• AUTHOR UPDATES AND KEY POINTS • ARTICLE TYPES BEFORE YOU BEGIN • EDITORIAL POLICIES • Trial and research guidelines • Human and nonhuman experimentation • Conflict of interest • Submission declaration • Inclusive Language • Author contributions • Named authors and contributors • Article transfer service • Appeals policy • Copyright • Open access

• Due to the volume of papers submitted to AJOG and time constraints involved in the peer review process, the Journal DOES NOT accept pre-submission inquiries.
• AJOG has new requirements for manuscripts that describe results from randomized controlled trials and for systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses (see 'Trial and Research Guidelines' section).
• Every submission must include a title page with a disclosure statement and a signed Statement of Authorship form . This requirement applies to ALL article types listed in the following section; including letters, replies, etc.
• The editors encourage the supplementary use of multimedia components such as PowerPoint, additional images, or video clips. Color figures and images are free.

Overview Original Research articles are published in 2 formats: 1) in the printed journal: in an abbreviated form, that includes the abstract and 1 figure or table, and 2) in full on the Journal website (ajog.org), where the abstract also appears. The full-length article is the official version and is linked to search engines. Systematic Reviews, Expert Reviews, and Clinical Opinion articles are published in full in both print and online versions. Print and online versions for other article types are specified below.
• The full-length article becomes available online for citation before the print issue containing the abstract and accompanying material. Impact Factors and other citation indices are based on the full-length online article.
• Translational science is typically presented in the form of an original research manuscript; however, the only type of non-clinical research considered must be translational in nature and contain biological implications for obstetrics and gynecology. Basic science without direct clinical relevance will not be considered; please see 'Trial and research guidelines' section for examples of acceptable translational science submissions.
• For systematic review and meta-analysis studies, submit as a Systematic Review article type (instructions below; not as Original Research).

• ARTICLE TYPES

Original Research

Original research manuscripts are limited to 3000 words of main text, must include all items listed under 'Article structure,' including a Title Page, Condensation, Short Title, AJOG at a Glance, Keywords, and structured Abstract (250-500 words). Detailed instructions for preparing and submitting manuscripts are included in 'Basic format' and 'Article structure' sections of this guide. See additional requirements based on the type of research performed (i.e. clinical trials) in the 'Trial and research guidelines' section. The type(s) of non-human animals or other species used in an investigation must be named in the Title, Abstract, and Materials and Methods sections of the manuscript.The Original Research article includes a structured abstract of up to 500 words (250-word minimum) with the following required headings:
1. Background: an explanation of the basis for the study.
2. Objective(s): the purpose of the study (hypothesis being tested).
3. Study Design: the setting for the study, subjects (number and type), treatment or intervention, and type(s) of statistical analysis used.
4. Results: the outcome(s) of the study and, if appropriate, their statistical significance. If percentages are used, include the numerator/denominator in parenthesis. P-values (or confidence intervals) should be included for claims of statistical significance.
5. Conclusion(s): overall significance of the results Abbreviations and references are NOT permitted in the abstract (structured nor unstructured).

The main text of Original Research articles must be organized into sections with the following headings:
1. Introduction: State concisely the study's purpose and rationale. Present only the background, supported by a limited number of pertinent references necessary for the reader to understand why the study was conducted. Do not include study data or conclusions. Generally, the study objectives and hypothesis should be included at the end of this section.
2. Materials and Methods: Describe briefly, but in sufficient detail to permit others to replicate the study, its plan, patients, experimental animals or other species, materials, and controls; methods and procedures; and statistical method(s) employed. Institutional Review Board (IRB) information must be addressed here as stated under "Human and nonhuman experimentation" in the Editorial Policies section.
3. Results: This section includes detailed findings and must cite, in numerical order, all tables and/or figures, which should supplement, not reiterate, the text. Emphasize only the most important observations. Reserve any comparisons with others' observations for the Comment section.
4. Comment: Do not repeat the details of data presented under Results or present any new data here. A structured comment section must be included with the following subheadings.
a. Principal Findings - a brief statement of the principal findings, limiting claims to those strictly supported by the data, avoiding speculation and overgeneralization. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit, and results of primary outcomes/analyses must be included prior to presenting results of secondary or more exploratory analyses.
b. Results in the Context of What is Known - review results reported in the manuscript and compare with previously published studies. If there are differences please provide explanation.
c. Clinical Implications - the meaning of the study; e.g. hypothesized mechanisms that might explain the outcomes observed and/or the implications for clinicians or policy makers. Indicate whether additional research is required before the information can be confidently used in clinical settings.
d. Research Implications - Unanswered questions; proposals for future research.
e. Strengths and Limitations - Strengths and weaknesses of the study, both intrinsically and in relation to other studies, particularly any differences in results.
f. Conclusions The authors may include additional subheadings in the main text if appropriate and if needed to facilitate reading.

For examples of main text headings and structured Comment sections with subheadings, please see recently published Original Research articles in the Journal.

Systematic ReviewEach article in this category provides a comprehensive and exhaustive systematic review of the literature related to the topic, collating all relevant evidence meeting pre-specified eligibility criteria. Systematic reviews may not be combined with other manuscript types.

Systematic reviews must include a clearly stated set of objectives with reproducible methodology, a systematic search, eligibility criteria for selecting studies, assessment of study quality (risk of bias), an assessment of the validity of the findings and systematic synthesis of these findings. Meta-analysis, the use of statistical techniques to combine and summarize results across studies, may or may not be contained within a systematic review.Authors must adhere to the PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines, and as of July 1, 2021, prospective registration in PROSPERO is required (for guidance see 'Trial and research guidelines' section).

