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Authors, Editors, Reviewers

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Complementary Medicine Research

Practice, Methods, Perspectives

Guidelines for Authors

Types of Papers and Allotted Number of Pages
Case Reports
Conflicts of Interest
Ethical and Legal Prerequisites
Plagiarism Policy
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Supplementary Material
Self-Archiving/Green Open Access, Author's ChoiceTM,
   Funding Organizations (NIH etc.)

Page Charges
Edited Articles for Correction


'Complementary Medicine Research' publishes articles on basic and practice-related research, clinical studies, methodology or scientific theory in complementary medicine.

Manuscripts must be submitted online.

Names, postal and e-mail addresses of two experts in the appropriate area of research should accompany each manuscript. Selected scientists will be invited to act as referees. Referees suggested should not be from the same institution as the author and should have expert knowledge of the subject.

Should you have any problems with electronic submission, please contact:

Andreas Beckmann
Editorial Office 'Complementary Medicine Research'
S. Karger Verlag für Medizin und Naturwissenschaften GmbH
P.O. Box
79095 Freiburg (Germany)
Tel. +49 761 45 20 726
Fax +49 761 45 20 714


Contributions must be written in German or English (American or British spelling and grammar).

Types of Papers and Allotted Number of Pages

Please print the manuscript 1 1/2-spaced with 3-cm margins (left and right). Use only one format (normal) for the document.

Types of Papers and Allotted Number of Pages

Please print the manuscript 1 1/2-spaced with 3-cm margins (left and right). Use only one format (normal) for the document.

Equals approx.
Review Article, Systematic Review, Original Article max. 8 48,000
Case Report max. 4 24,000
Essay max. 5 30,000
Research Reportb, Letter to the Editorsb max. 2 12,000
a Including title page, summary, main text, illustrations, tables, and references. Each table or figure counts for 1,500 characters. Each additional complete or partial page to print will be charged to the author.b No abstract required.


Reports on Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) should be prepared according to the CONSORT statement (www.consort-statement.org/downloads/consort-statement; [BMJ 2010;340:c332]).

The report must state explicitly how the comparison groups were assembled, allowing the reader to assess the method of randomization.

Please specify in the title and summary that the manuscript is a report on an RCT. When an RCT is submitted, the authors should refer to the 'CONSORT 2010 checklist of information to include when reporting a randomised trial' and the flow diagram available at www.cosort-statement.org. Both should be submitted with the manuscript, as they will be included in the review process.

Reports on herbal/phytotherapeutic treatments should be prepared according to the CONSORT statement for herbal interventions (www.consort-statement.org/downloads/extensions; [Ann Intern Med 2006;144:364–367]).

Reports on homeopathic treatments should be prepared according to the RedHot-Supplement to CONSORT [Forsch Komplementmed 2006;13:368–371].
Also see the explanatory document ‘Recommendations for reporting randomized controlled trials of herbal interventions: explanation and elaboration’ (www.consort-statement.org/downloads/extensions; [J Clin Epidemiol 2006;59:1134–1149]).

In order to facilitate information on the herbal interventions, point 4B.4 and 4D.1 of the CONSORT checklist are not mandatory in livestock trials.


Case Reports

When preparing a case report, it is recommended to consider the CARE guidelines that provide a framework supporting transparency and accuracy in the publication of case reports and the reporting of information from patient encounters. Further information available at www.care-statement.org.



Acceptance of a manuscript is based on the evaluation by several reviewers (peer review).

Manuscripts are received with the explicit understanding that the article has not been published, neither wholly nor in part, has not been submitted for publication anywhere else and is not under consideration by any other journal. Submission of an article for publication implies that the authors are the owners of the copyright and that the article does not infringe any existing third party rights, including copyright and intellectual property rights.

It is the authors' responsibility to obtain permission to produce illustrations, tables, etc. from other publications.

Once the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors grant S. Karger Publishers a license to publish and reproduce the article in either its present form or revised version for any possible use and identify themselves as the original publishers. This right extends also to associated companies. The publishing rights are worldwide rights and are not time-limited. They include the right to publish the text in printed format as well as electronic online and offline media or databases of any kind. Accepted papers, in whole or in part, may not be translated into other languages, or reproduced by any mechanical or electronic means (including photocopying, recording and microcopying), or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publisher.

