Surgical Practice

Author Guidelines

Surgical Practice is the official English language journal of the College of Surgeons of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Neurological Society, the Hong Kong Society for Coloproctology, the Hong Kong Society of Minimal Access Surgery and the Hong Kong Urological Association and publishes original contributions on all aspects of surgery and surgery-related disciplines. Original research articles, reviews, leading articles, discussion papers, history, education, short notes on surgical techniques, case reports and letters to the editor are published. Manuscripts not following the guidelines in the Instruction for Authors may be delayed in publication or rejected.


Authors publishing in the Journal will be asked to sign an Exclusive Licence Form. For Multi-media Articles, authors will be asked to sign 2 Exclusive Licence Forms for the Text Description and the Video respectively. In signing the form it is assumed that authors have obtained permission to use any copyrighted or previously published material. All authors must read and agree to the conditions outlined in the form, and must sign the form or agree that the corresponding author can sign on their behalf. Articles cannot be published until a signed form has been received. Authors can download the form from

Ethical Consideration

Authors must state that the protocol for the research project has been approved by a suitably constituted Ethics Committee of the institution within which the work was undertaken and that it conforms to the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in Tokyo 2004), available at

All investigations on human subjects must include a statement that the subject gave informed consent. Patient anonymity should be preserved. Photographs need to be cropped sufficiently to prevent human subjects being recognized (or an eye bar should be used).

Style of Manuscripts

All contributions should be written in English. Spelling should follow the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Manuscripts should follow the style of the Vancouver agreement detailed in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' revised' Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedlical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication', as presented at Manuscripts should be as concise and clear as possible. The Editors reserve the right to modify manuscripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader.

Units and abbreviations: All measurements must be given in SI or SI-derived units. Statistics and measurements should always be given in figures (i.e. 10 mm), except when the number begins a sentence.

Standard abbreviations may be used and should be defined in the Abstract and on first mention in the text. In general a term should not be abbreviated unless it is used repeatedly and the abbreviation is helpful to the reader. Avoid abbreviations in the title. Abbreviations such as e.g. and etc. should only be used in parentheses.

Drug names: In general, generic names should be used. Brand names may be inserted in parentheses.

Prospective Clinical Trials and Trial Registration

In concert with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines (, Surgical Practice will require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration of all prospective clinical trials in a suitable electronic and publicly accessible registry (e.g., 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-andeffect relationship between the intervention and a health outcome. The registration number of the clinical trial should be quoted at the end of the abstract.

In addition, the reporting of all randomised controlled trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement (http://www. A suitable CONSORT flow diagram illustrating the progress of patients through the trial should be included as a figure in the manuscript. The primary end point and power calculation must be clearly stated.


Manuscripts should be submitted in triplicate (including figures and tables) to: The Editor, Surgical Practice, Editorial Office, College of Surgeons of Hong Kong, Room 601, 6th Floor, Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Building, 99 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong SAR. Tel: (+852) 2871 8799; fax: (+852) 2515 3198; email: (fax is for urgent correspondence only, not for submission of manuscripts). There is also an e-Editorial Office that can be accessed via http://www. to facilitate on-line submission.

Authors should keep one set of text, tables and illustrations, as the Editors cannot accept responsibility for loss of or damage to manuscripts. Original material will not be returned to the author unless a specific request is made in the covering letter. Manuscripts should be clearly typed in double spacing on one side only of good quality A4 paper (30 21 cm). Dot matrix printer quality is unacceptable. Margins of 2.5 cm should be allowed on all sides. The right hand margin of the text should not be justified. Pages should be numbered consecutively in the top right-hand corner, commencing with the title page and including those containing acknowledgements, references, tables and legends to figures.

Manuscripts on disk

Authors are required to provide their manuscript on disk after acceptance.

Authors should use a new disk rather than a reformatted disk and the disk should contain the relevant file(s) only. Authors should supply their accepted paper as formatted text (most word-processing formats can be handled). It is essential that the hardware and the word processing package are specified on the disk (e.g. IBM, Word 7), as well as the first author's surname, the Journal title and the manuscript number.

The entire article – (i) title page, (ii) text, (iii) acknowledgements, (iv) references, (v) figure legends, (vi) tables and legends, (vii) appendices – should be saved in a single file; only electronic figures should be supplied as separate files. The following instructions should be adhered to.

It is essential that the final, revised version of the manuscript and the file saved on disk are identical (i.e. authors should supply a new disk if the article is revised). Do not use the carriage return (enter) at the end of lines within a paragraph. Turn the hyphenation option off. Do not use l (ell) for 1 (one), O (upper case oh) for 0 (zero) or ß (German esszett) for β (beta). Include all figure legends and tables with their legends. Use a tab, not spaces, to separate data points in tables. If you use a table editor function, ensure that each data point is contained within a unique cell; do not use carriage returns within cells. Complete and return the File Description Form (supplied by the Editorial Office) specifying any special characters used to represent nonkeyboard characters.

Online guidelines

Surgical Practice is also available online at

Conventional manuscripts

The manuscript should be arranged as follows, with each section beginning on a separate page.

Title page: The title page should include the following, in this order:

(1) Title: The title should be concise and informative, not exceeding 80 characters and spaces. The main title should, where possible, contain the major key words used in the body of the paper.

(2) Running title: A short running title, no longer than 40 characters and spaces, should be provided.

(3) Both given and family name of each author, in full with family name last, position and highest academic degree(s). First names, initials and full family name will be presented on the journal table of contents.

(4) Name of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed, including complete postal address(es) and positions held by author(s).

