Instructions for Authors : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

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​​​​​​​​​Instructions for Authors:

About the Journal

The goal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) is to inform readers about significant developments in all areas related to reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

Significant papers on any aspect of plastic surgery—original clinical or laboratory research, operative procedures, comprehensive reviews, cosmetic surgery—as well as selected ideas and innovations, letters, viewpoints, and video plus articles are invited for publication


All new manuscripts for consideration must be submitted online through the PRS Editorial Manager site. PRS does not accept submission materials via email. When creating an author account in Editorial Manager, authors must include an email address at which they may be reached throughout the submission process. We recommend adding [email protected] to your contacts to avoid missing any correspondence.

First-Time Users: Please utilize the “Register" button to create an account and provide the requested information. Upon successful registration, you will be sent an email with your username and password. Please keep this email or make a copy of your information for future reference. NOTE: Authors only need to register once. If you have received an email with an assigned user ID and password, or if you have already submitted to us before, do not register again. If you need assistance recovering your username or password, please contact the editorial office.

Contact Us

Kevin C. Chung, MD
Phone: 469-801-4400
Email: [email protected]

Editorial and Publishing Policies

Cursory Review and Summary Rejection

Due to an increasing number of competitive submissions, all manuscripts undergo a cursory review by the Editor-in-Chief and are subject to rejection without peer review. While summary rejections are issued at the Editor's full discretion, some reasons for summary rejection may include: Lack of new or innovative information, small sample size, lack of clearly defined purpose, insufficient follow-up time, or similar studies recently accepted or published.

Cascading Peer Review

PRS utilizes a cascading peer review method whereby manuscripts not acceptable for PRS but deemed suitable for the American Society of Plastic Surgeon's Open Access journal, PRS Global Open, will automatically be considered for publication in PRS Global Open. Authors of such manuscripts will receive an email notifying them of the final decision from PRS and inviting them to automatically transfer the manuscript to the PRS Global Open editorial system. Authors will be able to select a link to accept or decline this offer. If the offer is accepted, the article will be automatically transferred and submitted to PRS Global Open's Editorial Manager site. Direct submissions to PRS Global Open are also welcome.

Additional Peer Review Policies

The peer review process is handled entirely electronically via PRS's Editorial Manager system. Peer reviewers are instructed to review the contents of the submission in a critical, unbiased, and timely fashion. They review all pieces of the submission, including the manuscript itself and figures, tables, and videos.

PRS currently utilizes the single-blind method of peer reviewing.

All submissions are subject to formal biostatistical review if the Editor-in-Chief deems it necessary.

Authors may suggest reviewers for their submission, but there is no guarantee that author suggestions will be invited to serve on the review panel.

Editorial Decisions

Decisions concerning editing, revision, acceptance, or rejection of any manuscript are made by the Editor-in-Chief based on cursory review or on the comprehensive feedback of the Editorial Board and peer review panel. Editing may include shortening an article, reducing the number of figures or tables, or changing the paper's format or article type.

Please note that successfully revising or editing a manuscript at any point in the editorial process does not guarantee acceptance.

The Editor-in-Chief is excluded from managing the peer review process for any manuscript that includes the Editor-in-Chief as an author or otherwise comes from his/her institution. The Co-Editor oversees the review process and necessary duties in these instances.

The Editor-in-Chief maintains the right to submit accepted manuscripts for further reviews and/or revisions. The Editor-in-Chief also maintains the right to change the status of a manuscript based on potential legal, ethical, or biostatistical issues which become evident prior to publication. This may result in the article being further revised or even withdrawn from publication entirely at any point during the publication process.

Revisions at any stage of the Editorial Process that have not been resubmitted to the Editorial Office after 365 calendar days will be summarily withdrawn.

Research Guidelines

The following guidelines will be enforced for certain study types to ensure the publication of high-quality research:

  • Survey Studies:
    • Survey studies with a response rate of more than 20% are preferred. 
    • Survey studies with a response rate less than 20% will be sent back to the authors without peer review unless they include supporting data and statements that justify why the sample most likely represents the broader population of interest. 
    • To determine whether the sample represents the population of interest, investigators should perform and provide a non-responder analysis to compare known variables between those who did and those who did not respond. This will indicate whether a non-response bias is present. The Editor-in-Chief will review the justification documents; neither full peer-review nor acceptance are guaranteed. Download: “Example non-responder analysis."
        • Variables to consider for non-responder analysis:
          • Type of practice (Academic practice vs. Group practice vs. Solo practice)
          • Demographic of practice (Cosmetic vs. Reconstructive)
          • Gender (Male vs. Female)
          • Years of experience (years in practice)
          • U.S. region (West, South, Northeast, Midwest)
          • Age of responders vs. non-responders
        • Non-responder analysis inclusion protocols:
          • Format the analysis document as in this example.
            • Include a 2-4 sentence summary of the data, justifying the <20% response rate
          • Include the analysis in your manuscript for peer-review and potential publication as “Supplemental Digital Content"
            • Upload the analysis as part of the manuscript's file inventory as “Supplemental Digital Content"
            • Follow “SDC Materials Citation Guidelines," also found in this Instructions for Authors
          • Authors may include additional lessons learned from the non-responder analysis in the text of their manuscript as needed.
    • ASPS Member Survey Research Services
      • ASPS members, candidates for ASPS membership, and non-members of ASPS may submit requests to survey the ASPS membership at any time during the calendar year. 
      • All survey submissions will be objectively reviewed by ASPS leadership to determine suitability. 
      • Survey requests will be reviewed three times per year - in April, July, and October. 
      • ASPS charges a one-time fee of $2,000 for all selected survey collaborations.
      • Learn more | Apply
  • Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses: 
    Systematic reviews or meta-analyses that include ≤10 papers will be rejected without review. Manuscripts that review more than 10 papers but have uncertain conclusions (e.g., fatal heterogeneity of data, conclusions state that data are limited and better studies need to be done) will likely be rejected. 
  • Large Database Research: 
    Database studies with unclear impact statements or minimal clinical or scientific implications will be rejected. In addition, manuscripts that are heavily derivative of projects done in other fields will likely be rejected.
  • Education and Training Studies: 
    Papers with poor methodology or those that lack a control group, specific goals, or focus may be rejected without review.
  • Letters to the Editor and Viewpoints:
    PRS accepts and publishes Letters to the Editor and Viewpoints that advance the scientific conversation or are otherwise deemed meaningful by the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editor. Submissions of these short article types that do not meet these criteria as determined by the Editor-in-Chief or Co-Editor will be subject to summary rejection. In lieu of merely cordial or non-impactful Letters to the Editor, we encourage readers to contact the authors directly utilizing the published correspondence information.

    Much of this policy is adapted from the article “Common Fallacies in Designing a Research Project: Guidance Principles" (Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019;144:1247–1253). Please review this article to learn more about the Journal's research guidelines and recommendations.


    Any clinical manuscripts (the subjects of which are humans, not experimental papers, or manuscripts that have clinical implications or applications) must have as their first and corresponding author a practicing physician(s). Coauthors from industry may be included on a paper, but the corresponding author who takes ultimate senior responsibility on the paper must be a practicing clinical physician.

    Ghostwriting is not permitted by the Journal. Manuscripts are received with the understanding that they have not been written by unacknowledged freelance writers. Guest authorship and “gift" authorship are also prohibited. 

    Professional writers and medical writers who contribute substantially to the writing or editing of a manuscript should be acknowledged with their permission or credited in the author list. The financial nature of their contract must be disclosed.

    The Journal does not consider artificial intelligence authoring tools to meet the requirements for authorship as recommended by the ICMJE. The use of such tools must be included in the article’s Acknowledgements if it has been utilized in any capacity.

    Much of PRS's authorship policy is adapted from the article "Authorship and Medical Ghostwriting: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Policy" (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 127: 2496, 2011). Please review this article for more information, definitions, and assistance.

    Definition of Authorship:

    According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), an author is defined as one who has made substantive intellectual contribution to the development of a manuscript. The ICMJE guidelines state that authorship criteria 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
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work and ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

PRS requires all authors to meet all four of these authorship criteria.

