Follow us on twitter

Instructions to Authors

Presentation of data

Diabetologia has adopted a new policy on the presentation of data. Please present data as individual points rather than as simple bar charts. This can either be in the form of a bar chart with individual data points shown clearly on the graph, or a column scatter graph, as shown in the example below. Please see our Artwork guidelines section (below) for more details.

Expand All
General information

Diabetologia publishes original clinical, translational and experimental research on all aspects of diabetes research and related subjects, provided they have scientific merit and represent an important advance in knowledge. Manuscripts must be written in English. There is no submission fee or page charges. Prior to acceptance, all papers are screened to check for plagiarism and image manipulation. Diabetologia expects authors of accepted manuscripts to keep original data available for a minimum of 5 years.

Types of articles

Original articles

A maximum of 4000 words in the main text plus up to 50 references. The abstract, references, tables and figure legends are excluded from the word count, as are acknowledgements and details of funding, duality of interest and contribution statements. Please note that overlength manuscripts will still be considered however authors will be asked to shorten their paper if the article survives peer review. Please go to Organisation and content of papers below for information on structuring your article.

Short communications

A maximum of 1500 words in the main text plus up to ten references and normally no more than two illustrations (tables or figures or one of each). Please go to Organisation and content of papers below for information on structuring your article.


Reviews are usually 2500 words in the main text plus up to 40 references.

Reviews are usually invited, although unsolicited reviews may be considered for publication. Authors hoping to submit an unsolicited review should first consult the Editor-in-Chief at Proposals should include an abstract or detailed summary and a full outline of the review, along with the keywords and a full author list, affiliations and areas of expertise; please state which sections of the review each author will be responsible for.

Please be aware that even if you are given the go-ahead to submit your review to Diabetologia, your manuscript will undergo peer review and there can be absolutely no guarantee of eventual acceptance.

If you are considering using figures, data etc from another paper in your review, please note that it will be your responsibility to investigate whether permission is needed. In most cases permission can be obtained by going to the paper online and navigating via Rightslink. Please do not hesitate to contact the Editorial Office ( if you require help with seeking permissions.

For all reviews that are accepted for publication, we offer the assistance of a medical illustrator, and produce a downloadable slide set of figures that is published with the review as electronic supplementary material (ESM).

Systematic Reviews

A maximum of 4000 words in the main text with unlimited references. We recommend that authors register their study and submit the study protocol as supplementary material.

There is no need to contact the Editor-in-Chief before submitting a systematic review; please upload at in the usual way, along with a STROBE checklist or MOOSE checklist. See Reporting guidelines.


A maximum of 4000 words in the main text with unlimited references. We recommend that authors register their study and submit the study protocol as supplementary material.

There is no need to contact the Editor-in-Chief before submitting a meta-analysis; please upload at in the usual way.

For meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials, follow PRISMA reporting guidelines – include a flow diagram in your manuscript and submit a completed PRISMA checklist.

For meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, follow MOOSE reporting guidelines and submit a completed MOOSE checklist.

For Debate

A maximum of 3000 words in the main text plus up to 50 references and two illustrations (tables or figures or one of each). These will normally be solicited by the Editor-in-Chief although unsolicited articles will be considered.

Letters to the Editor

A maximum of 1000 words, plus 8 references and normally no more than one table or one figure. Letters are the forum for either: (1) Correspondence – comments with critical assessment of papers recently published in Diabetologia which, at the Editor-in-Chief’s discretion, will be sent to the authors of the original paper for comment and both letter and reply published together; or (2) Research letters – observations providing concise and important new information. Research letters are formatted as letters, i.e. in individual paragraphs with no headings and no abstract.
The lead authors of Letter-responses are responsible for contacting all authors of the original paper to ascertain whether they wish to be included in the reply.


Commentaries are usually invited, although unsolicited commentaries may be considered for publication. There is no need to contact the Editor-in-Chief before submitting an unsolicited commentary; please upload at in the usual way. As a guide, commentaries should be approximately 2000 words in the main text, with no more than 30 references. An unstructured abstract is encouraged but not mandatory.


Authors whose papers exceed permitted word counts at the point of submission will be asked to shorten their paper if the article survives peer review.

Top of section

Reporting guidelines

In an attempt to improve transparency in reporting, Diabetologia requires authors to complete the reporting checklist most relevant to their study and to include the checklist items in their manuscript.
The following flowchart will help authors identify the most appropriate checklist for their study:

Reporting guidelines flowchart (click to enlarge)


Preclinical studies

Studies in animal models, cells, islets and other in vitro or ex vivo models should be accompanied by our Preclinical checklist, which is adapted from the Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments (ARRIVE) guidelines and the NIH Principles and guidelines for reporting preclinical research. If your study mainly involves human participants, please do not use this checklist, but select the most appropriate checklist from those below.

Randomised controlled trials

Reports of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) should include the checklist items set out in the CONSORT guidelines, as well as a patient flow diagram. See CONSORT website for further details. Authors must submit a completed CONSORT 2010 checklist, along with the original trial protocol (including statistical analyses undertaken). For reports of non-pharmacological treatment interventions, please use the appropriate extension of the CONSORT statement.

Observational studies

Reports of observational studies (cohort, case-control or cross-sectional designs), non-randomised clinical studies and human interventional studies should include the items detailed in the STROBE checklist. Authors must submit a completed checklist and, if the study protocol is available, this should be uploaded as a supplemental file. STROBE extensions, such as the STREGA extension for genetic association studies, can also be submitted as an alternative where these are more appropriate.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

For systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials, follow PRISMA reporting guidelines – include a flow diagram in your manuscript and submit a completed PRISMA checklist.
For systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology, follow MOOSE reporting guidelines and submit a completed MOOSE checklist.

