Contents

  1. 1 ARTICLE TYPES
    1. 1.1 Original Investigations
      1. 1.1.1 Case Series
      2. 1.1.2 Clinical Trial
      3. 1.1.3 Decision Analysis or Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
      4. 1.1.4 Diagnostic Test Study
      5. 1.1.5 Observational Study
      6. 1.1.6 Prediction Study
      7. 1.1.7 Qualitative Study
      8. 1.1.8 Quality Improvement Report
      9. 1.1.9 Systematic Review or Meta-analysis
    2. 1.2 Research Letters
    3. 1.3 Case Reports
    4. 1.4 Features
      1. 1.4.1 In a Few Words
      2. 1.4.2 Narrative Review
      3. 1.4.3 Perspective
      4. 1.4.4 Policy Forum
      5. 1.4.5 Quiz
      6. 1.4.6 Special Report
      7. 1.4.7 Teaching Case
  2. 2 OTHER CONTENT
    1. 2.1 Letters to the Editor
    2. 2.2 Custom Features
  3. 3 SUBMISSION POLICIES
    1. 3.1 Originality
    2. 3.2 Authorship
    3. 3.3 Potential Conflicts of Interest for Authors
    4. 3.4 Patient/Participant Protections
    5. 3.5 Clinical Trial Registration
    6. 3.6 Research and Publication Integrity
  4. 4 MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION GUIDANCE
    1. 4.1 Title Page
    2. 4.2 Abstract
    3. 4.3 Manuscript Body
    4. 4.4 Acknowledgements
    5. 4.5 Tables and Figures
    6. 4.6 Supplementary Material
    7. 4.7 Journal Style
  5. 5 MANUSCRIPT CONSIDERATION PROCESS
  6. 6 AFTER ACCEPTANCE
    1. 6.1 Prepublication Embargo
    2. 6.2 Copyright
    3. 6.3 Article Access
      1. 6.3.1 Open Access User Licenses
      2. 6.3.2 Open Access Publication Fee
      3. 6.3.3 Compliance With NIH Public Access Policy
    4. 6.4 Proofreading
    5. 6.5 Page Charges
    6. 6.6 Color Reproduction Charges
    7. 6.7 Share Link and Reprints
    8. 6.8 Retained Author Rights
  7. 7 OTHER EDITORIAL POLICIES
    1. 7.1 Review Policy
    2. 7.2 Author Appeal Policy
    3. 7.3 Conflict of Interest Policy
      1. 7.3.1 Potential Author Conflicts
      2. 7.3.2 Potential Reviewer Conflicts
      3. 7.3.3 Potential Editor Conflicts
    4. 7.4 Misconduct Handling Policy
    5. 7.5 Complaint Policy
    6. 7.6 Advertising Policy
    7. 7.7 Supplement Policy
The American Journal of Kidney Diseases, published monthly by Elsevier on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation, serves clinicians and scientists who treat and investigate kidney disease and associated conditions. AJKD is dedicated to providing high-quality, clinically relevant information in the form of original research articles, case reports, and a rich variety of educational features.

ARTICLE TYPES

Original Investigations

Original Investigations evaluate pathogenesis, consequences, and treatment of kidney disease and hypertension, acid-base and electrolyte disorders, dialysis therapies, and kidney transplantation. Manuscripts must focus on clinical research; laboratory studies are suitable only if they are directly linked to measurements or outcomes in humans.

An Original Investigation includes a structured abstract of up to 300 words and is limited to 3,500 words (excluding abstract, references, acknowledgements, tables, and figure legends); most Original Investigations will have no more than 50 references and 8 figures/tables/boxes in total. The body of the manuscript is organized into Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion sections; the Introduction and Discussion should not include any subheadings.

Criteria for review include validity, clinical importance, and interest. Reporting requirements vary by study design, which are listed in alphabetical order in this section. In all cases, use AJKD’s structured abstract headings, even if the reporting guideline recommends a different format. If reporting company-sponsored research, consult the Good Publication Practice recommendations (GPP3).

Case Series

A retrospective description of the clinical course of 11 or more individuals or patients with a condition of interest. A case series typically focuses on the description of variations in clinical presentation and, unlike an observational study, does not pursue evaluation of research hypotheses.

Clinical Trial

An experimental study that assesses the effect of an intervention or compares the effects of 2 or more interventions. AJKD requires registration in a public trials registry (see clinical trial registration policy).

For randomized controlled trials, include a CONSORT flowchart to report participant flow through enrollment, allocation, follow-up, and analysis. Follow the CONSORT checklist matching the study design:

Trial With Parallel Group Design (more info)

Cluster-Randomized Trial

Noninferiority and Equivalence Trial

Pragmatic Trial

Trial of Herbal Medicine Intervention (more info)

Trial of Nonpharmacologic Treatment (more info)

Trial With Patient-Reported Outcomes

N-of-1 Trials (more info)

Consider following the TIDieR checklist to describe the intervention. If appropriate, follow CONSORT’s checklist for reporting of harms.

For nonrandomized trials evaluating behavioral and public health interventions, follow the TREND checklist.

Decision Analysis or Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

An analysis that weighs choices in clinical care by modeling the projected consequences of different strategies to identify the optimal choice and/or to inform clinical decision making or public policy. Follow the recommendations of the Second Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine (Sanders et al. JAMA. 2016;316[10]: 1093-1103) to report economic evaluations of health interventions.

Diagnostic Test Study

A study that compares the performance of 2 or more diagnostic tests or strategies. Follow the STARD checklist.

AJKD endorses the recommendations of the Consortium of Laboratory Medicine Journal Editors regarding methodological information to be included in studies using laboratory testing of biomarkers.

Observational Study

A study that observes and describes individuals or patients based on their exposure to a potential risk factor or an intervention with the purpose of assessing the validity of research hypotheses. In contrast to a trial, investigators do not deliver an intervention or manipulate its use; ie, they do not assign patients to treatment or control groups. Follow the STROBE checklist (more info) pertaining to the study design:

Cohort Study

Case-Control Study

Cross-sectional Study

For genetic association studies, follow the STREGA checklist.

