Guide for Author



  • Annals of Clinical Epidemiology (ACE) is a peer-review journal published by the Society for Clinical Epidemiology (SCE).
  • ACE’s aim is to contribute to the mission of the SCE though publishing scientific papers. Manuscripts that match ACE’s aim can be submitted by healthcare professionals in any clinical field who have a clinical and research mindset.
  • Manuscripts should be written in English.
  • Manuscripts are accepted on the condition that they have not already been published and are not under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere. Secondary publication of material published in any language in another journal or online is not allowed.
  • Authorship credit should be in accordance with this “Guide for Authors,” as well as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (
  • Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with this “Guide for Authors” and the ICMJE “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (
  • All investigators should ensure that the planning and reporting of human research are in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013 (
  • All authors should seek approval to conduct research from an independent local, regional, or national review body (e.g., an ethics committee or institutional review board).
  • When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
  • Authors must follow the suitable guidelines for their specific study design; examples include CONSORT for randomized trials (, STROBE for observational studies (, PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (, and STARD for studies of diagnostic accuracy (
  • All authors are required to report potential conflicts of interest, including specific financial interests, relevant to the subject of their manuscript in the text. After manuscript acceptance, the authors will be requested to submit the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest.
  • The acceptance or rejection of the paper submitted to ACE will be decided based on the judgment of the reviewers and the editorial board.
  • Upon acceptance of an article for publication, the copyright of the article shall be exclusively assigned to the SCE. All the works published in this journal are subject to Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
  • Accepted articles are published online.
ACE will publish original articles with non-significant results when their objectives and methodology are appropriate, the results are explicitly described, and the discussion is based on the results.
Many journals tend to reject articles with “negative results” (i.e., statistically non-significant results for the primary outcome). Most articles with “negative results” are unpublished, potentially resulting in publication bias. We believe that avoiding such a situation and preventing publication bias will ultimately contribute to the development of academic research.

  • The types of manuscript published in ACE are as follows: Original Article, Review Article (invited or submitted), Study Protocol, Short Report, and Letter to the Editor. Case reports are not accepted.
  • Short Reports cover small-scale research or research that is in early stages of development. Short Reports may include preliminary studies with a simple research design or a small sample size that have produced limited pilot data and initial findings that indicate the need for further investigation.
  • Letters to the Editor discuss a recent article appearing in ACE and should be submitted within 4 weeks of the publication of the article.
Types of
Word counts
(main text)
Figures and Tables References Abstract Keywords
Review Article 4,000 words No limit No limit 250 words 3-5
Original Article 4,000 words No limit No limit 250 words 3-5
Study Protocol 4,000 words No limit No limit 250 words 3-5
Short Report 1,500 words Up to 3 Up to 20 None 3-5
Letters to the
500 words Up to 1 Up to 5 150 words 3-5
Word counts do not include the abstract, figure legends, or references.

For Original Articles and Review Articles, the area of the article should be specified at the time of submission. When there are multiple relevant areas, two or more areas may be specified. Select the areas from the following list, and provide the corresponding number(s) in the cover letter:
1. Internal Medicine; 2. Pediatrics; 3. Dermatology; 4. Psychiatry; 5. Surgery; 6. Orthopedic Surgery; 7. Obstetrics and Gynecology; 8. Ophthalmology; 9. Otolaryngology; 10. Urology; 11. Neurosurgery; 12. Radiology; 13. Anesthesiology; 14. Pathology; 15. Clinical Examination Medicine; 16. Emergency Medicine; 17. Plastic Surgery; 18. Rehabilitation Medicine; 19. Nursing; 20. Nursing care; 21. Dentistry; 22. Pharmacy; and 23. Other.
1. General recommendation
  • Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word, and the files should be saved in “docx” (Word 2007 or higher) or “doc” (older Word versions) format.
  • The manuscript text should be in 12 pt typeface and double-spaced.
  • Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
  • Top, bottom, and side margins should be set at 1 inch (25.4 mm).
  • All pages in each file should be numbered at the top right corner.
  • Every line should be numbered consecutively. All line numbers should appear on the left margin of the page.
  • Describe medicines using their generic names.
  • Use only standard abbreviations and acronyms. These must not be used in the title.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms should appear in parentheses immediately after the first use of the full phrase, which must be written out in full at first use in the abstract and again at first use in the main text. Abbreviations should only be used if they appear five or more times in the manuscript.
  • Use Arabic numerals for numbers, fill in ", (comma)" for every three digits.
  • Measurements should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter) or their decimal multiples.
  • For units used in hematology, clinical chemistry, and other fields, authors should report laboratory information using units of measurement following internationally accepted rules and conventions or the International System of Units (SI). The abbreviation for liter should be capitalized (“L”) in the text and in tables/figures (e.g., g/dL, mg/dL, IU/L, mg/dL, mEq/L).
2. Cover letter
Cover letters should include the following:
  • Type of the article
  • Area of the article
  • Brief explanation of the article
  • Declaration that the article is not a duplicate publication
  • Information on conflict of interest
  • Information on grants and research expenses
  • Information on each author's role
3. Manuscript
Manuscripts should be arranged in the following order: (i) Title page; (ii) Abstract; (iii) Main text; (iv) References; (v) Figure legends; (vi) Figures; and (vii) Tables.
3-1. Title page
The title page should include the following:
  • A concise and informative title, which should contain no more than a total of 200 characters (including letters and spaces)
  • A running title (maximum of 60 characters)
  • Name(s), academic degree(s), and affiliation(s) of the author(s)
  • The corresponding author’s name, affiliation, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Three to five keywords that can be used for indexing purposes
3-2. Abstract
The abstract should be structured, divided into four paragraphs with the following subheadings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
3-3. Main text
  • For Original Articles and Short Reports, the main body of the article should be divided into the following sections: Background, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, Conflicts of interest, Acknowledgments, and References.
  • For Review Articles and Letters to the Editor, any format is acceptable.
  • For Study Protocols, the format should be based on the organizational structure of Introduction, Methods, and Discussion. Other headings may be added as appropriate.
  • For all types of papers, Conflicts of Interest and Acknowledgments (if appropriate) should be included after the main text.
  • Contributors who do not meet ICMJE’s criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors. Instead, these contributors should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Funding sources should also be described in the Acknowledgments section.
3-4. References
References should be listed in the order cited in the text and numbered accordingly using Arabic numbers. In the text, citations should refer to the appropriate reference numbers in square brackets (e.g., [2, 13] [6-8, 22]). The citations should appear outside the punctuation.

