subheadings in the main text of the manuscript. The structured abstract should have the following sections: Background, Objectives, Data sources, Review methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Document the specific objectives of the study and identify the main endpoints. Explain and justify how the sample size was determined in experiments, clinical trials, case-control studies and cohort studies.
Report results to a level of precision commensurate with their scientific or clinical relevance. For example, report mean blood pressure without decimal places. Avoid over-precision by restricting the use of decimal places. Provide the numbers in the numerator and denominator when stating a percentage.
Describe the central tendency and dispersion of continuous measurements. Use the mean (standard deviation) for measurements that approximate the normal distribution; and, only use the mean (standard error of the mean) when estimating the precision of the observed mean. For other continuous measurements use the median value and percentiles - such as the inter-quartile range and the absolute range. Avoid any ambiguity about the numbers of observations.
Describe the analyses in enough detail to enable readers with access to the original data to verify the results. Ensure that the data satisfy the assumptions of the chosen statistical tests. Provide references for techniques not in common usage and include a brief explanation. Document the name and source of any commercial statistical computer packages that were used to calculate the results.
Appreciate that statistical significance tests show whether or not an effect could be due to chance and do not indicate the biological or clinical importance of any observed differences. Comment on the magnitude of the chief differences between the groups. Declare the level of statistical significance (usually P < 0.05) and state whether this refers to a one- or two-sided probability. Report the value of the test statistic and the actual P value, for instance P = 0.04, not P < 0.05. Make allowance for multiple comparisons by adjusting the P value, for instance by the Ryan-Holm stepwise Bonferroni procedure or the Benjamini-Hochberg false discovery rate. Generally, though within reason, report confidence intervals as well as P values.
Correlation coefficients provide a summary of the linear association between two quantitative variables. They measure the association between independent variables and should never be used to measure agreement (concordance): correlation coefficients must never be used when comparing different methods of measuring the same variable.
Take particular care, and consider obtaining professional advice, when performing multivariable analyses and estimating survival. Survival curves must be accompanied by a declaration of the numbers of patients involved in each analysis and should be truncated when the numbers at risk are small; that is, when they are less than one-third of the starting figure.

Qualitative research
Qualitative research may be difficult to fit into the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) format. It is sometimes best to present the results and discussion together for each theme, and the structured abstract can be adjusted accordingly. Incorporate direct quotes from participants into tables whenever appropriate.

Please write in a clear, concise and direct style. Manuscripts should be intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. The Editor reserves the right to modify manuscripts in order to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and to improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will either be rejected or returned to the author for revision. The Journal uses UK spelling and authors should therefore follow the latest edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.
Please note:
● All measurements must be given in SI units (excepting blood pressures, which should be given in mmHg)
● Numbers under 10 are spelt out, except for: measurements with a unit (8mmol/l); age (6 weeks old), or lists with other numbers (11 dogs, 9 cats, 4 gerbils)
● Abbreviations should only be used where they ease the reader's task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter use the abbreviation only. Abbreviations should be avoided in 'Editorials' and 'Perspectives'
● At the first mention of a chemical substance, give the generic name only. When quoting specific materials, software, equipment and proprietary drugs the name and address of the manufacturer must be given in parentheses
● Footnotes to the text are not allowed and such material must be incorporated into the text as parenthetical matter

● Submissions must be doubled-spaced
● Top, bottom and side margins should be at least 20 mm
● Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page
● Indent new paragraphs and do not use the Enter key at the end of lines within a paragraph
● Turn the hyphenation option off. Include hyphens only where they are essential to the meaning
● Specify any special characters used to represent non-keyboard characters. Take care not to use l (ell) for 1 (one), O (capital o) for 0 (zero) or ß (German esszett) for β (Greek beta)

● Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information contained in the text
● Tables should be cited consecutively in the text and should be numbered using Arabic numerals
● Each table should be presented on a separate page at the end of the main document file, with a comprehensive but concise legend above the table
● Tables should be double-spaced, and should not contain internal lines
● Do not use tabs or spaces to separate data points in tables. Each data point must be contained within a unique cell
● Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses. All abbreviations should be defined in footnotes
● For footnotes, use the following symbols, in sequence: †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, ††, ‡‡ (*, **, *** should be reserved for P values)
● Identify statistical measures of variation, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean

● Illustrations (line drawings and photographs) are classified as figures
● All figures should be in colour (the journal accepts colour illustrations and photographs free of charge)
● Figures should be cited in consecutive order in the text using Arabic numerals
● Insert easily seen arrows or letters to identify entities (they should be bold and in colour)
● Photographs should be submitted as high resolution files (at least 300 d.p.i.)
● Photographic images should be provided as .tif files. Provide the figures in their original format where possible. Any accompanying text (figure legends etc.) should be included separately at the end of the main text file. Do not embed photographic images in Word or PowerPoint documents
● Wherever possible, line figures (graphs and drawings) should be provided as .eps files. If this is not possible, figures should be supplied in their original format. For example, line figures designed in Excel or PowerPoint should be submitted as such, and not embedded in Word (.doc) files
● Legends must be submitted for all figures, and should be included at the end of the text. They should be self-explanatory and incorporate definitions of symbols. Abbreviations and units of measurement should be explained so that the figure and its legend are understandable without reference to the text. Indicate the stains used in histopathology. Identify statistical measures of variation, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean
● Photomicrographs and electron micrographs must have internal scale markers

Supporting Information
Supplementary illustrations and video files may be suitable for publication in the electronic version of the Journal. A statement in the print edition will indicate that additional material is available online. Examples of suitable material might include videos, questionnaires, or additional tables and figures.
The preferred formats for video submissions are: QuickTime/MPEG/AVI.
When uploading your submission, a warning will be displayed if you have exceeded the total file size limit. Uploaded video files can be accessed as links through the manuscript HTML proof. These file types cannot be accessed in the PDF proof.
All supporting information should be submitted at the same time as the manuscript. Please refer to this link prior to submitting:

Acknowledge financial assistance, material support, and willing contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship.

● Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references
● References should be cited using superscript Arabic numerals
● Number references in their order of appearance
● References first cited in tables or figure legends must be numbered so that they will be in sequence with references in the text
● When there are six or fewer authors, list all of them: when there are seven or more authors, list the first three followed by ‘et al.’
● Avoid citing personal communications and abstracts

References should be listed in the following form:
Journal article:
Sasaki A, Nakajima J, Nitta H, Obuchi T, Baba S, Wakabayashi, G. laparascopic cholecystectomy in patients with a history of gastrectomy. Surg. Today 2008; 38: 790-4.
Webster J, Croger S, Lister C et al. Use of face masks by non-scrubbed operating room staff: a randomized controlled trial. ANZ J. Surg. 2010: 80: 169-73.

Tjandra JJ, Clunie GJA, Thomas RJS. Kaye AH, Smith JA. Textbook of Surgery, 3rd edn. Melbourne: Blackwell Science Asia, 2006.
Jones PF. Emergency Abdominal Surgery, 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1987.

Chapter in a book:
Alexander JP. Spinal surgery. In: Barrow DW (ed). Anaesthesia and Related Subjects in Orthopaedic Surgery. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1982; Ch. 4

Web page:
National Health and Medical Research Council. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Early Breast Cancer. Second Edition [PDF on Internet]. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, [updated 6 September 2003; cited 3 March 2004]. Available from:

Manuscripts must be submitted online at (you will need to follow a simple registration procedure before using this site). Please note that separate files are required for the covering letter, the text, and each figure.

Cover Letter
All submissions require a brief covering letter that:
● advises whether the first author is a surgeon in training;
● justifies the inclusion of each author if there are more than five authors;
● provides a statement that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript;
● discloses source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, and/or pharmaceutical items;
● declares and explain any potential conflict of interest; and
● indicates that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not under consideration elsewhere.

Copies of permission to reproduce copyright material should be attached to the covering letter.

Title Page
Manuscripts must include a title page that provides:
● the full title containing no more than 80 characters, including spaces;
● a running head (short title) containing no more than 40 characters, including spaces;
● the full names of the authors followed by up to two qualifications (e.g. MD, PhD, MBBS) and institutional affiliations;
● an indication of whether the corresponding author is a recipient of a research scholarship;
● details if the paper is based on a previous communication to a society or meeting;
● details of the number of figures and tables included, and separate word counts for the abstract and the text (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, figure legends and references); and
● the full name, email and postal addresses, facsimile and telephone numbers of the corresponding author.

The corresponding author is responsible for the integrity of the study and for communicating with the other authors about editorial decisions and the nature of any revisions.

All manuscripts submitted to the Journal are screened by the Editor-in-Chief. Manuscripts are immediately rejected if they do not follow the Author Guidelines, are not in line with the aims of the Journal, or are well short of the standard required for publication. About 25% of the original articles and reviews that we receive are rejected at this stage. Admissible manuscripts are then referred to the relevant Specialty Editor and, when appropriate, submitted to peer review. The Editors make recommendations about suitability for publication. Final decisions about publication are made by the Editor-in-Chief.