Although no dedicated guidelines are available for reports from registries, AJKD also considers observational studies of this type.

Prediction Study

A study that describes the development or use of a model designed to estimate risk of reaching a specific clinical end point within a defined period of time. Prediction models may also be referred to as prognostic (or predictive) indices, rules, tools, or instruments. Follow the TRIPOD checklist (more info); for risk prediction models involving genetic risk factors, consult the GRIPS checklist (more info).

Qualitative Study

A study used to gain an understanding about people’s behaviors, attitudes, and values. Qualitative approaches include focus groups, in-depth or semi-structured interviews, observations, or document analysis. For qualitative research based on interviews and focus groups, follow the COREQ checklist.

Quality Improvement Report

A description of an activity that was conducted as an initiative to improve quality of care and that does not follow the design of a prospective research study such as a clinical trial or an observational study. Follow the SQUIRE checklist (more info).

Systematic Review or Meta-analysis

A systematic review follows an explicit protocol to systematically identify, appraise, and synthesize the findings of studies that address a similar question; a meta-analysis, which contains a quantitative synthesis of the results of the systematic review, is preferred, whenever possible.

Include a PRISMA flow diagram to report study yield and selection (if relevant, adapt the format according to the specific reporting guidelines being followed).

For systematic review/meta-analysis of health care interventions, follow the PRISMA checklist (more info); for observational studies, follow the MOOSE checklist (Stroup et al, JAMA. 2000;283[15]:2008- 2012).

For meta-analyses of gene-disease association studies, consult the Human Genome Epidemiology Network Review Handbook, Evangelou & Ioannidis (Meta-analysis methods for genome-wide association studies and beyond. Nat Rev Genet. 2013;14: 379-389), and Sagoo et al (Systematic reviews of genetic association studies. PLoS Med. 2009) for recommendations.

For synthesis of primary qualitative studies (including by thematic synthesis, meta-ethnography, and critical interpretive synthesis) report the approach for conducting the literature search and selection, appraisal, and synthesis of findings in accordance with the ENTREQ checklist.

For systematic reviews and meta-analyses of individual participant data, follow the PRISMA-IPD checklist.

For network meta-analyses, follow the PRISMA network meta-analysis extension.

Authors of systematic reviews are encouraged to prospectively register study protocols at the PROSPERO international registry, reporting the registration number in the Methods.

Research Letters

Research Letters report research findings relevant to clinical practice in a concise format comprising up to 800 words, 10 references, and a total of 2 figures or tables. Criteria for review include validity, clinical importance, and interest. Research Letters include an introduction, brief methods, key results, and a discussion, but no subheadings are used. Authors should use online supplementary material (combined into a single “Item S1”) for detailed methods or supporting data. Since reports of cases do not include methods, they are not suitable as Research Letters.

Case Reports

Case Reports provide a succinct presentation and discussion of a notable case or cases (up to 10),  and should have a single, well-defined message. Criteria for review include clinical importance, originality, and the clarity of the case presentation. These articles are limited to 1,500 words and an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words) is required; most Case Reports will have no more than 20 references and 2 figures/tables/boxes in total. The format consists of an Introduction, Case Report, and Discussion. Authors should consult the CARE checklist for clinical case reporting, but since not all reports of cases fit naturally with these guidelines, discretion should be used in applying each item.

Features

AJKD features are designed to strengthen knowledge in the field of nephrology and help physicians provide their patients with the highest standard of care. Feature types for which ad hoc submissions are considered are described in this section.

In a Few Words

A nonfiction narrative essay which gives voice to the personal experiences and stories that define kidney disease. Submissions from physicians, allied health professionals, patients, or family members are welcome, and may concern the personal, ethical, or policy implications of any aspect of kidney disease in adults and children. Details may be omitted to preserve patient confidentiality, but information should not be changed; the patient’s written permission will be needed if details are sufficient to recognize him/herself. References or footnotes are discouraged. Essays are limited to 1,500 words and up to 1 image.

Narrative Review

A review that covers a clinical, translational, or basic science topic of interest to practitioners. Narrative Reviews should describe the treatment, diagnosis or pathogenesis of a disease process or its complications, emphasizing recent advances in the field. Articles pertaining to basic science topics should give particular attention to cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease and their relation to diagnostic approaches or therapeutic applications. Criteria for review include clinical relevance, comprehensiveness, and balance. These articles are limited to 4,000 words; an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words) is required, and most Narrative Reviews will have no more than 100 references. The editors encourage the use of figures and tables (up to 8 total) to help convey the central concepts.

Perspective

An in-depth commentary on an issue of significance to the nephrology community. Criteria for review include originality, rigor of argument, and clinical relevance. Perspectives are limited to 3,000 words and 4 figures or tables; an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words) is required, and most Perspectives will have no more than 70 references.

Policy Forum

This feature will highlight current and emerging issues in nephrology that impact the clinical medicine in the United States and worldwide. The Policy Forum will discuss issues of payment policy, social policy, demographics, politics, and ethics, contextualizing these issues as they relate to the lives and practices of members of the kidney community, including providers, payers, and patients. Policy Forum articles are limited to 3,000 words and 4 figures or tables; an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words) is required, and most articles of this type will have no more than 50 references.

Quiz

An educational feature that recurs monthly and tests readers’ acumen in resolving a diagnostic or therapeutic dilemma. The first section includes a concise clinical history (200 words or fewer), a maximum of 4 figures/tables, and 1 to 4 brief questions pertaining to the case. An answer to each question, further information regarding the clinical entity, and a brief statement of the final diagnosis are provided in a separate answer section, which may include an additional 2 to 4 figures and in most cases has no more than 400 words and 5 references. For initial submission, Quizzes should include a standard title page.

