Author Guide

Instructions for the preparation of manuscripts. Aims and scope of Clinical Laboratory (ABBREVIATION: Clin Lab)

Clinical Laboratory is an international fully peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of laboratory medicine and transfusion medicine. In addition to transfusion medicine topics Clinical Laboratory represents submissions concerning tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular and gene therapies. The journal publishes original articles, review articles, posters, short reports, case studies and letters to the editor dealing with 1) the scientific background, implementation and diagnostic significance of laboratory methods employed in hospitals, blood banks and physicians' offices and with 2) scientific, administrative and clinical aspects of transfusion medicine and 3) In addition to transfusion medicine topics Clinical Laboratory represents submissions concerning tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular and gene therapies.
Clinical Laboratory provides an international forum for the publication of original articles describing basic, translational and clinical investigation in laboratory medicine and transfusion medicine. In addition to transfusion medicine topics Clinical Laboratory represents submissions concerning tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular and gene therapies.
If your manuscript is dealing with one of the above mentioned topics you are always welcome to submit your manuscript for publication in our journal Clinical Laboratory. Please send the complete manuscript with tables and figures as an e-mail attachment to the e-mail address:

Types of articles considered for publication

Original articles
The majority of articles published in the Journal report original research into laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine and cell therapy. All articles are subject to review and authors are urged to be brief; long papers with many tables and figures may require shortening if they are to be accepted for publication. The text is limited to 7,000 words (not counting summary, tables, figure legends, and references), with a summary, a maximum of 7 figures and up to 40 references. There is no limit on the number of tables.
Review articles
Review articles are welcomed by the Journal and are generally solicited by the Editor-in-Chief; however, authors wishing to submit an unsolicited Review Article are invited to contact the Editorial Office prior to submission. Review Articles should focus on recent scientific or clinical advances in an area of broad interest to those in the field of laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine or cell therapy. Such articles must be concise and critical and should include appropriate references to the literature. All review Articles are rigorously peer-reviewed before a final publication decision is made.
Review articles should not exceed 7,000 words in length, excluding references and illustrations, must include a summary of 350 words or fewer, and may not have more than 100 references. The use of tables and color figures to summarize critical points is encouraged; the Journal offers assistance with preparation or improvement of figures by professional illustrators, once the article is accepted.
Short Communications
Short Communications definitively documenting either experimental-scientific results or informative clinical observations in the area of laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine or cell therapy may be published. Short Communications should follow the guidelines for original manuscript and should not exceed 1500 words. They should have a maximum of three figures and/or tables, maximum 20 references. A summary of up to 150 words should be followed by continuous text, subdivided if necessary. Short Communications could include important preliminary observations, short methods papers, therapeutic advances, and any significant scientific or clinical observations which are best published in this format.
Case reports
Case reports usually describe either experimental-scientific results or informative clinical observations of one to three patients or a single family in the area of laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine or cell therapy. Case reports should include a summary, case presentation, discussion and conclusion. They may include up to 1500 words of text, two figures or tables or one of each, and up to 15 references. A summary of up to 100 words should be followed by continuous text, subdivided if necessary.
Letters to the Editor
Correspondence which relates to articles which have recently appeared in the Journal or on current topics in laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine or cell therapy are welcome and will be published if appropriate and based on priority and interest of readership. A title must be provided for each letter. Letters should be as short as possible (but no more than 1000 words of text, 5-10 references and 2 figure or table or one of each). No summary is required.

Other submissions

Editorials usually provide commentary and analysis concerning an article in the issue of the Journal in which they appear. They may include 1 figure or table. They are nearly always solicited, although unsolicited editorials may occasionally be considered. Editorials are limited to 900 words, with up to 10 references.
Book Reviews are generally solicited. We are willing to consider proposals for book reviews, but please contact the Editorial Office before submitting a review.

Preparation of manuscripts

Only manuscripts in English are accepted. Manuscripts, including figures, tables and figure legends, should be submitted as an e-mail attachment or, alternatively, in triplicate, one original and two copies. The text should be typed 1½-spaced, on one side of the paper, with a margin of 3 cm. The pages should be numbered consecutively as well as the lines beginning with the title page. Use a separate sheet of paper for each of the following sections: title page, summary and key words, text, acknowledgements, references, individual tables and figure legends, in that order. Preferably use the type Times New Roman or Courier, and Symbol, as these can be converted into pdf files without problems.

