Publications > Journals > Exploratory Research and Hypothesis in Medicine > Instruction for Authors

Instruction for authors
Content List
    I.  Article-specific Formatting Requirements 
   II.  General Formatting Requirements for All Article Types 
  III.  Specific Instructions for Exploratory Journals 
  IV.  Authorship Criteria 
   V.  Ethical Conduct in the Scientific Process
  VI.  Ethics in Publication 
 VII.  Peer Review and Editorial Process 
VIII.  Submissions from Editors, Members of the Editorial Board, or Employees 
  IX.  Conflict of Interest Statement 
   X.  Copyright and Permission 
  XI.  Article Processing Charge  
I. Article-specific Formatting Requirements

Original Research

Original research manuscripts should describe experimental and/or clinical studies in biomedicine, including exploratory and hypothesis-driven studies of basic or applied research. The data described in the article should have been generated exclusively from an original research study, and the results should be supported by appropriate statistical analyses.


Review manuscripts should describe the most recent advances or challenges in a specific field or specialty of Biomedicine. The information should be presented as a logical summary of the current knowledge and should provide novel insights into the topic and reasoned recommendations for future research directions. Illustrations, diagrams, algorithms, tables, and other visual aids are strongly encouraged.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor should describe timely issues related to a previous publication. These letters should use constructive and professional comments to expand upon the issue, providing novel and reasoned insights into and/or updates on the topic under discussion. All opinions stated in the letter should be supported by the most current topically relevant literature.

Commentaries and Editorials

Commentary and Editorial articles should present reasoned opinions on a topically relevant issue that is currently trending in biomedicine. It is intended to motivate readers to consider seriously the topic and its potential for affecting the field and/or specialty.

Case Reports

Case Reports should describe an individual or series of patient cases that have a timely and significant influence on the field or in a specialty of biomedicine. These reports should provide novel insights into a particular pathological or physiological issue related to Pharmacology, supported by well-described background information for both the case(s) (from documented medical records) and disease (from the literature).

A. Original Research Articles

The manuscript, excluding the Abstract but including the References, must not exceed 5000 words and have no more than 50 references.


i. Abstract

The Abstract will be written as a complete but succinct summary of the study, its main objectives, results, key findings, and implications for the field or specialty. The Abstract may not exceed 275 words, will be structured with the following section headings: Background and Objective(s), Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Acronyms and abbreviations must be defined the first time they appear. Abbreviations will only be used if the abbreviated term appears 3 or more times in the Abstract. Footnotes and references are not permitted.


Abstract Headings

Background and objective(s): The Background statement supports the importance of the study’s objective(s). The Objective states the question(s) addressed by the study, from which the study design was determined.

Methods: This section briefly describes the basic study design and techniques used to fulfill the objective(s) of the study.

Results: The Results section reports the main data obtained by the study, including statistical values (e.g. confidence intervals or P-values). The results of each experiment described in the Methods should be stated. The appropriate values and statistical differences will be reported so that readers can determine the absolute as well as the relative impact of the results.

Conclusions: The Conclusions section should state only the logical interpretations that can be drawn from the data that was reported in the Results, and how the study contributes to the knowledge of the research or medical community.

Keywords: Three-to-four keywords should be selected from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) descriptor terms listed in the National Library of Medicine’s controlled vocabulary database. These terms can be searched using the MeSH browser at: The keywords will be presented in the row-list style and written in lowercase, separated by semicolons, with no period at the end of the list.

ii. Main Body of the Manuscript

The sections of the main body of the manuscript should be arranged in the following order: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Acknowledgments, References, Figure legends, Tables, Figures.


The Introduction should focus on the rationale for conducting the study—why it was performed, and why the objectives were formulated as they were. The Introduction should succinctly convey the authors’ depth of understanding of the problem(s) addressed by the study, and the work of other investigators in this area. The objective(s) is then succinctly stated in the final paragraph. The statement of the objective is the most important sentence of the paper, since it determines all that follows after it. A brief outline of the study design is optional, but sometimes highly recommended if the design is not immediately clear from the objective or to entice the reader to read further. The Introduction is not divided into subsections. The results and conclusions of the study should not be included in the Introduction.


The Methods section should provide all the details that would be required for another investigator to repeat the work as it was performed by the authors. A beginning subsection “Study design” is highly recommended, that gives an overview of how the study satisfied the objectives of the study (as stated in the last paragraph of the Introduction). Subsequent subsections should be presented in the order in which the protocols were performed.

It is highly recommended that each subsection begin with a sentence explaining the reason for the protocol, that is, how the protocol contributed to satisfying the objectives of the study. The steps taken for each protocol discussed in each subsection should be presented in the order in which they were performed. The results of an experiment should not be included in the Methods section, unless the results determined the direction of further experiments.

By convention, the last subsection should discuss the methods used to perform statistical analyses.

Methods that have been published previously and used without significant alteration may be described briefly, with the appropriate reference. When significant changes have been made to a method, however, those changes should be described in detail, with citations as appropriate. Do not have a separate subsection for listing materials or equipment; but do list the materials and equipment within the protocols if they influenced the data (see below). No materials or methods should be presented outside of the Methods section. Do not state or repeat the steps of an experimental procedure in the Results section or in the Figure Legends.

