Content Types

Primary Research


An Article is a substantial novel research study of high quality and general interest to the in vivo science community. Articles can describe a novel method, model or material of broad interest or specific importance to basic and preclinical in vivo research. As part of LabAnimal's goal to improve the reproducibility and translation of biomedical research, the editors select manuscripts based primarily on the quality of experimental design. Well-designed and properly powered studies, regardless of results (null or positive), will be given preference. For novel models or methods, the editors also place a high value on the likelihood of generalizability of results and usefulness for the in vivo biomedical research community. 

Articles should contain between 3,500 and 5,000 words and follow the  general formatting of: Title, Abstract, Introduction,Results, Discussion, Methods.  Display items, such as figures, tables, and illustrations, should not exceed 15 unless previously discussed with the editors. Titles are limited to 150 characters, abstracts to 250 words. For references, as a guide authors are allowed up to 100, with flexibility determined by the editors working with the authors. Authors must provide a competing financial interests statement. Authors should include the fillable ARRIVE guidelines checklist as supplemental material when submitting their Article manuscript.

Articles are peer reviewed*, include receive/accepted dates and may be accompanied by supplementary info.

Brief Communication

A Brief Communication reports a concise study of high quality and broad interest. It can describe potentially groundbreaking yet preliminary models, methods or tools of broad interest.

The format consists of an abstract with a maximum of 70 unreferenced words. The main text is limited to 1,200 words (up to 1600 with editorial discretion), including the abstract, references, and figure legends. No sections or subheadings are allowed in the main text. Two figures and/or tables (up to 3 items with editorial discretion) are permitted. The Online Methods section, featuring subheadings, is mandatory. The manuscript may include supplementary information. References are limited to 20.

Brief Communications are peer reviewed and include received/accepted dates.

Protocol Articles


Protocol is a format for step-by-step descriptions of procedures that users can take to the lab and immediately apply in their own research. All of our protocols have been proven to work already and a supporting primary research paper is a publication requirement. Protocols are externally peer-reviewed and edited in-house to the highest standards. Each protocol contains a full list of reagents and equipment, timing information, and step-by-step instructions for performing the experiment (with critical steps and cautions highlighted), as well as information on designing and adapting the technique, its advantages and limitations compared to alternatives, troubleshooting, analyzing data, and interpreting results. We also encourage authors to submit videos for steps that are technically challenging.


Reviews and perspectives


Reviews are authoritative, balanced and scholarly surveys of recent developments in a research field related to in vivo science & technology. The requirement for balance need not prevent authors from proposing a specific viewpoint, but if there are controversies in the field, the authors must treat them in an even-handed way. Reviews are normally 3,000-5,000 words, and illustrations are strongly encouraged. Titles are limited to 150 characters, abstracts to 250 words. For references, as a guide authors are allowed up to 200, with flexibility determined by the editors working with the authors. The scope of a Review should be broad enough that it is not dominated by the work of a single laboratory, and particularly not by the authors’ own work. Review authors must provide a competing financial interests statement before publication. 

Reviews are peer reviewed* and include received/accepted dates.


Perspective is a format for scholarly reviews and discussions of the primary research literature that do not meet the criteria for a Review— either because the scope is too narrow, or because the author is advocating a controversial position or a speculative hypothesis or discussing work primarily from one group. The text should not normally exceed 3,000 words, but there is flexibility and should be discussed with the editors. Titles are limited to 150 characters, abstracts to 250 words. For references, as a guide authors are allowed up to 150, with flexibility determined by the editors working with the authors. Perspective authors must provide a competing financial interests statement before publication.

Perspectives are peer reviewed*, and include received/accepted dates.


Other content types


Comment is a very flexible format; Comments may be on policy, science and society or purely scientific issues. The main criteria are that they should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Their length is typically 1–3 pages, although some may be longer. Because the content is variable, the format is also flexible. Comments do not normally contain primary research data, although they may present 'sociological' data (funding trends, demographics, bibliographic data, etc.). References are limited to 15, and article titles are omitted from the reference list.

Comments may be peer reviewed at the editors' discretion.


The Correspondence section provides a forum for comment on issues relevant to the journal’s community. This format may not be used for presentation of research data or analysis. A Correspondence should not exceed more than two printed pages and can range from 300-800 words; it is limited to one display item and up to 10 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list. Correspondence may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion. Note that Correspondence pieces are not technical comments on peer-reviewed research papers which would be considered Matters Arising.

Matters Arising

Matters Arising are exceptionally interesting and timely scientific comments and clarifications on original research papers published in LabAnimal. These comments should ideally be based on knowledge contemporaneous with the original paper, rather than subsequent scientific developments.

For detailed information on how to submit a Matters Arising, please follow instructions here.

News and Technology

These sections are written and commissioned by the editors, and cover recent news, technologies and important industry/biotech information relevant to the in vivo research community.


*Before August 2017, the editorial policy of LabAnimal was to publish the following content types after extensive editorial assessment, but without peer review: Reviews, Perspectives, Commentary, Correspondence and Clinical Feature. Since 1 August 2017, the policy has been that all Lab Animal content reporting primary research as well as Reviews and Perspectives must also be peer reviewed.