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Aims and Scope
Manuscript Preparation
Manuscript Submission
Journal Policies
Disclosure Form
Summary of Article Types and Requirements

Aims and scope

CNS Spectrums covers all aspects of the clinical neurosciences, neurotherapeutics and neuropsychopharmacology, particularly those pertinent to the clinician and clinican investigator. The journal features focused, in-depth reviews, perspectives and original research articles. New therapeutics of all types in psychiatry, mental health, and neurology are emphasized, especially first in man studies, proof of concept studies and translational basic neuroscience studies. Subject coverage spans the full spectrum of neuropsychiatry, focusing on those crossing traditional boundaries between neurology and psychiatry.

Advantages of submitting to CNS Spectrums

  • Indexed in MEDLINE and Thomson Reuters' Science Citation Index
  • World-renowned editorial board
  • Quick turnaround time to decision
  • Distribution to thousands of institutions worldwide
  • Open Access option available
  • Color artwork free of charge in both the online and print versions

Manuscript Preparation

Article Types

We will consider and encourage the following types of articles (format required for each article type):

Original Research articles: Articles in this category should present methodologically sound, new original study data that is in the following format: objective, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Suitable topics include mood disorders, schizophrenia and related disorders, personality disorders, substance-use disorders, anxiety disorders, neuroscience, psychosocial aspects of psychiatry, child psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and other topics of interest to clinicians in psychiatry, psychology, mental health disciplines, neurology and/or to clinical investigators in the neurosciences.

Review articles: Review articles should be concise, accessible, accurate and precise reviews of recent research and emergent areas. May include speculation and debate, but this should be clearly indicated. Focus on published authoritative and recent data from past 2–3 years. The introduction should be aimed at non-specialists and indicate the timeliness and rationale for the article. Inclusion of didactic and explanatory illustrations is strongly encouraged, especially those that provide a visual summary of the most important points of the article. A summary section at the end of the article is also strongly encouraged with a short collection of statements that convent the recent advances in the field that motivate the review.

Perspectives: A perspective article is a type of review that is a short, focused summary of a single recent advance, a sort of spotlight on the topic, which could be for example a single point hypothesis or a novel model. It can to stimulate debate and new research.

Meta-Guidelines: A meta-guideline, is a "guideline of guidelines" put together by several leading figures in a field in which there are multiple competing guidelines that require synthesis and updating. Outlines diagnostic and treatment options and medications; includes an abstract, introduction, optional additional text, and 15-25 tables and/or figures.

Letters to the Editor: Letters to the editor will be published at the editor's discretion. Letters may discuss previously published papers in the journal but should not be used to communicate new research. A maximum word count of 1,000 is requested, along with a maximum of 5 references.

The following article types are for information only and unsolicited submissions will not be considered.

Brainstorms: Brainstorms are editorials or comments on a topic in the field, not directed towards content in the current issue, which provide a short background and overview of a current topic in the field or ongoing controversy or evolving point of view in the field and often provide illustrations of the topic as well in order to inform readers and set a context for them for the editorial opinion and commentary also included on that topic. Brainstorms, which are written by the Editor-in-Chief, have been an ongoing feature of the editor in chief in other journals for the past 15 years and will now continue exclusively in CNS Spectrums.

Editorials: Editorials, when submitted by an invited contributor, shall not be a simple listing of contents within the issue, but may for instance be used by the Guest Editor of a special issue or thematic section to introduce the subject being brought into focus. On occasion a luminary in the field might be approached to provide a guest editorial. Generally discursive in nature, an editorial will most likely form a short opinion piece or reflection upon the field but not constitute a full article.

Abstract preparation (format required for each article type):

Reviews Perspectives and Meta Guidelines
The abstract should be unstructured (one paragraph, not divided into different sections) and no more than 250 words long.

Original Research articles The abstract should be structured, i.e. divided into the following sections - Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion, and no more than 250 words long.

