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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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DOJ Instructions for Authors

Editorial policies

Dermatology Online Journal (DOJ) is a refereed journal published by UC Davis-Dermatology. Original manuscripts will be considered for publication. Information that has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere will not be accepted. Manuscripts that appear to meet the goals of the Journal will be reviewed by two independent Reviewers before a decision is made on publication (Case Presentations, Photo Vignettes, and Letters may sometimes be reviewed by one independent Reviewer). Authors have the option of submitting their work for blind peer review when uploading their manuscript. This ensures that all identifying Author information is removed from the text before being sent to Reviewers. Otherwise, an open peer review process will be conducted. The Journal charges no fees for submission or reviewing, but a fee is levied for publication (and corrections post publication [see Submission Checklist]). Authors who have a new concept for on-line presentation are invited to contact the Editors to initiate a dialog. Published articles are indexed in, and appear in PubMed a month after publication.

Please refer to our Policies page for additional information.

Features of Dermatology Online Journal

  • Case Reports: More detailed individual case reports of unusual interest.
  • Case Presentations: Patient presentations with interesting clinical course or findings.
  • Photo Vignette: Brief demonstrations of information with the use of images. Images are much better than words in the demonstration of subtle clinical findings.
  • Letters: Brief letters to the Editor that comment on previous articles or that involve brief patient presentations. An abstract should NOT be included.
  • Review: In-depth up-to-date literature review and discussions on topics of interest to the teaching and practice of dermatology.
  • Commentary: Discussions on topics of interest to the teaching and practice of dermatology.
  • Original Articles: Original in-depth clinical and investigative laboratory research articles.

Pre-submission instructions

Before beginning, please download the appropriate Microsoft Word template consistent with your article category.

There are 3 Templates available. Please ensure you have downloaded the applicable Template from the links below. All sections within the Template are to be populated, including the complete contact information for Corresponding Author. Please choose a Corresponding Author with a permanent email address. Article publication can be greatly delayed if email addresses change or Corresponding Author changes institutions.

Template 1: For Case Reports, Case Presentations, Photo Vignettes

Template 2: For Reviews and Commentary

Template 3: For Original Articles

Template 4: For Letters

All Case Reports, Presentations and Photo Vignettes require both clinical and histological images. Please be sure that images are not blurry and are large enough to clearly see the condition. Submissions may be rejected without full review for poor quality images. Images should be in good focus and submitted in JPEG format of file size <500KB. Histological images may include a scale bar.

See discussion regarding patient consent below. Upload the completed Submission Checklist and check that it is the correct version (most current is August 2021 version).

Formatting your article

After downloading the applicable Template, populate your manuscript contents into the Template. Please do not reformat your manuscript draft to the Template style. Instead, we require that Authors enter the contents of their manuscript into the Template that has been downloaded. This will be the submission file.

Please ensure that Figures and Tables are submitted as separate files. Please upload these as supplementary files. Figure Legends, however, should be entered as directed by the Template format.

It is crucial to select the correct Microsoft Word Template to prepare your submission. Articles not submitted in the Template will be returned to the Author.

Transmitting your work to the Journal and copyright information

Once you have finished populating your manuscript contents into the Template, please follow the submission form at the Submit button above. You will receive an email confirmation once your submission has been successfully submitted.

To assist in preparation of your manuscript download, complete, and submit the correct version (currently: August 2021 version) of the Journal Submission Checklist.

By submitting your article for publication, you grant The Regents of the University of California the right to publish it and associated images in electronic format (on the Internet or as a CD-ROM version of the Internet site) or in paper format of the digital version in the Dermatology Online Journal. Please refer to the Policies page for detailed copyright information.

Original articles may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Patient Consent

A signed statement of informed consent must be obtained to publish patient descriptions, photographs, video, medical information, and pedigrees from all persons (parents or legal guardians for minors) who can be identified, even by the individual themselves. Omitting data to make the information less identifiable is acceptable in some cases, though changing the data is not permitted. Note that blocking the eyes is not acceptable.

Please only provide patient details that are essential for the understanding or interpretation of a report. Although the specificity of patient information depends on context, specific ages, race/ethnicity, and other sociodemographic details should rarely be presented. Please do not submit masked photographs of patients. Patients' initials or other personal identifiers must not appear in an image.

Patient consent, obtained on DOJ’s template, or an equivalent, must be held by author/institution. Besides our DOJ consent form, we do permit institutional consent forms that specify consent for publication of images and personal health information. Possession of this consent form must be attested to in the Submission Checklist. The Submission Checklist must be uploaded onto our site as a supplemental file.

Submitting Revisions

If revisions are requested, please submit a "marked" copy of the manuscript with the changes highlighted. In addition, you should submit a detailed point-by-point response describing how you have addressed each of the comments of the reviewers and editors, including your reasons for not taking their guidance in cases where you disagree. This can take the form of a cover letter that is part of your main file and lists out all editorial comments/questions, with your response and changes listed underneath each.

When you are ready, please upload a single new file with the following order: Cover letter that lists and addresses each editor's questions or concerns, main manuscript with all changes highlighted in a new color, references, figures, figure Legends, tables. Please note that if revisions are requested for tables or figures, make sure to replace the old figures/tables with the new ones in your main text file. Do not keep both versions in the same file.

