Aims and Scope
The journal is a multidisciplinary journal that publishes papers of the highest quality and significance in all areas of digestive diseases. Areas covered include, but are not limited to, liver, biliary, digestive tract and pancreatic diseases. Please ensure that your submission is within the scope of the journal. More information is available at Aims and Scope.
Exploration of Digestive Diseases is an open access journal and all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.
Copyright and License to Publish
Journal articles are published under the CC BY license. Authors retain the copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions and agree to make their original works completely available and free to use, copy and/or redistribute in all formats without permission, as long as the authors and the original source are properly cited. A copyright statement is published on full text files including HTML, PDF and XML.
Authors are required to sign a License to Publish agreement before formal publication of an article. This grants Open Exploration the right to publish the article and associated supplementary materials in Exploration of Digestive Diseases under the CC BY license.
Permission for use of copyrighted materials (Figures or Tables) from other sources in the work, including re-published, adapted, modified, or partial tables from the internet, must be obtained. It is authors’ responsibility to acquire such permission, to follow any citation instruction requested by third-party rights holders, and to cover any supplementary charges. For more details, please refer to License to Publish.
The journal adopts a single-blind peer review model meaning that reviewers’ identities are kept concealed from authors, but authors’ identities are known to reviewers. All accepted articles (except for some Editorials released by the Editors) will have undergone a rigorous and thorough review process to evaluate their novelty, scientific content, academic integrity, etc. For more information on Peer Review, please refer to Editorial Policies.
Article Processing Charge
To attract high quality submissions and relieve the financial burden for researchers, there is currently no article processing charge or fees payable for article submission or publication.
To ensure long-term digital preservation, all published articles will be archived on the Portico platform. Authors are also encouraged to deposit their articles in PubMed Central/Europe PMC, and other appropriate archives. It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that any Institutional or funders requirements for archiving are met.
The journal allows authors to post preprints of the Original Version, Accepted Manuscript, and Version of Record, on preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites, and open communications between researchers whether on community preprint servers or preprint commenting platforms. Readers should visit Sherpa Romeo to view our preprint policy. For detailed information on our preprint policy, please refer to Editorial Policies.
A cover letter is welcomed to be submitted accompanying each manuscript. We suggest authors include the following contents in a cover letter:
★ The title and type of the manuscript;
★ A brief summary of the background and content of the work, and an explanation of why it warrants publication in the journal (e.g., novelty, importance etc);
★ Whether the article should be considered as part of a Special Issue;
★ A statement that this paper has not been submitted or published elsewhere;
★ A statement will be required if there are other cases need to be explained, for example, if the manuscript or part of it has been posted on preprints, conference, etc. Please find more cases at Duplicate Publication policy.
For any study involving human subjects, authors should provide a statement to state that the study is approved by an institutional ethics. Written informed consent to participate should be obtained from all participants.
For manuscripts involving privacy issues (e.g., including individuals’ details in images or videos), authors must obtain the consent to publication from the participants. Authors need to provide a statement to attest that they have obtained such consent.
Any research involving animals should be approved by an animal care and use committee and conducted according to the approved protocol and acceptable research standards for animal experimentation. An ethical statement should be included at the end of the manuscript stating that the study was approved by an animal care and use committee.
For details on how to prepare such statements, please refer to the Declarations part in Structure of Manuscripts.
More specific information of Research Ethics can be found in the Editorial Policies of the journal.
Registration of Clinical Trials
The journal requires that all clinical trials should be registered in a public trials registry (WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) or in ClinicalTrials.gov) at or before the time of first patient enrollment. The trial registration number should be listed at the end of the Abstract. Secondary data analyses of primary (parent) clinical trials should not be registered as separate clinical trials, but instead should reference the trial registration number of the primary trial. Please refer to Editorial Policies for further information.
Conflicts of Interest
Authors should provide a statement to disclose any potential or existing conflict of interest. The corresponding author must ensure that all authors have been asked to disclose any conflict of interest.
Manuscripts submitted by the editorial board members are handled separately by other editors, and the concerned editor is not involved in the decision-making or the review process.
All sources of funding should be declared, including the role of the study sponsor(s) in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Please refer to Editorial Policies for further information.
The journal endorses the authorship criteria defined by ICMJE. Individuals who fulfill the following criteria can be defined as authors.
Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
Final approval of the version to be published; AND
Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Author Contributions statement should be provided to specify the contribution of each author. The journal adopts the CRediT Taxonomy to describe each author's individual contributions to the work. More information is available at Structure of Manuscripts.
Other individuals who have participated in the generation of the research paper but do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section with a brief description of their contributions. Minors who have been involved in a piece of research (for example, children using technology) are typically acknowledged as they cannot be fully accountable for all aspects of the research.
Please refer to Editorial Policies for further information.
Plagiarism is not acceptable and includes, but is not limited to, copying or reusing text, ideas, images or data from other sources without clear attribution, and goes against the principle of academic publishing. Reuse of parts of text from an author’s previous research publication without clear attribution is a form of self-plagiarism.
The journal uses iThenticate to screen submitted content for originality before publication. Any issues detected by the software will be addressed by a follow-up investigation in line with COPE Guidelines and if plagiarism is detected the manuscript may be rejected, corrected or retracted, as appropriate. In some cases, the journal may inform the authors’ institutions about the case. We expect that the editors and peer reviewers will inform the journal about any concerns related to plagiarism at any stage of peer-review, publication, or post-publication. We also encourage readers to report suspicious plagiarism after publication. For more information on plagiarism and how we handle it, please refer to Editorial Policies.
The journal considers only original content meaning that articles must not have been previously published or submitted for publication, including in a language other than English. If related materials are under consideration or in press elsewhere, the authors should point this out in their cover letter.
If authors have used their own previously published work, or work that is currently under review, as the basis for a submitted manuscript, they must cite the previous articles and indicate how their submitted manuscript differs from their previous work. Reuse of the authors’ own figures or substantial amounts of wording may require permission from the copyright holder and the authors are responsible for obtaining this.
Several exceptions do not constitute duplicate publication if justified and made clear in the cover letter. Please find such exceptions at Editorial Policies.
If a manuscript is published and later found to be redundant, the editor should refer to the COPE Flowcharts and work with the publisher to retract the duplicate paper.
The journal endorses the summary of misconduct provided by WAME. Misconduct includes, but is not limited to: Falsification of data, Plagiarism, Improprieties of authorship, Misappropriation of the ideas of others, Violation of generally accepted research practices, Material failure to comply with legislative and regulatory requirements affecting research, Inappropriate behavior in relation to misconduct, Duplicate publication, Lack of declaration. The journal adopts iThenticate to detect possible plagiarism, which ensures the originality of submitted content. We encourage all reviewers to report potential misconduct of the manuscripts they reviewed. We also encourage all the readers to contact us to report potential misconduct related to published content. Open Exploration deals with all allegations of potential misconduct severely based on the COPE Flowcharts. Please refer to Editorial Policies for further information.
Authors must cite relevant literature to support any statement that relies on external sources of information in their manuscripts. However, citation manipulation may exist when articles are found to contain references that do not contribute to the scholarly content of the article and have been included solely as a mechanism of increasing citations. Please refer to the COPE document to identify Citation Manipulation and legitimate self-citation. Citation manipulation will result in the article being rejected, and the journal may report the case to authors’ institutions.
Corrections and Retractions
Corrections will be published where honest errors are detected. Retraction will be published when seriously flawed or erroneous content or data are detected, such that the findings and conclusions are unreliable. Unreliable content or data may result from honest error, naive mistakes, or research misconduct.
More guidelines about when and how to publish Corrections/Retractions, please refer to Editorial Policies.
Appeals and Complaints
Authors have the right to appeal editorial decisions or review reports during the editorial process. Please contact the editorial office at email@example.com to submit your appeals. Complaints on editorial process or publication ethics should be delivered to the editorial office, and will be handled by the Editor who responsible for the journal. If the editor is involved in your complaints, please contact the publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org. For complaints about publication ethics, we will follow guidelines published by COPE.
The structure varies according to the type of manuscript. Please refer to requirements in Types and Templates of Manuscripts.
The title should be no more than 20 words, no more than 150 characters in total, including spaces.
The title should be specific and relevant, and provide an overall view of the paper’s significance rather than detailed contents.
The title should avoid use of jargon, uncommon abbreviations, and excessive punctuation.
Author and Affiliations
Authors’ forename and surname should be listed. The initials of middle names can be added.
The complete address information should be listed as the following format: Dept/Program/Center, Institution, City, State, Post Code, Country; E-mail Address.
One author should be designated as the corresponding author.
Authors are strongly encouraged to provide their ORCID if any, especially the corresponding author.
