18. Publications

The Society will ensure the publication of scientific journals as part of its aim to create a platform of exchange of information, discussion and debate. The Society is also committed to inform its membership by means of a newsletter, published 3 times per year.


Three scientific journals are published:

  • Human Reproduction (HR)
  • Human Reproduction Update (HRU)
  • Molecular Human Reproduction (MHR)

Matters related to the publication of these Journals are handled by the Publications Committee and reported back to the Executive Committee who will take all formal decisions. The Executive Committee will appoint an Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editors for each journal . Would-be Editors-in-Chief would have to be availability (i.e. would need to have sufficient time to work on the journal) and should have no conflicts of interest with either commercial companies, nor with other societies. Editors-in-Chief should have their main residence within Europe.

All Editors-in-Chief and Deputy-editors are engaged following an agreed contract with the Society.


The Editors-in-Chief will be appointed for a term of 3 years, with the possibility of renewal for one further (and final) term of three years.

Editors-in-Chief are selected as follows:

  • A selection committee consisting of the three Chairmen and the current Editors-in-Chief (EIC) are responsible for the pre-selection.
  • After having served the journals for 6 years (2 x a term of three years) the current EIC’s should step down from their position. Neither of them can apply to become the new EIC for any other HR journal (or for that matter the same HR journal), immediately after the end of the 6 years’ term.
  • However, it could be possible for past EIC’s to apply for the vacant EIC positions in case a period of at least 3 years is in between the end of their last term and the start of a new term.
  • In addition the current Deputy Editors could apply for the vacant positions.
  • Candidates can only apply for one of the three vacant EIC positions. In this way, continuity could be ensured provided they are found to be suitable candidates.

The vacancies will be advertised in the HR journals and on the ESHRE website. As such, suitable candidates could be interviewed and then a final selection could be made to be ratified by Executive Committee.

The Editors-in-Chief have the freedom to choose Associate Editors (AE’s), but the Executive Committee should always ratify these new appointments.

The Editors-in-Chief shall - in consultation with the Society and the Publisher, and subject to the Society’s approval - determine the scope of the subject matter to be covered by each Journal.

The Editor-in-Chief shall use his best endeavours to ensure that all contributions submitted to the Publisher for publication in the Journal:

  • are of good quality, relevant and in good English;
  • are original, have not already been published in whole or substantial part, and do not infringe the copyright or other property rights of any other person;
  • do not contain any scandalous, libellous, obscene, unlawful or otherwise objectionable material; and
  • conform to the Instructions to Authors drawn up by the Society and the Publisher as amended from time to time.

The Editor-in-Chief shall as soon as possible bring to the Publisher's attention any matter contained in any contributions submitted for publication in the Journal that he believes may not comply with the above mentioned requirements

The Editor-in-Chief shall be responsible for having all contributions to the Journal for which he is responsible vetted by an appropriate associate member or members, and such other referees eminent in the relevant field as may be required by the Society, prior to publication in the Journal. The Editor-in-Chief shall undertake to pass to another editor of the Journal for selection of referees, editorial changes, and decision any manuscripts for which he has, or could be perceived to have, a conflict of interest.

The Society or the Publisher shall have the right at their sole discretion at any time to decline to publish the whole or any part of any contribution submitted for publication in the Journal.

The Editor-in-Chief shall make all reasonable efforts to process submissions quickly, and shall aim to communicate to submitting authors within 40 days of submission an initial decision to accept, to accept conditional on revisions, or to reject. The Editor-in-Chief shall in collaboration with the editorial office of the Journal maintain records of submissions to the Journal, including: author's name, title of article, date of first receipt of article, names of referees, date that article is sent to referees, referees' recommendations, date of receipt of referees' recommendations, decision to accept, to accept with revisions or to reject, date that decision is communicated to the author, and equivalent data for any revised submissions. The Society and the Publisher shall have the right to review such records, and the Editor-in-Chief shall, if requested by the Society or the Publisher and within two weeks of any such request, provide the Society or the Publisher with a copy of the records.