Systematic Reviews are limited to 5000 words of main text (not counting the title page, abstract, condensation, acknowledgments, references, tables, legends, and figures). The title should identify the report as systematic review and/or meta-analysis. Include a structured abstract containing no more than 350 words and as many alphabetized key words or short phrases as needed for indexing. The type(s) of non-human animals or other species used in an investigation must be named in the Title, Abstract, and Materials and Methods sections of the manuscript.Submissions must include a Title, Condensation, Short Title, AJOG at a Glance, and Keywords (see instructions under 'Article structure' below).

Abstract: Include a structured abstract containing no more than 350 words in accordance with PRISMA guidelines, and with the following specific headings:
1. Objective
2. Data sources (including years searched)
3. Study eligibility criteria (study design, populations, and interventions [if applicable])
4. Study appraisal and synthesis methods
5. Results
6. ConclusionsMain text: Headings and subheadings in the main text are specific to Systematic Review submissions and should include the following; note that subheadings may be modified to best represent the specific report.
1. Introduction (rationale, explain impetus for Review)
2. Objective(s)
3. Methods
a. Eligibility criteria, information sources, search strategy
b. Study selection
c. Data extraction
d. Assessment of risk of bias
e. Data synthesis
4. Results
a. Study selection
b. Study characteristics
c. Risk of bias of included studies
d. Synthesis of results
5. Comment
a. Principal Findings
b. Comparison with Existing Literature
c. Strengths and Limitations
d. Conclusions and Implications

Expert ReviewThese articles provide concise reviews on a topic in which the author has expertise. The manuscript should be comprehensive and balanced, but not exhaustive. Expert Reviews must be evidence based but may include some expert opinion and recommendations. The goal is to provide a concise update on the state of the art and guidelines for clinical care.

Expert Reviews are limited to 3500 words of main text (not counting the title page, abstract, condensation, acknowledgments, references, tables, legends, and figures). An unstructured abstract (1 paragraph, no categories) of no more than 350 words and as many alphabetized key words or short phrases as needed for indexing must be provided.Subheadings to separate and identify sections of text should be unique to the topic; the 4 prescribed subheadings required for research articles do not apply. To prevent such subheadings from occupying many lines on a page, they should be as short as possible, not exceeding approximately 6 words, and preferably 1 to 4 words.

The full-length article appears both in print and on the Journal website.

Clinical OpinionA Clinical Opinion paper presents a balanced, evidence-based discussion of a clinical issue pertinent to obstetricians and gynecologists. The paper may address an emerging or controversial topic or bring attention to a topic of increasing clinical significance. Opinions rendered must be based on an interpretation of available evidence.

Not appropriate for this category: 1) a review of an extensively researched subject (should be performed as a Systematic Review) and 2) an essay about issues for which minimal data exist, including certain clinical, ethical, educational, practice, and research issues.A Clinical Opinion paper is limited to 3000 words of main text (not counting the title page, abstract, condensation, acknowledgments, references, tables, legends, and figures). An unstructured abstract (1 paragraph; no headings) of no more than 350 words and as many alphabetized key words or short phrases as needed for indexing must be provided.

Subheadings to separate and identify sections of the text should be unique to the topic; the 4 prescribed categories required for research articles do not apply. To prevent such subheadings from occupying many lines on a page, they should be as short as possible, not exceeding approximately 6 words and preferably 1 to 4 words.The full-length article appears both in print and on the Journal website.

Special ReportA Special Report is released by a consensus committee, working group, task force, or similar group, or summarizes the findings of an important meeting. (Please note this is not a venue for case reports; the Journal does not publish case reports.)

Include a condensation, an unstructured abstract (1 paragraph, no subheadings) of no more than 350 words, and as many alphabetized key words or short phrases as needed for indexing.

Subheadings to separate and identify sections of the text should be unique to the topic; the 4 prescribed categories required for research articles do not apply. To prevent such subheadings from occupying too many lines on a page, they should be as short as possible, not exceeding approximately 6 words and preferably 1 to 4 words.

The full-length article appears both in print and on the Journal website.

EditorialEditorials are written or solicited by the editors. Spontaneous submissions are not considered for publication.

Images in Obstetrics and GynecologyImages articles present the opportunity to share an interesting, high-quality image related to obstetrics and gynecology and women's health. Priority will be given to those images of particular interest and quality, and those that provide the reader with key learning points to aid their practices. Up to 5 images may be included that exemplify the condition or case. One will be chosen for the print publication, and all will be published in full in the official on-line publication. Submissions must include a legend, not to exceed 150 words, to be printed in both the online and print versions. No condensation or abstract should be included. Supplementary material may include video.

Image submissions should include:
1) A title
2) No more than 5 authors
3) Refer to guidelines on submission of figures ('Figures' section of this guide), to ensure high resolution and quality.
4) Figures should be appropriately labeled with arrows or other indicators to identify key structures.
5) Any information that might identify the patient in the figure must be removed (including acquisition date).
6) If the patient is potentially identifiable from the image, authors must have obtained written permission from the patient. The author is responsible for filing this in a secure location. The scope of the consent should allow the author to explicitly disclose the information to Elsevier and for Elsevier to republish the information in print and electronic format including journal web and social media sites. Authors must attest to having obtained written consent upon submission of the Images piece and must be prepared to provide this documentation upon the editors' request.
7) A legend up to 150 words that summarizes succinctly, as appropriate, the clinical information including presentation, evaluation (including surgical findings), treatment, and follow-up status. The legend should refer to the Figures and explain all labeled structures.
8) No references are permitted.
9) If a video is included, please submit a high-resolution still image.Image submissions will be reviewed by a team of Editors and their decision to accept or reject will be final.

Surgeon's CornerA Surgeon's Corner article should provide high-quality instruction or an application of a procedure or part of a procedure, designed to aid the practicing obstetrician or gynecologist in improving care. Surgeon's Corner is published in full online; the abstract, manuscript, and one photo or graphic are published in the print journal.

