Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) is an established peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the Three Rs — the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in research and testing. For over 50 years, ATLA has been supporting the development, validation and novel application of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and encourages submissions relating to recent developments in these areas. In addition to replacement, the journal also features research that aims to reduce or refine in vivo experiments that are still carried out, as well as advocating for changes to global animal use policies.This journal is a member of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
ATLA is a peer-reviewed journal, intended to cover all aspects of the development, validation, implementation and use of alternatives to laboratory animals in biomedical research and toxicity testing. In addition to the replacement of animals, it also covers work that aims to reduce the number of animals used and refine the in vivo experiments that are still carried out.
The journal publishes original research papers, review articles, letters, comments and book reviews. It is of relevance to research scientists, academics, and those involved in regulatory affairs or in the field of animal ethics. The papers published commonly feature in vitro, ex vivo or in silico methods; surveys on the use of animals for education, research or testing purposes; humane teaching or medical training methods; and the optimisation and validation of novel or existing methods for use as non-animal alternatives.
ATLA does not normally accept papers on herbal or other extracts, unless the focus of the paper is on the development or validation of a novel new approach methodology (NAM).
Opinions expressed in any part of ATLA do not necessarily reflect the views of the FRAME Trustees or Staff, the Editors or Members of the Editorial Board.
This journal is a member of Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
|Judith Madden||Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK|
|Rita Seabra||Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME)/ATLA Editorial Office, Nottingham, UK|
|Susan Trigwell||Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME)/ATLA Editorial Office, Nottingham, UK|
|Helena Kandarova||Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia|
|Winfried Neuhaus||Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria|
|Nikki Osborne||Responsible Research in Practice, Horsham, England|
|Alicia Paini||esqLABS, Saterland, Germany|
|Jarrod Bailey||Animal Free Research UK, London, UK|
|Andrew Bennett||FRAME Laboratory, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK|
|Bas Blaauboer||Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands|
|Miroslav Cervinka||Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic|
|Sandra Coecke||European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy|
|Mark Cronin||Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK|
|Rodger Curren||Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Gaithersburg, USA|
|Steve Enoch||Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK|
|Mojca Fuart-Gatnik||Merck, Slovenia|
|Thomas Hartung||John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA|
|Esther Haugabrooks||The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, USA|
|Tuula Heinonen||Tampere University & Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods (FICAM), Tampere, Finland|
|Kathrin Herrmann||Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), Baltimore, USA|
|Michelle Hudson-Shore||University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK|
|Hajime Kojima||JaCVAM, Div of Pharmacology, National Centre for Biological Safety and Research, Tokyo, Japan|
|Robert Landsiedel||BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany|
|Sue A Leary||Alternatives Research & Development Foundation, Jenkintown, USA|
|Carla Forte Maiolino Molento||Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil|
|Zoe Prytherch||Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK|
|Katarzyna Przybylak||Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC), Unilever, UK|
|Alexandre Servat||Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l'Alimentation, de l'Environnement et du Travail (ANSES), Malzeville, France|
|Lynne Sneddon||Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden|
|Horst Spielmann||Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany|
|Clare Stanford||University College London, UK|
|Florian Steger||Ulm University, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|Thales Trez||Alfenas Federal University, Pocos de Caldas, Brazil|
|Jan van der Valk||Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands|
|Steve Webb||Syngenta, Berkshire, UK|
|Andrew Worth||European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy|
Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Alternatives to Laboratory Animals
This Journal recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/atla to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. Remember you can log in to the submission site at any time to check on the progress of your paper through the peer review process.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Alternatives to Laboratory Animals will be reviewed. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals does not accept any manuscripts promoting the use of animal studies. The journal does accept the use of animal studies in the context of refining the existing method to increase animal welfare or modifying an existing method to reduce the number of animals used. The journal will also accept manuscripts comparing replacement methods with a traditional animal-based method, however the Editors would expect the animal data to be historical and already available, meaning that no new animal experiments would be performed. Decisions about the suitability of a paper for publication in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals is at the discretion of the Editors.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Alternatives to Laboratory Animals will consider submissions of papers that have been posted on preprint servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the Journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the Journal's author archiving policy. If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
2.7 Clinical trials
2.8 Reporting guidelines
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Experimental design and statistics
4.4 Abbreviations and units of measurement
4.5 Supplemental material
4.6 Reference style
4.7 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Sage Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals welcomes the following paper types: Research Papers, Review Articles, Comments, Letters, Book Reviews and Workshop/Conference Reports. Articles should normally contain 2000-3000 words but review articles may be up to 4500 words. All submissions require a structured abstract of up to 250 words and a list of 5-10 keywords. The abstract does not count towards the article word count.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals operates a conventional single-anonymize reviewing policy in which the reviewer’s name is always concealed from the submitting author. Submitted articles will be considered by the relevant associate editor and evaluated by a minimum of two expert reviewers before acceptance.
At the Editors’ discretion, you may be asked to suggest recommended reviewers. Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended reviewers to assess your manuscript.
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper, and as such has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third party service that seeks to track, verify and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for Alternatives to Laboratory Animals can opt in to Publons in order to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal, but the article name, reviewer’s decision and the content of their review is not published on the site. For more information visit the Publons website.
The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
(i) Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
(ii) Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
(iii) Approved the version to be published,
(iv) Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.
2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
• Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
• Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
• Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
2.3.2 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgement text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Alternatives to Laboratory Animals to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals does not accept any manuscripts promoting the use of animal studies. The journal does accept the use of animal studies in the context of refining the existing method to increase animal welfare or modifying an existing method to reduce the number of animals used. The journal will also accept manuscripts comparing replacement methods with a traditional animal-based method, however the Editors would expect the animal data to be historical and already available, meaning that no new animal experiments would be performed. Decisions about the suitability of a paper for publication in I is at the discretion of the Editors.
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The Journal has adopted the ARRIVE guidelines.
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals endorses the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment. However, consistent with the AllTrials campaign, retrospectively registered trials will be considered if the justification for late registration is acceptable. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
Your manuscript must include a title page indicating the title of the article, author(s) first and last names (without degrees or titles), author affiliation, present address and email address.
Your manuscript should normally contain the following sections:
a) A structured Abstract (up to 200 words) and 5-10 keywords
h) Declaration of Conflicting Interests
j) Ethical Approval
k) Informed Consent
Where possible, data should be presented clearly and precisely in tabular form. Both tables and figures should be intelligible without reference to the text. All tables and figures should be titled, and any footnotes should be indicated by superscript lowercase letters. Any abbreviations used should be defined in a legend. Graphs should not show data that extends beyond the axes, and there should be no excess space on the axes at the top or bottom of the data range.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
The experimental design and statistics should conform to “Guidelines for the design and statistical analysis of experiments in papers submitted to ATLA”, ATLA 29, 427–446, 2001. If the study used monoclonal antibodies, the report should mention how these were produced.
Standard dictionary abbreviations are generally accepted. Other abbreviations should be explained in parentheses when first mentioned. No plurals or full stops should be used (for example g for gramme, ml for millilitre and so on). SI units are preferred.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files
Alternatives to laboratory Animals adheres to the Sage Vancouver reference style. View the Sage Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Alternatives to Laboratory Animals is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/atla to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Alternatives to Laboratory Animals editorial office as follows:
Dr. Susan Trigwell,
Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments
149-155 Canal Street
Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the Editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred.
If an author believes the decision regarding their manuscript was affected by a publication ethics breach, the author may contact the publisher with a detailed written description of their concern, and information supporting the concern, at email@example.com