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Digital Biomarkers

Guidelines for Authors

Aims & Scopes

Bridging computer science and biomedicine
Digital biomarkers are defined as objective, quantifiable physiological and behavioral data that are collected and measured by means of digital devices such as portables, wearables, implantables or digestibles. The data collected is typically used to explain, influence and/or predict health-related outcomes. Digital biomarkers also represent an opportunity to capture clinically meaningful, objective data. Multidisciplinary by design, this innovative open access journal bridges the disciplines of computer science, engineering, biomedicine, regulatory science and informatics. The editorial board includes leaders from academia, life sciences, technology and government, thus reflecting the broad scope of the journal. Digital Biomarkers provides and supports access to data, algorithms and app-repositories linked to the articles published in the journal.

In addition to the standard Article Types, we also welcome contributions to the following sections:

Research Reports
Research reports are research articles or brief reports that report on the authors' use or development of this new class of tools. Reports of early experience in clinical trials (e.g., numbers enrolled, barriers to use, principal findings, or suggestions for the future) would be especially valuable.

Tools and Devices
Reviews or Technical Notes looking at wearable sensors or similar devices within a particular field (e.g., neurology, infectious disease) or for a particular function (e.g., to measure sleep, activity, facilitate diagnosis).

Viewpoint articles are reviews on different perspectives on the effectiveness of digital biomarkers to objectively measure health through the use of algorithms to interpreted data into meaningful outcomes; biosensors' strengths, limitations, and current and future applications.

Network of Digital Evidence (NODE)
Papers submitted to this section can be reviews, case reports (focusing on digital medicine), and research articles (e.g. multi-site trials).

Interviews with selected individuals from the Digital Biomarkers field are on a solicited basis. Unsolicited suggestions are welcome. Please send a short description of the interview to our Editorial Office.

Should you have any problems with your submission, please contact the editorial office:

Shelly Shochat
Editorial Office 'Digital Biomarkers'
S. Karger AG
P.O. Box
CH-4009 Basel (Switzerland)
Tel. +41 61 306 1357
Fax +41 61 306 1434
E-Mail dib@karger.com

General Conditions

Only papers written in English are considered. The articles should be comprehensible to a reader who is fluent in English and should be edited prior to submission to ensure that standard English grammar and usage are observed. Use of a professional language editing service prior to submission can help avoid delays with the review process.

All manuscripts are subject to editorial review.

The presentation of manuscripts should follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Karger journals adhere to the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines.

All articles in this journal are Open Access and meet the requirements of funding bodies or academic institutions. By default, articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. Other licenses are available on request if required by funding bodies. More information about Creative Commons licensing options is available on the Karger website.

Please contact Karger’s Open Access team at openaccess@karger.com with questions regarding your funding body.

The copyright of the article is retained by the authors. The authors grant S. Karger AG, Basel, an exclusive unlimited license to publish the article under a Creative Commons license and identify S. Karger AG as the original publisher. By submitting an article for publication, the authors agree to its publication under the applicable Creative Commons license and to the terms and conditions of the Publisher’s Licensing Agreement.

The Submission Statement with original (hand-written) signatures is to be provided upon submitting the paper. If it is not possible to collect all signatures on a single document, individual copies should be provided for each author. Manuscripts may be accompanied by a cover letter in addition to the Submission Statement if additional information is to be communicated to the Editor(s)-in-Chief.

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


All submitted manuscripts must contain a Statement of Ethics and a Disclosure Statement after the main body of the text, but before the reference list. More information on statements can be found in the article samples downloadable in the Article Types section.


Whether intentional or not, plagiarism is a serious offense. If evidence of plagiarism is found before or after acceptance, or after publication of the paper, the author will be offered a chance for rebuttal. If the arguments are found to be unsatisfactory, the manuscript will be retracted and the author sanctioned from publishing papers for a period to be determined by the responsible Editor(s).

Digital Biomarkers is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a single-blind peer review system. Our aim ¡s to provide authors with timely and constructive feedback regarding their submitted manuscript. The Editor(s)-in-Chief and the international editorial board ensure a thorough and fair peer review process and the highest scientific publishing standards. Editors guide the peer review process for papers in their areas of expertise.
During online submission, you will be asked to list complete mailing addresses, including the e-mail addresses, of potential reviewers of your paper. Reviewers must have a recent publication record in the area of the submitted paper, must not have published with the authors in the previous three years, and must not be from the same institut¡on as the authors.
The Editor(s)-in-Chief is/are responsible for maintaining a high-quality peer review of papers submitted to the journal. Their decision concerning the acceptance or rejection of submitted manuscripts is final.


