Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 12

Edited By: Professor O. James Garden

Impact Factor: 2.675

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 36/76 (Gastroenterology & Hepatology); 46/198 (Surgery)

Online ISSN: 1477-2574

Author Guidelines

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Please read new guidelines on Expression of data

HPB Instructions for Authors

HPB publishes original articles, reviews, meta-analyses, systematic reviews and randomized clinical trials, all of which are submitted to rigorous peer review.  HPB subscribes to the policies published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and adheres to publishing ethics guidelines published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).  HPB now requires Corresponding Authors to complete an Author Statement on behalf of all co-authors before acceptance of the manuscript.  The Author Statement form can be found here; copies may also be requested from the Editorial Office.

1.      Important information for Authors

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; authors will be asked to confirm that this is the case during the electronic submission process.  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.  Please submit with your manuscript copies of any other papers (including abstracts) - published, in press, or submitted for consideration elsewhere - that relate in whole or in part to the same data set; this is essential to enable assessment of any potential overlap by the Editors.  Indicate on the title page whether the paper is based on a previous communication to a society or meeting.

Articles and their illustrations become the property of the Journal unless rights are reserved before publication.

2.      Article Types

Please note that HPB no longer publishes Case Studies, Technical Reports, Image of the Issue and How I do It. Authors interested in submitting manuscripts in these categories are encouraged to submit to the "My HPB" website instead.

a)        Leading articles

The Editors commission leading articles of 800–1000 words and up to ten references.  A single author is preferred.  Submissions may be subject to peer review and the Editors retain the right to alter textual style. 

b)       Reviews (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses)

Priority will be given to work that addresses a topic of current interest.  All meta-analyses of randomized trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the PRISMA statement, which is designed to improve manuscript quality.  Authors must include a suitable PRISMA flow chart in their submission (click here for a template) as well as the checklist (upload the checklist under the file designation 'Other').  Further advice on suitability is available from the Editor-in-Chief (ojgarden@ed.ac.uk).

Reviews must include a structured abstract (maximum 200 words), should not exceed 3,500 words of text and 50 to 75 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 4 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.

Useful resources for Authors of review articles include the article ‘Systematic reviews and meta-analysis for the surgeon scientist’ by Galandiuk and colleagues, and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

HPB will consider for publication Cochrane review articles that have been substantially shortened and re-written for a surgical audience, but such submissions must state this on the title page of the manuscript, and copies of the original article must be sent to the editorial office for consideration. You must also apply for permission from the Cochrane Library – further information on how to do this is available in the Cochrane Manual. These articles will be subject to the usual HPB peer review process.

c)        Prospective clinical trials

HPB expects all authors to register prospective clinical trials in a suitable electronic and freely accessible registry (e.g.  www.clinicaltrials.gov, www.controlled-trials.com), according to the ICMJE guidelines1,8.  For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between an intervention and a health outcome.  The registration number of the clinical trial should be quoted at the end of the abstract.  If you wish the Editor to consider an unregistered trial, please explain why the trial has not been registered.

In addition, all randomized clinical trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the CONSORT statement and investigators must include a suitable CONSORT flow chart in their submission (click here for a template) as well as the checklist (upload the checklist under the file designation 'Other').  The primary end point and power calculation must be clearly stated, and randomized clinical trials should be clearly identified as such in both the title and the abstract.

Randomized clinical trials must include a structured abstract (maximum 200 words), should not exceed 3,000 words of text and 50 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 5 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.

d)        Original articles

Original articles should normally be in the format of Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.  Original articles must include a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer (further information can be found below), should not exceed 5,000 words of text and 50 references. Figures and tables are usually limited to 5 (combined total) but in exceptional cases more may be permitted at the discretion of the editors.

e)        Correspondence

The Editors welcome topical correspondence from readers relating to articles published in the Journal.  Letters must be no more than 250 words in length, including no more than five references. 

f)          Invited Commentary

The Editors may seek an invited commentary which will accompany a topical original article. This should normally be fewer than 500 words with no more than five references. The Editors retain the right to alter textual style. 

g)         Guidelines

Guidelines that accompany an article may be considered for publication in the journal.  If you intend to prepare guidelines from a consensus meeting and are interested in submitting them to the journal please consult with the Editor-in-Chief (ojgarden@ed.ac.uk) in the first instance.

