Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

Cover image for Vol. 59 Issue 5

Edited By: Bernard Dan and Peter Rosenbaum

Impact Factor: 3.615

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 9/120 (Pediatrics); 43/193 (Clinical Neurology)

Online ISSN: 1469-8749

Author Guidelines

Guidelines for Contributors

Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology

Updated August 2016

All papers should be submitted online at Please email the editorial office with any queries about the process (

Papers published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (DMCN) are freely available online from 12 months after publication. Authors who wish to make their papers freely accessible immediately upon publication may use Wiley Blackwell’s pay-to-publish service, OnlineOpen. (See 2 Copyright below.)

Note to NIH Grantees Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see

Table of Contents

1. Good publication practice

a) Authorship

b) Reporting guidelines

c) Clinical trial registration

d) Duplicate publication

e) Approval and consent

f) Funding

g) Disclosures

h) Misconduct

2. Copyright

3. Presentation and formatting of your paper

a) Maximum length requirements

b) All papers

c) Original articles

d) Reviews

e) Case reports

f) Letters to the Editor

g) Clinical Insights

h) References

i) Figures and tables

j) Statistical reporting

k) Supporting information (supplementary material)

l) Author Podcasts and Author Videos

4. Selection and publication

a) Editorial review

b) After acceptance

c) After publication

5. Style points

1. Good publication practice

The journal follows the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( and Wiley Blackwell's Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics ( In particular, please note the following points.

a)    Authorship

Our criteria for authorship are based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines.  More information can be found here:

Credit for authorship should be based on

1.      substantial contributions to research design, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data;

2.      drafting the paper or revising it critically;

3.      approval of the submitted and final versions.

The corresponding author must state that all the authors have read the manuscript and agreed to its being submitted for publication. The covering letter should state that all individuals listed as authors meet the appropriate authorship criteria, that nobody who qualifies for authorship has been omitted from the list, that contributors and their funding sources have been properly acknowledged, and that authors and contributors have approved the acknowledgement of their contributions. The covering letter should include a short description of each author’s contribution and should state whether he or she had complete access to the study data that support the publication.

Up to ten authors may be included on the title page. When there are more than ten authors, nine may be included on the title page and the tenth slot given to an appropriately named group; the members of this group will be listed in an appendix published online only.

Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be listed, and their contribution described, in an acknowledgement section at the end of the article.

b)   Reporting guidelines:

For Original Articles, Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses, the Editors and Editorial Board require that authors follow the guidelines of the Equator network when reporting research methods and findings ( and the AACPDM Guidelines where appropriate for Systematic Reviews of Treatment Interventions (see Summary document)


Submissions must be accompanied by the appropriate checklist, fully completed with page numbers where applicable. Please select the most suitable checklist from the following and download the appropriate checklist:


  • Systematic Reviews or Meta-analyses: PRISMA:
  • Systematic Reviews or Meta-analyses following AACPDM Guidelines: Please complete both the PRISMA checklist and the AACPDM checklist :
  • Randomised controlled trials: CONSORT guidelines:
  • Observational studies: STROBE guidelines:
  • Other types of study e.g. Diagnostic Accuracy: please visit the Equator website


For Editorials, Commentaries, Book Reviews, other types of Review (i.e. not Systematic), Case Reports, Letters and Clinical Insights, no checklist is required.

c)    Clinical trial registration

If publishing the results of a clinical trial, please include the clinical trial registration number. All trials should be registered in a publicly accessible database. Please upload a copy of the trial protocol as a supplementary file.

d)   Duplicate publication

Authors should declare that the submitted work and its essential substance have not previously been published and are not being considered for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts must not be submitted simultaneously to another journal. All suspected cases of multiple submission or redundant publication will be subject to investigation.

e)    Approval and consent

Ethical approval Authors of research articles should demonstrate that the research has been approved by a named research ethics committee, that the committee’s recommendations have been adhered to, and that written informed consent for participation and publication has been obtained.

Please include a statement in the text of your paper to indicate that ethical approval has been given and give the name of the body (research ethics committee, institutional review board etc.) that approved the study.