The manuscript must include all of the following:
1. Title
2. Short title
3. Condensation: a 1-sentence condensation of the paper, consisting of no more than 25 words, to be placed in the Table of Contents.
4. An unstructured abstract of no more than 300 words that summarizes the clinical situation and surgical solution, explains the figure used in the print edition (see below), and refers to the video.
5. Manuscript text should include a description of the clinical situation or problem (under the heading: "Problem") followed by the surgical solution (under the heading: "Our solution"). The manuscript must be 600 words or less (not counting the title page, acknowledgement, references, tables, legends, and figures). Lists and bullet points may be used as appropriate. The text should refer to the figures/photos and video.
6. At least one high-quality photograph (300+ dpi; not taken from a website or cell phone), graphic, or figure, to be published in the print edition; this, plus up to 5 additional photos/figures may be included for the online version.
7. A video clip or computer graphic not longer than 5 minutes to be published in the online version.
8. Figure and video legends.
9. 7 or fewer references.

Research LetterResearch Letters are brief original research reports that summarize the results of original data. Each Research Letter is considered a scientific publication; authors must meet all requirements regarding responsible conduct of research (e.g., appropriate IRB approval, data integrity, data retention). Most undergo external peer review. Reviews, case reports, and opinion pieces are not considered for publication under this category.

Research Letters must include a title page, conflict of interest disclosure, keywords, and a Statement of Authorship signed by all authors. These submissions are limited to 7 authors, 500 words (not counting the title page, references, or legend) and 5 references and may include only 1 table or 1 figure. Online supplementary materials are permitted. Research Letters should be formatted similar to the structured abstract guidelines for Original Research and divided into 4 sections: Objective, Study Design, Results, and Conclusion. Research Letters do not include an abstract or condensation.

Letter to the Editors and ReplyEvery Letter to the Editors and Reply must include a title page, conflict of interest disclosure, and a Statement of Authorship signed by all authors. These submissions are subject to minor editorial alterations, may be shortened without the authors' approval, and are accepted for publication at the discretion of the Editors. Letters to the Editors are published both in print and on the Journal website.

Selected Letters to the Editors that focus on at least 1 article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology within the previous 12 issues are considered for publication. Letters to the Editors are limited to 3 authors, 400 words (not counting the title page or references), and 1 to 4 references. At least one of the references must cite the related Journal article(s). All data presented must be fully citable and cited in the supporting reference list (unpublished data must not be described in the letter).The editors routinely invite the author(s) of the related article to respond in writing. Letters that include specific questions for the original article's authors are prioritized for publication. Published letters are accompanied by either a reply from the original authors or the statement "Reply declined."

Case ReportThe Journal no longer publishes Case Reports. Submissions of this sort will NOT be considered.

EDITORIAL POLICIES

Queries about submission requirements may be addressed to either of the managing editors:

 Sandra Perrine • [email protected]Phone 480-749-2880 Donna L. Stroud • [email protected]Phone 614-915-9327

Trial and research guidelines

Authors must adhere to the following guidelines both when formulating the study and in reporting the results in the Journal.

Randomized controlled trial
All Randomized Clinical Trials require registration with clinicaltrials.gov (or other registered authority), prior to enrollment of the first participant.
On the manuscript title page include the:
1) Date of registration,
2) Date of initial participant enrollment,
3) Clinical trial identification number
4) URL of the registration site
5) Data sharing information (include responses to the five questions listed below).

- Authors are to consult the updated CONsolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials (CONSORT Statement): Schulz KF, Altman DG, Moher D, CONSORT Group (2010). CONSORT 2010 Statement: updated guidelines for reporting parallel group randomised trials. PLoS Med 7(3): e1000251. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000251. http://www.consort-statement.org A participant flowchart as a figure must be submitted with the manuscript.

Data sharing As recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), manuscripts that report the results of clinical trials must contain data sharing information as described here. If accepted for publication, this statement will be published with the manuscript. Clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after January 1, 2019 must also include a data sharing plan in the trial's registration. If the data sharing plan changes after registration, this should be reflected in the statement submitted and published with the manuscript and updated in the registry record.

Data sharing statements must be added to the title page of manuscripts that report the results of clinical trials and must include answers to the following:
a. Will individual participant data be available (including data dictionaries)?
b. What data in particular will be shared?
c. What other documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.)?
d. When will data be available (start and end dates)?
e. How will data be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism)?

For more information and for examples of acceptable responses to these data sharing questions, see http://www.icmje.org/news-and-editorials/data_sharing_june_2017.pdf. While not yet required, AJOG highly recommends that authors of randomized controlled trials accepted for publication share their datasets in a data repository with links to their article (see 'Research data' section below).

Systematic review or metaanalysis. Authors are to consult the PRISMA Statement: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, and the PRISMA Group. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement. Ann Intern Med 2009;151:264-9. http://www.prisma-statement.org.

As of July 1, 2021, all systematic review or meta-analysis articles submitted to AJOG must meet the following requirements:
-Prospective registration in PROSPERO or other accessible registration website (include date registered and registration number on title page).
-Quality assessment of included articles/studies reported in the submitted manuscript must be included as part of any systematic review.
-Authors must note whether randomized controlled trials included in their analysis were appropriately registered in a clinical trials registry (registration date prior to enrollment of first participants).
While not yet required, AJOG highly recommends that authors of systematic review or meta-analysis articles share their datasets in a data repository with links to their article (see 'Research dat

Systematic review or meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Authors are to consult the PRISMA Statement: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, and the PRISMA Group. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement. Ann Intern Med 2009;151:264-9. http://www.prisma-statement.org.

