Instructions for the Authors

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Microbiota in Health and Disease publishes Editorials, Reviews, Original Papers, Clinical trials, Letters to the Editor. Brief reports, structured with an introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, and conclusions are also welcome, with a maximum number of 800 words (excluded references), no more than 5 authors, maximum of 2 tables or figures, and maximum of 10 references. Case Reports will also be considered for publication only if of particular interest. Microbiota in Health and Disease is particularly interested in all issues related to the microbiota world, from epidemiology to diagnosis and therapy, including translational and basic aspects. Reviews should include systematic revision of the literature and preferably meta-analyses, original illustrations, and tables.

Microbiota in Health and Disease is the official journal of the European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group – EHMSG, an international multidisciplinary group composed of one representative from most countries of the European Union, with the mission to promote research in the field of H. pylori and microbiota and their role in health and disease. In this direction, Microbiota in Health and Disease will also serve as a shared platform for communicating and debating challenges and opportunities on the path to the development of new diagnostic tools and new treatments.

Microbiota in Health and Disease does not accept the publication of articles referring to “data not shown” or “unpublished data”. Letters are restricted to the discussion of papers already published in the journal, with a maximum of 300 words, one table or figure, and up to ten references.

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

No fee is required to publish in our Journal. Microbiota in Health and Disease does not charge APCs or submission charges.

Manuscript Submission

Please read and apply the instructions given as follows, noting that all information entered during the submission process related to the manuscript should also be included, and be identical to the final submitted version of the manuscript – please see full details under “Presentation of Manuscripts”. Papers must be submitted exclusively to the Microbiota in Health and Disease Journal and are accepted on the understanding that they have not been, and will not be, published elsewhere. The correspondence for each article must be carried on only by the corresponding author.

The submission process requires a full declaration of personal interests and funding interests from all Authors; these details should also be included in the text of the manuscript (click here for detailed information).

Moreover, manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter which should include the following information, as stated by the ICMJE guidelines:

– A full statement about all submissions and previous reports that might be similar or might be considered redundant publications by underlining the originality and innovation of the submitted research.

– A statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest. This information should be also included in the manuscript itself.

Authorship and Copyright

Authors must fulfill the following criteria:

• He/she must have made a substantial contribution to research design, or to the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data;

• He/she must have drafted the paper or revised it critically;

• He/she must approve the submitted and final versions.

Authors will be required to sign a Copyright Transfer Agreement (click to download PDF) for all papers accepted for publication. The signature of the CTA is a condition of publication. After submission, authors cannot submit their manuscripts to other journals. After acceptance, the Publisher owns the rights of the manuscripts. To assist the Authors, an appropriate CTA form will be supplied by the editorial office. The original completed Copyright Transfer Agreement must be signed by the corresponding Author and sent by e-mail to Microbiota in Health and Disease. The Editors retain the usual right to modify the style and length of a contribution (major changes being agreed upon with the Corresponding Author) and to decide the time of publication.

Presentation of Manuscripts

The title page must contain the Authors’ names, appointments and affiliations, plus the full contact details of the Corresponding Authors, including their current e-mail addresses. A full and a short-running title should be given, together with a small number of keywords for indexing purposes.

The text should start with a structured Abstract, not exceeding 300 words, organized into sections using all of the following headings INTRODUCTION or BACKGROUND or OBJECTIVE, PATIENTS AND METHODS or MATERIALS AND METHODS, RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS. The paper should then proceed conventionally: Introduction or Background or Objective, Patients and Methods or Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, and References. Pages should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, including tables, figure legends (with magnifications if needed), acknowledgments and declarations of interest. Review Articles and Systematic Reviews also require a structured text using all of the following headings: INTRODUCTION, MATERIALS AND METHODS (e.g., search terms used), RESULTS (avoid vague statements, e.g., ‘…will be discussed’), CONCLUSIONS (e.g., need for future studies).

References have to follow a numerical order, and should be identified in the text, tables, and legends through Arabic numbers in superscript. References must be verified by the Authors against the original documents.

