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Instructions for Authors

About the Journal

Diabetes Care is a journal for the health care practitioner that is intended to increase knowledge, stimulate research, and promote better management of people with diabetes. To achieve these goals, the journal publishes Original Articles on human studies in the following categories:

  • Clinical Care/Education/Nutrition/Psychosocial Research
  • Epidemiology/Health Services Research
  • Pathophysiology/Complications
  • Cardiovascular and Metabolic Risk
  • Emerging Technologies and Therapeutics

The journal also publishes clinically relevant review articles, letters to the editor, and commentaries. Topics covered are of interest to clinically oriented physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, psychologists, diabetes educators, and other health professionals. The journal does not publish descriptions of study designs without data, papers on in vitro studies, or studies involving animals.

The editor-in-chief of Diabetes Care is Matthew C. Riddle, MD. of Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Riddle's term as editor-in-chief began on April 1, 2017.

For more information about the journal, including average acceptance rate and current lead times, please refer to About Diabetes Care.

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The American Diabetes Association's Publications Policy Committee follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for guidance on policies and procedures related to publication ethics. The policies for Diabetes Care have been adopted from those three advisory bodies and, where necessary, modified and tailored to meet the specific content, audiences, and aims of Diabetes Care. Comprehensive information related to the editorial and ethical policies of Diabetes Care can be found in Publication Policies and Procedures for ADA Journals. The Association's Publications Policy Committee or Subcommittee on Ethical Scientific Publications will consider on a case-by-case basis policies that are not addressed in the policies document, which contains information related to the following topics:

  • Study Design
  • Originality and Prior Publication
  • Authorship and Contributions
  • Acknowledgments
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Data Access and Responsibility
  • Clinical Trials, Systematic Reviews, and Meta-Analyses
  • Plagiarism
  • Digital Image Manipulation
  • Responses to Possible Scientific Misconduct
  • Peer Review
  • Editorial Decisions
  • Prepublication of Accepted Articles
  • Reuse, Postprints, and Public Access
  • Errata
  • Media Embargos
  • Advertising
  • Supplements

Frequently referenced segments of the document appear below.

Prior and Duplicate Publication

Diabetes Care publishes only material that has not been published previously (either in print or electronically) and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, with the exception of an abstract that is less than 400 words in length. Prior presentation of data (e.g., at a scientific meeting or via webcast) does not preclude publication in Diabetes Care, but should be disclosed in the Acknowledgments of the paper and in the author's comments to the editor upon manuscript submission.

All submissions to the journal will be scanned for possible duplicate or prior publication using the CrossCheck/iThenticate plagiarism detection system ( Any article that eclipses a certain similarity threshold with another article will be closely reviewed by ADA. Authors who submit previously published work to the journal will be banned from submitting future manuscripts to the journal, and their funding body and/or institution will be notified.

All contributions, including solicited articles and symposia, are critically reviewed by the editors and/or invited referees. Reviewers' comments are usually provided to the authors. The decision of the editors is final. Any further correspondence should be directed to the Editorial Office (, not the editors, and include the manuscript number.

Prepublication of Research Articles

To make new research readily available to subscribers, Diabetes Care publishes original research articles online ahead of print before the issue becomes available.

Online ahead of print articles are citable by their unique DOI (digital object identifier). DOIs for Diabetes Care articles begin with 10.2337, followed by the article number assigned when the manuscript was submitted online via the manuscript submission system. (e.g., 10.2337/dc13-1234)

Example: Kohler C, Norton H, Baldino N: How to cite a prepublished article in ADA journals. Diabetes Care 10.2337/dc13-1234. Accessed [insert date]

Media Embargo Policy

If you are interested in reporting on a Diabetes Care article published online ahead of print, please specify in your news release that you are reporting on an online-only version of a study that is scheduled to be published in a future issue of Diabetes Care, currently available online at

Other than reporting on details provided in a meeting abstract or meeting presentation, media representatives should refrain from reporting on studies submitted to or scheduled for publication in ADA journals until that study has completely undergone the peer review and editorial processes, and has been either posted on the journal website or published in the print version of the journal. Authors are discouraged from holding press conferences to publicize abstract results until their submitted manuscripts have completely undergone the peer review and editorial processes.

Articles that were not published online ahead of print are embargoed until they appear in an issue of Diabetes Care.