Special Report

An article summarizing the activities, perspectives, or findings of a group or initiative relevant to clinical practice or research in nephrology. Examples include position statements, reports of scientific workshops, and descriptions of the rationale or progress of initiatives or consortia. Criteria for review include the importance and clinical relevance of the issue addressed, timeliness of the topic, the appropriateness of the authors’ expertise and backgrounds for the scope of the article, and the novelty and anticipated impact of the conclusions. Articles of this type are limited to 4,000 words, and an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words) is required; most Special Reports will have no more than 80 references and 8 figures/tables/boxes in total.

If a report of a conference, the article should make clear the motivation, participants, sponsors, and scope of the meeting, and should specify if the conclusions are endorsed as an official position of the sponsor. For such submissions, the review process will focus on making constructive suggestions for placing the report in context, rather than requesting changes to the recommendations/outcomes of the conference.

Teaching Case

A feature designed to educate readers regarding the diagnosis and/or treatment of a clinical problem. These articles focus on interpretation of pathology findings, laboratory tests, or imaging studies. Criteria for review include the clarity of case presentation, clinical applicability and interest, and educational value. Teaching Cases typically include an Introduction, a Case Presentation (with 4 suggested subsections: Clinical History and Initial Laboratory Data, Additional Investigations, Diagnosis, and Clinical Follow-up), and a Discussion. In general, each Teaching Case includes a table of laboratory data, relevant images, a box of key teaching points, and a summary of the authors’ approach to the clinical problem. These articles are limited to 2,000 words and require an unstructured abstract (up to 200 words). Most Teaching Cases will have no more than 30 references and 4 figures/tables/boxes in total. Although Teaching Cases are often invited, they may be submitted without invitation.

OTHER CONTENT

Letters to the Editor

Letters must be in response to an article in AJKD and should not exceed 250 words (up to 5 references and 1 figure or table may also be included) and 3 authors. Priority will be given to letters submitted within 4 weeks of the article’s date of online or print publication, whichever occurs first.

Custom Features

Certain content in AJKD is published by special arrangement only. The editors regularly invite editorials commenting on an article published in AJKD, or (for the In the Literature feature) that evaluate recent articles—typically in non–nephrology journals—that affect the nephrology community. Other custom features include clinical practice guidelines, commentaries on such guidelines, and reports of kidney disease surveillance data from private or public health agencies.

SUBMISSION POLICIES

Submission of a manuscript is understood to signify that the authors have complied with all policies in this document. Individuals who violate these policies are subject to editorial action including, but not limited to disclosure of violations to relevant entities (employers, funding agencies, etc) and/or the wider public via publication of an erratum, editorial, editorial expression of concern, or retraction.

Originality

Manuscripts are considered for publication if the article or its key features (1) are not under consideration elsewhere, (2) have not been published, and (3) will not appear in print or online prior to publication in AJKD. This restriction does not apply to abstracts published in connection with scientific meetings; in addition, press reports arising from a conference will not be considered prior publication, provided that authors who discuss their work with reporters do not offer more detail than was contained in their oral or poster presentation. If copies of posters, slide sets, or audio/video recordings of presentations are produced in conjunction with a scientific conference, this is permissible as long as the materials are intended for meeting participants only.

Any text, figure, table, or data from other sources must be clearly attributed. If copyright permission is required for any component of the submission, appropriate documentation must be on file before publication. To monitor compliance with the journal’s requirements regarding attribution, accepted manuscripts are screened using plagiarism detection software. Consistent with the position of the US Office of Research Integrity, AJKD does not consider “limited use of identical or nearly-identical phrases which describe a commonly used methodology or previous research” to meet the definition of plagiarism.

Authorship

In accordance with International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations, each author must meet all 4 of the following conditions; moreover, each person fulfilling these conditions must be listed as an author.

(1) the individual made a substantial contribution to conception and design of the study, to data acquisition, or to data analysis and interpretation; and

(2) the individual drafted the article and/or revised it for important intellectual content; and

(3) the individual approved the final version of the submitted manuscript; and

(4) the individual accepts accountability for the overall work by ensuring that questions pertaining to the accuracy or integrity of any portion of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

If revision is requested, item 3 applies to any revised versions submitted to AJKD. Item 4 is intended to make clear that the responsibilities of authorship are not limited to direct accountability for the parts of the work that the author performed, but also cover knowing which co-authors are responsible for which other parts of the work, and having confidence in the accuracy and integrity of these co-authors. If questions arise about an aspect of a study or article, the authors have a collective responsibility to ensure the issue is resolved.

Any individual who does not qualify as an author but who contributed to the work described in the manuscript must be named in the Acknowledgements. In particular, if medical writer(s)/editor(s) have been involved, their role must be explicitly acknowledged, and their affiliation/source of funding must be listed.

For Original Investigations and Research Letters, a brief description of the contribution of each individual listed as an author must be provided in the Acknowledgements. (At their discretion, the editors may request this information for other article types.)

Potential Conflicts of Interest for Authors

AJKD’s conflict of interest policies generally follow those of the ICMJE Recommendations.

A conflict of interest exists for an author when s/he has financial or personal relationships with other persons or organizations that may inappropriately influence or bias his or her actions. There is a potential for a conflict of interest whether or not an individual believes that a relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Conflicts can occur as the result of financial relationships, personal and family relationships, or academic competitive pressures. As described in the Support and Financial Disclosure Declaration section, authors must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest. Editors may use information disclosed in conflict of interest statements as the basis for editorial decisions.

Patient/Participant Protections

All manuscripts reporting research studies involving human participants or data must include a statement that the research was approved by the appropriate research ethics committee (eg, an institutional review board), quoting the approval number. If the relevant ethics committee exempted the study from the need for approval, the name of the committee and a brief explanation must be provided. In all cases, the research must have been conducted according to principles having their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki. Studies related to transplantation must comply with the Declaration of Istanbul.