Excessive Authorship:

PRS limits submissions to 10 authors. If more than 10 authors are listed for any given manuscript, it will be sent back to the corresponding author. Overage should be relocated to the “Acknowledgements" section of the manuscript. Exceptions to this rule may be sought via special request to the Editor-in-Chief.

If you wish to request more than 10 authors for your manuscript, please contact the Editorial Office ([email protected]). The Editor-in-Chief will consider your request after you have completed our Declaration of Authorship form. This form requires each author to attest and sign that they have fulfilled all 4 authorship criteria.

Post-submission Changes in Authorship:

After the initial submission of a manuscript, any changes in authorship (adding author(s), removing author(s), designating a new corresponding author(s), or re-ordering the author list on the title page OR in the Editorial Manager submission form) must be explained in an additional cover letter. This letter must be signed by all authors, including any that may have been removed, and uploaded to your submission in Editorial Manager. Please note that PRS does not accept typed signatures. We require physical signatures or a verified e-signature stamp (e.g., Adobe).

PRS will consider post-submission and post-acceptance name change requests for reasons including but not limited to: gender identity, marriage, divorce, and religious conversion.

Copyright Transfer

All published material becomes the sole property of the Journal, copyrighted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. By submitting an article or brief communication, all authors agree to these conditions.

During the submission process, all authors will be asked to complete an electronic copyright transfer agreement (eCTA), aka “electronic author form." By completing the electronic copyright transfer agreement, you are transferring copyright of figures, tables, videos, and the content of the manuscript to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

If you do not wish to—or cannot—transfer copyright of some or all of your content, please contact the editorial office at [email protected]. Proper copyright language, indications, and permissions documentation must be provided for each item for which copyright is retained by the authors or a third party (independent illustrator, original publisher, etc.).

Ethical Approval of Studies/Informed Consent

Authors of manuscripts that describe experimental studies on either humans or animals must supply to the Editor a statement that the study was approved by an institutional review board (IRB) or ethics committee and that the subjects gave informed consent. Any systematic data gathered from patients or volunteers must be approved by an IRB or adhere to appropriate local/national regulations.

Such approval should be described in the Methods section of the manuscript. Additionally, for studies conducted with human subjects, the method by which informed consent was obtained from the participants (i.e., verbal or written) also needs to be stated in the Methods section.

In situations where a formal institutional review board process is not available, the authors must indicate that the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki have been followed. More information regarding the Declaration of Helsinki can be found at

Experimental work on animals must conform to the guidelines laid out in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which is available from the National Academy of Science; a text-only version is available here. Adherence to all relevant regulations and/or approval of the appropriate institutional Animal Care Committee or governmental licensure of the investigator and/or laboratory must be obtained. A statement concerning such approval must be included at the beginning of the Methods section.

Registering Clinical Trials

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery requires all articles reporting results of clinical trials be registered in a public trials registry that is in conformity with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). All clinical trials, regardless of when they were completed, and secondary analyses of original clinical trials should be registered before submission of a manuscript based on the trial. Registering your trial is easy, free of charge, and helps promote science among a wide range of researchers.

Manuscripts reporting on clinical trials (as defined above) should indicate that the trials are registered and include the registry information on a separate page, immediately following the authors' financial disclosure information. Required registry information includes trial registry name, registration identification number, and URL for the registry.

Trials should be registered in one of the following trial registries:

More information on registering clinical trials can be found in the following article: Rohrich RJ, Longaker MT. Registering clinical trials in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007;119(3):1097-1099.

Compliance with NIH and Other Research Funding Agency Accessibility Requirements

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) requires authors to submit the “post-print” (the final manuscript, in Word format, after peer-review and acceptance for publication but prior to the publisher’s copyediting, design, formatting, and other services) of research the NIH funds to a repository that is accessible online by all without charge. As a service to our authors, LWW will identify to the National Librar​y of Medicine (NLM) articles that require deposit and will transmit the post-print of an article based on research funded in whole or in part by the NIH to PubMed Central.​

Duplicate Submissions/Publications

Manuscripts containing original material are accepted for consideration if neither the article nor any part of its essential substance, tables, or figures, has been or will be submitted/published elsewhere before appearing in the Journal (in part or in full, in other words or in the same words, in English or in another language). By submitting to PRS, the authors confirm that their manuscript will not be submitted elsewhere unless rejected by the Journal or withdrawn by the author. Simultaneous submissions of the same article to multiple journals are prohibited.

If an author violates these requirements or engages in similar misconduct, the Journal's Editorial Board may reject the manuscript or impose a moratorium on acceptance of new manuscripts from the author. If it deems the misconduct sufficiently serious, the Editorial Board may refer the matter for investigation to the author's academic institution or hospital, the appropriate state or local disciplinary body, and /or the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

More information on dual publication and PRS's schedule of penalties for dual publication can be found in the article "Plagiarism and Dual Publication: Review of the Issues and Policy Statement".


Although there are occasional legitimate purposes for multiple manuscripts drawn from the same study, by and large this practice—also known as “Salami-Slicing"—is a publishing ethics violation and is prohibited. If you feel that the broken-up pieces of a single study have different hypotheses, populations, methods, etc., you must cite all additional manuscripts drawn from the study and discuss this openly in your cover letter and in the body of the manuscript itself. In general, we urge all authors to avoid inappropriately breaking up data from a single study into multiple papers.

Plagiarism and Fabrication

Plagiarism is when an author passes off the work of someone else as his or her own. This can also include self-plagiarism, which happens when an author reuses portions of his or her previously published work without the proper references. Manuscripts containing plagiarized content will not be considered for publication in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

All authors assume responsibility for their manuscripts. If your name is on a manuscript, please verify that all the material in the paper is either original or is properly cited and has proper permission to be reproduced. If you have a question about the originality of any part of a manuscript, verify it with your coauthors. Senior authors should pay special attention to the work of junior authors and where they are sending their manuscripts.

If you realize you have made an error of dual submission/publication or plagiarism inadvertently, proactively contact the editorial office. It is much better to come forward of your own volition than to have an accusation made against you.

If the Journal learns of a case of plagiarism after publication, the Journal will conduct a thorough investigation. If plagiarism is found, the author, the author's institution and funding agencies, and the original publication will be notified. A statement noting the plagiarism, providing a reference to the plagiarized material, and linking to the original to the original paper may follow. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.

The Journal's online submission system, Editorial Manager, employs an automated plagiarism/duplicate publication “cross-check" program. We use this program strategically to discover instances of misconduct at the earliest stages of manuscript submission.

More information on plagiarism, and PRS's schedule of penalties for plagiarism, can be found in the article "Plagiarism and Dual Publication: Review of the Issues and Policy Statement"

Image Integrity

Graphics-altering programs may be used to assemble multi-panel images, clean up dust specs from scanning in originals, and cropping. However, these programs should not be used improperly to attempt to modify results. Tools such as "clone stamping" can often be detected due to "smudged" skin tone trail. There is zero tolerance for abusing digital photo editing software to change the appearance of clinical results.

Preprint Policy

Manuscripts submitted to PRS should not have been published previously in print or electronic format. Public dissemination or posting of manuscripts prior to, simultaneously with, or after submission to the Journal, including posting the paper on preprint servers or other repositories, will require the Editor to determine whether the submitted manuscript will add sufficient new information to the medical literature or if it will be duplicative of information already published on the preprint server or similar medium. Given the Journal's duplicate submission policy, if the preprint is found to be largely similar to the PRS submission, the Editor-in-Chief will decline to consider it for publication without prejudice. At the time of submission, authors should notify the Editor of any prior postings (print or electronic) of the article. Authors must provide related active links to or copies of any preprint postings.

Multi-Part Papers

PRS does not consider multi-part studies/papers for publication (i.e., Part 1, Part 2, etc.). Because all manuscripts are reviewed individually, there is no guarantee that all parts would be accepted or published together. To ensure that all studies are reviewed and (if accepted) published in their entirety, the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to request that multi-part papers be combined into one manuscript.