The Editor-in-Chief shall report in person at the Publications Sub-committee meetings on the performance and progress of the Journal and shall normally attend the Annual Meeting of the Society.

The Editor-in-Chief shall act as an independent contractor for, and shall not be an employee of, the Society. He will receive an honorarium and expense budget as agreed upon in the contract.

The Editors-in-chief have to inform the Society if there are conflicting interests, going back no longer than 5 years.

The Society, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chiefs, may appoint a total of two Deputy Editors for HR and one for MHR and one for HRU to assist them in the performance of their duties.


For each journal there are a given number of Associate Editors. Associate Editors will be proposed by the Editors-in-Chief (after consultation with the Managing Editors and members of the Publications Sub-committee) and their appointment will be approved by the Executive Committee.


An official publishing house is appointed by the Executive Committee. The collaboration with the publisher will be subject to a formal contract approved by the Executive Committee and signed by the Chairman.


The Editorial Office manages all editorial activities related to intake, refereeing and publication of manuscripts submitted for the journals. The Editorial Office is composed of two Managing Editors, supported by appropriate and necessary assistance.


The Publication Ethics Officer is an ESHRE designated person that may be called upon by the editorial team of an ESHRE journal to provide assistance and guidance in solving matters concerning publication ethics that involve ESHRE publications. This regards scientific work submitted for publication in one of the ESHRE journals or for presentation at the ESHRE annual meeting. The Publication Ethics Officer will be provided with all relevant documents and correspondence regarding potential misconduct in a particular ESHRE publication and will evaluate the related decisions in accordance with COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) and ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) policies. The Publication Ethics Officer will work primarily with the journal editors, as well as with the ESHRE Publications Committee leadership, but also with authors and readers to evaluate possible ethical breaches and make recommendations .

This position requires a person with advanced studies in the biomedical sciences, requiring considerable experience and expertise in science publishing, comprehensive knowledge of all forms of scientific and publishing misconduct, excellent organizational and writing skills, the ability to conduct thorough investigations, regular coordination with various stakeholders and institutions, sound judgment, and some familiarity with and willingness to become an expert in libel and defamation. If necessary the journals’ publisher and ESHRE will provide training in technical areas such as the use of tools for digital analysis of figures for inappropriate manipulation and plagiarism software .

The position of Publication Ethics Officer is a voluntary position and only reasonable travel and hotel expenses are covered. Ethical problems picked up by the Editors-in-Chief are to be forwarded to the Publication Ethics Officer when input from the latter would be required (e.g. in cases of obvious plagiarism no such input would be required). When the Publication Ethics Officer’s input/advice is needed the Executive Committee should be informed as well. All agreed that a final decision in ethical cases should be the result of discussion and agreement between the EIC, the Publication Ethics Officer and the Chair/Executive Committee. The Publication Ethics Officer’s term of office should be 2 + 2 years .

An ESHRE-related paper is a paper produced by an ESHRE group (a Special Interest Group, a Task Force, a Working Group etc.), under the name of ESHRE. ESHRE-related papers can be published in Human Reproduction in two ways: either in the special section of Human Reproduction dedicated to ESHRE related publications (“ESHRE Pages”) as a non-peer reviewed paper, or via the normal submission and peer review process.

This guideline explains which ESHRE related papers are considered appropriate for each of the two types of publication, and how they should be presented

Papers considered appropriate for publication in the ESHRE Pages of Human Reproduction include: guidelines, position papers, consensus papers, recommendation documents, and data and monitoring papers. These articles may be considered for publication in the ESHRE Pages in Human Reproduction (HR), following the procedures described below.
Normal manuscript length for articles published in Human Reproduction is between 3-4000 words. Wherever possible, articles to be considered for the ESHRE Pages should fall within these word limits. However, it is accepted that this will be difficult or impractical for certain types of manuscript, in which case other options for their publication may be available. These include the publication of the full version online, with a shortened, concise version published in print, as well as making full use of supplementary data for all non-essential tables and figures. All articles published under the ESHRE Pages banner will be made free access (freely available to all without need for subscription). There is no need to request full Open Access, which in addition to cost, also carries important article reuse implications.
The Executive Committee itself can also commission papers/documents and assign this task to the relevant Special Interest Group(s), Task Force(s), Consortium or other groups.