Database studies

For studies that involve the use of patient data from databases, or routinely collected health data, authors should complete either a STROBE checklist or a RECORD checklist. Where data is collected for a more-or-less specific research purpose, STROBE is the most appropriate, whereas RECORD is more suitable for routinely collected data.

Secondary analyses

For secondary analyses of RCTs or observational studies, please complete either a CONSORT or a STROBE checklist, as appropriate. Reference can be made in the checklist and the current paper to previous publications that describe the study in more detail. Any sections of the checklist that do not apply to the current study can be marked ‘not applicable’ (NA). Please note that a STROBE checklist might be more suitable where a cohort from a previous RCT is used to answer a different research question.

Top of section

Organisation and content of papers

Diabetologia insists on submission of a completed checklist alongside a manuscript in an attempt to ensure that the study is reported accurately and thoroughly. See Reporting guidelines.

Title page

This page should state:

  1. Title of paper (including animal species if appropriate);
  2. Authors’ names (given name, initials and family name – no qualifications);
  3. Institution(s) of origin;
  4. Corresponding author plus his/her address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address;
  5. Word count (excluding abstract, research in context, references, acknowledgements, funding statement, duality of interest, contribution statement, tables and figure legends).


Abstracts should be structured into four paragraphs as follows: (1) Aims/hypothesis; (2) Methods; (3) Results; (4) Conclusions/interpretation. The Abstract should contain data to support the main results of your paper. Please do not include unexplained abbreviations. There is no upper word limit.

For clinical trials, the trial registry number should be included at the end of the Abstract.

For randomised controlled trials (RCTs), abstracts should include the checklist items set out in the CONSORT guidelines.

If data have been deposited in a public repository authors should include the dataset name and repository name and number at the end of the Abstract.


Up to ten keywords should be provided, in alphabetical order, at the end of the Abstract.


Please use abbreviations only when necessary and define them in a separate list, in alphabetical order, given after the keywords. Abbreviations should not normally appear in the title or Abstract. Do not abbreviate type 1 diabetes / type 2 diabetes (only permissible in tables and figures when the abbreviation should be explained in the legend or footnote). Endocrine pancreatic cells should be designated as beta cells (not ß cells or b cells), alpha cells, delta cells and pancreatic polypeptide cells. Please note we have a list of accepted abbreviations that do not need to be defined in the text or included in the abbreviations list.

Research in context

For submissions of original articles, short communications, systematic reviews and meta analyses, please insert a ‘Research in context’ summary (<200 words) below the abstract to include the following questions and your responses:

  • What is already known about this subject? (maximum of 3 bullet points)
  • What is the key question? (one bullet point only; formatted as a question)
  • What are the new findings? (maximum of 3 bullet points)
  • How might this impact on clinical practice in the foreseeable future? (one bullet point only)


The Introduction should contain a clear statement of the aim and novelty of the study. It should include neither results nor conclusions.


The Methods section must be sufficiently detailed so that others with access to the data would be able to reproduce the results. If results in a paper published in Diabetologia cannot be reproduced the journal will consider publication of refutations of that paper.

If an organisation was paid or otherwise contracted to help conduct the research (e.g. data collection and management) then this should be detailed in the methods.

Clinical trials mentioned in the text The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends that, where trials are mentioned, for example in secondary analyses or meta-analyses, the trial registration number should be included at first mention of the trial in the manuscript.

Description of patients/participants Detailed descriptions should be provided of the individuals’ clinical characteristics (including the type of diabetes e.g. type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, GDM) upon which individuals were classified. Note: diabetic should not be used as a noun, e.g., ‘diabetics’. Relative body weight should be expressed in terms of body mass index, i.e. (weight in kg)/(height in metres)2 (not % ideal body weight).

Informed consent and ethics committee approval A paper describing experimental work in humans must (1) indicate that informed consent has been obtained from patients where appropriate, (2) include a statement that the responsible ethics committee (institutional review board) has given approval, and/or indicate that the reported investigations have been carried out in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2008. For studies in children/minors, where informed consent has been provided by the parent or guardian, assent should also be given directly by the child, where practical. Please mention in your paper whether this has been sought and obtained. Do not use participant names, initials or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. Uniform requirements should be followed for ethical standards.

Preclinical studies Diabetologia endorses the NIH guidelines for reporting preclinical research. In line with this, please include the following information in your article:

  • Statistics Include a sentence to state how your data were expressed e.g. ‘Data are expressed as means (SEM)’. Please provide details of statistical tests used in your analysis.
  • Replicates State how often each experiment was performed and whether the results were substantiated by repetition under a range of conditions.
  • Randomisation State whether the samples were randomised and specify the method of randomisation.
  • Blinding State whether experimenters were blind to group assignment and outcome assessment.
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria State the criteria used for exclusion of any data, samples or animals. Include any similar experimental results that were omitted from the reporting for any reason, particularly if the results do not support the main findings of the study. Describe any outcomes or conditions that were measured or used and are not reported in the results section.
  • Animal studies The source (supplier’s name, city, state [for USA, Canada, Australia] and country), species, strain, international strain nomenclature, sex, genetic background and age of animals should be given, as well as details of housing and husbandry. The Editorial Board will pay particular attention to the ethical aspects of animal studies. Reports of animal studies must state that the study was approved by the local ethics committee or that the study was conducted in accordance with the Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals, Eighth edition (2011). The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the above-mentioned requirements. HOMA-IR is not acceptable for use in animal models since it is not a validated method in animals.The authors will be held responsible for false statements or for failure to fulfil the above-mentioned requirements. Animals should be described as being killed rather than sacrificed.
  • Studies involving cell lines (Human or animal cell lines, not donor cells) Report the source, authentication and mycoplasma contamination status of cell lines used.
  • Antibodies Report the source, characteristics and dilutions of antibodies and how they were validated.

