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Instructions to authors

            Aims and scope

            Submission of manuscripts

            Instructions to authors

            Open access option for authors


            Full-length papers

            Rapid communications

            Letters to the editors



            Book reviews

Aims and scope

Alcohol and Alcoholism publishes papers in English on biomedical, psychological and sociological aspects of alcoholism and alcohol research, provided that they make a new and significant contribution to knowledge in the field and areas thereof concerned. Papers may include new results obtained experimentally, descriptions of new experimental (including clinical) methods of importance to the field of alcohol research and treatment, or new interpretations of existing results. Theoretical contributions will be considered equally with papers dealing with experimental work provided that they are not of a largely speculative or philosophical nature.

Submission of manuscripts

For information and instructions on manuscript submission please check here. All submissions must be prepared in accordance with the following Instructions to Authors.

Instructions to authors

Editors, Advisors and Independent Referees

Normally a paper is read by the handling Editor and two or more persons, who may be Editorial Advisors, independent referees or both. The main task of the advisors and referees is to make recommendations on the acceptability of a paper. If rejection of a paper is recommended, or if there is any serious disagreement between those who have read the paper, the final decision is made by the Editor or Editors. Normally each paper is handled throughout by an Editor who will, if the paper is acceptable, make amendments and will request revision or shortening. Once the Editor(s) is satisfied, the paper is then prepared for press by an in-house sub-editor. In this final process, attention is paid to grammar and the detailed conventions of the Journal.

Submission of papers

The Chief Editors may decide to make a repaid refusal if a submission does not meet minimum criteria of scientific rigour, and relevance and interest to the Journal's readers. Submission of a paper implies that it has been approved by all the named authors, and that it reports unpublished work, that it is not under consideration for publication in whole or in part elsewhere, and that if accepted by Alcohol and Alcoholism it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, either in English or in any other language, without the consent of the Editors.

Papers that are scientifically acceptable but need revision because they are not clear and concise or do not conform sufficiently to the conventions of Alcohol and Alcoholism will be returned to the authors for amendment.

Conflicts of Interest

At the point of submission, Alcohol and Alcoholism's policy requires that each author reveal any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated - including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition. When considering whether you should declare a conflicting interest or connection please consider the conflict of interest test: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

As an integral part of the online submission process, Corresponding authors are required to confirm whether they or their co-authors have any conflicts of interest to declare, and to provide details of these. If the Corresponding author is unable to confirm this information on behalf of all co-authors, the authors in question will then be required to submit a completed Conflict of Interest form to the Editorial Office. It is the Corresponding author’s responsibility to ensure that all authors adhere to this policy.

If the manuscript is published, Conflict of Interest information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.

Reprints and permissions

All communications about reprints should be addressed to the Publisher: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK. Authors will receive a URL linking them to a press ready PDF version of their published work, free of charge. Additional printed copies can be purchased by using the Oxford Journals Author Services site. Requests for consent for reproduction of material from the Journal should be addressed to the Publisher.

Quotations of personal communications

When such a quotation is made the authors should provide written evidence of permission from the person(s) concerned to be quoted. Such reference to personal communications should be made only in the text, not in the list of references.

Consent for publication

When a typescript is submitted please send a letter to the Chief Editor signed by all the authors giving consent for publication in the Journal including the following statement: 'This paper has not been, nor will be, published in whole or in part by any other journal'. The senior author may, for reasons of convenience, submit a written and signed authorization by another co-author(s) for him(her) to sign on his(her) behalf, if such a co-author(s) is likely to be absent during the week of submission. In submitting illustrations or photographs, only one original is required, four photocopies should be enclosed with the four copies of the paper. The original manuscript and figures will be discarded one month after publication unless the Publisher is requested to return original material to the author(s).