As of October 15, 2021, all systematic review or meta-analysis articles submitted to AJOG must meet the following requirements:
-Prospective registration in PROSPERO or other accessible registration website (include date registered and registration number on title page).
-Quality assessment of included articles/studies reported in the submitted manuscript must be included as part of any systematic review.
-Authors must note whether randomized controlled trials included in their analysis were appropriately registered in a clinical trials registry (registration date prior to enrollment of first participants).
-Authors must confirm that each of the trials included in their analysis have not been retracted at the time of submission.
-While not yet required, AJOG highly recommends that authors of systematic review or meta-analysis articles share their datasets in a data repository with links to their article (see 'Research data' section below).

Meta-analysis or systematic review of observational studies.Requirements above for prospective registration and including quality assessment are also necessary for systematic review or meta-analysis of observational studies. Authors are to consult the MOOSE Statement: Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, et al, for the Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology [MOOSE] group. Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. JAMA 2000;283:2008-12.
https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/meta-analysis-of-observational-studies-in-epidemiology-a-proposal-for-reporting-meta-analysis-of-observational-studies-in-epidemiology-moose-group/

Other systematic review reporting guidelinesOther reporting guidelines are available (see link below) for the report of other types of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. These resources should be consulted and followed when relevant, including:
PRIMSA-Harms - a checklist for harms reporting in systematic reviews
PRISMA Extension Statement for Reporting of Systematic Reviews Incorporating Network Meta-analyses of Health Care Interventions: Checklist and Explanations

Observational study in epidemiologyAuthors are to consult the STROBE Statement: von Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, G?tzsche PC, Vandenbroucke JP; STROBE Initiative. The STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies. J Clin Epidemiol 2008;61:344-9. http://www.strobe-statement.org or PLoS Med. 2007 Oct 16;4(10):e296. PMID: 17941714

Health economicsIn addition to the general instructions for authors and other guidelines applicable to the study reported in a submitted manuscript (eg, CONSORT guidelines for a randomized controlled trial; see above), authors of manuscripts reporting economic evaluations of health interventions should follow the CHEERS (Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards) guideline and checklist.
https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/cheers/

Additional guidelines/standardsAdditional guidelines and checklists should be consulted and adhered to in reporting results from other specific research types, including:
STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy) - studies of diagnostic tests https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/
TRIPOD (Transparent reporting of a multivariable prediction model for individual prognosis or diagnosis) guideline - Reporting of studies developing, validating, or updating a prediction model, whether for diagnostic or prognostic purposes https://www.tripod-statement.org/resources/
SQUIRE 2.0 (Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence) http://www.squire-statement.org/
CHERRIES (Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys) https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/improving-the-quality-of-web-surveys-the-checklist-for-reporting-results-of-internet-e-surveys-cherries/
RECORD (Reporting of Studies Conducted Using Observational Routine Health Data) - for International Classification of Disease / Current Procedural Terminology codes http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001885

Translational ScienceAny non-clinical research considered for publication in the Journal must be translational in nature and contain biological implications for obstetrics and gynecology. Additionally, the direct clinical relevance of every submission is considered when an editorial decision is made. Basic science without direct clinical relevance will not be considered.

As many definitions of basic and translational science abound, please see the following translational science examples to assist you in differentiating study types. If uncertain, authors may email an abstract to either editorial office with an inquiry as to whether or not the submission is encouraged; however, this does not guarantee acceptance.Translational science examples
1. Ectopic Pregnancy
• Clinical Study: an observational cohort study which shows that patients with a subnormal increase in hCG maternal serum concentration are at increased risk for ectopic pregnancy. [Encouraged submission]
• Translational Science (bench to bedside): proteomic analysis of maternal plasma shows differentially-expressed proteins in patients with ectopic vs. normal pregnancy. Or, an experiment in which the fallopian tubes are ligated in pregnant animals and hCG determinations are measured in maternal serum. [Encouraged submission]
• Translational Science (bedside to community): analysis of techniques to enhance the adoption of best practices in caring for women with ectopic pregnancy [Encouraged submission]
• Basic Science: a description of the glycosylation of protein structure of hCG (even if it is based on the purification of hCG from patients with ectopic pregnancies). [DISCOURAGED submission]
2. Preterm birth
• Clinical Study: an observational study in which a particular biomarker measured in the mid-trimester increases or decreases the risk for spontaneous preterm labor and delivery. [Encouraged submission]
• Translational Science: the transcriptome, proteome, genome, or metabolome of patients who subsequently have spontaneous preterm labor and delivery. [Encouraged submission]
• Basic Science: protein sequence of a particular biomarker. [DISCOURAGED submission]
3. Pelvic Floor Disorders
• Clinical Study: a randomized control trial comparing outcomes of two interventions for the treatment of urinary incontinence. [Encouraged submission]
• Translational Science (bench to bedside/ bedside to bench): projects that apply basic research discoveries to the understanding of pathogenesis of pelvic floor disorders or development of novel diagnostic or therapeutic modalities, including cell-based, cadaveric tissue-based, and pre-clinical animal models. In addition, projects that use materials collected from living women with and without pelvic floor disorders to broaden fundamental knowledge about mechanisms of these conditions, to identify novel therapeutic targets, or to develop new technology. [Encouraged submission]
• Basic Science: RNA or protein sequence of a particular biomarker [DISCOURAGED submission]

Ethics of the editorial processIf a report by any or all of the same author(s) has previously been published or is currently under preparation that deals with the same subjects, animals, or laboratory experiments, and deals with a similar subject as the submitted manuscript, the author(s) are to inform the editors in a cover letter about the similarities and differences of the reports. The editors may request that you upload such reports before further review. This requirement also applies to manuscripts in which subjects, animals, laboratory experiments, or data have been added to those reported previously. Please ensure that the final manuscript includes references for pertinent articles published prior to the publication of the AJOG paper.

