Editorial Process

Summary of the editorial process

  • The author submits a manuscript and it receives a tracking number.
  • The editorial office performs an initial quality check on the manuscript to ensure that the paper is formatted correctly.
  • The Editor-in-Chief scans the manuscript and decides whether to send out to review, if necessary after checking with one or more of the Associate Editors or members of the Editorial Board. If the decision is not to send the manuscript for review, the Editor-in-Chief contacts the author with the decision.
  • If the Editor-in-Chief decides the paper is within the Journal's remit, the Editor-in-Chief will select and assign reviewers, or ask one of the Associate Editors to take responsibility for the manuscript, in which case the Associate Editor will select and assign reviewers
  • Reviewers are given 14 days from acceptance to submit their reports. Once the required number of reports are submitted the Editor-in-Chief will make a final decision based on the comments received and the recommendation for publication of the reviewers and Associate Editor (if one was assigned).

Authors are able to monitor the status of their paper throughout the peer review process.

Pre-submission Enquiries
The Editor-in-Chief will accept pre-submission enquiries but can usually only provide general comments about whether the topic is within the scope of the journal. Pre-submission enquiries should be sent to the editorial office
Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts in full. Authors will typically be told within 2-5 days of submission if the manuscript is not suitable for the journal. This allows authors to submit elsewhere without delay. A decision on manuscripts that are sent out for peer review is typically communicated to authors within 20-40 days of submission, but this depends very much on our peer reviewers and does not include the time taken to ensure manuscripts comply with the Author Guidelines.

Submission
Papers should be submitted via the Journal's online submission system
Before submitting a manuscript, authors are encouraged to consult both the Guide to Authors and Editorial Policies sections of this website to ensure that the paper adheres to formatting and policy requirements - this will help to enable efficient processing of the manuscript once received. 

Initial Quality Check –Corresponding Author Responsibility
The Corresponding Author is responsible for responding to emails sent from the manuscript tracking system starting with the Initial Quality Check as follows:

  1. Once the author clicks ‘Approve Submission’ the manuscript is queued for an initial quality check
  2. The Editorial Office will then carry out the checks and if any changes need to be made, the Corresponding Author (only) receives an email with instructions to make technical amendments (e.g. layout, page or line numbering, completeness and format of references) and a link to access their manuscript
  3. Having made the required changes to their manuscript the Author should then click the link to access their submission and upload the amended manuscript.
  4. The manuscript is checked again by the Editorial Office but may be returned at least once more before it is ready to be sent to review.

For more information on the above please refer to the Guide to Authors document.

Peer review
​To expedite the review process, only papers that seem most likely to meet editorial criteria (in line with journal scope; innovativeness and quality of the research; relevance to persons with spinal cord injury, clinicians and/or researchers) are sent for external review. Papers judged by the Editor-in-Chief to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review. 
Manuscripts sent out for peer review are evaluated by at least one independent reviewer (often two or more). Authors are welcome to suggest independent reviewers to evaluate their manuscript, however these must not be colleagues who are close associates, collaborators or family members. All recommendations are considered, but it is at the Editor’s discretion their choice of reviewers. ​By policy, referees are not identified to the authors, except at the request of the referee.  
Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation and specific recommendations. A reviewer may decline the invitation to evaluate a manuscript where there is perceived conflict of interest (financial or otherwise).
Once the required number of reviews are received, the Editor-in-Chief then makes a decision based on the reviewers' evaluations and Associate Editor input, when appropriate:

  • Accept - The manuscript is appropriate to be accepted as it stands. 
  • Minor or major revision - In cases where the editor determines that the authors should be able to address the referees’ concerns in six months or less the editor may request a revised manuscript that addresses these concerns. The revised version is normally sent back to some or all of the original referees for re-review. The decision letter will specify a deadline for receipt of the revised manuscript and a link via which the author should upload to the online submission system. When submitting a revision authors are asked to upload (1) A rebuttal letter, indicating point-by-point how the comments raised by the reviewers have been addressed. (Typos and other minor errors pointed out by the reviewers need not be addressed, but the changes should be made in the manuscript). If you disagree with any of the points raised, please provide adequate justification in your letter. (2) A marked-up version of the manuscript that highlights changes made in response to the reviewers' comments in order to aid the Editors and reviewers. (3) A 'clean' (non-highlighted) version of the manuscript.
  • Reject with the option to resubmit - In cases where the referees' concerns are very serious and appear unlikely to be addressed within six months, the editor will normally reject the manuscript. If the editor feels the work is of potential interest to the journal, however, he or she may express interest in seeing a future resubmission. The resubmitted manuscript may be sent back to the original referees or to new referees, at the editor’s discretion. If the authors decide to resubmit, the updated version of the manuscript must be submitted online as a new manuscript and should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a point-by-point response to referees' comments and an explanation of how the manuscript has been changed. 
  • Reject outright - Typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Post Acceptance
Once a manuscript is accepted and typeset, the corresponding author will be prompted to complete and sign a Licence to Publish form on behalf of all authors. Failure to complete the form will result in delay of publication.

Springer Nature does not require authors of original research papers to assign copyright of their published contributions. Authors grant Springer Nature an exclusive licence to publish, in return for which they can re-use their papers in their future printed work. Springer Nature’s author licence page provides details of the policy.

The corresponding author will be prompted to choose Standard or Open Access publication.

Standard Publication
Manuscripts published under the standard method of publication will be behind a paywall, requiring readers to pay to view the article, either via their institutional or personal subscription or on a pay-per-view basis. Authors will need to complete the standard License to Publish form when prompted.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK are required to complete the license to publish form relevant to them.

Open Access Publication (gold open access)
Authors can opt to pay an article processing charge (APC) for their article to be made open access online immediately upon publication. Open access articles are published under a CC BY Creative Commons license, which allows authors to retain copyright to their work while making it open to readers.

The cost for open access publication in Spinal Cord is £2,490/ $3,760/ €2,990 (VAT or local taxes will be added where applicable)
ISCoS members receive a 10% discount on the open access fee. Please tick the box and include your membership number in the space provided on the Article Processing Charge form.

If authors opt to publish via the open access route then the corresponding author will receive instructions to complete and sign an open access License to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, and will be contacted to arrange payment of the associated article processing charge (APC).
Please note this process must be completed prior to publication and failure to do so will result in delay of publication.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK who wish to publish open access are required to complete the open access license to publish form relevant to them.

Please note with regards to payment that usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Failure to pay your invoice within the stated credit term may result in the open access status of the paper being rescinded, with the paper being placed behind the paywall. You may also be subject to such penalties as restrictions on your ability to publish with Springer Nature in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings.

Waiver of institutional open access policies
Please note that Harvard University FAS, MIT, Princeton, UCSF, University of Hawaii at Manoa, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Georgia Institute of Technology have enacted Open Access policies that conflict with our own policy for articles published via the subscription route. If any corresponding or contributing authors are from these institutions, you will need to provide a waiver from the institution of every affected author, which can be obtained from the institution. This waiver should be submitted at the same time as the Licence to Publish form. This requirement does not apply to articles published via the open access route.

Self-archiving, manuscript deposition, and digital preservation
Self-archiving of papers published open access
Authors publishing via the open access route are encouraged to deposit the final published PDF in their institutional repository or any suitable subject repository on publication.
Authors should provide a link from the deposited version to the URL of the published article on the journal's website; in all cases, the requirement to link to the journal’s website is designed to protect the integrity and authenticity of the scientific record, with the online published version on the journal’s website clearly identified as the definitive version of record.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet funder self-archiving requirements. 

Self-archiving of papers published via the subscription route
Where articles are published via the subscription route, Springer Nature encourages authors to archive the author accepted version of their articles on their own personal website and/or in their funder’s or institution’s repository, for public release after an embargo period of six months after first publication. Where journals publish online in advance of print, the online publication date counts as the publication date.

Publisher deposition of papers published open access
Springer Nature automatically deposits open access articles in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (EPMC) on publication, if the article meets the PMC deposition guidelines.
Please note that there may be an interval of a few weeks between publication and the appearance of an article in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central, depending on the time required for PubMed Central to process the deposit and for PMC articles to be mirrored to Europe PubMed Central. Where a journal publishes content online ahead of publication in a print issue (known as advanced online publication, or AOP), open access articles will be deposited to PubMed Central at the point of issue publication, as PubMed Central requires that articles are deposited in their final format.
Authors are advised to check their funders' deposition requirements to ensure compliance. Read our policy compliance FAQs to learn about how authors can ensure they meet all their funders’ self-archiving requirements. If you believe your open access article is eligible to be deposited to PubMed Central but has not been, please contact us, or you can submit an open access article directly to PubMed Central or Europe PubMed Central through their submission systems: PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central.

Publisher deposition of papers published via the subscription route
To facilitate self-archiving of original research papers and help authors fulfil funder and institutional mandates when authors do not choose to publish via the gold open access route, this journal offers a Manuscript Deposition Service.  The journal will deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central on behalf of authors who opt-in to this free service during submission. Only authors whose funders are listed in the number of participating funders on our website may use this service. To take advantage of this service, the corresponding author must opt-in during the manuscript submission process. Corresponding authors should be mindful of all co-authors’ self-archiving requirements. 

Springer Nature terms of use for archived author accepted versions of subscription articles
For articles published within the Springer Nature group of companies that have been archived into academic repositories such as institutional repositories, PubMed Central and its mirror sites, where a Springer Nature company holds copyright, or an exclusive license to publish, users may view, print, copy, download and text and data-mine the content, for the purposes of academic research, subject always to the full conditions of use. Any further use is subject to permission from Springer Nature. The conditions of use are not intended to override, should any national law grant further rights to any user.

Conditions of use
Articles published within the Springer Nature group of companies which are made available through academic repositories remain subject to copyright. Any further use is subject to permission from Springer Nature. The following restrictions on use of such articles apply:
Academic research only
1. Archived content may only be used for academic research. Any content downloaded for text based experiments should be destroyed when the experiment is complete.
Use must not be for Commercial Purposes
2. Archived content may not be used for purposes that are intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation by means of sale, resale, licence, loan, transfer or any other form of commercial exploitation ("Commercial Purposes"). 
Wholesale re-publishing is prohibited
3. Archived content may not be published verbatim in whole or in part, whether or not this is done for Commercial Purposes, either in print or online. 
4. This restriction does not apply to reproducing normal quotations with an appropriate citation.  In the case of text-mining, individual words, concepts and quotes up to 100 words per matching sentence may be used, whereas longer paragraphs of text and images cannot (without specific permission from Springer Nature).
Moral rights
5. All use must be fully attributed.  Attribution must take the form of a link - using the article DOI - to the published article on the journal's website.
6. All use must ensure that the authors' moral right to the integrity of their work is not compromised.
Third party content
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Use at own risk
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Digital preservation
Springer Nature ensures that publications are preserved and available for future scholars, researchers, and students. Find out more about archiving agreements with Digital Preservation organisations here.

E-Proofs 
The Springer Nature e-proofing system enables authors to remotely edit /correct their article proofs. The corresponding author will receive an e-mail containing a URL linking to the e-proofing site. Proof corrections must be returned within 48 hours of receipt. Failure to do so may result in delayed publication. Extensive corrections cannot be made at this stage.
For more information and instructions on how to use the e-proofing tool please see here.

Advance Online Publication (AOP)
The final version of the manuscript is published online in advance of print. AOP represents the official version of the manuscript and will subsequently appear unchanged in print.

Offprints
Offprints may be ordered on the form accompanying the proofs. Charges are necessarily higher if orders for offprints are received after the issue has gone to press.