Manuscripts reporting research studies must either state that written, informed consent was obtained from all participants or that the responsible ethics committee ruled that informed consent did not apply (eg, for a case series). If investigators have potential conflicts of interest, these must be disclosed to study participants, and a statement should be included in the manuscript to indicate that such disclosure was made.

Manuscripts reporting quality improvement activities must include a statement that the plan for the quality improvement activity was approved by the clinical leadership of the organization whose experience is reported.

Whenever possible, any information identifying individual patients or study participants should be avoided. If identifying information is necessary, the individual must be shown the manuscript and provide written informed consent before publication.

Clinical Trial Registration

To help limit publication bias and to aid in the identification of clinical trials for meta-analyses, AJKD requires authors of manuscripts pertaining to clinical trials to register their study in a public trials registry. AJKD defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns participants to an intervention (with or without a comparison group) to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a health-related intervention and a health outcome. Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, biological products, surgical/ radiologic procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, and preventive care. This definition includes phase 1 to 4 studies.

For trials that were completed before 2006, authors may, in lieu of registration, cite a published peer-reviewed article describing the study. Authors should provide a digital version of this article as a "Relevant Reprint" at the time of submission. If there is no previous publication, then the trial must be registered retroactively.

A list of other acceptable registries is maintained on the WHO Primary Registries page. Authors must include the minimum required information at the time of registration, and are encouraged to update the record with the full journal citation when the results are published.

Research and Publication Integrity

AJKD endorses the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, which lists the responsibilities of researchers in upholding research integrity. AJKD considers irresponsible and unethical research practices to include fabrication (invention of data), falsification (tampering with data, including images), misrepresentation (plagiarism, duplicate publication, misattribution), or any other behavior that lessens the reliability or integrity of the research record. AJKD takes seriously its responsibility to respond to suspicions or allegations of misconduct according to its misconduct handling policy.

For all research articles (Original Investigations and Research Letters), authors have a responsibility to report methodology accurately, clearly, and with sufficient detail such that the findings can be independently confirmed. Collectively, the authors are responsible that the article is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.

For all article types, the editors may at their discretion request to inspect raw data or unprocessed images. AJKD’s expectations regarding image processing are detailed in the Tables and Figures section.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION GUIDANCE

Title Page

The title should be concise and descriptive. Reports of studies should not summarize the results in the title. For Original Investigations, a subtitle stating the study design is recommended. Other elements that should be included on the title page are: each author’s first and last names and highest degree(s); institution of each author; corresponding author’s contact information; word counts for the abstract (if present) and the body of the manuscript; and a short title (45 characters or fewer, including spaces) to be used as a running head (not necessary for Quizzes or correspondence).

Note: The author list must comply with AJKD’s definition of authorship.

Abstract

Abstracts for Case Report, In Practice, Narrative Review, Perspective, Special Report, and Teaching Case manuscripts are unstructured and are limited to 200 words. Authors should provide a list of index words under the abstract.

Original Investigations must include a brief (300 words or fewer) structured abstract followed by a list of index words. Formats for abstracts differ according to type of study, as shown in Table 1.

The abstract headings listed in Table 1 may differ from published reporting guidelines; AJKD authors should follow the journal’s preferred headings.

Table 1. Subheadings for structured abstracts of Original Investigations.

Manuscript Body

Manuscripts must be double-spaced with numbered pages; use of 12-point Times New Roman and an unjustified right-hand margin is preferred.

Word limits are provided in the Article Types section of this document. If following the recommended formats for reporting original research causes the manuscript to exceed the stated length limitation, the authors need not reduce the manuscript length before submission: if revision is requested, the editors will provide guidance on appropriate reductions or the use of supplementary online material.

Acknowledgements

Authors wishing to express thanks or note assistance should do so in the first paragraph of the Acknowledgements, which should be located after the manuscript text and before the reference list. In addition, any individuals who contributed to the work described in the manuscript but who do not qualify as authors must be named in this section. Authors are responsible for informing all those listed that they are being mentioned in the manuscript and for obtaining their approval prior to publication.

Support

This section must report any support for the work described in the submission, whether directed to an author or that individual’s institution. Types of support include, but are not limited to:

• grants, active or pending (including industry grants)

• consulting fees or honoraria related to the study

• funding of travel related to the study

• fees related to data monitoring boards, statistical analysis, end point committees, etc

• funds for writing or reviewing the manuscript

• nonmonetary support (eg, writing or administrative assistance), or provision of medicines or equipment

• employment

Authors should specify whether or not the funders had any role in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication.

Financial Disclosure

This section lists financial relationships with entities that did not support the study, but that might reasonably be considered to be relevant stakeholders. For manuscripts that discuss tests or treatments, relationships with entities offering alternatives to those tests or treatments are considered pertinent. The beneficiary may be an author or that individual’s institution, and the types of relationships include, but are not limited to:

• patents (planned, pending, or issued) or royalties

• employment or consultancy

• board membership

• payment or reimbursement of travel/accommodation expenses for expert testimony or lectures (including service on speakers’ bureaus)

• stock/stock options

The disclosure must cover the 36 months prior to submission of the manuscript, unless there are prior relationships that a reader could reasonably criticize an author for omitting (eg, long-term financial relationships that have now ended). A financial disclosure statement must be provided for each author; if no financial conflict of interest is identified, a statement such as “Drs X, Y, and Z declare that they have no relevant financial interests” must be included. In general, however, authors should disclose information even when there is a question as to whether a relationship constitutes a conflict.

Other Disclosures

If there are relevant nonfinancial associations (personal, professional, political, institutional, religious, or other) that a reasonable reader would want to know about in relation to the submitted work, authors should include this information in the “Enter Comments” text box provided during the submission process. Authors should disclose information even when there is a question as to whether it constitutes a conflict.