Public Access Policy

As a courtesy to authors, the final issue versions of articles funded by NIH will be deposited in PubMed Central (PMC) at no additional cost. In compliance with NIH's policy, these articles will appear on PMC 12 months after issue publication in Diabetes Care. All articles, regardless of funding body, are delivered to PubMed for inclusion in the PubMed index. 

Full-text HTML versions of all articles are freely accessible on Diabetes Care Online 12 months after the issue publication date. Authors may submit the accepted version of their manuscript to their funding body's repository immediately upon acceptance.

Clinical Trials

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) defines a clinical trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.” All clinical trials submitted to Diabetes Care must be registered with an approved ICMJE clinical trial registry  ( ,,,,, Diabetes Care accepts registration of clinical trials in any of the primary registries that participate in the WHO International Clinical Trial Registry Platform. Posting clinical trial results exceeding more than 500 words in a clinical trials registry is considered prior publication. Posting results in the form of a structured abstract (less than 500 words) or table is not considered prior publication. For definitions and further information, please see ICMJE’s clinical trials registration policy found in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Please be sure to include the unique trial number and the name of the registry (e.g., NCTXXXXXXXX,; or ISRCTNXXXXXXXX, on the manuscript title page.

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Editorial Office Contact Information

Phone: (317) 354-1508, ext. 1782
Fax: (317) 547-4656

Lyn Reynolds, Director, Editorial Office
Shannon Potts, Peer Review Manager
Larissa Pouch, Associate Manager, Peer Review

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Forms and Requirements

Manuscript Submission Form

Manuscript submission form addresses ADA's policies on 1) originality and authorship, 2) copyright assignment, and 3) potential conflict of interest, and outlines the Association’s permission policies related to reuse and postprints. ADA will also accept ICMJE's Uniform Disclosure Form for Potential Conflicts of Interest. The corresponding author may complete the electronic submission form on behalf of all authors and upload it with their article files during submission or send it by email attachment to the Editorial Office (

Statement of Originality and Authorship. Diabetes Care subscribes to the requirements stated in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals that authorship implies substantial contributions to conception and design or analysis and interpretation of data and drafting of the article or critical revision for important intellectual content. The editor reserves the right to query authorship contribution.

Any requested changes to authorship (addition or removal of an author) after the initial submission of a manuscript should be requested via email to the Editorial Office (please cc all coauthors on the email). The new author list must be provided, along with a justification for the change. The author(s) being added or removed should send separate correspondence consenting to the change.

Copyright Assignment. The American Diabetes Association holds the copyright on all material appearing in Diabetes Care, unless the content is produced by an employee of the US government as part of the authors' official duties. The corresponding author must check the appropriate box on the manuscript submission form, which transfers copyright to the ADA in accordance with the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.

Conflict of Interest. Please read the ADA Policy Statement on Duality of Interest and check the box for Potential Conflict of Interest Disclosure on the manuscript submission form.

In addition to completing the manuscript submission form, all submitted papers must include a conflict-of-interest statement for all authors in the acknowledgments section. If authors have no relevant conflict of interest to disclose, this should be indicated in the acknowledgments section. Relevant conflict of interest (or lack thereof) should also be disclosed in the authors' comments to the editor during the submission process.


Author Contributions. Authors are required to include a paragraph in the Acknowledgments section listing each author's contribution.

Example: “C.K. researched data. L.R. wrote the manuscript and researched data. H.N. reviewed/edited the manuscript. V.S. contributed to the discussion and reviewed/edited the manuscript. N.B. researched data and contributed to discussion. V.G. wrote the manuscript.”

Writing Groups. The names of members of writing groups should be listed at the end of the Acknowledgments section (if no more than two or three short paragraphs); otherwise, please upload these in a separate supplemental material online-only file.

Affiliations. Institutional and/or employment affiliations of all authors should be listed on the title page of the manuscript. In addition, when citing "editorial assistance" or help provided by a colleague, authors are required to list the employer/institution with which that colleague is affiliated.

Example: “The authors acknowledge the editorial assistance of Mark Smith, Global Informatics, Inc.”
Example:“The authors thank Mark Smith, Global Informatics, Inc., for help with preparing the manuscript.”


Authors are permitted to reuse portions of their ADA-copyrighted work in their own work, including tables and figures, and to reuse portions or all of their ADA-copyrighted work for lecture or classroom purposes, provided that the proper citation and copyright information is given.


