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Preparing your manuscript

What are you submitting?
The main manuscript document
The title page
How do I format my article?
Sage Author Services

What are you submitting? 

Sage journals publish a variety of different article types, from original research, review articles, to commentaries and opinion pieces. Please view your chosen journal’s submission guidelines for information on what article types are published and what the individual requirements are for each. Below are general guidelines for submitting an original research article. 

Whatever kind of article you are submitting, remember that the language you use is important. We are committed to promoting equity throughout our publishing program, and we believe that using language is a simple and powerful way to ensure the communities we serve feel welcomed, respected, safe, and able to fully engage with the publishing process and our published content. Inclusive language considerations are especially important when discussing topics like age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, emigration status, and weight. We have produced an Inclusive Language Guide that recommends preferred terminology on these topics. We recognize that language is constantly evolving and we’re committed to ensuring that this guide is continuously updated to reflect changing practices. The guide isn't exhaustive, but we hope it serves as a helpful starting point.  

The main manuscript document 

Have a look at your chosen journal’s submission guidelines for information on what sections should be included in your manuscript. Generally there will be an Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, Statements and Declarations section, and References. Be sure to remove any identifying information from the main manuscript if you are submitting to a journal that has a double-anonymized peer review policy and instead include this on a separate title page. See the Sage Journal Author Gateway for detailed guidance on making an anonymous submission.   

Your article title, keywords, and abstract all contribute to its position in search engine results, directly affecting the number of people who see your work. For details of what you can do to influence this, visit How to help readers find your article online.

Title: Your manuscript’s title should be concise, descriptive, unambiguous, accurate, and reflect the precise contents of the manuscript. A descriptive title that includes the topic of the manuscript makes an article more findable in the major indexing services.  

Abstract: Your abstract should concisely state the purpose of the research, major findings, and conclusions. If your research includes clinical trials, the trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract. Submissions that do not meet this requirement will not be considered. Please see your chosen journal’s guidelines for information on how to set out your abstract.  

Keywords: You will be asked to list a certain number of keywords after the abstract. Keywords should be as specific as possible to the research topic.   

Acknowledgements: If you are including an Acknowledgements section, this will be published at the end of your article. The Acknowledgments section should include all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Per ICMJE recommendations, it is best practice to obtain consent from non-author contributors who you are acknowledging in your manuscript.   

Writing assistance and third-party submissions: if you have received any writing or editing assistance from a third-party, for example a specialist communications company, this must be clearly stated in the Acknowledgements section and in the covering letter. Please see the Sage Author Gateway for what information to include in your Acknowledgements section. If your submission is being made on your behalf by someone who is not listed as an author, for example the third-party who provided writing/editing assistance, you must state this in the Acknowledgements and also in your covering letter. Please note that the journal editor reserves the right to not consider submissions made by a third party rather than by the author/s themselves.  

Author contributions statement: As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review and publication process, some journals have adopted CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy). CRediT is a high-level taxonomy, including 14 roles, which is used to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work. Other journals may require you to list the contribution of each author as part of the submission process. If so, please include an Author Contributions heading within your submission after the Acknowledgements section. The information you give on submission will then show under the Author Contributions heading later at the proofing stage.  

Statements and declarations: You’ll be asked to provide various statements and declarations regarding the research you’re submitting. These will vary by journal so do make sure you read your chosen journal’s guidelines carefully to see what is required. Please include a section with the heading ‘Statements and Declarations’ at the end of your submitted article, after the Acknowledgements section (and Author Contributions section if applicable) including the relevant sub-headings listed below. If a declaration is not applicable to your submission, you must still include the heading and state ‘Not applicable’ underneath. Please note that you may be asked to justify why a declaration was not applicable to your submission by the Editorial Office.

  • Ethical considerations: Please include your ethics approval statements under this heading, even if you have already included ethics approval information in your methods section. If ethical approval was not required, you need to state this. You can find information on what to say in your ethical statements as well as example statements on our Publication ethics and research integrity policies page    
  • Consent to participate: Please include any participant consent information under this heading and state whether informed consent to participate was written or verbal. If the requirement for informed consent to participate has been waived by the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board (i.e. where it has been deemed that consent would be impossible or impracticable to obtain), please state this. If this is not applicable to your manuscript, please state ‘Not applicable’ in this section. More information and example statements can be found on our Publication ethics and research integrity policies page   
  • Consent for publication: Submissions containing any data from an individual person (including individual details, images or videos) must include a statement confirming that informed consent for publication was provided by the participant(s) or a legally authorized representative. Non-essential identifying details should be omitted.  Please do not submit the participant’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent to publish but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file in addition to the statement confirming that consent to publish was obtained within the manuscript text. If this is not applicable to your manuscript, please state ‘Not applicable’ in this section.
    If you need one you can download this template participant consent form
  • Declaration of conflicting interest: All journals require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors so that a statement can be included in your article. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, see our policy on conflicting interest declarations and the ICMJE recommendations.
    If no conflict exists, your statement should read: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
  • Funding statement: All articles need to include a funding statement, under a separate heading, even if you did not receive funding.  You’ll find guidance and examples on our Funding statements page.  
  • Data availability statement: We are committed to helping ensure you reach as many readers as possible, always in a spirit of openness and transparency. We encourage you to share your research to a public repository and cite this data in your research (please note that this is a requirement for some journals). You will need to publish a data availability statement with your article under this heading. More information on how to write one can be found on the Sage Gateway: Research Data Sharing FAQs | SAGE Publications Ltd  

Artwork, figures, and other graphics: Illustrations, pictures and graphs, should be supplied in the highest quality and in an electronic format that helps us to publish your article in the best way possible. Please follow the guidelines below to enable us to prepare your artwork for the printed issue as well as the online version. 

  • Format: TIFF, JPEG: Common format for pictures (containing no text or graphs). 
  • EPS: Preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging/zooming in). 
  • Placement: Figures/charts and tables created in MS Word should be included in the main text rather than at the end of the document. 
  • Figures and other files created outside Word (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, TIFF and EPS) should be submitted separately. Please add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e. “[insert Figure 1.]") 
  • Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e. with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi. 
  • Colour: Please note that images supplied in colour will be published in colour online and black and white in print (unless otherwise arranged). Therefore, it is important that you supply images that are comprehensible in black and white as well (i.e. by using colour with a distinctive pattern or dotted lines). The captions should reflect this by not using words indicating colour. If you have requested colour reproduction in the print version, we will advise you of any costs on receipt of your accepted article. 
  • Dimension: Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination 
  • Fonts: The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually sans serif font as a default). 

Please ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.   

References: Every in-text citation must have a corresponding citation in the reference list and vice versa. Corresponding citations must have identical spelling and year. Information about what reference style to use can be found in your chosen journal’s guidelines. 

Authors should update any references to preprints when a peer reviewed version is made available, to cite the published research. Citations to preprints are otherwise discouraged.  

Supplemental material
Sage journals can host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc.) alongside the full text of the article. Your supplemental material must be one of our accepted file types. For that list and more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.  

Please ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.   

The title page  

You will also need to prepare a title page. This should include any information removed from the main manuscript document for the purposes of anonymity. The title page will not be sent to peer reviewers.  

Your title page should include:  

  • Article title  
  • The full list of authors including all names and affiliations. 
  • The listed affiliation should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a note at the end of the manuscript – please indicate this on the title page.  
  • Everybody eligible for authorship must be included at the time of submission (please see the authorship section for more information).
  • Contact information for the corresponding author: name, institutional address, phone, email  
  • Acknowledgments section  
  • Statements and Declarations section  
  • Any other identifying information related to the authors and/or their institutions, funders, approval committees, etc, that might compromise anonymity.   

How do I format my article? 

The preferred format is Word. There is no need to follow a specific template when submitting your manuscript in Word. However, please ensure your heading levels are clear, and the sections clearly defined. 

(La)TeX guidelines
We welcome submissions of LaTeX files. Please download the Sage LaTex Template, which contains comprehensive guidelines. The Sage LaTex template files are also available in Overleaf, should you wish to write in an online environment. 

If you have used any .bib or .bst files when creating your article, please include these with your submission so that we can generate the reference list and citations in the journal-specific style. If you have any queries, please consult our LaTex Frequently Asked Questions. 

When formatting your references, please ensure you check the reference style followed by your chosen journal. Here are quick links to the Sage Harvard reference style, the Sage Vancouver reference style and the APA reference style. 

Other styles available for certain journals are: ACS Style Guide, AMA Manual of Style, ASA Style Guide, Chicago Manual of Style and CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Societies

Please refer to your journal's manuscript submission guidelines to confirm which reference style it conforms to and for other specific requirements. 

Equations should to be submitted using Office Math ML and Math type. 

Artwork guidelines 
Illustrations, pictures and graphs, should be supplied in the highest quality and in an electronic format that helps us to publish your article in the best way possible. Please follow the guidelines below to enable us to prepare your artwork for the printed issue as well as the online version. 

  • Format: TIFF, JPEG: Common format for pictures (containing no text or graphs). 
    EPS: Preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging/zooming in). 
  • Placement: Figures/charts and tables created in MS Word should be included in the main text rather than at the end of the document. 
    Figures and other files created outside Word (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, JPG, TIFF and EPS) should be submitted separately. Please add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e. “[insert Figure 1.]") 
  • Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e. with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi
  • Color: Please note that images supplied in colour will be published in color online and black and white in print (unless otherwise arranged). Therefore, it is important that you supply images that are comprehensible in black and white as well (i.e. by using color with a distinctive pattern or dotted lines). The captions should reflect this by not using words indicating colour. 
  • Dimension: Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination 
  • Fonts: The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually sans serif font as a default). 

Image integrity
Figures should be minimally processed and should reflect the integrity of the original data in the image. Adjustments to images in brightness, contrast, or color balance should be applied equally to the entire image, provided they do not distort any data in the figure, including the background. Selective adjustments and touch-up tools used on portions of a figure are not appropriate. Images should not be layered or combined into a single image unless it is stated that the figure is a product of time-averaged data. All adjustments to image date should be clearly disclosed in the figure legend. Images may be additionally screened to confirm faithfulness to the original data. Authors should be able to supply raw image data upon request. Authors should also list tools and software used to collect image data and should document settings and manipulations in the Methods section. 

Sage Author Services 

Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation with editing, or figure and manuscript formatting, to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Author Services. Other additional services include creation of infographics and video summaries to promote your article with colleagues and over social media. Visit Sage Author Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.