Title Page
The title page should contain: 1) the title of the article, which should be concise but informative and should not include abbreviations or brand names; 2) a short “running title” of no more than 50 characters (count letters and spaces) typed at the bottom of the title page and identified as such; 3) first name (additional first names must be given as initials with dots) and last name (double last names must be hyphenated) of each author but not his/her titles, degrees, positions, or academic ranks; 4) the name(s) of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed; 5) disclaimers, if any; 6) name, address, telephone and FAX numbers, and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript; 7) either the name and address of the author responsible for reprint requests or a statement that reprints will not be available from the author; and 8) the source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, or drugs; 9) Declaration of Interest. Please note on the title page of your word document any Declaration of Interest of any of the authors. If there are no conflicts, please state that fact.

Summary and key words
The second page must carry a summary of not more than 350 words. The summary should consist of four sections labeled BACKGROUND, METHODS, RESULTS, and CONCLUSIONS. These sections should briefly describe, respectively, the objectives of the study or investigation, the basic procedures (study subjects and analytic methods), the main findings (giving specific data and the statistical significance, if possible), and the principal conclusions. Emphasize new and important aspects of the study. Do not use first-person pronouns in the summary. Key words should follow the summary on the same page.

The text of observational and experimental articles is usually divided into sections using the headings INTRODUCTION, MATERIALS AND METHODS, RESULTS, and DISCUSSION. Long articles may need subheadings within some sections to clarify content, especially in the Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion sections. Other types of articles, such as reviews and editorials, may require other formats; authors should consult the Editor for guidance. Use as much active voice as possible in writing.
Introduction. Clearly state the purpose of the article. Summarize the rationale used for the study or observations. Give only pertinent references: do not review the subject extensively. Do not include data or conclusions from work being reported.
Case Report. Include only for manuscripts that focus on individual histories.
Materials and Methods. Describe your selection of observational or experimental subjects (patients or animals, including controls, and the number in each study group) clearly. Identify the methods, apparatus, equipment, reagents, and procedures used in sufficient detail to allow other colleagues to reproduce the results. Publication of an original research article implies that the authors are prepared to distribute freely to academic researchers for their own use any materials (e.g., cell lines, DNA clones, antibodies) used in the experiments. Provide model name or number, and the manufacturer’s name (in parentheses) the first time a reagent, an apparatus, or any equipment is mentioned. Give references to established methods; provide references and brief descriptions of methods that are not well-known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and describe their limitations.
Statistics. The basis for these guidelines is described in Bailar JC III, Mosteller F. Guidelines for statistical reporting in articles for medical journals: amplifications and explanations. Ann Intern Med 1988;108:266-73. Describe statistical methods in detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid sole reliance on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of p values, which fails to convey important quantitative information. References for study design and statistical methods should be to standard works (with pages stated) when possible, rather than to papers in which designs or methods were originally reported. Specify any general-use computer programs used. Put general descriptions of methods in the Methods section. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols.
Results. Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and/or illustrations. Do not repeat in the text any data presented in tables and/or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations, and avoid tables displaying data showing insignificant differences among groups.
Discussion. Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail the data given in the Results section or in tables or illustrations. Include in the Discussion the implications of the findings and their limitations, and relate the observations to other relevant studies. Link the conclusions with the stated purpose of the study, but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data presented. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.

Journal Style

Type each table on a separate sheet. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. A short descriptive heading should be given above each table and footnotes and/or explanations below. Please prepare your tables in "Word" by the "Table" function or use xls.-files (Excel). Do not use the Tab key for tables.

Please send figures as an e-mail attachment or, alternatively, submit three complete sets of figures (1 original set with photographs, 13 cm x 18 cm black and white; two sets of copies, and store the figures on disks). If possible, use Word, xls, cdr, tif or jpg files for storage of figures on disks. Illustrations in color will be published only if the author pays for the extra cost involved. For more detailed information on manuscripts see: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Brit Med J 1991;302:338-41.

References must be 1½-spaced and numbered consecutively, with Arabic numerals in brackets, as they are cited. References first cited in a table or figure legend should be numbered so that they will be in sequence with references cited in the text at the point where the table or figure is first mentioned. List all authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first three, followed by “et al.” Please include the following for each reference: either the PMID (PMID: 8xxxxx4) or PMC (PMC: 4xxx4). Should a reference NOT have either PMID or PMC, please include the link or a link/address where the article can be obtained in the internet (please make sure that the article is displayed not just the journal reference - at least an English abstract must be available for reading)

  1. Henter JI, Horne A, Arico M, et al. HLH-2004: Diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2007;48:124-131 (PMID: 16937360).
  2. Bjerregaard B, Talts JF, Larsson LI. The endogenous envelope protein syncytin is involved in myoblast fusion. Cell Fusions: Springer; 2011:267-75.

