Before you Begin

Ethics, rights and responsibilities

Ethics in publishing
Information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication is available from Elsevier and we endorse adherence to these principles for all submissions. 

Human and animal rights
If animal or human subjects are involved in the research, the author should ensure it has been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments; Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed.

Patients' and volunteers' names, initials, and hospital numbers should not be used. It is the author's responsibility to ensure all appropriate consents have been obtained.

Patient anonymity
Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent which should be documented in your paper. Patients have a right to privacy. Therefore, identifying information, including patients' images, names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be included in videos, recordings, written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and you have obtained written informed consent for publication in print and electronic form from the patient (or parent, guardian or next of kin where applicable). If such consent is made subject to any conditions, the editors must be made aware of all such conditions. Written consents must be provided to the editors on request. Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. If such consent has not been obtained, personal details of patients included in any part of the paper and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

Declaration of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in two places: 1. A summary declaration of interest statement in the title page file (if double-blind) or the manuscript file (if single-blind). If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. This summary statement will be ultimately published if the article is accepted. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Declaration of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in both places and that the information matches. More information.

Submission declaration and verification

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. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service Crossref Similarity Check.

Use of inclusive language
Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Articles should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader, should contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of race, sex, culture or any other characteristic, and should use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, for instance by using 'he or she', 'his/her' instead of 'he' or 'his', and by making use of job titles that are free of stereotyping (e.g. 'chairperson' instead of 'chairman' and 'flight attendant' instead of 'stewardess').


All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.

Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.


All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship as defined above should be listed in an acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

Randomised controlled trials

Randomised controlled trials should be presented according to the CONSORT guidelines. At manuscript submission, authors must include a complete Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. The CONSORT checklist and template flow diagram can be found here

Clinical trial registration and PROSPERO

Pain and Rehabilitation has adopted the proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which requires, as a condition of consideration for publication of clinical trials, registration in a public trials registry. Trials should be registered at or before the onset of patient enrolment. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. 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 and effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g. phase I trials) would be exempt. Further information can be found at

Systematic reviews should also be registered on PROSPERO, an international database of prospectively registered systematic reviews in health and social care.


Reporting Guidelines

To facilitate the accurate, complete, and transparent improve the quality of reporting of research, Pain and Rehabilitation supports the initiatives available through the EQUATOR Network (Enhancing the QUality and Transparency Of health Research) which houses a database of all reporting guidelines for health research.

To assist authors and reviewers, the following guidelines are required for all submissions, where possible and relevant. Please include a flow diagram of the study design and a completed checklist at the point of submission. A TiDier checklist should be included where an intervention is described. The following list is relevant to the main study types but is not an exhaustive list. Please refer to the EQUATOR website for further details.

Description = Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials
Acronym = CONSORT

Description = Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology
Acronym = STROBE

Description = Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Acronym = PRISMA

Description = Standards for reporting qualitative research
Acronym = SRQR


 = Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research
Acronym = COREQ

Description = Standard Protocol Items Recommendations for Interventional Trials
Acronym = SPIRIT

Study type = STUDY INTERVENTIONS (can be used with CONSORT etc)
Description = Template for Intervention Description and Replication
Acronym = TIDieR

Description = Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy
Acronym = STARD or TRIPOD


The format of reports for questionnaires and surveys should follow that of research reports where appropriate. In consideration of respondent bias, the editorial board has not made a certain response rate a requirement of publication. Sampling frame, subject selection methods and strategies for follow-up of non-responders should be reported. Report responses in the format (83/300, 28%) - 300 being the number of possible respondents for this item. Percentages should be reported to the nearest integer.

Outcome measures
Where appropriate, please provide details of the validity, reliability and measurement error in the units of measurement of any outcome measure. The Limits of Agreement method is preferred for method comparison studies and reliability studies (see: Altman DG, Bland JM. Measurement in medicine: the analysis of method comparison studies. Statistician 1983; 32: 307-17. Bland JM, altman DG. Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet 1986; i: 307-10

Author rights
As an author you, your employer or institution, have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

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.

All sources of funding should be declared at the end of the text.

Open access
This journal publishes all articles so that they are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse.

For all articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honour or reputation.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

Authors can self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use an English language editing service. 


Back to Submission Guidelines or Journal Page

Last reviewed: