Article Structure Pathology in Practice

Author Instructions: Pathology in Practice

The digital edition of JAVMA is the journal of record. Accepted articles may be published in both the print and digital editions or the digital edition alone, as decided by the editorial staff.

Pathology in Practice: Serves as a learning exercise for readers, the majority of whom are general practitioners, by providing clinically relevant information germane to the practice of veterinary pathology. Readers are invited to submit cases in which clinicopathologic abnormalities or gross pathological lesions were integral to the diagnosis of the disease or condition. Articles should focus on the evaluation and interpretation of clinicopathologic abnormalities or gross pathological lesions and associated histopathologic or cytologic findings. Case submissions should focus on topics that are relevant to general practitioners. Accompanying figures must be high quality, crisply focused, and complementary of one another. Please note: We are prioritizing those cases that are broadly educational to the veterinary community above the rarer, referral type case.

Word count for main text: ≤ 1,400

  • Excludes figure legends and references

References: ≤ 12
Figures or tables: ≤ 3 in total

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

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

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

  • Title page—Includes the following:
    • Manuscript title—Includes the feature name, the condition described, and the species involved (eg, Pathology in Practice: [condition] in a [species]). This title will not be published but will be used for article indexing and reviewer selection.
    • 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). 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.
    • List of professional affiliations of the authors at the time of case management.
    • Name of the corresponding author and their email address.
  • Body of manuscript:
    First, provides information (approx 400 words) and figures or a table to enable readers to formulate differential diagnoses, including:
    • History: Provides patient signalment and a short description of the patient's history.
    • Clinical and Gross Findings (for cases focused on gross pathological lesions) OR
      Clinical and Clinicopathologic Findings (for cases focused on clinicopathologic abnormalities): Includes relevant physical examination findings and initial gross pathological or clinicopathologic abnormalities that readers can use to formulate differential diagnoses.
    • The statement: Formulate differential diagnoses, then continue reading.

    Then, describes the features of interest and provides the answer, including:

    • Histopathologic Findings (alternatively: Histopathologic and Cytologic Findings or Histopathologic and Microbiological Findings) OR
      Additional Clinicopathologic Findings, Histopathologic Findings, Cytologic Findings, or Microbiological Findings (or some combination thereof)
    • Morphologic Diagnosis and Case Summary OR
      Interpretation and Case Summary or Diagnosis and Case Summary
      Describes the features of interest. If the Morphologic Diagnosis or Interpretation is the same as the Case Summary, these 2 statements can be combined into a single statement.
    • Comments: Provides a short discussion of the disease in general. If applicable, brief details of treatment and outcome should also be included in this section.
  • Acknowledgments: Identifies individuals who made important contributions to the study but who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Ensure that individuals named in the acknowledgments have given their permission to be listed. Report any funding sources and conflicts of interest.
  • References: Are formatted using the current American Medical Association Manual of Style. Are limited to those that are necessary. Primary references (eg, original studies) rather than secondary references (eg, textbooks and review articles) are preferred whenever possible. Please note that authors bear primary responsibility for the accuracy of all references.
  • Figure legends: Provides sufficient information to allow the figures to be understood without reference to the text. When abbreviations from the main text are used in figure legends, they should be redefined in the legends. When using abbreviations unique to the figures, each should be defined in the legend in alphabetical order (eg, ALP = Alkaline phosphatase. CK = Creatine kinase. TP = Total protein.). When applicable, the stains used for microscopic examination of specimens as well as the scale of the marker bar (eg, H&E stain; bar = 100 µm) are provided.
  • Tables: Are limited to tabulations of clinicopathologic data and generally included only in articles focused on clinicopathologic abnormalities. Are created with the table tool in Microsoft Word, with a succinct heading provided for each column, and are included as part of the manuscript text file, not uploaded separately.

Figures (to be uploaded separately; note that radiographic, MRI, and CT images are not allowed)

  • For Figure 1, provides 1 or 2 color photographs that illustrate the gross pathological (or cytologic) lesions of interest, for publishing on the first page of the article.
  • For subsequent figures, provides images to illustrate the histopathologic or cytologic changes of interest.
  • Are submitted as separate image files at a minimum resolution of 300 dots per inch at the size they will be printed in the journal (ie, usually the width of 1 printed column or 8 cm).
  • To ensure high-quality reproduction:
    • Use sufficiently large text and symbols to be legible when the figure is reduced for publication. Text and symbols should be at least 1.5 mm tall when the figure is reduced to 8 cm in width.
    • Include in photomicrographs and electron micrographs (and all insets) an internal scale marker, with the length of the scale marker defined in the figure legend.
    • For figures that include multiple panels, label each panel with a capital letter in the same corner of each panel. If a figure contains 2 or more rows of panels, apply the letter labels sequentially from left to right in the first row, then from left to right in the second row, and so on.

Manuscript submission
Are submitted electronically at

  • Enter the manuscript title as indicated in the title page.
  • In the Abstract field, enter the morphologic diagnosis and case summary or interpretation and case summary.

When prompted during manuscript submission, supply keywords from the journal website that describe the topic of the manuscript to facilitate indexing and aid in the selection of reviewers.

Return to JAVMA instructions for authors