3.      Preparation of manuscripts

HPB subscribes to the policy of uniform requirements for manuscripts; this facilitates resubmission of papers to journals without extensive recasting.  Authors are advised to consult the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.  HPB accepts the criteria for authorship proposed in the ICMJE 1, 10 and subscribes to the COPE guidelines on good publication practice 2.  These guidelines are summarised below.

a)        Authorship

For research papers, Authorship should be decided at the launch of the study.  The Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published.  Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3.

Contributors who do not qualify as Authors should be listed and their particular contribution described in the Acknowledgements section of the article.  On submission of the article, the corresponding author will be asked to confirm how all individuals listed as Authors meet the appropriate authorship criteria, that no-one who qualifies for authorship has been omitted from the list, that written authorization has been received from all co-authors, that contributors and all funding sources (for Authors and Contributors) have been properly acknowledged and that authors and contributors have approved the acknowledgement of their contribution.

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all authors have seen, approved and are fully conversant with the contents of the manuscript.  All authors are responsible for the accuracy of the manuscript, including all statistical calculations and drug doses.

All authors listed within the manuscript must be added as co-authors of the manuscript on Scholar One at submission.

b)       Group authorship

Results of multicentre studies may be reported under the name of the organizing group; however, the group should identify individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript.  These individuals should meet the criteria for authorship described above.  The individual authors who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript should list the members of the larger authorship group in an appendix to their acknowledgements.

c)        Contributors

Authors must acknowledge any assistance that they received (e.g. provision of writing assistance, literature searching, data analysis, administrative support, supply of materials).  If/how this assistance was funded should be described and included with other funding information.  Written approval should be obtained from anybody listed in acknowledgements, as readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions.

4.      Submission guidelines

a)        Preferred file formats

Manuscripts must be written in English and prepared in 12-point type in one of the standard fonts: Times New Roman, Helvetica or Courier. It must be double spaced.

The full title page, main text and tables must be submitted as a single document in Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Please do not submit text in PDF format (.pdf). Figures prepared as true images (e.g. .tiff, .jpeg or .eps) can be submitted as separate files.

b)       Title page

On the title page please state: (1) the title of the article; (2) the name and initials of each author; (3) the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed; (4) the name, postal and e-mail addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers of the author responsible for correspondence and to whom requests for reprints should be addressed; (5) sources of funding for research and/or publication; (6) the category in which the manuscript is being submitted (original article, review, randomized clinical trial); and (7) whether the paper is based on a previous communication to a society or meeting (with full details).

c)        Abstract

This must contain fewer than 200 words in a structured format.  Background: state why the study was done, the main aim and the nature of the study (randomized clinical trial, retrospective review, experimental study etc.).  Methods: describe patients, laboratory material and other methods used.  Results: state the main findings, including important numerical values.  Discussion: state the main conclusions, highlighting controversial or unexpected observations.

d)        Main text

The main text of the paper may have separate Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion sections (these sections may not be applicable to all article types, e.g. reviews).  A short Acknowledgements paragraph may also be included. When quoting specific materials, equipment and proprietary drugs, the name and address of the manufacturer must be given in parentheses.  Generic names should normally be used. Any data mentioned in the abstract or discussion must be presented in the results section of the main text.

It is appreciated that there are a variety of writing styles, but the HPB editorship would like to ensure a degree of uniformity in the presentation of the manuscript. Ensure that the Abstract describes the content of the manuscript accurately. The Abstract may be all that is seen when a search engine is used and will draw potential readers to the contents of the main article. The Introduction should be focused and brief, putting the current study into context. Methodology and Results sections should be well structured and should avoid redundancy. If tables are used, avoid repetition of results in the text. Avoid the use of personal pronouns and ensure that patients are not referred to as ‘cases’. The Discussion should focus on the results of the study and discuss these in the context of the existing literature. Highlight those areas of the study that bring new information to the reader.

e)        Tables and illustrations

Please see Section 2: Article Types on the limit of number of figures and tables for each manuscript category.

Submit each illustration as a separate file except compound figures e.g.  1a, 1b, 1c etc, which should be supplied as a single file.  Tables should be included as part of the main text file at the end of the manuscript, not embedded in the text. Type each table on a new page with a brief title.  Supply artwork at the intended size for printing.  Line drawings are acceptable as clear black on white graphics and must be high quality.  Use hatchings, not tints.  All illustrations must be supplied at the correct resolution:

1200 dpi (dots per inch) for black and white line art (simple bar graphs, etc.)

