Submission Guidelines

 

INPAGE MENU

Abridged structure
  • Original Research
  • Lessons from the Field
  • Brief Reports
  • Case Studies
  • Review Article
  • Opinion Papers
  • Scientific Letters
  • Cover Letter
Full structure
  • Original Research
  • Systematic Review Article
  • Narrative Review Article
  • Lessons from the Field
  • Case Studies

Overview

These author guidelines include information about the types of articles published by the journal and how to prepare a manuscript for submission. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the About section. Manuscripts must adhere to all general formatting requirements and the specific requirements listed below.

 

 

Original Research


Original Research provides an overview of innovative research in a particular field within or related to the focus and scope of the journal, presented according to a clear and well-structured format.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 3500 words (excluding the structured abstract and references).
For articles on topics that require a longer word limit, exceptions may be requested in the authors’ cover letter for up to 6000 words.

Abstract

Maximum: 250 words
Required structural headings: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.

Main text

Required structural headings:

  • Introduction
    • The last paragraph should state the study aim in paragraph form (no sub-heading, no lists)
  • Methods
    • Ethical considerations (first sub-section).
  • Results
  • Discussion
    • Limitations (second to the last sub-section)
    • Conclusion (last sub-section)

References

Typically up to 50
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 7 tables and/or figures.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures .

Ethical statement

Required for studies that involved human subjects or vertebrate animal research
‘Ethical considerations’ must be the first sub-section of Methods
‘Ethical considerations’ sub-section must include:

  • Name of the ethical review committee
  • Study approval number
  • Manner of consent (written, oral) for human participants
  • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data

Ethical clearance documentation

Evidence of ethical clearance for the study, such as the study approval letter or certificate from the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a waiver from the IRB, etc., must be uploaded as a supplementary file at the time of submission.

 

Lessons from the Field


Lessons from the Field articles offer authors’ first-hand knowledge and experience of implemented interventions in local settings and the results thereof. This does not include clinical trials, which should be submitted as Original Research articles.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 3500 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Abstract

Maximum: 250 words
Required structural headings: Background, Intervention, Lessons learnt, and Recommendations

Main text

Required structural headings:

  • Background
  • Description of the Intervention
    • Ethical considerations (first sub-section). Required if research had human or animal subjects.
  • Lessons Learnt
  • Recommendations

References

Typically up to 30
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 7 tables and/or figures.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures.

Ethical statement

Specific content, including approval numbers, is required for research that includes human subjects (e.g., conducted questionnaire-based surveys of laboratory personnel, in-person interviews, focus groups, etc.) or vertebrate animal research
‘Ethical considerations’ must be first sub-section of ‘Description of the Intervention’
‘Ethical considerations’ sub-section must include:

  • Name of the ethical review committee
  • Study approval number
  • Manner of consent (written, oral) for human participants
  • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data

Ethical clearance documentation

Evidence of ethical clearance for the study, such as the study approval letter or certificate from the IRB, a waiver from the IRB, etc., must be uploaded as a supplementary file at the time of submission.

 

Brief Reports


Brief Reports provide a succinct account of original research results with scientific merit but limited scope.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 1500 words (excluding abstract and references)

Abstract

Unstructured
Maximum: 100 words (2-3 sentences) to cover the methods used, the main results, and the main conclusion only

Main text

Required structural headings

  • Introduction
    • The last paragraph should state the study aim in paragraph form (no sub-heading, no lists)
  • Methods
    • Ethical considerations (first sub-section). Required if research had human or animal subjects.
  • Results
  • Discussion
    • Limitations (second to the last sub-section
    • Conclusion (last sub-section)

References

Approximately 20 Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum:  4 tables and/or figures.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures.

Ethical statement

Required for studies with human subjects or vertebrate animal research
‘Ethical considerations’ must be the first sub-section of Methods.
‘Ethical considerations’ sub-section must include:

  • Name of the ethical review committee
  • Study approval number
  • Manner of consent (written, oral) for human participants
  • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data

Ethical clearance documentation

Evidence of ethical clearance for the study, such as the study approval letter or certificate from the IRB, a waiver from the IRB, etc., must be uploaded as a supplementary file at the time of submission.

 

Case Studies


Case Studies offer a venue to document experience with testing, diagnosis and treatment of a patient, animal or group.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 1500 words (excluding abstract and references)

Abstract

Maximum: 250 words
Required structural headings: Introduction, Case Presentation, Management and Outcome, and Conclusion

Main text

Required structural headings:

  • Introduction
  • Ethical considerations
    • Ethical considerations (first sub-section). Required for cases that involve human or animal subjects.
  • Case Presentation
  • Management and Outcomes
  • Discussion
    • Recommendations (optional)
    • Limitations (optional)
    • Conclusion (optional)

References

Approximately 15
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 7 tables and/or figures.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures.
Photographs of human patients or medical record images must mask identifying features (face, eyes, tattoos, etc.).  Photo credits, where appropriate should be provided

Ethical statement

Required for reports on human patients or animals.
‘Ethical considerations’ must be the second heading in the main text
‘Ethical considerations’ section must include:

  • Name of the ethical review committee, if reviewed
  • Study approval number, if reviewed
  • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data, clinical details and photographs
  • For reports on human patients, a statement of the patients’ consent to publish clinical details and photographs is required.

