The Journal of the British Medical Ultrasound Society, Ultrasound is dedicated solely to publishing ultrasound-related topics for users of this rapidly evolving specialty. It provides a forum for presentation of relevant scientific and technical advances in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications of ultrasound. The international editorial board publishes high quality educational articles, useful for everyday practice, alongside reviews, research and case studies.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
Ultrasound is the official journal of the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS), a multidisciplinary, charitable society comprising radiologists, obstetricians, sonographers, physicists and veterinarians among others. The journal aims to cover all aspects of medical ultrasound from the theoretical through to clinical applications and their impact on both workforce and patients.
The journal fulfils both an educational and scientific research role. It publishes a mixture of invited review articles, current research, and descriptions of new techniques and equipment. Our editorial board ensures scientific papers undergo stringent peer review prior to publication and acts to encourage authors to submit their work to the journal. Ultrasound does not confine itself to British views but welcomes authors from the UK and overseas.
|Mrs Hazel Edwards MSc., PGCert., DCR(R)||East & North Herts NHS Trust, UK|
|Dr Sean Cournane PhD, Cphys, CSci||St Vincent's University Hospital, Ireland|
|Dr Cheng Fang FRCR||King's College Hospital, London, UK|
|Mr. Colin Griffin MSc, BSc (Hons)||Royal Liverpool University Hospital, UK|
|Dr David Oxborough PhD, MSc, BHSc||Liverpool John Moores University, UK|
|Trudy Sevens||Sheffield Hallam University, UK|
|Timothy P. Canavan MD, MSc||University of Pittsburgh, USA|
Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Ultrasound
Ultrasound is the official journal of the British Medical Ultrasound Society, and covers all aspects of medical ultrasound from technological advances through to clinical applications and their impact on both workforce and patients. The journal fulfils an educational and research role, publishing informative review articles, original research, best practice guidelines, case reports, clinical audits, and descriptions of new techniques and equipment. Our international Editorial Board welcomes contributions from the UK and overseas, and ensures that all articles are subject to rigorous peer review.
Ultrasound has full editorial independence from the British Medical Ultrasound Society. Final decisions are at the Editor in Chief’s discretion.
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.
This Journal recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ult to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Ultrasound will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
2.7 Clinical trials
2.8 Reporting guidelines
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplementary material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
5.4 Title Page
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 SAGE Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Ultrasound, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Articles usually take the following formats, although ultimately this is at the Editor's discretion.
Original scientific and medical research articles relating to any aspect of medical ultrasound. Maximum length for manuscripts is 4,000 words, plus up to six tables or figures and 40 references. Structured headings are required.
Authoritative reviews of medical issues, gathering together disparate information sources into a single coherent article. Maximum length for review is 5,000 words, plus up to eight tables or figures and 50 references.
Informative, topical or educational articles on any subject relating to ultrasound in medicine (e.g. professional development issues, surveys and best practice guidelines). Maximum length for essays is 4,000 words, plus up to six tables or figures and 30 references.
Case reports should be either a novel presentation of a common condition, or a common presentation of a rare condition. All case reports should provide a clear educational ('take-home') message. Maximum length for case reports is 2,000 words plus four tables or figures and up to 10 references. Structured headings are desirable. Please note that written informed consent to publish the images and medical details is required for all case studies.
Communication in response to articles previously published in Ultrasound. Maximum length for letters is 500 words plus up to one table or figure and five references.
Book reviews should be no more than 500 words in length, usually commissioned by the Editor.
Short pieces on topical subjects, usually commissioned by the Editor. 1,000 words, plus up to 10 references.
Feature articles should be no longer than 4,000 words in length, excluding references.
The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
All contributions to Ultrasound will be considered for publication on the understanding that they are not under consideration/accepted for publication or already published elsewhere. All will be peer-reviewed by at least two independent reviewers, and the final decision on acceptance or rejection will remain with the Editors. Ultrasound adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties, so there is no possibility of bias in any editorial decision.
As part of the submission process you will be invited to provide the names of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:
- The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission;
- The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors;
- Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted.
Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended reviewers or negate to invite an opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.
Ultrasound is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper, and as such has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third party service that seeks to track, verify and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for Ultrasound can opt in to Publons in order to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal, but the article name, reviewer’s decision and the content of their review is not published on the site. For more information visit the Publons website.
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.
2.3.1 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Ultrasound requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading within their title page (please see section 5.4 for additional information). Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Ultrasound to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included within your title page. Please see section 5.4 for additional information. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.