Submission of an article implies that the work (including manuscript, figures, video clips, etc) described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see https://www.elsevier.com/postingpolicy), that it is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder. Work that is already publically available in a substantially similar form (such as in the form of blogs, YouTube videos, etc) will not be considered for publication in AJOG under usual circumstances.All submissions are subject to review with iThenticate Professional Plagiarism Prevention. http://www.ithenticate.com.

All policies of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology also apply to abstracts presented at Society Meetings that are published in this Journal as a result of the proceeding. Allegations of scientific misconduct and breaches of the ethical conduct of research will be assessed by the Editors and referred to the sponsoring Institution for review, inquiry, and/or investigation, and disposition. Examples of inappropriate acts include but are not limited to: fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, repetitive publication, obfuscation of significant research results, violating requirements for experimentation with human subjects or animals, failing to comply with authorship requirements and failing to report significant conflicts of interest. Honest mistakes and differences of opinion about experimental design or interpretation of results do not represent inappropriate acts. AJOG will make decisions about retraction of published work or other actions (such as sanctions) based upon evaluation of the information provided by the Institution and other information available to the Journal. Authors will be asked to identify the sponsoring Institution(s) that is responsible for the integrity of the scientific work and for compliance with the regulations to protect human subjects and animals from research risk(s). When the research is sponsored from multiple Institutions, authors will be asked to identify the Institution to take the lead in handling a potential allegation.

Human and nonhuman experimentation

Authors must follow the ethical standards for human experimentation established in the Declaration of Helsinki (World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects. JAMA 1997;277:925-6). The editors assume that a manuscript emanating from an institution is submitted with the approval of the requisite authority. The authors of reports of human experimentation that require local institutional approval must have obtained this approval before the experiment was started; upon request of the Journal editors, the author(s) must provide copies of the appropriate documentation. Institutional approval must be indicated in the Materials and Methods section of the submitted manuscript. If the study is exempt from Institutional Review Board approval, an explanation must be provided under Materials and Methods.

For reports of experiments on nonhuman animals or other species, authors must state under materials and methods that the guidelines for the care and use of the animals approved by the local institution were followed. The type(s) of nonhuman animals or other species used in an investigation must be named in the title, abstract, key words, and materials and methods sections of the manuscript.For Images in Ob/Gyn, Surgeon's Corner, or similar reports in which the identity of the patient is potentially identifiable, authors must have obtained written permission from the patient(s) on whom the report is based. The author is responsible for filing this in a secure location. The scope of the consent should allow the author to explicitly disclose the information to Elsevier and for Elsevier to republish the information in print and electronic format including journal web and social media sites. Authors must attest to having obtained written consent in the manuscript and must be prepared to provide this documentation upon the editors' request.

All research studies, including those involving patients, patient records, research participants or databases, require ethics committee approval (or documented exemption from the Human Subjects Committee) and informed consent (or documented waiver of consent), both of which must be documented in the paper. Studies on patients, patient records, or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, both of which must be documented in the paper.

Conflict of interest

Authors of all submissions must include a conflict of interest statement.

Disclosures must include any financial interest present within the past three years with commercial entities that are marketing or developing products (drugs, devices, diagnostic tools, etc.) related to the subject matter of the manuscript. Disclosures include, but are not limited to: stocks or shares, equity, employment, advisory or scientific board, grant funding, speaker's bureau, paid travel, consulting status, and honoraria. The monetary value of any such stock holdings should be named. No policy could cover every contingency that might be construed as a conflict of interest. Therefore, it is expected that should any potential conflict of interest exist, the authors have revealed this to the editors. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript at the time of submission under the headings "Conflicts of Interest" and "Source of Funding" which will be published with the article. If the authors report no conflict, a statement of this will be published with the article. Failure to report disclosures may result in sanctions. Use as much or as little detail as appropriate.

Examples:

- The authors report no conflict of interest.
- R.J.X, M.F., and L.Y.V.R. are employed by the Curette Company, Worthingham, MI. The remaining authors report no conflict of interest.
- R.H. received research funding from PharmaCo, San Antonio, TX, for participating in a multicenter drug trial in 2011-12 S.B. reports no conflict of interest.
- This research was funded, in part, by a grant from the OxyContin Association (A.R.Z.)
- A.E.B. was on the Speaker's Bureau for PharmaCo in 2012.

Manuscripts written or developed by anyone other than the listed authors should name those individuals in the Acknowledgment(s) section and state their relationship to any commercial enterprise.

Submission declaration

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

Preprints

Please note that preprints can be shared anywhere at any time, in line with Elsevier's sharing policy. Sharing your preprints e.g. on a preprint server will not count as prior publication (see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information).

Inclusive Language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.
In the interest of accuracy and clarity, AJOG recommends that authors use language in their submission that is reflective and inclusive of the gender identities of the participants in their studies. As with other demographic characteristics, the gender identities of the study population should be specified in methods; corresponding language that reflects the study population should be used throughout the manuscript. It is understood that the gender identity(ies) may be unknown, which is important for authors to acknowledge as well.

Author contributions

For transparency, we encourage authors to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing - original draft; Writing - review & editing. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example.

Named authors and contributors

Every author must provide a signed Statement of Authorship form upon submission. This requirement applies to all article types including, but not limited to: editorials, sketches, letters, and replies.

Authorship requirements for submissions to the Journal must conform to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. http://www.icmje.org and http://www.icmje.org/urm_full.pdf.

Each author named in the byline must qualify by having participated actively and sufficiently in the study reported. The basis for inclusion consists of 2 factors: 1) substantial contributions to (a) the concept and design or analysis and interpretation of data and (b) the author’s having drafted the manuscript or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and 2) approval by each author of the version of the manuscript submitted. All conditions (1a, 1b, and 2) must be met. Others contributing substantively to the work, including participants in collaborative trials and persons involved solely in data collection, should be recognized separately in the Acknowledgment(s) section. The corresponding author must confirm that all bylined authors fulfilled all conditions described here.