Brainstorms The abstract will be a very short summary, no more than 50 words long.

Editorials and Letters to the Editor shall not require an abstract; if one is included it will be a very short summary.

Clinical implications

Where appropriate, authors of reviews, perspectives, and meta-guidelines may elect to also include a number of clinical implication points to be presented in addition to the abstract and conclusion. These will be most appropriate for articles that discuss material from preclinical studies and will be used to explain the findings and comment on their possible clinical applications. Authors may include 3 to 5 points that are constructed as full sentences. They should be clear, unambiguous and aid the comprehension of the material being discussed. Clinical implications will be assessed as part of the peer review process and authors may be asked to alter and update the points, or to remove them if they are not felt to add to the article.

Prior to submission

Although it is not required, for some review content, special series or special issues, prior to preparing a full-length manuscript, you may wish to consider sending a synopsis or abstract of your proposed submission for consideration by the Editor-in- Chief, Stephen Stahl. Please send to Lisa Arrington, Managing Editor, CNS Spectrums (, so that we can first determine whether your submission is appropriate for consideration.

Formatting your article

The article type should be included in the upper right hand corner (original research, review article, opinion, etc.).

Original Research articles should be separated into the following sections: Title page, acknowledgements, abstract, introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, References, Tables and/or Figures. Abstracts should be divided into specific sections as well (please refer to the Article Type Description Grid for further details).

Review articles and Perspectives should be arranged in the following order: Title page, acknowledgements, abstract (unstructured), introduction, body, conclusion, references, tables and figures. (Please refer to the Article Type Description Grid for further details).

Co-authors' professional titles, departments, affiliations, and middle initials The co-authors' names must be listed along with each person's professional title (Professor, Chairperson, Student, etc.), department (Department of Psychiatry, etc.), and professional affiliation (Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General Hospital, Pfizer, etc.). If applicable, please also include each co-author's middle initial(s).


Original research articles, reviews, perspectives, and meta-guidelines Minimum 2 tables and/or figures

Editorial 1 table or 1 figure

Please refer to the Article Type Description Grid for further details.

To ensure that your figures are reproduced to the highest possible standards and your article is published quickly and efficiently, please ensure that your figures are saved at final publication size and are in our recommended file formats (please see the latest issue of the journal for column widths). Following these guidelines will result in high quality images being reproduced in the published document. Please note that submitting low-quality tables and/or figures may result in a delay in publishing your manuscript. For further information about submitted tables and figures, please refer to the Artwork Guide for instructions on how to prepare your figures appropriately. Color artwork is free of charge in both the online and print versions of the journal.

Corresponding Author

The specific author to whom correspondence should be sent must be clearly indicated in your submission. Please include the corresponding author's contact information (mailing address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address, website, etc.) in the way that he or she wants it to appear in the published version.

Permission required for previously published items included in the submitted manuscript (tables, figures, photos, etc.)

Please include a reference for each such figure and/or table so that the journal editor and/or guest editor can easily verify that you have obtained the necessary reprint permissions. Adaptation refers to figures and/or tables based on information or a concept from a previously published figure and/or table but that have been altered to the point of not being recognizably based on a previous publication. If there is doubt, please seek permission.

Please obtain written permission to reprint previously published figures and/or tables in your manuscript. Clearly indicate which figures and/or tables fall under this category (an e-mail from the publisher or letter on the publisher's letterhead will suffice). Permission to reproduce material must be obtained from the publisher.


Please list sources of financial support (including grant numbers) for all authors. Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and a space. Where research was funded by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with 'and' before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors' initials. For example, 'This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH).'

Neuroscience-based Nomenclature (NbN-2) terminology

CNS Spectrums encourages the use of Neuroscience-based Nomenclature (NbN-2) terminology for psychotropic medications, as it reflects contemporary pharmacological knowledge, rather than arbitrary descriptors based on indications or chemical structure. Please download the free app for NbN-2 ( and the NbN-2 Instructions for Authors (

While you are welcome to use NbN-2 throughout the manuscript, as a minimum requirement we ask that on first mention in the paper, substances are referred to by their NbN-2 classification. In addition, we ask that all substances studied in the paper receive NbN-2 compliant keywords (e.g. eleven pharmacological domains and nine mode of action). 