Revising manuscripts
If you have been requested to prepare a revised version of your manuscript, log on to ScholarOne Manuscripts at:, and click on the ‘Author Centre’ where you will find your manuscript in the ‘Manuscripts Awaiting Revision’ section. Clicking on the ‘create a revision’ link in the ‘Actions’ column will create a draft of the revision in the ‘Revised Manuscripts in Draft’ section of your Author Centre.
Authors are required to supply a detailed point-by-point response to each of the comments. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in rejection of the manuscript.
Use red text to indicate the revised sections and ensure that the revised manuscript text is labelled ‘R1’. Upload the revised file(s) and your figures (follow the instructions at the top of each screen). Remember to upload all documentation relevant to your manuscript, including figures.

After acceptance
Author Services enables authors to track their accepted article through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their article online and choose to receive automated emails at key stages of production so they do not need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for further details and to access additional author resources.

Accepted papers will be passed to Wiley’s production team for publication. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Wiley’s Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be asked to complete an electronic license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.
FAQs about the terms and conditions of the standard copyright transfer agreements (CTA) in place for the journal, including terms regarding archiving of the accepted version of the paper, are available at: CTA Terms and Conditions FAQs

OnlineOpen – ‘Gold road’ Open Access
OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article freely available to all on Wiley Online Library under a Creative Commons licence. In addition, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access, known as ‘gold road’ open access.

OnlineOpen licenses
Authors choosing OnlineOpen retain copyright in their article and have a choice of publishing under the following Creative Commons License terms: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY-NC-ND).
For more information about the OnlineOpen license terms and conditions click here.

Authors must comply with ‘Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics: A Publisher's Perspective’ at Authors are responsible for ensuring that all material submitted for publication complies with the principles detailed in these guidelines. No manuscript will be accepted for publication unless it conforms to the ethical guidelines that are currently accepted in Australia and New Zealand. It is the author’s responsibility to demonstrate beyond doubt that research has been performed in an ethical manner. If there is any doubt about the ethical standards of a study, the manuscript will not be accepted for publication.

Contributorship policy
An author is someone who has made a substantial intellectual contribution to the study. The Editors believe that those with a peripheral association with the work should simply be acknowledged. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Identify who is responsible for the integrity of the work as a whole. i.e., the main author. If a paper has more than five authors, the inclusion of each name must be justified in the covering letter. Results of multicentre studies may be reported under the name of the organizing group.

Simultaneous submissions
The Journal does not consider manuscripts that are simultaneously being considered by other journals. Occasionally, editors of different journals may knowingly agree to jointly publish selected articles because of the need for wide coverage. Examples include publication guidelines and important recommendations on public health. It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that two or more journals do not unknowingly publish the same article.

Redundant/duplicate publication
Redundant, or duplicate, publication occurs when a paper is published that overlaps substantially with one that has already been published in either print or the electronic media. An article is reviewed for publication on the assumption that its contents have not been submitted simultaneously to another journal, have not been accepted for publication elsewhere and have not already been published.
The Journal will consider manuscripts that have been rejected by another journal, that follow the publication of preliminary findings in the form of an abstract, or that provide supplementary information about a large complex study.
References must be provided for all publications that relate to the manuscript under consideration. In addition, copies of any possibly duplicate published material should be submitted with a statement in the covering letter explaining why the manuscript under consideration is not a duplicate publication. This includes articles in press or under consideration by another journal.
Any attempt at dual publication will lead to automatic rejection, may prejudice acceptance of future submissions, and may be highlighted within the pages of the Journal.

Conflict of interest
Authors must also declare any financial support or relationships that may pose conflict of interest. They must acknowledge the source of financial grants and other funding, including a frank declaration of the authors' industrial links and affiliations. The contribution of colleagues or institutions should also be acknowledged.

Human ethics
All studies involving humans, or human tissue, must have approval from a human ethics committee. The responsible ethics committee must be compliant with accepted standards such as the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki in 1975 (revised in 2004), available at This approval must be declared in the Methods section of the paper with inclusion of the name of the committee. In addition, patient anonymity must be preserved at all times. The Journal will not publish pictures that identify patients unless the authors submit evidence of written consent from the patient or a legal guardian.

Animal ethics
Animal experiments must have approval from an animal ethics committee that complies with the prevailing standards in Australia and New Zealand. This approval must be declared in the Methods section of the paper, with inclusion of the name of the committee or relevant body.

Use of copyright material
Authors must submit written permission from the copyright owner (usually the publisher) to use direct quotations, tables, or illustrations that have appeared elsewhere in copyrighted form. Any permission fees paid to copyright owner are the responsibility of the authors using the borrowed material. In the manuscript, authors must declare complete details about the source of all copyright material.

For further information or advice please contact:

Kumie Dawkins
Editorial Assistant
ANZ Journal of Surgery
155 Cremorne Street
Richmond, Vic 3121
Ph: +61 3 9274 3130
Fax: +61 3 9274 3390