Authorship by individuals employed by industry

AJOG values high-quality primary original research reports of industry-sponsored trials and requires appropriate attribution of authors, which may include individuals directly employed by industry (that is, companies producing drugs, devices, tests, equipment or companies with an interest in the topic of the article). However, as of October 1, 2015, AJOG will no longer consider authorship by individuals directly employed by industry for the following categories of manuscripts: Expert review, Systematic review, Clinical opinion, Viewpoint and Call to Action. An individual is considered employed by industry if at least 25% of anticipated annual income is derived from a single manufacturer (as defined above). Individuals not employed by industry may submit manuscripts in these areas with the understanding that the AJOG financial disclosure policy is strictly adhered to.

Changes to authorship

This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged, (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement, and (c) written confirmation from that author that he/she meets the criteria for authorship. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.

After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names will follow the same policies as noted above and require an erratum.

Article transfer service

This journal is part of our Article Transfer Service. This means that if the Editor feels your article is more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the article to one of those. If you agree, your article will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information.

Article transfer service

As a service to our authors, if the Editor feels your submission may be more suitable in one of our other participating journals, then you may be asked to consider transferring the manuscript. If you agree, the manuscript will be transferred automatically on your behalf with no need to reformat. Please note that your article will be reviewed again by the new journal. More information about this can be found here: https://www.elsevier.com/authors/article-transfer-service.

Appeals policy

An author may appeal an editorial decision within 30 days of receipt of the decision to decline a manuscript for publication. The editor's decision may be appealed only if the decision to decline involved a serious mistake, and not merely a judgment call that could have gone either way. Only one appeal is permitted per manuscript, and decisions on appeals are final. New submissions take precedence for the editors over appeals. The basis for an appeal must be set forth clearly and fully in writing to the Editor by the corresponding author.

Please contact one of the managing editors who will forward the written appeal to the Editor. In your appeal letter, state why you think the decision is mistaken and provide your specific responses to any of the reviewers' comments that seem to have contributed to the decision of ‘decline to publish’.

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For gold open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of gold open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights

Elsevier supports responsible sharing

Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Open access

Peer Review Description

The following summary describes the peer review process for this journal:
Identity transparency: Single anonymized
Reviewer interacts with: Editor
Review information published: None
Post publication commenting: None

By using standard terminology we aim to help make the peer review process for articles and journals more transparent, and enable the community to better assess and compare peer review practices between different journals. More information is available here.

Previous submission (unpublished)

Authors may choose to include a copy of previous peer review comments and a detailed response to each point if previously submitted elsewhere and declined for publication.

PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION

Authors must submit all elements of their manuscripts online at https://www.editorialmanager.com/AJOG. Hard-copy submissions will NOT be considered or returned. The online system automatically converts source files to a single PDF file of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to PDF files at submission for the review process, these source files are needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision takes place via email.

All policies of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, including those related to Conflicts of Interest, Inappropriate Acts, and IRB approval; apply to all submitted articles, including those whose results were presented at professional society meetings.

Submitted manuscripts are screened by Journal staff and editors. For some papers, a decision is made to decline immediately. All others undergo peer review.

The author(s) accept(s) responsibility that the electronic file is complete and accurate upon submission, revision, and acceptance.

Editing services

AJOG publishes manuscripts only in American English. This includes using US spelling, punctuation, quotation marks, and decimal points. AJOG editors strongly encourage contributors whose English is not excellent to have their manuscripts edited by a professional translator or native English speaker before submission. Elsevier offers authors two services to help prepare their manuscripts for submission to an English-language journal.

The first service edits your manuscript already written in English to ensure it is in correct scientific English. This process does not change the content of your manuscript but improves understanding and readability for an English-speaking reader. This process takes less than six business days and the cost of an average manuscript is less than $400. Please visit https://webshop.elsevier.com/language-editing-services/language-editing/pages/howdoesitwork.html for more details and to upload your manuscript. The second service translates your manuscript from your language (Chinese, Portuguese or Spanish) into either British or American English. This process is carried out by Language experts within your field, and takes less than 11 business days. The average cost is$1,000. Please visit https://webshop.elsevier.com/language-editing-services/language-editing/translationservices/pages/howdoesitwork.html for more details and to upload your manuscript.

Please note that these services are not mandatory for publication in an Elsevier journal. Using these services does not guarantee selection for peer review or acceptance, and you are not obligated to submit your edited manuscript to an Elsevier journal. Visit our customer support site.

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier: https://www.elsevier.com/guidepublication). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not you embed your figures in the text. See also the 'Artwork' section.

Basic Format

Requirements for manuscripts submitted to the Journal generally conform to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (http://www.icmje.org).

Manuscripts must be submitted in American English, double spaced, with a font size no smaller than 12. Number pages consecutively in the upper right corner in the following order: title page, condensation and short version of title, abstract, main text, acknowledgments, references, tables, and figure legends. Continuous line numbers (1st through last page) must appear on manuscripts upon submission.

IMPORTANT: Figures are to be uploaded individually and in separate files (one figure per file). DO NOT embed the figure into the manuscript text file, as this compromises the image quality, creating an unpublishable image (see 'Figures' and 'Artwork' sections).

Article structure

Title page (starting on page 1) – required for ALL article types, including: letters, replies, and online-only content – includes the following sequence:

1) Title (as concise as possible, approximately 12 words, without abbreviations or parenthetical abbreviations for terms used in the title, and suitable for indexing purposes) Proprietary (brand names) and conclusion statements are NOT permitted in the manuscript title

2) List of authors to be credited (byline), including each author’s first name, middle initial, and LAST NAME (surname in all capital letters), with highest academic degrees (honorary degrees are not permitted); city or cities, state(s), province (Canada and Australia), and country or countries other than the United States in which the study was conducted; divisional and/or departmental and institutional affiliations of each author at the time the study was performed; for authors not called “Doctor,” indicate Ms. or Mr.