Ethical clearance documentation

Evidence of ethical clearance for the study, such as the study approval letter or certificate from the IRB, a waiver from the IRB, etc., must be uploaded as a supplementary file.
For reports on human patients, a signed consent form from the patient(s) or their parent(s) or guardian(s) (for children) or their next of kin (for deceased patients) to publish clinical details and photographs is required and must be uploaded as a supplementary file at the time of submission.

 

Review Article


Review Articles inform a broad readership about fields in which there have been recent important advances of immense, fundamental importance, and highlight unresolved questions and future directions. Standard headings are not always appropriate, but the review should have clear sub-headings to provide order to the manuscript. Reviews are typically invited; thus, authors are encouraged to contact the editors before submission to express their interest or ideas for reviews of a particular topic.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 5000 words (excluding abstract and references)

Abstract

Maximum: 250 words
Systematic reviews:

  • Must be structured
  • Required headings: Background, Aim, Methods, Results, Conclusion

Narrative reviews:

  • May be structured or unstructured
  • No required headings

Main text

Systematic reviews:

  • Required structural headings:
    • Introduction
      • The last paragraph should state the study aim in paragraph form (no sub-heading, no lists)
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion

Narrative reviews:

  • Required structural headings: Introduction, Conclusion
  • Authors should use brief informative structural headings throughout the main text between the Introduction and Conclusion

References

Minimum: 50
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 4 tables and/or figures.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures.

Ethical statement

Not applicable

 

Opinion Papers


Opinion Papers offer short pieces or personal perspectives (not research) on any laboratory knowledge, practices, and technological concept and/or development that highlights recent exciting research or policy developments. With rare exceptions, these essays are meant to express a personal viewpoint and should have no more than two authors.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 2000 words (excluding references)

Abstract

None.
Opinion papers do not have abstracts. Authors should paste the first paragraph of their Opinion papers into the online platform’s required ‘Abstract’ box when submitting.

Main text

Structural headings are not required, but authors are encouraged to use them to help guide readers when necessary

References

Approximately 15
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 2 tables and/or figures
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for referencing style.

Ethical statement

Not applicable

 

Scientific Letters


Scientific Letters represent the authors' opinion on a specific aspect of laboratory medicine or their reaction to a previously published article in the journal.  Scientific Letters encourage debate amongst authors and readers on topical issues of national and global importance to the field of laboratory medicine studies. Letters will be published at the editors’ discretion. In the case of critical letters, the original author will be allowed to provide a short rebuttal which will be published along with the critical letter.

 

Word limit

Maximum: 800 words (excluding references)

Abstract

None.
Scientific Letters do not have abstracts. Authors should paste the first paragraph of their Scientific Letter into the online platform’s required ‘Abstract’ box when submitting.

Main text

Letters are meant to be very succinct communications. Thus, although not prohibited, structural headings are not usually appropriate or necessary.

References

Approximately 10
Use the Vancouver citation style.

Tables/Figures

Maximum: 1 table and/or figure.
See Illustrations section of the Formatting requirements page and AOSIS house style guide for style for text references to tables and figures.

Ethical statement

Typically not applicable

 

Cover Letter


The authorship, disclosure statements, copyright, and license agreement form is our compulsory cover letter which needs to form part of your submission. Kindly download and complete, in English, the provided form.  Anyone that has made a significant contribution to the research and the paper must be listed as an author in your cover letter. Contributions that fall short of meeting the criteria as stipulated in our policy should rather be mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript. Read our authorship guidelines and author contribution statement policies.

 

 

Original Research full structure


Title
The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract
The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The structured abstract for an Original Research article should consist of five paragraphs labelled Background, Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion.

  • Background: Why do we care about the problem?  State the context and purpose of the study. (What practical, scientific or theoretical gap is your research filling?)
  • Objective: What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work (e.g. is it a generalised approach or for a specific situation)? Avoid using jargon that will not be readily understood by non-expert readers.
  • Methods: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? Clearly state the basic design of the study, what data and/or samples were collected and name or briefly describe the key techniques without going into excessive detail.
  • Results: What is the answer? Present the main, most important findings. Identify trends, relative change or differences in answers to questions.
  • Conclusion: What are the implications of your answer? Briefly summarise any potential implications. What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem or gap identified in your motivation?

Do not cite references in the abstract.
Do not use abbreviations unless they are used at least 3 times in the abstract.

 

Main text
Introduction: The Introduction section must contain your argument for the social and scientific value of the study, as well as the aim and objectives. No structural sub-headings should be used. All text should be presented in narrative paragraphs; bulleted or numbered lists are not permitted.

  • Social value: The first part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the importance or relevance of the study. Your argument should be supported by the use of evidence from the literature.
  • Scientific value: The second part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the originality of the study. This should include a summary of what is already known about the research question or specific topic and should clarify the knowledge gap that this study will address. Your argument should be supported by the use of evidence from the literature.
  • Conceptual framework: In some research articles it will also be important to describe the underlying theoretical basis for the research and how these theories are linked together in a conceptual framework. The theoretical evidence used to construct the conceptual framework should be referenced from the literature.
  • Aim and objectives: The introduction should conclude with a paragraph that clearly summarizes the aim and objectives of the study.