Dual first/last authorship is allowed. Authors should indicate dual authorship with a superscript “†”, like “Forename Surname1†, Forename Surname2†”.
Please check authors’ names carefully, as any change to authorship is not allowed after manuscript acceptance.
Check out more information about Authorship at Editorial Policies.
Abstract and Keywords
This section usually describes the main objective(s) of the study, explains how the study was done, and the main findings.
The abstract should follow the specific requirements for word count and structure detailed in Types and Templates of Manuscripts.
Acronyms and abbreviations must be defined the first time they appear in the abstract. Abbreviations should only be used if the abbreviated term appears three or more times in the abstract (except commonly-used ones).
The abstract should not include any citation or footnote.
The registration number of clinical trials should be listed at the end of the abstract if appropriate.
Three to eight keywords should be provided where required (see Types and Templates of Manuscripts).
Keywords should be closely related to the topic of the paper, but not too broad or specific to the field.
Non-standard abbreviations should be kept to a minimum.
The main text may consist of distinct sections according to the category of manuscript. For instance, an Original Article should comprise: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussion, whereas are view, the main text may comprise several sections with unfixed section titles. Templates are provided in the Types and Templates of Manuscripts to guide authors.
Good introductions explain these points clearly and cohesively:
★ Relevant background that puts the study into context (a brief review of key literature);
★ Purpose of the work and its significance.
Materials and Methods
Materials and Methods should be sufficiently detailed so that they can be understood precisely by readers and reviewers, and to enable other researchers to fully replicate the study. This section should include:
★ Design and setting of the study;
★ Characteristics of participants or description of materials;
★ Clear description of all processes, interventions and comparisons;
★ Type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate.
Please make sure you are aware that:
★ Statistical terms, abbreviations, and all symbols used should be defined clearly;
★ Generic drug names should generally be used;
★ When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses;
★ All clinical trials must be registered in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment and the registration number must be listed at the end of the abstract;
★ Protocol documents for clinical trials, observational studies, and other non-laboratory investigations may be uploaded as supplementary materials.
More detailed information about clinical trials, please refer to Editorial Policies.
Results should be presented in a logical order to support the main conclusions of the study.
Results of statistical analysis should be included either as text or as tables or figures if appropriate.
Do not repeat data already shown in figures and tables, in text sections. Authors should emphasize and summarize only the most important observations.
Data on all primary and secondary outcomes identified in the section Materials and Methods should also be provided.
Extra or supplementary materials and technical details can be placed in supplementary documents.
This section should cover the key findings of the work.
Discussion should point out the potential short-comings and limitations on their interpretations.
Future research directions may also be mentioned.
In general, terms should not be abbreviated unless they are used repeatedly (at least 3 times) and the abbreviation is helpful to the reader. Using of abbreviations should meet the following requirements:
★ Commonly-used abbreviations, such as DNA, RNA, ATP, etc., can be used directly without definition;
★ Non-standard abbreviations should be defined at first use in manuscripts with their abbreviations in parentheses;
★ Non-standard abbreviations should be avoided in titles, abstracts and keywords;
★ Non-standard abbreviations in tables and figures should be explained in the footnote or caption accordingly.
This section should list and define all non-standard abbreviations.
For example, FBS: fetal bovine serum HGF: hepatocyte growth factor.
Acknowledge anyone who is not an author, but contributed to the paper, including intellectual assistance, technical help (writing services), or special equipment or materials.
The contributions of each author should be described. The journal adopts the CRediT Taxonomy to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work. The corresponding author(s) is responsible for providing the contributions of all authors at submission. We expect that all authors will have reviewed, discussed, and agreed to their individual contributions ahead of this time. Contributions will be published with the final article, and they should accurately reflect contributions to the work. The roles are not intended to define what constitutes authorship.
Use initials of Forename and Surname when mentioning an author in this section. If the initials are the same, spell the different forename or surname. For example, John A. Smith: JA Smith, John A. Smart: JA Smart; John A. Smith: John AS, James A. Smith: James AS.
An example of an Authors’ Contribution statement using CRediT with degree of contribution:
“AB: Conceptualization, Investigation, Writing-original draft, Writing-review & editing. CDE: Conceptualization, Investigation, Writing-original draft, Writing-review & editing. FG: Validation, Writing-review & editing, Supervision. All
Authors must declare any personal, professional or financial relationships which could potentially be construed as a conflict of interest. If authors are unsure whether conflicts of interest exist, please refer to Conflicts of Interest in Editorial Policies.
