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Instructions to authors

Introduction

Submission and how to contact the journal's editorial office

Laboratory Medicine is a quarterly print and online publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts related to all subspecialties of laboratory medicine that promote continuing education in the clinical laboratory sciences. If you wish to submit a manuscript for consideration, please read the following guidelines.

All manuscripts are submitted and reviewed via the journal's web-based manuscript submission system, ScholarOne. New authors should create an account prior to submitting a manuscript for consideration. Instructions on how to create an account and submit a manuscript can be found here.

Questions about submitting to the journal should be sent to the editorial office at molly.strzelecki@ascp.org.

Peer review process

All submissions to the journal are initially reviewed by one of the Editors. The process includes:
  • Ensuring that the author(s) have followed the format and content requirements indicated above
  • Sending the manuscript to a minimum of 2 reviewers who have expertise in the subject area of the manuscript
  • The reviewers' use of a structured review form that is subsequently sent to the contact author for response
  • The requirement that author(s) respond to each numbered item on the reviewer's list in a point-by-point fashion with return of the revised manuscript, incorporating the edits indicated by the reviewer(s)
  • The requirement for an explanation for any reviewer-suggested edits that are considered by the author(s) to be incorrect or inappropriate

     

    At this stage manuscripts may be rejected without peer review if it is felt that they are not of high enough priority or not relevant to the journal. This fast rejection process means that authors are given a quick decision and do not need to wait for the review process.

    Manuscripts that are not instantly rejected are sent out for peer review, usually to two independent reviewers. Based on the feedback from these reviewers and the Editors’ judgment a decision is given on the manuscript. The average time from submission to first decision is 4 to 6 weeks.

    If a paper is not acceptable in its present form, we will pass on suggestions for revisions to the author.

    Ethics

    Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Commission on Publication Ethics (COPE). Falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors’ own work without proper citation, and misappropriation of the work are all unacceptable practices. Any cases of ethical misconduct are treated very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.

    Third-party copyright

    In order to reproduce any third party material, including tables, figures, or images, in an article authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder and be compliant with any requirements the copyright holder may have pertaining to this reuse. When seeking to reproduce any kind of third party material authors should request the following:

     

  • non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material in the specified article and journal;
  • print and electronic rights, preferably for use in any form or medium;
  • the right to use the material for the life of the work; and
  • world-wide English-language rights.

     

    It is particularly important to clear permission for use in both the print and online versions of the journal, and we are not able to accept permissions which carry a time limit because we retain journal articles as part of our online journal archive.
    Further guidelines on clearing permissions can be found here

    Disclosure

    All potential conflicts of interest must be stated within the text of the manuscript, under this heading. This pertains to relationships with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or other corporations whose products or services are related to the subject matter of the article. Such relationships include, but are not limited to, employment by an industrial concern, ownership of stock, membership on a standing advisory council or committee, being on the board of directors, or being publicly associated with the company or its products. Other areas of real or perceived conflict of interest could include receiving honoraria or consulting fees or receiving grants or funds from such corporations or individuals representing such corporations.

    Statement of informed consent

    Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note.

    Permissions regarding reuse of OUP material

    For information on permissions see: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/en/access-purchase/rights-and-permissions.html.

    Self-archiving policy

    For information on Laboratory Medicine's self-archiving policy, see: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/en/access-purchase/rights-and-permissions/self-archiving-policyb.html

    Licensing

    Laboratory Medicine authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication.

    After your manuscript is accepted, the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory license to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

    Licenses

    RCUK/Wellcome Trust/COAF funded authors publishing in Laboratory Medicine can use the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) for their articles.

    All other authors may use a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license (CC BY-NC).

    Please click here for more information about Creative Commons licenses.

    Charges

    The open access charges are as follows.

    CC BY/CC BY-NC:

    American Society for Clinical Pathology Members:

     

  • Regular charge: $1,500/£938/€1,219
  • List B Developing country charge*: $1,250/£782/€1,016
  • List A Developing country charge*: $0/ £0/€0

     

    Non-members:

     

  • Regular charge: $2,500/£1,563/€2,031
  • List B Developing country charge*: $1,250 /£782 / €1,016
  • List A Developing country charge*: $0/ £0/€0

     

    *Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).

  • Once your article is submitted to production, you will receive an email welcoming you to Oxford Journals. This email will include a link to the Oxford Journals Author Services site where you can sign your license to publish. You can then pay open access charges once you sign your license to publish. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post.

    Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

    Preparation of manuscript

    Article types

    The following manuscripts can be submitted to Laboratory Medicine. Please note that some manuscripts will be published online only. For categories that appear both in print and online, it is at the editors' discretion as to where the manuscript will appear.

    Special Report*

    An article solicited by the editors about a cover-story topic. Example.

    Review*

    A comprehensive review of a particular scientific topic. Example.