If the institution’s research ethics committee did not consider that their approval was needed, this should be stated in the text.

Consent Please indicate in the text that patients or their carers have given informed consent to the research and to publication of the results.

If recognizable photographs or verbal descriptions of an individual are used in an article, written consent from the appropriate person(s) for publication must be submitted to, and kept by, the author. All case reports and clinical photographs require consent. Names, initials, or any other means of identification should not be shown on any photograph. Please use the Consent Form available from the DMCN submission site (Click here)

f)      Funding

All sources of funding or support should be noted in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript (including grants from funding bodies, sponsorship or grants from commercial organisations, and donation of materials). During the online submission process, you will need to clarify the involvement of any funder in study design, data collection and analysis, and manuscript preparation. It is mandatory that a DMCN Disclosure Form is completed when your paper is submitted, and your paper will not be sent for review until we have received your form.

g)    Disclosures

Disclosures of interest must be made during the online submission process for authors and during the review process for referees. Please note that the corresponding author submitting on behalf of co-authors must obtain full information from each author prior to submission and complete the DMCN Disclosure Form which can be found on the submission site (click here). All authors and referees must provide details of financial interests in any company or institution that might benefit from the publication of the article. Authors and referees should also declare any other potential competing interests that readers or editors might consider relevant to the research submitted for publication. In making disclosures, please consider these three areas (please refer to for further information):

  1. Financial payments to you or your institution from any sources that might benefit from publication of your submission, and any other relevant financial interests (e.g. employment, significant share ownership, patent rights, consultancy, research funding);
  2. Similar financial relationships involving your spouse or partner or your dependent children;
  3. Any personal, professional, political, institutional, religious, or other associations that a reasonable reader would want to know about in relation to the submitted work.

Please note that authors’ disclosures as submitted will be reproduced at the end of your paper when it is published.  If no disclosure is made, the following statement will be added to your paper: “The authors have stated that they had no interests which might be perceived as posing a conflict or bias.”


ALL authors must sign the DMCN Disclosure Form before their paper will be published.  The form should be submitted to the Editorial Office with your manuscript.

h)   Misconduct

If suspicion of misconduct is raised after publication a statement of concern may be issued. All complaints or concerns will be investigated. Serious cases of misconduct would result in retraction. DMCN follows the Wiley Blackwell retraction guidelines. More information can be found here:

2.    Copyright

Authors must declare that the work submitted is their own and that copyright has not been breached in seeking its publication.  If the manuscript includes work previously published elsewhere, it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission to use it and to indicate that such permission has been granted.

Please note that all papers will be assessed using iThenticate® which checks written work for duplicate and unattributed content against a large comparison database in order to ensure work is original before publication.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed below:

CTA Terms and Conditions Please do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to login into Author Services as described above.

Note to Contributors on Deposit of Accepted Version

Authors are permitted to self-archive the peer-reviewed (but not final) version of the Contribution on the Contributor’s personal website, in the Contributor’s company/institutional repository or archive, and in certain not for profit subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central as listed at the following website:, subject to an embargo period of 12 months for scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals and 24 months for social science and humanities (SSH) journals following publication of the final Contribution.

There are separate arrangements with certain funding agencies governing reuse of this version as set forth at the following website:

The Contributor may not update the accepted version or replace it with the published Contribution.

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by certain funders [e.g. The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)] ), you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Funder requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

For RCUK, Wellcome Trust, FWF authors click on the link below to preview the terms and conditions of this license:

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

3.    Presentation and formatting of your paper

a)    Maximum length requirements

Article type


“What this
paper adds”

Text words
(excl refs)



Original article

200 words

1 to 5 points




Systematic review

200 words

1 to 5 points

¾ As appropriate ¾

Other review

Unstructured, 150 words

1 to 2 points




Case report

Unstructured, 150 words

1 to 2 points




Letter to the Editor






Editorial, commentary, opinion






Clinical Insights






b)     All papers

Title page Include the title of the paper, authors’ full names, main appointments and primary affiliations, and word count. Identify the corresponding author and give his or her postal address and e-mail address.