Equipment Manufacturer, city, state (if applicable) and country must be given.

Chemical substances Chemical substances must be properly identified. Except for standard laboratory chemicals, the source of supply (supplier’s name, city, state [for USA, Canada, Australia] and country) must be given. Drugs must be identified by the generic or official name wherever possible. Proprietary names should be avoided.

Buffers and incubation media Compositions of incubation media should be described, or a reference supplied, together with the pH. Concentrations of solutions should be described in molar terms (mol/l and subunits thereof), equivalents, or percentage weight/volume (wt/vol.) or weight/weight (wt/wt). Mass concentration should be expressed as g/l (or subunits thereof – mg/l or µg/l). It should always be made clear whether concentrations in a mixture are final concentrations or those of solutions added.

qPCR The journal supports the use of the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines for the reporting of quantitative real-time PCR experiments.

Genes and proteins Italic characters should be used for gene symbols including genotypes, alleles, mRNA etc. Upright font and upper case letters are generally used for protein abbreviations. For example:
Human gene: XYZ
Rat/mouse gene: Xyz
Protein (any species): XYZ
For further details see the guidelines recommended by the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee, or by the Jackson Laboratory.

Radioisotopes Isotopically labelled chemicals should be identified by the atomic number and symbol of the isotope and its location in the molecule. The specific activity of the starting material should be given in terms of becquerels (Bq: disintegrations/second) per molar weight.

Bioassays and radioimmunoassays An appropriate measure of the precision in terms of standard deviation (SD), standard error of the mean (SEM), coefficient of variation or 95% confidence intervals should be given. Reference to the original technique should be included.

Units of measurement

  • Units should conform to the SI convention, except for blood pressure (which should be expressed in mmHg) and haemoglobin (g/l).
  • Gas or pressure values should be given as mmHg with kPa in parentheses or vice versa.
  • Where molecular weight is known, the amount of a substance should be expressed in mol or appropriate subunit (mmol etc.). For an SI conversion table see AMA Manual of Style: SI Conversion Table. An exception is made for administered doses of insulin, which can be given in U.
  • Energy should be expressed in kJ (values in kcal may be given in parenthesis if desired).
  • Results for HbA1c should be presented in mmol/mol with percentage units in parentheses, e.g. HbA1c level was 31 mmol/mol (5.0%), in the main text and electronic supplementary material ESM. In tables, please include HbA1c values expressed in mmol/mol in a separate row above the % values. With the exception of regression analyses (where units should be reported in mmol/mol), please dual report HbA1c values for all analyses. HbA1c values should be presented in mmol/mol in figures. If referring to previously reported results (e.g. in the Discussion section of your paper), please use mmol/mol.
  • Please specify whether % concentrations are by weight or by volume (e.g. wt/vol., wt/wt)
  • The solidus may be used in a unit but not more than once (e.g. mmol/l is acceptable, but ml/min/kg is not acceptable and should be replaced with ml min–1 kg–1).

Statistical analyses Describe statistical methods in sufficient detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. Computer software packages that are used for anything other than widely known standard statistical procedures should be identified by name or acronym and by author or organisation of origin. If t tests were used it should be stated whether these were paired or unpaired. Reference for statistical methods should preferably be to standard works (with pages stated) rather than to papers in which designs or methods were originally reported. When variability is expressed in terms of the SEM or SD, the number of observations (n) must also be given (please provide exact n values, rather than ranges, e.g. n=3–6). When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Both the sample size and statistical significance should be predefined. Details of statistical outcomes should be given, such as estimated effect size, precision and significance (e.g. p values).  If necessary, professional statistical advice will be sought by the Editor-in-Chief.

Use of the terms ‘trend’ or ‘tended to’ is not permitted when discussing data that do not reach the threshold for significance. Instead, it should be stated that the difference reported is not significant and statistical values (e.g. p values) should be provided. Note that this does not apply to studies in which ptrend is reported.


Footnotes should not be used in the main text.


The results should be stated concisely without discussion and should not normally contain any references. The same data should not be presented in figures and tables. Do not repeat all the data that are set out in the tables or figures in the text; emphasise or summarise only important observations.


The Discussion should deal with the interpretation of the results and not recapitulate them. We encourage authors to write their Discussion in a structured way, as follows:

  • Statement of principal findings;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the study;
  • Strengths and weaknesses in relation to other studies, discussing important differences in results;
  • Meaning of the study: possible explanations and implications for clinicians and policymakers;
  • Unanswered questions and future research.


Acknowledgements should be as brief as possible. Any editorial assistance should be acknowledged. For individuals thanked in this section, or acknowledged elsewhere in the text, please provide names (initials and surname) and affiliations.

Data availability

Please include a statement of data availability. This should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found (including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study), or whether the data are available on request from the authors or if no data are available. Springer Nature provides examples of data availability statements.

Research data policy Diabetologia strongly encourages authors to make available to readers all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely, preferably by depositing datasets in publicly available repositories or as part of the supplementary material. Persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers [DOIs] and accession numbers) for relevant datasets must be provided in the paper. Datasets that are assigned DOIs by a data repository may be cited in the reference list. Data citations should include: authors, year, title, repository name, identifier.


Please include a separate Funding section after your Acknowledgements which details your sources of funding. Any grant support that requires acknowledgement should be mentioned. The names of funding organisations should be written in full.

Where no specific funding was received, please insert the following statement: ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’

Potential conflicts of interest related to project funding The ICMJE uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to medical journals state that authors should describe the role of the study sponsor, if any, in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication, e.g. ‘The sponsor provided editorial assistance only.’, ‘The sponsor was involved in study design and data collection only’. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should state ‘The study sponsor was not involved in the design of the study; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; or the decision to submit the report for publication.’