Accepted Articles

Upon acceptance of your work, all final figures, tables, and/or media with corresponding legends should be compiled into a final word document to be submitted to the eScholarship website. This document must contain the final versions of all materials (including supplementary figures) that will be used in the publication of your manuscript.

Image Requests

  1. For any requests to use images from DOJ, use the request form found here.
  2. Once the request form is filled out, please email the completed request form and relevant images to the Journal email (
  3. Please attach your requested images along with the form.


Manuscripts should conform to acceptable language usage. The Authors may offer a parallel translation to another language, but the editorial review will be done on the primary language of the manuscript, English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Abbreviations must be used minimally and be limited primarily to those in general usage. Generic drug names must be used. If a trade name is included, it should follow the generic name in parentheses the first time mentioned. Thereafter, only generic names should be used. Weights and measurements should be expressed in metric units and temperatures in degrees centigrade. Patient descriptions, as in case reports, should not contain identifying information.

We discourage sentences that begin with most abbreviations, initializations, and numbers/symbols. For example, following the first time Lichen planus is used in an article, it can be placed in parentheses (LP) so that LP is used in the remainder of the article. However, when there is a sentence that begins with the phrase it should be written out as Lichen planus and not LP.

The Editors encourage the use of more than one pathway of presentation of the material which might allow the reader greater flexibility in viewing. Items may link back to the primary manuscript path or link to additional supplemental content.

If a manuscript is in Spanish or Portuguese, please include English translations of the Abstract and all figure and table legends.

Images and tables

Images/Figures and Tables must be submitted separately from the manuscript and submitted as individual files. Please label files appropriately (i.e. Figure 1, Table 1). Figures and/or Tables must be referenced within the main text, and must be accompanied by figure legends or table titles.

The use of images is required for some Article Categories (please see above in Pre-Submission Instructions). Manuscripts must include in-text references to Figures and Tables; Authors may indicate the appropriate location of the figures within the text. Clinical photographs should be saved in JPEG compression format. The minimal accepted size for images is 1024*768 pixels, and image files should be <500 KB in size. Larger files are difficult to handle for Reviewers, particularly when several images are present, and will delay review and processing. The journal edits the images to arrange them in-line with text; accordingly, do not include text labeling of subpanels (e.g., 'A,' 'B,' etc) in a figure montage.

Possession of signed consent of subjects must be attested to in the Submission Checklist. Identifying personal features, such as jewelry or tattoos, must be cropped or obscured from photographs. No photographs with identifiable features will be published unless there is a specific need, AND permission has been granted in writing for this use, and may be requested by journal editors.

Tables should be submitted separately as a Word text document in Table format and not as an image.

Human and animal rights

Any work involving the use of human subjects or animals requires formal review by a institutional review board or ethics committee. This should be detailed in the Methods section.

Conflicts of interest

All Authors must disclose any financial or personal affiliations or relationships with individuals or organizations that could potentially influence (bias) the Authors' work/manuscript. Examples include employment, consultant positions, stock ownership, honoraria, expert testimony, patents, grants or other funding sources. Please include this statement in the Title Page.


Please refer to our specifications below for formatting of references. Although we had offered a plugin in the past for one reference manager we are unable to endorse any specific utility program. It is the responsibility of authors to format their reference lists appropriately because manuscripts with inappropriate reference formatting will not be processed for publication.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of citations. Reference citations within the article should be in numerical order and noted with square brackets followed by punctuation, as in [2,3,6], or [1-3]. If necessary one may also place a citation in the middle of a sentence (The sentence may need to pinpoint the citation to a specific comment [5] and not link it to the subsequent remarks). The same format should be applied to Tables and Figure/Table legends.

In the Reference section, list the references in the order of citation appearing within the text, and by a simple number at the start of a line followed by a period and tab mark. Citations with more than 5 Authors/Editors should list the first 3 followed by 'et al.' Use the citation format of PubMed, including the PMID number, but no DOI information, and NO issue numbers in parentheses:

Example References:

Five Authors, or less:
1. Saleem MD, Oussedik E, Schoch JJ, Berger AC, Picardo M. Acquired disorders with depigmentation: A systematic approach to vitiliginoid conditions. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019;80:1215-1231.e6. [PMID: 30236516].
2. Callen JP. Neutrophilic dermatoses. Dermatol Clin. 2002;20:409-19. [PMID: 12170875].
More than five Authors:
3. Saez M, Garcia-Bustinduy M, Noda A, et al. Drug-induced Sweet's syndrome. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2004;18:233. [PMID: 15009320].

4. Lee C, Koo J. Psychocutaneous Diseases. In: Dermatology. Bolognia J, Jorizzo J, Schaffer J, editors. 3rd ed. Elsevier Limited; 2012. p. 127-34.

Web link:

5. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009 (Vintage 2009 Populations). 2012. Accessed on April 1, 2001.

Only in the absence of an identifying PMID for a citation is a DOI tag is to be inserted in its place, as in: [DOI: 10.1109/5.771073].

Errata and corrigenda

Contact the Editors early for corrections to submitted manuscripts. The Corresponding Author(s) accepts responsibility for accuracy of all content in submitted articles. Any changes post publication may be made to manuscripts at the Editor's discretion. Corrections in names, affiliations, or contact information after publication may incur processing charges--see below.

Fee schedule