Download: License Agreement (PDF)

The publisher reserves the right to edit the manuscript and decide on the layout.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors are required to disclose any sponsorship or funding arrangements relating to their research, and all authors must disclose any possible conflicts of interest. Disclosure statements will be published at the end of the text of the article.

Ethical and Legal Prerequisites

Manuscripts involving examinations of human subjects must include a statement that the trial protocol has been approved by an ethical committee and meets the standards of the Declaration of Helsinki in its revised version of 1975 and its amendments of 1983, 1989, and 1996 [JAMA 1997;277:925–926]. Accordingly, the subjects' informed consent has to be mentioned in the manuscript. Information suitable to reveal the subjects' identity is to be avoided.

Experiments involving animals demand consent as well and must meet the requirements of German laws for the protection of animals in their current version. A reference to this approval must be included in the manuscript. Articles from countries other than Germany must include a comparable note.

Plagiarism Policy

Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is a serious violation. We define plagiarism as a case in which a paper reproduces another work with at least 25% similarity and without citation. If evidence of plagiarism is found before/after acceptance or after publication of the paper, the author will be offered a chance for rebuttal. If the arguments are not found to be satisfactory, the manuscript will be retracted and the author sanctioned from publishing papers for a period to be determined by the responsible Editor(s).


Title page: The first page of each paper should indicate the title in German* and English (max. 100 characters each), a short title for use as running head (max. 45 characters), the contributors' full names and affiliations, and the exact address of the corresponding author, including phone and fax numbers as well as e-mail address.

KeyWords: For indexing purposes, a list of 3–8 Keywords in English and German* is essential. Whenever possible, use keywords such as found in the Medical Subject Headings List (MeSH) of Index Medicus (see www.nlm.nih.gov).

Summary: Summaries must be submitted in German* and English. They must not exceed 200 words each. Summaries of Original Articles should be structured as follows: Background (or Introduction), Patients and Methods (or Materials and Methods), Results, Conclusion.
Summaries of Case Reports should be structured as follows: Background, Case Report, Conclusion.

* If the author does not speak German, the editorial office will provide the translation after the manuscript has been accepted.

Footnotes: Footnotes should be used only for tables.

Registered Trade Names: When first mentioned, registered trade names must be marked with the superscript registration symbol ® or ™. It is the sole responsibility of the author to ensure that this rule is followed properly.

Tables and Illustrations: Tables are part of the text and should be placed at the end of the text file. Illustration data must be stored as separate files. The number of figures and tables should be limited and aim to illustrate the text. Figures are listed in the text as (fig. 1), tables as (table 1). Data already mentioned in the text need not be repeated in a table. Accordingly, numbers used in tables need not be repeated in the text.

Illustrations must have a final resolution of 300 dpi after scaling, line drawings one of 600–800 dpi.

Color illustrations are reproduced at the author's expense. Each one is charged to the author at EUR 380.00 (incl. VAT) as contribution to the additional reproduction and color printing costs.


The list of references should include only the publications cited in the text. References must be numbered sequentially in the order cited in the text. In the text identify references by Arabic numerals [in square brackets]. In each reference at least the first 3 authors should be named. Please only quote articles already published or accepted for publication.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct citation.

Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the Index Medicus system (www.nlm.nih.gov). If a reference manager is used, the style "Pharmacology" or "Nephron" should be chosen.

Examples for references:

Papers published in periodicals:
Wick, Küker W: Brain edema in neurooncology: radiological assessment and management. Onkologie 2004;27:261–266.

Papers published only with DOI numbers:
Theoharides TC, Boucher W, Spear K: Serum interleukin-6 reflects disease severity and osteoporosis in mastocytosis patients. Int Arch Allergy Immunol DOI: 10.1159/000063858.

Papers published in electronic format:
Black CA: Delayed type hypersensitivity: Current theories with a historic perspective. Dermatol Online J 1999;5:7. http://dermatology.dclib.org/DOJvol5num1.

Edited books:
Itskovitz-Eldor J, Amit M: Human embryonic stem cells; in Blazer S, Zimmer EZ (eds): The Embryo: Scientific Discovery and Medical Ethics. Basel, Karger, 2005, pp 74–90.