For human trials, the type of study should be indicated from the following list: randomized controlled trial, cross-sectional study, cohort study, case series, or survey. In addition, the following study-relevant information should be presented: participating institutions, number of subjects, method of selection, recruitment, enrollment, randomization, withdrawal and completion, and assignment to interventions, method of administration, and duration of the intervention. The authors will provide declarative statements that (a) informed consent in writing was obtained from each patient prior to enrollment; (b) the study protocol was approved by the appropriate institutional review committee (IRB), with the name of the committee and institution being clearly stated; and (c) the study conformed to the ethical guidelines of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki. No information that could identify a patient can be shown without express written permission from the patient.

For animal studies, it will be clearly stated that approval was obtained from an institutional animal care committee and that all animals received humane care in accordance with the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" prepared by the National Academy of Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication 86-23 revised 1985).

All experimental methods described in the Methods section must have accompanying data presented in the Results section or additional materials, and vice versa (all data presented must have the experimental procedures described in the Methods section). The complete names and locations (city, state/province and country) must be provided for the manufacturers of drugs, tools, instruments, software, reagents and equipment.


The subsections of the Results should correspond to the subsections of the Methods, as much as practical. Reasons for performing an experiment or protocol may be summarized, but not to replace explanations that more properly belong in the Methods section.

There should be data reported for each experiment described in the Methods section. The Results section should objectively present the data in a straightforward manner, noting the degree of significance in differences when appropriate. The Results section should not include interpretations of the data or conclusions, unless they redirected the investigation. Where data is presented in a table or figure, the data should be summarized in the text and the reader referred to the table or figure. Each table or figure should be referred to, and in numerical order.

The Results section usually does not include any background information or discussion of results from previously published studies. Therefore, in general, no references are present in the Results text.

Citing “data not shown” is discouraged; however, if unavoidable the term will be presented at the end of the sentence containing the description of the findings and written in parentheses as “…(data not shown)…”


It is highly recommended that the Discussion section begin with a very brief summary (1-3 sentences) of the study’s objectives, the methods used to achieve the objectives, and the results. Repetitions of information that was already provided in the Introduction, or information in support of the study’s importance or objectives, is misplaced and discouraged.

Remaining paragraphs of the Discussion should focus on interpretations of the data of the study, with thoughtful comments on the novelty or unexpected features of the results, and references to relevant past studies.

The paragraph before the final summary and conclusions should discuss the limitations of the study. Limitations of the study are only those features that weakened the statistical power of the data, or prevented the full realization of the study’s objectives (as stated in the Introduction).

New data (that is, that was not in the Results section) should not be presented in the Discussion section. The data presented in the Results section, including figures, tables and supplemental materials, should not be repeated in the Discussion section.

CONCLUSIONS: The Conclusions section should briefly summarize conclusions that are directly supported by the evidence, and comment on the implications of the findings.


This section should acknowledge any and all personal assistance and providers of special reagents from sources that do not fulfill the requirements of authorship; individuals’ names and affiliations should be provided in full. Grant support and other financial assistance should be specified, with grant numbers (if available; written as “No. ###”) and the author to whom the grant was awarded (written as abbreviated given name(s) and full last name “to AZ Wang”). The names of (in full and with affiliations, if applicable) and funding sources for individuals who provided writing assistance should be given in this section.


References will be cited according to the rules recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and NLM. References are numbered consecutively in the order in which they first appear in the paper, and are formatted within square brackets, for example, “Tam et al. [3] reported that…”.

Citations with multiple references (e.g. 2,3,4,7,9) can be abbreviated as: [2-4, 7, 9]. The citation numbers within the brackets should be placed after a coma and a period [e.g. ", [7-10]"; ". [2]"], and before a semi-coma and a colon and a semi-colon [e.g. " [7-10];"].

Commonly used reference styles are listed as below, or can be found at:

Reference examples

1) Articles in journals

List all authors up to six, and use "et al." When the number is greater than six, use the following format:

Article in print

Yi SG, Sadhu AR, Jones SL, Turner Krista, Monsour H, Donahue K, et al. The Effect of Adrenal Replacement Therapy on Rates of Fungal Colonization and Mortality in Critically Ill Patients Awaiting Liver Transplantation. J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2015; 1(1):2-8.

Issue with supplement

Kim WR. The burden of hepatitis C in the United States. Hepatology 2002; 36 (Suppl 1):S30–S34.

Issue with no volume

Ahrengart L, T?rnkvist H, Fornander P, Thorngren KG, Pasanen L, Wahlstr?m P, et al. A randomized study of the compression hip screw and Gamma nail in 426 fractures. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2002; (401):209-22.

Article published electronically ahead of the print version

Yang WJ, Wu YB, Chen L, Xu KK, Xie YF, Wang JJ. Two Chitin Biosynthesis Pathway Genes in Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae): Molecular Characteristics, Expression Patterns, and Roles in Larval-Pupal Transition. J Econ Entomol. 2015 Oct; 108(5):2433-42. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

2) Books and other monographs

Smith, B. M. Basics of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Equilibria. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013.

Organization as author

American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Eating Disorders. 3rd edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2006.

Editor(s), compiler(s) as author

Dawson C., Whitfield HN, editors. ABC of Urology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.; 2006.

