AJVR Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis

Author Instructions: Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis

The digital edition of AJVR is the journal of record. Accepted articles will be published in the digital edition.

Systematic Review or Meta-Analysis: Are conducted using a systematic process to identify research studies worldwide, with the primary aim of recommending the best practice on a research- or policy-relevant topic in veterinary medicine. They have clearly stated objectives and use transparent search and data extraction methodology to avoid study selection bias and information bias in data extraction. There is an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies to reduce the risk of source bias. A meta-analysis is a systematic review that uses quantitative, statistical methods to synthesize and summarize the results. A completed PRISMA checklist (https://www.prisma-statement.org/s/PRISMA_2020_checklist-fxke.docx) must be submitted with the manuscript.

Title: ≤ 160 characters
Structured abstract: ≤ 250 words
Word count for main text: ≤ 5,000 (Includes abstract and any acknowledgments; excludes references)
Tables and figures: ≤ 5 total

Formatting (applies to main text, references, and figure legends)

  • 8.5 x 11-inch page size
  • Double spaced (tables are single spaced)
  • Left justification
  • Sequential line numbering (starting with title)
  • 12-point font
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) margins

Manuscript text file (in order of inclusion; uploaded as a single document)

  • Title page—Includes the following:
    • Manuscript title—Includes the words systematic review, meta-analysis, or both.
    • First name, middle initial (if applicable), and last name of each author, along with each author’s professional degree and highest earned academic degree (eg, MS or PhD, MPVM) and, for authors who are diplomates of veterinary specialty organizations recognized by the AVMA’s American Board of Veterinary Specialties or similar specialty organizations recognized by other countries, diplomate status (eg, DACVS or DACVIM), although specialty (eg Large Animal) should not be included with the diplomate status. List a bachelor’s or associate’s degree only if it is the author’s only degree. Do not list other specialty board designations, certifications, or honorary degrees. Fellowship or membership designations (eg, MRCVS) and honorary degrees should not be listed. Credentials such as CVT, RVT, LVT, and RN may be listed alongside the author’s highest earned academic degree. 
    • List of professional affiliations of the authors at the time of the study.
    • Name of the corresponding author and their email address.
  • Structured abstract (≤ 250 words)—Includes the following subsections, as detailed in the PRISMA checklist for abstracts:
    • Background
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Clinical Relevance
  • Body of manuscript—Includes the following sections:
    • Background: Provides a rationale for the study and a clear statement of the objectives or questions the study was designed to address. Focuses on identifying the specific problem and knowledge gap the review is meant to address; often 2 or 3 paragraphs are sufficient.
    • Methods: Specifies the study inclusion and exclusion criteria, data sources, and search strategies. Provides details of the data selection, collection, appraisal, and synthesis process, as well as other elements suggested by PRISMA. A “Statistical analysis” subsection should be included for meta-analyses.
    • Results: Provides a critical, qualitative synthesis of the included literature and a statistical analysis if a meta-analysis was performed.
    • Discussion: Clearly answers the study questions. Focuses on the main findings of the study and their implications. Emphasizes how this knowledge should be clinically applied. Acknowledges the strengths and limitations of the study and remaining unknowns.
  • Acknowledgments, Disclosures, and Funding
  • Authors will be required to address these 3 statements during submission. This information does not need to be included in the manuscript document.
    • Acknowledgment/s: Identify individuals who made important contributions to the study but who do not meet the criteria for authorshipIf none, include the statement “None reported.” 
    • Disclosure/s:
      • Include any conflicts of interest related to the manuscript. Include relevant financial interests (eg, ownership, employment, consultancies, honoraria, paid expert testimony, grants, patent-licensing arrangements, equity interests, and service as an officer or board member), activities, relationships, and affiliations (other than those listed on the title page of the manuscript). If none, include the statement “The authors have nothing to disclose.” 
      • Include the use of any artificial intelligence (AI)–assisted technology such as ChatGPT or another large language model in the writing of the manuscript or production of images. If none were used, include the statement “No AI-assisted technologies were used in the generation of this manuscript.” If an AI tool was used, the authors must be transparent in disclosing here, in the disclosures section, which AI tool was used, and how. AI tools cannot be listed as an author of a manuscript.
    • Funding: Include all funding, other financial support, and material support obtained directly or indirectly from any third party in connection with information included in the manuscript or with the writing or publishing of the manuscript. If none, include the statement “The authors have nothing to disclose.” 
  • References: Are formatted using the current American Medical Association Manual of Style. Include pivotal papers on the subject. Uses primary references (eg, original studies) rather than secondary references (eg, textbooks and review articles). Please note that authors bear primary responsibility for the accuracy of all references.
  • Figure legends: Provide sufficient information to allow the figures to be understood without reference to the text, including defining abbreviations used. See our detailed instructions on figures.
  • Tables: Are limited to those that aid reader comprehension, are created with the table tool in Microsoft Word, appear after the list of references and figure legends in the manuscript, and have legends that provide sufficient information to allow the tables to be understood without reference to the text, including defining abbreviations used. See our detailed instructions on tables.

Figures (uploaded separately from the manuscript file)

  • Have a minimum resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi) and legible indicators when sized to the width of 1 printed column or 8 cm for publication.
  • See our detailed instructions on figures.

Supplementary materials (uploaded separately from the manuscript file)

  • Are used for additional materials that are not essential to the understanding of the article but provide an important expansion of the article contents. Such materials will not appear in the article but will be posted on the journal’s website. Publication of supplementary materials is at the discretion of the scientific editors.
  • Are prepared in compliance with the general guidelines for manuscript style.
  • Are subject to copyright.
  • Clarity and accuracy of content and consistency with the full article are the responsibility of the authors; supplementary materials will be posted as is, without copy editing.

Manuscript submission
Manuscripts are submitted electronically at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/avma.

You will be required to provide 5 keywords at submission. Keywords increase discoverability, ranking, and visibility in search engine results, and therefore increase readership and citation of a manuscript. Include 1 or 2 of your 5 keywords in the title, in the first 2 sentences of the abstract, and throughout the article where they can be worked in naturally and in context. Keywords also help us promote your manuscript.

Return to AJVR instructions for authors