Methods: The Methods section must address the elements listed below. Structural sub-headings are encouraged and required as noted.

  • Ethical considerations (required): For studies involving human or animal research, approval must have been obtained for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee before the start of the study. Required information:
    • Name of Institutional Review Board or ethical review committee
    • Study approval number(s)
    • Manner of consent (written, oral) for human participants
    • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data
  • Study design: An outline of the type of study design.
  • Setting: A description of the setting for the study; for example, the type of community from which the participants came or the nature of the health system and services in which the study was conducted.
  • Study population and sampling strategy: Describe the study population and any inclusion or exclusion criteria. Describe the intended sample size and your sample size calculation or justification. Describe the sampling strategy used. Describe in practical terms how this was implemented.
  • Intervention (if appropriate): If there were intervention and comparison groups, describe the intervention in detail and what happened to the comparison groups.  If a clinical trial, the trial registration number should be indicated.
  • Sample and/or data collection: Describe what type of samples were collected (e.g. sputum, blood), the manner of sample collection (e.g. venous blood into EDTA tube), the volume of sample collected (e.g., two 4-ml samples from each patient) and how samples were stored (e.g. in -20°C freezer) and/or transported after collection (e.g. in cooler with ice packs). Define any data collection tools that were used (e.g. worksheets, questionnaires, etc.); briefly describe how questionnaires were validated for the study population. Describe in practical terms how data were collected (e.g., in-person interviews) and any key issues involved (e.g. language barriers). Provide manufacturer information for all supplies and equipment (required: name and location). Cite references for established data collection tools and their validation studies.
  • Laboratory analyses: Describe sample preparation and details about all laboratory tests, analyses and/or assays that were conducted. Provide manufacturer information for all supplies and equipment (required: name and location). Cite references for established methods and explain any deviations from these.
  • Data analysis (required): Describe how data were captured, checked and cleaned. Describe the analysis process, for example, the statistical tests used or steps followed in qualitative data analysis. Provide manufacturer information for all software used (required: name and location).

Results: Present the results of your study in a logical sequence that addresses the aim and objectives of your study. Use sub-headings, if needed, to organize the presentation of the study findings. Use tables and figures as required to present your findings. Tables should not contain vertical lines. Each table and figure should have a legend. Use quotations as required to establish your interpretation of qualitative data. All units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Biomolecular sequence or structure data and datasets must be submitted to appropriate publicly available databases and their accession numbers should be cited in the results section. Metric units and their international symbols must be used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma).

  • Authors should ensure that:
    • The Results section does not contain descriptions of methods used that should be presented in the Methods section
    • All results presented in the Results section have any associated data/sample collection and assay or analysis methods presented in the Methods section.

Discussion: The discussion section should address the elements listed below. Other than the required sub-headings listed (bold, italics), sub-headings are not expected but may be helpful to readers.

  • Key findings: In the first paragraph, summarise the key findings without reiterating details of the results.
  • Discussion of key findings: Explain how the key findings relate to previous research or existing knowledge, practice or policy.
  • Implications or recommendations: State the implications of your study or recommendations for future research (questions that remain unanswered), policy or practice. Make sure that the recommendations flow directly from your findings.
  • Limitations (required second-to-last sub-heading): Describe all inherent weaknesses of the study’s design and/or implementation, how they may have affected your findings, and what you did (or could not do) to mitigate their effect on your findings. Mention any other factors that the reader should take into account when interpreting your results.
  • Conclusion (required final sub-heading): Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance to each objective of the study.

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Refer to the acknowledgement structure guide on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Funding: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Data availability: All research articles are encouraged to have a data availability statement.
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

Systematic Review Article


Systematic reviews should follow the same basic structure as other original research articles. The aim and objectives should focus on a clinical question that will be addressed in the review. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should meet the standards of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).

 

Title
The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract
The abstract should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a concise account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The abstract must be structured and should consist of five paragraphs labelled Background, Aim, Methods, Results, Conclusion.

  • Background: Why is the topic important? State the context of the review
  • Aim: What is the purpose of the review? Describe the aim or purpose of the review.
  • Methods: How was the review conducted? Describe the methods used for searching, selecting and appraising your evidence.
  • Results: What were the main findings? State the main findings of the literature review.
  • Conclusion: What are the implications of the findings? Briefly summarise any potential implications.

 

Main Text
Introduction: Present an argument for the social and scientific value of your review that is itself supported by the literature. Present the aim and objectives of your literature review.

 

Methods: Outline how you searched for, selected and appraised the literature that you used, and ensured that you met the standards of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). Clearly describe in detail the search strategy, criteria used to select or reject articles; attempts made to obtain all important and relevant studies and deal with publication bias (including grey and unpublished literature); how the quality of included studies was appraised; and the methodology used to extract and/or analyse data. Discuss any methodological limitations If the protocol was pre-registered (eg in PROSPERO), the registry number should be provided. 

