Living Handbooks

Handchirurgie Weltweit e.V.

Manuscript Guidelines

Dos and Don'ts

  1. It is a textbook. Please include all basics and every aspect of your subject, although if you don’t agree. You can explain your own opinion in the text or at the step “Author’s preferred method”.
  2. State of the art. Evidence your manuscript according to the literature with citations. 
  3. It is new. Use only photos, graphs and videos, which you didn’t publish at another place. 
  4. Work together. Contact the authors of relative chapters to harmonize the content. 
  5. Write a new text. Although you may have published same contents at another publication, use new phrases and sentences. 
  6. Accept the structure. Try to consider the structure of chapters, if possible. 
  7. Layout is a later process. Do not use block style or hyphenation when drawing up your manuscripts. Line breaks are only to be inserted in paragraphs. 
  8. Let’s help you. Don’t hesitate to contact the Editorial Office for any kind of questions. 



Due to the fact that this textbook is to be available to hand surgeons from around the globe, we require that manuscripts are submitted in English. Perfect, stylish English is not essential but the language must be clear and unambiguous.


The intention to offer a manual to hand surgeons for all-day-practise as well as a textbook for doctor-in-training suggests a concise and accessible writing style to meet their respective requirements.


There are no explicit word, figure, or supporting information restrictions.

Abbreviations and acronyms

We recommend to keep abbreviations to a minimum. The use of non-standard abbreviations should be avoided. All abbreviations are to be identified when first used. If you use more than 20 abbreviations, an abbreviation list should be added.

Internal structure and composition


Graphic files should be submitted as separate files and not embedded in the word file. Please use one of the following formats: JPG or TIFF, preferably JPG for photos. Please choose high-resolution versions of the figures and pictures. If you are concerned about the suitability of your files, please contact the Editorial Office.

A figure legend should describe the key messages of the figure, but the figure should also be discussed in the text. Each legend should have a concise title beyond the consecutive numbering. The legend itself should be succinct, while still explaining all symbols and abbreviations. Avoid lengthy descriptions of methods. If applicable, quote the source.


Please include your tables in the text file (preferred position at the end of the manuscript). Tables occupying more than one printed page should be avoided, if possible. Larger tables can be published as attachment (online supporting information). All tables should have a concise title beyond the consecutive numbering. To explain abbreviations and specific terms within the table you can use footnotes. Put this legend as well as the source (if necessary) right below the table.

Video files

Your videos will be published at and then embedded in the Living Textbook platform. If you have a video within your chapter, you can decide between two ways how to submit it:

  1. Upload your video yourself at
  2. Send your video to the editorial office. We accept a wide range of video file formats: Windows Media Video (WMV), MPEG, AVI, MOV, MP4, 3GP.

All videos should have a concise title beyond the consecutive numbering.

In case of any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the editorial office.

Repository for Life Sciences

You can upload your videos and images in our Repository for Life Sciences.
Please send the videos and figures to Repository.

  • Preferred format: .m4v/.mp4 or .jpeg/.bmp
  • By specifying a title
  • By stating the author
  • By specifying the relevant chapter
  • Only send metadata which are free from sensitive personal information.

Each video/figure will be assigned with a DOI, uploaded to the subject repository and embedded on the platform via 'embed link'. This will take approximately 2 working days.


If you wish to include extracts (text, images, videos, tables) from another publication, only use them if you have obtained permission for that from the author.


To obtain uniformity within the textbook, please consider the following sections – if applicable – within your text:

  • Introduction (Relevance, Problem, …)
  • Basics (Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology)
  • Classification
  • Clinical aspects
  • Diagnostics
  • Therapy (options, including results, techniques)
  • Author's preferred method
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Keywords


All participating authors should be mentioned with their first names or initials (if used), middle names or initials (if used), surnames, and affiliations – department, university or organization, city, state/province (if applicable), and country. One of the authors should be designated as the corresponding author. The corresponding author ensures that the author list, and the summary of the author contributions are correct and complete.


An abstract should open each main section (bold entries in the Table of Contents) and should not exceed 500 words. It should summarize the chapter without going into methodological detail. Please do not include any citations in the abstract.


Indicate up to ten keywords, and list them on a separate line above the first text block or below the “abstract” (if applicable).


Do not use block style or hyphenation when drawing up your manuscripts. Line breaks are only to be inserted in paragraphs. Please do not use the automatic footnote function.

The basic units of the International System for Measures and Weights (SI) and the units derived from them are to be used for all units of measurement. For the indication of blood pressure values the unit "mmHg" is permissible, for the indication of temperatures the unit °C. When using other units in illustrations and tables the conversion factors are to be indicated in the legend.

The nomenclature of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) resp. the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) is to be used for the designation of chemical substances. The additional indication of the register number of the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is recommended. Generally, the generic name is to be used when mentioning drugs. If certain commercial products were used in the research, then these trade names and the names of the producer should be quoted in the method part.

Surgical techniques

Please include a description of surgical techniques for your topic within a separate paragraph named “Surgical techniques”. All these paragraphs throughout the book will be collected in a rubric “Surgical techniques”. We encourage you to add videos, schemes, pictures as well as textual descriptions about significant surgical techniques in detail.

Internal cross-linking

We encourage you to use many links to other chapters, figures, tables etc. and to the rubric “Surgical techniques” within the textbook. This supports the interactive character of “GMS International Textbook of Hand Surgery”.


We use a numbered citation method. Literature references are to be numbered consecutively in the text and listed at the end of the document as text, under no circumstances by means of the automatic footnote function.

In the text, the reference number should be indicated in brackets. Multiple citations should be separated by commas within a single set of brackets. Three or more sequential citations should be given as a range. Examples: [1]; [1, 5]; [1-5]

Proper formatting of the references is crucial! The literature cited in the text is listed at the end of the article according to the Vancouver Style of References.


  • Book: Mathes SJ, Nahai F. Reconstructive Surgery: Principles, Anatomy and Technique. London/New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1997.
  • Book chapter: Kramer A, Pitten FA, Reichwagen S. Aerosolanwendung mikrobizider Wirkstoffe. In: Kramer A, Assadian O, eds. Wallhäußers Praxis der Sterilisation, Desinfektion, Antiseptik und Konservierung: Qualitätssicherung der Hygiene in Industrie, Pharmazie und Medizin. Stuttgart: Thieme; 2008. p. 905.
  • Journal article: Reichenberger MA, Stoff A, Richter DF. Dealing with the mass: a new approach to facilitate panniculectomy in patients with very large abdominal aprons. Obes Surg. 2008;18(12):1605-10. DOI: 10.1007/s11695-008-9630-8

Use of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number to the full-text article is preferable in addition to traditional volume and page numbers. If you have problems in finding or choosing the “right” citation generally, the Editorial Office will be glad to assist you.


People who contributed to the work but do not fit the criteria for authors (see section "Author(s)") should be listed in the Acknowledgments, along with a short description of their contributions. You must also ensure that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to being so named.

Protection of patients' rights to privacy

When using records of patients it must be guaranteed that the person is not identifiable on the basis of the portrayal. Otherwise, the author must seek explicit consent from the person concerned (or their representative) that he agrees to the publication in the present form. The existence of such a consent is to be confirmed by the author in writing.

Conflict of interests

Financial or other support of institutes or companies, as well as promotion funds, is to be stated in the acknowledgments. All financial or other connections, which the author has to a company, whose products or competition products play an important role in represented facts of the matter, should be described and enclosed on a separate form. This notification is handled confidentially and only when the manuscript is accepted for publication does the editorial staff discuss with the author in which form this information will be relayed.