If there are no conflict of interest, authors should state “The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.”.
Manuscripts involving human research must be approved by the specific ethics committee or comply with the Declaration of Helsinki. Authors should state that the article has obtained the consent from the participants and detail the information of ethics committee, including the name and the reference number if any.
Manuscripts involving animals research must be approved by an animal care and use committee. Authors should state that the article has been approved by certain committee and detail its information.
If a manuscript does not involve such issues, please state “Not applicable.” in this section.
More information is available at Editorial Policies.
Consent to Participate
The informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from the participants, or their parents or legal guardians for children under 16. Such documents do not require a submission, but they must be available if requested. Authors should state “Informed consent to participate in the study was obtained from all participants.”.
If a manuscript does not involve such issue, please state “Not applicable.” in this section.
Consent to Publication
Authors must obtain the consent for publication from the participants in cases where manuscripts involve the privacy issues, like showing an individual’s details (images or videos). Such documents are not required at submission, but they must be available if requested. Authors should state “Informed consent to publication was obtained from relevant participants.”.
If a manuscript does not involve such issue, please state “Not applicable.” in this section.
Availability of Data and Materials
Authors are encouraged to provide details on how to access data sets supporting their findings where appropriate, such as links to publicly archived datasets.
Examples of appropriate public repositories are included as suggestions.
Protein Sequence: Uniprot Knowledgebase (UniprotKB).
Examples for how to write this statement:
★ Datasets are in a publicly accessible repository:
The datasets [GENERATED/ANALYZED] for this study can be found in the [NAME OF REPOSITORY] [LINK].
★ Datasets are available on request:
The raw data supporting the conclusions of this manuscript will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation, to any qualified researcher.
★ All relevant data is contained within the manuscript:
All datasets [GENERATED/ANALYZED] for this study are included in the manuscript and the supplementary files.
★ The datasets request access:
The datasets for this manuscript are not publicly available because: [VALID REASON]. Requests for accessing the datasets should be directed to [NAME, EMAIL].
★ Data has been obtained from a third party:
The data analyzed in this study was obtained from [SOURCE]. Requests for access to these datasets should be directed to [NAME, EMAIL].
★ No datasets were generated for this study:
It is not always possible to share research data publicly, for instance when individual privacy could be compromised. Authors who cannot share their data should state that the data will not be shared and explain why.
All sources of funding should be declared by naming financially supporting bodies followed by any associated grant numbers in square brackets. Authors must describe the role of the study sponsor(s) in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication, if any. If not, authors should state “The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”.
If a manuscript does not involve any funding, please state “Not applicable.” in this section.
A declaration “© The Author(s) YEAR.” will be added to each article.
References should be listed in the order in which they appear in the text. The reference number should be in square brackets in the text.
Do not include references in the abstract.
Make sure the parts of the manuscript are in the correct order before ordering the citations.
List the first six authors, followed by et al.
Abbreviations of journals should be provided on the basis of Index Medicus.
The endnote style of the journal can be downloaded at here.
The journal adopts the references outlined by U.S. National Library of Medicine. Examples are shown below. For other types, please refer to U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Standard journal article
Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935:40-6.
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
Organization as author
Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Hypertension, insulin, and proinsulin in participants with impaired glucose tolerance. Hypertension. 2002;40:679-86.
Both personal authors and organization as author
Vallancien G, Emberton M, Harving N, van Moorselaar RJ; Alf-One Study Group. Sexual dysfunction in 1,274 European men suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms. J Urol. 2003;169:2257-61.
Article not in English
Ellingsen AE, Wilhelmsen I. Sykdomsangst blant medisin- og jusstudenter. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2002;122:785-7. Norwegian.
Volume with supplement
Geraud G, Spierings EL, Keywood C. Tolerability and safety of frovatriptan with short- and long-term use for treatment of migraine and in comparison with sumatriptan. Headache. 2002;42 Suppl 2:S93-9.
Article published electronically ahead of the print version
Yu WM, Hawley TS, Hawley RG, Qu CK. Immortalization of yolk sac-derived precursor cells. Blood. 2002;[Epub ahead of print].
Tian D, Araki H, Stahl E, Bergelson J, Kreitman M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Forthcoming 2002.