Contributions

For Original Investigations and Research Letters, the Acknowledgements must contain a description of each author’s contributions and a statement of collective responsibility, eg:

Contributions: research idea and study design: AB, CD, EFG; data acquisition: HIJ; data analysis/inter- pretation: AB, EFG; statistical analysis: KL; supervision or mentorship: EFG, MN. Each author contributed important intellectual content during manuscript drafting or revision and accepts accountability for the overall work by ensuring that questions pertaining to the accuracy or integrity of any portion of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Tables and Figures

Tables and figures should be cited in numerical order in the text using Arabic numbering.

Each table should be on a separate page of the manuscript file, ordered immediately after the references. The table number and title should be included above the table. Any additional information, including conversion factors for international units, should be included in notes below each table.

Each figure should have a legend (figure title and other explanatory text); legends should be placed at the end of the manuscript file, after the references or tables (if present). Titles and legends should not appear in the figure files themselves.

Figures should not be embedded within the manuscript file; instead they should be uploaded in the Editorial Manager system as separate files. For initial evaluation, figures must be of sufficient quality to be interpretable. If revision is requested, production-quality figures will be required, for which advice will be given. In general, authors should minimize conversions between file types. Resolution should not be reduced except in cases where file size would otherwise be impractically large; in most cases, pixel-based images should have a resolution of at least 1,200 dpi for graphs and flowcharts or 500 dpi for micrographs and other images. Color figures should use CMYK color mode.

For all borrowed material, authors are responsible for applying for permission from the relevant publisher(s) for both print and electronic rights and are responsible for paying any permissions fees. In addition to providing proof of permission to the editorial office, authors must include appropriate wording in the figure legend or table note to indicate the source of the material.

Photographs of identifiable persons must be accompanied by a signed release that indicates informed consent.

AJKD’s expectations for image processing are that (1) adjusting contrast/levels or rescaling is acceptable if the adjustment was performed across the entire image; and (2) if certain parts of an image have been altered (other than obscuring confidential patient information), the authors must explain what has been done in a text box provided during the submission process and must be prepared to provide the original image for the editors’ inspection.

Supplementary Material

When important supporting information for an article is too extensive for print publication (eg, a lengthy study questionnaire), it should be submitted as online-only supplementary material. Supplementary material should also be provided in lieu of stating “data not shown.”

Supplementary material file(s) should be provided at the time of manuscript submission, and should be called out in the text (eg, Table S2, Fig S1, Item S4). A brief title for each piece of supplementary material should be provided in a section between the Acknowledgements and the References. Unlike standard figures, for supplementary figures, titles/ legends should be included in the file containing the supplementary figure.

Online supplementary material is governed by the same copyright transfer policies as the article; if supplementary material has been reproduced from another source, the authors must provide documentation granting permission for its reuse in AJKD.

Journal Style

Provided the manuscript is clear and complete, editors will not penalize submissions that do not follow journal style. However, for publication, manuscripts must conform to journal style, and thus style changes may be requested at revision.

Units of Measurement

Values should be expressed in US conventional units; international equivalents or conversions are not necessary in running text. However, conversion factors should be provided in figure legends and table notes, as appropriate, eg, “Conversion factors for units: serum creatinine in mg/dL to μmol/L, ×88.4; urea nitrogen in mg/dL to mmol/L, ×0.357.”

A list of values requiring unit conversions, as well as conversion factors, is available for download.

Reporting P Values

Numerical values should always be reported for P, even if they are nonsignificant. If the P value is greater than or equal to 0.9, it should be reported as 0.9, eg, 0.97 become 0.9. P values from 0.001 through 0.9 (inclusive) should be rounded to one nonzero digit, eg, 0.0105 rounds to 0.01 and 0.0452 rounds to 0.05. P values less than 0.001 should be reported as <0.001, eg, 0.0009 and 1.92 x 10-6 become <0.001.

Reference Style

References should be compiled at the end of the manuscript according to the order of citation in the text, in the format shown in the following examples.

Journal article (6 or fewer authors):

Al-Absi A, Gosmanova EO, Wall BM. A clinical approach to the treatment of chronic hypernatremia. Am J Kidney Dis. 2012;560(6):1032-1038.

Journal article (more than 6 authors):

Matsui S, Imai E, Horio M, et al. Revised equations for estimated GFR from serum creatinine in Japan. Am J Kidney Dis. 2009;53(6):982-992.

Journal article published online but not yet in print:

Li Y, Kottgen A. Genetic investigations of kidney disease [published online ahead of print March 4, 2013]. Am J Kidney Dis. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.11.052.

Supplement:

National Kidney Foundation. KDOQI clinical practice guidelines and clinical practice recommendations for anemia in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006;47(5)(suppl 3):S1-S145.

Item presented at a meeting but not yet published:

Weiner D, Tighiouart H. Nutritional supplement use and mortality in dialysis. Poster presented at: Kidney Week 2012; October 30–November 4, 2012; San Diego, CA.

Published meeting abstract:

Pudur S, Savin VJ, McCarthy ET, Sharma M. Albumin permeability in FSGS is associated with rapid progression to ESRD [NKF abstract 127]. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006;47(4):B50.

Website:

National Kidney Foundation. What is a kidney biopsy? https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidney-biopsy. Accessed February 5, 2015.

Complete book:

Ahmad S. Manual of Clinical Dialysis. London, England: Science Press Ltd; 1999.

Book chapter:

Curhan G. Nephrolithiasis. In: National Kidney Foundation’s Primer on Kidney Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2013:405-411.

Information attributed to a “personal communication” should be cited in-text. Prior to publication, the author must provide documentation showing that the individual cited has given permission to be named in the article as the source of this information.

Where appropriate, authors are encouraged to cite underlying or relevant datasets. Data references should include the author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. So that Elsevier can tag the reference properly, authors should add the text “[dataset]” immediately before the reference (this identifier will not appear in the published article).

MANUSCRIPT CONSIDERATION PROCESS

All manuscripts are submitted and processed using the online manuscript handling system Editorial Manager (www.editorialmanager.com/ajkd).