The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to select some articles to publish online as e-articles. The e-article designation is not an indicator of quality or preference. Each month, all letters, replies, viewpoints, the CME article, and other randomly selected articles are published as e-pages. The CME and any non-letter or -viewpoint articles will have corresponding “teaser" pages in the printed version of the Journal. E-articles are assigned at random based on the table of contents order; any accepted or published article may be considered for e-article publication in an issue of PRS without author notification.

Solicited Discussions

Expert written or video discussions are solicited at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief based on criteria including but not limited to: the parent article's status as a hot topic, a study of unique interest to the field or the public, or a controversial subject area. PRS protocols do not include notifying authors that a discussion has been solicited or published alongside their manuscript. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to request such discussions or counterpoints from editorial board members, members of the peer review panel, or other subject experts. Discussion authors that served on the peer review panel are only allowed to base their discussion on the accepted version of the manuscript; they are barred from commenting on any previous iterations of the study as presented through the iterative editorial process.

Open Access Policies

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a hybrid open access journal. We offer the option to publish original research articles (Original Articles, Experimental Articles, and Special Topics) as open access. If an author chooses to exercise the open access option, whether by choice or by obligation to publicly funded bodies, the accepted article can be published in PRS and made freely, openly available to all readers indefinitely. During the submission process, the corresponding author will be presented with the option to choose open access publication. The extension of this option does not indicate that the article will be accepted or published after peer review.

If opting into open access publication, the corresponding author must complete and upload the necessary Hybrid Open Access form. The form can be accessed here.

Before publication, the article processing charge must be paid by the authors. Once published, the article will be fully and permanently accessible by all readers on our website, Articles published open access are identified on the website by the “open" icon.

Article Processing Charge:

Authors who opt for open access publication in PRS will be asked to pay an article processing charge. As of January 1, 2021, the charge to publish open access in PRS is $3,625 if the article is published under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial No Derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license; the charge is $4,400 if it is published under the Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY license), which is required by Research Councils UK.

These article processing charges exclude tax/VAT. Any required taxes/VAT will be applied during the payment process. The intent of the article processing charge is not to make any profit; these funds cover administrative costs of peer review, expert copyediting, layout, typesetting, and hosting of the article as a PDF and full text on

Additional Notes Regarding Open Access Publications:

  • The peer review and production processes for open access articles published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are identical to those for traditionally published articles.
  • Authors of open access articles retain copyright to their content.
  • Open access articles can be published ahead of print.
  • Open access articles will be deposited into PubMed Central on the authors' behalf by our publisher.
  • Commercial reprints can be purchased for open access articles.
  • Previously published articles can be made open access going forward if the author so desires.
  • Open access articles and all related figures and tables have limited restrictions on permissions. Under the Creative Commons License, readers can disseminate and reuse the article for noncommercial purposes.
  • Open access articles can be posted to personal websites and/or institutional repositories.
  • Only Original Articles, Experimental Articles, and Special Topics can be published open access.

For more information, please read ““Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: A Hybrid Open-Access Medical Journal" by Rohrich and Weinstein. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: July 2014 - Volume 134 - Issue 1 - p 165–167.

Correction and Retraction Policy

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery takes full responsibility for correcting errors as they occur. Content that is published online or in an issue is considered the final published record and must be preserved; therefore, all changes to articles must be made as a formal correction. Corrections will be published both online and in the next available issue and will be bi-directionally linked to the original article. These corrections will then be picked up by Ovid and transmitted to PubMed and other aggregating databases.

Corrections will be reviewed and considered if they affect the publication record, the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or the Journal. Corrections that do not significantly affect the paper may not be approved (e.g., a spelling error).

Retractions will be considered if results are invalid or ethical guidelines have been violated (e.g., applicable cases of plagiarism or ghostwriting). All coauthors must sign a retraction detailing the error and how the conclusions were affected.

All decisions about corrections or retractions are made by the Editor-in-Chief. Author consultation may be required. In situations where coauthors disagree about a correction, the Editors will consult with independent peer-reviewers before applying the appropriate correction.

Manuscript Preparation

Authors are required to submit their manuscripts online through the PRS Editorial Manager submission site: All submission materials must be uploaded by the authors to ensure proper display and delivery. Submission materials sent via email will not be processed.

Necessary Files

  • Cover Letter
  • Manuscript, including:
    • Title page
    • Structured Abstract or Summary
    • Callouts
    • Legends
    • References
  • Figure(s) (when appropriate)
  • Table(s) (when appropriate)
  • Video(s) or Supplemental Digital Content (when appropriate)
  • Patient Photographic Authorization and Release form(s) (when necessary)
  • Permission letters for reprinted or copyrighted materials (when necessary)

Author Services

Our publisher, Wolters Kluwer (in partnership with Editage), offers a unique range of editorial services to help authors prepare a submission-ready manuscript:

  • Premium Editing: Intensive language and structural editing of academic papers to increase chances of journal acceptance.
  • Advanced Editing: A complete language, grammar, and terminology check to give you a publication-ready manuscript.
  • Translation with Editing: Write your paper in your native language and Wolters Kluwer Author Services will translate it into English, as well as edit it to ensure that it meets international publication standards.
  • Plagiarism Check: Helps ensure that your manuscript contains no instances of unintentional plagiarism.
  • Artwork Preparation: Save precious time and effort by ensuring that your artwork is viewed favorably by the journal without you having to incur the additional cost of purchasing special graphics software.

For more information regarding Wolters Kluwer Author Services, please visit

Please note that the usage of such a service is at the author's own expense and risk, and does not guarantee that the article will be accepted.

Article Types

PRS welcomes authors to submit Original Articles, Experimental Articles, Special Topics, Ideas & Innovations, Video Plus articles, Letters to the Editor, and Viewpoints. Please note that the Journal does not accept case reports or obituaries.

Editorials are reserved for the Editor-in-Chief, Co-Editor, and other Editorial Board members of PRS. An alternative for non-Editorial Board members would be to submit as a Viewpoint. Editorials are subject to review; acceptance is not guaranteed.

To enhance quality, readability, and to be more competitive with other leading scientific journals, all manuscripts must adhere to the limits listed below. Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines may be returned to the authors for correction at any point in the editorial process.

Article Type Abstract/Summary Words Body Words References Figure Pieces/ Tables Supplemental Digital Content (including Video)
·Original Articles

·Experimental Articles

·Special Topics
250 words3000 wordsNo limit20

10 SDC items total.

May include a maximum of 8 video clips (up to 20 minutes total;
each clip <5 minutes).

·Ideas & Innovations250 words1000 wordsNo limit4

8 SDC items total.

May include a maximum of 5 video clips (up to 20 minutes total;
each clip <5 minutes).

·Letters/ Replies

NA500 words5 references2

4 SDC items total.


Video plus other SDC: up to 6 minutes total, broken into no more than 2 clips

Video only (no other SDC): up to 9 minutes of video total, broken into no more than 3 clips.

·Video Plus2501000 wordsNo limit4

8 SDC items total.

May include a maximum of 8 video clips (up to 20 minutes total; each clip < 5 minutes). Must be narrated. Must be oriented horizontally.

Additional Guidelines for Ideas & Innovations:

Ideas & Innovations submissions should provide unique observations of novel/modified surgical techniques or offer creative management ideas that enhance practice. Manuscripts should be framed in a way that summarizes the authors' experience and directly highlights their new technique, concept, or innovation. 

Ideas & Innovations should not be perceived as an avenue for “miniature Original Articles." They should not focus on a scientific hypothesis or formal analysis, but can include demographic and outcomes data if needed. The essence of the work should be captured in a short, simplified manner. High-quality figures, illustrations, and/or videos should be included to enhance the manuscript and demonstrate how to apply the concepts presented.

Rather than conforming to the standard format of a scientific paper (e.g., structured abstract, traditional sections such as “materials and methods"), Ideas & Innovations submissions should follow the templated outline below:

     I. Summary/Unstructured Abstract (250 words)

     II. Concise Presentation of Unique Idea, Innovation, or Technique

    • This section should focus on the "What" of the article.
    • There is latitude in how this section is titled.
    • Subheadings/subsections are not allowed.