Author(s) and editor(s)

Breedlove GK, Schorfheide AM. Adolescent pregnancy. 2nd ed. Wieczorek RR, editor. White Plains (NY): March of Dimes Education Services; 2001.

Chapter/Article in a book

Shah J. Bladder Outflow Obstruction. In: Dawson C., Whitfield HN, editors. ABC of Urology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.; 2006. p. 6-9


Tissue, B. M. Basics of Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Equilibria [Internet]. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013. [cited 2015 May 21]. Available from Wiley Online Library:

3) Conference proceedings

Marle F, Jankovic M, Maurer M, Schmidt MD, Lindemann U, editors. Risk and Change Management in Complex Systems. Proceedings of the 16th International DSM Conference; 2–4 2014 July 2-4; Paris, France. Dutch: Elsevier; 2014.

4) Conference paper

Ollmar S, Nicander I, ?berg P., Birgersson U. Evolution of a Diagnostic Decision Support Tool Based on Electrical Impedance. In: Hermann Scharfetter, Robert Merwa, editors. 13th International Conference on Electrical Bioimpedance and the 8th Conference on Electrical Impedance Tomography; 2007 Aug 3-Sep 2; Graz, Austria. Berlin: Springer; 2007. p. 4-7.

5) Dissertation

Grant, C. Grounded in your culture: the hidden key to promoting academic achievement among African American adolescent males [Dissertation]. Minneapolis:Capella University; 2010.

6) Patent

Cheng, DY and Wiersma SJ, inventor; International Power Technology, Inc., assignee. Composite membrane for a membrane distillation system, United States Patent US 4419242. 1983 December 6.

7) Unpublished Material

In press or forthcoming

Lan T, Chang L, Wu L, and Yuan YFIL-6 plays a crucial role in HBV infection. J Clin.J Clin Transl Hepatol. Forthcoming 2015.

8) Electronic Material

Homepage/Web site [Internet]. London: Royal Society of Chemistry; c2015 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2015Oct 26]. Available from:


All tables should provide concise but detailed information without the need to reference any portion of the text in the main body of the manuscript (or elsewhere). The information provided in the table should provide additional information that is not present in the text, to avoid redundancy.

The tables should be numbered according to their sequential presentation in the manuscript. Each of the tables should be on a separate page, starting immediately after the figure legends, or immediately after the Reference list if there are no figure legends. The tables should not be submitted as a separate file.

Tables should have a clear descriptive title that includes a summary of the features or variables described in the first column and the treatment groups in the first row of the table. For example, “Table 1. Clinical features of the patients and healthy control group”, where the clinical features are listed in cells of the first column beginning with the second row, and the patients and control groups are in cells of the first row, beginning with the second column (see example below). However, if the experimental/treatment groups far outnumber the variables, it is prudent for space considerations to reverse the column/row assignments. The title is above the table; it does not constitute the first row of the table.

The table should be written using the Table function in Microsoft Word (not embedded Excel/.xls or image files). Tables should read vertically, if space allows, and have headings for each column prepared without the use of tabs. Abbreviations used in the table should be defined below the table in alphabetical order, unless they were defined in the main body of the paper.

Table 1. Clinical features of the patients and healthy control group

Variables Patients Control P-value
Body mass index, kg/m2
Systolic blood pressure, mmHg
Diastolic blood pressure, mmHg


All figures must be referred to in the main body of the paper, most often in the Results section, and numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text. 

Figure legends

Figure legends should be listed together on a separate page and located immediately after the Reference list. Figure legends and figures should not be submitted as a separate file. The figure legends should correspond to the figures. Each of the figures should be on separate pages starting after the tables. The figure legend should begin with a single unifying title that generally describes all the panels of the figure and data presented in the figure. The title should not appear in the figure itself.

Figure legends should interpret the figure for the readers, ensuring that readers understand what the authors need them to understand about the results. Do not redefine abbreviations that were defined in the text. The figure legends should not repeat details given in the Methods, or details that should be stated in the Methods. The figure legend should not repeat the data values presented in the figure (including statistical values). The Figure Legend should not include any results or conclusions.

For inclusion of any copyrighted material, documentation that permission has been obtained for reproduction must be provided, and the source acknowledged in the legend. All symbols appearing in the Figure should be defined in the legend (such as asterisks and arrows). In addition, any color distinctions should be defined in the Figure Legend, unless a key has been added as an inset to the figure itself and provides the definitions. For micrographs, a scale bar within the figure is preferable to inclusion of the magnification in the legend.

Figure images

Only images that are essential to justify the conclusions stated in the manuscript should be included. The image files should be embedded in the manuscript, each on a separate page, starting immediately after the tables, or immediately after the Figure legends if there are no tables. Roman letters (A, B, C…) should be placed in the upper left corner of the image to identify the individual panels corresponding to the textual description in the accompanying figure legend. Images may be clinical, pathologic (gross or microscopic), endoscopic, or radiographic.

All images must be of high quality, with a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi) or greater, with all pictured evidence clearly and completely visible. The preferred formats for figure files are jpeg (.jpg) and tiff (.tif). The images should be labeled consecutively, such as "Figure 1. jpg," "Figure 2. jpg," etc., with the appropriate file extensions appended (.tif, .jpg).


