Submission Preparation Checklist
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
- References include DOIs or, if not available, other URLs to full contents.
- All authors have made a significant contribution to the content of the manuscript have approved submission of the manuscript to ALTEX in its current form.
- The manuscript includes page and line numbers.
- In case the manuscript includes the description of animal experiments, they have been reported in accordance with the ARRIVE or GSPC guidelines.
- All tables, figures and boxes are placed with the respective legends at the appropriate points within the text or together at the end of the text.
- Re-use of any image, table or text is appropriately cited; permissions for re-use have been obtained and are included in the submission.
- The submission includes a single pdf of the full manuscript including all text, figures, tables, boxes and supplementary materials for review purposes.
- All authors agree to publication under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internation licence (CC-BY).
- Where required, the publication has been approved by responsible authorities at the institution or organization where the work was carried out.
ALTEX – Alternatives to Animal Experimentation publishes open access academic articles on the development and implementation of alternatives to the use of animals for scientific purposes and informs on international developments in this field.
The use of animals for scientific purposes includes all experimental procedures involving the use of animals in testing, research, and education or to obtain tissues, organs, and other animal-derived products which may cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm to animals. ALTEX is committed to ensuring that all research published gives full consideration to animal welfare and ethical issues.
ALTEX publishes research articles, concept articles, opinion articles; reviews; consensus reports; short communications; letters; comments; corners and meeting reports. Current news and events are posted online.
Articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is appropriately cited (CC-BY). Copyright on any article in ALTEX is retained by the author(s). Unedited Epub versions of main articles and short communications are published with open access upon their acceptance.
Research articles, opinion articles, concept articles, reviews, consensus reports, short communications and letters
Upload your manuscript as one full pdf file with page and line numbers and including figures, tables, boxes and supplementary data for review once all items in the submission preparation checklist are completed. The manuscript does not need to adhere to the "Style requirements for publication" at this stage but should include all elements necessary for an evaluation of the scientific content of the work. Specifically, studies involving animal experiments must be reported in accordance with the ARRIVE or GSPC guidelines, see below; images, tables and statistics must be prepare in accordance with good practice.
You may also upload a cover letter alerting the editor to the scientific importance of the manuscript, to any copyright issues, and/or suggesting up to five potential reviewers who are not former coauthors (provide full names, affiliations, and e-mails).
For submission, you will need to enter full names, affiliations, e-mail addresses, and ORCID ID (if available) for each author.
Opinion articles may be suggested for the Food for Thought ... section. "t4 Workshop Reports" are consensus reports authored by the t4 collaboration.
Meeting reports, corners, news, letters, comments
ALTEX welcomes submissions that are relevant to the 3Rs field for these sections. Please contact the editorial office to discuss the appropriate length and layout.
Articles having no relevance to alternatives to animal experimentation or articles of low scientific value are rejected upon an internal review. Two external experts’ reviews are obtained for academic articles that pass internal review. In case of disagreement, a third review is commissioned. The evaluation takes into account the scientific merit of a manuscript and its contribution to animal welfare and the 3R principle. Reviewers recommend whether the manuscript should be accepted, revised or declined. The editor in chief decides whether to request revisions, require resubmission of a revised version, accept or reject a manuscript. The blinded content of the external reviews is sent to the authors independent of whether the manuscript is accepted for publication. Revised versions must be uploaded together with a detailed point-to-point reply whereupon the editor may request reviewers to reassess the manuscript before making a final decision.
Upon acceptance for publication, upload separate .doc, .docx, .odt or .rtf files of text, tables and boxes as well as separate figure files and supplementary data files prepared according to the "Style requirements for publication" detailed below.
ALTEX will bill authors an article processing charge of € 2,000 per full manuscript (Food for Thought ... articles, research articles, reviews, consensus reports) and € 1,000 per short communication upon acceptance for publication. These publication costs include the costs of publishing manuscripts upon acceptance as an unedited online first version and of publishing the final manuscript in the print and online version of the journal. Include a billing address with the final version of the manuscript. Note that ALTEX is an open access journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Numerous funding institutions, university libraries and scientific institutes support open access publication by contributing to the publication fees. If your organization has no means to cover the publication costs, please state this in the cover letter and ALTEX may choose to waive these. The request for waiver must be co-signed by an institutional official certifying that the authors do not have research funds available for publication costs.
Accepted manuscripts will be published in the online first section upon receipt of final files and clarification of all open issues.
STYLE REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLICATION
General guidance for all submissions
Articles must be written in English. Language should be based on the Chicago Manual of Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html). Use the international standard measuring system (SI) and add a space between numbers and units, e.g. 10 ml. Use a separate line for equations. Indicate trademarks (™) and registered goods (®). Explain abbreviations when using them for the first time. If several abbreviations are used, add an abbreviation index as a footnote to the Introduction. Technical terms should be explained for readers who are not experts in your particular field. Include page and line numbers. Number sections starting with the Introduction (1); substructure long sections using numbered subheadings, e.g., 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2, etc. Use italics for Latin words, e.g. in vitro, in vivo, and direct quotes.