Abstract On the second page of original articles and systematic reviews, provide a full structured abstract of no more than 200 words, with the following headings: Aim; Method, Results, Interpretation. The Aim and Interpretation sections should use plain language, as they will be available openly—that is, independent of the main paper. Where relevant the Method section should follow Equator guidelines (, and should include means (sd) or  medians and sex for study and control groups, definition of clinical characteristics, entry criteria for study, assessments used, duration and frequency of intervention, and timing of outcome assessments. Where relevant “Results” should follow Equator guidelines and should summarize significant results with statistical values, including negative findings if related to the study hypothesis. Non-significant trends should not be noted in the abstract.

Non-systematic reviews and case reports should have a non-structured abstract without headings of up to 150 words, covering the aims, method, results, and conclusions of the study.

On the abstract page, also provide a shortened form of the title (up to six words) for use as a running foot.

‘What this paper adds’ All original articles and systematic reviews should have a section ‘What this paper adds’ after the abstract. This should comprise up to five bullet points up to 12 words. Other articles should have one or two similar bullet points.

The bullet points should contain only new results offered by the paper (i.e. not the paper’s design or implications), presented in a direct way. They should be succinct, and preferably they should use plain language because the ‘What this paper adds’ section will be openly accessible (that is, free to view by anyone).

General Include tables and figure legends in your main article file, after the references. Submit figures (illustrations) as separate files, as described below. Name all files using the surname of the first author (e.g. Smith.doc, Smith fig1.tif, etc.).

c)    Original articles

Articles should comprise an introductory section (but not headed ‘Introduction’), followed by ‘Method’ (with optional subheadings, such as ‘Participants’ [rather than ‘Subjects’] and ‘Statistical analysis’), ‘Results’, and ‘Discussion’ sections. The Discussion section should include the limitations of the study. Subheadings should otherwise be kept to a minimum.

Papers longer than 3000 words, such as those reporting randomized controlled trials, may be published at the Editors’ discretion.

Randomised controlled trials should include a short trial protocol as supplementary information.

d)   Reviews

We publish two types of review. One is a fully detailed comprehensive review of a subject, such as a systematic review, with full referencing and a word-count appropriate to the topic and amount of material to be covered. The other is intended to be a more personal view providing the reader with up-to-date information about the subject in question in a relatively brief format, referring to significant international papers but not forming a comprehensive overview of the literature.

Authors are advised to refer to the paper by Grant et al: A Typography of Reviews published in Health Information and Libraries Journal, 2009, 26:2, before submitting a review paper to DMCN.

e)    Case reports

DMCN accepts a very limited number of cast reports. These should significantly add to our understanding of a condition or present a novel finding. They should comprise an introductory section as above, followed by the ‘Case Report’, then a ‘Discussion’ section.

f)      Letters to the Editor

Letters are published at the Editors’ discretion. They may comment on a published paper, or raise issues that are new to DMCN. In the case of letters commenting on a published paper, normally the author of that paper will be invited to comment on the letter, with both letter and comments being published in the same issue.

g)    Clinical Insights

Clinical images with a description of approximately 200-300 words and one or two references that fit within a printed page will be considered for publication in DMCN.  The images can include photographs of patients, X-rays, EEGs, and other investigations, videos, or other material considered appropriate by the Editors. Images should adhere to the guidelines below (Figures). If a video is submitted please submit 2-4 illustrative stills that can be printed in the Journal.  Please also see ‘Approval and Consent’ above.  

h)   References

The Vancouver style is used, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Cite using a superscript number in the text, with a numerical list of references at the end of the paper presented in order of citation. Cite only peer-reviewed, published material. The journal does not recognize abstracts or submitted (as opposed to accepted, or ‘forthcoming’) papers as proper citations; such material should not be listed with the references but cited only in text, followed by ‘(personal communication)’.

List all authors unless more than six, in which case list the first three followed by ‘et al’, using Index Medicus abbreviations for journal names (see Order and punctuate bibliographic information as follows, omitting issue month and number unless needed to distinguish issues. For additional citation formats, adapt appropriate examples from the NLM’s Citing Medicine (

Journal Article
Abrams RA, Tsai AM, Watson B, Jamali A, Lieber RL. Skeletal muscle recovery after tenotomy and 7-day delayed muscle length restoration. Muscle Nerve 2003; 23: 707–14.

