Guide to Authors

The editorial process

For a detailed description of the editorial process used by LabAnimal please see Editorial Process.

Publishing model

Traditional Publishing Model

Articles published in LabAnimal can be published using the subscription publication route. With this publication option, six months after the date of online publication, authors of articles published in LabAnimal can self-archive the accepted manuscript on their own personal website and/or in their funder or institutional repositories. By agreeing to write for LabAnimal, 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. 

Open Access Publishing with Lab Animal

Besides the subscription route, LabAnimal now offers Open Access (OA) publishing via the Springer Nature Transformative Agreements and Authors Open Choice publishing.

Fees and funding

To publish OA in LabAnimal, authors are required to pay an article processing charge (APC). The APC is determined at the date of acceptance. 

The APC for all published articles is as follows, subject to VAT or local taxes where applicable:

$5,190 (The Americas*, Greater China**, and Japan)
£3,790 (United Kingdom)
€4,390 (Europe & Rest of the World)

* The Americas = USA, Canada, Central America and South America

** Greater China = Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau

Visit our OA support portal for further information.

Authors can also choose to publish under the traditional publishing model (no APC charges apply); both options will be offered after the paper has been accepted.

Open access funding

Visit the Springer Nature OA funding and support service for information about research funders and institutions that provide funding for APCs.

Springer Nature offers agreements that enable institutions to cover OA publishing costs. Learn more about our OA agreements to check your eligibility and discover whether this journal is included.


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:

Author responsibilities 
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
Security concerns 
Refutations, complaints and corrections 
Duplicate publications 
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.