Structure of short communications
Short communications have no more than 4 printed pages of text (single spaced, 9 pt) and 1 page of figures or tables. Results and discussion may be combined. In addition, a supplementary file describing materials and methods in more detail may be submitted. Otherwise follow instructions below.
Structure of Food for Thought ... articles, research articles, reviews, consensus reports
There is no length restriction for these article types. Follow the structure set out below:
Article type: Food for Thought …, Research Article, Review Article, Consensus Report, t4 Workshop Report, Concept Article
Title: Short and informative; no abbreviations; 12 words maximum
Authors: Full first names and initials; superscripts after names refer to affiliations; authors with the same affiliation are given the same superscript. Example: Jane R. Doe1, John T. Smith2 and Marie Potter1
Affiliations: Institute, town, country in accordance with the superscripts after the authors’ names. Do not include street names or post office boxes.
Summary: 250 words maximum; provide a concise summary of the main findings.
Keywords: 3-5 words or phrases; do not use words from the title as these are indexed automatically; consider listing experimental techniques or methodology, potential applications and/or MeSH terms that represent the study's content.
Disclaimer: If applicable, add your institute’s disclaimer
1 Introduction: Provide brief and succinct background on the study and explain its purpose . Include a specific statement concerning the relevance of the article regarding the development and promotion of alternatives to the use of animals for scientific purposes.
Research Articles will then continue with the sections: (Animals), (human subjects), materials and methods, Results, and Discussion; Food for Thought …, Review Articles, Consensus Reports and Concept Articles are structured logically into sections and subsections by the authors and return to the standard structure with References, etc.
2 (Animals), (human subjects), materials and methods:
Give a complete account of the animals or human subjects (if applicable), materials used and procedures followed in the study in sufficient detail to allow repetition of the study.
Experiments on animals:
- do not list animals as materials;
- indicate which institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed;
- describe animal experiments in detail according to the ARRIVE guidelines: http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/ARRIVE and/or the Gold Standard Publication Checklist: http://bit.ly/1na53H9; indicate species and, where appropriate, strain of the animal; total number of animals used throughout the study; experimental design including statistical design and analysis; randomization and blinding; other pertinent details relating to the lifetime experience of the animals, including housing and care; refinements of experimental procedures to reduce suffering; pain management; humane end points; and euthanasia methods;
- confirm that the study went through a process of ethical review prior to the study commencing; this should include a weighing of the likely adverse effects on the animals against the benefits likely to result from the work;
- confirm that the potential for application of the 3Rs was rigorously researched prior to starting, and every opportunity was taken during the course of the study to implement each of them;
- confirm that animal husbandry and care was in accordance with contemporary best practice and all individuals involved with the care and use of animals were trained and skilled to an acceptable level of competency, with euthanasia carried out according to contemporary best practice;
- confirm that appropriate anesthesia and analgesia were used to minimize pain and distress, and humane endpoints were defined and implemented where appropriate.
ALTEX recommends following the PREPARE guidelines (https://norecopa.no/PREPARE) in planning studies using animals to ensure that the above requirements are met and the respective information is documented during the study. ALTEX further recommends the use of the Experimental Design Assistant (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/experimental-design-assistant-eda) for the design of experiments using animals to ensure that they use the minimum number of animals consistent with their scientific objectives, methods to reduce subjective bias, and appropriate statistical analysis.
Experiments on human subjects:
Indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration in its current version. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, explain the rationale for the approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.
- cell lines: source, authentication, derivation, culture conditions, passaging, passage numbers used, contamination status (e.g., type and frequency of mycoplasma tests)
- perfused organs: donor selection, organ collection and transport, perfusion fluid (oxygenation system, perfusion flow and pressure, temperature, type, additives), viability measurements (i.e. edema formation, oxygen uptake, glucose consumption), cytotoxicity parameters (potassium and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in the used perfusate); histology and organ specific parameters are of additional benefit.
- chemicals: source (company), purity, dilutions, diluent
- antibodies: source (company, catalog and lot numbers or preparation protocol), specificity, species of origin, dilutions, controls, validation criteria
- Explain all procedures in sufficient detail to allow reproduction in another laboratory.
- Previously published procedures may be summarized briefly and referenced; indicate any deviations from the published procedure.
- Gels or blots: For studies reporting semi-quantitative analyses of immunoblots, clearly explain how quantitative data were obtained, whether signal intensity has a linear relationship with antigen loading, and how protein loading was normalized among lanes.
