AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 3, 2019


Author Instructions for General Articles

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Updated June 2013
The official socioeconomic publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), AANS Neurosurgeon features information and analysis for contemporary neurosurgical practice. Published quarterly, AANS Neurosurgeon focuses on issues related to legislation, workforce and practice management as they affect the specialty of neurosurgery.

Open Submissions
AANS Neurosurgeon welcomes articles that are written by neurosurgeons and others who have knowledge of topics that directly affect neurosurgeons and the practice of neurosurgery. Only original, non-promotional articles that have not been published previously in any print or online vehicle are considered for publication. Those interested in submitting research articles or other items are directed to the pertinent instructions.

AANS Neurosurgeon reserves the right to publish accepted articles in the section of the publication it deems most appropriate: Features, Departments, Inside Neurosurgeon, Gray Matters Surveys or Multimedia. Unless specifically stated otherwise, the opinions expressed and statements made in AANS Neurosurgeon belong exclusively to the authors and do not imply endorsement by the AANS.

Article Preparation

Articles published in the AANS Neurosurgeon are written in the journalistic style of a newspaper or news magazine rather than the academic style of a medical journal. AANS Neurosurgeon follows the style outlined by the Associated Press stylebook. Jargon should be avoided, and acronyms and abbreviations should be used sparingly. When acronyms are used, the full spelling of the term should be listed at the first mention, with the acronym following parenthetically, for example, American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

Articles in the AANS Neurosurgeon typically are 600 to 1,200 words.

Article Focus
Articles in AANS Neurosurgeon focus on information and analysis. (Articles conveying personal opinions or arguing a particular viewpoint almost always are invited by the editor.) Articles typically lead with a brief introduction that communicates the current significance of the topic or stresses what is current and newsworthy about the subject at hand. The main idea of the article should be clearly conveyed to the reader in one or two sentences. The article’s following paragraphs should support the main idea, and assertions made in the article should be supported by evidence.

Article Submission
All articles must be submitted by an author listed in the byline, usually the principal author. To submit an article, email the manuscript and all supporting materials to aansneurosurgeonarticles@aans.org. Note that articles must be submitted as editable Microsoft Word files. Please see the Figures and Images section of this document for submission guidelines regarding photos, charts, graphics, tables and videos.

Manuscript Types
Features: Features articles in AANS Neurosurgeon almost always are written only through invitation. They generally center on a common theme for an issue. The Point and Counterpoint feature articles together present a balanced view of a pertinent socioeconomic topic related to the issue’s theme.

Departments: The Departments section covers the range of socioeconomic topics relevant to neurosurgery — everything from coding and patient safety to education and book reviews. Often, the articles within Departments also focus on the theme central to each issue.

Inside Neurosurgeon: This section covers the news and views of the AANS and other nonprofit entities related to neurosurgery through articles that have an organizational focus. Include the full name(s) of the author(s) and brief biographical information describing the role of the author(s) in speaking for the organization(s) addressed in the article.

Gray Matters Survey: These case presentations seek to build consensus on everyday neurosurgical challenges for which class I evidence is not available. Submit a case summary and up to five figures that illustrate the case. Include up to five pertinent questions for reader response. In the discussion section, relate relevant research and include a references section.

Figures and Images
Submit all figures along with the article. If any figures are referenced within the text, they should be cited in numerical order (e.g., Figure 1, Table 1, Figure 2).

Tables, Graphs and Charts

Each table, graph or chart must be created and submitted as a separate Microsoft Excel file.
The data source for each table, graph or chart must be specified within the Excel file.
The data on which each graph or chart relies must be included within the Excel file.
Digital Materials
Please provide professional-quality materials whenever possible.

Photographs should be provided as JPG files at a minimum resolution of 72 dpi. Please provide images at least 610 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall, if possible, although files of smaller dimensions may be considered for publication.
Other digital materials cannot be submitted with articles. Authors with digital media such as video or audio clips that would complement an article are asked to briefly describe the media at the conclusion of the article. If the article is accepted, the author will be contacted with additional instructions for digital materials. As a general guideline, a video should be an MP4 file, ideally 420×320 pixels and optimized for the Web, and no longer than two minutes.
Authorship and Biographical Statements
Authors listed in the byline are those who have provided significant intellectual contribution to the content of the article. Articles must include a brief (one- or two-sentence) author biography placed after the article conclusion that includes name(s) and relevant professional designation(s), as well as professional affiliation(s) or role(s). Examples of biographical statements:

Sydney B. Smith, MD, PhD, FAANS, is [title] of [name of institution, committee or organization].

Sydney B. Smith, MD, is chair; and Pat N. Barnes, MD; and Chris T. Mills, MD; are members of the [name of committee or organization].