Please use American Medical Association (AMA) style. References should be superscripted in text, then numbered, and comprehensive in list. Please number these references in the order that they appear in the text. These superscript numbers in the text should match the numbers and order of the references in the reference list (you should not list the references by alphabetical order). Abbreviations of journals' names should conform to the style used in Index Medicus; journals that are not indexed there should not be abbreviated. When following this format, please do not list any reference in your reference list more than once. See the following examples:


Goodkin K, Antoni MH, Helder L, et al. Psychoneuroimmunological aspects of disease progression among women and human papillomavirus-associated cervical dysplasia and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 coinfection. Int J Psychiatry Med. 1993;23(2):119–148.


Raine A. The Psychopathology of Crime: Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder. San Diego, Calif: Academic Press; 1993.

Parts of Books: Thase ME, Rush AJ. Treatment-resistant depression. In: Bloom FK, Kupfer DJ, eds. Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation of Progress. Baltimore, MD: Raven Press Ltd; 1995:1081–1097.

Unpublished Materials:

Eisenberg J. Market forces and physician workforce reform: why they may not work. Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges; October 28, 1995; Washington, DC.

Jones JL, Hanson DL, Ward JW, et al. Incidence and trends in AIDS-related opportunistic illnesses in injecting drug users and men who have sex with men. In: Program and abstracts of the XI International Conference on AIDS; July 7–12, 1996; Vancouver, British Columbia. Abstract We.C.3418.

Klassen TP, Watters LK, Feldman ME, et al. The efficacy of nebulized budesonide in dexamethasone-treated outpatients with croup. Pediatrics. In press.

Manuscript Submission


Please submit your manuscript directly to CNS Spectrums via the ScholarOne Manuscripts website.

Set up or login to your account, enter your Author Center, follow the instructions carefully, and upload your manuscript for submission. A chapter on manuscript submission is also available in the online interactive guide.

Once you submit your manuscript you will receive an automated e-mail confirmation stating that your manuscript was submitted successfully. In addition, a manuscript reference number will be generated for your submission automatically. If we decide to consider your manuscript for publication, our Editor-in-Chief will assign it to a Field Editor and peer reviewers. The unique reference number of the manuscript should be quoted in all correspondence with the CNS Spectrums Office and Publisher.

Peer review and revision process

Peer reviewer suggestions:

Authors must provide at minimum of three (3) names of qualified potential reviewers with the necessary contact information (affiliation and e-mail address). Reviewers should be specialists in the topic of the submitted paper, who have no conflict of interest and who are not affiliated with the company, organization, or institution that employ any of the co-authors of the manuscript. We may contact one or more of your suggested reviewers once we receive your manuscript, but we reserve the right to not do so. Peer review is anonymous.

Revision process:

The Field Editor and/or Editor-in-Chief will check the reviewers' overall assessment of the article. Peer review comments are then forwarded to the corresponding author for revisions. Authors are expected to incorporate all revisions to the best of their ability, unless otherwise noted. In addition, the authors' list of incorporated changes must accompany their revised manuscript. Authors are expected to submit revised manuscripts by the designated due date(s). If there are any questions about the reviewers' comments and/or suggested revisions, please contact the Field Editor and/or Content Editor directly, who will follow-up with the reviewer(s) for further clarification.

Failure to meet deadlines during the revision process

It is very important that authors meet all deadlines for submitted material (manuscripts, revisions, etc.). If you have problems meeting your deadlines, please call the Field Editors of CNS Spectrums or contact Lisa Arrington, Content Editor, at and explain your situation. You may be granted an extension. However, please note that late draft submissions are problematic. If delays start to significantly jeopardize our publication schedule, your article will be cut.