References to journal articles should be written in the following order: name(s) of author(s), article title, name of the journal in italic typeface, year of publication, volume number, and page numbers (the numbers of the first and last pages). This style is in accordance with the AMA Manual of Style (
Yasunaga H, Horiguchi H, Kuwabara K, Matsuda S, Fushimi K, Hashimoto H, et al. Outcomes After Laparoscopic or Open Distal Gastrectomy for Early-Stage Gastric Cancer. Ann Surg 2013;257:640–6.
References to books should be written as follows: authors, title, page numbers cited, year of publication, publisher, and place of publication.
Fletcher RH, Fletcher SW, Fletcher DS. Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials. 5th Edition. pp. 11–28, 2012, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, US.
References to online documents should be written as follows: authors, title, Internet address, date of access.
World Health Organization. International Classification of Diseases. Available from:, Accessed 2018 Aug 13
List all authors/editors up to six; if there are more than six authors/editors, list the first six followed by “et al.”

The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus (NLM Catalog: journals referenced in the NCBI Databases).
If the reference is not written in English, “(in language)” should be appended at the end of the reference, and the original name of the journal should be provided.
4. Figures/ Tables
Do not embed Figures/ Tables in the text.
Figures/ Tables should be numbered with Arabic numbers in appearance in the text. When subclassification is required, use lower case alphabet following Arabic numerals. (e.g., Figure 1a, Table 3c)
4-1. Figure
Figure legends should be typewritten on a separate page and included after the references.
Images should be provided in TIFF, GIF, PNG, JPG, or JPEG format. Color images must be CMYK. Images (Grayscale and Color) should be at least 350 dpi.
When using previously published content, proof of permission from the publisher or author of the original work must be submitted.
Any licensing fees are the responsibility of and shall be paid by the author. The Editorial Board never requests these permissions.
4-2. Tables
Vertical lines should not be used in tables. Authors should provide footnotes for each table, as necessary, including an explanation of any abbreviations used in the table.
Tables should present new information rather than duplicating information that is in the text. Tables should be used only when they can present the information more efficiently than could be accomplished in the running text. Readers should be able to interpret the tables without reference to the text.

If the authors are non-native speakers of English, English editing by a native speaker is necessary before submission of the manuscript. It is also necessary to submit a certificate of English editing of the final version of the manuscript, as a separate file.

  • Articles must be submitted to the editorial office of ACE by e-mail in English (
  • The title of the submission e-mail must follow the following format: “ACE submission, first author’s name, title of the submitted article.”
  • The submission should be divided into the following files: 1. Cover letter; 2. Manuscript; 3. Supplementary Appendix; 4. Table(s); 5. Figures(s)
  • If the size of the files to be submitted is large and they cannot be sent as an e-mail attachment, cloud services may be used. However, information management is at the author’s own risk.
  • The submitting author will receive an e-mail confirming submission. If you do not receive a confirmation by e-mail within 7 working days of submission, please contact the editorial office by e-mail.
  • Revisions to a submitted article may be requested based on the recommendations of the editors and reviewers.
  • If the author(s) wish to respond to the revision request, the revised manuscript along with a response letter must be submitted via e-mail by the specified deadline.
  • The following points should be noted:
     Underline the changes in the revised manuscript.
     Deletions of words and sentences from the manuscript should be noted in the response letter and can be removed from the revised manuscript.
     A cover letter is not required; only a response letter and the revised manuscript will be submitted.
All authors are required to report potential conflicts of interest, including specific financial interests, relevant to the subject of their manuscript. The ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest will be requested after manuscript acceptance.

Items that require disclosure are as follows:
  • Employment, officers, advisors: 1 million yen or more / year
  • Holding stocks and stock options: profit of 1 million yen or more per year, or holding 5% or more of the entire stock
  • Patent royalty: over 1 million yen / year
  • Honoraria (e.g., for a lecture): 500,000 yen or more per year
  • Promotional material costs (e.g., manuscript fees): 500,000 yen or more per year
  • Research funding: 5 million yen or more per year
  • Other (e.g., travel unrelated to research, gifts): 50,000 yen or more per year
ACE provides authors of accepted manuscripts an opportunity to proofread their article before publication. Only first proofs will be sent to the corresponding author.
The author should correct only typographical errors at the proofreading stage. To make any changes to the content, you must obtain permission from the ACE Editor in Chief.
Upon acceptance, an article processing charge (100,000 Japanese yen) will be billed to the corresponding author. ACE is an online journal, and offprints cannot be ordered.
Copyright will be transferred to the SCE upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication. Each author must read and sign the statement on copyright transfer. For further information, see ACE’s Copyright Transfer Agreement Form.
All the works published in this journal are subject to Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0. For more information about this license, see this page (
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Economics,
The University of Tokyo,
7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 1130033, Japan
Editor-in-chief: Hideo Yasunaga, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Economics, The University of Tokyo
First edition: April 1, 2019
First revision: October 6, 2020
Second revision: April 20, 2021