300 dpi for halftones (black and white photographs)

600 dpi for combination halftones (photographs that also contain line art such as labelling or thin lines)

Illustrations in colour are encouraged and will be printed at no cost to the author.  Label each illustration with the figure number and lead author’s name.  Indicate the top of the illustration and a measure of magnification for photomicrographs.  Include explanations of symbols and shading within the figure, use arrows to identify particular areas of interest.  Survival curves must be accompanied by a table giving the actual numbers of patients involved and should be truncated when the numbers at risk are small; that is, when they are less than one-third of the starting figure.  Include in the legends to illustrations, and the footnotes to tables, brief but comprehensive explanations of all the information presented.  Look at recent issues of the Journal for examples of accepted layout.

f)         Abbreviations

Avoid using abbreviations.  Terms that are mentioned frequently may be abbreviated but only if this does not impair comprehension.  Abbreviations must be used consistently and must be defined on first use.

g)        Numbers and units

Provide absolute numbers always; percentages may be given in addition but never on their own (percentages are not acceptable for sample sizes less than 50).  Use the decimal point, not a comma; for example 5.7.  Use a space and not a comma after thousands and multiples thereof; for example 10 000.  Use SI units (International System of Units) except for the measurement of blood pressure (mmHg).

h)        Statistics and design

Set out clearly the objectives of the study; identify the primary and secondary hypotheses, the chosen end-points and justify the sample size with a power calculation.

Clearly describe methods used for analysis; methods not in common usage should be referenced.  Report results of statistical tests by stating the value of the test statistic, the number of degrees of freedom and the P value.  Actual P values should always be reported to three decimal places, especially when the result is not significant.  The results of the primary analyses should be reported using confidence intervals instead of, or in addition to, P values.  For detailed guidance on the handling of statistical material consult the article by Murray 11.

i)          Expression of data

All results should be presented as actual numbers.

For nominal data with denominators greater than 50, percentages should be given to 1 decimal place.

For continuous data non parametric descriptors (median and range) and statistical analysis (e.g. Mann Whitney U) should be performed unless it can be shown (statistically) that data are normally distributed in which case it is reasonable to use parametric tests (e.g. student t-test).

Extensive use of tables is encouraged and data provided in tables should not be repeated in text. All tables, figures and graphs must have a stand alone legend which enables interpretation without the need to refer to the text.

P values should be standardised to 3 decimal places and should include actual values for those values that are non-significant.

For Kaplan-Meier curves the following should be adhered to:

a) Numbers at risk should be given below the x-axis in line with the time value.
b) Survival curves must be accompanied by a table giving the actual numbers of patients involved and each individual graph should be truncated when the numbers at risk are small; that is, the number at risk reaches the greater of either 1/10th of the original denominator or 5.
c) Censored variables should be shown.

j)          References

Use double spacing in the Vancouver style.  Reference to abstracts and personal communications is discouraged.  In the text, number references consecutively by superscript: e.g.  1 or 1-3.  References cited only in tables or figures should be numbered in sequence. If a reference has fewer than 7 authors, please supply all of their names. If there are 7 or more authors, please supply the first 6 authors' names followed by et al.

k.)        Supporting Information

Supporting Information can be a useful way for an author to include important but ancillary information with the online version of an article. Examples of Supporting Information include additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. Supporting Information should be cited within the article text, and a descriptive legend should be included. It is published as supplied by the author, and a proof is not made available prior to publication; for these reasons, authors should provide any Supporting Information in the desired final format.

For further information on recommended file types and requirements for submission, please visit: http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/suppinfo.asp

5.      Copyright and permissions (Ownership)

Authors must declare that the submitted work is their own and that copyright has not been breached in seeking its publication.  Before publication, therefore, a copyright transfer agreement signed by all authors is required.  In addition, it is the authors’ responsibility to obtain written permission to reproduce (in all media, including electronic) any material that has appeared previously in another publication.  Authors should provide copies of permission letters for any material reproduced from copyrighted publications.  Submitted material will not be returned to the author unless specifically requested.

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 in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp

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 http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp and visit http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25db4c87/Copyright--License.html

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit: http://www.wiley.com/go/funderstatement

For RCUK and Wellcome Trust 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 http://authorservices.wiley.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp and visit http://www.wileyopenaccess.com/details/content/12f25db4c87/Copyright--License.html

6.      OnlineOpen

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at: http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-406241.html

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

7.      Research ethics

Human investigation and animal experiments must have local ethics committee approval and, if human participants were involved, manuscripts must be accompanied by a statement that the experiments were undertaken with the understanding and appropriate informed consent of each.  Written consent must be obtained from the patient (legal guardian or executor, if appropriate) for publication of any detail or photograph that might identify an individual.  Submit evidence of such consent with the manuscript.

The journal requires authors of human transplantation manuscripts from the People’s Republic of China to provide statements to confirm (1) that consent was obtained to the use of donor organs for transplantation, either from the donor in life or from the family of the donor; and (2) that none of the donors were prisoners who were executed. These two statements are distinct and must both be provided before a manuscript can enter the review process. These criteria are designed to provide reassurance that ethical standards of organ donation have been met, in keeping with the editorial policy of HPB.

Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been followed.

8.      Publication ethics

a)        Originality

On submission of the manuscript the corresponding author must warrant that the article is an original work, has not been published before, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere in its final form, in either printed or electronic media.

Publication of abstracts and presentations at scientific meetings will not jeopardise full publication.  Authors should declare that any republication of the data (e.g.  in secondary analysis or translation) will not constitute redundant publication, will not breach copyright, and will reference the original publication.

b)       Redundant (multiple) publication

HPB does not consider the following to be prior publication:  abstracts and posters at conferences, results presented at meetings (for example, to inform investigators or participants about findings) and results databases (data without interpretation, discussion, context or conclusions in the form of tables and text to describe data/information where this is not easily presented in tabular form).  Manuscripts that have been published previously in another language should state this on the title page of the submission.  Manuscripts that have been previously published in English that are submitted with the aim of serving different audiences are not generally accepted by HPB (an exception to this is the publication of substantially shortened Cochrane Review articles; see section 2.b).

Editors may request copies of related publications if they are concerned about overlap and possible redundancy.

Sub-group analyses, meta-, and secondary analyses should be clearly identified as analyses of data that have already been published, and must refer to the primary source.

c)        Conflict of interest statements

All authors must provide details of financial interests (including employment, significant share ownership, patent rights, consultancy, research funding, speaker’s fees) in an company or institution that might benefit from the publication of the submitted article.  In addition, authors must provide details of any other potential competing interests that readers or editors might consider relevant to their publication (for example, political, intellectual, or religious interests).

d)        Research and publication misconduct

HPB adheres to COPE guidelines[ii] and will pursue cases of suspected research and publication misconduct (including falsification, fabrication, plagiarism, inappropriate image manipulation, redundant publication and authorship misdemeanours).  In such cases, HPB will follow the processes set out in the COPE flowcharts12.  Authors found guilty of misconduct can expect their behaviour to be reported to the head of the relevant institution, and details of the case may be highlighted in the pages of the journal13.  If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of an article published in HPB, please write to the Editor-in-Chief at ojgarden@ed.ac.uk.

e)        Research or publication funding

Authors must disclose all sources of funding for their research and its publication on the title page of the manuscript.  Involvement of the funder in study design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript preparation and publication decisions should be clearly stated, and Authors are also asked to confirm that they had complete access to the study data that support the publication.

9.      Manuscript submission

HPB operates an online submission and peer review system that enables authors to submit articles online and track their progress via a web interface.  Any queries regarding ScholarOne Manuscripts or manuscript submission should be directed to the HPB Editorial Office (HPBedoffice@wiley.com).

Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hpb

 Authors whose first language is not English may wish to consult a specialist English Language editing/proofing service before submission.  Please contact the HPB Editorial Office if you would like to receive the details of such services.

10.      Author resources


From the Publishers of HPB, Author Resources offers a full menu of customizable research capabilities and special features to guide Authors through every stage of the publication process.  Available tools include: Citation Download – download citations and abstracts directly into reference management software; Citation Tracking – see which other papers have cited the article that you’re currently reading, ToC Alerts – sign up to receive tables of content from selected journals; Saved Search Alerts – store and re-run detailed search queries, and opt to receive an email each time new content matching your defined search is published online.  In addition, the ‘Track my Articles’ function enables Authors to track articles through the HPB publication process and opt-in to receive email notification when their article is published online.

11. Peer review and editing      

On submission of a manuscript for publication, the submission is checked for compliance with these author instructions.  If the submission is complete, the Editor-in-Chief assesses the manuscript for suitability.  A small percentage of manuscripts are rejected without peer review at this stage; for example, if the article type is inappropriate (for example, HPB does not publish case reports), if the subject matter is unsuitable for the HPB readership (for example, ‘A new method of internal fixation of fractures of the fibula’), or if the scientific and/or surgical merit of the paper is flawed (for example, if it is not ethical).  All other articles are allocated to a specialist Editor, who either selects relevant referees for single-blind peer-review (the referees know the identity of the authors, but the authors do not know the identity of the referees) or consults with at least one other Editor before rejecting the manuscript without peer review (for the reasons outlined above).