Authors should observe the following guidelines:

  1. Do not attempt to make your output approximate or match the typeset page.
  2. Be consistent in style (i.e., units, abbreviations).
  3. End paragraphs in a uniform manner, and in a different manner from line endings within paragraphs. A frequently used paragraph ending is simply two carriage returns.
  4. Use double spacing in your document. Do not add extra line spacing (except as a normal paragraph ending indication) above or below titles, subheads, or between paragraphs.
  5. Avoid using multiple spaces (horizontal) in your electronic manuscript. End sentences with only one space. Never use multiple spaces for the horizontal positioning of text.
  6. Tables and figure captions should be sent in separate files. The editor will indicate the placement of this material within the text.

Additional tables or figures and/or extra methodological detail can be included in a separate Supplementary Appendix.

Review Articles

Microbiota in Health and Disease publishes substantive reviews on the current topics and recent advances in the scientific literature.

All articles should include an unstructured abstract of no more than 250 words. The main article should be no more than 4,000 words, including references, figures, and tables. The review should contain at least 2 and not more than 8 figures or tables.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis should include a structured abstract (OBJECTIVE; MATERIALS AND METHODS; RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS) of not more than 250 words. The main article should be no more than 5,000 words including references, figures, and tables. The review should contain at least 2 and not more than 8 figures or tables.

Issues to consider in your research:

• Clinical problem;
• Strategies and evidence;
• Areas of uncertainty;
• Guidelines from professional societies;
• Authors’ conclusions and recommendations.

Please, keep in mind that a systematic review analyzes a defined research question by collecting and summarizing all empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria. On the other hand, a meta-analysis reports the use of statistical methods to summarize the results of these studies.

To conduct a high-quality analysis, the authors are requested to follow some specific guidelines:

  • authors have to clearly state objectives and pre-defined eligibility criteria for studies (e.g., inclusion and exclusion criteria, etc.);
  • the authors have to clearly describe the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data;
  • the methodology should be accurate and reproducible;
  • the authors have to conduct a systematic search that aims at identifying all relevant studies on the topic analyzed;
  • the authors have to assess the validity of the findings of the included studies (e.g., risk of bias);
  • the authors have to present a systematic analysis with detailed characteristics and findings of the included studies.

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), to conduct a systematic review or meta-analysis, the Authors have to follow the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).

Other studies

Other guidelines have been developed and should be followed for different study designs:

  • CONSORT for randomized trials;
  • STROBE for observational studies;
  • STARD for studies of diagnostic accuracy.

In particular, good sources for reporting guidelines are the EQUATOR Network and the NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.

Case Reports

Case Reports will also be considered for publication only if of particular interest. In particular, we consider for publication Case Reports reporting unusual clinical conditions, unreported diseases, rare side effects of therapy, and so on. The abstract should be no longer than 100-200 words and should highlight all your key points concisely. It should be structured as follows: INTRODUCTION or BACKGROUND; CASE REPORT; CONCLUSIONS.

Case Reports have to include a final section for the informed consent. Permission or written consent should be obtained to draft the manuscript. The consent can be obtained by the patient or parents in case the patient is a minor.

Brief Report

Brief Reports will also be considered for publication only if of particular interest and relevance to the journal.

The brief reports should be structured as follows:

  1. 800-word maximum, excluding references;
  2. No abstract is required;
  3. Maximum 2 Tables/Figures;
  4. Maximum 10 references.
Clinical Trials

All clinical trials submitted to Microbiota in Health and Disease must be registered to the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) defines a clinical trial as “any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g., phase 1 trials), are exempt.”

For definitions and further information, please see ICMJE Recommendations (“The Uniform Requirements”) found in ICMJE’s Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Please note, however, that, unlike ICMJE, Microbiota in Health and Disease does not require trials to be registered before enrollment begins, although our journal does strongly encourage this practice. When submitting your manuscript, please include the unique trial number and the name of the registry (e.g., or ISRCTN) at the end of the abstract and in your cover letter.


When reporting the reference numbers in the text, you must follow these rules: “1-2” must be written as “1,2” and so on. You have to put “-“ just in case you have many consecutive numbers. For example: “1,2,3,4,5,6” must be written as “1-6”;

References’ numbers must follow a chronological order within the text and must be inserted before the punctuation. (YES 12. NO .12)

Complete all the references in accordance with the Instructions for the authors: you must list all the authors (NOT et al), year without month of publication, and name of the journal. You have to write the international acronyms without any punctuation; you must put a space after semicolon and colon (NOT 2014;2014:907915, YES 2014; 2014: 907915); moreover, initial and final pages must be entirely reported (NOT 135-46; YES 135-146).

In the references, you must substitute “and” with “,” (comma) before the last author’s name;

NOT: Garcia-Contreras M, Brooks RW, Boccuzzi L, Robbins PD, and Ricordi C. Exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutic tools for type 1 diabetes mellitus. EurRevMedPharmacolSci 2017;21:2940-2956.

YES: Garcia-Contreras M, Brooks RW, Boccuzzi L, Robbins PD, Ricordi C. Exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutic tools for type 1 diabetes mellitus. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2017; 21: 2940-2956.

Please try EndNote’s template for Microbiota in Health and Disease formatting 

Illustrations and Tables

Figure legends should be included in the main text of the manuscript and not form part of the figures. The authors are encouraged to send the highest-quality figures possible. For the accepted file format, see below:

Document Files Graphic Files Graphic Files
• Word • GIF
• TIF (or TIFF)
• JPG (or JPEG)
• Quicktime




The figure resolution/specification for various types of original figures, at their final size, should be as follows: Line art – Minimum 600 dpi, measuring preferably 13 by 18 cm and no more than 20 by 25 cm in size. Halftone (i.e., both B/W and Colour photographs) – Minimum 300 dpi, measuring preferably 13 by 18 cm and no more than 20 by 25 cm in size. Line and tone (line art and halftone combined) – Minimum 600 dpi, measuring preferably 13 by 18 cm and no more than 20 by 25 cm in size.

For line figures, the lines should be solid, the text in a standard font and not blurred, and the overall image should be sharp and clear. Avoid using tints if possible; if they are essential to the understanding of the figure, try to make them coarse. As a guide, if the electronic files are viewed at 400% on the computer screen and they look blurred or pixelated in any way, then they will NOT be of sufficient quality for printing.

Tables should be self-contained and complete; they must not duplicate the information already contained in the text. They should be supplied as editable files (preferably word files), not pasted as images. All abbreviations must be defined in footnotes. Footnote symbols: †, ‡, §, ¶, should be used (in that order) and *, **, *** should be reserved for p-values. Statistical measures such as SD or SEM should be identified in the headings.

Figure and table legends must be able to stand alone in the text and thus full descriptive legends for all figures and tables should be supplied.

Units and Abbreviations

All measurements should be in SI units with the exception of hemoglobin (g/dL) and blood pressure (mmHg). Original observations recorded in other units should be stated, together with the appropriate conversion factors. Standard abbreviations, without punctuation, are used. Units, Symbols, and Abbreviations (1988) published by the Royal Society of Medicine, and SI: The International System of Units (1982) from HMSO both provide useful guides. Abbreviations, used sparingly, should follow the first full spelling, in parentheses. A list of abbreviations at the beginning of the article is accepted only if they are more than 8.

Genetic Nomenclature

Sequence variants should be described in the text and tables using both DNA and protein designations whenever appropriate. Sequence variant nomenclature must follow the current HGVS guidelines, where examples of acceptable nomenclature are provided.

Drug Names

Generic names should, in general, be used. If an Author desires, brand names may be inserted in parentheses. Drug names are spelled out according to the European Pharmacopoeia, but the American spelling should be used after the first use of a drug name.


Methods should be referenced. Two-tailed significance tests should be used unless explicitly stated. Controls should be described as completely as experimental subjects. Measures of location should be accompanied by measures of variability (e.g., mean and confidence intervals) as well as conventional probability values. Clinical trial reports should include the impact of the study design.

Ethics, Institutional Review Boards, and Informed Consent

Clinical studies must include a reference to the appropriate Ethics Committee/Institutional Review Board (IRB) and have an appropriate Consent Form approved by the Ethics Committee/IRB before enrollment of the research subjects in the study. Appropriate review process and approval should also be documented for all pre-clinical experimental studies submitted. When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Responsible Committee on Human Experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. Should any questionable approval process emerge, the Editors reserve the right to reject any submitted paper.

Animal Ethics

When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.

