JAVMA Instructions for Authors - Manuscript Preparation


Format—Manuscripts (including footnotes, references, figure legends, and tables) should be prepared with the following attributes:

  • 8.5 X 11-inch (or A4) page size
  • Double-space typed
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) margins
  • Left justification
  • Sequential line numbering 

Authors are encouraged to avoid software programs that automatically create endnotes, footnotes, and references in the submitted version of their manuscript, because the embedded formatting used by these programs may not be read by the publication software.


Organization and contents—Manuscripts should be organized as follows:

  • Title page
  • Structured abstract (when applicable; letters to the editor, commentaries, feature submissions, and Reference Point articles excluded)
  • Text
  • Footnotes
  • References
  • Figure legends
  • Tables 

Manuscripts that are not prepared in this format will be returned to the authors for amendment and resubmission.


Title page-The title page (see example) must include the title and the first name, middle initial, and last name of each author, along with each author's professional degree, highest earned academic degree, and diplomate status (for authors who are diplomates of AVMA-recognized specialty organizations). Professional affiliations (full mailing addresses) of the authors at the time of the study should be indicated. If an author's affiliation has changed since the study was performed, the author's new affiliation should be identified as well (eg, "Dr. Researcher's present address is..."). If information in the text has been presented at a scientific meeting, this should be indicated on the title page, including the nature of that presentation (eg, abstract or poster). Sources of funding, financial conflicts of interest, disclaimers, acknowledgments, and the name and e-mail address of the corresponding author should also be included on the title page.  

Acknowledgments—The acknowledgments should be used to identify specific individuals who had an important role in or made important contributions to the study but who do not meet the criteria for authorship. In general, this includes individuals who contributed intellectually to the study or report but whose contributions do not justify authorship, individuals who provided technical assistance (eg, individuals who performed special tests or research), and individuals who provided assistance with the statistical analyses.

The acknowledgments should not be used simply as a method of expressing gratitude to individuals who had a minor role in the study. The acknowledgments should not include individuals whose only contribution to the study or report involved the routine performance of their normal job duties and who did not offer any unusual intellectual contribution or technical expertise. Acknowledgments of nonspecific groups (eg, the intensive care unit technicians) and unidentifiable groups (eg, the anonymous contributors or study participants) are not allowed. 


Individuals named in the acknowledgments must have given their permission to the authors to be listed, because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions.


Authors are expected to acknowledge all sources of funding and to disclose any financial interests (including ownership, employment, consultancy arrangements, and service as an officer or board member) they have with companies that manufacture products that are the subject of their research or with companies that manufacture competing products.

Structured abstract—With the exception of review articles, all manuscripts submitted for consideration as a Scientific Report must include a structured abstract of 250 or fewer words.

For an Original Study, the structured abstract must include the following headings:

  • Objective
  • Design (type of study)
  • Animals (or Sample)
  • Procedures
  • Results
  • Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

For a Clinical Report, the structured abstract must include the following headings:

  • Case Description
  • Clinical Findings
  • Treatment and Outcome
  • Clinical Relevance

Text - Original Study—The text for an Original Study begins with an introductory section and then is organized under the following headings:

  • Materials and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

The introductory section should supply sufficient pertinent background information to allow readers to understand and interpret results. It must include the rationale for the study, the investigators' hypothesis, and a clear statement of the purpose of the study.

The Materials and Methods section should describe the experimental design in sufficient detail to allow others to reproduce the study. A subsection detailing statistical methods used to summarize data and test hypotheses and the level of significance used for hypothesis testing should be provided. Products, equipment, and drugs should be identified in the text by chemical or generic names or descriptions. A trade name may be included in a lettered footnote if that specific product, equipment, or drug was essential for the outcome. For all statistical tests, authors are required to indicate whether applicable test assumptions were met. When citing software products, use a footnote to cite the software or software program used (eg, PROC GLM, SAS Institute, Cary, NC) and a reference to cite a User's Guide (eg, SAS/STAT9.2 user's guide. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc, 2008;page number).

With the exception of reports of retrospective studies, manuscripts describing studies that involved the use of animals, including studies that involved the use of privately owned animals (eg, animals owned by clients, staff members, students, or private entities), must include a statement that the study protocol was reviewed and approved by an appropriate oversight entity (eg, an animal care and use committee or institutional review board) or was performed in compliance with institutional or other (eg, governmental or international) guidelines for research on animals. If animals were euthanatized, the method of euthanasia must be indicated. Manuscripts describing prospective studies that involved privately owned animals must also include a statement indicating that owner consent was obtained.

The Results section should provide data that are clearly and simply stated without discussion or conclusions. Tables and figures should be cited parenthetically. Authors should refrain from repeating within the text data that are also presented in tables. Authors of manuscripts reporting gene sequences should submit those sequences to an appropriate data bank.

The Discussion section should focus on findings in the manuscript and should be brief, containing only discussion that is necessary for interpretation of findings. The Discussion should concentrate mainly on what is known in nonhuman animals, with less emphasis on what is known in humans.



To ensure thoroughness of reporting, authors of Scientific Reports are strongly encouraged to make use of the following guidelines when preparing manuscripts:
  • CONSORT (CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) – for clinical trials
  • REFLECT (Reporting guidElines For randomized controLled trials for livEstoCk and food safeTy) – for clinical trials in livestock and food safety
  • STARD (STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies) – for diagnostic test evaluation
  • STROBE (Strengthening The Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) – for cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort studies
  • PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) – for meta-analyses and systematic reviews
  • ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) – for all studies involving laboratory animals


Case Series Reports (retrospective or prospective) must include a meaningful statement of purpose, clinically relevant data, and clinically useful conclusions or interpretations derived directly from evaluation of the cases described. Except for rare conditions, case series reports should contain information on at least 10 animals. Formatting of case series reports differs slightly from that of other original studies. Specifically, the title must include the number of cases and the interval during which cases were treated. The general format is as follows: Behavioral modification for treatment of separation anxiety in dogs: 223 cases (2005-2010). In addition, the Materials and Methods section should begin with the subheadings "Case selection" and "Medical records review."

Text - Clinical Report—A Clinical Report begins with the signalment (eg, age, sex, body weight, and breed) of the animal or animals, followed by a chronologic description of pertinent aspects of the diagnostic examination, treatment, and outcome, and ends with a brief discussion. When more than 1 animal is involved, a representative of the group should be described in detail; important differences among animals can be addressed separately. For reports in which there are 3 or fewer animals, pertinent abnormal findings should be summarized in the text. For 4 or more animals, 1 table that provides a summary of pertinent abnormal findings may be accommodated, provided that such findings are not repeated in the text.  

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