All patient identifiers must be removed from photos and radiographic studies, unless specific written permission has been obtained from the patient.

Line art and graphs

All graphs or line art files are required to be at a resolution of at least 500 dpi.

Gel electrophoresis labeling

The protein molecular weight or DNA marker sizes must be indicated on all appropriate figure panels.

Figure files

All color figures should be submitted in the CMYK color mode. All black and white figures should be submitted in grayscale While each figure may contain several labeled panels, each panel must be presented as a separate electronic file.

B. Review Articles

        The manuscript, excluding the Tables, Figure Legends and References, must not exceed 6000 words. No more than 120 references are allowed; references should be limited to those seminal to the field.

The manuscript components include an unstructured Abstract, Introduction, Results and Conclusions. A Methods section is not necessary in the main body of the manuscript, unless the focus of the article is on methodology.

C. Letters to the Editor

The manuscript may not exceed 500 words (including the References) and should be addressed to the Editor. No accompanying abstract is required. No more than 2 figures are allowed. No more than 10 references are allowed.

D. Editorials

These invited manuscripts may not exceed 1500 words (including the References section). No accompanying abstract is required. Figures are discouraged, but if necessary only 1 figure may be allowed. No more than 5 references are allowed.

E. Case Reports
        The manuscript may not exceed 750 words for single report, 1600 words for a series. The manuscript components include either (1) abstract, introduction, case reports and conclusion; or (2) abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results. No more than 20 references are allowed.
        Written patient permission is required for publication. 
II. General Formatting Requirements for All Article Types

All manuscripts should be submitted as a single Microsoft Word document that is typed in Times New Roman, font size 11, and double-spaced. Tables are also submitted as double-spaced.

Conflict of Interest Statement

All authors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest (financial, professional, personal, or otherwise) within the past two years that are relevant to the manuscript, including but not limited to consultancies, ownership, equity, patent-licensing agreements, research support, major honoraria, employment or board positions involving a company whose product is mentioned in the manuscript. In the case that there is nothing to disclose, this fact should be clearly stated as: “The author(s) has (ve) no conflict of interest(s) related to this publication”.

Data Repository Accession Numbers

Accession numbers should be provided for the repository for all sequences, plasmids, expression microarrays, and amino acid sequence data that is presented, regardless of whether it has already been or should be submitted in the future to GenBank or EMBL.


In general, the use of non-standard abbreviations is discouraged. Abbreviations should be defined the first time they are used in the Abstract, and also the first time they are used in the main body of the manuscript. For the Abstract, abbreviations should be used only for phrases of 3 or more words, or for treatment groups in which the abbreviation is used 3 or more times.

For the main text of the manuscript, in general abbreviations are used only for terms or phrases used 6 or more times, or for the acronyms of genes, or for terms that are known better by the abbreviation than the term.

Abbreviations in the Figures and Tables must be defined in the figure legend and table footnotes, regardless of how many times they appear. Standard abbreviations not requiring definition can be found in the AMA Manual of Style or the Index Medicus.

Author Assurances

The accompanying Publishing Agreement document must accompany all manuscripts submitted to ERHM. This agreement must be read and signed by every author. The Correspondence Author must certify that all listed authors participated significantly in the study, and that they have seen and approved the final manuscript.

Cover Letter

The cover letter should provide the title of the manuscript, the article type (Original Article, Review, Case Report, Editorial, Commentary, or Letter to the Editor), a recommendation for the preferred Associate Editor, and recommendations for three potential referees (including contact information: email address and phone numbers) who are not members of the authors’ institution or have conflicts of interest with any of the authors, as well as the correspondence author’s name, institution, email address, and telephone number. Authors may also list referees whom they would prefer to be excluded from the review. The final selection of an Associate Editor and referees is at the discretion of the ERHM editorial office.


The title should be written as a brief but complete statement that accurately describes the content of the article. The title must not exceed 120 characters (including spaces). There should be no non-standard abbreviations.

Short Title

The running title should not exceed 45 characters (including spaces).


All authors should be identified by their first (given) name and family surname (family name). The individual’s degree designation (i.e. PhD, MD, BSci, etc.) should not be listed. Each author’s affiliation(s) (where the work was performed) should be provided, and the information should include the full name of the institution(s) and department(s). The affiliation should be denoted for each author using a numbering system that corresponds to that author’s position in the author list. Current addresses should be indicated separately and denoted by a symbol (but not an asterisk).

Corresponding Author

The contact information for the corresponding author should include the individual’s name, complete mailing address (department, institute, street and number, city, state/province, zip code, and country), e-mail address, telephone number, and fax number. The name of the Corresponding Author in the authors’ list should be denoted by an asterisk (*). In the case of co-corresponding authors (no more than 2 are allowed), the person responsible for addressing reviewers’ comments should be listed first.

Author Contributions

The Authors’ Contributions should be provided in paragraph form following the authors’ names and affiliations and the Corresponding Author(s)’ information. The manner in which each author was involved with the study and/or preparation of the manuscript should be described after the author’s name, as first and middle initials followed by the full last name. Contributions that are acceptable for inclusion as an author are: study design, performance of experiments, analysis and interpretation of data, manuscript writing, critical revision, statistical analysis, critical funding, administration, and technical or material support.