Post-acceptance/Production workflow

Upon final acceptance of a manuscript for publication, it is passed on to our production department, who will send it out for copyediting. The copyeditor will be in contact with the corresponding author directly regarding any queries about the article. The Corresponding author will need to respond to the copyeditor in a timely manner (usually within 48 hours), to ensure the prompt and efficient processing of the article. Typeset proofs shall be issued to the corresponding author as a final check – no substantive change shall be introduced at this stage. Once the typeset version is posted on the Cambridge Journals Online web site, please note that it cannot be changed, as it will constitute the version of record (VoR). All accepted articles are published online as soon as they are ready in FirstView. If an article is slated for a specific issue dated for a particular month, the approved article may be published online, prior to that publication date.


The publisher reserves the right to copy-edit all accepted manuscripts. The corresponding author will receive page proofs for proofreading. These should be checked and returned by designated due date, which is within 48 hours of your receipt. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for excessive correction of non-typographical errors.


The corresponding author will receive a pdf file of the article when it is published. Additional offprints must be ordered when page proofs are returned. Price lists and order forms will be sent with page proofs.

Journal Policies

NIH Open Access Archiving Mandate

In compliance with the National Institutes of Health Open Access Policy, under the Publisher's standard transfer of copyright agreement, the publisher shall autodeposit the manuscript to PubMed Central upon acceptance, as long as the author has indicated the NIH funding and the grant number upon submission. A final version of an article may be made publicly available no sooner than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Cambridge Open

Cambridge allows authors to make their articles freely available through the Cambridge University Press Open Access initiative, Cambridge Open. This initiative enables immediate open access publication of an author's article, upon acceptance and after an article processing fee has been received from the author or their sponsoring body.

All articles will continue to be handled in the same way during the peer-review process, professional production and online publication on Cambridge Journals Online. Articles will be included in the relevant Abstracting & Indexing services, and can have supplementary content added to their online versions.

Once manuscripts have been accepted for publication, authors can choose whether or not to publish open access. In this way, all of the editorial decision processes are unbiased. The journal's Editor and reviewers will not know that the paper is to be included in Cambridge Open Option. Cambridge asks in order to pro- vide this service is that the author, or their institution or funding body, pays an article processing fee to cover costs associated with the publication process, from peer review of the submitted manuscript, through the copy-editing and typesetting, to online-hosting of the definitive version of the published article.

The article processing fee ensures permanent archiving by both Cambridge University Press and the author, and allows anyone else to view, search, download or archive for personal and non-commercial use. The only condition for this is that the author and original source are properly acknowledged.

Additional information about our Open Access policy can be found here:

Publication of accepted manuscripts

All articles will be prepared for publication immediately upon their acceptance and published online in full before being allocated to an issue. Our intention is to allocate articles to the next available issue in order of date of acceptance. From time to time we are forced to allocate the publication accepted manuscripts to later issues in order to accommodate thematic content.

Co-Author Approval

Papers with multiple authors are reviewed with the assumption that all authors have contributed materially to the research re- ported, have approved the submitted manuscript, and concur with its submission to CNS Spectrums. A Copyright Transfer Agreement, with certain specified rights reserved by the author, must be signed and returned to the Publisher by each co-author listed at the time of submission. This is necessary for the wide distribution of research findings and the protection of both author and Cambridge University Press under copyright law.

Authorship Disclosure Form: Disclosure of Commercial and Non-Commercial Interests

All co-authors for each submission must list all of their disclosure information, including all forms of support, including grant and pharmaceutical support, affiliations, honoraria, received for past and present material, regardless of whether the author(s) feel that it directly pertains to their submitted material. Such information may, at the Editor's discretion, be shared with reviewers.

CNS Spectrums requires that an online Authorship Disclosure Form is completed by every author of the manuscript. Therefore, before you start submitting your paper please make sure that all co-authors have submitted their completed Authorship Disclosure Forms directly on ScholarOne.