Authors are permitted to submit the accepted version of their manuscript to their funding body or institution for inclusion in that funding body or institution's database, archive, or repository, or to post the accepted version on their personal website. These manuscripts may be made freely accessible to the public upon acceptance, provided that the following two conditions are observed:

First, postprints must include the following statement of provenance and, once the final version has been published in the journal, a link to the final published version of the paper on the journal's website:

This is an author-created, uncopyedited electronic version of an article accepted for publication in Diabetes Care. The American Diabetes Association (ADA), publisher of Diabetes Care, is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it by third parties. The definitive publisher-authenticated version will be available in a future issue of Diabetes Care in print and online at

Second, the version of the manuscript deposited or posted must be identical to the final accepted version, with the exception of the addition of the above statement and any changes necessary to correct errors. Authors may make changes to the posted version to correct mistakes or may issue an erratum at any time. However, the final published version of the manuscript may not be deposited, posted, or later substituted for the postprint.

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Manuscript Categories

See Manuscript Format and Style, for detailed instructions on formatting documents.

Original Articles

Original Articles should be arranged in the following order: title page, structured abstract, introduction (no heading), Research Design and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Acknowledgments, References, tables, and figure legends.

  • A structured abstract is required for all Original Articles. Abstracts for an Original Article should not exceed 250 words. (This is not to be confused with abstracts submitted to the Annual Scientific Meeting, for which the word limit is higher.) The abstract must be self-contained and clear without reference to the text and should be written for a general journal readership. The abstract format should include four sections: Objective (the purpose or hypothesis of study), Research Design and Methods (the basic design, setting, number of participants and selection criteria, treatment or intervention, and methods of assessment), Results (significant data found), and Conclusions (the validity, limitations, and clinical applicability of the study and its results).
  • The article Research Design and Methods section contains the study design, definitions of terms used in describing the research, population or samples used for the study, measurements obtained and methods used for making them, statistical analysis plan, and any features of the methods used that are specific to this particular research. It should be as concise as possible but provide sufficient detail that a reader can understand all critical aspects of the study without consulting prior publications or supplementary material.
  • The article Results section describes the main objective data and the results of the statistical analyses performed using them should be included as results. Neither further information on the methods used nor interpretation of the implications of findings should appear among the results—these belong in the Methods and Conclusions sections, respectively.
  • The article Conclusions section should briefly summarize the study’s main findings and place them in context of past research related to the topic of the article. In particular, it describes how the present observations add new information. Possible clinical relevance of the findings can be discussed but should avoid claims of superiority beyond the study’s context, particularly when modest but statistically significant differences are found that are of uncertain clinical significance. It is desirable to identify both the strengths and limitations of the study and its findings. 
  • The word count limit for Original Articles is 4,000 words, excluding words in tables, table legends, figure legends, title page, acknowledgments, and references. 
  • The article should contain no more than 40 references and the reference section should be single spaced with justified margins.
  • The article should contain no more than a combination of 4 tables and/or figures.
  • A conflict-of-interest statement for all authors must be included in the Acknowledgments section of the main document, which should follow the main text and precede the references. If there are no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose, authors should indicate as such in the Acknowledgments section.
  • In the case of multicenter studies, authors should provide a list of participating investigators in an appendix to the paper. Papers will not be reviewed if this information is not included.
  • Where appropriate, clinical and epidemiological studies should be analyzed to see if there is an effect of sex or ethnicity. If there is no effect, it should be stated as such in the Results section.
  • Randomized Clinical Trial Reporting. Authors of reports on randomized controlled trials are required to use the instructions and checklist in the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement. The instructions and checklist are designed to ensure that information pertinent to the trial is included in the study report. CONSORT information may be included in a supplemental material online-only file so that it does not affect word count limitations.
  • All clinical trials submitted to Diabetes Care for consideration of publication must be registered with a clinical trial registry approved by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Please see Clinical Trials for more information.

Novel Communications in Diabetes

Novel Communications in Diabetes are designed to provide new and exciting findings in clinical research or clinical care in one or more of the following areas:

  • the feasibility of a "proof of concept" principle or idea
  • a novel or innovative finding considered as a pilot study when planning for a larger trial
  • results from early phase human investigation from a small number of subjects including “first in human” studies
  • new technical advances (i.e., early research on artificial pancreas, glucose monitoring) or advances in diagnostic testing
  • studies defining a novel molecular target
  • studies that challenge current thinking for clinical management or novel approach to behavioral management
  • case report/case studies that represent a unique or novel finding on disease presentation or treatment effects

Novel Communications are not intended to be short reports on studies that are not powered for larger trials or to simply confirm findings from other studies.

structured abstract of no more than 150 words is required. The abstract must be self-contained and concise, without reference citations, and written for a general journal readership. The abstract should be followed by a short introduction (2–3 sentences) and four concise sections: Research Design and Methods, Results, Conclusions, and References. References are limited to no more than 15. In addition, Novel Communications may contain only one table or one figure.

The format of the title page, margins, text, table, figure, and font size for Novel Communications is the same as for Original Articles. Manuscripts should be double spaced, written in Arial or Times New Roman 12-point font, and saved as a .doc, .txt, or .rtf file. See "Main Document" and "Text composition."

The word count limit for Novel Communications is 1,350 words, including the 150 word abstract. Tables, figures, legends, the title page, acknowledgments, and references are not included in the word count.

Author contributions, statement of guarantor, and conflict-of-interest disclosures for all authors must be included in the Acknowledgments. If authors have no relevant conflict of interest to disclose, it should be indicated as such.

Epidemiological integrity.  Diabetes Care receives a large number of submissions with an epidemiological foundation. These largely, but not exclusively, come from hospital clinics, with data derived from electronic medical records or long-established population-based studies. The populations available for these studies may not truly represent the city/area from where they are derived or national demographics. The socio-economic status of the population, different models of health care (for example state funded or private), and ethnicity are some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration. Submissions from existing records or databases should discuss whether the findings and conclusions are applicable only to that population or can be extrapolated to a more general population, perhaps on a national basis. Authors prospectively planning studies, who would like the results to be relevant outside of their clinic, for example, should take care to include a proportion of subjects who are representative of the ethnicity, socio-economic demographic, and health care systems in that area or nation.


All letters are published online only. Letters are listed in the table of contents of the print version and are assigned an E-page number. Each letter is assigned a unique DOI; when citing a letter, include the DOI  (e.g., 10.2337/dcXX-XXXX).

Letters do not have abstracts and should not exceed 500 words for comments and responses or 750 words for Observations(excluding a maximum of 5 references). As with all submissions, letters should be double-spaced and include a title page.

Diabetes Care accepts three types of letters:

  • Comment Letters comment on a recently published article and should include the cited paper as reference 1 in the reference list. It should be submitted within 3 months of the article's issue publication. Comment letters do not have tables or figures.
  • Response Letters are an invited letter from the cited author that replies to the comment letter and should include the comment letter as reference 1 in the reference list. Response letters do not have tables or figures.
  • Observation Letters comment on a relevant finding related to clinical care or research or present a case report/case study. Observation letters are allowed either one table or one figure.

All letters require a signed manuscript submission form from the author(s). A conflict-of-interest statement for all authors must be included in the acknowledgments section of the main document. If there are no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose, authors should indicate as such in the acknowledgments section.

All letters are freely accessible to readers upon publishing.


Commentaries normally accompany an original article and are invited by the editors. Instructions will be provided at the time of solicitation.

Clinical Images in Diabetes

Clinical Images in Diabetes are intended to provide modern views on the pathogenesis of diabetes or its complications, with the aim of linking the clinical course of diabetes and related pathologies with their underlying physiological mechanisms. By presenting highly novel clinical summaries regarding one to no more than three patient descriptions per article, Clinical Images in Diabetes serves as a valuable educational tool to better understand the pathophysiology of diabetes, enhance disease diagnosis, and offer guidance for optimized clinical treatments.

Importantly, although often presented within the context of a case(s), the Clinical Images in Diabetes section is not intended as a primary vehicle for traditional brief/case reports where novel insights and the use of cutting edge diagnostic/treatment tools are lacking. All submissions must include original images or videos as well as useful insight. Images may include, but are not limited to, histopathological specimens, MRI or CT scans, or other radiological imaging techniques.

All submissions will be subjected to rigorous peer review, with novelty and reader interest a high priority for editorial decisions. All submissions will also be evaluated based on how the contribution adheres to the intent of Clinical Images in Diabetes by judging how it advances understanding of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

Submissions should include 1–2 figures or videos. All figures must meet the quality standards outlined in Figures. Video submissions are encouraged and may be submitted in any of the standard formats (e.g., .avi, .mov, etc.). Please submit a separate still image for each video file. More information on video submissions can be found in Video. Figures, videos, and still images should be uploaded as separate files.