You can also download the sample articles for reference at Resource Center.

III. Specific Instructions for Exploratory Journals

The unique character of manuscripts published in Exploratory Journals 

Apart from the standard sections for original articles (Introduction, Methods and Materials, Results and Discussion [IMRD]) or review articles, an additional section of “Future Research Directions/ Prospect/ Prediction”, with or without “Hypothesis”, with no less than 100 words, is REQUIRED by the Exploratory journals. However, although not required, a “Hypothesis” paragraph is highly preferred by journals other than ERHM. This section is preferably accompanied by a graph that illustrates the exploratory research or hypothesis (e.g., proposed molecular mechanisms).

The proposed hypothesis or future research directions/prospect/prediction should be derived from the results of the study, although it may be preliminary, incomprehensive, or incomplete, with direct or indirect support from previous research findings in the literature. Thus, this section should shed new light on further basic and translational research, and may provide clues to approaches to clinical application. Some examples are provided below.


1. Emma L. Beckett, Patrice R. Jones, Martin Veysey and Mark LucockNutrigenetics—Personalized Nutrition in the Genetic Age. Explor Res Hypothesis Med. 2017; 2(4):109-116.

Future research predictions:

The use of genotypic information in personalized nutrition offers considerable future promise, but significant barriers exist to successful implementation, independent of scientific knowledge. These include consumer acceptance, ethical, technological and regulatory considerations. Research into nutrigenetics has produced inconsistent results; however, the same could be said for conventional nutrition studies. This is not necessarily due to the overall quality of the research and the magnitude of the body of knowledge, rather it is due to the complexity interactions between nutrition, genetics, and long-term health. Improved frameworks are required to translate nutrigenetic studies into usable guidelines to direct practicing nutrition and medical professionals. This will require an interdisciplinary approach, including geneticists, bioinformaticians, nutritionists, dietitians and other biomedical professionals.108

Furthermore, additional research is needed not only into the gene-nutrient interactions themselves but also into the public attitudes and acceptance on nutrigenetics and the associated risks and benefits of uptake. Without a holistic approach to implementation, it is unlikely that nutrigenetics will deliver on its early promise to improve health outcomes.

2. Helen Barnett, Nathan M. D’Cunha, Ekavi N. Georgousopoulou, Jane Kellett, Duane D. Mellor, Andrew J. McKune et al. Effect of Folate Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in Individuals Susceptible to Depression: A Systematic Review. Explor Res Hypothesis Med. 2017; 2(4):86-100.

Future research directions:

It is hypothesized that consumption of FA may result in decreased neurotransmitter production due to decreased availability of biologically active folate 5-MTHF and a resulting decrease in SAMe. Moreover, the addition of FA into a finely balanced yet complicated cycle in susceptible individuals (e.g., those with MTHFR, MTR, MTRR and COMT polymorphisms) may serve to greatly slow the cycle via the inhibition of MTHFR by DHF. As the population continues to consume less folate from food sources such as leafy green vegetables, then it is postulated that the rates and severity of depression will increase as 5-MTHF decreases. Abbreviations: DHF, dihydrofolate; FA, folic acid; 5-MTHF, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate; MTHFR, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; SAMe, S-adenosylmethionine.

Fig. 2 Relationship between folate, methylation and neurotransmitters involved with depression.

3. Charlotte Martin, Zoe Yates, Martin Veysey, Katrina King, Suzanne Niblett and Mark LucockVitamin D-related Nutrigenetics and Cognitive Decline in an Elderly Population. Explor Res Hypothesis Med. 2017; 2(4):131-138.

Future research directions

Further research is necessary to either confirm or refute the presently observed associations of VDR gene variants with cognitive decline as measured using the MMSE scale. By obtaining a more thorough understanding of VDR variants and their influence on risk of cognitive decline, new insights into the underlying pathophysiology of cognitive decline and development of possible intervention and treatment strategies will emerge. These may include the screening of particular VDR polymorphisms as part of a routine health check and the use of supplemental vitamin D at a younger age. Based on the preliminary results of this study, we hypothesize that the use of vitamin D as a potential preventative agent in cognitive decline will reduce the impact this degenerative disorder currently has on our health system.

4. Sakunthala Arunima and Thankappan RajamohanLauric Acid Beneficially Modulates Apolipoprotein Secretion and Enhances Fatty Acid Oxidation via PPARα-dependent Pathways in Cultured Rat Hepatocytes. J Explor Res Pharmacol. 2018; 3(1):1-11.

Future research prospective

Lauric acid, may act as a natural ligand for PPARα and has a beneficial role in modulating apolipoprotein secretion as well as fatty acid oxidation. Since regulating the synthesis of endogenous apolipoprotein secretion would be an attractive therapeutic target for reducing the atherogenicity, lauric acid itself or lauric acid enriched dietary oils can be recommended as healthy dietary interventions for reducing the risk factors for atherosclerosis.

5. Azadeh Anbarlou, Mahshid Akhavan Rahnama, Amir Atashi and Masoud SoleimaniSelective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors May Improve the Efficacy of Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantation. J Explor Res Pharmacol. 2016; 1(1):16-19.


