Instructions for contributors
Aims and scope
CNS Spectrums covers all aspects of the clinical neurosciences, neurotherapeutics and neuropsychopharmacology, particularly those pertinent to the clinician and clinician 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 human 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.
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.
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.
Article Types The following manuscript types are accepted:
Original Research: Articles in this category should present methodologically sound, new original study data. 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, and neurology, and/or to clinical investigators in the neurosciences.
Reviews: We accept reviews in several different formats, including short reviews, which should be concise, accessible, accurate and precise reviews of recent research and emergent areas. These may include speculation and debate, but this should be clearly indicated. Reviews should focus on published authoritative and recent data from the 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. There is no limit to the word count; however, the ideal length is 3,000 words.
We also accept regular scholarly reviews up to 6000 words, as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses, all three of which must include structured abstracts.
The case-based review article should be formatted as a literature review, with several (at least 3) case examples. These should be included along with the other elements of a good review, and it should also be based on secondary sources while addressing several cases. In addition, it must have a psychopharmacological and/or clinical neuroscientific focus.
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.
Guidelines: A guideline can include outputs from professional organizations, or groups of professionals who have worked together to develop direction in a given field.
This can also include meta-guidelines, which are "guidelines of guidelines" put together by several leading figures in a field in which there are multiple competing guidelines that require synthesis and updating. This can also include “guidance” if the authors prefer this designation, or “expert consensus” with those experts involved being listed as coauthors if that is deemed more appropriate by the authors. All of these outline 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.
Brainstorms (by invitation only): Brainstorms are editorials or comments, not directed towards content in the current issue, which provide a short background and overview of a current topic in the ﬁeld, ongoing controversy, or evolving point of view. These often provide illustrations in order to inform readers and set a context for them for the editorial opinion and commentary also included.
Editorials: Editorials may be used to introduce a new idea or particular theme, and they may also introduce the subject being brought into focus in a special issue or thematic section. 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.
CNS Spectrums does not accept Case Reports.
Formatting your Article
Please include article type should be included in the upper right hand corner (Original Research, Review, Perspective, etc.).
Original Research: Articles should be separated into the following sections:
- Title page
- Structured Abstract (Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion; no more than 250 words)
- Key words
- Tables and/or Figures (minimum of two)
- Preferred formats: mpg/mpeg, mp4 or mov
Reviews and Perspectives should be arranged in the following order:
- Title page
- Unstructured Abstract (for Reviews, including short reviews, and Perspectives); no more than 250 words
or Structured Abstract (for systematic review articles and meta-analyses) (Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion; no more than 250 words)
Author list All coauthors' complete first and last names must be listed along with the corresponding number of each coauthor’s department(s) and professional afﬁliation(s). Please note that we do not include academic degrees with the list of coauthors (MD, PhD, etc.).
Coauthors’ affiliations Each affiliation must be listed and numbered separately (for example, 1. Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA, etc.). The coauthors’ corresponding affiliations should be numbered in same order that the coauthors are listed in the Author List. In addition, the number of each affiliation must appear next to the appropriate person in the Author List.
Finally, each professional/academic affiliation must include the following items, in the following order: 1. the one main academic department (if applicable); 2. the one main institution (university, hospital, company, etc.); 3. state or region; and 4. country. This should be obtained by the corresponding author prior to submission.
Corresponding Author The author to whom correspondence should be sent must be clearly indicated in your submission. Please include the corresponding author's email address in the way that it should appear in the published version.
CNS Spectrums now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using ORCID when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as publication and grant applications, provides the following benefits:
- Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
- Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your ID or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID profile, and will save you re-keying information multiple times.
- Keeping track: Your ORCID profile can record and display (if you choose) validated information about your research activities.
If you don’t already have an ID, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to CNS Spectrums. You can register for one directly from your user account on ScholarOne or via https://orcid.org/register. If you already have an ID, please use this when submitting by linking it to your ScholarOne user account. Simply log in to your account using your normal username and password. Edit your account by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen and from the dropdown menu, select 'E-Mail / Name'. Follow the instructions at the top of the screen to update your account.