- Microscopic images: Make and model of microscope; type, magnification, and numerical aperture of the objective lenses; temperature; imaging medium; fluorochromes; camera make and model; acquisition software; software used for image processing and types of operations involved
- Statistical analysis: Describe the statistical analysis performed for each experiment and the basis for the choice of test. State whether any experimental data were excluded and indicate the reason and/or criteria for exclusion.
3 Results: Objectively describe the obtained results; illustrate these as appropriate with figures or tables. Number tables and files in the order of appearance in the text using Arabic numerals, e.g., (Tab. 1) or (Fig. 1). State the number of independent samples (biological replicates) and the number of replicate samples (technical replicates) and report how many times each experiment was repeated. Illustrations should provide information about the variability within the data. Report statistical analyses of variation using standard deviation (SD), confidence intervals (CI) or standard error of the mean (SEM) as appropriate.
4 Discussion: Objectively interpret the obtained results in light of relevant literature.
References: Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.
- Citations in the text should be marked with name/s of the author/s and the year of publication, e.g., (Harvey and Smith, 2008; Kimmel et al., 2010). In case of several publications by the same author/s within one year, distinguish them with a, b, c, etc. after the year, e.g. (Miller et al., 2017b).
- Format the references at the end of the text according to the examples below and in alphabetic order of the first authors. If you use Endnote or RefWorks, you may download the ALTEX style here (ALTEX6 style for Endnote (.ens file) - last update April 24, 2017) or ALTEX_a style for RefWorks (.rwb file) – last update August 16, 2017).
- Include full DOIs or, if not available, other full content links. Search for DOIs here: https://doi.crossref.org/simpleTextQuery
- When referring to a website, place the full URL in a footnote to the text and add "accessed on" and the date.
Examples of the ALTEX format:
Journal articles; four authors or fewer: Honegger, P., Lenoir, D. and Favrod, P. (1979). Growth and differentiation of aggregating fetal brain cells in a serum-free defined medium. Nature 282, 305-308. doi:10.1038/282305a0
Journal articles: more than four authors: Fan, C. Y., Cowden, J., Simmons, S. O. et al. (2010). Gene expression changes in developing zebrafish as potential markers for rapid developmental neurotoxicity screening. Neurotoxicol Teratol 32, 91-98. doi:10.1016/j.ntt.2009.04.065
Book chapters: Honegger, P. and Schilter, B. (1992). Serum free aggregate cultures of foetal rat brain and liver cells: Methodology and some practical applications in neurotoxicology. In G. Zbinden (ed.), The Brain and Bits and Pieces: In Vitro Techniques in Neurobiology, Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology (51-79). Zollikon, Switzerland: MTC Verlag.
Books: Goldberg, A. M. (ed.) (1983). Alternative Methods in Toxicology, Product Safety Evaluation. Vol. 1. New York: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. http://altweb.jhsph.edu/pubs/books/alt_meth_tox/altmethtox-vol01
Laws, regulations, directives: EU – European Union (2010). Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. OJ L 276, 33-79. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32010L0063&from=EN
Conflict of interest: Authors who have a financial interest in the publication of the manuscript may have a conflict of interest. This does not disqualify them from submitting a manuscript to ALTEX. Declare any author’s conflict of interest or declare that the authors have no conflicts of interest, as appropriate.
Acknowledgements: Acknowledge sources of funding and contributing persons.
Correspondence to: Provide the full address, phone number and e-mail address of the author who is available for correspondence after publication of the manuscript.
Table and figure legends: Each table or figure must have a caption. The caption may be followed by a detailed explanation.
Tables, figures, boxes and supplementary files:
Tables: Design tables as text tables that can be formatted and edited, not as images.
Figures: Upon acceptance, you will need to provide all figures in high quality (300 dpi), each in a separate .jpg, .tif, .png or .ppt file (.ppt only if the figure was drawn in Powerpoint). If the figure was created in a different program, use the export function. The size of the ALTEX type area is 27.2 x 17.4 cm. This represents the maximum size for a figure or table. If figures have multiple panels, mark them with A, B, C and refer to these in the legend.
Avoid splicing gel or blot images or indicate borders between different sections; molecular markers above and below bands of interest must be included in the image.
Include scale bars in microscopic images.
Copyright: If using another author’s illustration or table, enclose a copyright transfer from the copyright holder and reference the material accordingly.
Link for obtaining copyright permissions for figure reproductions from other journals: http://www.copyright.com/content/cc3/en.html
Supplementary files: Information related to the manuscript may be submitted as supplementary files. If related research is in press or under review elsewhere, this must be included as supplementary files for review purposes only for reasons of transparency.
Mathematical equations: Provide formulae as separate pdf(s) with embedded fonts.
Last update: January 17, 2018
Articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is appropriately cited (CC-BY). Copyright on any article in ALTEX is retained by the author(s).