 

Results: Present your review of the literature and make use of appropriate sub-headings. Your review should be a critical synthesis of the literature and should describe the homogeneity of the different findings, as well as clearly present the overall results and any meta-analysis.

 

Discussion: Clearly state the main conclusions of the review in terms of addressing the original aim and objectives.

 

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Refer to the acknowledgement structure guide on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Sources of support: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Data availability: All research articles are encouraged to have a data availability statement.
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

Narrative Review Article


Systematic reviews are preferred and prospective authors of narrative reviews should contact the editorial office to determine suitability before submission.  Narrative reviews should have a clear aim and objectives and focus on a question that will be addressed in the review. The review should be organized in sections appropriate for the topic.  Reviews should include in detail the search strategy, criteria used to select or reject articles, attempts made to obtain all important and relevant studies and deal with publication bias (including grey and unpublished literature), how the quality of included studies was appraised, and the methodology used to extract and/or analyse data. Results should describe the homogeneity of the different findings, and clearly present the overall results and any meta-analysis. 

 

Title
The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract
The abstract should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a concise overview of the topic and the main findings.

 

Main Text
The main text should be organized in sections appropriate for the topic and should begin with the presentation of an argument for the social and scientific value of the review that is itself supported by the literature. Present the aim and objectives of the literature review and outline how you searched for, selected and appraised the literature that you used. Discuss any methodological limitations. The review should be a critical synthesis of the literature and should end by stating the main conclusions of the review in terms of addressing the original aim and objectives.

 

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Refer to the acknowledgement structure guide on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Sources of support: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Data availability: All research articles are encouraged to have a data availability statement.
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

Lessons from the Field


Title
The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract
The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense in complete sentences. The abstract should give a succinct account of the intervention, lessons learnt and their significance. The structured abstract for Lessons from the Field articles should consist of four paragraphs labelled Background, Intervention, Lessons Learnt, Recommendation.

  • Background: What was the problem? Why was it important to address?  State the context and purpose of the study.
  • Intervention: What was done to address the problem? How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? Clearly describe the scope of the work and name or briefly describe the basic methodology used without going into excessive detail. Avoid using jargon that will not be readily understood by non-expert readers.
  • Lessons Learnt: What happened after the intervention? Present the main outcomes, changes, improvements after the intervention. Identify trends, relative change or differences from before the intervention.
  • Recommendations: What are the implications of the intervention and your results for other laboratories? Briefly summarise the key take-away messages.

Do not cite references in the abstract.
Do not use abbreviations unless they are used at least 3 times in the abstract.

 

Main Text
All main sections shown below are required for all Lessons from the Field articles. 

 

Background: The purpose of the Background section is to provide a conceptual and historical context for the intervention. Authors should begin with a paragraph on the general issue their intervention addressed as it pertains to medical laboratories in general and in limited-resource settings. The second paragraph should provide readers with specific information on the issue in their local setting, including any relevant history of the country’s laboratory or laboratory system. The final paragraph should explain the rationale and motivation for the intervention. Structural sub-headings may be used to help guide readers. All text should be presented in narrative paragraphs; bulleted or numbered lists are not permitted.

 

Description of the Intervention: The Description of the Intervention section must address the elements listed below. Structural sub-headings are encouraged and required as noted (bold, italics).

  • Ethical considerations (required when human subjects research was conducted): Approval must have been obtained before the work began for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee. Required elements:
    • Name of the institutional review board or ethics committee
    • Study approval number
    • Manner of consent (written, oral) for human participants
    • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of data
  • Setting: A brief description of the setting for the study. Include the type(s) of laboratory and community(ies) served, the nature of the local/country health system and usual services provided.
  • Study population and sampling strategy: Describe the study population and any inclusion or exclusion criteria. Describe the intended sample size and your sample size calculation or justification. Describe the sampling strategy used. Describe in practical terms how this was implemented.
  • Intervention: What was the intervention and comparison groups, describe the intervention in detail and what happened to the comparison groups.
  • Data collection: Describe what data were collected and how, describe any data collection tools that were used (e.g. worksheets, questionnaires, etc.) and their validity. Describe in practical terms how data were collected (e.g., in-person interviews) and any key issues involved (e.g. language barriers). Provide manufacturer information for all supplies and equipment (required: name and location). Cite references for established data collection tools and their validation studies.
  • Laboratory analyses: Describe in detail any laboratory tests, analyses and/or assays that were conducted. Cite references for established methods and explain any deviations from these.
  • Data analysis (required): Describe how data were checked, cleaned and prepared for analyses. Describe the statistical tests used or steps followed in qualitative data analysis. Provide manufacturer information for all software used (required: name and location).

 

Lessons Learnt: Present the outcomes and results of the intervention in a logical sequence. Use sub-headings, if needed, to organize the presentation of the study findings. Use tables and figures as required to present your findings. Use quotations as required to establish your interpretation of qualitative data. All units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma).

  • Authors should ensure that:
  • The Lessons Learnt section does not contain descriptions of interventions used that should be presented in the Intervention section
  • All outcomes and results presented in the Lessons Learnt section must have any associated data/sample collection and assay or analysis methods presented in the Intervention section.

 

Recommendations: The Recommendations section should place your outcomes in context with published results or current policies and practice in other laboratories and discuss key take-away messages from your experience.

 

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Refer to the acknowledgement structure guide on our Formatting Requirements page.

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Sources of support: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Data availability: All research articles are encouraged to have a data availability statement.
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

Case Studies


Title
The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).

 

Abstract
The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the case, its management and outcomes and their significance. The structured abstract for a Case Study article should consist of five paragraphs labelled Introduction, Case Presentation, Management and Outcomes, Conclusion.

 

Introduction: Set the context for the report. What is known / unknown about the disease, condition or situation being reported?

 

Case Presentation: Present the most important details about the case(s) in your report. Include relevant date(s) and location(s), how case(s) presented or were discovered, etc. Avoid using jargon that will not be readily understood by non-expert readers.

 

Management and Outcomes: In chronological order, explain what was done with special attention to laboratory-related components.

 

Conclusion: Briefly summarise the larger implications of the case(s) and its outcomes. What is the ‘big picture’ take-away message?

Do not cite references in the abstract.
Do not use abbreviations unless they are used at least 3 times in the abstract.

 

Main text
All main sections are required. Authors should consult the CARE guidelines for case reports for expected content.

 

Introduction: The Introduction section establishes the context and motivation for the report. The Introduction should present the topic and other concepts important to the case, such as historical or social context or traditional challenges with diagnosis or management. No structural sub-headings should be used. All text should be presented in narrative paragraphs; bulleted or numbered lists are not permitted.

 

Ethical considerations: For studies involving human or animal research, approval must have been obtained for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee before the start of the study. Required information:

  • Name of Institutional Review Board or ethical review committee, if the study was reviewed by one
  • Study approval number (s), if review conducted
  • Description of measures taken to maintain the confidentiality of patient data, clinical details and photographs
  • For reports on human patients, a statement of patients’ consent to publish clinical details and photographs is required.

Case Presentation: The Case Presentation section presents relevant details of the case and how it was discovered and investigated. Include the initial complaints of patients, the patient(s) history taken by healthcare workers, the results of clinical examinations, and laboratory and other tests and investigations. End the section with the initial diagnosis. This section must be written in complete sentences; bulleted or numbered lists are not permitted. Structural sub-headings are not required but may be useful for readers.

 

Management and Outcomes: Describe the initial treatments and whether the patient(s) improved, then any subsequent clinical and laboratory investigations, modifications to treatments and improvement/worsening of the patient(s) condition.

 

Discussion: The Discussion should place the details of the case(s) and outcomes in the context of other published reports. Provide a scientific rationale for any conclusions drawn, such as possible causes of the case(s). Other than the required sub-headings listed, sub-headings are not expected but may be helpful to readers. 

  • Strengths and Limitations (required second-to-last sub-heading): Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the report. 
  • Conclusion (required final sub-heading): Provide a brief conclusion with no references that summarises the key take-away messages from the report.

 

Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named. Refer to the acknowledgement structure guide on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Sources of support: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Data availability: All research articles are encouraged to have a data availability statement.
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.

 

 

 

INPAGE MENU

  • Style and format
  • References
  • Permission to use copyright material
Acknowledgements structure
  • Acknowledgements
  • Competing interests
  • Author contributions
  • Funding information
  • Data availability statement
  • Disclaimer

 

Style and format


File format

  • Manuscript files can be in the following formats: DOC, DOCX, or RTF. Microsoft Word documents should not be locked or protected.
  • LaTeX documents (.tex) should be converted into Microsoft Word (.doc) before submission online.
  • Rich Text Format (RTF): Users of other word processing packages should save or convert their files to RTF before uploading. Many free tools are available that will make this process easier.

Length

Manuscripts should adhere to the author guidelines of the journal. There are restrictions on word count, number of figures, or amount of supporting information.

 

Font

Use a standard font size and any standard font family.

 

Special characters

Do not use the font named ‘Symbol’. To add symbols to the manuscript, use the Insert → Symbol function in your word processor or paste in the appropriate Unicode character. Refer to our AOSIS house style guide on mathematical and Unicode font guidelines.

 

Headings

Ensure that formatting for headings is consistent in the manuscript. Limit manuscript sections and sub-sections to four heading levels. To avoid confusion during the review and production process, ensure that the different heading levels used in your work are visually distinct from one another. The simplest way to achieve this is to use different font sizes and/or a combination of bold/italics for different heading levels.

 

Keywords

Identify eight keywords that represent the content of your manuscript and are specific to your field or sub-field. Test your keywords: when you enter your keywords into the various journal and academic databases like Google Scholar, do the results include papers similar to your topic? If not, revise the terms until they do.

 

Layout and spacing

Manuscript text should have a 1.5 line spacing.

 

Page and line numbers

Include page numbers and line numbers in the manuscript file. Use continuous line numbers (do not restart the numbering on each page).

 

Footnotes

Footnotes are not ideal. If your manuscript contains footnotes, move the information into the main text or the reference list, depending on the content.

 

Language

Manuscripts must be written in British English, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (avoid Americanisms [e.g. use ‘s’ and not ‘z’ spellings], and set your version of Microsoft Word default language to UK English). Refer to the AOSIS house style guide for more information.

 

Abbreviations

Define abbreviations upon first appearance in the text. Do not use non-standard abbreviations unless they appear at least three times in the text. Keep abbreviations to a minimum.

 

Illustrations

Illustrations fall into two categories:

  • Figures: Photographs, drawings, diagrams, graphs, flowcharts, maps, etc.
  • Tables and/or Boxes: Text and/or numbers arranged in orderly columns and rows.

Every time a Figure, Table and/or Box is presented in your manuscript, it should be referred to three times:

  • In a legend, which includes a number, a title, and its source. The legend is placed below a Figure and above a Table and/or Box. The source section should consist of the in-text citation, creator or owner and its year of creation, and any other attribution required as stipulated by the permission received (person and place) to reproduce.
  • In the body of your written manuscript. You should include an in-text citation and a sentence or two about the image explaining what it illustrates and why it is there.
  • As a reference entry within your reference list.

 

AOSIS house style

The manuscript must adhere to the AOSIS house style guide.

 

References


Referencing style guide

The manuscript must adhere to the Vancouver referencing style.

 

Permission to use copyright material


The following information will assist you in understanding your responsibilities and in requesting permission to reproduce copyrighted material in your work. All permissions granted must be submitted to the journal together with your manuscript, and you must ensure that a clearly written source accompanies the work.

 

Your responsibilities

As the author, you are responsible for obtaining permission and paying any fees to use the third-party copyrighted material that your manuscript contains.

 

Material that will need clearance

Content not in the public domain or freely available to use under a license such as a creative commons license will require clearance. It includes the use of photographs, figures, maps, tables, cartoons, advertisements, epigraphs and quotations that are over the limits referred to under ‘Modification/adaptation of figures and tables’.

 

Web material

Image or text material on the Web may not be the intellectual property of the site hosting it. You must always identify the original copyright source and obtain explicit permission. Take particular care with photographs obtained from websites, blogs, Google image searches, YouTube, Wikimedia, etc.

 

Material previously published by you or your colleague

Check the contract with the other publisher to see whether, and under what conditions, the material can be reused in this AOSIS publication. If in any doubt, permission must be obtained.

 

Images of, or information about, identifiable individuals

It is your responsibility to obtain consent from patients and other individuals for the use of information, images, audio files, and video clips from which they may be identified. Bear in mind the following points:

  • Masking a person’s eyes is not an adequate or acceptable means of rendering an image anonymous.
  • People may still be recognizable to individuals or their families, even if head/shoulders are not included.
  • People may recognize themselves from clinical descriptions or case reports.

Modification/adaptation of figures and tables

Use the original figure as first published where appropriate. However:

  • No clearance is required if you create figures or tables using factual data from copyrighted material.
  • No clearance is required if, after you have created a single figure or table using data from two or more figures or tables, no single source comprises more than 75% of the new figure or table.
  • No clearance is required if, after you have created a new figure or table by adding your own data to an existing figure or table, your data comprises more than 25% of the new figure or table.
  • Clearance is required if you create a figure or table using parts from two or more third-party sources, and each part contains more than 75% of the content of the original figure/table part.

Quotations

For prose, permission is required for single quotations of over 400 words or multiple quotations from the same source that cumulatively total more than 800 words. But note that, even if below these limits, permissions must be cleared for quotations that represent the ‘heart of the work’ or a substantial portion of the overall original source material.

 

Clear before you submit your final manuscript

Permissions must be cleared before the final version of your manuscript is submitted for publication. If permission cannot be obtained, you should find an alternative or remove the material. Provide electronic copies of all consent forms obtained when you submit your final manuscript, numbered and named accordingly.

 

Acknowledgements structure


Acknowledgements

The acknowledgement section follows the conclusions section and addresses formal, required statements of gratitude and required disclosures. It includes listing those who contributed to the work but did not meet authorship criteria, with the corresponding description of the contribution. Acknowledge anyone who provided intellectual assistance, technical help (including with writing and editing), or special equipment and/or materials. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgements agrees to be named.

 

Also provide the following, each under their own subheading:

  • Competing interests
  • Author contributions
  • Funding information
  • Data availability statement
  • Disclaimer

Competing interests

This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect. Read our policy on competing interests.

 

The following are examples of competing interest statements. If you use one of the examples, you should modify it to fit your specific relationship.

 

Scenario

Suggested competing interest statements

Example 1

The author(s) declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.

Example 2

The author reported that they [have a financial and/or business interests in] [are a consultant to] [received funding from] a company that may be affected by the research reported in the enclosed publication. They have disclosed those interests fully and have in place an approved plan for managing any potential conflicts arising from [that involvement].

Example 3

A.B. developed the theoretical formalism, performed the analytic calculations and performed the numerical simulations. Both A.B and B.C. contributed to the final version of the manuscript. B.C. supervised the project.