Before the initiation of a position paper, consensus paper, or recommendation document approval from the Executive Committee should be obtained. There will be no guarantee of publication, even if an approval of the project as such was received initially from the Executive Committee. Proposals to initiate such a paper should contain the following parts: title of the paper; name of the applying Working group or Guideline group; full name of corresponding author; co-authors full names; background; abstract; requested resources; proposed submission time.
Once the proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee, and the paper has been written, it will be made public on the ESHRE website, allowing members to submit comments, advice for improvements etc. during a period of 1 month. All comments will be evaluated and (if appropriate) incorporated into the paper, which will then be referred to the Executive Committee for final review and approval. Once the paper has been reviewed and approved in its final version by the Executive Committee the submission to HR will be carried out by the Central Office. If considered necessary, the Executive Committee can ask to have the paper reviewed by external reviewers. Position papers, consensus papers and recommendation documents – when approved by the Executive Committee – can be published in full length in Human Reproduction’s ‘ESHRE Pages’. The authorship must be stated as per the following example: “The ESHRE Working Group xxxxx”, with the name of the individual authors listed thereafter. For citation purposes, the name of the working group should be used.

The initiation of a Guideline should also be approved by the Executive Committee. Once written and approved, the full guideline will be published on the ESHRE website with free access. A short version (1-2 pages) will be published in the Human Reproduction ESHRE Pages. The authorship must be stated as per the following example: “The ESHRE Guideline Group on xxxxx”, with the name of the individual authors listed thereafter. For citation purposes, the name of the guideline group should be used. Individuals or centers contributing with data should be listed as “collaborators” or as “contributors” (see definition below) in an appendix.

The annual data collection and data monitoring papers produced by ESHRE Consortia groups (such as EIM or PGD Consortium) result directly from the Consortia activities and there is therefore no need to ask for the explicit approval from the Executive Committee to write them. These papers do not need to go through normal peer review and can be published in the ESHRE Pages of Human Reproduction. However, the paper should be sent in to the ESHRE Central Office for notification before submission. The authorship must be stated as per the following example: “The ESHRE xxxx Consortium", with the name of the individual authors listed thereafter. For citation purposes, the name of the working group should be used. Individuals or centers contributing with data should be listed as “collaborators” or as “contributors” (see definition below) in an appendix.

Definitions of authorship according to PubMed

  • An 'author' is listed in the by-line of the article immediately after the working group and will be searchable in PubMed.
  • A 'collaborator' will not be listed on the by-line, but will be searchable in PubMed.
  • A 'contributor' will not be listed on the by-line and will not be searchable in PubMed; they will be listed in the Appendix of the article PDF.

Ordinary submission
Research papers (scientific studies and reviews) sponsored by ESHRE do not have to be approved by the Executive Committee for publication, but should go through normal submission and peer review process. ESHRE-sponsored studies should be submitted first to an ESHRE journal. They will not be published in the ESHRE Pages section of the journal. In these instances, ESHRE has to be recognized as sponsor of the study.
Peer reviewed papers being published with the name of ESHRE in it and/or produced by ESHRE related groups (Special Interest Groups, Task Forces etc.) should be sent to the ESHRE office for notification before submission.

A newsletter, entitled Focus on Reproduction will be published three times per year. The Executive Committee will appoint a free-lance subcontractor or free-lance writer (subject to contractual agreement) to ensure the production of the newsletter in close consultation with the Communications Committee.

It was agreed to allow commercial advertisement, but only with the following restrictions:

  • Restrict advertising to certain pages
  • Restrict it to certain types of advertising (cf. Final programme of the Annual Meeting); no advertising on other meetings.