Manuscripts submitted to AOS must be original and have not been already published or currently under review elsewhere. Authors must avoid submitting the manuscript for review elsewhere while it is under consideration at AOS. We welcome articles that have been previously uploaded on preprint servers (such as ArXiv), a personal blog or other websites.


Authors must carefully read our publishing policies and the ”Article Guidelines” before preparing their manuscript for AOS. Manuscripts that violate our publishing policies will not be accepted for publication. AOS reserves the right to reject previously accepted articles if it comes to light that the article has problems with its content and/or violates our publishing policies.


All authors listed in the manuscript are considered to have agreed to the contents of the manuscript and the order of the authors in the author list. AOS does not require authors to sign any author agreement form or letter of submission. Manuscript submission to AOS signifies that all authors of the manuscript agree to the publishing policies of AOS. Corresponding author is responsible to ensure that all authors have agreed to the manuscript content, author list, and AOS publishing policies. Equal contributions by authors must be specified as “Contributed equally to the work” or “Jointly supervised the work”, as appropriate.


When there is more than one author associated with a manuscript, an “Author Contributions” statement must be included in the manuscript. Please refer to the ”Article Guidelines” for more information on how and what to include in this statement. Corresponding author must make sure that all authors have agreed to this statement.


All communications and notifications by AOS (including the galley proof of the article), will be sent to the corresponding author(s) only. Corresponding author is responsible to coordinate with all the co-authors and ensure accuracy of the content. It is to be noted that any errors not corrected by the authors in the proof will not necessarily be corrected by AOS after publication.


During manuscript submission process, corresponding author will be provided an option to invite co-authors to register on AOS. All registered author profiles on AOS will be linked to their names in the author list, thereby enabling visitors to click an author name in the author list and land on to the respective author profile page. We encourage all authors to register on AOS to have their names in the articles linked to their AOS profile page.


Corresponding authors are allowed to invite independent referees during manuscript submission process. Alternatively, corresponding authors may choose from a pool of expert referees suggested by AOS during submission process. In either case, we ask authors to avoid inviting referees with any potential and/or actual financial and non-financial competing interests. Authors are allowed to suggest a minimum of three and up to five referees. Author-invited independent referees will be contacted by AOS on author’s behalf.


We are committed to promoting reproducibility in research. Authors must include a “Material and Data Availability” statement in their manuscript where applicable (please refer to the ”Article Guidelines” to see which article types are required to provide this statement). In order for the researchers to be able to reproduce a study, we ask authors to provide sufficient information about the materials and methods used to generate the data. Manufacturer names, location and catalogue numbers must be included for all the commercial material used in the study.


Authors should also disclose information about any non commercial resources obtained from other research groups. Research equipment, instrumentation and software used for acquisition or analysis of the data should be well described, including but not limited to, manufacturer name, model number, instrument specific configurations and settings (if any), software version and settings used for the acquisition or analysis. Authors from biomedical research background can include Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) to cite key resources used in the study. Visit Research Identification Initiative for more information.


Manuscripts submitted to AOS should be free of plagiarism, fabrication and falsification. We follow the guidelines set by US Office of Research Integrity, and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in case of any suspected research misconduct.


Plagiarism can be defined as an act of passing off someone else’s ideas, language or other material as one’s own original work. Self-plagiarism is when an author reuses his or her own previous work (either in parts or in its entirety) without citing that it was published previously.


Depending on the intentions, plagiarism could be unintentional or blatant. Unintentional plagiarism usually occurs from an author’s carelessness to provide appropriate references. Blatant plagiarism - which is the most serious form of plagiarism and considered as fraud - occurs when an author intentionally uses the content without providing the appropriate references.


We request corresponding authors to be mindful of checking their manuscripts for any plagiarism and/or suspected research misconduct before submission. Several online third party plagiarism-check tools are available that the authors could make use of.


All manuscripts submitted to AOS will be checked for plagiarism and any obvious misconduct. Manuscripts that are found to violate our research misconduct policies will not be considered for publication in AOS. Any minor unintentional plagiarism found in the manuscript will be brought to the corresponding author’s attention and such manuscript may be accepted (at editors’ discretion) when sections containing plagiarism are completely removed.


In the event where research misconduct is reported in an article post-publication, AOS may notify the author’s institution and funding agency. AOS reserves the right to retract such published articles.


All primary research articles submitted to AOS are required to include source-data and complete information about methodology (except where such information and data cannot be shared publicly due to confidential or ethical reasons). Authors must contact the editorial team in case of any concerns to publishing the underlying data. Our editorial team will assess such requests and may accept articles without underlying data where justified. Articles will not be accepted if authors fail to provide proper justification of the missing underlying data. All source-data underlying AOS articles are made freely available under Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 License) that allows data access without any restrictions. Click here to learn more about CC0 license.