Article Preparation

Brief Reports

A sample can be downloaded here.
Brief Reports are short and/or rapid announcements of research results. They must contain data derived from cutting-edge research and be of potential interest to a large proportion of the readership. They are independent, concise reports representing a significant contribution to the field. Such communications should represent complete, original studies and should be arranged in the same way as full-length manuscripts except that the separate sections should not be formally titled.
Manuscripts intended for publication as Brief Reports must present new findings of sufficient importance to justify their accelerated acceptance.

Word Count: should not be more than 1,500 words, with approx. 10 references, and 2 figures and/or tables.

Case Reports

A sample can be downloaded here.
Case Reports can present a case study, case report, or other description of a case. Case Reports present significant new insights or cases with an unusual and noteworthy course.
Submissions can be based on a case or a number of similar cases. The most important aspect of the presentation is that it should provide a new perspective on a recognized clinical scenario or may represent an entirely new clinical condition. The novelty of the case(s) may lie in the phenotype, the presentation, the investigation, and/or the management.
We strongly encourage authors to comply with the CARE guidelines.

Word Count: should not be more than 1,500 words, with approx. 10 references, and 2 figures and/or tables.

Research Articles

A sample can be downloaded here.
Research Articles report on primary research. They should represent original research in basic, translational, or clinical science. They must describe significant and original observations. Consideration for publication is based on the article’s originality, novelty, and scientific soundness, and the appropriateness of its analysis.
Research Articles are reports of original work (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses). Authors are asked to follow the CONSORT guidelines for Research Articles.
Prior approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an Ethics Review Committee is required for all investigations involving human subjects.

Word Count: should not exceed 3,000 words, excluding up to 6 tables or figures and up to 40 references.

Review Articles

A sample can be downloaded here.
Review Articles are considered reviews of research or summary articles. They are state-of-the-art papers covering a current topic by experts in the field. They should give evidence on and provide answers to a well-defined aspect or question in a particular area. Review Articles must include a critical discussion of the reported data and give a clear conclusion with potential impacts on the standard of care.
Review Articles are usually invited by the editors but may be unsolicited. Potential authors are asked to contact the editorial office before submission in order to avoid clashes with other pending reviews. (This does not include Book Reviews or Product Reviews).

Word Count: should not exceed 3,500 words, excluding up to 6 tables or figures and up to 60 references.

Systematic Review

A sample can be downloaded here.
Systematic Reviews are literature reviews focused on a research question that synthesizes all high-quality research evidence relevant to that question. Systematic Reviews should be presented in the Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion format. The subject must be clearly defined. The objective of a Systematic Review should be to arrive at an evidence-based conclusion. The Methods section should give a clear indication of the literature search strategy, data extraction procedure, grading of evidence, and kind of analysis used. We strongly encourage authors to comply with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

Word Count: should not exceed 3,000 words, excluding up to 6 tables or figures and up to 40 references.

Other Types

Any manuscripts that do not adhere to any of the other available article types should be submitted under 'Other Types'. Further information should be provided in a cover letter.

The preferred word processing program for manuscripts is Microsoft Word. Page and line numbering should be activated, and subtitles within the document should be numbered for clarity.
Footnotes should be avoided. When essential, they should be numbered consecutively and appear at the foot of the appropriate page.
Abbreviations (with the exception of those clearly well established in the field) should be explained when they are first used both in the abstract and in the main text.
Units of measurement should be expressed in SI units wherever possible.
Generic names of drugs (first letter: lowercase) should be used whenever possible. Registered trade names (first letter: uppercase) should be marked with the superscript registration symbol ® or ™ when they are first mentioned. The manuscript, tables, figures, and submission statement must be submitted in separate files.
The manuscript, tables, figures, and submission statement must be submitted in separate files.
For further technical specifications, including tables, figures, and illustrations, please refer to the Karger website.

Other Types

Technical Notes
These manuscripts present a new method, experimental model, test procedure, tool, or algorithm that is relevant for the research and significantly advances current available knowledge.

Word Count: should not be more than 1,500 words, with approx. 10 references, and 2 figures and/or tables and should be submitted under the 'Other Types' article type in the section Tools and Devices .

Title Page

The first page should contain a short and concise title plus a running head of no more than 80 characters. Abbreviations should be avoided.
Below the title, list all the authors’ names as outlined in the article sample, which can be downloaded under Article Types. Each listed author must have an affiliation, which comprises the department, university, or organization and its location, city, state/province (if applicable), and country.
Place the full postal address of the corresponding author at the bottom of the first page, including at least one telephone number and e-mail address.
Key words relevant to the article should be listed below the corresponding author information.