If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a ‘Present address’ (or ‘Permanent address’) may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

3) Disclosure statement of any potential of interest for each author; if no conflict exists; include the statement “The author(s) report(s) no conflict of interest.”. (See also 'Conflicts of interest' section above.)

4) Any source(s) of financial support for the research and role of the funding source. You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

5) Required for clinical trials – include the clinical trial identification number and the URL of the registration site. Include: i) Date of registration, ii) Date of initial participant enrollment, iii) Clinical trial identification number, iv) URL of the registration site, and v) Data sharing information (see Trial and research guideline? section).

6) Required (As of July 1, 2021) for systematic review or meta-analysis - include: i) date of PROSPERO registration and ii) registration number (see 'Trial and research guideline' section).

7) Paper presentation information: if the findings were presented at a meeting, include the name of the meeting and its number (eg, “the 24th Annual Scientific Meeting” or “the 12th annual meeting”), the organization presenting the meeting, the city and state or city and non-US country (for Canada and Australia, include the province) in which the meeting was held, and the month, inclusive dates (not only the date on which the specific presentation was made), and year of the meeting.

8) Disclaimer, if appropriate, such as for authors employed by the Federal Government or Armed Forces

9) The corresponding author's contact information (who will handle correspondence at all stages of submission, publication, and post-publication). Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author. Include the full name, address, work and home and/or cell phone numbers (indicating which is which), fax number, and email address.

10)The word count of the abstract and the main text (not counting the title page, condensation, acknowledgements, references, tables, figure legends, and figures) must be included at the bottom of the title page.

Condensation page

On the next page of the manuscript, supply:
• 1) Condensation: a 1-sentence condensation of the paper, consisting of no more than 25 words, stating its essential point(s); this sentence, which is subject to copy editing in conformance with Journal style, will appear in the Table of Contents.
• 2) Short Title: a short version of the article title, for the identification line inserted at the bottom of each published table and figure.
• 3) AJOG at a Glance: Applies to Original Research and Systematic Review submissions. This section is limited to no more than 130 words, 1-3 short sentences or phrases in bullet form, briefly describing your study, its significance, and its contribution to the literature. Authors should minimize the use of abbreviations (only very commonly used abbreviations will be allowed) and define an abbreviation prior to use in this section. Responses should be listed in bullet form after the A., B., and C. headings as below (not in paragraph form). All responses are subject to minor editorial alterations and/or shortened without the authors' approval, and published both in print and on the Journal website.
• B. What are the key findings?
• C. What does this study add to what is already known?

• Abstract page, including key words/phrasesOn the next page of the manuscript, provide an abstract followed by Keywords.

AbstractThe abstract must be formatted as required for each article type (e.g. structured vs unstructured, word count, etc? ; see 'Article types' section). Abbreviations and references are NOT permitted in the abstract.

The abstract should provide sufficient detail for the editors, reviewers, and readers to clearly understand the main message of your paper. Abstracts are freely available on search engines such as Scopus?, PubMed?, etc., and is a key component in assessing the quality of an article.

Keywords

Keywords are a pertinent component in making articles more visible and accessible to potential readers and assist in the dissemination of your research. Provide as many alphabetized key words or short phrases as needing for indexing purposes. Approximately 10 terms are recommended, but do not duplicate terms or phrases utilized in the manuscript title as they are automatically included.

Main text

The main text must be formatted as required for each article type (e.g. use of specific headings and/or subheadings for Original Research and Systematic Review articles; see 'Article types' section). The use of abbreviations should be avoided whenever possible throughout the paper for the ease of reading.

Acknowledgment(s)

This section thanks those other than the authors who have made substantive contributions to the manuscript, including participants in collaborative trials and persons providing only data collection or assistance with preparing the paper for submission or publication. Name only those who have made substantive contributions to the study (see 'Named authors and contributors' section).

For each person named under Acknowledgments, including science writers, the following information must be provided: name, place of employment, funding source(s), and disclosure of source of compensation, whether financial or in the form of services or complimentary products. All individuals named in this section must consent to such acknowledgment.

References

Follow the format in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. http://www.icmje.org Standard journal title abbreviations are available in the List of Serials Indexed for Online Users from the National Library of Medicine. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/tsd/serials/terms_cond.html

Numbering and order
All references are to be numbered sequentially as they fall in the text. For references that are not cited in the main text but only within table(s) or figure(s), begin such numbering after the numbers in the main reference list.

Insert citations in Arabic numerals as superscripts, not in parentheses. If the reference follows a comma or falls at the end of a sentence, the superscript should follow the comma or the period.

Do not include the first author of the cited reference in the text, in parentheses or otherwise, except as part of the text itself (Smith et al found…. or In a study by Smith et al, ....).

If any reference is repeated or out of order, the author is responsible for renumbering references as needed prior to submission or resubmission. If any reference(s) are added or deleted during editing, the author is responsible for renumbering all subsequent references, both in citations within the text (and tables and figures) and, correspondingly, in the reference list. For any citations used in tables or figure legends, renumbering should similarly be done there.

Reference style
In general references follow AMA style.

For up to 6 authors, list all; for 7 or more authors, list the first 3 + et al.

Journal article
Nageotte MP, Vander Wal B. Achievement of the 30-minute standard in obstetrics—can it be done? Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012;206:104-7.

Book chapter or section
Kim M. Amenorrhea: primary and secondary. In: Zuspan FP, Quilligan ED, eds. Handbook of obstetrics, gynecology, and primary care. St Louis, MO: Mosby; 1998:3-10.

Personal communications; unpublished data
If essential, these may be cited, within parentheses, at an appropriate location in the text, but not as numbered references. Written, signed permission from individual(s) quoted must accompany the manuscript upon submission.

