All submissions to Breathe are handled via the ScholarOne Manuscripts platform, which provides detailed instructions of how to follow the submission process. If you experience problems or require any further assistance, please contact the submission helpline direct on +44 114 2672865 or contact Eddy Baker, ScholarOne Manuscripts Coordinator.
Although the remit of Breathe is not to publish original research articles, articles should not be substantially identical to or derivative of work published elsewhere.
The exception to this rule is when an article is specifically and explicitly adapted from ERS educational material first presented in another format. This will be clearly indicated on the published article.
Breathe uses Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate). Manuscripts showing a high degree of similarity to previously published work will be closely examined and any appropriate action will be taken by the Chief Editor.
Breathe is a journal member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follows the code of conduct and best practice guidelines.
Preparation of articles
Breathe articles are divided into several categories. The specific requirements of each category are laid out below, but some aspects are common to all. Articles should be supplied in .doc or .docx format.
Breathe uses a slightly less formal style than, for instance, that of the European Respiratory Journal. However, it is no less rigorous. Authors should remember that they are writing for an international audience: clarity is essential. Authors should be concise and, if possible, should avoid long passages of technical information (these should be presented as figures or tables, or references given).
Figures and tables
Authors are encouraged to include figures, tables and text boxes to illustrate their articles.
- Supply line-art figures in JPEG, TIFF, Adobe Illustrator (.ai), PDF, SVG or EPS format. Graphs or bar charts may be supplied in Excel or similar spreadsheet format.
- Supply halftone and photographic images in PSD, JPEG or TIFF format. Minimum resolution should be 300 dpi at the final printable size (90 mm wide or greater).
- Do not embed images in the main manuscript file. Supply them separately.
Size and quantity
- Avoid large figures comprising many individual parts: as a maximum, each individual figure must fit to a single PDF page of the journal, with sufficient space for its accompanying caption.
- There is no charge for presenting figures in colour in the printed edition of Breathe.
- All submitted figures must be clearly named and numbered.
- Multipart figures should be labelled as a), b), c), d), etc.
- In photographic and halftone images, show only the areas of interest with enough surrounding area for orientation purposes.
Provide a clear figure legend for each image.
Where figures and tables are reproduced or adapted from non-ERS publications, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the original publisher and to pay any fees charged. Reproduced material must be correctly cited in the figure legend.
References and further reading
- The number of references should be limited, to a maximum of 40 if possible.
- Number references consecutively in the order in which they first appear in the text, using full-sized Arabic numerals in square brackets to cite references.
- All authors must be included for each cited item.
- References should contain at all the information shown in the following examples:
1. Bannerjee D, Khair OA, Honeybourne D. Impact of sputum bacteria on airway inflammation and health status in clinical stable COPD. Eur Respir J 2004; 23: 685-692.
2. Bourbon J, Henrion-Caude A, Gaultier C. Molecular basis of lung development. In: Gibson GJ, Geddes DM, Costable U, Sterk PJ, Corrin B, eds. Respiratory Medicine. 3rd Edn. Edinburgh/Philadelphia, Elsevier Science, 2002; pp. 64-81.
- Documents published online, and individual web pages, should be listed in the reference list, not in the text, and only used when an original citation is unavailable; citations should contain at all the information shown in this example (include the author of the webpage, its title, the URL on which the cited material can be found, and the dates on which the webpage was last accessed by you, and on which it was last updated):
3. WHO. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). www.who.int/csr/sars/en/index.html. Date last updated: June 1 2004. Date last accessed: June 1 2004.
- References to websites as a whole or sections of websites (rather than particular pages or documents on a website) should be included directly in the text:
...data were sourced from the WHO Global Health Observatory (http://www.who.int/gho/en/)...
- Works that have not yet been accepted for publication and personal communications should not appear in the reference list. These should be mentioned directly in the text.
- A selection of up to five "Further reading" articles or links to relevant noncommercial websites or online resources may also be provided, with a brief 2–3-sentence commentary on each.
SI units should be used where sensible; otherwise, conversions to SI units should be given. The exception to this is blood pressures, which should be stated in mmHg.
Supplementary video and audio
Authors may wish to submit video and audio material (for instance, of breath sounds or to illustrate a technique) to accompany their article. This should be clearly referenced in the text.
Types of articles
Subject to the considerations above, Breathe articles can be divided into several categories, each of which has its own particular characteristics.
The purpose of editorials is to discuss current developments in the respiratory field, to give context to articles in the issue or discuss events of note. Editorials should ideally be 2 pages (~1,500 words; however, longer articles will be considered based on topic and merit) and should be written in a non-scientific style retaining the author's voice. Both descriptive figures and photographs are welcomed.