     III. Discussion

    • This section should answer the "Why" of the article.
    • ​It should address the importance or relevance of the presented idea, innovation, or technique.

Additional Guidelines for Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor should discuss or provide commentary on material recently published in PRS. PRS accepts and publishes letters to the Editor that advance the scientific conversation or are otherwise deemed meaningful by the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editor. Letters should pose a specific question that clarifies a point that either was not made in the article or was unclear. In lieu of merely cordial or non-impactful letters to the Editor, we encourage readers to contact the authors directly utilizing the published correspondence information. All letters are published at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editor.

The Journal will only consider letters to the Editor if they are received within 2 full months of the original article's final publication date. The 2-month window for each issue begins on the first day of the corresponding month. For example, letters commenting on an article published in the November issue must be submitted by December 31st. 

Papers that are published ahead of print are not eligible for commentary, as they have not been formally proofed; please do not submit letters until after a paper's final publication date.

Individuals may submit no more than three (3) letters to PRS within a calendar year.

Letters submitted pertaining to solicited discussions of articles will not be accepted.

A complete reference must be provided for the article being discussed; this reference should be the first reference cited in the reference list.

The title of your letter should be identical to the title of the published article being discussed. If it is not, the publisher reserves the right to alter the title accordingly.

Letters to the Editor are not usually peer reviewed, but the Journal may invite replies from the authors of the original publication. Further commentary beyond an initial letter and its reply will not be published.

Letters to the Editor are designed to highlight salient points, provide alternative perspectives, or raise constructive concerns in a professional manner. Their tone and substance should be collegial, constructive, and professional. Letters to the Editor should not be considered as a vehicle for post-publication peer review. Acerbic, combative, or aggressive tone, language, or sub-text will not be allowed.

Letters to the Editor are not intended to correct or address mistakes or resolve allegations of publishing or ethical misconduct; such concerns should be emailed directly to the editorial office ([email protected]) and could result in an investigation via COPE guidance (Committee of Publication Ethics) or recommended for further adjudication by the ASPS Ethics or Publications Committees.​

We reserve the right to edit letters to meet requirements of space and format. Any financial interests relevant to the content of the correspondence must be disclosed. Submission of a letter constitutes permission for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and its licensees and assignees to publish it in the Journal and in any other form or medium.

The views, opinions, and conclusions expressed in letters to the Editor represent the personal opinions of the individual writers and not those of the publisher, the Editorial Board, or the sponsors of the Journal. Any stated views, opinions, and conclusions do not reflect the policy of any sponsoring organizations or institutions with which the writer is affiliated. The publisher, the Editorial Board, and the sponsoring organizations assume no responsibility for the content of such correspondence.

Instructions for Solicited Discussions:

Invited discussions of accepted manuscripts are frequently requested by the Editors. The preparation and submission of discussions is the same as for all other articles.

The goal of solicited discussions is to enrich an article by presenting additional information and perspective based on the experiences of the discussant, who may agree or disagree with the hypothesis, methodology, discussion, or conclusions of the article. The discussion of a manuscript represents the opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stance of the Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, or Wolters Kluwer Health.

Discussions should be succinct—between 800 and 1000 words—but detailed, with references and tables/figures, if pertinent. Authors are limited to 10 tables and/or figures.

The first page of the discussion should include the complete title of the manuscript being discussed, the authors of that paper, as well as your own name, degrees and affiliations, address, and financial disclosures. Your name and address should also appear at the conclusion of the discussion. The title of your discussion should be identical to the title of the article being discussed. If it is not, the publisher reserves the right to alter the title accordingly.

Discussions should not become another full-fledged manuscript, and it should be more than a diatribe or series of compliments and platitudes.

If you are invited to author a discussion after serving as a peer reviewer for the same manuscript, it is pivotal that you do not discuss any version of the manuscript other than the final, accepted version. Information gathered, opinions formed, or details recalled from previous versions of the manuscript during the editorial process should NOT be used to inform the content of your discussion. Previous versions of the manuscript are privately shared with peer reviewers and are not intended for public dissemination. If you feel that your role as a peer reviewer has disabled your ability to offer an unbiased discussion of a manuscript, please decline the invitation to write a discussion.

Discussants are allowed approximately 4 weeks to complete their discussion and submit it via Editorial Manager. If you are unable to finish within that time, please contact the editorial office.


Title Page

Please use this template to create a title page for your manuscript.

The title page should include:

  • The complete title of the article.
  • A separate list of authors' names and highest academic degrees
  • A list indicating each author's affiliations and location.
  • Corresponding author information.
  • A statement regarding all financial disclosures, conflicts of interest, and products for the manuscript.
  • A footnote listing meetings at which the paper has been presented.
  • A short running head (no more than 40 characters in length).

Title Length:

Titles should be no longer than three lines long if published in PRS. This is approximately 135 characters including spaces. Acronyms and abbreviations in titles should be spelled out for the purposes of a character-count, as they will be expanded during copyediting in most cases.​

Author Names and Academic Degrees:

Author names should be spelled out completely with middle initials. Please list in the following order: First Name, Middle Initial, Last or Family Name (e.g., John R. Smith).

Institutional affiliations should reflect where each author was located at the time the work was completed and submitted to PRS. ​Changes to institutional affiliations may not be made post-submission.

Academic degrees should be listed following each author's full name. Please limit the total number of academic degrees to a maximum of three (3).

Corresponding Author Information:

The corresponding author will be responsible for handling post-publication inquiries and requests. Please include the complete name and address of the corresponding author on your title page. This information must include an email address.

Statement of Financial Disclosures, Conflicts of Interest, and Products:

All sources of funds supporting the work and a statement of financial interests, if any, must be included for each author. ​

Each author must disclose at the time of submission any commercial associations or financial disclosures that might pose or create a real or perceived conflict of interest (COI) with information presented in the submitted manuscript. Such associations include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultancies
  • Stock ownership
  • Patent licensing arrangements
  • Payments for conducting or publicizing a study described in the manuscript
  • Equity interests
  • Royalties
  • Grants
  • Employee, Board Member, or Review Panel Member for company affiliated with, discussed in, or otherwise associated in the subject matter discussed
Each author must disclose all relationships/activities/interests, whether or not they are directly related to the content of the manuscript. Disclosure represents a commitment to transparency and does not necessarily indicate a bias. If in doubt about whether to list a relationship/activity/interest, it is preferable that it is listed.

All support for the present manuscript (e.g., funding, provision of study materials, medical writing, article processing charges, etc.) should also be disclosed. ​

A list of all products, devices, drugs, etc., used in the manuscript must also be included.

Authors must also disclose any funding received for a work from any of the following organizations: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), etc.

All manuscripts must include all of this information on the title page, gathered from ALL AUTHORS and presented in a comprehensive financial disclosure statement. This statement should closely match what EACH author discloses in the 36-month COI questionnaire emailed to them upon submission. If the authors have nothing to disclose, please indicate this in the statement on the title page. The financial disclosure statement will be printed with the article if it is accepted for publication.

Please do not “editorialize” your COI statement (i.e., please only state the facts of your/your co-authors’ COI without drawing any conclusions). COI statements that include subjective commentary could be edited/modified at the Editor’s discretion.

Please be mindful of what information is publicly available and/or already reported to your professional associateion insofar as your conflicts of interest. Consider including these items in yoru financial disclosure statement. Readers and auditors may review these additional disclosures and compare them to what is reported in your manuscript.
    • For those in the USA, we recommend you review
    • Authors who serve as committee members for teh American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) can review their COI statements on by navigating to "Committee Member COI Form" underneath the "Membership" tab.

The manuscript file for your submission should include the title page, abstract/summary, manuscript body (including callouts and citations), references, and legends.

Manuscript documents must be submitted in an editable file format such as Word, WordPerfect, or RTF.

Structured Abstract or Summary:

Original Articles and Experimental Articles must begin with a structured abstract. The abstract should include the headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. We encourage authors to look at recent issues of the Journal for examples of similar articles.

Special Topics, Ideas & Innovations, Follow-up Clinics, and Video Plus articles must begin with a brief summary. Summaries for these article types do not need to be structured or organized with headings.