Duality of interest

Authors are responsible for recognising and disclosing conflicts of interest that might bias their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other personal connections.

Contribution statement

The ICMJE uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to medical journals state that authorship credit should be based on:

  1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. Final approval of the version to be published.

All three conditions must be met by all authors. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or data or general supervision of the research group does not constitute authorship.

Please include a statement listing each author’s contribution. Please ensure that this is discussed with your co-authors and agreement is reached prior to manuscript submission. Post-acceptance changes to the author list will not be permitted.

In accordance with the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations 2013), please identify the guarantor(s) at the end of the Contribution Statement. The guarantor accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.


References to the literature should be credited to the original findings and be in numerical order in the text, the number being given in square brackets on the line, and numbered in the same order at the end of the manuscript. References should not be used by authors, editors or peer-reviewers to promote self-interests. There must be only one reference per number. Reference may only be made to Abstracts published in the current or preceding year.

Reference list In accordance with Springer publishing policy, all references should be in the ELSE-Ciba style, as follows:

Articles in journals Names of up to six authors with initials (seven authors or more should be abbreviated to et al after the third author’s name); (year); title of paper in full; abbreviated name of journal (according to the NLM Catalog); volume number; first and last page numbers (full page range), e.g. Tanaka Y, Tran PO, Harmon J, Robertson RP (2002) A role for glutathione peroxidase in protecting pancreatic ß cells against oxidative stress in a model of glucose toxicity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99:12363–12368

Whole book Names of all authors with initials; (year); title of book; edition; name and city of publisher, e.g. Ekoé JM, Zimmet P, Williams R (2001) The epidemiology of diabetes mellitus. An international perspective. Wiley, Chichester

Chapter from a book Names of all authors with initials; (year); chapter title; In: editors’ names with initials (eds); title of book; volume number; name and city of publisher; pp first and last page numbers, e.g.: Hopper JL (2000) Why ‘common environmental effects’ are so uncommon in the literature. In: Spector TD, Snieder H, MacGregor AJ (eds) Advances in twin and sib-pair analysis. Oxford University Press, London, pp 151–165

Letters to the Editor As for articles in journals, e.g. t’Hart LM, Dekker JM, Heine RJ, Maassen JA (2003) Lack of association between gene variants in the ALMSI gene and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia 46:1023–1024

Abstracts As for articles in journals, with (Abstract) after the page numbers, e.g. Khalifah RG, Chen Y, Price DL, Booth AA (2002) Mechanism of inhibition of advanced glycation endproducts by Pyridorin™, a novel therapeutic for diabetic complications. Diabetologia 45(Suppl 2): A1222 (Abstract)

Website Authors; (year); title; URL; date accessed, e.g.: Regional Office for the Western Pacific of the World Health Organization, International Association for the Study of Obesity and the International Obesity Task Force (2000) The Asia-Pacific perspective: redefining obesity and its treatment. Available from Accessed 10 October 2003

Papers quoted as ‘in press’ Authors should provide an electronic version of any manuscripts cited as ‘in press’ when they submit their manuscript to Diabetologia. If an accepted paper contains references to a manuscript ‘in press’, written evidence that the manuscript has been accepted will be requested. Numbered references to personal communications, unpublished data and manuscripts either ‘in preparation’ or ‘submitted for publication’ are unacceptable. If essential, such references may be incorporated in parentheses in the appropriate place in the text, but written consent for publication must be provided.

The references are the responsibility of the authors. They must be written correctly and be rechecked by the authors in the proofs. References to abstracts (only current and preceding year), letters to the editor, congress proceedings, and non-peer-reviewed publications should be kept to a minimum.

EndNote style template A Diabetologia style template is available for EndNote. It can be downloaded from Save the file in the appropriate folder in your EndNote program directory, usually:

Windows C:\Program Files\EndNote


Mac OS X Harddrive:Applications:Endnote

The style template will be available when you select ‘Output Styles’ in the Edit menu.

Mendeley If using Mendeley, please select the Diabetologia style.


Please ensure that all tables have been created using the ‘insert table’ function of Word and that each cell contains a single value (± SD/SEM/superscript letters, if applicable) only. Do not merge cells. Subgroups should be presented in separate rows; please use indentation to indicate different sections. Tables should be numbered with Arabic numerals; multi-part tables are not permitted. Each table should have a short informative heading which is self-explanatory without reference to the text. Footnotes should be kept to a minimum. The method used should be described in the text of the Methods section and not in a footnote. Only conditions specific to the particular experiment should be stated. The units in which the results are expressed should be given at the head of each column or after each variable [either separated by a comma or in parentheses e.g. Men, (%); Age, years]. Internal column headings indicating a change of units are not permitted within tables. Superscripts ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’ should be used for footnotes (asterisks are permitted for p values).

Large tables summarising information from different sources, for example studies analysed in reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, can present problems in terms of size and layout, so it is important to consider how best to set them out before submission; in particular, please consider whether you have ordered the entries in your table in the most appropriate way, for example alphabetically, in date order, by category, in date order within categories etc. Large amounts of additional information can be submitted for publication electronically as supplementary material.


It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that graphs accurately reflect the data they represent. The addition of error bars etc by hand is unacceptable. Graphs may occasionally be scrutinised for evidence of inappropriate manipulation.

Figures should be provided in separate files (and not embedded in the main document). Figure legends should be included at the end of your article. See the recent issues of Diabetologia for general style and layout.

Diabetologia offers its authors free use of colour in figures. For graphs and flow diagrams, please select colours from the Diabetologia colour palette. The extended colour palette may be used for schematics and diagrams only.

Our artwork guidelines should be referred to and followed where possible, and further advice can be obtained from the Editorial Office if needed. The guidelines are given to ensure that figures can be published as clearly as possible, and following our style will mean fewer changes during copy-editing and typesetting.