Example 4

A.B., B.C., C.D., D.E., E.F., F.G., and G.H. conceived and planned the experiments. A.B., B.C., C.D. and D.E. carried out the experiments. A.B., F.G. and E.F. planned and carried out the simulations. J.K., K.L., A.B., B.C., D.E., C.D., F.J., and F.G. contributed to sample preparation. A.B., B.C., C.D., D.E., FJ, E.F., F.G. and G.H. contributed to the interpretation of the results. A.B. took the lead in writing the manuscript. All authors provided critical feedback and helped shape the research, analysis and manuscript.

Example 5

A.B. and B.C. designed the model and the computational framework and analysed the data. A.B. and C.D. carried out the implementation. A.B. performed the calculations. A.B. and B.C. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. D.E. and E.F. conceived the study and were in charge of overall direction and planning.

Example 6

A.B. designed and performed the experiments, derived the models and analysed the data. B.C. assisted with XYZ measurements and C.D. helped carry out the XYZ simulations. A.B. and D.E. wrote the manuscript in consultation with C.D., B.C. and E.F..

Example 7

A.B. devised the project, the main conceptual ideas and proof outline. B.C. worked out almost all of the technical details, and performed the numerical calculations for the suggested experiment. C.D. worked out the bound for quantum mechanics, with help from D.E.. E.F. verified the numerical results of the XYZ by an independent implementation. F.G. and G.H. proposed the XYZ experiment in discussions with A.B.. B.C., C.D., G.H. and A.B. wrote the manuscript.

Example 8

A.B., B.C. and C.D. designed the study. A.B., D.E. and E.F. performed the XYZ experiments. F.G. and G.H. performed XYZ simulations. I.H. and M.C. expressed and purified all proteins. A.B., H.J., B.C. and C.D. analysed the data. A.B., B.C. and C.D. wrote the paper with input from all authors.

Example 9

A.B. and B.C. designed and directed the project; C.D., D.E., A.B. and B.C. performed the experiments; C.D. and B.C. analysed spectra; A.B. and E.F. made the simulations; B.C. developed the theoretical framework; C.D., A.B. and B.C. wrote the article.

Example 10

The author of this publication receives research funding from [Entity], which is developing products related to the research described in this publication. In addition, the author serves as a consultant to [Entity] and receives compensation for these services. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the [University name; Institution name] in accordance with its policy on objectivity in research.

Example 11

 

 

The author of this publication receives research support from [name of research sponsor] with an equipment loan from [Entity]. The author also [has an equity interest in, serves as a consultant to, serves on an advisory board or board of directors for] [Entity]. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the [University name; Institution name] in accordance with its policy on objectivity in research.

Author contributions

All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.

 

The following are examples of an author contribution statement. If you use one of the examples, you should modify it to fit your specific relationship.

 

Scenario

Suggested author contribution statements

Example 1

A.B. and B.C. conceived of the presented idea. A.B. developed the theory and performed the computations. C.D. and D.E. verified the analytical methods. B.C. encouraged A.B. to investigate [a specific aspect] and supervised the findings of this work. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the final manuscript.

Example 2

A.B. and B.C. carried out the experiment. A.B. wrote the manuscript with support from C.D.. D.E. and E.F. fabricated the XYZ sample. F.G. and G.H. helped supervise the project. G.H. and H.I. conceived the original idea. H.I. supervised the project.

Example 3

A.B. developed the theoretical formalism, performed the analytic calculations and performed the numerical simulations. Both A.B and B.C. authors contributed to the final version of the manuscript. B.C. supervised the project.

Example 4

A.B., B.C., C.D., D.E., E.F., F.G., and G.H. conceived and planned the experiments. A.B., B.C., C.D. and D.E. carried out the experiments. A.B., F.G. and E.F. planned and carried out the simulations. J.K., K.L., A.B., B.C., D.E., C.D., F.J., and F.G. contributed to sample preparation. A.B., B.C., C.D., D.E., FJ, E.F., F.G. and G.H. contributed to the interpretation of the results. A.B. took the lead in writing the manuscript. All authors provided critical feedback and helped shape the research, analysis and manuscript.

Example 5

A.B. and B.C. designed the model and the computational framework and analysed the data. A.B. and C.D. carried out the implementation. A.B. performed the calculations. A.B. and B.C. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. D.E. and E.F. conceived the study and were in charge of overall direction and planning.

Example 6

A.B. designed and performed the experiments, derived the models and analysed the data. B.C. assisted with XYZ measurements and C.D. helped carry out the XYZ simulations. A.B. and D.E. wrote the manuscript in consultation with C.D., B.C. and E.F..

Example 7

A.B. devised the project, the main conceptual ideas and proof outline. B.C. worked out almost all of the technical details, and performed the numerical calculations for the suggested experiment. C.D. worked out the bound for quantum mechanics, with help from D.E.. E.F. verified the numerical results of the xyz by an independent implementation. F.G. and G.H. proposed the xyz experiment in discussions with A.B.. B.C., C.D., G.H. and A.B. wrote the manuscript.

Example 8

A.B., B.C. and C.D. designed the study. A.B., D.E. and E.F. performed the xyz experiments. F.G. and G.H. performed XYZ simulations. I.H. and M.C. expressed and purified all proteins. A.B., H.J.., B.C. and C.D. analysed the data. A.B., B.C. and C.D. wrote the paper with input from all authors.