Where available, authors must submit the data to community recognized, discipline-specific and data-type-specific repositories, and include identifiers such as Accession Number(s) in the “Material and Data Availability” section of the article. Authors should also cite such data in the main text of the article, where appropriate. Please refer to our “Data Deposition Guidelines” for a list of recommended repositories.


If suitable discipline-specific repositories are not available, then data should be submitted to either general repositories (listed in “Data Deposition Guidelines”) or to the AOS data repository. All data files submitted to AOS repository should be well labeled and cited in the main text of the article (such as Data_File1, Data_File2, Dataset1, Dataset2) to ensure readers will refer to the right data files.


Data files should be combined into a single zip file during upload to the AOS servers. Authors are also allowed to upload multiple zip files where large datasets are available. Authors should contact us if they have large size files that cannot be zipped and uploaded online. We will provide alternate options to transfer the data to us.


Authors must include a “Competing Interests” section in the manuscript. Please refer to the ”Article Guidelines” for information on where to include this statement in the manuscript. Authors must disclose any potential and/or actual financial and non-financial competing interests. Financial interests include, but are not limited to, consulting fees, employment, research contracts, royalties, honoraria, patents (pending or received) and stock ownership. Non-financial interests include personal, professional, religious, political and ideological interests.


Disclosing competing interests will not affect the manuscript acceptance decisions for publication, but provides transparency for our readers to draw their own conclusions of any potential bias. If the authors do not have any competing interests to disclose, then they should write “No competing interests to disclose” in this statement.


We do not have an editorial bias, and believe scientific community can do a better judgement in determining the significance or novelty of an article. Therefore, we allow members of the scientific community who are registered on AOS to leave public comments on the published articles.


Registered AOS members can leave a comment either as a reply to a referee report or as an independent comment. Authors will be notified every time a public comment is posted on their article. Referees will be notified when there are any public comments directed towards their referee report.


We ask members who make public comments on articles to follow constructive criticism that will help authors to improve their article, and avoid using offensive language and making derogatory comments or personal attacks. We also ask members to avoid making unfair criticism towards their competitors’ work, where applicable.


All comments must be written in plain english and technical jargon must be avoided. Where unavoidable, members should clearly explain technical terms when they first appear in the comment.


Personal details of the member posting a comment (including their name, designation and affiliation) will be made publicly available. Comments that do not adhere to our public commenting policy will be removed at AOS’ discretion.


All AOS articles are published under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY License). The CC BY License allows users to freely copy, distribute, adapt and transmit any article, as long as the original work is appropriately cited in the manner specified by the copyright owner. Abstracts and full texts of all articles will be made freely available in PDF, HTML and XML formats, immediately after publication.


All research articles published by AOS include source-data (where applicable) and complete information about methodology used. All source-data underlying AOS articles is made freely available under Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 License). Click here to learn more about CC0 license.


AOS operates a transparent, post-publication peer review model. Articles are published immediately after a quick review by in-house editors, followed by transparent peer review by author-invited referees. Referee reports are made publicly available along with referees’ details (including name, designation and affiliation).


Authors must refer to the “Peer Review Information” to fully understand their role during the peer review process. Referees must refer to the “Reviewer Guidelines” before accepting invitation to review a manuscript submitted to AOS.


Referees are expected to provide a fair and unbiased review and we ask referees to decline a review request if they feel unable to do so because of any competing interests. Referees are required to disclose any competing interests in the online review report form. Your disclosures will be shown on the review report that goes with the published article. Following are some situations that are considered competing interests:


  • Referee works at the same institution as any of the authors or have worked recently in the past 3 years
  • Referee has recent (within the past 3 years) or ongoing collaboration with any of the authors
  • Referee co-authored a paper with any of the authors within the past 3 years
  • Referee works on the same research topic and is looking to publish same findings
  • Referee has been a mentor or mentee to any of the authors in the past 3 years
  • Referee has other competing interests such as financial, personal, professional, intellectual, religious or political, that might influence the review outcome

Above situations are just some examples and we ask referees to contact us if they are unsure of anything that they feel may constitute a potential competing interest.


We encourage authors to submit revised versions of their article based on referees’ recommendations. All published versions of an article are linked and maintained permanently. Each version of an article is assigned a unique digital object identifier (CrossRef DOI) to allow each version to be independently citable.


Authors must follow same ”Article Guidelines” to prepare the revised version. However, authors must include an additional section titled “Amendments from Previous Version” before the Abstract section in the manuscript. In the Amendments section, authors should include a summary of changes made to the previous version and point readers to appropriate sections for full information.