This ‘triage’ system of rejecting a small percentage of manuscripts without peer review serves two purposes.  Firstly, quick decisions on papers unsuitable for HPB facilitate submission to another Journal in a timely fashion and, secondly, the Journal’s most valuable asset – the referees – are not overloaded with manuscripts that will not be accepted for publication.

Three referees are usually invited to comment on each submission; if the first two referee reports are in agreement the Editor, a decision is made on the basis of two reports, hopefully saving the third referee some valuable time.  When the opinions of the referees differ significantly, the manuscript is discussed by the Editors.  When a decision has been reached this is communicated to the Author.

Articles not subjected to peer review include solicited leading articles, in which case the topic and structure of the article is largely designed by the Editor-in-Chief in collaboration with the author, the correspondence section, book reviews, all of which are overseen to the highest standards by a dedicated HPB Editor.

The Editors’ decision is final unless there is proven to be an error in the process of manuscript evaluation or peer review.  If you believe that there has been an error of process in the handling of your manuscript, please address your concerns to the Editor-in-Chief at ojgarden@ed.ac.uk, quoting the manuscript submission number.

12. Proofing

On acceptance of a manuscript it is edited by both an Editor and a copy editor before being sent for typesetting.  If there are extensive queries at this stage, the Authors may be asked to provide clarification before the typesetting process.  Proofs are sent approximately 6–8 weeks after acceptance via e-mail as a link to a PDF file.  Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file — this software can be downloaded free of charge.  Further instructions will be sent with the proof.  Absent authors should arrange for a colleague to access the e-mail to retrieve the proof.

13. References

Vancouver style. Journal titles should be in italics. If the journal title is more than 1 word, please abbreviate. The page range should be listed in full as 123-124 instead of 123-4. Please list up to 6 authors. If there are more than 6 authors, list the first 6 authors followed by et al. There should not be a comma before et al. Issue numbers should not be included in the references. The journal HPB should be listed as HPB.


1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication. Available at http://www.icmje.org (last accessed 13 January 2014).

2. The Committee on Publication Ethics. Available at http://www.publicationethics.org.uk (last accessed 13 January 2014).

3. Valle J, Wasan H, Palmer DH, Cunningham D, Anthoney D, Maraveyas A et al. (2010) Cisplatin plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine for biliary tract cancer. N Engl J Med 362:1273–1281.

4. Moher D, Cook DJ, Eastwood S, Olkin I, Rennie D, Stroup DF. (1999) Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials: the QUOROM statement. Lancet 354:1896-1900.

5. Sauerland S, Seiler CM. (2005) Role of Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis in Evidence-based Medicine. World J Surg 29:582-587.

6. Sherman M. (2010) Epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncology 78 (Suppl. 1):7-10.

7. The Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Manual Issue 3 2007 [updated 24 May 2007] Available at http://www.cochrane.org/admin/manual.htm (last accessed 13 January 2014).

8. Surgical Journal Editors Group. (2007) Consensus statement on mandatory registration of clinical trials. Ann Surg 245:505–506.

9. CONSORT. Available at http://www.consort-statement.org (last accessed 13 January 2014).

10. Surgical Journal Editors Group. (2006) Consensus statement on surgery journal authorship. Ann Thorac Surg 81:2343-2344.

11. Phillips SJ, Whisnant HP. (1995) Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, eds. Hypertension: Pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management, 2nd edn. New York: Raven Press, pp. 465-478.

12. Committee on Publication Ethics Flowcharts. Available at http://publicationethics.org/flowcharts (last accessed 13 January 2014).

13. Murie JA, Sarr MG, Warshaw AL. (2006) A tale of three papers. Br J Surg 93:1560-1562.

14. Surgical Journal Editors Group. (2002) Scientific data from clinical trials: investigators’ responsibilities and rights. Am J Surg 183:605-6.

14. Offprints

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via author services only. Please therefore sign up for author services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers. Paper offprints may be ordered at prices quoted on the order form, which accompanies the proofs, provided that the form is returned with the proofs. The cost is more if the form arrives too late for the main print run. Offprints are normally dispatched within three weeks of publication of the issue in which the paper appears. Please contact the publishers if offprints do not arrive: however, please note that offprints are sent by surface mail, so overseas orders may take up to six weeks to arrive. Electronic offprints are sent to the first author at his or her first email address on the title page of the paper, unless advised otherwise; therefore please ensure that the name, address and email address of the receiving author are clearly indicated on the manuscript title page if he or she is not the first author of the paper.