Unless the manuscript is out of scope or clearly inappropriate, two editors will review all submissions. If the editors deem that the manuscript is unlikely to be published in AJKD, it may be rejected at this stage. Otherwise, except for In a Few Words, Quizzes, Letters to the Editor and their Replies, and content published by special arrangement (KDOQI commentaries, etc), manuscripts will then undergo external review. Except in cases in which expedited handling is needed, Original Investigations, Research Letters, Case Reports, Narrative Reviews, Perspectives, Special Reports, and Quizzes are discussed at an editorial meeting before being invited for revision. Essentially all research articles will undergo statistics/methods review before being invited for revision; In addition, manuscripts with pathology or radiology content will generally be screened by individuals with appropriate expertise.

Authors may provide editors with the names of persons they feel should not review their manuscript because of a potential conflict. However, when possible, authors should explain the reason(s) for their concerns. Editors will try to avoid selecting reviewers who have potential conflicts of interest, and will ask those who are invited to review to declare any relevant competing interests. Further information is available in the Potential Reviewer Conflicts and Review Policy sections.

Manuscripts which have an author who is associated with the editorial team are handled by a separate workflow; information on the journal’s procedures for the treatment of such submissions is available in the Potential Editor Conflicts section.

AFTER ACCEPTANCE

Prepublication Embargo

AJKD will not publish content that has already been published or disseminated. If the confidentiality of an AJKD article or its key elements is not maintained up to the point it is published by AJKD, the article’s acceptance for publication may be forfeited. The confidentiality restriction does not apply to information presented at scientific or clinical meetings, or publication of a conference abstract, provided that authors do not present or distribute the manuscript or its full findings. If copies of posters, slide sets, or audio/video recordings of presentations are produced in conjunction with a scientific conference, this is permissible as long as the materials are intended for meeting participants only. Press reports arising from a conference will not be considered prior publication, provided that authors who speak to reporters do not offer more detail about their work than was contained in the oral or poster presentation.

If an author’s institution is interested in preparing a press release regarding the upcoming AJKD publication, the editorial office should be contacted for information regarding embargo dates. Authors may not discuss their accepted manuscript with reporters without the prior approval of the journal.

In rare instances, such as an urgent public health need or testimony before a government body, authors may be permitted to discuss their unpublished AJKD article, even though it is under embargo. Authors anticipating such a situation should contact the editorial office for approval before releasing any information contained in the article.

Copyright

AJKD offers authors the choice of subscription or open access publication. For subscription articles, Elsevier will contact the corresponding author by e-mail to request completion of a “Journal Publishing Agreement,” and the copyright will be assigned exclusively to the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., including the right to reproduce the article in all forms and media. Authors of open access articles retain copyright, and Elsevier will contact the corresponding author to request completion of an “Exclusive License Agreement.”

Article Access

In the subscription publishing option, articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through Elsevier’s access programs.

In the open access publishing option, articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public, and may be reused according to the terms of the license; an open access publication fee is payable by authors or their funders.

Open Access User Licenses

All articles published open access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by the corresponding author’s choice of Creative Commons user license.

The default license is the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) License, which, for noncommercial purposes, lets the article be distributed, copied, and included in collective works, as long as it is not altered and the authors are credited.

In accordance with Elsevier’s agreements with funding bodies, corresponding authors may apply for the CC BY license if it is necessary to comply with their funding body’s policy; further information will be available from Elsevier once the open access publishing option has been selected.

Open Access Publication Fee

For each article published open access in AJKD, the authors or their research funders will be charged a publication fee. The fee excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color and page charges. Information on agreements with funding bodies on the Elsevier website specifies the funding bodies that will prepay or reimburse publication fees. The standard publication fee is $3,000; however, if at least one of the article’s authors is a National Kidney Foundation member, a preferred rate of $2,400 applies.

An author’s publication choice will have no effect on the peer-review process or acceptance of submitted articles.

Compliance With NIH Public Access Policy

If the corresponding author reports receipt of NIH funding when completing Elsevier’s Journal Publishing Agreement, Elsevier will send PubMed Central (PMC) the final peer-reviewed manuscript as accepted for publication and will authorize that the article be posted for public access 12 months after final publication; authors will receive further communications from the NIH regarding the manuscript. In accordance with AJKD's author agreement, authors should not post manuscripts directly to PMC.

Proofreading

Corresponding authors are provided with proofs via e-mail to check for typesetting and/or copy- editing errors. Important corrections to data presentation are allowed, but authors will be charged for excessive alterations to proofs. Corrections should be returned within 48 hours.

Page Charges

For articles in excess of 2 journal pages, authors are responsible for paying a fee per page or partial page. If the first and last authors are both NKF members, the per-page charge is $50; otherwise, the per-page charge is $75. One journal page is approximately equivalent to 3.5 double-spaced manuscript pages, 40 references, or 2 tables/figures. The editorial office will e-mail the corresponding author with an estimate of the page charges before typesetting; the invoice itself will be sent by the National Kidney Foundation after the article is published in print. If no response to the invoice or subsequent reminders is received, the editorial office will place a publication hold on all further papers from the corresponding author and all listed co-authors until the outstanding invoice is paid in full. Page charges and color reproduction costs are billed separately.

Page charges are waived when the corresponding author for the manuscript is based in a Reasearch4Life Group A country; a 50% discount is available when the corresponding author for the manuscript is based in a Reasearch4Life Group B country (see www.research4life.org/eligibility/).

Color Reproduction Charges

With the exception of authors of Quizzes, authors desiring to have any or all figures printed in color are responsible for a $600 per-article color charge. After receiving a manuscript with at least 1 color figure, Elsevier will contact the corresponding author to ask whether color will be purchased. Provided that interpretability is not affected, the corresponding author may opt to have the color figure(s) appear in color online and in black and white in the print version of AJKD. Authors who choose color printing will be billed by Elsevier. Color reproduction costs and page charges are billed separately.

Share Link and Reprints

For articles not published open access, the corresponding author will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days’ free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including e-mail and social media.