For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the title page (please see section 5.4 for additional information) that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.
Any article containing identifiable patient information must be accompanied by a letter from the authors confirming that the patient has given written informed consent to publication. Patient’s names, initials or hospital numbers should never be published in written descriptions. Other information (age, gender, race, etc) should only be included where it is essential for scientific purposes. The Editors may also ask authors to remove personal information that, whilst interesting and colourful, does not add to the substance of an article, but does increase the likelihood of parties being identified. If there is any doubt about whether or not information is identifiable, the Editors are happy to discuss this before an article is submitted. Reviewers will also be asked to take careful account of issues relating to patient confidentiality when reviewing articles.
For case studies, written consent to publish images and medical details must always be obtained from the patient or their guardian / responsible family member. Not only should submissions be accompanied by the letter confirming written informed consent, but the Editors also expect to be informed about the measures that have been taken to anonymise the details that could have led to parties being identified. They also reserve the right to work with the authors to make additional anonymising changes as they or the reviewers see fit.
Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patients hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The journal has adopted the Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Veterinary Journals published by the International Association of Veterinary Editors.
Ultrasound conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.
SAGE acknowledges the importance of research data availability as an integral part of the research and verification process for academic journal articles.
Ultrasound requests all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles alongside their article submissions to be published in the online version of the journal, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility. Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor may consider limited embargoes on proprietary data. The editor can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations.
SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.
Ultrasound and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.
Ultrasound offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.
Tables: Tables should be formatted in Word and accompanied by a brief title. Please number tables in the order in which they are mentioned in the text.
Figures: All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text and accompanied by a figure legend. Images (e.g. ultrasound images) must be supplied at high resolution, preferably 600 dpi. Images supplied at less than 300 dpi are unsuitable for print and will delay publication. The preferred file format is .tif. Please supply each image in a separate file (not within a Word document) and list the figure legends at the end of the main text.
Graphs and diagrams should be produced electronically and clearly labelled using a sans serif font such as Arial. Please ensure that figure labels will be consistent with the size of the main text in final reproduction. Graphs may be supplied as Excel spreadsheets (one per sheet).
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.
Ultrasound adheres to the SAGE Vancouver reference style. View the SAGE Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Ultrasound is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ULT to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
Files should be uploaded in the following order: (1) Title page (2) Main text;; (3) Tables (if not included in main text; (4) Figures; (5) Supplementary files (this includes online-only supplementary files, e.g. video files).
Please ensure all tracked changes are removed from files prior to submission.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.
All previously published material must be accompanied by the written consent to reproduction of the copyright holder. An acknowledgement of permission should be included at the relevant point in the paper, and a full reference to the original place of publication should be included in the reference list.
Please complete the Title Page template in full and submit as a separate document entitled ‘Title Page'.
Any manuscripts which are not accompanied by a completed Title Page template will be returned. Please note that there should be no tracked changes on the Title Page document.
The following statements should be included in the title page under the heading ‘Declarations’ for every manuscript submitted. These will be published at the end of every paper accepted for publication.
Please see the below example of a completed declarations section:
Conflicting interests: HG is an employee of Statins Incorp. EF has received grants from Globescape plc. LM provides consultative advice to Lab Tests Ltd.
Funding: This research was funded by the University of York
Ethical approval: The ethics committee of Northern Yorkshire approved this study (REC number: GH23335H)
Contributorship: LM and HG researched literature and conceived the study. EF was involved in protocol development, gaining ethical approval, patient recruitment and data analysis. AB wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Sarah Powells for her assistance and guidance in this research. We would also like to thank Globescape plc for providing reagents at a reduced cost.
*Please state author names as initials*
** The guarantor is the person willing to take full responsibility for the article, including for the accuracy and appropriateness of the reference list. This will often be the most senior member of the research group and is commonly also the author for correspondence.**
A structured abstract of no more than 250 words must accompany all articles except letters and book reviews. The structure of the abstract should be as follows:
Original Research: Introduction (description of rationale for study), Methods (brief description of methods or study design), Results (summary of significant results), and Conclusions (succinct statement of data interpretation).
Case Reports: Introduction, Case Report, Discussion and Conclusion.
Review Articles: Introduction, Method, Findings, Discussion and Conclusion.
Essays: Introduction, “Topic Description”, Discussion and Conclusion.
Please be concise, avoid the use of acronyms and abbreviations, and do not cite references in the abstract.
Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.