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 in whole or in part in any form, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
- References include DOIs (with hyperlinks) or, if not available, other URLs to full contents.
- All authors have made a significant contribution to the content of the manuscript and 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 recommends the substitution of all materials that are obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering. Such materials include among others fetal bovine/calf serum, Matrigel, antibodies obtained from ascites fluid, primary cells from animals and other animal-derived products obtained by invasive sampling.
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.
All content is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is appropriately cited (CC-BY). Copyright on any article, short communication, meeting report or letter published 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 continuous 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 guidelines. Images, tables and statistics must be prepared in accordance with good practice and details given in figure and table legends. All data, program code and other methods must be appropriately cited.
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 recent 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 as well as up to five keywords.
Opinion articles may be suggested for the Food for Thought ... section. "t4 Workshop Reports" are consensus reports authored only by members of 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 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 rejected. 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. For letters and meeting reports ALTEX will bill authors an article processing charge of € 75 per printed page; for corners ALTEX will bill authors who are not members of ALTEX Edition € 400. These publication costs include the costs of publishing the final manuscript in the print and online version of the journal. Institutional members of ALTEX Edition benefit from a 10% discount on all article processing costs and free corners. 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 Latest Articles 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 period to indicate the decimal place and use a comma to separate groups of thousands (e.g. 12,345.67). Number equations (e.g., Eq. 1) and place them on a separate line. 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 numbers and continuous 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, Escherichia coli 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. A supplementary file may describe materials and methods in detail. Otherwise follow instructions below.
Structure of Food for Thought ... articles, research articles, reviews, consensus reports
There is no length restriction for these article types; avoid unnecessary repetition between sections. 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: All authors must fulfil the following criteria defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) as Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be published, and (4) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Include full first name, initial(s) of middle name(s) and full surname; superscripts after names refer to affiliations; authors with the same affiliation are given the same superscript. Example: Jane R. Murray1, John T. Smith2 and Marie Potter1
Affiliations: Institute, town, country in accordance with the superscripts after the authors’ names. Do not include street names, post office boxes or zip codes.
Summary: 250 words maximum; provide a concise summary of the purpose, approach and main findings.
Keywords: Up to 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: Add institutional disclaimer if applicable.
Correspondence address: Provide the full name, academic title, full address, and e-mail address of the author who will be available for correspondence after publication of the manuscript.
1 Introduction: Provide relevant and succinct background on the study and explain its purpose and importance. 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;
- confirm that the study went through a process of ethical review prior to the study commencing, indicate which ethics committee approved the study and provide the associated permit number(s);
- if ethical approval was not required, include a statement of this and the reason.
- describe animal experiments in detail according to the ARRIVE guidelines; indicate species and, where appropriate, strain of the animal; total number of animals used throughout the study; number of animals per experimental group; experimental design including statistical design and analysis; randomization and blinding methods; 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 endpoints; and euthanasia methods;
- 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. Confirm that subjects were properly instructed and gave written consent to participate. Ensure that patient privacy and anonymity is fully protected.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses:
Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses must include a completed PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) checklist and flow diagram. Provide the protocol and the registry number.
- ALTEX recommends the substitution of all materials that are obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering. Such materials include among others fetal bovine/calf serum, Matrigel, antibodies obtained from ascites fluid, primary cells from animals and other animal-derived products obtained by invasive sampling. Your manuscript will not be penalized in the review process if you have used such materials, but please discuss this issue in the Discussion section and indicate whether such materials could/shall be replaced in future studies.
- cell lines: source, authentication (e.g., by karyotyping, isozyme analysis, or short tandem repeats (STR) analysis), derivation, culture conditions (medium, temperature, atmosphere), passaging (frequency and method), passage numbers used, contamination control (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 (e.g., edema formation, oxygen uptake, glucose consumption), cytotoxicity parameters (e.g., potassium and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in the used perfusate); histology and organ specific parameters if available.
- chemicals: source (company), purity, dilutions, diluent
- drugs: use the Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name (rINN), source
- antibodies: source (company, catalog and lot numbers or preparation protocol), species of origin, polyclonal or monoclonal, production method, specificity, dilutions used, controls, validation criteria.
- Explain all procedures in sufficient detail to allow reproduction in another laboratory.
- Previously published procedures may be summarized and referenced; indicate any deviations from the published procedure.
- We recommend depositing laboratory protocols at protocols.io where they can be assigned a digital object identifier (DOI).
- Gels or blots: For studies reporting semi-quantitative analyses of immunoblots, 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.
- Microarray experiments must conform to the MIAME reporting guidelines.
- All data sets, program code and other methods must be appropriately cited and should include persistent identifiers such as a digital object identifier (DOI) where available.
- 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 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); refer to all tables and figures in the text. 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. 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 the relevant literature. Discuss the limitations of the study. Explain the importance of the results and state future study objectives if appropriate. If materials obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering were used in the study (see the Materials section), discuss this issue and state whether these materials could/shall be replaced in future studies.
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 all sources of funding and contributing persons who are not co-authors. Authors are responsible for obtaining the agreement of the persons named.
Table and figure legends: Each table or figure must have number, e.g. Fig. 1, Tab. 1 and a caption. Figures and tables that are included in the supplementary file(s) are numbered Fig. S1, Tab. S1, etc. In the caption, where appropriate, 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. Report statistical analyses of variation using standard deviation (SD), confidence intervals (CI) or standard error of the mean (SEM) as appropriate.
Tables, figures, boxes and supplementary files:
Tables: Design tables as text tables that can be edited, not as images; indicate footnotes by letters, e.g. a,b
Figures: Upon acceptance, you will need to provide all figures in high quality (at least 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. As a rule of thumb, all parts of the figure including the text should be sharp when blown up to full screen size on a computer screen. If an element of a figure has been exported/saved at low resolution, upscaling the dpi afterwards will reduce the quality and make the figure blurred. Pasting a figure into Powerpoint also will reduce its quality.
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.
Ensure that any text in figures is in sans serif font, e.g. Arial, and is large enough to remain legible upon size reduction, i.e. it should be at least 7pt in the final figure size.
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 a supplementary file(s). 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.
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Last update: January 12, 2020
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).