For an extra charge, the corresponding author may order paper offprints via the offprint order form, which is sent by Elsevier once the article is transmitted for copyediting and typesetting. In addition, any author may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Webshop.

Retained Author Rights

Authors (or their employers or institutions) retain certain rights. For subscription articles, authors may use their articles for a wide range of scholarly, noncommercial purposes, provided there is no systematic or organized distribution of the published article. Permitted reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

OTHER EDITORIAL POLICIES

AJKD policies generally follow those provided in the ICMJE Recommendations and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

Review Policy

AJKD conducts single-blind review: authors’ identities are not masked to the reviewers, but reviewers’ identities are masked to the authors. With the exception of In a Few Words essays, the Acknowledgements of each published article will contain a statement summarizing the review process.

If a manuscript is rejected, a copy is retained in the journal’s manuscript handling system for internal recordkeeping; the confidentiality of the files and associated records will be maintained unless requested otherwise by the authors or in exceptional circumstances involving suspected misconduct.

AJKD endorses the COPE guidelines for ethical peer review. The manuscript must be kept confidential and the reviewer must request permission from the Editor beforehand if a colleague is to be consulted. Reviewers must not appropriate any information contained in the manuscript for their own work, nor should they contact the authors directly. Reviews should be kept confidential, even if the manuscript is later published. Comments should be constructive and professional. Reviewers should rate the manuscript, but should not state in the comments to the author whether the manuscript should be published. If a review does not meet these objectives, the editor may edit the reviewer's comments or may in extreme cases omit the comments from the material sent to the author.

Author Appeal Policy

Authors who believe that their manuscript was rejected due to a misunderstanding or mistake may e-mail the editorial office to explain why they believe the decision to be in error. Appeals must include substantive new information with direct bearing on the decision (eg, a well-reasoned argument providing compelling evidence that a key critique raised in the rejection letter relied on incorrect or outdated information). A difference of opinion as to the interest, novelty, or suitability of the manuscript for the journal is not sufficient reason for an appeal.

The appeal will be considered by the EIC and other relevant editors. The journal’s response to the appeal will be final. Even if the journal agrees to reconsider the manuscript, acceptance is not guaranteed, and the reconsideration process may involve previous or new reviewers or editors and substantive revision.

Conflict of Interest Policy

AJKD’s conflict of interest policies generally follow those of the ICMJE Recommendations.

A conflict of interest exists when an author, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships with other persons or organizations that may inappropriately influence or bias his or her actions. There is a potential for a conflict of interest whether or not an individual believes that a relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Conflicts can occur as the result of financial relationships, personal and family relationships, or academic competitive pressures. All participants in the peer review and publication process must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest. Editors may use information disclosed in conflict of interest statements as the basis for editorial decisions.

Potential Author Conflicts

The Support and Financial Disclosure Declaration section explains how authors must disclose the potential conflicts of interest.

Potential Reviewer Conflicts

Individuals who have potential conflicts of interest should not serve as peer reviewers. This includes individuals who work in the same institution as any of the authors (or will be joining that institution or are applying for a job there); who are or have been within the past 3 years mentors, mentees, close collaborators (in clinical care or research), or joint grant holders; and/or who have a close personal relationship with any of the authors. However, if the manuscript pertains to a large consortium to which a potential reviewer has contributed data but has not otherwise been involved, AJKD does not consider this to be a disqualifying condition. In addition, prior review of the manuscript for another journal does not necessarily disqualify an individual, provided that the reviewer considers the submission in its current form and according to AJKD’s article type criteria.

Editors will try to avoid selecting reviewers who have potential conflicts of interest. Editors will also attempt to honor authors’ requests to exclude potential reviewers with conflicts of interest, provided that rigorous and comprehensive review is possible if these individuals are excluded.

At the time they are invited to review, individuals must disclose any conflicts that could bias their opinions, and they must disqualify themselves from reviewing when appropriate. If a conflict of interest becomes apparent during the review process, the reviewer must contact the journal office and, when appropriate, ask to be recused.

Potential Editor Conflicts

Editors and editorial staff must not use information gained in the course of their duties for private gain.

In addition, to manage potential editor conflicts, AJKD has customized handling procedures for Original Investigation, Research Letter, Case Report, Narrative Review, Perspective, Special Report, Core Curriculum, In Practice, Policy Forum, and Teaching Case manuscripts.

In particular, if any editor who participates in editorial meeting discussions (Editor-in-Chief [EIC], Deputy Editor, Education Editor, Associate Editor, International Editor, Health Equity Editor) is an author of a manuscript, editorial staff select an Editorial Board Member to serve as Acting EIC. The Acting EIC must confirm that s/he has no conflicts of interest before beginning work on the manuscript. The Acting EIC may involve any unconflicted Feature Editor or Statistics/Methods Editor. The identity of the Acting EIC, reviewers, or any other individuals who were consulted will be kept confidential from all conflicted editors; however, if the manuscript is published, the name of the Acting EIC will be published with the article.

If an editor who does not participate in editorial meeting discussions (Feature Editors, Statistics/Methods Editors) is an author on a submission, and it is not an article type the editor would ordinarily handle, it can be handled by the usual process.

 All AJKD editors (including Editorial Board Members asked to serve as Acting EICs) must recuse themselves from editorial responsibilities (and, if applicable, from the editorial meeting discussion of a manuscript) if they have a personal, intellectual, or financial involvement that potentially interferes with their ability to remain impartial. Potential conflicts of interest include:

• close collaboration in clinical care or research with any author of a manuscript;

• having a financial interest related to the subject matter of a manuscript;

• or being a member of (or closely affiliated with) the same institution as one of the authors.

If the EIC is recused, editorial staff will select an Associate Editor, International Editor, or Health Equity Editor without conflicts of interest to serve as Acting EIC. The identity of the Acting EIC and all others who are involved in the consideration process will be kept confidential; however, if the manuscript is accepted, the Acting EIC’s name will be published with the article. If no Associate Editor, International Editor, or Health Equity Editor is unconflicted, editorial office staff will select an Editorial Board Member to serve as the Acting EIC.