A list of FAQ about Cambridge University Press's use of ORCID can be found here.
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content;
- Final approval of the version to be published;
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
- Our default position is that the corresponding author has the authority to act on behalf of all co-authors, and we expect the corresponding author to confirm this at the beginning of the submission process.
- Pdf, doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, jpeg, tiff, png, and zip
- Audio files
- Preferred formats: mp3 or mp4
- Accepted formats: AAC, AIFF or WAV
- Maximum file size 15Mb
- Video files
- 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
Tables and figures must be numbered individually, and table and figure legends and captions must be formatted properly (for example, Table 1: Table description; Figure: 1: Title of figure, etc.).
All intended table and figure legends and captions must be included with the initial manuscript submission. In addition, table and figure legends and captions must be placed outside of the table or figure. Please also refer to the Journals Artwork Guide, as well as the ‘Figure Captions’ section in this guide, for further details.
Figures 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. 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, please refer to the Artwork Guide for instructions on how to prepare your ﬁgures appropriately.
Tables All tables must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Excel, not in figure format.
*Please note that our typesetters must receive any tables in MSWord or Excel, in order to typeset them appropriately, in the event that your submission is accepted for publication.
Reuse of materials Authors must obtain written permission to reprint previously published ﬁgures and/or tables. Permission to reproduce material must be obtained from the publisher. Please include a reference for each previously published ﬁgure and/or table so that the journal editor and/or guest editor can easily verify that you have obtained the necessary reprint permissions.
Funding Within this section please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, for example:
“This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”.
Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and space, and 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 (AB, grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (CD, grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (EF, grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (AB, grant number GGGG), (EF, grant number HHHH).”
Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement:
“This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”
Conflicts of interest Authors must include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their manuscript when they submit, which should be published in their article. These include any situation that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.
If the manuscript has multiple authors, the Conflicts of Interest declarations should list all contributing authors, e.g. “Conflicts of Interest. Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H in the past.”
If an author wishes to state they have no Conflicts of Interest, their declaration should say “Conflicts of Interest. None”.
Please review the disclosure form of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) in order to determine all appropriate disclosures.
The completed ICMJE form should be saved for your records.
Acknowledgements Authors can use this section to acknowledge and thank colleagues, institutions, workshop organizers, family members, etc that have helped with the research and/or writing process. It is important that that any type of funding information or financial support listed under ‘Financial Support’ rather than Acknowledgements so that it can easily be tagged and captured separately.
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. Authors may use the format “The author(s) thank [name and qualifications] of [company, city, country] for providing [medical/technical/language] writing support/editorial support [specify and/or expand as appropriate], which was funded by [sponsor, city, country]."
References 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). List all authors when there are six or fewer; for seven or more references, list only the first three and add "et al."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, Sevin B. 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.
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, Dworkin MS, Kaplan JE, Ward JW. 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, Sutcliffe T, Rowe PC. The efﬁcacy of nebulized budesonide in dexamethasone-treated outpatients with croup. Pediatrics. In press.
Summary of Article Types and Requirements
Minimum 2 tables
Original Research: Reports the results of a formal study based on original research.
Unstructured (for Reviews, including short reviews) or Structured (systematic reviews and meta-analyses)
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.
Case-based review article
Minimum 2 tables and/or figures
Unstructured, ≤ 250 words
Minimum 2 tables and/or ﬁgures
Maximum 6 tables and/or ﬁgures
The case-based review article should be formatted as a literature review, with several, at least 3, case examples. In addition, it must have a psychopharmacological and/or clinical neuroscientific focus.
Minimum 2 tables
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.
