JAVMA Instructions for Authors - Editorial Policies


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The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association is a peer-reviewed general veterinary medical journal that publishes manuscripts dealing with any subject germane to the practice of veterinary medicine. For scientific manuscripts, preference will be accorded to those that have clinical or practical value.

Authors who submit manuscripts to the journal should carefully read these Instructions for Authors when preparing their manuscripts, because compliance with these instructions will help reduce delays in manuscript processing. Authors submitting manuscripts for publication in specific features of the journal should also read recent issues of the journal for examples of how such reports and features are typically organized. Authors who have additional questions are encouraged to consult with an AVMA scientific editor prior to manuscript submission.

Authorship—Individuals should be listed as authors only if they 1) made a substantial contribution to the conception and design of the study, the acquisition of the data used in the study, or the analysis and interpretation of that data; 2) were involved in drafting or revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content; and 3) will have an opportunity to approve subsequent revisions of the manuscript, including the version to be published. All 3 conditions must be met. Each individual listed as an author must have participated sufficiently to take public responsibility for the work. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research team does not, alone, justify authorship.

For multi-institutional studies, the individual who headed the study should be listed as an author, along with individuals who provided assistance with pathological evaluations (eg, review of gross and histologic specimens) and statistical analyses and any other individual who had a substantial impact on the study design or made a unique contribution to the study. Individuals who submitted case material should be listed as authors only if they contributed at least 10% of the cases included in the study; individuals who contributed less than 10% of the cases should be listed in the acknowledgments. Requests to list a working group or study group in the byline will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Prior publication—A manuscript is received with the understanding that it and all revisions have been approved by all authors and that neither the manuscript nor any of its parts has been published, except as an abstract (authors are encouraged to consult the guidelines for preparation of scientific abstracts when preparing scientific abstracts for publications), or is under concurrent consideration by any other publication. The corresponding author must provide a signed statement to this effect.

A manuscript containing information published in any compiled printed (eg, journals, symposia, proceedings, newsletters, books) or electronic (eg, websites, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or blogs) format may be rejected on the grounds of prior publication. Publication of abstracts less than 250 words long does not constitute prior publication; however, publication of longer abstracts may.


Authors preparing abstracts for electronic or print publication in proceedings or other communications media (eg, journal, newsletter, poster, book, CD-ROM, or website) are encouraged to review the guidelines for preparation of scientific abstracts to avoid having their manuscripts rejected because of prior publication concerns.


At the time of manuscript submission, the corresponding author must include copies of any abstracts of the manuscript that have been published or submitted for publication or that are expected to be submitted for publication.

Copyright—The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association is covered by copyright. All authors will be required to sign a written statement transferring copyright to the AVMA prior to publication of any manuscript or letter. Requests to copy, reprint, or use portions of published material (including information in figures and tables) should be addressed to the editor-in-chief.

Authors must obtain permission from the copyright holder (most often, the author or publisher) if they wish to include items such as figures or appendices that appeared or will have appeared in other published reports, regardless of the originating source.

Original artwork that was created specifically for use in the manuscript must be accompanied by a letter explaining the conditions under which the work was created. The letter must be signed by the artist and should specify the rights given to the authors for use of the artwork and the rights retained by the artist (if any). If rights are retained by the artist, the letter must include a statement that allows the journal to use the material for publication in print and online.

Commercial availability of products used—A manuscript reporting results of a study that involved evaluation of the efficacy or safety of a pharmaceutical, biologic, or other product or in which such products were relevant to the diagnosis, treatment, or outcome will be considered only if the product is commercially available in the United States and can legally be used in the species of interest.

Humane animal care and use—For consideration for publication in the JAVMA, all research studies involving animals must have been performed in compliance with guidelines outlined in the (USDA website), US Public Health Service Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH website), NRC Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Academies Press website), or Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (Federation of Animal Science Societies website) or with equivalent guidelines. Methods of euthanasia must comply with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia (PDF).

A manuscript containing information that suggests that animals were subjected to adverse, stressful, or harsh conditions or treatments will not be considered for publication unless the authors demonstrate convincingly that the knowledge gained was of sufficient value to justify these conditions or treatments.

Letters to the editor—Readers who submit letters to the editor must limit them to 500 words (longer letters will be condensed as needed) and 6 references. Letters must be original and cannot have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Not all letters are published; all letters accepted for publication are subject to editing. Those pertaining to anything published in the AJVR should be received within 1 month after the date of publication of the material to which they may refer. Submission via e-mail (JournalLetters@avma.org) or fax (847-925-9329) is encouraged; authors should give their full contact information including address, daytime telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address. Letters containing defamatory, libelous, or malicious statements will not be published, nor will letters representing attacks on or attempts to demean veterinary societies or their committees or agencies.

Dual-use research of concern—Although openness in science is recognized as the goal in publishing decisions, with advances in molecular and cell biology, genetics, microbiology, and other life sciences, it has become increasingly possible to manipulate aspects of biological systems to better understand healthy states as well as mechanisms of disease in animals and humans. In doing so, there is the potential that information, products, or technologies that result from life sciences research may be misused for harmful purposes. The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has proposed a definition for dual-use research of concern and a framework for overseeing this research.

Dual-use research of concern is research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied by others to pose a threat to public health, safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, or material.

As such, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has adopted the following policy regarding assessment of submitted manuscripts with potential dual-use content:

  • Any manuscript submitted for publication that raises concerns regarding dual-use potential will be subject to editorial review to determine the risks and benefits to the scientific community and to the public at large that may result from publication. The AVMA scientific editors maintain a strong commitment against withholding scientific or other information unless there are compelling reasons to do so.
  • The scientific editors reserve the right to seek special external review of these manuscripts from individuals with technical and biosecurity expertise to assist their decision.
  • Authors and reviewers are expected to alert the AVMA scientific editors when submitting or reviewing manuscripts with dual-use potential.
  • The final decision for publication, as well as the means of communicating manuscripts with dual-use potential, will be made by the editor-in-chief. An accompanying editorial may be published.