The length for abstracts and summaries should be limited to 250 words.

Manuscript Text:

PRS aims for optimal readability. The body of the text must conform to acceptable English usage and syntax; the contents must be clear, accurate, coherent, and logical. Please avoid using abbreviations unless they are so common that they are never spelled out.

All copy must be double-spaced, including text, footnotes, references, figure legends, and tables.

Each manuscript page must be numbered clearly, with the numbering continuing throughout.

All references, figures, and tables, must be numbered and must be cited in numerical order in the text. Citations of figures and tables show the printer where to place them in the published text. If you choose to call out individual parts/pieces of a figure, ALL pieces of that figure must be cited in alpha-numerical order.

If a statistical analysis is conducted, explanation of the method used must be stated in the txt preceding the results. Unusual or complex methods of analysis should be referenced. Most papers that include statistical analyses are evaluated by a biostatistician during the review process.

In-text Callouts:

All figures, tables, videos, and supplemental digital content must be numbered and must be cited in the text. Citations of figures and tables show the printer where to place them within the published text. 

All in-text callouts must appear in numerical order. For example, a callout for Figure 2 may not appear before the callout for Figure 1, and a callout for Figure 1c should not appear before Figure 1a.

Callouts for supplemental digital content should also be labeled with the type of material submitted. Examples of callouts for Supplemental Digital Content include:

  • Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1
  • Table, Supplemental Digital Content 2
  • Figure, Supplemental Digital Content 3


A separate legend should be included for all figures, videos, and supplemental digital content. These legends should include a brief description of each piece of content. The editorial staff reserves the right to request revised/shortened versions of any type of legend entry (figure, video, table, or supplemental digital content).

Each legend should be numbered separately, and the numbering should correspond to the in-text callouts. An example of separate numbering can be found below:

  • Figure Legend:
    Figure 1. A photo of _________.
    Figure 2. A graph that shows _______.
  • SDC Legend:
    Figure, Supplementary Digital Content 1. A photo of _______.

    Table, Supplementary Digital Content 2. A table that shows _______.

All legends should be placed at the end of the manuscript document, following the reference list.

A credit statement for any reused or copyrighted material must be included in the corresponding legend entry.


References should follow the citation style of the American Medical Association (AMA). Many resources exist in word processing programs and online to help format according to the AMA Manual of Style.

A few basic examples follow:

Journal Articles

1. Craft AB. Title with initial cap in Roman: Subtitle also with initial cap in Roman. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1997;100:111-115.

[List all authors to a maximum of six. If there are more than six, list three et al.]

Chapter in a Book
2. Reagan MF. Title with initial cap: Subtitle with initial cap. In: Smith SR, Jones HG, Green TM, eds. Cap and Lower Case Title in Italics. Vol. 5, 5th ed. New York: Bender & Sons; 1971:22-50.

Entire Book
3. Wayne JD, ed. Cap and Lower Case Title in Italics. Basel, Switzerland: Rodan-Smythe; 1971.

4. Ames G. Title with initial cap only in Roman. In Proceedings of the 5th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Chemists, Boston, Mass; June 4-9, 1996.

5. Ames G. Title with initial cap only in Roman. Paper presented at: 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; October 30, 2007; Chicago, Ill.

6. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2005 liposuction statistics. Available at: Accessed March 4, 2015.


All submissions should adhere to the figure limits posted for each article type. Please note that each individual image or panel of a multi-panel figure will count as one “figure piece." For example, a figure containing a pre-op and a post-op photo will count as two figure pieces.

Any figures submitted that do not meet the standards detailed below will be returned to the authors with a request for new images. If higher-quality images are not supplied, figures may be removed from the manuscript or moved to Supplemental Digital Content. If you choose to replace figures that were part of the peer-reviewed manuscript with different images to address issues of figure quality at the clerical revision stage, the new images may require approval from the Editor-in-Chief and/or the review panel.

Figure File Formats:

Each figure should be uploaded individually to your submission as a separate file. Figures should not be embedded within the text of your manuscript document.

File formats acceptable for figures include:

  • TIFF
  • PNG
  • JPEG
  • EPS
  • PDF

We do not accept figures that have been copied and pasted into a Word document.

The editorial staff may ask you to provide your original source files if the figures do not meet publication standards.

Figure Quality:

All figures are expected to be of the highest quality possible. Elements of figure quality include:

  • Color images, wherever possible and appropriate
  • Clear and correct focus
  • Sufficient brightness and exposure for photographs
  • Sufficient detail for close-up photographs
  • Color-correct images
  • Sufficient size
  • Correct digital format
  • Appropriate consistency for preoperative and postoperative comparisons

Additional Guidelines for Figures:

  • Multi-piece figures (e.g., Fig. 1a, 1b, 1c) should NOT include letter labels super-imposed over the images. Instead, please save the file name for each image as “Figure 1a", “Figure 1b", etc. You may also indicate the labels for each image in the description field when uploading in Editorial Manager.
  • The resolution for all figures must be a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • The minimum width for each figure piece is 3.25 inches wide or 5 inches wide for figures that contain graphs or small text.
    • Note: Our team can reduce the size of figures as necessary, but most figures cannot be enlarged without an unacceptable loss of quality. When in doubt, submit a figure that is too large rather than too small.
  • The color mode for all images should be CMYK.
  • Before-and-after photographs should be identical in terms of size, position, and lighting.
  • We do not accept patient photos that are blurred or that utilize eye blocks to obscure the patient's identity. Consent must be obtained for all identifiable patient photos.
  • No photographs, digital or otherwise, should be substantively modified other than light cropping to show the intended area.
  • Illustrations should be labeled clearly and arranged symmetrically, in either portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Bar graphs with various shades of black do not reproduce well. Please submit them in color.
  • To indicate scale on a photomicrograph, it is much better to include a scale bar as part of the figure rather than state the original magnification in the legend.
  • Graphs exported from an uncommon software should be exported as high-quality PDF files.
  • All figures should be accompanied by a separate figure legend that appears at the end of the manuscript text. Legends or captions should NOT be included on the image itself.

Creating Digital Artwork:

Please follow these basic guidelines when submitting digital art to PRS. You can learn more about publication requirements for digital artwork here:

  • Artwork should be saved as a TIFF, PDF, JPG, EPS, or as the original file format from the program used to create it (PPT, DOC, XLS, etc.).
  • Artwork should be created as the actual size (or slightly larger) than it will be printed in the journal.
  • Crop out any white or black space surrounding the image. Extra space will not be counted in the figure size.
  • Diagrams, drawings, graphs, and other line art must be a vector or saved at a resolution of at least 1200 dpi. If the art is created in a MS Office program, please convert it to a hi-resolution PDF. If you are unfamiliar with the PDF creation process, please submit the original MS Office file.
  • Photographs, radiographs, and other halftone images must be saved at a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
  • Photographs and radiographs with text must be saved as postscript or at a resolution of at least 600 dpi.


Tables must be saved in an editable file format. File formats acceptable for tables include Word, WordPerfect, or RTF.

Tables may not include photographs. Tables that do include photographs will be processed as figures. In some instances, tables may include small graphics such as shapes or simple line drawings. These are considered on a case-by-case basis.​

Special editorial action is authorized under standing order from the Editor-in-Chief to improve the readabliity of tables that would occupy more than 2 full PDF pages and/or need to be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise to fit on the standard-sized journal page. The editorial staff and the publisher may convert such overly-long tables into Supplemental Digital Content on the authors' behalf.

Supplemental Digital Content

We highly encourage authors to submit supplemental digital content (SDC) that enhances their article's text. SDC will be included with the manuscript as online-only material and will appear as a link in the published text.

SDC may include a combination of the following material. The total number of SDC items should not exceed the posted limits for each article type.

  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Figures
  • Tables
  • Word Document
  • Appendices
  • Video

All SDC will be subject to peer review along with the rest of the submission and published at the Editor-in-Chief's discretion. Please note that SDC is not meant to be a repository for unfiltered, unrefined data. SDC is an extension of your manuscript and should therefore be as polished and edited as your manuscript itself.