Data integrity Authors of papers containing cropped gels/immunoblots and immunofluorescence images (including supplementary images) are required to upload, at the point of submission, a separate PDF or PowerPoint file (distinct from any other supplementary material) that displays the entire unedited gel/image. Authors should indicate clearly which bands were used in which figure/figure part. All potentially accepted manuscripts will undergo image forensics analysis as part of the review process.

Image manipulation Diabetologia has adopted the following statement developed by Cell Press as its policy on the manipulation of digital images:

Authors should make every attempt to reduce the amount of post-acquisition processing of data. Some degree of processing may be unavoidable in certain instances and is permitted provided that the final data accurately reflect the original. In the case of image processing, alterations must be applied to the entire image (e.g. brightness, contrast, colour balance). In rare instances where this is not possible (e.g. alterations to a single colour channel on a microscopy image), any alterations must be clearly stated in the figure legend and in the methods section. Groupings and consolidation of data (e.g. cropping of images or removal of lanes from gels and blots) must be made apparent by the arrangement of figures (e.g. dividing lines) and should be explicitly indicated in the text of the figure legend. Data comparisons should only be made from comparative experiments, and individual data should not be utilised across multiple figures. In cases where data are used multiple times (e.g. multiple experiments were performed simultaneously with a single control experiment), this must be clearly stated within each figure legend. In the event that it is deemed necessary for proper evaluation of the manuscript, authors will be required to make the original unprocessed data available to the editor.

Image editing software and investigative techniques will be used to screen images in potentially acceptable papers to identify any manipulation. Any untoward manipulation will be investigated by the Scientific Integrity Panel following guidelines set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE;

Permissions If the figure has previously been published, please see our section on Permissions.

What happens to figures if your paper is accepted? If your paper is accepted or provisionally accepted, you may be asked to make certain changes to your figures to comply with journal style prior to copy-editing. In addition, we may make further changes to figures at the copy-editing stage, either by editing them ourselves, marking up the images to be changed by our typesetters, or we may request that you make additional amendments and supply replacement figures. This process will help to ensure that your data are clear and accessible to readers, and that images are consistent between different articles in Diabetologia. You will be given the opportunity to review the figures, with the rest of the article, at the proof stage. It is important to take care when checking the proofs as changes cannot be made once the article has been published online.

Legends for figures

Figure legends should be concise and self explanatory and contain enough information to identify the figures and enable them to stand as a separate entity from the text. However, legends should not give methodological detail (this should be included in the Methods) and repetition of information in the main text should be avoided. Headings, keys and statistical analysis should be included in the legend rather than the figure. Figure legends (but not ESM figure legends) should be provided at the end of the main text, after the references, not in the figure files.

Top of section

Artwork guidelines

Labels and wording in figures

If possible, please use editable vector fonts for all labelling and lettering in your figures.

All figures should be numbered using Arabic numerals (Fig. 1, Fig. 2 etc.) and figure parts should be labelled with lower case letters (Fig. 1a, b etc.).

Use a sans serif font for numbers and lettering: Helvetica if available, otherwise Arial. Please use the same font for all figure labels in your manuscript.

Courier font can be used for sequence alignments.

Font size should be selected so that it is easily readable (final size 2–3 mm, 8–12 pt) when the figure is reduced for publication. This means that the font may need to be considerably larger when preparing the figure, so that it will be 8–12 pt once the image has been reduced.

Please use a consistent font size for x- and y-axis labels and across different figure parts.

Labels should be in sentence case (the first letter of the first word upper case and the rest of the label lower case, except for proper names, abbreviations etc.).

Symbols on line graphs should be clear and easy to distinguish from one another. If there are only two symbols used, it is clearest to use two different colour fills e.g. one black symbol and one white. Otherwise use, for example, black squares, white squares, black triangles, white triangles etc. For scatter diagrams and line graphs, solid symbols are preferred.

If the axis shows a measurement, please ensure that units are included in parentheses at the end of the axis label, e.g. ‘Plasma glucose (mmol/l)’.

Please use SI units for all measurements in figures and in the main text. For an SI conversion table see the AMA Manual of Style conversion calculator.

Please ensure that the terminology, formatting and spelling in figure labels is the same as in the text. For example, where gene symbols are included, please use gene formatting (italic), and please also use UK English spelling.

Multipart figures

Each figure part should have its own part label (a, b, c etc), with the following exceptions, which can be treated as one part: gel or blot with associated quantification graphs; line graph with inset AUC graph; composites of micrographs (including associated quantification graphs)

Figure parts should not be supplied as individual files; please incorporate them into a composite figure as you would like them to appear in the final version of the paper. When deciding on the layout, please consider how it will look in print, and how clear it will be to readers. Try to minimise white space.

The composite figure should be sized to an appropriate size for typesetting. Generally figures will be set in a single column (8.4 cm) or less with the legend below, or in 1.5 columns (12.9 cm) with the legend to one side. These sizes may be changed slightly by the Editorial Office to ensure consistency. Larger composite figures will be set at up to full page width (17.4 cm). The maximum page height is 23.5 cm.

Figure layout will sometimes be changed by the Editorial Office to make sure that space is optimised.

Separate parts should be sized so that they are consistent across the figure; similar graphs should be the same size and font sizes should be the same throughout the figure, as far as possible.

Separate figure parts should be labelled with lower case letters and should be in alphabetical order (either horizontally or vertically).

Each individual graph should have its own x– and y-axis labels, even where these are repeated along rows or columns of graphs.

If possible, use editable vector fonts for all labels and symbols, by using a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint to put together your figures. See above ‘Labels and wording in figures’ section for more information.

Halftone images can be prepared in Photoshop and then inserted into Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint for layout and labelling.