By increasing the amounts of serotonin in bone marrow, SSRIs may improve the efficacy of HSC transplantation (Fig. 1). Most studies concerning SSRIs have focused on the effects of sertraline and fluoxetine. Because the effects of fluoxetine on lymphocytes are variable under different conditions, we suggest sertraline, as its effect is solely immunosuppressive. The routine starting dosage of sertraline as an antidepressant is 50 mg/day, and the maximum is 200 mg/day,29,30 but higher doses are probably required for immunosuppression.19 The normal concentration of serotonin in plasma is 0.62±0.11 μg/L.31 Future studies must focus on the dosage of sertraline that will generate the optimum concentration of plasma serotonin for in vivo expansion of HSCs.

Fig. 1  Schematic diagram of the hypothetical mechanisms underlying SSRI promotion of HSC transplantation through in vivo expansion of HSCs and decrease in GVHD.

ERHM also publishes original articles with “non-confirmatory” or “negative” data that are generated from appropriate methods and materials, and refute a proposed hypothesis or challenge a currently accepted hypothesis. Systematic review and meta-analyses reporting “non-confirmatory” or “negative” findings are acceptable.

Examples for negative results

  1. Takanashi SSaif LJHughes JHMeulia TJung KScheuer KAWang Q. Failure of propagation of human norovirus in intestinal epithelial cells with microvilli grown in three-dimensional cultures. Arch Virol. 2014 Feb;159(2):257-66. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1806-4
  1. Svanstrom HPasternak BHviid A. Use of azithromycin and death from cardiovascular causes. N Engl J Med. 2013 May 2;368(18):1704-12. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300799
  1. Whitehead KJSautter NBMcWilliams JPChakinala MMMerlo CAJohnson MHJames MEverett EMClancy MSFaughnan MEOh SP,Olitsky SEPyeritz REGossage JR. Effect of Topical Intranasal Therapy on Epistaxis Frequency in Patients with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2016 Sep 6;316(9):943-51. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.11724

Example for controversial research:

Xia HH, Talley NJ, Kam EP, Young LJ, Hammer J, Horowitz M. Helicobacter pylori infection is not associated with diabetes mellitus, nor with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in diabetes mellitus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Apr;96(4):1039-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2001.03604.x

Examples for refuting/challenging hypotheses:

  1. Abbas AK. Protein Synthesis Inhibitors Did Not Interfere with Long-Term Depression Induced either Electrically in Juvenile Rats or Chemically in Middle-Aged Rats. PLoS One. 2016 Aug 12;11(8):e0161270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161270
  1. Xia HHTalley NJKam EPYoung LJHammer JHorowitz M. Helicobacter pylori infection is not associated with diabetes mellitus, nor with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in diabetes mellitus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Apr;96(4):1039-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2001.03604.x
  1. Gunnarsson HArason AGillanders EMAgnarsson BAJohannesdottir GJohannsson OTBarkardottir RB. Evidence against PALB2 involvement in Icelandic breast cancer susceptibility. J Negat Results Biomed. 2008 Jul 17;7:5. doi: 10.1186/1477-5751-7-5

Exploratory journals also welcomes articles that briefly describe novel techniques or surgical procedures, with fine pictures or videos.


  1. Xia HX, English L, Keane CT, O'Morain CA. Enhanced cultivation of Helicobacter pylori in liquid media. J Clin Pathol. 1993 Aug;46(8):750-3.
  2. Minami H, Tabuchi M, Matsushima K, Akazawa Y, Yamaguchi N, Ohnita K, Takeshima F, Nakao K. Endoscopic submucosal dissection of the pharyngeal region using anchored hemoclip with surgical thread: A novel method. Endosc Int Open. 2016 Aug;4(8):E828-31. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-108802
  3. Ravanetti F, Galli C, Manfredi E, Cantoni AM, Scarpa E, Macaluso GM, Cacchioli A. Chitosan-based scaffold modified with D-(+) raffinose for cartilage repair: an in vivo study. J Negat Results Biomed. 2015 Jan 14;14:2. doi: 10.1186/s12952-014-0021-5
IV. Authorship Criteria

Who Is an Author?

Xia & He has adopted the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors for the definition of authorship applied to submissions. All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.

· Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND

· Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND

· Final approval of the version to be published; AND

· Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.

All persons listed as authors on the first submission of the manuscript to a journal should remain as authors throughout subsequent revisions; otherwise, an explanation and signed statement of agreement for the requested change from all listed authors and from the author to be removed or added should be provided to the journal

A corresponding author should be identified, who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more coauthors. The corresponding author should be available throughout the submission and peer review process to respond to editorial queries in a timely way, and should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.

Non-Author Contributors

All persons who contributed to the study or manuscript but who do not fulfill all of the criteria of authorship should be acknowledged (under “Acknowledgments” in the manuscript), subsequent to obtaining their written permission for acknowledgement. This includes persons responsible for funding, general supervision of a research group or general administrative support, writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, proofreading, advising, supplying materials, critical review, and so forth.

V. Ethical Conduct in the Scientific Process

Xia & He Publishing demands that all research described in its publications be conducted and reported in accordance with the guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and practices according to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Authors are expected to carry out their research-related activities in accordance with the tenets of honesty, transparency, objectivity, and accountability. Editors-in-chief, Associates Editors, editorial members, reviewers and editorial staff are requested to pay attention to prevent and eliminate author misconduct.