Key references only should be given, and exhaustive lists will not be accepted. Few original communications justify more than 40 references. Reviews may contain more references. Try to avoid using summaries as references; ‘unpublished observations’ and ‘personal communications’ may not be used as references, although references to written, not oral, communications may be inserted (in parentheses) in the text. Give the name of the person from whom the communication was received and the date (month and year) of the communication. References to manuscripts accepted but not yet published may be included; designate the journal name, followed by ‘in press’ (in parentheses). Information from manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted should be cited in the text as ‘unpublished observations’ or ‘submitted for publication’ (in parentheses).

Abbreviations, Units
Except for units of measurement, abbreviations are strongly discouraged. The full term for which an abbreviation stands must precede its first use in the text for ALL abbreviations with the exception of units of measurement. Use only standard abbreviations. No abbreviations should be used in the title of the manuscript.
Solutes should be expressed in g/L, mg/L etc. Concentrations of solutes of known molecular weight may be stated in mol/L or recognized submultiples thereof (mmol/L, μmol/L etc. according to the international system of units (SI)). Enzyme activities should be reported in U/L (

Acknowledgments Acknowledgments include one or more statements that specify: 1) contributions that should be acknowledged but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chairman; 2) technical help received; 3) financial and material support, specifying the nature of the support; and/or 4) financial relationships that may pose a conflict of interest. Persons who have contributed intellectually to the paper, but whose contributions do not justify authorship, may be named and their function or contribution described as, for example, ‘scientific adviser’, ‘critical review of study proposal’, ‘data collection’, or ‘participation in clinical trial’. Such persons must have given written permission to be named. Authors are responsible for obtaining this written permission from persons acknowledged by name, because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions. Technical help should be acknowledged in a paragraph separate from paragraphs acknowledging other contributions.

All manuscripts are subject to editing for consistency of style by the Editor, the publisher, or both. Authors will be sent page proofs by the publisher. Proof-reading must be limited to the correction of typographical errors. Any other changes involve time-consuming and expensive work and must be charged to the authors. The page proofs should be returned directly to the publisher by email or fax immediately after receipt to allow for accommodation of authors’ corrections and to avoid publication delay. If this is not done, the paper will be passed for publication with house corrections only. Manuscripts generally will be published in the order that they are accepted.

Reprints can be ordered at quoted prices. The order form, which is sent along with the proofs, must be completed and returned with the corrected proofs.

Declaration of interest
It is the policy of Clinical Laboratory Publications GmbH to adhere in principle to the Conflict of Interest policy recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, ). The authors must declare conflicts of interest (Declaration of Interests). In specific, we request for the following: 1) all relevant potential conflicts of interest for each named author and/or a statement of no-conflicts if there are none relevant to the contents of the article for any author(s), 2) disclosure of how the article is funded, and in specific, the disclosure of any and all pharmaceutical company funding (partial or total) or a statement that there was no involvement of a pharmaceutical/other company (if this is the case) and 3) comprehensive explanation of the role of the sponsors in article preparation (if the article is sponsored in part or whole).

Policy and ethics
The work described in your article must have been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans; EC Directive 86/609/EEC for animal experiments; Uniform Require- ments for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals This must be stated at an appropriate point in the article.

It is a condition of publication that authors assign copyright or licence the publication rights, including summaries, to Clinical Laboratory Publications GmbH. Authors may, of course, use the article elsewhere after publication without prior permission from Clinical Laboratory Publications GmbH, provided that acknowledgement is given to the journal as the original source of publication, and that Clinical Laboratory Publications GmbH is notified so that our records show that its use is properly authorized.

Paper policy
The Publisher's policy is to use permanent paper from mills that operate a sustainable forestry policy. Paper has been manufactured from pulp that is processed using acid-free and elementary chlorine-free practices. Furthermore, the Publisher ensures that the text paper and cover board used has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards.

The Publisher and the Editors cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this journal; the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Publisher and the Editors; neither does the publication of advertisements constitute any endorsement by the Publisher the Editors of the products advertised.

Handling fee

A non-refundable handling fee of EUR 79 (plus VAT in European countries) is due prior to processing, independent of acceptance or rejection.

For further information

Editorial Office
Christina Noske
Stubenwald-Allee 8a
64625 Bensheim, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)6251-70190-19
Fax: +49-(0)6251-70190-89