(5) Corresponding author: The full postal address, telephone and facsimile numbers and email address of the author who will check the proofs and receive correspondence should be included, as well as the present address of any author if different from where the work was carried out.

Abstract: All manuscripts require an abstract. For original articles this should be a concise structured abstract of no more than 200 words. It should be factual, not descriptive and structured as follows:

  • Objective: Why did you start the study?
  • Methodology: The design of the study, its setting, description of subjects, interventions and outcome measures.
  • Results: A summary of the findings with relevant statistical indices.
  • Conclusions: A description of the meaning of the findings, which should be directly supported by the data, with equal emphasis on positive and negative findings.

New and important information should be emphasized.

Key words: Five key words, for the purpose of indexing, should be supplied below the abstract, in alphabetical order, and should be taken from those recommended by the US National Library of Medicine's Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list at If suitable MeSH terms are not yet available for recently introduced terms, present terms may be used.

Main text: This should be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Acknowledgements: Should be made only to persons who have made genuine contributions and who endorse the data and conclusions. Acknowledgement of grants or other financial interests should be made here.

References: Provide a list of references in double spacing after the text. The Vancouver system of referencing must be used. Cite references in numerical order by superscript Arabic numerals according to their first mention in the text. References cited only in tables or in legends to figures should be numbered in accordance with a sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or illustration. Cite unpublished data and personal communications in the text only. In the reference list, abbreviate the titles of journals according to MEDLINE. If the journal is not listed or MEDLINE is unavailable, the title should be written in full. List all authors for each reference when there are six or fewer; when there are more than six, list only the first three followed by et al. Examples of correct reference format:

Journal articles

1 Marasco S, Woods S. The risk of eye splash injuries in surgery. Aust. NZ J. Surg. 1998; 68: 7857. Books

2 Yates DW, Moulton C, Redmund A. Lecture Notes on Emergency Medicine, 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 1997. Articles or chapters in books

3 Deane SA. Principles of trauma management. In: Clunie GJA, Tjandra JJ, Francis DMA, eds. Textbook of Surgery. Melbourne: Blackwell Science, 1997; 43647.

Electronic material

4 American Urological Association [Internet]. Male Infertility Best Policy Committee. Report on varicocele and infertility. Linthicum, MD: American Urological Association; available from URL: http://

Tables: Tables should be included on a separate page, numbered with Arabic numerals and accompanied by short titles at the top. Each table must be referred to in the text in consecutive order. Data presented should, in general, not be duplicated in the text or figures. Explanatory matter should be placed in footnotes below the tabular matter and not included in the title. All non-standard abbreviations should also be explained in thefootnotes. Footnotes should be indicated by *, , , . Statistical measures such as SD (standard deviation) or SEM (standard error of the mean) should be identified in headings. Vertical rules and horizontal rules between entries should be omitted.

If a table or an illustration has been reproduced from a published work, the source must be given in full, with permission having been granted by the author and by the publisher.

Figure legends: All illustrations require self-explanatory legends, typed on a separate sheet and double spaced. When symbols, arrows and numbers or letters are used to identify parts of illustrations, each one should be identified and explained in the legend (not in the figure). All illustrations are classified as figures and should be numbered with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are referred to in the text.

Figures: Line drawings and graphs should be professionally drawn. High contrast copies of the original line drawings, reduced to final journal dimensions (single column 86 mm, double column 168 mm), are preferred. All lettering should be done professionally and should be of adequate size to retain clarity after reduction. Laser-printed line figures should be on good quality white paper. Photographs must be sharp, glossy black and white prints. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. If photographs of patients are used, either the subjects should not be identifiable or their pictures must be accompanied by written permission for their use.

Figures should be numbered in Arabic and each figure should be identified clearly on the back using a self-adhesive label with its number, name of author(s) and orientation. Do not use ball point pens or paper clips. Titles and detailed explanations should be confined to legends and not included in illustrations. Supply legends for all figures on a separate sheet of paper, not with the illustration. The whole cost of reproducing color figures will be charged to authors.

Case reports

English abstracts for case reports should be fewer than 200 words. A maximum of five references and one figure or table is permitted. The main text should not exceed 1200 words without any figures or tables, or 800 words with a figure or table.

Multi-media manuscripts

Text description should be in English, concisely structured with no more than 600 words and 5 references. An abstract and keywords are not required for this manuscript type.

Author is required to provide a 3-minute video on DVD in AVI format together with a short text description. Videos about surgical technique and interesting visual image findings are acceptable. The size of the video should not exceed 5 MB. The DVD should contain the relevant file(s) only. It is essential that the first author's surname and the manuscript title are specified on the DVD.

Proofs and offprints

It is essential that corresponding authors supply an email address to which correspondence can be emailed while their article is in production. Word files of edited articles will be sent for checking via email, and should be returned to the Publisher. It is essential that these files are checked carefully, as the cost of changes made at a later stage may be charged to the author. Full instructions on how to correct and return the file will be attached to the email. Notification of the URL from where to download a Portable Document Format (PDF) typeset page proof, associated forms and further instructions will be sent by email to the corresponding author. The purpose of the PDF proof is a final check of the layout, and of tables and figures. Alterations other than the essential correction of errors are unacceptable at PDF proof stage. The proof should be checked, and approval to publish the article should be emailed to Medcom by the date indicated; otherwise, it may be signed off on by the Editor or held over to the next issue.

Fifty free offprints will be supplied to the corresponding author. A minimum of 50 additional offprints will be provided upon request, at the author's expense. An Offprint Order Form will be available for download with the PDF proof. Additional offprints will be provided only if a completed Offprint Order Form is returned to the Publisher by the specified date.

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