Where images are inserted into other programs, such as PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, please ensure the image is inserted at the correct resolution. This can generally be done by using the ‘insert’ function, provided the image file to be inserted is at the right resolution. Cutting and pasting will result in a low-resolution image.

Graphs and diagrams

To keep figures uncluttered please omit headings, captions, keys and statistical values; this information should be included in the main figure legend instead.

Printed keys should only be included in the figure when they are particularly complex (for example 5 or more different groups or samples).

Please use standard statistical notation in figures (*p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001); usual order for symbols for different comparisons is: *, †, ‡, §, ; please don’t use # or $ signs

Please provide exact n values for numbers of samples for each figure part, rather than, for example, n=3-6.
For complex experiments including variable numbers of samples and replicates, consider including this information in a table under the x-axis.

Please avoid borders or frames around graphs.

Please use a weight of approximately 0.75 pt (3/4 pt) for axis lines and lines within graphs.

Where dashed lines are used, dashes should be sufficiently large and spaced to be seen clearly when figures are reduced.

Curves should not be drawn beyond experimental points, nor should experimental points extend beyond the scales of the axes.

Bar charts

Present data as individual points rather than as simple bar charts. This can either be in the form of a bar chart with individual data points shown clearly on the graph, or a column scatter graph, as shown in the examples below. Different symbols can be used for different samples or treatments, if appropriate. Please use lines to show the means and error bars, and make sure these can be read clearly.

If bar charts are required (e.g. to avoid crowding where there are a large number of samples), fills should be easy to distinguish. Diabetologia encourages use of colour in graphs; please select colours from the Diabetologia colour palette. If you need to use a patterned fill, widely spaced horizontal or diagonal stripes are most effective.

Forest plots

If your forest plot presents data from multiple previous studies, please include the name of the study or first author’s name followed by et al (give names of both authors if there are only two authors); year of publication (optional); and the reference citation number [in square brackets]. Click here for an example. If possible, please provide forest plots as PowerPoint files in which the text is editable, or as EPS or Adobe Illustrator vector files. If this is not possible, please supply them as TIFF files at a resolution of 1200 dpi.

Flow charts

Flow charts should be supplied as editable Word or PowerPoint documents.

For flow charts, colours should be selected from the Diabetologia colour palette. Please avoid use of bold font and use a weight of 0.5–1.5 pt for lines, borders and arrows.

Please check that values add up where appropriate.

Schematic diagrams

Schematic diagrams should be provided as editable PowerPoint files if possible. If other file types are supplied, authors may be asked to make stylistic changes themselves.

For schematic diagrams, colours should be selected from the extended colour palette. Different styles can be used for boxes and shapes but, similarly to flow charts, please avoid bold and use a weight of 0.5–1.5 pt for lines, borders and arrows.


Halftones include colour or greyscale graphs, images of gels, micrographs or photographs. Labels must be large enough to be read easily after reduction for publication and should contrast clearly against the background.

If possible, please insert labels using a vector package such as Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint. For example, images could be checked and cropped in Photoshop, and then imported into Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint for any text and symbols to be added.

Scale should be indicated in micrographs using an internal reference marker (scale bar) on the photograph itself (as a horizontal line at least 1 mm thick after reduction). The scale should be given in the legend (e.g. ‘scale bars, 20 nm’), rather than on the image itself.

If photographs of patients/individuals are used, the individual should not be identifiable or the picture must be accompanied by written permission to use the figure.

Colour images

There is no charge for use of colour in figures and the use of colour is encouraged in figures. For graphs and flow diagrams, please select colours from the Diabetologia colour palette. The extended colour palette may be used for schematics and diagrams only. Please see ‘Graphs and diagrams’ section above for more information.

Embedding fonts

For figures generated in Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Office, or for other vector files, please embed the fonts when you save the document. This ensures that any non-standard fonts used will remain part of the file.

Adobe Illustrator If you save as AI format, the subset of the font used in the image will be embedded automatically. If you save in EPS format, please tick the ‘Embed fonts (for other applications)’ box when saving.

MS Office For Office 2013 and earlier: when you click ‘Save as’, the tools menu (next to the ‘Save’ option in the dialogue box) gives you the option of embedding fonts; For Office 2016 onward: first, click on the File tab and then select ‘Options’. In the dialog box, select ‘Save’ and check the ‘Embed fonts in the file’ box at the bottom of the page.


Top of section

Figure format

If your paper is accepted, you will be asked to supply original vector files if possible, or high-resolution TIFF files. Graphs and diagrams are best provided as EPS vector files, or in another vector format such as PowerPoint or Excel, so that lines and text will remain clear when the figure is resized for publication. Vector-based images are made up of lines rather than pixels. Because they are not comprised of a specific number of dots, they can be scaled to a larger size without loss of image quality. Resolution, which is important for non-vector files, is not an issue for vector files because of this scalability. Supplying vector files in one of the formats shown below will ensure that the final print quality of the images is good.

Because of file size limitations you may wish to upload lower resolution versions onto ScholarOne Manuscripts for review purposes when submitting your paper. Higher resolution figures will be requested if your paper undergoes revision or is accepted.

The following file types are preferred:


  • EPS
  • Adobe Illustrator (AI)
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Word (generally acceptable only for flow charts/schematics)


  • TIFF
  • PNG

Notes on particular software packages

Stata and GraphPad For information on converting figures created in Stata and GraphPad to EPS vector files, please see see our detailed instructions.

SPSS Graphs created in SPSS cannot always be saved with sufficient resolution for publication, although we have been advised by SPSS/IBM that exporting as a PDF is likely to give the best results. Depending on the clearness of your images, you may need to replot data from this program in an alternative program.

Microsoft Office The resolution of TIFF files saved from Microsoft Office is not usually high enough for publication, so please send the original Microsoft files (PowerPoint. Excel, Word).