Up to two revised article versions will be published free of charge (excludes the original version). Any additional versions will then be charged at regular ”Article processing charges".


Where possible, referees should avoid requesting additional changes to the revised manuscript (that were not mentioned in the original report), which may result in endless rounds of revisions.


An article is said to have passed peer-review when it receives at least 2 “Approved” statuses or 1 “Approved” and 2 “Approved with Reservations” statuses from referees (please refer to “Peer Review Information” for more details). Irrespective of peer-review status, articles published in AOS will be immediately indexed in Google Scholar and assigned a DOI. However, only the articles that have passed peer review will be indexed in other bibliographic databases.


Discontinuing the Peer Review Process

AOS is committed to providing a rapid peer review process. In most cases, referees will submit their reports within two weeks of accepting the request. However, in the event where review process is pending without a single report for more than 3 months, authors may either suggest new referees or request to discontinue the review process. AOS will continue to host such article as a preprint copy but grant permission to authors to submit to other journals if they wish to do so.


AOS does not require authors to sign any copyrights transfer agreement. Authors will retain all copyrights of their published original articles in AOS.


Authors must have copyrights to the content presented in the manuscript, including but not limited to images, figures, tables and data. Authors are responsible for obtaining appropriate permissions from the copyright holders when previously copyrighted material is reproduced. We require authors to clearly cite the source of copyright content in the manuscript when such material is reproduced.


Manuscripts that violate our copyright policy will not be accepted for publication. AOS reserves the right to reject previously accepted articles if it comes to light that the article has problems with its content and/or violates our copyright policy.


Research involving experiments on vertebrates and higher invertebrates must be conducted in accordance with the guidelines set by authors’ institution and/or other relevant regulations. Authors must include a statement in methods section confirming the same. Authors may follow ARRIVE reporting guidelines (PLoS Biol. 2010 Jun 29;8(6):e1000412. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000412) when research involving animals is reported.


For ethics in research involving human subjects, we adhere to the Belmont Report, the Nuremberg Code, WMA Declaration of Helsinki, and principles of other major international committees. Authors are required to obtain a written informed consent and other required permissions (such as parents/guardian permission) from all the participants involved in such studies, to be published. Authors should be able to provide evidence when requested by the AOS team.


Authors must include a statement in the manuscript confirming that they obtained appropriate permissions and consent from research participants and concerned persons. Authors may follow below example when writing this statement:


“Author(s) hereby declare that written informed consent, permissions and releases were obtained from concerned persons (patients/participants/parents/guardians) for publication of patients/participants’ personal information, case details and/or their images. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the corresponding author of this article.”


When submitting datasets where human participants are involved, authors must follow de-identification standard set by HIPAA Privacy Rule. For more information, please refer to the HIPAA Privacy Rule De-Identification Methods.


We follow WHO definition of a clinical trial, and require all clinical trials published in AOS to be registered in one of the primary registries currently listed in the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).


Authors must include the registration number and date of registration in the manuscripts reporting clinical trial results.


Corrections:

AOS is committed to ensuring scientific integrity and accuracy of the published information. Corrections are made in response to any refutations by the readers, requests by the authors, or recommendations by the referees (during peer review process). AOS operates a post-publication peer-review model. Any corrections (errata and corrigenda) made to a published article before, during or after the peer review process will be published as a revised version of the article. All corrections made to an article will be listed in the “Amendments” section of the revised version.


Retractions:

AOS considers article retraction requests from individual authors, institutions and readers from the scientific community.


Authors requesting retraction of their article for any honest errors must submit a written retraction request that is signed by all the co-authors. In the retraction request, authors must clearly specify the errors published in the article and how they undermine the conclusions. Retraction requests will be published as “Retraction Notice” and linked to the retracted article (in both HTML and PDF formats). Articles that are retracted as a result of honest errors will remain available on AOS site along with the retraction notice.


Institutions and scientific community members who wish to report published articles for retraction may do so by contacting AOS editors. Possible cases for retraction requests may include, but are not limited to, research misconduct, ethical concerns about the study, plagiarism and other concerns questioning the originality of the published articles. Articles that are retracted due to research misconduct and other unethical reasons will be removed from AOS site, and a retraction notice stating the reasons for the retraction will be made available immediately.


AOS provides tools for sharing articles to the popular social media platforms. In addition, we are currently working on developing an innovative platform to explicitly calculate impact at author and article level based on citations, downloads, discussion on social media, number of browser views, etc. Therefore, we encourage authors to share their articles on social media to increase visibility. We do not charge any fee to promote published articles on AOS, nor do we restrict authors from promoting their articles on personal blogs or other websites.