If you do not have any disclosures, please type: Disclosures: The author[s] do not have any disclosures, and the author[s] do not have any affiliation with or financial interest in any organization that might pose a conflict of interest.

The Publisher shall not after publication online correct any error or omission in author disclosure forms if not submitted correctly during the peer review process.

We are aware that authors sometimes receive assistance from technical writers, language editors and/or writing agencies in preparing manuscripts for publication. Such assistance must be noted in the cover letter and in the Acknowledgements section along with a declaration that the author(s) are entirely responsible for the scientific content of the paper.

Failure to acknowledge assistance from technical writers, language editors and/or writing agencies in preparing manuscripts for publication in the cover letter and in the Acknowledgements section may lead to disqualification of the paper.

Originality and Copyright

To be considered for publication in CNS Spectrums, a manuscript cannot have been published previously, nor can it be under re- view for publication elsewhere. (Previously published figures may be sparingly used in Reviews, with appropriate permission.)

If you have an article currently under review pending a decision, you are welcome to keep it submitted to the journal or withdraw it at any time. However, if you decide to submit your article to a different publication, you must officially withdraw it from CNS Spectrums before submitting it elsewhere. You can withdraw your paper through the Author Center on the ScholarOne Manuscripts site. Alternatively, you may send an e- mail request specifying that you are asking to withdraw your manuscript and you must include the manuscript title and the names of your co-authors (if applicable), and the unique article identifier issued upon submission.

The posting of a brief summary of clinical trial outcomes on a pharmaceutical website will not necessarily count as prior publication nor impede full consideration of a manuscript: CNS Spectrums will look at this on a case-by-case basis to determine the extent of overlap between the trial data posted and the manuscript as submitted, and will decide whether the manuscript contains sufficiently new perspectives or sufficient additional data for it to count as original. Authors should declare when submitting manuscripts that such data have already been posted and CNS Spectrums will review this sympathetically.

Clinical Trials

As a condition of consideration for publication, registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry is required. A clinical trial is defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (in accordance with the definition of the World Health Organisation) as any research project that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health- related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Trials must be registered before the start of patient enrollment. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a not-for-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include at minimum a unique trial number, trial registration date, secondary identification information if assigned by sponsors or others, funding source(s), primary and secondary sponsor(s), responsible contact person, research contact person, official scientific title of the study, research ethics review, the medical condition being studied, intervention(s), key inclusion and exclusion criteria, study type, anticipated trial start date, target sample size, recruitment status, primary outcome, and key secondary outcomes. Registration information must be provided at the time of submission. Trial registry name, registration identification number, and the URL for the registry should be included at the end of the abstract.

Manuscripts reporting the results of randomized controlled trials should include a "CONSORT" flow diagram as a figure in the manuscript to illustrate the progress of all patients in the study (See: Schulz KF, Altman D, for the CONSORT Group. The CON- SORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel-group randomized trials. JAMA. 2001;285(15):1987–1991.)

Ethical considerations

Papers reporting experiments involving human subjects must contain the statement that the research was approved by an Internal Review Board, Helsinki Committee or similar body and that subjects gave informed consent. Papers describing animal experiments must indicate that the research was approved by a Review Committee or clearly state that the experiments were performed in accordance with accepted guidelines such as 'Guid- ing principles in the care and use of animals (DHEW Publications, NIH, 80-23). Papers that do not contain an Ethics Statement will not be reviewed.

Supplemental data files

Authors have the ability to upload media files of various kinds along with their articles. These are hosted and made available to end-users as Supplementary Materials. Please note that supple- mentary materials appear outside of the manuscript. Authors should ensure that an in-text citation to each Supplementary file has been made in the article. Preferably, in-text cites will appear in a separate section at the end of the article, following the text and preceding the traditional "References" or "Notes" section. They will include a URL address to be assigned by Cambridge.

Cambridge will not edit or typeset Supplementary Material, or modify audio or video files in any substantive way. It will be posted online exactly as supplied. Cambridge will notify the au- thor/editorial office if a submitted file does not meet our quality and size requirements. If deemed unacceptable, in most cases, the author will be responsible for rectifying the problem and supplying an acceptable file. In some rare instances, we can, by arrangement, convert audio and movie files to FLV format for streaming on the understanding that this may affect the resolution.

CNS Spectrums accepts the following type of Supplementary Materials:

  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • On occasion: exceptionally large datasets or tables that are to be presented outside of the manuscript.

Audio Files

  • Preferred formats: mp3 or mp4
  • Accepted formats: AAC, AIFF or WAV Maximum file size 15Mb

Video Files

  • Preferred formats: mpg/mpeg, mp4 or mov
  • Acceptable formats: wmv or avi
  • Maximum file size: 15Mb
  • Minimum dimensions: 320 pixels wide by 240 pixels deep
  • Verify that the videos are viewable in QuickTime or
  • Windows Media Player

For each video, please provide a citation in the appropriate place in the manuscript text and include a title and pertinent copy, preferably limited to 20 words.

This citation will appear in print as a boxed text and also specify the video file format. In the case of multiple video files, number them in the order in which they should be viewed.

If associated with a figure, please include a citation at the end of the figure caption explaining the video's function, its file format, and that it is accessible at

The video will be posted at the site of the appropriate journal title, volume, issue number, and article. At the article's title, the video can be accessed via a link which states "Supplemental Materials," or a more specific label such as "Movies."

Other acceptable file formats

Accepted formats: pdf, doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, jpeg, tiff, png, and zip

Naming supplementary files

Supplementary files should be named in such a way that it is clear what they are, which article they belong to, and what they contain. For instance, if John Smith includes a series of Supplementary Material tables to be published with his article, the file should be labeled <<Smith_supp.pdf>>.



Copyright requirements for supplementary material

All Supplementary Material is subject to the same copyright requirements as primary material; this is clearly specified in the copyright form that will be sent to the author with first proofs:

"I/we hereby assign to Cambridge University Press, full copyright in all formats and media in the said contribution, including in any supplementary materials that I/we may author in support of the online version."

Language Editing Services

Contributions written in English are welcomed from all countries. Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. Cambridge offers a service which authors can learn about here. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

Summary of Article Types and Requirements


Article type






Figures/ Tables


Purpose/ features

Original research

6,000 words  

Up to

100 references


≤ 250


No citations

Minimum 2 tables

and/or figures

Original Research: Reports the results of a formal study based on original research.

Structured abstract

Review article

No limit


≤ 250


No citations

Minimum 2 tables and/or figures

Maximum 6 tables and/or figures

Review: Written as a literature review of an established topic, as suggested by its name.

Clinical implication points


3,000 words




≤ 150


No citations

Minimum 2 tables

and/or figures

Maximum 6 tables and/or figures

Perspective: A type of review that is a short, focused summary of a single recent advance, a sort of spotlight on the topic, which could be for example a single point hypothesis or a novel model.  It can stimulate debate and new research.

Meta guidelines

6,000 words  



≤ 250


No citations

15-25 tables and/or figures

Meta guidelines: A meta-guideline, is a “guideline of guidelines” put together by several leading figures in a field in which there are multiple competing guidelines that require synthesis and updating. Outlines diagnostic and treatment options and medications; includes an abstract, introduction, and optional additional text.


900 – 1,500 words

Unstructured  150


1 table or 1 figure

(excluding invited guest editorials for thematic issues)

Editorial: Introduces a new idea or a particular theme, usually written by the editor-in-chief and occasionally submitted by a guest editor. A luminary in the field might also be approached to provide a guest editorial.

Letter to the Editor

1,000 words, max 5 references

No abstract


Letters may discuss previously published papers in the journal but should not be used to communicate new research.

Publication Ethics

Please visit for information on our ethical guidelines.