TIFF files

Resolution is important for these non-vector files because the image will be fuzzy and pixelated if the resolution is not high enough.

For non-vector files, please supply TIFFs saved at a resolution of 1200 dpi for black and white graphs, and 600 dpi for graphs containing grey or coloured fills, gels, blots, micrographs and composite images (a mixture of line graphs and other images).

When increasing the resolution of figures, please avoid resampling (for example in the ‘Image size’ function in Adobe Photoshop), as resampling will result in the artificial addition of pixels (essentially adding data by guesswork), which may lead to inaccurate or blurry Images.

TIFF files created in Photoshop or similar artwork software should not be flattened.

When saving graphs and line art as TIFF files, select ‘none’ for compression, if possible; for halftones use LZW compression.

Colour images should be encoded as RGB (8 bits per channel) rather than CMYK. For graphs and flow diagrams, please select colours from the Diabetologia colour palette. The extended colour palette may be used for schematics and diagrams only.

Top of section


Manuscripts containing video material can be published as multimedia manuscripts, and the videos can be embedded in the HTML version of the article, although not in the PDF. The video files would also be included as electronic supplementary material (ESM) so that they are accessible to people downloading the PDF version. This is an alternative to publishing the video files as ESM only.

Up to three videos per manuscript can be embedded, with the following file requirements:

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3 (please note that this needs to be exact)
  • Maximum file size 25 GB
  • Minimum video duration: 1 s
  • Supported file formats: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp
  • Video files should not contain anything that flashes more than three times per second (so that users prone to seizures caused by such effects are not put at risk)

If you wish your video files to be included in this way, please ensure that these requirements are met, provide a video title/caption, and indicate where in the manuscript the video files should be embedded.

Top of section

Electronic supplementary material (ESM)

ESM can be used in conjunction with full-length papers and short communications.

Additional information (e.g. gene sequences) can be submitted for publication electronically as supplementary material provided that it is not essential for a basic understanding of the main paper. You should include references to the supplementary material at appropriate places in your article; these will become hyperlinks to the ESM in the electronic version of article.

Please supply your ESM as a single pdf file, with parts arranged in this order: ESM text (methods and results), tables, figures (with figure legends underneath).

All units in the ESM should be SI. For an SI conversion table see the AMA Manual of Style conversion calculator.

ESM will be peer-reviewed but will not undergo any copyediting and will be published online exactly as supplied by the author.

ESM References If some or all of the references in the ESM do not appear in the main text, please prepare a separate reference list for papers cited in the ESM, numbered [1], [2], [3] etc. This list should be inserted directly underneath the relevant section of ESM text/table/figure, and each ESM will need its own list. Note that references that appear both in the main text and ESM might have two different reference numbers.

ESM Methods The main text should present sufficient information to allow a knowledgeable reader to understand what was done, why, and how, and to assess the biological relevance of the study and the reliability and validity of the findings. There should be enough details in the main text Methods section so that readers do not need to look at the ESM to understand the procedures/protocols used. Sufficient information should be given to allow the experiment to be repeated but this level of detail may be given in the supplementary material if space does not permit inclusion in the main text.

There are two options for giving experimental details in the supplementary material:

  1. Describe the majority of the methods in the main text and refer readers to the ESM for details of a specific technique. In this case there must be a call out in the main text to each subheading in the ESM. Please see here for an example of a paper with ESM methods.
  2. If the experimental techniques are complex we suggest that you describe the methods used in brief in the main text and then give detailed methodology for readers who want to repeat the experiment in the ESM, inserting a note to this effect in the main text. Readers should be able to read the ESM methods without referring back to the main text.

Please ensure that in the ESM, the methods are presented in the same order they are mentioned in the main text. If possible, please use the same subheadings in both the ESM and main text.

ESM Results As with ESM Methods, please ensure that ESM Results are presented in the same order they are mentioned in the main text. If possible, please use the same subheadings in both the ESM and main text.

ESM Tables Please note that we can publish spreadsheets in Excel format as ESM tables if necessary.

Avoid duplicating data from repository Please note that datasets published on your own servers or on publicly archived data repositories should not be included with the ESM, and should be cited and numbered separately from the ESM documents, to avoid duplication. The URL to access these documents should be provided in the data availability statement.

Top of section


Diabetologia does not publish supplements other than the Abstract volume of the annual EASD meeting.

Top of section

Revised manuscripts

If you are asked to revise your manuscript you will be expected to provide a covering letter that responds in detail to each point raised by reviewers or editors, and to indicate, using a different colour font, all changes and new material in your paper, ensuring that such changes will be clear if referees print your manuscript in black and white (do not use the ‘track changes’ mode of Word). If a manuscript returned to the authors for revision is not returned to the Editorial Office within the stipulated time-period (usually 4 weeks), it may be treated as a new manuscript.

When you submit your revised manuscript please send a completed author signed statement to the Editorial Office by email ( or fax (+44(0)845 0582542).

Top of section

Resubmitted manuscripts

If your manuscript was rejected with an invitation to resubmit as a new paper, there is no time limit for submitting your new manuscript as extensive reworking/new experiments may be required. This is in contrast to papers that are returned for revision (see above). If you choose to resubmit your manuscript, you will be expected to include a response to the referees’ comments in a covering letter; this could be a point-by-point list or you may find that a more general summary is appropriate if the paper has been rewritten. You will be expected to indicate, using a different colour font, all changes and new material in your paper, ensuring that such changes will be clear if referees print your manuscript in black and white (do not use the ‘track changes’ mode of Word). Please be aware that we might ask new referees to review your resubmitted manuscript.

When you resubmit your manuscript please send a completed author signed statement to the Editorial Office by email ( or fax (+44(0)845 0582542).