Note: Any information that might identify a patient or hospital, including a date, should be removed from the image or video. Written permission from the patient, or parent or guardian of a minor child, is required for publication of recognizable images in all forms and media.

The written portion of the submission should include the following:

  • A standard title page with no more than four authors
  • A bulleted summary of 5–10 points (200 words or fewer) summarizing the main narrative and including information such as diagnosis, patient characteristics, biological markers, etc.
  • A main narrative of 800 words or fewer
  • A standard acknowledgments section
  • A reference list with 10 or fewer citations
  • A legend for each figure and video

All authors should consent to the standard ADA copyright and authorship form (manuscript submission form). Standard page charges and fees for color figures will be applied.

Review Articles and Meta-analyses

Please read the criteria and formatting guidelines for meta-analyses and systematic review articles. A meta-analysis may be submitted to the journal without prior approval from the editors. Please query the journal's interest and provide a proposal (as detailed below) if you wish to submit an uninvited review article.

The proposal should include the following:

  1. Why this is an important topic to review, why it is best suited for Diabetes Care, and why the review would appeal to the readership
  2. The article's focus
  3. Major issue(s) to be addressed
  4. Source of original literature to be summarized (including from X year to Y year inclusive)
  5. Method used
  6. All author bios including the background of the author(s) and a description of expertise in the area to be discussed in the review. It is anticipated that the author(s) will have worked and published in the area covered by the review.

Lastly, the authors must disclose whether they propose to write the entire article themselves, whether they received any form of sponsorship or honorarium for the material, and whether a pharmaceutical company or its representative, was involved in the funding or authorship. In addition, the authors must point out any potential conflict of interest with a company whose products will be discussed in the review.

All proposals should be emailed (as Word document attachments) to Shannon Potts ( in the Editorial Office. Review Articles submitted without prior approval or invitation will be returned. All Review Articles (whether invited or by query) are subject to peer review.

Once approved, guidelines will be sent to the authors.


Editorials are generally by invitation. If you wish to submit an unsolicited editorial, please query first and provide an outlined proposal that includes the following:

  1. Cover letter explaining why author(s) are suited to write the article and their area of expertise and bios
  2. Brief background of the topic/problem
  3. Major issue to be discussed
  4. Strengths and weaknesses
  5. Why this is an important topic for the journal
  6. Potential future directions

Please send the proposal to Shannon Potts ( in the Editorial Office. Guidelines will be provided if approved for submission.


Perspectives are invited or approved for submission after proposal query. A Perspective highlights recent exciting research, not primarily that of the author(s), and may provide context for the findings within a field or explain potential interdisciplinary significance (similar to that of a Review Article).

Please follow the proposal outline decribed in Review Articles and Meta-analyses.

Please send the proposal to Shannon Potts ( in the Editorial Office. Guidelines will be provided if approved for submission.

Supplemental Issues

Supplemental issues must be approved prior to submission. A proposal for a supplemental issue should first be submitted to the Publications Department of the ADA ( and must specify the following:

  • The name of the organization(s) sponsoring and funding the supplement (not merely the name of the public relations agency handling its publication).
  • If the supplement is based on a symposium, where and when the symposium was held and how the speakers and papers were selected.
  • Whether authors will be paid and, if so, how much.

If the proposal is approved, it will be forwarded to the Editor of Diabetes Care. Initial approval by the ADA does not commit the Editor to accept a proposal in whole or part. All manuscripts are subject to the same peer review as other manuscripts in the journal.

For complete instructions on submitting a supplement, please contact the Editorial Office.

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Manuscript Format and Style

Articles must be in clear and understandable English. Nonnative English authors are encouraged to seek the assistance of an English- proficient colleague, or a communications agency, such as American Journal Experts, to help improve the clarity and readability of a paper before it is submitted to the journal.

For specific information on the parameters and limits for various manuscript categories (e.g., section headings, word limits, etc.), see Manuscript Categories.

Title Page

All submissions, regardless of article type, require a title page. The title page should include the following: full title; a short running title (less than 47 characters and spaces combined); the first name, middle initial, last name, and highest academic degree of each author; each author's affiliation (in English) during the time the study was conducted; contact information of the corresponding author (name, current address, telephone number, fax number, and email address); and the word count and number of tables and figures.

If two authors have equal authorship, it may be noted by * under the author list.