Auvin S, Joriot-Chekaf S, Cuvellier J-C, Vallée C. Familial alternating hemiplegia of childhood or channelopathy? [letter]. Dev Med Child Neurol 2004; 46: 500.

Journal Article, online only
High PC; the Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption, and Dependent Care and Council on School Health. School readiness. Pediatrics 2008; 121: e1008–15.

Journal Article, e-pub/online early
Forsyth R, Basu AP. The change we want to see: the promotion of recovery after acquired brain injury. Dev Med Child Neurol 2014 Sep 8. doi: 10.111/dmcn.12575 [E-pub ahead of print].

Book, whole
Mesibov GB, Kunce L, Schopler E. Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism? Current issues in autism. New York: Plenum Press, 1998.

Book, chapter
Finnegan LP, Kaltenbach K. Neonatal abstinence syndrome. In: Hoekelman RA, Nelson NM, editors. Primary pediatric care. 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby Yearbook, Inc.; 1992. 1367–78.

For references to online sources, supply the author names, full title, and full URL including the date on which the site was accessed.

i)      Figures and tables

Note that the Editors may decide that large figures or tables should be published online-only.

Tables, figure legends and short appendices Set out on separate pages at the end of (and as part of) the main document, after the references.

Tables and appendices to be published online only Present as separate files in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format.

Figures (e.g. illustrations, charts and photographs) Present electronically as separate files (not in the main text of the article). Guidelines about acceptable file formats and illustration preparation are provided at

Please label radiographs, CT, or MRI scans with left [L] and right [R], and if appropriate with anterior [A] and posterior [P]. Areas of interest should be marked with an arrow. For EEGs please indicate the gain, timescale, and lead position.

Graphs should be as simple as possible, not three-dimensional, and not framed. Shading should be white, black, or strong hatching, not grey. No background lines should be used (except for bars and axes).

Colour If colour printing of figures is essential for their comprehension, please indicate this in the covering letter. There is normally a charge to the author for printing in colour. It is possible to publish a figure in black and white in the print version of the issue but in colour in the online version at no extra charge. Please refer to the Colour Work Agreement (CWA) form for more information.

Figures should be numbered in order in the text.  A caption must be supplied for each figure.  The caption should not repeat what is written in the text material and should follow the Journal style (please refer to recent issues for examples).  All captions should be placed in a list at the end of the main document. Please remember to supply captions for figures that will be published electronically.  The caption must describe all labels in a figure.  For images, the caption should include the type of image, its plane, whether or not contrast material was used, the pulse sequence information for MR images and the features to be observed by the reader.  However, full details of the MR sequences should be described in the methods section, not in the caption.

j)      Statistical reporting

The Editors advise reading “Statistical recommendations for papers submitted to Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology” (Rigby AS, Dev Med Child Neurol 2010; 52: 293–298) for guidelines on appropriate use and reporting of statistical analyses. Authors are recommended to work with a statistician where appropriate.

k)    Supporting information (supplementary material)

DMCN publishes online supporting information (including audio and video files, data sets, additional images, and large appendices) that cannot be included in the print version of an article. This material should be relevant to and supportive of the parent article. For guidelines see

Authors are encouraged to submit video material to support their papers (e.g. to demonstrate techniques or methods, or to demonstrate a randomised controlled trial protocol).

l)      Author Podcasts and Author Videos

Authors are encouraged to submit a short (two minute) podcast or video highlighting the key features of their article, outlining what is novel in their paper, to encourage readers to access the content.

  1. The recording must be continuous and of sufficient quality for us to publish online i.e. no shaking, blurring or interference.

2.      The resolution should be 1280 x 720 (16 x 9 HD) or 640 x 480 (4:3 SD), if possible.

3.      The recording should last no longer than two minutes.

4.      The file must be less than 2GB in size.

5.      The file must be saved in MPEG, MP3 or MP4 format.

Here are some tips to assist your recording:

1.      Choose a neutral, flat, still background with good light and without background noise.

2.      Make sure you are central in the view finder/screen on the camera and that you are sitting an appropriate distance away so that your upper body fills the screen.