Top of section


Once your paper has been sent for typesetting, the corresponding author will receive an email from the publisher giving the options of (i) transferring copyright to Springer or (ii) retaining copyright by ordering Open Choice (see next section). Once this ‘MyPublication’ process has been completed, a further email giving access to an electronic proof and ESM (URL) is sent to the corresponding author.

Note that once an article has been published online, mistakes can only be corrected by publishing an erratum, so corresponding authors are strongly advised to circulate proofs among all their co-authors so that all those who have contributed to the paper have the opportunity to check carefully that the data are correct. Only essential corrections to typographical and data errors should be made at this stage; stylistic issues should have been dealt with during copyediting.

If any changes are required to electronic supplementary material (ESM), the corresponding author should include a replacement of the ESM pdf with the proof corrections, as ESM is not edited by the Editorial Office.

The proof corrections should normally be returned within 48 h but please do contact the Editorial Office for an extension if more time is needed to allow for thorough checking.

Top of section

Errata and Retractions

Requests for errata or retractions should be sent to the Editorial Office ( Depending on the nature of the request, the Editorial Office may consult with members of the Editorial Board or Diabetologia’s Scientific Integrity Panel.


Errata refer to errors introduced into the article by the author(s), editorial office or the publisher. Note that once an article has been published online, mistakes can be corrected only by publishing an erratum. Diabetologia will publish errata to communicate necessary corrections to such errors. Once published, the erratum will be linked to the original paper, but neither the print or electronic versions of the original paper will be amended. Errata will appear in the table of contents and are indexed in public databases such as PubMed.


Requests for retractions may be referred to Diabetologia’s Scientifc Integrity Panel. Diabetologia follows the guidelines set out by COPE and will consider retracting a publication if:

  • There is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error)
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper cross-referencing, permission or justification
  • Plagiarism is detected
  • The research is unethical

Co-authors listed on the original paper should be made aware of the problems with the paper and the pending retraction request. Notices of retraction will clearly outline the reason for the retraction and at whose request the paper is being retracted. In cases where co-authors disagree, dissenting author(s) will be noted in the text of the retraction note. All retractions must be approved by our publisher, Springer.

Top of section


Authors will receive an electronic offprint (pdf) free of charge and will have the opportunity to purchase additional printed offprints.

Top of section


Verbatim material or figures/tables taken from other published sources must be accompanied by a written statement from the author of the original material, and from the publishers if they hold the copyright, giving permission to Diabetologia for reproduction in print and electronic formats. Please note that, for many journals, permission is required for publication of an adapted figure/table. It is the responsibility of the submitting author to investigate whether permission is needed and to pay any fees associated with obtaining permission.

Top of section

After your paper has been sent for typesetting (i.e. after copy-editing), you will receive an email from our publisher, Springer, which will include a link to the ‘MyPublication’ form, via which you must transfer copyright to Springer or order Open Choice (thus retaining copyright). The copyright covers the exclusive and unlimited rights to reproduce and distribute the article in any form of reproduction (printing, electronic media or any other form); it also covers translation rights for all languages and countries. For authors from the United States the copyright is transferred to the extent transferable.

It is the author’s responsibility to check whether there are any open access requirements associated with the funding received. Please see Springer’s Funder compliance page for further details.

Open choice Springer operates an Open Choice programme whereby authors can choose to make their article available with full open access following payment of an article processing fee.

All papers funded (in full or in part) by one of the UK’s Research Councils, including the MRC, BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC and STFC, must comply with the RCUK’s open access policy. Authors of papers to be published in Diabetologia must be published with open access, under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, which lets others modify, build upon and/or distribute the licensed work (including for commercial purposes) as long as the original author is credited. Further information on Research Councils UK (RCUK) open access requirements are available on the Springer website.

Similarly, to comply with the Wellcome Trust’s open access policy, authors of Wellcome-funded papers to be published in Diabetologia must be published with open access, under the CC BY license.Further information on Wellcome Trust open access requirements are available on the Springer website.

Please note that most UK universities are eligible for open access publication under Springer Compact, fees for which will be covered by your institute (see below).

Springer Compact Springer Compact deals mean that papers can be published with open access at no cost to the authors if the corresponding author/one of the corresponding authors is at an eligible institution. A list of eligible institutions may be found on the Springer Compact webpage.

NIH funding If you are funded by the NIH, you will be required to deposit the final manuscript of your journal article in PubMed Central (PMC), and ensure the article is free availability (open access) within 12 months of publication. There are two options for complying with these requirements:

  1. You may opt for Springer’s Open Choice program ($3,000 USD), following which Springer will immediately deposit the final published article in PubMed Central where it will be available at once. For further information see Springer’s NIH Compliance Policy.
  2. If you do not wish to pay for Open Choice then you may:

(1) submit your article to PubMed Central yourself (see NIH Submission Methods for instructions). You can submit the final author’s version to PubMed Central immediately upon publication, but it will only be made publicly available 12 months after publication. Please note that the publisher’s PDF version (proofs) of the article cannot be deposited on PubMed Central; or

(2) notify Springer within the ‘MyPublication’ process (a link to the MyPublication form will be sent to you after your paper is sent for typesetting) to deposit the author’s accepted version of the article into the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS), from where it will be sent to PubMed Central and made publicly available 12 months after publication. Springer will upload the accepted manuscript version of your article to NIHMS. Note that the uploaded article version is the final version of the manuscript after peer-review and thus will not include any corrections carried out at a later stage (e.g. during proofing). Once your article is uploaded, you will receive email notification from NIHMS asking you for approval of the upload to PubMed Central. When you have approved the upload, a web version of the article will be created by PubMed Central. Upon your approval of the web version, the PMCID will be created and will be found in the NIHMS. As soon as the article is displayed at PubMed Central, you will be able to find the PMCID by searching for your article.

For further information see Springer’s NIH Compliance Policy.


Top of section