All SDC should be submitted exactly as it is intended to be displayed. No SDC text will be edited by PRS's staff. PowerPoint and PDF files submitted as SDC will not be edited by staff. No errata will be issued for SDC after final publication.

SDC File Formats:

Supplemental digital content files should be no larger than 10 MB each (excluding videos). Acceptable file extensions for SDC include:

  • Documents and tables: .doc, .ppt, .xls, .pdf
  • Figures, graphs, and illustrations: .tif, .eps, .ppt, .jpg, .pdf, .gif
  • Audio files: .mp3, .wma (no longer than 10 minutes)
  • Video files: .mp4 (each clip must be under 100 MB and no longer than 5 minutes)

For more information, please review our publisher's requirements for submitting supplementary materials:


PRS encourages original, high-quality video content that will enhance readers' experience of a manuscript. Videos may demonstrate techniques, technologies, or otherwise highlight a pivotal part of the manuscript such as preoperative markings, intra-operative demonstrations, post-operative results, etc. Video content deemed exemplary by the Editor-in-Chief or the editorial staff may be selected for inclusion in our PRS video gallery.

Video content should be presented in clips that are no longer than 5 minutes each. Total, comprehensive length of all video clips in a submission should adhere to the posted limits for each article type.

English-language narration or subtitles must be included in any video that is 30 seconds or longer.

A permissions letter will be required for any music included in submitted video content. Videos that contain ambient audio or music will not be allowed (e.g., a song playing on the radio in the operating room); native audio must be muted and overlaid with narration or music for which permissions have been obtained.

Additional Limitations:

PRS has adopted the following limitations for SDC. These limitations are not meant to limit your articles impact, but to challenge you to be judicious and self-editing in choosing which materials to place online.

  • PowerPoint presentations: The author may submit no more than 20 slides as SDC to their article.
  • Figures: Authors may submit additional figures as SDC for their article. All figures must be fully assembled by the authors, meaning all parts (a, b, c, etc.) must be assembled together in one file. Each assembled figure should be uploaded as a separate piece of SDC.
  • Tables: Authors may submit additional tables as SDC. Each table should be uploaded as a separate piece of SDC.
  • Word Document: Authors may submit one Word document of no more than 500 words of supplementary text. Supplemental text should contain auxiliary information only. It should not include information that is essential to your manuscripts. Paragraphs pertaining to materials/methods, results, etc. should be included in the main body of your manuscript and not submitted as SDC.
  • Appendices: Authors may submit no more than 5 double-spaced pages total of appendices as SDC. This should be ancillary content only (copies of questionnaires, forms, etc.) and should not include written content that should be included in the main body of the manuscript.
    • SDC (without video):
      • No more than 4 SDC files total (can include a figure, PDF, PPT, etc.)
    • Video Only (no additional SDC)
      • Up to 9 minutes of video; no more than 3 clips
    • Video + additional SDC
      • Up to 6 minutes of video; no more than 2 clips
      • No more than TWO additional SDC files total (can include a figure, PDF, PPT, etc.)


A letter of permissions is required for any and all material that has been published previously or for which the authors do not own the copyright. It is the responsibility of the authors to request permission from the publisher or owner of the copyrighted item for any material that is being reproduced. This requirement applies to text, illustrations, photos, and tables. These permissions must be supplied to the Journal upon submission of the article, along with ample acknowledgement of the original source of the materials in the legend and/or text.

To reiterate, any previously published material (including material published in foreign-language, open access, or e-journals) that is included in a submission to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery needs to:

  1. a) Clearly reference the original publication of the previously published material.
  2. b) Be accompanied by a letter of permission from the copyright holder of the material. Any fee associated with permission to reuse previously published material is the responsibility of the author of the manuscript.

If an author submits an article to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery that contains material to which he or she holds the copyright (figures, material from articles published on open-access or e-journals, and so on), he or she needs to clearly indicate that he or she holds the copyright and provide Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with written permission to use the previously copyrighted material.

All permission statements allowing Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to publish previously published material must extend to all print and digital media (so that material can be both printed and placed on the Journal's website) and must not include any time limitations.

A credit line for each copyrighted item must be included in the corresponding legend.

Patient Photo/Video Consents

Authors are required to obtain written releases from any person whose photographs are submitted to the Journal for publication if the person can be identified. Patient consent and authorization is needed to reproduce any photograph of a patient's face, identifiable body part, or visible tattoo.

Please use this standardized patient authorization form for the release of patient photographs.

Authors may submit their own institution's version of patient authorization/consent, but the form must include permission to use identifiable patients' likeness in print and all derivative media including but not limited to electronic, internet/social media, and/or broadcast media. All forms will be reviewed by the editorial staff; if the form does not meet our publisher's requirements, your patients will need to complete the PRS consent form.

Please note that all consent forms must be in English.

Details in submission materials (within text, figures, videos, etc.) that might identify patients should be avoided unless essential for scientific purposes. If identification of patients is unavoidable, informed consents should be obtained.

Patient photographs with bars or blocks placed over the eyes are not acceptable. If “de-identification" of a patient is not possible by cropping a photo, authorization and consent must be obtained from the patient. If a patient cannot be located or refuses to provide consent and authorization, their photograph will not be published.

In the event that a patient cannot provide consent due to death or legal incompetency (this includes photographs of corpses), permission from the power of attorney is needed as well as proof of power of attorney.

Please note that PRS does not accept typed signatures. We require physical signatures or a verified e-signature stamp (e.g., Adobe).

Accepted Manuscripts

Once authors receive notice of acceptance, their manuscript is placed into our queue of accepted manuscripts to be scheduled for publication in its corresponding section. The Editor-in-Chief will then select the manuscript for an upcoming issue based on a number of factors including but not limited to acceptance date, topical section, and time sensitivity.

Once selected for an issue, the article will be prepared for publication by the editorial staff and transferred to the publisher. Authors will be notified of the expected publication date via email. Prompt response to any requests for additional information, publication materials, or improved figures is necessary to ensure timely publication. Delays in providing necessary additional information may result in publication delays.

The publisher and editorial office may move articles to another issue or encounter delays in publication if determined necessary. To the degree possible, corresponding authors will be contacted regarding any unforeseen delay in publication.

Levels of Evidence

All manuscripts amenable to Level of Evidence grading will be assessed and have a clinical question and LOE grade assigned by a special, independent panel contracted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. We no longer request that you provide an initial indication of clinical question or level of evidence. The final Level of Evidence grade for accepted papers will be determined and assigned by the independent panel of Level of Evidence experts.

The following types of articles are not gradable for level of evidence:

  • Animal studies
  • Economic Studies
  • Basic science studies
  • Review articles
  • Instructional course lectures
  • CME courses
  • Editorials
  • Correspondence

As far as what is or is not ratable, the standard is to exclude basic science, bench work, and animal studies because the information gained from these studies is not something that can be applied directly to patient treatment decisions. See the article "The Level of Evidence Pyramid: Indicating Levels of Evidence in PRS Articles" in the July 2011 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for more information.

The clinical question will be one of three categories: Diagnostic, Therapeutic, or Risk.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons Rating Levels of Evidence and Grading Recommendations
Evidence Rating Scale for Therapeutic Studies

Level of Evidence Qualifying Studies
IHigh-quality, multicenter or single-center randomized controlled trial with adequate power; or systematic review of these studies
IILesser-quality randomized controlled trial; prospective cohort study; or systematic review of randomized controlled trials
IIIRetrospective cohort or comparative study; or case-control study
IVCase series with pre/post test or only post test
VExpert opinion developed via consensus process; case report or clinical example; or evidence based on physiology, bench research, or “first principles"

Evidence Rating Scale for Diagnostic Studies

Level of Evidence Qualifying Studies
IHigh-quality, multicenter or single-center cohort study validating a diagnostic test (with “gold" standard as reference) in a series of consecutive patients
IIExploratory cohort study developing diagnostic criteria (with “gold" standard as reference) in a series of consecutive patients
IIIDiagnostic study in nonconsecutive patients (without consistently applied “gold" standard as reference)
IVCase-control study; or any of the above diagnostic studies in the absence of a universally accepted “gold" standard
VExpert opinion developed via consensus process; case report or clinical example; or evidence based on physiology, bench research, or “first principles"

Evidence Rating Scale for Prognostic/Risk Studies

Level of Evidence Qualifying Studies
High-quality, multicenter or single-center prospective cohort or comparative study with adequate power
IILesser-quality prospective cohort or comparative study; retrospective cohort or comparative study; or untreated controls from a randomized controlled trial
IIICase-control study
IVCase series with pre/post test or only post test
VExpert opinion developed via consensus process; case report or clinical example; or evidence based on physiology, bench research, or “first principles"

Electronic Page Proofs and Corrections

The proof/correction process is completed electronically. Corresponding authors will receive electronic page proofs to check the copyedited and typeset article before publication. Portable document format (PDF) files of the typeset pages and supporting documents (e.g., reprint order form) will be sent to the corresponding author via email. Complete instructions for downloading and marking the electronic page proofs will be provided in the email.