3.      Please dress formally, remain relatively still throughout the recording and smile.

4.      Follow the script below.

5.      Speak slowly, and breathe normally when you reach a natural pausing place.

6.      If possible, use a tripod, or ensure that the camera/recording device is placed on a flat surface to avoid shaking.

7.      Ask a colleague to start and stop the recording.

Your script should follow this format:

1.      “Our/my paper in DMCN is [a study of XXXX or a review of XXXXX]”

2.       “What’s already known about this topic is [xxxxx]”

3.       “What’s new in our/my article is [xxxx]”


Please be aware that the content of the video should not display overt product advertising.

In addition to the video file, please can you send an accompanying still portrait of yourself/ yourselves. The picture should be a head shot and can be taken using a digital camera or mobile phone. This should be saved as a JPEG or TIFF file.

Please send the video file along with your portrait and an Online Video Broadcast Release Form, by email to DMCN Journal together with details of the paper to which it refers.


4.    Selection and publication

a)    Editorial review

Submissions are subjected to an editorial discussion about their general suitability for the journal. This may lead to the decision to not accept the paper, or to send for review by at least two independent referees. During the submission process, authors have the opportunity to suggest up to three suitable independent referees (with their contact details), but the choice of referee rests with the Editors. At a late stage in the review process, papers with statistical analyses undergo specific statistical review.

Editors and editorial board members are not involved in editorial processes or decisions about their own work.

Reviewers are asked to disclose potential conflicts of interest when they are invited to review a paper and when they submit their review.

Papers thought to have immediate, clinically important consequences may be considered for fast-track publication. The decision to prioritize remains with the Editors.

b)   After acceptance

The Editors reserve the right to determine whether accepted papers will be published in the online version of an issue (‘E-Papers’) or in both the print and the online version. E-Papers are listed in the table of contents of the issue in which they are published, and their abstracts and citation information appear in the print issue.

After acceptance, authors will be able to track the progress of their article through production to publication by registering for Author Services with Wiley Blackwell. Authors will be sent information about how to register for Author Services once their article has been accepted.

When an accepted paper has been copy-edited, has been approved by the authors, and is ready for publication, it will normally be posted online in the journal’s ‘EarlyView’ section before allocation to an issue.  EarlyView articles are in their final form and are fully published and citable.

Authors receive a free PDF of the paper soon after publication. Reprints may be ordered when returning proofs. Please send no payment: an invoice will be sent shortly after you receive the reprints.

c)    After publication

Authors are encouraged to promote their articles, for example, through social media.

If errors affecting the interpretation of data or information are discovered after publication, an erratum will be published in the next available issue of the journal and published online.

5.     Style points

Jargon Avoid it strenuously. The journal aims to communicate across disciplines, and many of its readers do not have English as their first language, so plain language is always preferred. The Editors may clarify and shorten manuscripts accepted for publication as necessary.

Abbreviations These should be kept to a minimum and restricted to those that are generally recognised. They must be spelled out in full on first usage in text and again in figure captions and table footnotes. They should be avoided in titles, headings and subheadings.

Participant details Give mean (SD) age in years and months (not decimal years) and sex (n, not %). Ensure this information is included in the abstract. In the text, indicate where study and comparison groups are from and how participants were selected.

Measurements Use SI units, except for blood pressure (mmHg); convert imperial units to metric. Do not use percentages for sample sizes below 50; use the symbol ‘%’ in tables. Show standard deviations as (SD), not ±. Abbreviate probability with a lower case italicized p.

Numbers In general, use numerals, but spell out numbers at the beginning of sentences. Spell out numbers ‘one’ to ‘nine’ if they refer to nouns that are not units of measurement, e.g. ‘The results from four children confirm the findings’. For ages and time periods, use years, months, weeks and days, not decimals (e.g. 5 years 3 months, not 5.25 years).

Equipment and drugs Include (in parentheses) the name of the manufacturer, the city, and country of production.