Main Document

The main document file includes the title page, abstract, main text, acknowledgements, references, tables, and figure legends, in that order. Please do not use headers, footers, or endnotes in your paper.

The Main Document should be in Word document format (not as a PDF). This will allow our Editorial Office to verify word count and our production staff to convert your paper (if accepted) into an article.

Text Composition

Articles should be written in clear, concise English following the recommendations for scientific writing found in Scientific Style and Format, the Council of Science Editors (CSE) style manual (7th ed., 2006, Reston, VA, Council of Science Editors). All accepted manuscripts will be edited according to the CSE style manual and The Chicago Manual of Style  (16th ed., 2010, Chicago, IL, The University of Chicago Press) by ADA professional publications staff. The authors are responsible for all statements made in their articles or editorials, including any editing changes made by staff. Proof pages will be sent to the corresponding author and should be read carefully.

The designations type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes should be used when referring to the two major forms of diabetes. Abbreviations for diabetes, such as T2D for type 2 diabetes, should not be used. The term diabetic should not be used as a noun.

All manuscripts should be double-spaced, in Arial or Times New Roman 12-point font, and saved as a .doc, .txt, or .rtf file. In addition, please do not lock or page protect your document, and avoid using footnote and endnote functions.

Abbreviations and Units

Abbreviations should be used only when necessary, e.g., for long chemical names (HEPES), procedures (ELISA), or terms used throughout the article. See the list of abbreviations that need not be defined; all others must be defined at first use. Abbreviate units of measure only when used with numbers. Abbreviations may be used in tables and figures. The American Medical Association style manual contains lists of standard scientific abbreviations.

Clinical laboratory values and units should be in Système International (SI) form. Kilocalories should be used rather than kilojoules. 

HbA1c values should be dually reported as “% (mmol/mol).” Please use the NGSP’s HbA1c converter at to calculate HbA1c values as both % and mmol/mol.

Font and Margins

Text, including title and author names, should be in 12-point Arial or Times New Roman. Please avoid using boldface font. Text in tables should be no smaller than 10-point font. Margins should be 1' at the top and bottom and 1" on the left and right sides.


The acknowledgments are located after the main text and before the reference list. Acknowledgments should contain the author contributions paragraph, brief statements of assistance, the guarantor's name (person[s] taking responsibility for the contents of the article), funding/financial support, conflict of interest statement, and reference to prior publication of the study in abstract form, where applicable.


Please place the reference list after the main text and acknowledgments (if applicable). Original Articles are limited to 40 references. Letters are allowed 5 references. Review articles are allowed 60 references, and meta-analyses should have no more than 40 references.

Reference numbers in the text should appear in chronological order in normal type and in parentheses [e.g., "In the study by Norton et al. (23)..."]. Please do not use the footnote or endnote function to cite studies or create a reference list. A reference manager must have the ability to customize the display of references. For example, the reference application should have the option to list the references at the end of the paper, as opposed to listing the references as endnotes or footnotes at the bottom of each page, and should not embed the list in the text as a series of endnotes/footnotes. When using a reference manager (e.g., Thomson's EndNote Reference Program), don't forget to generate the list as a bibliography in a style suitable to Diabetes Care, and then save and submit as the final step to creating the references. Otherwise, references should be manually inserted.

All authors must be listed by first initials and last name in each reference, and please provide inclusive page numbers. Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the National Library of Medicine's List of Journals Indexed for Medline; for unlisted journals, please provide complete journal titles. Material in press may be cited, but copies of such material may be requested. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. Click here for examples of how references should be formatted.

Supplemental Material

Nonessential tables, figures, and/or videos may accompany articles as online-only supplemental material files, but authors are asked to include a comment to the editor at the time of manuscript submission that explains the rationale and justification for submitting and possibly posting the supplemental information.

All online-only supplemenal material files should be combined in one document file whenever possible and uploaded during the submission process. The file must be clearly labeled as "Online-Only Supplemental Material." In addition, supplemental material online-only files must be referenced in the main text of the manuscript at least once (e.g., Supplemental Table S1).

All online-only supplemental material files are subject to peer review but will not be composed, copyedited, or proofread by production staff. As such, authors are encouraged to review supplemental material files carefully before submission.

Lists that include names of principal investigators or writing groups may appear in print or as online-only supplemental material. Lists of names exceeding 150 words should be submitted as online-only supplemental material. Names of principal investigators or writing groups should otherwise be included in an in-text appendix, located at the end of the main document before the references.

Supplemental material containing very large datasets should be cited in the text with a URL to the material hosted on an author-affiliated website or data repository or may appear with a note that the data is available upon request to the author.


Each table should be inserted on a separate page at the end of the document with the table number, title, and legend indicated. Table legends should be inserted below the table and should not be included inside the table. Tables should be created using Word and the "Insert Table" command. Please use Arial or Times New Roman font, no smaller than 10 point. 

Tables with internal divisions are not allowed (i.e., Tables 1A and B) and should be submitted as individual tables (Tables 1 and 2). Please avoid using shading within a table. If a table includes data that require explanation in the legend, apply the following sequence of symbols, from top to bottom, left to right: *, †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, #, **, ††, ‡‡.


Diabetes Care uses digital publishing methods throughout the production process. If your article is accepted, it will be published in both the print and online journal. The following sections provide information on how to format your figures to ensure the best possible reproduction of your images.

Size. Figures should be produced at the size they are to appear in the printed journal. Please make sure your figures will fit in one, two, or three columns in width. Multipaneled figures should be assembled in a layout that leaves the least amount of blank space.

  • 1 column = 13 picas wide, 2.2 in, 5.6 cm
  • 2 columns = 28 picas wide, 4.6 in, 11.7 cm
  • 3 columns = 41 picas, 6.8 in, 17.3 cm

Font. At 100% size, fonts should be 8–10 points and used consistently throughout all figures.

Text. Information on the axes should be succinct, using abbreviations where possible, and the label on the y-axis should read vertically, not horizontally. Key information should be placed in any available white space within the figure; if space is not available, the information should be placed in the legend. In general, figures with multiple parts should be marked A, B, C, etc., with a description of each panel included in the legend rather than on the figure.

Line and bar graphs. Lines in graphs should be bold enough to be easily read after reduction, as should all symbols used in the figure. Data points are best marked with the following symbols, again assuring that they will be readily distinguishable after reduction: . In the figure legend, please use words rather than the symbols; e.g., "black circles = group 1; white squares = group 2; black bars = blood glucose; white bars = C-peptide." Bars should be black or white only, unless more than two datasets are being presented; additional bars should be drawn with clear bold hatch marks or stripes, not shades of gray.

Line or bar graphs and flow charts should be created in black and white (if more than two datasets, multiple bars can be drawn with clear, bold hatch marks or stripes) or color (see color printing fees), not shades of gray, which are difficult to reproduce in even tones.

Formatting digital figures files for print and online reproduction. To meet ADA’s quality standards for publication, it is important to submit digital art that conforms to the appropriate resolution, size, color mode, and file format. Doing so will help to avoid delays in publication and maximize the quality of images, both online and in print. Please refer to ADA's Digital Art Guidelines when preparing your files. If you are unable to provide files that meet the specifications outlined in these guidelines, you may submit your original source files (files from the program in which they were originally created).

Reproductions. If materials (e.g., figures and/or tables) are taken from other sources, the author must provide written permission for reproduction from the original publisher and author at the time of submission. In addition, the source should be cited at the end of the figure legend. For more information, refer to Permissions: Help for Authors.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to seek and obtain permission from copyright holders for reuse of any materials for intended publication in Diabetes Care

Figure legends. Figure legends should be clearly numbered. For review and production processes, figure legends should be included beneath the image as well as in a section at the end of the manuscript, clearly labeled as Figure Legends. 

Digital image manipulation. The American Diabetes Association has adopted the statement developed by the Journal of Cell Biology as its policy on the manipulation of digital images:

"No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. The grouping of images from different parts of the same gel, or from different gels, fields, or exposures must be made explicit by the arrangement of the figure (i.e., using dividing lines) and in the text of the figure legend. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if they are applied to the whole image and as long as they do not obscure, eliminate, or misrepresent any information present in the original, including backgrounds. Without any background information, it is not possible to see exactly how much of the original gel is actually shown. Non-linear adjustments (e.g., changes to gamma settings) must be disclosed in the figure legend."

All digital images in manuscripts accepted for publication will be scanned using image forensics software for any indication of improper manipulation. Cases of questionable or inappropriate image alterations will be referred to the Association’s Subcommittee on Ethical Scientific Publications (ESP). The ESP may request the original data from the authors for comparison to the prepared figures. If the authors fail to provide the original data, the acceptance of the manuscript will be revoked. Cases of deliberate misrepresentation of data will result in revocation of acceptance, and will be reported to the corresponding author's home institution and/or funding agency as appropriate.