It is the author's responsibility to ensure that there are no errors in the proofs. Authors who are not native English speakers are strongly encouraged to have their manuscript carefully edited by a native English-speaking colleague. Changes that have been made to conform to journal style will stand if they do not alter the authors' meaning. Only the most critical changes to the accuracy of the content will be made. Changes that are stylistic or are a reworking of previously accepted material will not be allowed. The publisher reserves the right to deny any changes that do not affect the accuracy of the content. Authors may be charged for alterations to the proofs beyond those required to correct errors or to answer queries.

Electronic proofs must be checked carefully and corrections returned within 48 hours of receipt, as requested in the cover letter accompanying the page proofs.

Publication Ahead of Print

All accepted manuscripts* will be published significantly ahead of print/final publication on our "PRS Online First​" server. The version to be published in advance will be the accepted version of the manuscript, in "PDF" format only. Authors will not have the opportunity to proof this version before it goes live online. Authors will be notified by our publishing team when their manuscript is published ahead of print, at which point it is fully citable. The final published version—which will be copyedited, proofed by the authors, etc.—​will replace the "Online First" file; the unique DOI number will remain.

*The following article types will not be published ahead of print: Discussion, CME, Editorial/Editor's Perspectives, Evidence-Based Guidelines and Measures and Supplement articles.


Authors will receive an email notification with a link to the reprint order form soon after their article publishes in the Journal. Additional information regarding reprints can be found on the publisher's website:

Reprints are normally shipped 6 to 8 weeks after publication of the issue in which the manuscript appears. Please direct any questions to our publisher's reprint department: [email protected] or 1-866-903-6951.

Embargo Policy

Any content submitted to the Journal must not be discussed with the media until the paper has published (online or in print, whichever occurs first). The Journal reserves the right to halt the consideration or publication of a paper if this policy is broken. If your paper is newsworthy, you may recommend a press release to the Editor or Editorial Office. You or your institution may also arrange for your own publicity; however you must strictly adhere to the Journal's embargo policy and are advised to notify the Editorial Office if you or your institution chooses to conduct a press release.

How to Share Your Study

Overview: Sharing the Published Article and Its Elements:

The best way to share your final published article to maximize readership and potential views of your manuscript is to link directly to the article as hosted on

We strongly encourage you to share the link to your article on

Posting of PRS articles to commercial/social media websites (including by not limited to ProQuest, YouTube, ResearchGate, Facebook, LinkedIn) is not permitted.

Do not email the PDF of your article to colleagues. Instead, share the link to the article on

What can I share? For a streamlined guide from our publisher on Author Permissions Guidelines, click here.

If you have further questions on how and where you can ethically, legally, and seamlessly share your publication, we recommend that you explore

Optimizing your Title for SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

It's not secret: if your content shows up as the number-one search result in Google or Yahoo, it is more likely to be clicked and read than if it's a result buried on page 3.

In order to make your article more discoverable on Search Engines, please consider the following tips:

  • Keep your title short: Studies show that titles of 12 words or under are more likely to be read and computed by readers and search engines
  • Use your keywords strategically:
    • Make sure your top 2 – 3 keywords appear in the title
    • Make sure your top 6 – 8 keywords appear in the first 100 words of the abstract

If you wish to adjust your article title, please do so during the proof stage.

PRS Author Graphics:

Feel free to download and share the following graphics to add a visual component to your social media postings, website content, email, video, or email signature AFTER your article is PUBLISHED.

published article screen grab.PNG

“Customizable Published in PRS Social Media Graphic"

Download this Customizable PowerPoint file; Fill in the Customizable Fields; Save as a JPG or PNG; and POST to your preferred Social Media site:


“Printed in PRS"
Download this graphic (high-res):


“Published in PRS"

Download this graphic (high-res):

Social Media:

Ahead of publication, let your networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Youtube (see “video" below) know that your article will be published soon.

After publication, share the Link to the article and the good news about the publication via the same channels.


  • Facebook:
    • “Link" to our journals' page (and increase the viewership of your post) by typing “@Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery"
  • Twitter:
    • “Link" to our journals' page (and increase the viewership of your post) by typing “@PRSJournal"
    • Connect with other people discussing Plastic Surgery by including the following text: #plasticsurgery, #PRSJournal, #OnlyinPRS
  • Instagram:
    • “Link" to our journals' page (and increase the viewership of your post) by typing “@PRSJournal"
    • Once your article is published, add a link on your Instagram site to your article by hitting “edit profile" and changing the URL under “website“ to the direct link to your article on
  • LinkedIn:
    • Post a link to your study and offer the salient highlights to your peers
    • Tag the ASPS by typing “@ASPS"
    • Answer questions from readers about your content

What can my social media post include?

  • Your post MUST include a link to your article on
  • Your post SHOULD include the title or subject matter of your article and the #plasticsurgery hashtag, as well as any other salient hashtags (eg #BreastReconstuctionAwareness, #CleftLipAndPalate, #ILookLikeASurgeon, etc)
  • Your post CAN include:
    • Your text message including…
      • The title of the article
      • Your co-authors
      • The purpose of your study
    • A short video of yourself discussing your article
      1. Note: videos perform well on social media!
    • Up to TWO of the following pieces from your article (eg: post can include 1 Figure and 1 table; 2 Figures; or 1 short video clip and 1 figure):
      • A screen grab of the title page
      • Figures or Illustrations
        • Be aware of social media's aversion to nipples, genitals, gore
        • Be mindful of patient's photos, even though you have secured broad patient consents in order to publish the image in PRS.
      • Table
      • Short Video Clip from your article (<30 seconds)

  • Your post CANNOT include:
    • The entire article
    • Whole sections of the article
    • Static screenshots of the entire article or whole sections of the article


Easy way to share to social media from the website:

  • Navigate to your article on
  • On the left-hand side toolbar, click “share"
  • Options for email, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will appear (YouTube and Instagram are not currently supported)


After publication of your manuscript, email your colleagues, residents, fellows and all interested parties with the news, abstract, and a hyperlink to the article.

A sample letter, which you can feel free to use, is included below. Simply copy, customize and deploy.

“I'm excited to let all of you know that my most recent addition to the literature has been published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. I think you'll find my article, INSERT TITLE HERE, quite interesting. I've included the abstract below to give you a good idea of the topic:


The article can be read online at at the following hyperlink: copy and paste hyperlink to your article.

Thank you!

Your name"

Note: DO NOT email the PDF of your article to peers. Not only does this break copyright policies, but it deprives your article of recorded views, downloads, and potential listing as “most popular," etc. It is always best to direct peers to the full-text view URL on the website.