Title page

The title of the paper should be given in full, together with the name(s) of the author(s), address(es) of the Laboratory or Unit(s) or Department(s) in which the work was performed, the address, telephone, fax and e-mail numbers of the author to whom correspondence concerning the handling of the paper should be sent. A running title for the paper (55 characters or less including spaces) and a list of no more than six key words should also be provided. A copy of the journal should be consulted for the journal style.


The Abstract must include a summary of the work done and the conclusions reached. It must not include any introductory material nor description of methods used or statistical comparisons of results. The Abstract should be structured into the following sections: Aims, Methods, Results and Conclusions.  Details on abstract word count are provided below.

Short Summary

This additional summary (max 50 words) provides the key findings of the manuscript.  If the paper is accepted for publication, this short summary will be displayed on the Table of Contents emails and the website.

Style of papers

Typing should be on one side of white paper of uniform size, no smaller than quarto, double-spaced and with wide margins on either side of the typed text.

Spelling should conform to that of the Oxford English Dictionary. Full stops are not allowed in contractions or abbreviations; ATP,11 g/dl, etc.

Language Editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. There are other specialist language editing companies that offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


Each Table should be typed on a separate sheet and should be supplied with a heading and an explanatory legend. The heading and legend should make the general meaning comprehensible without reference to the text. The heading, which should precede the Table details, must be short but informative, and must not include any details of any kind. Conditions specific to the particular experiment should be stated in the legend, which should be placed at the bottom of the Table. Reference to the text for general experimental methods is permissible provided that there is no ambiguity. Footnotes should be as few as possible. The units in which the results are expressed, e.g. g/dl, should be given at the top of each column, and not repeated on each line of the Table. Words or numerals should be repeated on successive lines; 'ditto' or '' are not to be used. The approximate positions of the Tables should be indicated in the text.


nb: Please ensure that all figures supplied, colour or otherwise, are of a suitable quality - 300dpi should be the minimum resolution.

Each illustration should be submitted electronically; each should bear the author's name, the title (abbreviated if necessary) of the paper and the Figure number. All photographs, diagrams and charts (both line and half-tone) should be referred to as Figures, given Arabic numerals numbered consecutively in the order in which they are referred to in the text. The approximate position of each Figure in the text should be indicated in the text.

Figure legends must be typed on a separate sheet at the end of the paper. Each Figure should be supplied with a heading and legend, which should make the general meaning comprehensible without reference to the text. The heading must be short but informative and must not contain any details of any kind nor be merged with the legend. The legend should then be started on a separate line and should include details specific to the particular experiment. Reference to the text for general experimental details is permissible provided that there is no ambiguity. 

Figures should be provided as jpg or tif files (publication quality min 300 d.p.i. at final print size).

Reproduction of half-tone illustrations (photographs)

The magnification, if any, is to be indicated; this is best done by adding a bar representing a stated length. The Editors will accept plates for publication only (a) when they make a significantly important scientific or clinical contribution to the paper, and (b) when the photographs supplied are of a quality that justifies publication in this form. Illustrations are usually reproduced in black and white. Authors wishing to submit colour illustrations will be asked to contribute towards the costs (350 GBP/600 USD per page)


These should be avoided as far as possible. When they must be used, as in Tables, reference should be made by the symbols *, **, ***, †, ††, †††, in that order.


These must be as short as possible.

It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to assure that individuals acknowledged in the manuscript are aware and agreed to have their name in the manuscript.

A detailed conflict of interest statement must also be included in this section of the manuscript, as detailed next.

Conflict of Interest

This journal takes a serious view on various ethical issues related to publishing in this field. As well as familiarizing themselves with guidelines relating to these issues at the ISAJE website and elsewhere, authors should also pay special attention to issues related to 'conflict of interest' before submission of their work to this journal.

Authors should each declare to the Chief Editors any interests which could constitute a real, potential or apparent conflict of interest with respect to his/her involvement in the publication, between: (1) commercial entities and the participant personally; (2) commercial entities and the administrative unit with which the participant has an employment relationship. 'Commercial entity' refers to any company, business, industry, association (e.g. trade association), organization, or other unit with commercial interest.

Authors must declare to the Chief Editors any significant financial or other relations (e.g. directorship, consultancy or speaker fee) of him(her)self with companies, trade associations, unions or groups (including civic associations and public interest groups) that may gain or lose financially from the results or conclusions in the study, review, commentary, editorial or Letter to the Editors.

All sources of funding for the study, review or other items should be declared in the typescript. Funding sources should be described in a way that allows the average reader to recognize any potential conflicts of interest.

Animals and their diets

The full binomial Latin names should be included for all experimental animals other than common laboratory animals. The strain, and the source of laboratory animals should be stated. The diet on which the animals are maintained should also be stated together with the address of the source from which it has been obtained.

Ethics of animal experimentation

Animal experiments should be performed in accordance with the legal requirements of the local or national authority. Procedures should be such that animals do not suffer unnecessarily. For example, a study in which procedures lead to deaths of more than 10% of the animals will not be considered. Similarly, a paper using a procedure performed without anaesthetic in which the animals can be assumed to have suffered will not be considered. In short, the Editors will not accept papers where the ethical aspects are, in their opinion, open to doubt and which used procedures that would not be acceptable in the countries of the majority of readers of this journal.

Ethics of human experimentation

The Editors agree with the principles laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) [British Medical Journal (1964) ii, 177-178; see also the Report of the Medical Research Council for 1962-63, pp. 21-25]. Authors should ensure that their work complies with these declarations. Papers describing experimental work with humans should include a statement that the Ethics Committee of the Institution in which the work was performed has approved it, and should state that the subjects have given informed consent to the work. If necessary, the Editors may require to see a copy of the ethical approval.

Wider ethical guidelines

Alcohol and Alcoholism subscribes to the Farmington Consensus statement [see Alcohol and Alcoholism 33, 6-7 (1998)] and the Ethical Practice Guidelines of the International Society for Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE), which can be accessed on the ISAJE website.

The ISAJE guidelines have been developed after consultation with recommendations and other documents produced by a variety of bodies, including those of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), modification of the latter by Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Research Integrity, and the 'Integrity in Science' project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

Clinical trials

Authors reporting controlled treatment trials should follow the CONSORT guidelines, which can be accessed on the CONSORT website.

For cluster randomised trials (also called community based trials, place based trials, field trials), please follow the advice of Campbell, M. K. et al. (2004) CONSORT statement, in the British Medical Journal 328, 702-708. Extension to cluster randomised trials.

Studies of Diagnostic Accuracy

Authors reporting studies of diagnostic accuracy should follow the checklist and flow diagrams recommended by the STARD initiative (Bossuyt et al., British Medical Journal, 2003; 326, 41-44).

Experimental hazards

Authors should draw attention to any particular chemical or biological hazard that may be involved in carrying out the experiments described. Where appropriate, the safety precautions that were taken should be stated. Alternatively, a statement may be included to indicate that an acceptable code of practice has been followed, with references to the relevant standards.

SI units

Alcohol and Alcoholism uses the recommended SI symbols for units [see Pure and Applied Chemistry (1970) 21, 1-44; IUPAC Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physico-chemical Quantities and Units (1979) Pergamon Press, Oxford].

Other technical information

Details of technical data, e.g. chromatography, enzymes, isotope experiments, and other physical aspects and constants, mathematics and abbreviations of biochemicals are as published in the Biochemical Journal (1993) 289, 1-15.


The Editors emphasize the importance of correct statistical design, analysis and presentation. Authors are advised to consider all statistical aspects at the stage of planning the project, as badly designed studies may not be salvageable later. Statistical methods should be specified explicitly and referenced if they are non-standard. Estimates presented should be accompanied by indices of precision (e.g. means accompanied by confidence intervals). Authors are advised to consult the following: Altman, DG, Gore, SM, Gardner, MJ and Pocock, SJ. (1983) Statistical guidelines for contributors to medical journals. British Medical Journal 286: 1489-93.


