Breathe - Continuing Medical Education for Respiratory Professionals, an official educational journal published by the European Respiratory Society and the ERS School, intends to bring educational material of high quality to its members. Breathe publishes original review articles, editorials, case studies, self-tutorial material and literature summary articles. The content is peer reviewed, and the CME articles are accredited by the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP).
Although Breathe does not generally publish original research, authors should adhere to the ICMJE authorship criteria in so far as they apply. These can be found at www.icmje.org.
Submission of a manuscript to Breathe implies that if and when it is accepted for publication, the authors automatically agree to transfer copyright to the ERS. The copyright protection implies that the publisher holds the exclusive right to reproduction in any form (including publication in another language) and distribution of any of the articles in the journal.
Material published in Breathe may be stored on microfilm or in any electronic format, or be reproduced photographically, only with prior written permission of the publisher.
Although the remit of Breathe is not to publish original research articles, nor should articles be substantially identical to or derivative of work published elsewhere.
The exception to this rule is when an article is specifically and explicitly adapted from educational material first presented in another format.
Articles to be published in Breathe will be peer-reviewed and may be reviewed by a member of the ERS School committee, acting as an associate editor. Any content that has not been peer-reviewed will be clearly marked as such.
Authors are expected to disclose any potential competing or conflicting interests when submitting articles for publication in Breathe. This may be published, at the Chief Editor’s discretion. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides further guidance on this issue, which can be found at www.icmje.org
Breathe and its Chief Editor adhere to the European Respiratory Society's policy on tobacco industry funding (http://dev.ersnet.org/29-ers-bylaws.htm#par473
). Specifically, this means that any author who has current funding from the tobacco industry, or has any perceived links with the tobacco industry (such as holding shares, or speaking at or attending meetings organised by the tobacco industry) will not be allowed to submit and publish in Breathe. In addition, studies funded in part or wholly by tobacco industry funding will not be accepted for publication.
If an author declares a current (i.e. within the past year) tobacco industry conflict of interest, there will be a 12-month ban before he/she is allowed to submit and publish in Breathe. In the event that an undeclared conflict is discovered, there will be a 5-year ban before the author is allowed to submit and publish in Breathe.
In the interests of transparency, it is advised that authors also declare any previous tobacco industry funding on their Statement of Interest form, specifying the duration of funding.
Preparation of articles
Breathe articles are divided into several categories. The specific requirements of each category are laid out below, but some aspects are common to all. Articles should be supplied in .doc or .docx format.
Breathe uses a slightly less formal style than, for instance, that of the European Respiratory Journal. However, it is no less rigorous. Authors should remember that they are writing for an international audience: clarity is essential. Authors should be concise and, if possible, should avoid long passages of technical information (these should be presented as figures or tables, or references given).
Figures and tables
Authors are encouraged to include figures, tables and text boxes to illustrate their articles. Graphs, diagrams and tables will be redrawn in house, but other images, such as photographs, radiographs, etc., should be supplied in .jpg or .tif format, with a resolution of ³300 dots per inch (dpi) at their final printed size. Images should not be embedded in the document containing the article text.
Where figures and tables are reproduced or adapted from non-ERS publications, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the original publisher and to pay any fees charged.
References and further reading
The number of references should be limited, to a maximum of 40 if possible.
A selection of up to five “Further reading” articles or links to relevant noncommercial websites may also be provided, with a brief 2–3-sentence commentary on each.
If you have self-evaluation questions relating to your article you could submit these to be HERMES examination questions. All submitted questions will go through a review process and if yours is accepted you will receive an honorarium. Please send your questions along with your article and we will send them on to the relevant department.
SI units should be used where sensible; otherwise, conversions to SI units should be given. The exception to this is blood pressures, which should be stated in mmHg.
Supplementary video and audio
Authors may wish to submit video and audio material (for instance, of breath sounds or to illustrate a technique) to accompany their article. This will be placed on the ERS School’s website, and should be clearly referenced in the text.
Types of article
Subject to the considerations above, Breathe articles can be divided into several categories, each of which has its own particular characteristics.
1. Editorials The purpose of editorials is to discuss recent and forthcoming events of note, give context to review articles in the issue, or provide news from the ERS Educational Activities department. Editorials should ideally be 2 pages (~1,500 words; however, longer articles will be considered based on topic and merit) and should be written in a non-scientific style retaining the author’s voice. Both descriptive figures and non-figure images are welcomed.
2. Review Reviews should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references, tables and figures). As Breathe is an educational journal, each article should have two or more clearly stated educational aims. The article should include a short one- or two-paragraph summary, to appear before the text. This should refer to the educational aims. Authors should also supply 2–4 bulleted ‘key points’, of one sentence each, detailing the essential aspects of the article. To help readers evaluate their knowledge and understanding of the topic, 4–5 self-evaluation questions should be supplied with the article, and this requirement should be borne in mind when preparing the review. Brief guidelines for the preparation of self-evaluation questions are appended to this document. Authors may submit, or the Chief Editor may commission, an editorial commentary to accompany the article. This may be particularly useful in areas of controversy, as it can be used to express a point of view that differs from that in the main article.
3. ‘How-to’ article ‘How-to’ articles can be used to provide a guide to techniques or procedures. Their structure is similar to that of review articles: they should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references, tables and figures); they should include educational aims, a summary and key points; and the author should supply
self-evaluation questions. Brief guidelines for the preparation of selfevaluation questions are appended to this document. A ‘how-to’ article should be very clearly structured and should make use of flow charts, illustrations and diagrams where possible.
4. Interactive case The primary purpose of Breathe is educational. Consequently, cases should be chosen for their clinical relevance and educational value, not for their rarity. Interactive case articles may be up to 3,000 words in length (excluding references, tables and figures) and should make full use of measurements, laboratory results and images from diagnostic tests. The case should be presented in a chronological manner, interspersed with interactive questions and explanatory answers concerning the best way to proceed given the data so far, and possible diagnoses. The article should conclude with a discussion of the case in question and general topics related to it.
5. Hot Topic Hot Topic articles are designed to highlight and discuss a recently published study, guideline or other article. They are short (less than 700 words) and highly structured. A Hot Topic article should include a title, giving details of the subject. A brief two-sentence introduction should state the rationale for the study. This should be followed by an outline of the methods, results and conclusions of the study, along with an editorial comment (which should make up 30–50% of the total word count) and a one-sentence ‘message’. References should be limited to 40.
Some Breathe articles may be selected as continuing medical education (CME) content, approved by the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology. Such articles will be worth 1 CME credit each, subject to candidates submitting correct answers to the questions associated with each article.
Errata and correspondence
Errors in the journal should be brought to the attention of the Chief Editor by e-mail to email@example.com. Any corrections deemed significant by the Chief Editor will be published in the journal at the earliest opportunity and will be posted online.
Correspondence regarding articles published in Breathe should be sent to the above email address. If it is for publication, it should be clearly marked as such.
Appendix: A few principles on how to write good multiple-choice questions
1. Relevant content The content is used frequently, is relevant and important. No rarities, subtleties, trivialities.
2. Application of knowledge, not only theory The question tests the application of knowledge, does not test only how the candidate recalls isolated theoretical facts.
3. Focused questions and homogeneous answers The question focuses on one relevant aspect of the topic and all proposed answers belong to the same content dimension (e.g. diagnosis, or causes, or management decisions).
4. Clear and unambiguous answer The best answer stands out clearly. Avoid “correct” answers with existing controversial doctrines.
5. Appropriate level of difficulty (50–90% correct answers) Too difficult: even the best candidates need to guess. Too easy: good candidates get confused, weak candidates get a “present”.
6. Unambiguous, concise and simple phrasing Avoid trick questions and double negatives. Use only common abbreviations, short sentences, etc. Avoid imprecise qualifications (often, usually, etc.).
7. Avoid cues Cues can help candidates guess the correct answer. Examples are: › One answer is much more detailed than the others. › Only one answer follows grammatically from the stem. › Non logical order of the answers.