Email Signature:

Upon publication of your manuscript, you can update your email signature with a custom message. At the bottom of all emails you send out, you can direct your peers to your article. Several sample email signatures are included below:

  • Read my new article in PRS on INSERT TOPIC {make underlined text a hyperlink direct to your article} today at
  • Read my latest work {make underlined text a hyperlink direct to your article}in PRS!
  • Published author in PRS. Read my newest article. {make underlined text a hyperlink direct to your article}
  • Author of “INSERT TITLE" {make underlined text a hyperlink direct to your article}

Your Website:

Link to your Published Paper

Feel free to update your website with news of your publication. You will not be breaking any copyright issues if you share the following information on your website:

  • Title
  • Short Running Head
  • Author List
  • A brief summary of the article (note: this should be different than the abstract)
  • Any images to which you have retained the copyright
  • The URL to the manuscript on

Posting the “Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript"

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons will permit the author(s) to deposit for display a "final peer-reviewed manuscript" (the final manuscript after peer-review and acceptance for publication but prior to the publisher's copyediting, design, formatting, and other services) 12 months after publication of the final article on his/her personal website, university's institutional repository or employer's intranet, subject to the following:

  • You may only deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript.
  • You may not update the final peer-reviewed manuscript text or replace it with a proof or with the final published version.
  • You may not include the final peer-reviewed manuscript or any other version of the article in any commercial site or in any repository owned or operated by any third party. For authors of articles based on research funded by NIH, Welcome Trust, HHMI, or other funding agency, see below for the services that The American Society of Plastic Surgeon will provide on your behalf to comply with "Public Access Policy" guidelines.
  • You may not display the final peer-reviewed manuscript until twelve months after publication of the final article.
  • You must attach the following notice to the final peer-reviewed manuscript:

    "This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in (provide

complete journal citation)."

  • You must provide a link in the posting of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the final article on

Note: To maximize readership and potential views of your manuscript, link directly to the article as hosted on

​​​Make Your Own Infographic:

There are many low-cost services available for authors to make their own Infographics/Visual Abstracts to promote their articles. Although you are free to choose any such vendor, Wolters Kluwer has a working relationship with a company called "Mind The Graph" which enables authors to make infographics for their PRS articles from a selection of pre-approved art and templates. PRS and the ASPS do not receive any proceeds from "Mind the Graph." Click the following link to get started:​.


Use your phone or a camera to film a short video of you discussing your article. Post it on your website, any social media platform (being mindful of their respective time limits on video) or YouTube and include a hyperlink to your article on in the description.


  • Make your video- and the article you are discussing- as discoverable as possible by including general-interest, public-facing keywords.
    • “Plastic Surgery" is an important keyword to include
    • Instead of “septoplasty" say “deviated septum," “nose," “surgery"
  • Do not use any unauthorized graphics – including the PRS logo, PRS cover, images from your article, images of patients – without permission
  • Feel free to use the “accepted article graphics" (above) in the video
  • Feel free to speak in any language of your choosing
  • Tag PRS on @PRSJournal on whatever platform you share your video

Press Release:

PRS and the ASPS issue approximately two press releases per issue. As such, many great articles will not have releases issued to the public press. Your university, institution, or clinic may be very interested in promoting your article- as it will reflect well upon them as well.

If your article is only recently accepted, it's not too early to start drafting a press release.

  • Contact the press office or media relations contact of your institution today to see if they are interested in issuing a press release on your article.
  • NO wide press release can be issued ahead of the embargo date (date of the article's publication).
  • We do allow institutions to do limited “pre-pitching" 7 calendar days in advance to 2-3 trusted journalists ahead of the embargo date with the understanding that any news coverage cannot break that embargo date. This pre-pitching gives journalists ample time to write their story on your article.

If your institution will be issuing a press release on your article, please do the following:

  • Contact Aaron Weinstein at [email protected] as soon as possible to notify us and to find out the embargo date.

Include the following boilerplate text in your press release:

  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. Founded in 1931, the Society represents 93% of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S., and more than eight thousand plastic surgeons worldwide, making ASPS a global institution and leading authority on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Visit for more information.
  • Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students in effective decision-making and outcomes across healthcare. We support clinical effectiveness, learning and research, clinical surveillance and compliance, as well as data solutions. For more information about our solutions, visit and follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and YouTube.

Images from your article: Unless you have retained copyright to your images, please do not distribute images from your article for press releases. In order to utilize figures from PRS article, media outlets should go through the permissions process on our website or contact the PRS Editorial office at [email protected]

Local Media:

Make yourself available to local media for interviews—in print, on television, online—in regards to your article. If you are a board-certified ASPS surgeon, be sure to mention that. Mention the study name and web address:


PRS has partnered with Altmetrics to measure online conversations around research, measure digital impact and reach, quantify online attention by looking at non-traditional channels.

Each article is given a score based on its digital impact and is updated in real time.

Visit your article on today to find your Altmetrics score.


Click on the 'donut' to drill-down into more details of your score. You can discover who has been discussing your article and where, sign up to receive alerts about new mentions, and leverage that knowledge into more publicity, exposure, and engagement for your article. Some examples include replying to Tweets, commenting on Facebook Posts, and reaching out to Journalists who have covered your article in the News.

Note: if an Altmetric score/donut does not appear next to your article, it has not generated enough of the charted types of traffic to measure a score yet. But, do not despair. Following any of the steps or instructions above can help spread the word about your article.

PRS Supplements

The full PRS supplement policy can be found on  

  1. All proposals for a supplement to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery must be submitted to the Editorial Office. The Editorial Office will forward the proposals to the Supplements Editor, designated by the Editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  2. The Supplements Editor, in consultation with the Editors, will decide upon the suitability of the submitted proposal. The initial decision to publish a supplement is based on the significance and timeliness of the proposed topic and the qualifications of the Guest Editor. Final acceptance is based on review of the submitted manuscripts to ensure a balanced presentation.
  3. Each supplement must have a Guest Editor who is an expert in the designated topic. The Guest Editor is responsible for: a) idea generation; b) creation of Tables of Contents; c) suggesting and inviting authors to write manuscripts for the supplement; d) compiling articles for inclusion in the supplement; and e) assisting with the editing of the publication if necessary. 

  4. The Supplements Editor and the Editors of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery retain the right to determine whether any individual article in a supplement submitted for publication requires additional peer review. For disputed manuscripts the Editors retain authority to determine whether the final manuscript will be published. Individual authors are responsible for the content of their own contributions and for editing those contributions. The Guest Editor of the supplement accepts responsibility for the overall quality and integrity of the supplement. 

  5. Supplement topics must be of importance to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery subscribers and related to the academic and educational mission of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Priority will be given to supplements that do not focus on a single product but rather on a field of inquiry. 

  6. Supplements will be published only if there is scientific or educational logic for combining papers in one publication rather than publishing them separately. The number and quality of the articles in the supplement must be sufficient to constitute a body of important information that is current and of interest to the clinical and scientific community. 

  7. A supplement based on a conference or symposium should be planned well in advance of the meeting so that manuscripts will be available either at the time of the meeting or shortly thereafter. Timely publication of such symposia is essential so that the supplement is not out of date by the time of publication. To ensure timeliness, supplements may not be published if the date of publication will be more than 9 months after the symposium or conference.
  8. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery will only consider publishing proceedings from symposia that are organized by an independent body of professionals in which the funding organization does not have a controlling voice. It is preferable that the Guest Editor and a majority of the members of the independent body be members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All supplements must have a statement indicating the source of funding, together with any restrictions. Furthermore, the Guest Editor and all contributors must clearly indicate whether there is any conflict of interest and, if so, the extent and nature of the potential conflict.
  9. At submission, the supplement manuscript will be peer reviewed to assure that the content is not biased in the interest of any sponsor. All reviewers will be assigned by the Editor in Chief. Please note that acceptance of supplement submissions are not guaranteed. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery will not permit presentations within the scientific and educational portion of the supplement that extol a commercial product. Publication of supplements does not constitute product or sponsor endorsement by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the following (or similar) Disclaimer will be printed at the beginning of each supplement:

    “The contents of this issue represent a supplement to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, prepared and paid for by the sponsoring organization. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery endeavors to assure that the material presented is not biased in the interest of the sponsoring organization. To this end, it should be understood by the reader that the articles included have been subjected to peer review by the Editorial Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Publication of this supplement does not constitute product or sponsor endorsement by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery."

  10. Articles published in a supplement are subject to the same copyright regulations that apply to articles published in regular issues of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
  11. Instructions regarding manuscript submission can be found in the printed Journal, at the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Web site at, or at PRS' Editorial Manager at: