Guide to Authors
The editorial process
For a detailed description of the editorial process used by LabAnimal please see Editorial Process.
Articles published in Lab Animal can only be published using the subscription publication route; we do not offer an immediate gold open access (OA) publication option. Six months after the date of online publication, authors of articles published in Lab Animal can self-archive the accepted manuscript on their own personal website and/or in their funder or institutional repositories. By agreeing to write for Lab Animal, authors agree to accept our standard licensing terms including our self-archiving policies. Those standard licensing terms supersede any other terms that the author or any third party may assert apply to any version of the manuscript.
All submissions should be made via our online submission system. For a description of the types of contributions that may be submitted to the journal, along with formatting details, their length and figure limits please see Content Types. See below for more details on figures and formatting references that apply to all content types.
Figures and references
References should be styled after US-based Nature Research journals (for example, Nature Biotechnology). Below are examples of properly styled references of primary research articles:.
Van Loo, P.L. et al. Influence of cage enrichment on aggressive behaviour and physiological parameters in male mice Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 76, 65–81 (2002).
Gaskill, B.N. et al. Energy reallocation to breeding performance through improved nest building in laboratory mice. PLoS One 8, e74153 (2013).
High-resolution image files are not required at initial submission, but please ensure that images are of sufficient resolution for referees to properly assess the data. Should your manuscript be accepted, you will receive more extensive instructions for final submission of display items. However, some guidelines for final figure preparation are included below if you wish to minimize later revisions and possible delays.
• Provide images in RGB color and at 300 dpi or higher resolution.
• Use the same typeface (Arial or Helvetica) for all figures. Use symbol font for Greek letters.
• Use distinct colors with comparable visibility and avoid the use of red and green for contrast. Recoloring primary data, such as fluorescence images, to color-safe combinations such as green and magenta or other accessible color palettes is strongly encouraged. Use of the rainbow color scale should be avoided.
• Figures are best prepared at the size you would expect them to appear in print. At this size, the optimum font size is between 5pt and 8pt.
• We prefer vector files with editable layers. Acceptable formats are: .ai, .eps, .pdf, .ps and .svg for fully editable vector-based art; layered .psd and .tif for editable layered art; .psd, .tif, .png and .jpg for bitmap images; .ppt if fully editable and without styling effects; ChemDraw (.cdx) for chemical structures.
Figure legends should be <300 words each. They should begin with a brief title sentence for the whole figure and continue with a short statement of what is depicted in the figure, not the results (or data) of the experiment or the methods used. Legends should be detailed enough so that each figure and caption can, as far as possible, be understood in isolation from the main text.
Editorial and publishing policies
Please see authors and referees for detailed information about author and referee services and publication policies at the Nature Research family of journals. These journals, including Lab Animal, share a number of common policies including the following:
Licence agreement and author copyright
Compliance with open access mandates
Embargo policy and press releases
Use of experimental animals and human subjects
Competing financial interests
Availability of materials and data
Reporting requirements for life sciences articles
Digital image integrity and standards
Refutations, complaints and corrections
Confidentiality and pre-publicity
Plagiarism and fabrication
Covers and other artwork
Authors of accepted papers are encouraged to submit images for consideration as a cover image. Cover images are normally linked to a specific paper in that issue, but we may also be able to use other images elsewhere in the journal, such as for the hero image (top of page) on the journal website or on the table of contents. Images are selected for their scientific interest and aesthetic appeal. Please send electronic files along with a clear and concise legend explaining the image.