This is a modified Harvard style system. In the text, references for papers by more than two authors are given as the first author followed by et al. When more than one reference is mentioned at a time in the text, the references should be listed chronologically. In the list of references, the references should be typed double-spaced in alphabetical order and entries should be as follows:

(a) Journal references: (1) Authors' names; (2) year of publication; (3) title of paper: (4) abbreviated journal name; (5) volume number; (6) first and last page numbers. When there are more than seven authors, the first three authors are given, followed by et al.

Example: Badawy AA-B, Punjani NF, Evans M. (1981a) The role of liver tryptophan pyrrolase in the opposite effects of chronic administration and subsequent withdrawal of drugs of dependence, on rat brain tryptophan metabolism. Am J Hum Genet 196: 171-80.

(b) Book references: (1) Authors' names; (2) year of publication; (3) title of article; (4) title of book and volume number, if any; (5) editor(s); (6) first and last page numbers of article; (7) city of publication; (8) publisher's name.

Example: Alkana RL and Noble EP. (1979) Amethystic agents - reversal of acute ethanol intoxication in humans. In Majchrowicz E and Noble EP (eds), Biochemistry and Pharmacology of Ethanol, Vol. 2, pp. 349-74. New York: Plenum Press.

Only papers published or accepted for publication (and therefore in press) can be included in the list of references. Personal communications, unpublished work or work submitted for publication should not be entered in the list of references, but can be quoted only in the text. Similarly, a paper presented at a conference cannot be considered as a publication and should not therefore be listed, unless it appeared as an Abstract in a Journal.

Drug and dosage selection

Authors must make every effort to ensure the accuracy of information, particularly with regard to drug selection and dose. However, appropriate information sources should be consulted, especially for new or unfamiliar drugs or procedures. It is the responsibility of every practitioner to evaluate the appropriateness of a particular opinion in the context of actual clinical situations and with due consideration to new developments.

Corrections to proofs

Authors are sent PDF page proofs by e-mail. Authors are fully responsible for corrections of any typographical errors. To avoid delays in publication, proofs should be checked immediately for typographical errors and returned by email (alcalc@oup.com) or fax (+44 (0)1865 353798) to Oxford University Press.


Authors will get a free URL link to their article online. Additional offprints can be ordered using the Oxford Journals Author Services site.


Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

It is a condition of publication in Alcohol and Alcoholism that authors grant an exclusive licence to the Journal, published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Medical Council on Alcohol. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. In assigning the Licence, Authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the Journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and Oxford University Press is notified in writing and in advance. Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.


All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the co-authors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based on substantial contribution to conception and design, execution, or analysis and interpretation of data. All authors should be involved in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and must have read and approved the final version of the manuscript. Assurance that all authors of the paper have fulfilled these criteria for authorship should be given in the covering letter.

Open access option for authors

Alcohol and Alcoholism authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged. upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in the Alcohol and Alcoholism can use the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) for their articles.
All other authors may use the following Creative Commons licences:

            Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

            Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND)

More information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges vary according to which Creative Commons licence you select. The open access charges are as follows.

Charges for CC-BY

            Regular charge: £2150/ $3000 / €2450

            Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £925/ $1500 / €1225

           Free Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

Charges for CC-BY-NC/CC-BY-NC-ND:

            Regular charge: £1850/ $3000 / €2800

            Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £1075/ $1700 / €1400

           Free Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour charges that may apply.
Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


The following rules should be followed:

The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI' (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or 'NCI at NIH.
Grant numbers should be complete and accurate and provided in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number ABX CDXXXXXX]’
Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX]’
Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to R.B.S.R.]
and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [HFY GR667789].

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See depositing articles in repositories – information for authors for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.


Crossref Funding Data Registry

In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

Full-length original research papers

Requirements include a maximum of 4000 words, 5 figures/tables and 40 references. Additional information, only if strictly necessary, may be added as a Supplemental Material. A structured abstract s required and may not exceed 250 words. The Editors strongly urge authors to be concise and to submit their work to occupy the smallest possible space. The shorter the papers are, the more that could be accommodated in an issue and the quicker they could be published in this bi-monthly journal. Authors should ensure that no data are presented in both tabular and graphical forms and that the content of a small table could easily be described in the text, without loss of clarity, especially when there are many other Tables and/or Figures in the paper. Methods should not be described in detail if previously published and the 'Discussion' section should have the minimum of speculation and not be excessively long, ideally no longer than 1000 words.

Rapid communications

Appropriate papers describing important novel, unusual and/or exciting findings will be treated as Rapid Communications. They will receive priority treatment and it is hoped that they will be published within 12-16 weeks from date of receipt, provided they do not require major revision. Criteria for acceptance and method of preparation of Rapid Communications will, however, be the same as for full-length papers. Thus Rapid Communications are not regarded as preliminary communications but as complete and final accounts. Authors are discouraged from attempting to take advantage of this rapid handling procedure to divide a substantial piece of work into smaller submissions.

The total size of the text (excluding the title, authors, addresses and Abstract) should not exceed 2000 words, which should include up to 20 references. An unstructured abstract is required and may not exceed 60 words. Up to 2 Figures and/or Tables are allowed. Figures and Tables must be of reproducible quality and not require redrawing since this will delay publication. Authors should therefore assess the approximate space required for Figures and/or Tables and reduce the size of the text accordingly. Papers exceeding these specifications will be treated as full-length submissions.

Letters to the editors

These are intended to provide an opportunity to discuss or expand particular points made in previously published work in Alcohol and Alcoholism, to comment on or criticize work previously published in Alcohol and Alcoholism, or to present a new hypothesis. They should not contain extensive new data (which would best be placed in a regular paper), nor be used as a vehicle for publication of preliminary results. The Journal does not publish case reports, although occasionally case reports of special interest may be considered for publication as a Letter to the Editors. If a letter is polemical in nature, a reply may be solicited from other interested parties before publication. The Editors make final decisions if a Letter (and a Reply) will be published or not. Letters may not exceed 800 words, up to 3 references and 1 figure/table. No abstract is allowed for Letters and Replies.


Review articles will usually be solicited, although unsolicited reviews will be considered for publication. However, prospective writers of reviews should first consult the Chief Editors of the Journal. Requirements include a maximum of 4000 words, 5 figures/tables and 50 references. Additional information, only if strictly necessary, may be added as a Supplemental Material. A structured abstract s required and may not exceed 250 words. The Editors strongly urge authors to be concise and to submit their work to occupy the smallest possible space.


These now replace Editorials and Annotations, which were important features of the journal before volume 18. Commentaries should provide succinct, comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of topical issues in alcohol and alcoholism research and treatment, where either rapid progress is being made or the need for a brief review is both timely and warranted. Another important aim of a Commentary is stimulation of debate. Prospective writers of Commentaries should first consult the Chief Editors. Commentaries may not exceed 1000 words, up to 3 references and 1 figure/table. An unstructured abstract is required and may not exceed 60 words.

Book reviews

Publishers, agents and other distributors of books are urged to send review copies direct to the Book Review Editors. The Book Review Editor of English language books is Dr Brian D. Hore, whose address is: 22 Handforth Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 2LU, UK. The Book Review Editors for other European languages are Professor Otto M. Lesch and Dr Jonathan D. Chick, at the following address: Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie, Währinger-Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Wien, Austria. Experts in their fields review books and a copy of the review is sent to the publisher/distributor soon after its appearance.


Author Self-Archiving/Public Access policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.

Language Editing

Language editing, if your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here. Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

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