    Case Study*

    A report on an actual case with an emphasis on educational value. Case Study manuscripts should adhere to the following format: patient history, clinical and laboratory information, and discussion. Example.

    Science*

    Original research article related to a laboratory medicine topic likely to be of interest to laboratory professions. NOTE: Laboratory Medicine does not accept manuscripts reporting basic research on animals. Example.

    Lab QA*

    Paper that discusses laboratory management and administration issues. Example.

    *Designates manuscript types that can be published either in print or online only. Manuscripts with a bench technologist or practicing pathologist focus would be more appropriate for online-only consideration.

    The following types of manuscripts will be considered for online publication only.

    Media Review

    A review of a book or another form of media. Must include the following: type and scope of book; contents, strengths, deficiencies, and recommended readership. Example.

    Letters

    A letter to the editor concerning an article or topic published previously in Lab Medicine in print or online.

    Podcasts

    Short (5 minute to 30 minute) recording based on an article published in Laboratory Medicine or on a current topic in laboratory medicine. Examples.

    Manuscript format and structure/style

    Manuscripts must be submitted in a Word document and formatted in American Medical Associates (AMA) style. Do not submit your manuscript in PDF format. Along with the manuscript itself, please include a cover letter containing:

    • A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors
    • A statement that the manuscript has not been published, submitted, or accepted for publication elsewhere
    • A disclosure statement of authors' financial interest or other affiliation with products or companies mentioned in the manuscript, and when applicable, disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest.

    Title page

    Include:
    (1) a concise title;
    (2) first name, middle initial, and last name of each author, as well as his or her highest academic degree;
    (3) institutional affiliation of each author;
    (4) name and address of author to whom reprint requests should be addressed;
    (5) telephone, fax, and e-mail information;
    (6) acknowledgment of sources of support;
    (7) a brief title (up to 40 characters total, including spaces);
    (8) disclaimers, if any; and
    (9) 3-10 key words

    Abstract

    The Abstract should not exceed 150-200 words and should be clearly structured using the following headings: Background, Method, Results, Conclusions. The Background and Conclusions should be summarized in 1-2 sentences. Procedures and significant findings with emphasis on new observations should be summarized in the Method and Results.

    Text

    The introduction should state clearly the purpose and rationale of the study being presented. In Method, established techniques may be referenced; however, new or modified methods should be described in sufficient detail to allow duplication of the study by an independent observer. Describe Results concisely and logically. Conclusions should not be based on unpublished observations or data derived solely from the previous literature.

    Nomenclature

    Use current editions of Dorland's Medical Dictionary and Webster's International Dictionary as references. Use the nomenclature of bacteria given in Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology. Identify all drugs by both their generic and trade names, and chemicals by generic name, followed in parentheses by the chemical formula when deemed appropriate. The TNM method for staging tumors is required (see American Joint Committee on Cancer. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 6th ed. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag; 2002).

    To conduct a search for preferred, internationally accepted terms and definitions, refer to the "Harmonized Terminology Database" available at clsi.org.

    Units

    All quantitative measurements must be expressed in conventional metric units, followed in parentheses by SI units. pH, gas pressure measurements (e.g. PO2 and Pco2), and osmolality should be reported in conventional units only. Express temperature in degrees Celsius. Express enzyme activity in international units per liter (IU/L). Base all SI concentration units on a volume of 1 L. Express as amount of substance (mole) or mass (gram) units, with the appropriate prefix (e.g. milli- [m] or micro- [µ]). In describing reagent preparations, give weights and volumes in conventional metric units only (e.g. Stock 500 mmol/L glucose standard; add 0.900 g of glucose to 10 mL of water in a 100-mL volumetric flask, dissolve, and fill to the mark with water).

    Abbreviations

    Use standard abbreviations whenever possible (see Council for Biology Editors. Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 6th ed. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 1994). The full term for which the abbreviation stands, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, should precede the first use of the abbreviation in the text, except for standard units of measurement.

    For information on Latex files, please see: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/en/authors/latex-files.html

    Laboratory methods and specimen handling

    Follow these requirements for clinical studies that include laboratory testing for biomarkers:

    • For commercial diagnostic tests, authors must include the actual name and generation of assay, the manufacturer, and the instrument used for analyses.
    • Authors must report performance characteristics, such as the imprecision of the assay in the investigators’ laboratories, the assay’s reportable range, and any reference (normal) range used in the study.
    • Authors must clearly indicate the types of specimens analyzed and the storage conditions for these specimens.

    The rationale for these requirements is provided here.

    Human and animal experiments

    When reporting results of experimental investigations in human subjects, include a statement that the procedures followed were approved by the institutional review board (IRB) in accord with the ethical standards established by the institution in which the experiments were performed or are in accord with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (see Encyclopedia of Bioethics. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Macmillan; 2003), as revised in 2008 (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/). Experimental investigations in animals must include a statement indicating that the institution's or the National Research Council guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

    Tables

    Cite tables in the text in consecutive order. When designing, keep in mind the overall size of an average page and how well they will fit accordingly. Type each table on a separate page. Each column should contain a short heading. Place explanatory material (with nonstandard abbreviations and their expanded forms) in footnotes to the table. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical lines. Limit use of footnotes.

    Funding

    Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section.

    The following rules should be followed:
    • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
    • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘National Institutes of Health’, not ‘NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number xxxx]’
    • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]’
    • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
    • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

    An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].’

    Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See http://www.oxfordjournals.org/for_authors/repositories.html for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

    Crossref Funding Data Registry

    In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

    Acknowledgments

    Acknowledgments and details of funding sources should be included at the end of the text. Please refer to your funding organizations to acknowledge their support.  PubMed Central links will require a specific grant number to be referenced.

    Please list all author contributions upon submission of the manuscript.

    References

    References should include only articles cited in the text and should be listed in order of citation. List all authors if there are 3 or fewer. When there are more than 3, list the first 3 and add "et al." Abbreviate journal titles according to Index Medicus.

    Use the following format, and include inclusive page numbers:
    1. Rosen PP, Kimmel M. Juvenile papillomatosis of the breast: a follow-up study of 42 patients biopsied before 1979. Am J Clin Pathol. 1990;93:599-603.

    Figures/illustrations

    Upon acceptance of a manuscript, high-resolution illustrations should be provided to the editorial office. Images should be submitted as digital files. Color photomicrographs and ultrastructure photographs are to be labeled and numbered as "images"; line drawings and illustrations are to be labeled and numbered as "figures." Submit legends on a separate page. Stains and magnifications must be included. Photographs of persons should render them unidentifiable or include their written permission. Further information on figures can be found here: http://oxfordjournals.org/en/authors/figures.html

    You can also send queries about figure files to LaboratoryMedicine@oup.com

    Videos

    Videos can be published in the online article, with a still image of the video appearing in the print version. Please submit videos in MP4 format. Any supplementary videos that you do not want to be included in the article itself can be uploaded as supplementary data. All videos should have an accompanying legend.

    Supplementary data

    So that the reviewers and editors can better assess the submission, authors must supply a copy of other manuscripts, in preparation or submitted, where the work overlaps with the Laboratory Medicine submission. Authors must also supply copies of articles cited in the references as in press.

    Submit all material to be considered as Supplementary Material online at the same time as the main manuscript. Ensure that the supplementary material is referred to in the main manuscript at an appropriate point in the text. Supplementary material will be available online only and will not be copyedited, so ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented, and that the style conforms with the rest of the paper. Also ensure that the presentation will work on any Internet browser. It is not recommended for the files to be more than 2 MB each, although exceptions can be made at the editorial office’s discretion.

    Charges

    All images will appear in the print and online versions of the journal free of charge.

    There are no page charges to publish in Laboratory Medicine.

    For open access charges see above.

    Proofs

    Authors will receive a link to the PDF proof of their manuscript on our online system by email, and it is essential that a current email address is supplied with all manuscripts. Proofing instructions will accompany the PDF file but the proof should be checked immediately upon receipt and uploaded in accordance with covering instructions. Only essential corrections should be made at the proof stage.

    Post-production corrections

    No correction to a paper already published will be carried out without an erratum or corrigendum (as applicable), this applies to papers on Advance Access and published within an issue. This means that any change carried out to a paper already published online will have a corresponding erratum or corrigendum published with its own separate DOI. Whether on Advance Access or in an issue, if an erratum or corrigendum is published, the online version of the original paper will also be corrected online and the correction notice will mention this. Corrections will only be made if the publication record is seriously affected by the academic accuracy of published information.

    Authors' corrections to Supplementary Data are made only in exceptional circumstances (for example major errors that compromise the conclusion of the study). Because the Supplementary Data is part of the original paper and hence the published record, the information cannot be updated if new data have become available or interpretations have changed.

    Advance Access

    For Laboratory Medicine, manuscripts arrive at OUP and go through the production process until the final versions are ready to publish. These are then published on an Advance Access page. They will remain on the page up until the issue that they are assigned to is published. 

    Offprints

    Following publication, a free link to the published version of the article is provided to the corresponding author for distribution to coauthors and interested colleagues. This link permits free access with full online functionality without the need for a subscription.

    Authors of accepted articles can order paper offprints during the publication process – all authors are sent an individual link (after acceptance) to the ‘Author Services’ site, where they are able to order offprints and single issues.

    Other journal specific information

    Currently, scientific articles in Laboratory Medicine are indexed in PubMed, Current ContentsExcerpta MedicalCumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Current Advances in Clinical Chemistry.

    Authors can submit cover images to the editorial office. Please note that cover images should be submitted as high resolution images. 

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