15-25 tables and/or figures
Guidelines: A guideline can include outputs from professional organizations, or groups of professionals who have worked together to develop direction in a given field. This can also include meta-guidelines, which are "guidelines of guidelines" put together by several leading figures in a field in which there are multiple competing guidelines that require synthesis and updating. This can also include “guidance” if the authors prefer this designation, or “expert consensus” with those experts involved being listed as coauthors if that is deemed more appropriate by the authors. All of these outline diagnostic and treatment options and medications; includes an abstract, introduction, optional additional text, and 15-25 tables and/or figures.
900 – 1,500 words
≤ 150 words
For editorials, abstracts are optional.
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. The journal considers both solicited and unsolicited editorial submissions, provided that the subject matter is appropriate.
Letter to the Editor
1,000 words, max 5 references
Letters may discuss previously published papers in the journal but should not be used to communicate new research.
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.
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 (http://nbnomenclature.org/) and the NbN-2 Instructions for Authors (http://nbnomenclature.org/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).
Peer Review and Revision Process
CNS Spectrums employs a single blind peer review process.
Peer Reviewer suggestions Authors must provide a minimum of three (3) names of qualiﬁed potential reviewers with the necessary contact information (afﬁliation and institutional 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 a company, organization, or institution that employs 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.
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 Major and Minor Revision decisions. Authors are expected to incorporate all revisions to the best of their ability, unless otherwise noted. Authors must submit revised manuscripts, with tracked changes, 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 critical that authors meet all deadlines for submitted material. For possible extensions, please contact the Field Editors of CNS Spectrums or Lisa Arrington, Managing Editor.
Post-Acceptance and Production
Upon ﬁnal acceptance, manuscripts are passed on to our production department for copyediting and typesetting. The copyeditor may be in contact with the corresponding author directly regarding article. Please respond to any queries in a timely manner to ensure the prompt and efﬁcient processing of your article. Typeset proofs shall be issued to the corresponding author as a ﬁnal check – no substantive change shall be introduced at this stage. Once approved and published online, please note that your article cannot be altered further. CNS Spectrums follows a FirstView publication workflow, with articles posted ahead of issue assignment.
The corresponding author will receive a pdf ﬁle of the article when it is published
Accepted Manuscripts Accepted Manuscripts are published online (before copyediting or typesetting) within approximately a week of final acceptance, provided Cambridge have received all final files and a completed License to Publish form. At this point, the article will be assigned its final DOI and be considered published and citable. The corresponding author will subsequently receive a proof of your typeset, edited article, which will eventually replace the accepted manuscript online and be considered the final Version of Record. For more information, please click here.
NIH Open Access Archiving Mandate In compliance with the National Institutes of Health Open Access Policy, under the Publisher's standard author publishing 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.
Open Access CNS Spectrums is what is known as a "hybrid" journal, meaning that although the journal itself is available via subscription, individual articles can be published under an open access model. Authors who would like to publish their article via open access should note this when filling out their License to Publish form. Should your article be accepted, an Article Processing Charge (APC) will be collected during the production phase. For further information about Open Access at Cambridge University Press, please visit our Open Access page.
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 License to Publish Form, with certain speciﬁed rights reserved by the author, must be signed and returned to the Publisher by the corresponding author after acceptance. This is necessary for the wide distribution of research ﬁndings and the protection of both author and Cambridge University Press under copyright law.
Originality and Copyright To be considered for publication in CNS Spectrums, a manuscript cannot have been published previously, nor can it be under review for publication elsewhere.
If you have an article currently under review and decide to submit your article to a different publication, you must ofﬁcially withdraw it from CNS Spectrums. You can withdraw your paper through the Author Center on the ScholarOne Manuscripts site.
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 Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable) in the Methods section: "The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008." and "The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals." Articles reporting randomised trials must conform to the standards set by the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) consortium. Authors are also required to abide by the ICMJE guidelines regarding informed consent.
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 supplementary 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 author/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:
Supplementary file naming 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>>.
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. Please 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 www.cambridge.org.
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."
Copyright requirements for supplementary material All Supplementary Material is subject to the same copyright requirements as primary material; this is clearly specified in the author publishing agreement that will be sent to the author with first proofs.
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.
Last updated 1 October 2021