Informed Consent

Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained in case authors wish to include case details or other personal information or images of patients in their publication. This is to comply with all applicable laws and regulations concerning the privacy and/or security of personal information, including, but not limited to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679.

Patients have the right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication.

Some Considerations

• Images of patients or research subjects should not be used unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and explicit permission has been given as part of the consent.
• If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurances that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning.
• Formal consents are not required for the use of entirely anonymized images from which the individual cannot be identified – for example, x-rays, ultrasound images, laparoscopic images, etc.
• If consent has not been obtained, it is generally not sufficient to anonymize a photograph simply by using eye bars or blurring the face of the individual concerned.

Publication Ethics and Recommendations

Microb Health Dis follows the guidelines on Good Publication Practice: COPE and ICMJE. These guidelines aim to ensure that articles are published in a responsible and ethical manner.

Moreover, as Microb Health Dis follows the ICMJE’s Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, we expect that authors, reviewers and editors follow the best-practice guidelines on ethical behavior.

Some specific information about the responsibilities of authors, the journal and reviewers as follows:

  • Authors and the Journal have to follow the Good Publication Practice: COPE and ICMJE guidelines during submission. Please, also check the Scientific Misconduct, Expressions of Concern, and Retraction guidelines from ICMJE.
  • Microb Health Dis, authors and reviewers have to guarantee confidentiality and do not have to share information about manuscripts, including peer-review, their content or status in the review process, criticism by reviewers, and the final decision about rejection or acceptance, to anyone other than the authors and reviewers.
  • Microb Health Dis and reviewers have to ensure the processing of manuscripts timely. On the other hand, authors have to ensure a timely communication and availability to reply to concerns during review and publication process.
  • The peer-review is the most critical assessment of the scientific process and should be followed in a rigorous matter. Specific information about our peer-review process here.
  • Integrity should be the standpoint for both authors and the journal. The Editorial decisions about acceptance or rejection of a manuscript should be based on the research’s originality, contribution to the scientific society, relevance to the topic of the journal and quality standards. Those decisions should not be jeopardized by commercial interests or personal relations.
  • The spread of academic culture and scientific knowledge should also support diversity and inclusion for authors as well as reviewers, editorial board members and editorial staff.

Regarding the plagiarism, Authors who want to publish in our Journal must follow the guidelines on Good Publication Practice as reported in COPE and Council of Science Editors. Plagiarism in particular includes the use of others’ published and unpublished data without referencing the corresponding sources, including research grant applications or submission under “new” authorship of a complete paper.

On a practical level, the first thing we do is to conduct an early investigation using our anti-plagiarism software. Our Journal makes a plagiarism checker by a certificate program on all the articles. Also, articles that are related to the suspected case of plagiarism or other unethical practice are checked for accuracy by either the reviewer’s feedback and observations or the Editor’s own observations. Our anti-plagiarism software, however, will not identify “salami-slicing”. So it is imperative that each case is looked at individually and, therefore, we do not advocate the use of one statement of actions to penalize the offender. Each case is considered separately and, as editors, we will need to decide if it is a deliberate action on the part of the author or if it is due to a lack of understanding of the requirements of ethical writing.

Microbiota in Health and Disease disapproves any kind of malpractice and unethical practice.

Revised Articles

Revised articles must be submitted again within 3 months.

Galley Proofs

The Corresponding Author will receive an e-mail with a pdf file of the galley proof. The galley proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file. Acrobat Reader will be required to read this file. This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out for any corrections to be added. Authors are asked to check carefully the galley proof (especially for what concerns name of Authors, affiliations and corresponding Authors) as after its approval and publication no further changes will be possible.


Microbiota in Health and Disease applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license to articles. If you submit your paper for publication to our journal, you agree to have the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license applied to your work as follows:

BY) Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

NC) NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.

SA) ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

No additional restrictions) You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Notices: you do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.

No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as advertising, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.


Paper reprints shall be charged. Electronic offprints are sent to the first Author at his/her first email address on the title page of the paper, on request. For this reason, please ensure that the name, address, and email address of the corresponding Author are indicated on the manuscript title page if he/she is not the first author of the paper.

Preservation and Archiving

Our Journal is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and to ensure accessibility by upgrading digital file formats to comply with new technology standards. All our files are archived and preserved in CLOCKSS.