For questions of style, refer to the latest edition of the American Medical Association Manual of Style (online access requires a subscription; individual subscriptions are available on a monthly basis if desired). Manuscripts should be written in American English. For spelling of lay terms, refer to the latest American edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. For anatomic terms, use anglicized versions of official terms listed in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria. Refer to the latest editions of the American Drug Index and USP Dictionary of USAN and International Drug Names for proper spelling of chemical and drug names and to the latest edition of Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary for proper spelling and use of medical terms. Refer to Bergey's Manual of Determinative Microbiology for spelling and correct taxonomic classifications of microorganisms.
Abbreviations—In general, use of abbreviations other than standard abbreviations and units of measures should be kept to a minimum. In the structured abstract, a term should be abbreviated only if it is used at least 3 times in the structured abstract. The term must be expanded at first mention, with the abbreviation given in parentheses after the expanded term. Similarly, in the text, figures, and tables, a term should be abbreviated only if it is used at least 3 times. All abbreviations except for standard abbreviations and units of measure should be listed in alphabetical order at the beginning of the manuscript text, along with their definitions. These abbreviations should then be used without expansion in the text, except when used to start a sentence.
Abbreviations that appear only in the figures or tables should be defined in the table or figure legend. Except for the abbreviations ELISA, ACTH, EDTA, DNA, and RNA, abbreviations should not be used in titles.
Products, equipment, drugs, and other materials—Materials used in the study or referred to in the manuscript should be identified by chemical or generic names or descriptions. A trade name may be included in a lettered footnote (see "Footnotes" below for more information) if that specific product, equipment, or drug was essential for the outcome. Trademark and similar proprietary symbols are not needed.
Metric conversions —Body weights and temperatures must be reported in metric, with traditional US (lb, ºF) units reported afterward in parentheses. Doses and dosages must be given on a mg/kg and mg/lb basis. All dosages must include route of administration and interval (eg, 10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], IV, q 12 h). For conversion assistance, you may wish to consult an online measurement converter such as http://www.megaconverter.com/mega2/.
Footnotes—Footnotes are to be used when referencing each of the following types of information:
For specific products, equipment, or drugs, please limit footnotes to those that were essential to the outcome of your report or study. Products and equipment that are commonly used materials in veterinary medicine need not be footnoted.
If more than 26 footnotes are required, continue the sequence with double letters (eg, aa, bb, and cc). List footnotes alphabetically just before the references. For products and equipment, provide complete information in the footnote, including manufacturer's name and location (ie, city, state, and country [if other than the United States]).
References—Authors bear primary responsibility for accuracy of all references. References must be limited to those that are necessary and must be cited in the text by superscript numbers in order of citation. Journal titles in the Reference section should be abbreviated in accordance with the National Library of Medicine (NLM website) and Index Medicus (non-AVMA website). For references with more than 3 authors, only the first 3 authors should be listed, followed by "et al." The following is the style used for common types of references:
Article in journal1. Lamont LA, Bulmer BJ, Sisson DD, et al. Doppler echocardiographic effects of medetomidine on dynamic left ventricular outflow tract obstruction in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:1276–1281.
Book chapter2. Muir P, Johnson KA, Manley PA. Fractures of the pelvis. In: Birchard SJ, Sherding RG, eds. Saunders manual of small animal practice. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 2000;1126–1132.
Proceedings3. Moore MP, Bagley RS, Harrington ML, et al. Intracranial tumors, in Proceedings. 14th Annu Meet Vet Med Forum 1996;331–334.
Electronic material4. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Available at: www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/bse.html. Accessed Feb 18, 2003.
Figures—Limit figures to those that reduce or clarify the text. Images of clinically normal animals are not usually required, nor are images of equipment unless the equipment has been set up in a special way and the setup is integral to the study. Text and symbols should be large enough that they will still be legible when the figure is reduced to 1 column in width during publication (in general, this means that all text and symbols must be at least 1.5 mm tall when the figure is reduced to 8 cm in width). Text labels should start with a capital letter (eg, Anterior vena cava).
To ensure high-quality reproduction, symbols used to represent data in graphs should be limited to open and closed circles, triangles, and squares; axes should be labeled in Helvetica or Arial font. Keys to data symbols may be placed in a small box inserted into the unused portion of graphs. Symbols used in figures and tables should be assigned in the following order:
Photomicrographs and electron micrographs must include an internal scale marker. For figures that include multiple panels, each panel should be sequentially labeled with a capital letter in the same corner of each panel. If a figure contains 2 or more rows of panels, the letter labels should be applied sequentially from left to right in the first row, then from left to right in the second row and so on.
For preparation of digitized versions of figures, please see the section on preparation of electronic files for manuscript submission.
Figure legends must be provided at the end of the manuscript, before any tables. Sufficient information should be included to allow the figure to be understood without reference to the text. Abbreviations defined in the text do not need to be expanded; however, newly introduced abbreviations in figures should be defined in the figure legend, in alphabetical order. When applicable, stains used for histologic sections should be indicated in the legend as well as the scale of the marker bar (eg, H&E stain; bar = 100 µm). Figure legends for ECG traces must include the paper speed and scale (eg, Paper speed = 50 mm/s; 1 mV = 10 mm). Authors wishing to use any previously published figures must submit written permission from the copyright holder.
Tables—Submission of excessive tabular data is discouraged, and tables should be limited to those containing data important to understanding and interpreting results of the study. All tables should be included at the end of the manuscript, after the figure legends. Authors will be asked to delete tables containing data that could be reported more succinctly in the text. Tables that focus solely on findings in individual animals rather than summary data from groups of animals are to be avoided. Authors wishing to use any previously published tables must submit written permission from the copyright holder.
For order of symbol use in tables, please refer to the figure instructions above. To indicate significant differences between or among values in a row or column, symbols or superscript lowercase letters assigned in alphabetical order (a–z) may be used. If additional differentiation is needed (eg, if differences need to be reported in both rows and columns) and lowercase letters have already been used, superscript uppercase letters in alphabetical order (A–Z) may be used.