Alvarez R. Near optimal neural network estimator for spectral x-ray photon counting data with pileup. arXiv:1702.01006v1 [Preprint]. 2017 [cited 2017 Feb 9]: [11 p.]. Available from: https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.01006
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.
Gilstrap LC 3rd, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.
Breedlove GK, Schorfheide AM. Adolescent pregnancy. 2nd ed. Wieczorek RR, editor. White Plains (NY): March of Dimes Education Services; 2001.
Chapter in a book
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza’s computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, Lutton E, Miller J, Ryan C, Tettamanzi AG, editors. Genetic programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming; 2002 Apr 3-5; Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer; 2002. p. 182-91.
eatright.org [Internet]. Chicago: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; c2016 [cited 2016 Dec 27]. Available from: https://www.eatright.org/
Supplementary Materials (Optional)
Accompanying the manuscripts, the additional data and information must be uploaded as supplementary materials. These contents can be accessed by certain links instead of direct presentation in the text. Authors should make sure that:
★ All files must be submitted separately and named clearly (e.g., Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Video 1);
★ The file formats are acceptable as follows: data sheet (word, excel, csv, cdx, fasta, pdf or zip files), presentation (powerpoint, pdf or zip files), image (cdx, eps, jpeg, pdf, png or tiff), table (word, excel, csv), audio (mp3, wav or wma) or video (avi, flv, mov, mp4 or wmv);
★ All information of the materials must be clearly displayed;
★ Supplementary figures and tables should comply with the requirements of figures and tables in the main text;
★ The video and audio should meet the requirements in Multimedia Files;
★ Supplementary materials should be cited in the main text in numeric order (e.g., Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Table 2).
Prepare manuscripts in DOC or DOCX files which should not be locked or protected.
The original figure files must be individually submitted accompanying submission in the same order as they appear in the manuscript.
Manuscripts must be written in English. Make sure the English language is comprehensible to readers. If English is not your first language, please ask native speakers for help to proofread your article.
Acceptable figure file formats are bmp, gif, jpg, png, tif, eps. Charts made in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint must be editable, like column chart, line chart, pie chart, bar chart, etc.
The resolution should be 300-600 dpi, or above. All information in the figure must be clearly presented.
The text within the figure must be legible in English and 8-10 points in height, or above; the font Arial or Times New Roman will be preferred.
The figure should be simple, clean, and free of extraneous detail. Shading and color should be limited for clarity. Any lines in the graphic are no smaller than 2 points width.
Labels, numbers, letters, arrows, and symbols used in the figure must be clearly displayed, and should contrast with the background; they must be explained in the caption.
Internal scale in photomicrographs should be displayed within the figure. The magnification and staining method should be provided in the caption.
Non-standard abbreviations should be explained in the caption.
Tables should be in Word format; picture format is unacceptable.
The table should be placed after the paragraph where it first appears in numeric order (e.g., Table 1, Table 2); the title should be placed above the table, and the footnote should be placed below the table.
Labels, numbers, letters, arrows, and symbols used in the table must be clearly displayed and explained in the footnote.
Non-standard abbreviations should be explained in the footnote.
Descriptive information should be explained in the footnote.
Multimedia Files (Optional)
The journal supports multimedia files which meet the following requirements:
mp3, wav, wma
mp4 (preferred), mov, avi, rm, wmv
< 3 min
< 3 min
Any language with English subtitles (English preferred)
< 300 MB
< 300 MB
High quality, clearly played
High quality, clearly played (language and subtitles)
Generally, the following contents should be italic:
★ vs., in vivo, in vitro;
★ t test, F test, U test;
★ related coefficient as r;
★ sample number as n;
★ probability as P;
★ names of genes;
★ names of bacteria;
★ biology species in Latin.
Use words for numbers appearing at the beginning of sentences.
Use words for numbers one to nine, e.g., five patients.
Use numerals for numbers ten or above, e.g., 16 years old; insert a comma to separate thousands groups, e.g., 123,456,789.
Equations should be editable. Picture format is unacceptable.
Use the Microsoft Equation Editor or the MathType for equations.
Use International System of Units (SI). All other units should be converted to SI Units whenever possible.
Include a space between the number and the unit (e.g., 78 kg).
All the manuscripts should be submitted online in ARES system https://edd.aressystem.com/. Queries should be directed to the editorial office at email@example.com. The submitting author, generally the corresponding author, must ensure that all the eligible authors have been included in the author list and all authors read and approved the submitted version.