Please refer to the Article Types section of the Guidelines for Authors for information on the relevant article structure, including maximum word counts and downloadable samples.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary files may be used to enhance a publication and increase its visibility on the Web. Supplementary files (directly relevant but not essential to the conclusions of the paper) will undergo editorial review and should be submitted in a separate file with the original manuscript and with all subsequent submissions. The editors reserve the right to limit the scope and length of supplementary material. Supplementary material must meet production quality standards for publication without the need for any modification or editing and should not exceed 10 Mb in size. Figures and tables must have titles and legends, and all files must be supplied separately and named clearly. Acceptable files and formats are Word or PDF files, Excel spreadsheets (if the data cannot be converted properly into a PDF file), and multimedia files (MPEG, AVI, or QuickTime formats). 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.

In-text Citation

References in the text should be identified using Arabic numerals [in square brackets]. The reference list should not be alphabetized, but the references should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
Material submitted for publication but not yet accepted should be noted as ‘unpublished data’ and may not be included in the reference list.

Reference Management Software

The use of EndNote is recommended to facilitate formatting of citations and reference lists. The journal output style can be downloaded from the EndNote website.

Karger Publishers offers a range of services to assist authors with the preparation of their manuscript, including discounts for language editing services offered by third parties.
More information is available on the Author Resources section of the Karger homepage. A guide to scientific publishing can also be downloaded here.
When submitting a manuscript, authors can add their ORCID number to their Karger account to ensure that their paper is accredited to them correctly.


Cost of Publication

APCs are waived for Digital Biomarkers, meaning publication is free of charge.

There are no additional fees for hosting supplementary material.

Color illustrations are reproduced free of charge.


Journal Policies

Manuscripts accepted for publication by Karger Publishers are subject to copyediting. Karger Publishers’ house style is based on internationally recognized standard manuals, including The Chicago Manual of Style.
An email containing a link to download the PDF proofs will be sent to the corresponding author.
The authors should check the RTF document and respond to any questions that have been raised during proofreading within 48 hours. Only text corrections are required, since layout and typesetting take place at a later stage.
Alterations made to proofs, other than the correction of errors introduced by the Publisher, are charged to the authors and may require editorial approval.
Please note that the revised proofs are not sent to the authors prior to typesetting and online publication unless there are exceptional circumstances. The article layout will be created according to the Karger standard.

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 www.doi.org).

All articles are published electronically with a DOI number as soon as we have received the authors’ approval to print.

Articles published in Digital Biomarkers are licensed by default under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, unless otherwise agreed with Karger Publishers. When sharing or reusing any article, attribution must be given to the original source, using the statement ‘The final, published version of this article is available at http://www.karger.com/?doi=[insert DOI number]’ (e.g., http://www.karger.com/?doi=10.1159/000365070).
More information is available on the Karger website.
The copyright of the article is retained by the authors. The authors grant S. Karger AG, Basel, an exclusive unlimited license to publish the article under a Creative Commons license and identify S. Karger AG as the original publisher. Submission of a manuscript for publication implies the authors’ consent to publication under the applicable Creative Commons license and the terms and conditions of the Publisher’s Licensing Agreement.

Karger permits authors of Open Access articles to post the final, published version of their articles in Open Access repositories or on other websites, in accordance with the relevant Creative Commons license. Re-posted Open Access articles must:

  • Follow the terms of the relevant Creative Commons license
  • Be linked to the final version on www.karger.com and 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.
Manuscripts to be archived in PubMed Central due to funding requirements will be submitted by Karger on the authors’ behalf, as outlined under Funding Organizations.

NIH-Funded Research

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy mandates that final, 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 Publishers submits the final, published version of Open Access NIH-funded manuscripts
to PMC upon publication.

Other Funding Sources

Karger also complies with other funders’ requirements (including the Wellcome Trust and RCUK) for submission to PMC. Authors should include information on their grants in the Funding Sources section of their papers.
More information on funding sources can be found on the Karger website.



Manuscripts should be submitted online via the Digital Biomarkers submission portal.
Before submission, please read the Guidelines for Authors for specific requirements for manuscript preparation.

A Submission Statement signed by all authors must be received by the editorial office. Please print and sign the form, and upload it during submission to make it legally binding. A brief cover letter outlining in how far the work is interdisciplinary and what is new in regard to the current literature on the topic may be included, but this is not essential.