Abstracts;
Abstracts of scientific meetings can be cited; however; once the complete work is published, the article citation is preferred.

For additional examples see any recent issue of the Journal.

Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations: http://www.issn.org/services/online-services/access-to-the-ltwa/.

Provisional patent applications
Provisional patent applications may not be cited as a reference.

Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

References in a special issue
Please ensure that the words ‘this issue’ are added to any references in the list (and add any citations in the text) to other articles in the same Special Issue.

Web references
Websites may or may not be appropriate sources for citation; e.g., websites that serve as repositories of genetic information maintained by NIH, NCI, and the National Library of Medicine are acceptable.

As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

TablesSubmit tables in the manuscript file at the conclusion of the reference list and before the figure legends. Create all tables as double-spaced text in Microsoft Word. Any table submitted as a *.jpg or *.tif file will be returned for replacement.

Identify each table with a brief title (as few words as possible; reserve abbreviations for the key) and with an Arabic number (Table 1, Table, 2, etc.) in the order in which it is cited in the text. Each column, including the first, must have a heading. Put all explanatory matter in footnotes, including the spelling out of any nonstandard abbreviations used in the table.

For footnote symbols within tables, follow the style and order noted on pages 90-95 of the AMA style guide, 10th edition. For placement, start in the upper left corner and work across, left to right, and down, line by line.

If a table, in whole or in part, was derived from copyrighted material, a footnote at the bottom of the table must credit the original source, cited fully. Any copyrighted material must be accompanied by a letter or completed permission form at the time of manuscript submission.

Figure legendsOn the final page of the manuscript supply the following for each figure: The figure number, figure title, and a 1- or 2-sentence description (legend, caption). Explain any arrowhead, letter, or other symbol used to identify parts of a photograph, drawing, or other illustration. Spell out any abbreviations used. In photomicrographs, explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining, if appropriate. If a figure was previously published by any of the bylined authors or others, insert a statement that permission has been granted and by whom, as well as a full citation of the original publication.

Supplementary material

Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at https://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.

Appendices

If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

Figures

There is no charge for the use of color figures.
1. Submit each figure individually (one figure per file).
2. DO NOT copy and paste or embed images into the manuscript text file or in a slide presentation. This compromises image quality making it unpublishable.
3. Preferred image formats are: EPS, TIFF, or JPEG.
4. Number figures sequentially in order as they appear in the text, with Arabic numbers (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3A, etc).
5. Assign to each figure a brief title (containing as few words as possible and reserving abbreviations for the legend).
For further explanation and examples of artwork preparation, see artwork instructions to authors from AJOG’s publisher at https://www.elsevier.com/artwork (click on “Artwork and Multimedia Instructions Interactive PDF”).

Videos and computer graphics

Authors are encouraged to submit videos and computer-generated graphics; eg, a slide presentation with or without animation and sound. Although the publisher will not edit any video or computer graphic, the editors and reviewers may suggest changes. Any patient identification must be removed or masked. If music is utilized, appropriate permission is required.

Videos must be compatible with Windows Media Player and submitted in MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 (*.mpg) or QuickTime (*.mov) format. Longer submissions may be divided into smaller clips, each of which should be identified at the beginning of that section; eg, Video Clip 1, Graphic 1. A concise legend for each video clip or computer graphic presentation must be included with the manuscript.

Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data.

For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at https://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Videos and computer graphics accompanying a manuscript that is declined for publication will not be accepted separately. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the presentation will be in the electronic version of your article, and in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com.

Illustration services

Elsevier's WebShop (https://webshop.elsevier.com/illustrationservices) offers Illustration Services to authors preparing to submit a manuscript but concerned about the quality of the images accompanying their article. Elsevier's expert illustrators can produce scientific, technical and medical-style images, as well as a full range of charts, tables and graphs. Image 'polishing' is also available, where our illustrators take your image(s) and improve them to a professional standard. Please visit the website to find out more.

Artwork

You are urged to visit the electronic artwork site (https://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions); some excerpts from the detailed information are given here:

General points

• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the printed version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.

Formats

EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.

• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Use of Statistics and Math Formulae

In describing the statistical analyses performed, state which tests were used to evaluate a specific data set. In tables, indicate which statistical test(s) were used to evaluate the data.

Present simple formulae in the line of normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, eg, X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that have to be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).

Abbreviations, units, proprietary (brand) names, and symbols

Use only standard abbreviations. Do not use abbreviations in the title or in the abstract. In the text they should be kept to a practical minimum. The full word or phrase for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text, with the abbreviation following in parentheses, unless it is a conventional standard unit of measurement.

The use of conventional units of measure is recommended, followed by Système International d'Unités (SI) units in parentheses. For this and other issues of style, authors are advised to consult the current AMA style manual: Iverson C, Christiansen S, Flanagin A, et al. AMA manual of style: a guide for authors and editors. 10th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2007.

Generic, chemical, and/or proprietary names of drugs may be used. When a generic or chemical name is used, authors may insert the proprietary name in parentheses after the drug's first mention in the text (optional). When a proprietary drug name is used, it should be followed parenthetically (at first mention only) by the full name of the manufacturer and the city and state (US) or the city, province (if appropriate), and non-US country in which its main headquarters are located.Proprietary (brand names) are not permitted in the manuscript title.

Do not insert in any part of the paper the symbol for copyright (©), registered trademark (®), or trademark (TM); if included, they will be removed before publication.

Permissions

Direct quotations, tables, figures, and any other material that has previously appeared in copyrighted material must be accompanied by written permission for their use from the copyright owner and original author(s) along with complete reference information. Photographs of identifiable persons either must be accompanied by signed releases or all recognizable features must be masked.

Preprint references

Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

Reference management software

Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley. Using citation plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

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Data sharing statement

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Offprints and Reprints

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Use of the Digital Object Identifier

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2010.09.059
When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

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