For examples of what constitutes improper digital manipulation (as well as other forms of scientific misconduct), ADA encourages authors to refer to the 2006 editorial by the Journal of Clinical Investigation titled "Stop Misbehaving!" In addition, authors are encouraged to refer to Adobe's white paper on using Photoshop CS3 Extended in biomedical imaging. The paper provides useful information on maintaining image integrity, editing nondestructively, and the medical and scientific image workflow.


Authors are encouraged to submit videos to be published in the online version of the article, with a still image from the video to appear in the PDF and print versions. Still images are encouraged, but not required, and should represent as best as possible the main subject of the video. Video files should be clearly labeled as "Video 1," "Video 2," etc., and still images should be named "Video 1 Still Image," etc. Each video must be cited in the text, and a legend must accompany each video. Video legends should include labels that correspond with the in-text citation and should be placed after the figure legends in the manuscript.

Videos can also be submitted as supplemental material and should be appropriately labeled, e.g., "Online Supplemental Video S1." Supplemental material videos are not required to have legends.

Most video formats are acceptable, including .avi, .flv, .mov, .mp4, .swf, .wav, .wma, .wmv, and more. For helpful information about creating videos, please visit the Video Creation Guide.

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Submitting a Manuscript

Once you've read the complete Instructions for Authors, submit your manuscript to Diabetes Care at

Manuscripts should be submitted under the user account of the designated corresponding author (the contact person listed on the title page of the manuscript). 

Revisions should observe all formatting requirements and word limits. When submitting a revision, access the Author Center, and select “Create a Revision” to ensure the revision is submitted with the same manuscript number as the original submission. When revising your manuscript, please show corrections by using the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word. Please be sure to respond to all reviewer comments on the original submission. Be sure to upload the complete set of files with your revision(s), including all tables and figures.

Plain Lanuage Summary
ADA partners with Kudos to help increase article impact. Authors are encouraged to enter a plain language summary during article submission to be used for promotion of the article. The Kudos service allows authors to explain and share their latest articles and to access a comprehensive overview of article usage, altmetric, and other behavioral data in a dashboard view. Including a plain language summary is not required during article submission, and Kudos services are free for ADA authors. More about Kudos is available at

For questions regarding submission or any part of the peer-review process, please contact the Diabetes Care Editorial Office.

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Accepted Manuscripts

To make new research readily available to subscribers, Diabetes Care publishes original research articles online ahead of print. For detailed information on online ahead of print articles, see Prepublication of Research Articles.

The designated corresponding author will receive notification of availability of page proofs by email. Corrections should be returned promptly upon receipt of the proof. Failure to do so may delay the publication of the article.

Correspondence concerning the copyediting and proofreading of accepted manuscripts should be addressed to Tessa Cooper, Editorial Content Manager, at

Correspondence concerning the production of accepted articles and availability of page proofs should be addressed to Saleha Malik at

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Financial Obligations for Accepted Manuscripts

Article-processing charges are assessed for non-invited articles to help defray the costs related to the peer review, editorial production and publication, access and dissemination, and archiving and indexing of articles published in Diabetes Care.

Beginning January 1, 2020, the per-page rate is $160 per typeset journal page; color figures no longer incur a processing fee.

In addition, Diabetes Care now offers an “Open Choice” option for authors who wish to make their final published article immediately accessible to nonsubscribers. By paying an additional article-processing charge of $220 per page, authors may elect to have their articles freely available on the journal's website immediately after the final version of the article is published online and in print. Upon receipt of payment and on behalf of the author, ADA will also deposit the final version of the published paper into PubMed Central. 

Authors will receive an invoice for publication fees, as well as a reprint order form, when page proofs become available. Unless otherwise indicated, it is assumed that the corresponding author takes responsibility for payment. Questions regarding billing or payment should be directed to

ADA recognizes that authors, their institutions, or their funding bodies, particularly those from low-income countries, may be unable to meet these financial obligations. In such cases, authors should submit requests for discounts or waivers of article-processing charges of accepted papers by e-mail to

It should be noted that payment of publication fees or waiver status does not in any way influence the editorial decision-making process or the publication of any paper submitted to ADA journals.

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Last updated April 2020

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