Ethics in reporting study procedures and findings

All methods used in a study should be adequately described, so that readers may replicate the experiments as they were performed by the authors. The practice of withholding a key step (including but not limited to a reagent, procedure, tool, or technique) or any other piece of information related to the study for proprietary or personal reasons is absolutely unacceptable.

Reporting of results is expected to be complete and accurate. All statistical results of an experiment and/or study project should be presented, including data that does not meet the threshold for statistical significance. The authors must not data picking, which is the practice of presenting incomplete evidence from a series of experiments. The practice of selecting data to exclude negative findings is also prohibited and constitutes scientific misconduct.

All experimental controls should be reported. In addition, the weaknesses of the study design, which may have biased the results, should be reported.

Authors must ensure that all research records, including hand/typewritten documentation, films, and electronic files, are made available upon request at any time during the review process and in perpetuity after the publication of the article describing the study. Patient-related research records should meet the standard regulations of patient privacy and confidentiality. The refusal, disregard, or inability to provide research records that have been requested is considered evidence of scientific misconduct and should prompt an investigation into the need for an article’s dismissal from review or retraction from the publication; the decision to pursue additional actions to address the misconduct should be made at the discretion of the Editors-in-Chief.

Image manipulation

All images accompanying a publication should be generated in accordance with general ethical standards to ensure integrity of the data presented. Image manipulation or any other form of adjustment that modifies the data is prohibited.

Human subjects and informed consent

For a research study using human subjects, the type of study should be indicated from the following list: randomized controlled trial, cross-sectional study, cohort study, case series, or survey. In addition, the following should be stated: participating institutions; number of subjects; methods of subject selection, recruitment, enrollment, and randomization; and subject withdrawal and completion. Concerning interventions, the criteria for assignment, methods of administration, and duration should be described. The authors should ensure that the planning, performance, and reporting of human research are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013. All authors should seek approval to conduct research from an independent local, regional, or national review body (e.g., ethics committee, or institutional review board). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the local, regional, or national review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. 

The authors should provide declarative statements that: (a) written informed consent was obtained from each patient prior to enrollment; and (b) the study protocol was approved by the appropriate institutional review committee (IRB), with the name of the committee and institution clearly stated. 

Any information that may identify the human subject should be omitted or anonymized, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. The author’s statement that informed consent was obtained and archived is required, without exception. Xia & He journals reserve the right to ask the author to provide signed informed consent, if necessary. 

Clinical trial registry

For clinical trials, the Clinical Trials Registry identifier number and platform (such as the, managed and operated by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health) should be provided.

Animal subjects

Ethical conduct is expected for all procedures related to animal handling, including husbandry, care, and experimentation. For animal studies, it will be clearly stated that approval was obtained from an institutional animal care committee and that all animals received humane care in accordance with the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" prepared by the National Academy of Sciences and published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH publication 86-23 revised 1985).

Proper credit for all individuals or organizations that conduct or fund the experimental procedures

Authors are expected to give proper credit to all individuals and organizations involved in the performance of the research described in an article published by Xia & He Publishing. Individuals who do not meet the Authorship Criteria but who aided in the research, such as patients and hospital staff, should be appropriately acknowledged in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. Organizations that were contracted to perform work related to the research or that acted in a non-paid collaborative manner should be appropriately acknowledged in the manuscript. All funding agencies that provided support for the research or for any of the individuals involved in the research must be appropriately acknowledged in the manuscript.

VI. Ethics in Publication

Xia & He journals have a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct such as plagiarism, fabrication and falsification. Cases of misconduct will be investigated and dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with the editors-in-chief being responsible for the final decision in all cases.

Types of plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined by the Xia & He Publishing as use of information, including textual descriptions, figures/tables and data, from a previously published document without proper citation or reference to the original source.

Textual Plagiarism

Textual plagiarism is the verbatim copy of a textual description of information that has been published, regardless of citation or reference. This includes text published in an article written by the authors themselves (known as self-plagiarism). To avoid this type of plagiarism, authors are strongly recommended to not use the copy-and-paste method for constructing the text of their manuscript or directly quoting text from other sources.

Duplicate/Redundant Publication 

Duplicate/Redundant publication plagiarism involves the submission or publication of a study and/or its results and findings more than once. This type of plagiarism includes publishing a study and/or its results and findings in another language or with the information only slightly modified from another publication written by others or by the authors themselves (known as self-plagiarism). Duplicate/Redundant publication can result from simultaneous submission of an article; therefore, ERHM requires that all authors of manuscripts submitted for consideration of publication provide written assurance that the submitted manuscript is not under consideration nor published elsewhere.


Fabrication is defined as faking raw data, figures, or any supporting files.


Falsification, including image manipulation, is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processing/changing/omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.

Policy on Misconduct

All instances of misconduct are considered intentional. All authors who contributed to a manuscript with misconduct are considered responsible for the offensive action. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all of the authors (contributing as well as corresponding) to ensure prior to submission that no instances of misconduct, textual or data-related, are present in their manuscript.