Example 9

A.B. and B.C. designed and directed the project; C.D., D.E., A.B. and B.C. performed the experiments; C.D. and B.C. analysed spectra; A.B. and E.F. made the simulations; B.C. developed the theoretical framework; C.D., A.B. and B.C. wrote the article.

Example 10

A.B., B.C. and C.D. performed the measurements, D.E. and E.F. were involved in planning and supervised the work, A.B. and B.C. processed the experimental data, performed the analysis, drafted the manuscript and designed the figures. F.G., and G.H. performed the xyz calculations. H.I., and I.J. manufactured the samples and characterized them with xyz spectroscopy, J.K. performed the xyz characterization. K.L. aided in interpreting the results and worked on the manuscript. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Example 11

A.B., B.C., C.D. and D.E. contributed to the design and implementation of the research, to the analysis of the results and to the writing of the manuscript.

Funding information

All research articles should have a funding acknowledgement statement included in the manuscript in the form of a sentence under a separate heading entitled ‘Funding information’. The funding agency should be written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets.

 

The following are examples of a funding statement. If you use one of the examples, you should modify it to fit your specific relationship.

 

Scenario

Suggested funding statements

Example 1

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx].

Example 2

This work was supported by the Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

Example 3

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Data availability statement

All research articles should have a data availability statement included in the manuscript in the form of a sentence under a separate heading entitled ‘Data availability statement’.

 

The following are examples of a data availability statement. If you use one of the examples, you should modify it to fit your specific relationship.

 

Availability of data

Suggested data availability statements

Data openly available in a public repository that issues datasets with DOIs

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name e.g ‘figshare’] at http://doi.org/[doi], reference number [reference number].

Data openly available in a public repository that does not issue DOIs

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name] at [URL], reference number [reference number].

Data derived from public domain resources

The data that support the findings of this study are available in [repository name] at [URL/DOI], reference number [reference number]. These data were derived from the following resources available in the public domain: [list resources and URLs]

Data available within the article or its supplementary materials

The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article [and/or] its supplementary materials.

Data generated at a central, large-scale facility, available upon request

Raw data were generated at [facility name]. Derived data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author [initials] on request.

Embargo on data due to commercial restrictions

The data that support the findings will be available in [repository name] at [URL / DOI link] following a [6 month] embargo from the date of publication to allow for the commercialisation of research findings.

Data available on request due to privacy/ethical restrictions

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author, [initials]. The data are not publicly available due to [restrictions, e.g. their containing information that could compromise the privacy of research participants].

Data subject to third party restrictions

The data that support the findings of this study are available [from] [third party]. Restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under licence for this study. Data are available [from the authors / at URL] with the permission of [third party].

Data available on request from the authors

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author, [author initials], upon reasonable request.

Data sharing not applicable – no new data generated

Data sharing is not applicable to this article, as no new data were created or analysed in this study.

Disclaimer

A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

 

 

Blinding your manuscript

Submission checklist

Before you begin the submission process, here are some checks to consider helping you prepare and to ensure you will include everything we will need to process a complete submission.

 

Before you consider this journal, it is essential to acknowledge that:

 

Quick check for your submissions


Check 1: Are you able to cover the cost of publishing
The publication costs for African Journal of Laboratory Medicine are covered by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. All Responsibility for Publication is taken by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine, so authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge. You can find details about the charges via the ‘Publication fees’ link that appears on every journal website.

 

Check 2: Tailor your article for this journal
Make sure your manuscript is the right fit for the journal by reviewing the focus and scope. Determine whether the journal has the best fit for the most relevant aspect of your article. Examine the types of articles considered for publication by this journal, and align your manuscript to these requirements.

 

Check 3: Checking copyright issues
Do not self-plagiarise by ensuring that your manuscript has no relationship to previous research you published. If an article relationship does exist with previously published research, verify whether you require copyright permission for extensive quotations or paraphrasing. It is your responsibility to have gotten written permission for the reproduction of any images/ figures/tables before submitting your manuscript. Please read our policy permission to use copyright material.

 

Check 4: Maintain clear, concise, and accessible writing
Confirm that the entire manuscript is organised and neatly prepared, spell-checked, and adhere to the formatting requirements stipulated in our submission guidelines: 

  • Have you stuck to the article length specified in the journal's instructions for authors?
  • Have you included an abstract and keywords, highlighting your article's key points?
  • Are all references made to the literature included in your references section?
  • Are the references correctly formatted following the style of the journal?
  • Is your article formatted to the style required by the journal?

 

Check 5: Anonymise your manuscript
The journal follows a double-blinded peer-review process, and you need to make your manuscript anonymous. This is to ensure that reviewers would not be able to identify you, your co-authors, or the institution where the research was carried out, ensuring that the review process is as objective as possible. Don’t know how to make your article anonymous, follow these instructions.

 

Check 6: Complete our cover page
The cover letter contains all the information we will need to process your submission upon acceptance, which includes the author account information. The cover letter must be completed in full. We recommend authors to have ORCID iDs, which can only be assigned by the ORCID Registry. Submit the complete cover page in Step 4 of the submission process.

 

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