Misconduct Handling Policy

The AJKD editors recognize their role in making all reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity of the scholarly record, and will generally follow COPE recommendations when they suspect or receive credible allegations of a breach of journal policies. Any reports of potential misconduct submitted to the journal should include as much detailed information as possible to assist the editors in their investigation. Because of the time and resources required to thoroughly investigate allegations, AJKD must prioritize these activities on the basis of the most compelling evidence.

In exceptional circumstances, the EIC may reach the conclusion that, in order to investigate possible misconduct, manuscript or review records must be shared confidentially with, for example, another journal office or with an author’s institution. In general, however, AJKD will first contact the author(s) to request an explanation concerning an allegation or suspicion of misconduct.

When authors are unable to provide an explanation that the journal deems satisfactory, the authors are subject to editorial action including but not limited to contact with relevant institutions and/or regulatory bodies to disclose violations and/or request an investigation and/or publication of an editorial, editorial expression of concern, and/or retraction.

The efforts of the editors in preventing, detecting, and responding to misconduct do not remove the responsibility of the authors for the validity of their work and publications.

Complaint Policy

As a member of COPE, AJKD seeks to follow the COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Editors. Authors, readers, reviewers, or members of the public who have a well-founded concern that the journal’s conduct deviates from the Code of Conduct should e-mail the EIC via the editorial office. Complainants who believe that the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved may contact COPE by the process laid out in COPE’s complaints and concerns page.

Advertising Policy

Editorial independence is crucial to scholarly publishing, and the editorial team has full authority to decide on the content of the journal. The criteria for editorial decision making regarding journal content do not include any perceived effect on advertising revenue. The EIC has the right to review all new advertising that is proposed to be associated with the journal and may reject any advertising that he deems is not in keeping with the journal’s mission.

Supplement Policy

AJKD will consider publication of sponsored supplements that are of interest to its readers and demonstrate scientific validity. The content must be of sufficient informational value and quality to warrant a separate journal issue and must relate to a unifying theme. Submission of a supplement from a symposium or conference must occur in a timely fashion; in general, supplements will not be published if the publication date is more than 12 months after the date of the symposium or conference. No more than 2 supplements per month will be published. Publication costs must be borne entirely by the sponsor(s). Further information on sponsorship opportunities may be obtained from the publisher.

Following initial contact with the publisher, a written proposal for a supplement to AJKD must be submitted to the EIC via the editorial office for consideration. The proposal must contain:

• The Guest Editor's or Coordinator's name, affiliation, and contact information.

• Topic(s) to be covered by the supplement, with a preliminary table of contents.

• If the supplement is to be based on a conference or symposium, information on dates, venue, and financial supporter(s).

• An estimate of the total number of double-spaced manuscript pages.

• Sponsor(s) of the supplement.

A Guest Editor is a subject expert who is responsible for the content of the supplement, ensuring the quality of each component manuscript and its contribution to a cohesive, coherent whole. The Guest Editor is responsible for ensuring that all manuscripts are in final form before submitting. The Guest Editor may elect to write an introduction or summary, but each article must include sufficient introduction and description of methods to stand on its own. In the absence of a Guest Editor, the authors are fully responsible for ensuring that the articles are consistent with one another and that their manuscripts are in final form before submitting. In such cases, a Coordinator is responsible for handling all submissions and facilitating communications between the authors and the editorial office.

AJKD can provide the Guest Editor or Coordinator with information on the journal's production schedule, and can recommend deadlines for receipt of materials that are intended to allow enough time for review, revision, and reconsideration of the supplement manuscripts. It should be noted that any estimated publication date is simply a projection based on the information available at the outset; whether it can be met will depend on receipt of the completed manuscripts at the AJKD editorial office in a timely fashion, the nature of the review required, and the extent of mandatory revisions. Ideally, a supplement based on a conference or symposium should be planned so that authors submit manuscripts to the Guest Editor or Coordinator at the time of the meeting.

The manuscripts must be prepared and submitted according to standards governing regular journal content. Manuscripts that do not follow journal format will be returned for editing before review; furthermore, the editorial office will not begin processing the supplement articles until all of the manuscripts for the supplement are received.

All supplements will undergo appropriate review of their contents. The review process depends on the number and length of articles and the nature of their content. Articles will almost invariably require revision; in addition, the EIC reserves the right to reject portions of the supplement, or the entire supplement. The editorial office will contact the Guest Editor or Coordinator regarding the decision to accept, reject, or require additional revisions. Once a supplement has been accepted it is formally scheduled for publication; changes to the publication date at this stage cannot be accommodated.

The supplement must contain a statement indicating the source(s) of funding. It is the responsibility of the Guest Editor or Coordinator to disclose to the editorial office at the time of submission any restrictions or expectations communicated to the Guest Editor or Coordinator by the sponsor(s) regarding the contents of the supplement. Furthermore, the Guest Editor or Coordinator must state what, if any, financial relationship they may have with the sponsor of the supplement. Likewise, all authors should disclose what, if any, financial relationship they have with the sponsor of the supplement, or the manufacturer of any products, or competing products, that are discussed in their manuscripts. Each manuscript must indicate any support that was obtained for the manuscript or its contents. If medical writer(s)/editor(s) have been involved, their role must be explicitly acknowledged, and their affiliation/source of funding must be listed. Additionally, if the sponsor has a financial interest in a product either directly or indirectly discussed in the manuscript, this relationship should be identified, along with the name of the product. Information about sponsorship and related products will be published with each article in the supplement.

Publication of a supplement does not constitute product or sponsor endorsement by the National Kidney Foundation or AJKD, and a disclaimer indicating this will be printed in each supplement.

Articles published in a supplement of AJKD are subject to the same copyright restrictions that apply to articles published in regular journal issues.