If an author has strong suspicion or evidence of misconduct after the review process has been initiated, and before the publication process has begun or been completed, we strongly recommend that the author contact the editorial office immediately to withdraw the manuscript.

If the journal discovers the misconduct during the review process, the manuscript will be immediately withdrawn from consideration for publication and any of the following actions may be pursued to resolve the offence: banning the authors from all journals published by Xia & He Publishing for a determined period of time, contacting the authors’ affiliated institutes, initiating an investigation by the COPE organization.

If the case of misconduct is detected after the article has been published, Xia & He journals will pursue any and/or all of the following actions to resolve the offence: publishing an erratum, retracting the entire manuscript, publication of an editorial discussing the matter, banning the authors from all journals published by Xia & He Publishers for a determined period of time, contacting the authors’ affiliated institutes, initiating an investigation by the COPE organization.

Retraction of articles

In the event that an article requires retraction, the corresponding author(s) will be required to pay a fee of 1000.00 US Dollars to cover the costs of retracting the publication.

VII. Peer Review and Editorial Process

The objective of the peer review process is to ensure the integrity and transparency of the research objectives, data, and conclusions.

All articles, solicited and unsolicited, that are submitted to the ERHM will be subject to the following single blind peer review process, meaning that the author does not know the identity of the reviewer, but the reviewer knows the identity of the author.

Step 1: Upon submission, the ERHM editorial staff will perform an initial assessment of the manuscript to determine its topical relevance, adherence to the ERHM formatting guidelines, and absence of plagiarism related to both textual and scientific content.

Step 2: If the manuscript passes the initial assessment, it is forwarded to an academic editor with appropriate expertise in the subject area and/or study design, who is responsible for identifying at least 2 external peer reviewers with expertise in the topic/specialty.

Step 3: After a peer reviewer has accepted the manuscript, 14 days (with a short grace period allowed for extenuating circumstances) is allotted for completion of the peer review evaluation.

Step 4: Upon return of the 2 peer reviews, the academic editor will make a reasoned recommendation for acceptance (full, with minor revisions, or with major revisions) or rejection and provide it to the Editor-in-Chief who makes the final decision.

Step 5: Manuscripts that are accepted with revision are allotted a 2-month period in which to return the revised version, which is to be accompanied by a Response Letter that clearly outlines the specific issues addressed in the manuscript. Papers that are returned without addressing every comment made by the reviewers and/or the editor will be rejected.

Step 6: Papers that required minor revisions will be re-assessed by the Editor-in-Chief, who will make the final decision for acceptance or rejection. Papers that required major revisions will be sent back to the original peer reviewers for further assessment and recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief who will make the final decision.

After acceptance

Step 7: If a paper is accepted, it will progress into the preparation stage for publication, the first step of which is copy editing and figure editing (if necessary) followed by typesetting.

Step 8: Proofs will be delivered to authors for confirmation.

Step 9: The articles will be published in PDF and HTML formats online in the next issue of the ERHM. The ERHM is online journals and will be printed as a hardcopy once annually. The PDF that is available online is exactly the same as the printed hardcopy.

The ERHM complies to full extent with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editor's uniform requirements for manuscripts.

Author Appeals

Author may appeal an editorial decision by sending an email to the ERHM editorial office. The appeal must contain detailed reasons/responses or rebuttals to the review comments and the editorial comments. The appeal and related material and/or information will be forwarded to the Editor-in-Chief for judgement and for decision on the manuscript. The Editor-in-Chief may recommend acceptance, revision, rejection, or referring to additional peer reviewers. The editorial decision at this stage will be final and cannot be reversed.

VIII. Submissions from Editors, Members of the Editorial Board, or Employees

Submissions from editors, members of the editorial board or employees will go through the same rigorous peer-review process as other submissions, and will be treated no differently to any other manuscripts submitted to the ERHM. To ensure unbiased review, the Editor-in-Chef, Associate Editor, Editorial Board Member, and the Editorial Staff will not make decision for, handle, or review his/her own manuscript. And all possible measures are undertaken to avoid any potential conflict of interest in handling of such manuscripts at all the stages including allocation of handling editor, selection of reviewers, decision making and, if required, processing for publication.

IX. Conflict of Interest Statement

All authors are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest (financial, professional, personal, or otherwise) from within the past two years that are relevant to the manuscript, including but not limited to consultancies, ownership, equity, patent-licensing agreements, research support, major honoraria, employment or board positions involving a company whose product is mentioned in the manuscript. In the case that there is nothing to disclose, this fact should be clearly stated as: “The author(s) has (ve) no conflict of interest(s) related to this publication”.

X. Copyright and Permission

All Xia & He journals are open access and all articles are distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC 4.0 license ( This permits all non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Starting from January 1st 2017, the copyright on all published articles will be retained with authors unless stated otherwise.  For more detailed information, please click here. 

XI. Article Processing Charge

All journals published in Xia & He Publishing are open access. Open access provides readers with easy and barrier-free access to the articles. They can read and download the articles conveniently. To cover the cost of publication, authors will pay an article processing charge (APC) for manuscripts accepted after peer-review. There are no charges for rejected articles and submission charge. Editorial items (Editorials, Corrections, Additions, Retractions, Letters, Comments, etc.) are published free of charge. The APC for ERHM is $600.