Reviews should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references, tables and figures). As Breathe is an educational journal, each article should have two or more clearly stated educational aims. The article should include a short one- or two-paragraph summary, to appear before the text. This should refer to the educational aims. Authors should also supply 2–4 bulleted 'key points', of one sentence each, detailing the essential aspects of the article. To help readers evaluate their knowledge and understanding of the topic, 4–5 self-evaluation questions should be supplied with the article (see appendix), and this requirement should be borne in mind when preparing the review. Brief guidelines for the preparation of self-evaluation questions are appended to this document. Authors may submit, or the Chief Editor may commission, an editorial commentary to accompany the article. This may be particularly useful in areas of controversy, as it can be used to express a point of view that differs from that in the main article.
'How-to' articles can be used to provide a guide to techniques or procedures. Their structure is similar to that of review articles: they should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references, tables and figures); they should include educational aims, a summary and key points; and the author should supply self-evaluation questions. Brief guidelines for the preparation of self-evaluation questions are appended to this document. A 'How-to' article should be very clearly structured and should make use of flow charts, illustrations and diagrams where possible.
Interactive cases and annual case competition
The primary purpose of Breathe is educational. Consequently, cases should be chosen for their clinical relevance and educational value, not for their rarity. Interactive case articles may be up to 3,000 words in length (excluding references, tables and figures) and should make full use of measurements, laboratory results and images from diagnostic tests. The case should be presented in a chronological manner, interspersed with interactive questions and explanatory answers concerning the best way to proceed given the data so far, and possible diagnoses. The article should conclude with a discussion of the case in question and general topics related to it. The author of the best case report each year will be awarded their choice of ERS Handbook or ERS Monograph.
Terms and Conditions: The best case report will be judged by the Chief Editor. The judge's decision is final. One copy of an ERS Handbook or ERS Monograph from available stock will be offered to the submitting author of the winning case report. All case reports should be submitted via mc.manuscriptcentral.com/edu and will be peer reviewed and published in the next available issue or online if deemed appropriate.
Although Breathe does not publish original research, authors should adhere to the ICMJE authorship criteria in so far as they apply. These can be found at www.icmje.org.
Copyright and open access
Submission of a manuscript to Breathe implies that if and when it is accepted for publication, the authors automatically agree to transfer copyright to the ERS
Articles published in Breathe are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License 4.0 which permits redistribution for non-commercial reasons provided the source is cited. This excludes content for which permission has been granted to ERS for use.
Authors of Breathe articles are entitled to deposit the final published version of their manuscripts in a non-commercial institutional (or other) repository for public archiving immediately upon publication.
Articles to be published in Breathe will be subject to single-blind peer-review.
Conflict of interest
All authors are expected to disclose any potential competing or conflicting interests when submitting articles for publication in Breathe by completing a IMCJE form. Conflicts of interest will be published alongside the article. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides further guidance on this issue, which can be found at www.icmje.org
Breathe and its Chief Editor adhere to the European Respiratory Society's policy on tobacco industry funding, as detailed in Article IX of the ERS Bylaws. On manuscript submission, authors will be asked if they comply with this policy. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the ERS publications office.
After your manuscript is accepted, the ERS publications office will copyedit and typeset the article for publication. You will be contacted regarding copyright assignment and be sent a proof of your article along with any queries that have arisen during editing.
Although Breathe is an open access journal, there are no article processing charges or other author fees.
Once published online, selected papers will be promoted by the ERS communications department, through press releases, ERS marketing channels or social media. If your own institution is carrying out press activity around your paper, please let us know. A guide to ERS author services, including resources for helping to promote articles, is available at the ERJ website.
Errata and correspondence
Errors in the journal should be brought to the attention of the Chief Editor by e-mail to email@example.com. Any corrections deemed significant by the Chief Editor will be published in the journal at the earliest opportunity and will be posted online.
Correspondence regarding articles published in Breathe should be sent to the above email address. If it is for publication, it should be clearly marked as such.
Some Breathe articles may be selected as continuing medical education (CME) content, approved by the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology. Such articles will be worth 1 CME credit each, subject to candidates submitting correct answers to the questions associated with each article.
Appendix: Principles on how to write good multiple-choice questions
- Relevant content: The content should be relevant, important and generally applicable.
- Application of knowledge, not only theory: The question should test the application of knowledge rather than the recall of isolated theoretical facts.
- Focused questions and homogeneous answers: The question should focus on one aspect of the topic and all proposed answers should belong to the same aspect (e.g. diagnosis, causes, management decisions).
- Clear and unambiguous answer: The correct answer should stand out clearly. Try to avoid "technically correct" answers which are subject to existing controversial doctrines.
- Appropriate level of difficulty (50–90% correct answers): If the questions are too difficult then even the best candidates need to guess; however, if they are too easy, then they do not sufficiently stratify the different abilities of candidates.
- Unambiguous, concise and simple phrasing: Avoid trick questions and double negatives. Use only common abbreviations, short sentences, etc. Avoid imprecise qualifications (often, usually, etc.).
- Avoid cues: Cues can help candidates guess the correct answer. Examples include when one answer is much more detailed than the others, when only one answer follows grammatically from the stem, or a non-logical order of answers.