Büchler MW, Uhl W, Malfertheiner P, Sarr MG: Diseases of the Pancreas. Basel, Karger, 2004.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

A DOI number will be available as a unique identifier on the title page of each article. DOIs are useful for identifying and citing articles published online without volume or issue information (for more information, see

Supplementary Material

Multimedia files and other supplementary files, directly relevant but not essential to the conclusions of a paper, enhance the online version of a publication and increase its visibility on the web. These files will undergo editorial review. The Editors reserve the right to limit the scope and length of the supplementary material. Multimedia and supplementary material should meet production quality standards for publication without the need for any modification or editing. Files should not exceed 10 MB in size. Figures and tables need to have titles and legends, and all files should be supplied separately and labeled clearly. All supplementary material should be referred to in the main text. A DOI number will be assigned to supplementary material and it will be hosted online at https://karger.figshare.com under a CC BY license. Authors will be charged a processing fee of EUR 298.00 (incl. VAT) for supplementary material.

Self-Archiving/Green Open Access

Karger permits authors to archive their pre-prints (i.e. pre-peer review) or post-prints (i.e. accepted manuscript after peer review but before production) on their personal or their institution’s internal website. In addition, authors may post their accepted manuscripts in public Open Access repositories and scientific networks (e.g. ResearchGate or Mendeley) no earlier than 12 months following publication of the final version of their article. For all self-archiving, the posted manuscripts must:

  • Be used for noncommercial purposes only
  • Be linked to the final version on www.karger.com
  • Include the following statement:

‘This is the peer-reviewed but unedited manuscript version of the following article: [insert full citation, e.g. Cytogenet Genome Res 2014;142:227–238 (DOI: 10.1159/000361001)]. The final, published version is available at http://www.karger.com/?doi=[insert DOI number].’

It is the author’s responsibility to fulfill these requirements.

For papers published online first with a DOI number only, full citation details must be added as soon as the paper is published in its final version. This is important to ensure that citations can be credited to the article.

Manuscripts to be archived in PubMed Central due to funding requirements will be submitted by Karger on the author’s behalf [see Funding Organizations (NIH etc.)].

For self-archiving Author's ChoiceTM (Gold Open Access) articles, see Author's ChoiceTM.

Author's ChoiceTM

Karger’s Author's ChoiceTM service broadens the reach of your article and gives all users worldwide free and full access for reading, downloading and printing at www.karger.com. The option is available for a one-time fee of EUR 1,810.00 ( inkl. MwSt.), which is a permissible cost in grant allocation. More information can be found at www.karger.com/authors_choice.
The final, published version of the article may be posted at any time and in any repository or on other websites, in accordance with the relevant Creative Commons license. Reposted Open Access articles must:

  • Follow the terms of the relevant Creative Commons license
  • Be linked to the final version on www.karger.com
  • Include the following statement:

‘The final, published version of this article is available at http://www.karger.com/?doi=[insert DOI number].’

It is the author’s responsibility to fulfill these requirements.

For papers published online first with a DOI number only, full citation details must be added as soon as the paper is published in its final version. This is important to ensure that citations can be credited to the article.

Funding Organizations (NIH etc.)

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy mandates that accepted, peer-reviewed manuscripts are archived in its digital database, PubMed Central (PMC), within 12 months of the official publication date. As a service to authors, Karger submits NIH-funded articles to PMC on behalf of the authors immediately upon publication. The NIH assigns a PMCID within approximately 1 month and the manuscript will appear in PMC after a 12-month embargo. For authors making their paper Open Access through Author's ChoiceTM, the embargo will be overridden, thereby accelerating the accessibility of the article. Karger also complies with other funders’ requirements (including Wellcome Trust and RCUK) for submission to PMC.
Authors should include information on their grant in the Acknowledgements section of their papers.

Page Charges

There are no page charges for papers that do not exceed the allotted size (cf. Types and lengths of papers).

Each additional complete or partial page is charged to the author at EUR 510.00 (incl. VAT).

Edited Articles for Correction

Unless indicated otherwise, edited articles are sent to the corresponding author and should be returned with the least possible delay. Changes made in the articles, other than the correction of editing errors, are charged to the author. No page proofs are supplied.


Order forms and a price list are sent with the edited articles. Orders submitted after the issue is printed are subject to considerably higher prices.