Those who have made substantial contributions to the content of the article but are not listed as authors, including those who provided editing and writing assistance, should be included and their contributions specified in an Acknowledgement section placed after the biographical information.

References, including hyperlinks to source material, are encouraged for publication with the article to assist readers interested in pursuing additional information. They are listed in the order they appear in the article and follow the National Library of Medicine format.

Examples of appropriate reference styling are available below, with more extensive coverage at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html.


1. Carragee EJ, Cheng I. Minimum acceptable outcomes after lumbar spinal fusion. Spine J. 2010;313-320. PubMed PMID: 20362247

2. Chin LS, Jayarao M, Cantu RC. Inside sports-related head injury: tau inclusion bodies and proteins in a tangle. AANS Neurosurgeon [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2011 May 11];20(1). Available from: https://www.aansneurosurgeon.org/200111/6/690

3. Mantone J. Head trauma haunts many, researchers say. 2008 Jan 29 [cited 2009 Feb 13]. In: Wall Street Journal. HEALTH BLOG [Internet]. New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. c2008 – . Available from: https://blogs.wsj.com/health/ 2008/01/29/headtrauma-haunts-many-researchers-say

4. Steinhauer J. Critics fear G.O.P.’s proposed Medicaid changes could cut coverage for the aged. New York Times [Internet]. 2011 May 10 [cited 2011 May 11]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/health/policy/11medicaid.html

Article Submission Process

In submitting your manuscript, please be sure also to include the following:

Title and Running Head: The same text may be used for both areas.

Abstract: Paste the article’s first paragraph, up to 250 words, into this area.

Cover Letter: A brief cover letter certifying that the article has been read and approved by all of the authors, and that each author believes that the article represents honest, factually correct work must be provided during the submission process. The cover letter should include:

the article title
author names (authors listed in the byline are those who have provided significant intellectual contributions to the article); and
certification that the submitting author has the written consent of all authors and of those in the acknowledgement section to list them as such. The submitting author must be prepared to provide this documentation to the editorial office upon request.
Conflict of Interest/Investment/Financial Disclosure
A conflict of interest is an existing circumstance or relationship of the author(s) or of the author(s)’ immediate family members that may influence the content of the article being submitted. Conflicts may include but are not limited to: direct or indirect sponsorship by a pharmaceutical company, equipment manufacturer, public relations firm or any other commercial entity or a financial interest in or arrangement with an organization that may have direct interest in the subject matter of the article.

During the submission process, the submitting author must disclose whether any of the article’s authors has or potentially has a conflict as defined above. Any sources of support should be listed and must include the name(s) of the grantor(s), applicable grant numbers and the name of the author who received the funding. Information regarding conflicts or potential conflicts will be published with the article.

The sentence, “The author [or authors] reported no conflicts for disclosure,” will be published with articles for which no conflicts are reported.

Electronic Copyright Release Form
Each author is required to complete and submit the AANS Neurosurgeon’s copyright release and permission form for each article submitted. Follow this link to access the pdf with both forms, which will be kept permanently on file as part of the record for each issue. The copyright release form should be saved locally and completed according to the brief instructions included within the form. Each author is asked to download and complete a form, and to e-mail the completed form to the submitting author, who will submit all the forms at the same time. Please note that article submissions without completed copyright forms for all authors cannot be published and will be returned without consideration.

When an Article Is Accepted
A staff editor will work with the submitting author to finalize the article for publication. Authors are responsible for the content of their articles, and the final draft should be reviewed with care prior to submission, ensuring that proper attribution is included. Note: Articles will be edited for length, clarity and style. Articles accepted for publication become the property of the AANS and AANS Neurosurgeon unless otherwise stated in a written agreement between the author and the AANS prior to publication.

Unsure About Your Article Idea?
Send your idea to AANS Neurosurgeon at aansneurosurgeon@aans.org with a brief abstract of what you intend to cover and how you will approach the material. If the idea sounds promising for publication in AANS Neurosurgeon, a staff editor will contact you.

Article Submission Checklist
Before submitting an article, the lead author should review and confirm the following checklist.

Have you:

Included the title, abstract and cover letter?
Attached the MS Word manuscript, complete with author and biographical information?
Thoroughly outlined any references, as well as any acknowledgements?
Supplied any supplemental material discussed in the article, such as photos, charts or graphs, as separate files?
Disclosed any conflicts of interest?
Provided all the completed copyright release forms?
If so, please email your materials to aansneurosurgeonarticles@aans.org. Emails are restricted to a size of 10MB. If the materials render your email too large to send, please email for instructions on how to submit your article via DropBox.

Articles submitted without all the required components may not be considered for publication.