Laboratory Animals

Laboratory Animals

2016 Impact Factor: 1.532
2016 Ranking: 45/162 in Zoology | 33/136 in Veterinary Sciences
Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2017); Indexed in PubMed: MEDLINE
Published in Association with Laboratory Animals Ltd
the international journal of laboratory animal science, technology and welfare


eISSN: 17581117 | ISSN: 00236772 | Current volume: 51 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Bi-annually

The international journal of laboratory animal science, technology and welfare, Laboratory Animals publishes peer-reviewed original papers and reviews on all aspects of the care and use of animals in research. The journal is published on behalf of Laboratory Animals Ltd ( by SAGE Publishing Ltd.

Laboratory Animals is also the official journal of:

AALAS Gold Members are entitled to a special discount on Laboratory Animals - More information.

Click here for additional information from 'The Design of Animal Experiments' by Festing et al

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

The international journal of laboratory animal science, technology and welfare, Laboratory Animals publishes peer-reviewed original papers and reviews on all aspects of the care and use of animals in research. The journal is published on behalf of Laboratory Animals Ltd ( by SAGE Publishing Itd.

Editorial Assistant
Deputy Editors
Section Editors
D Anderson Large Animal Models
M Bateson Behaviour
M Berard Small Animal Models
P Cinelli Molecular genetics, pain & distress
P Clements Pathology
M Dennis Microbiology
P A Flecknell Anaesthesia and Analgesia
C Gilbert Physiology
R Gosselin Biostatistics and Experimental Design
G Griffin 3Rs and Ethics
H J Hedrich Reproductive Biology
M Jensen-Waern Large Animal Models
M Leach Anaesthesia and Analgesia
T H Morris Equine Models
P O'Brien Clinical Chemistry
A Olsson 3Rs and Ethics
D Preissmann Behaviour
J Prins Management of Animal Facilities
G Rainer Primates
M Ritskes-Hoitinga Systematic Review
E Rivera Veterinary Medicine
S Robertson Anaesthesia and Analgesia
T Rülicke Genetic Engineering
F Rutten Toxicology
D Salvatori Pathology
J Sanchez-Morgado Veterinary Medicine
Mathieu Sommers Physiology
R Tolba Surgical Procedures
P Vergara Education
L van der Weerd Imaging Techniques
L Whitfield Veterinary Medicine
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    1. Peer review policy
    2. Article types
    3. Authorship
    4. How to submit your manuscript
    5. Journal contributor's publishing agreement
      5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
    6. Statements and conventions
      6.1 Acknowledgments
      6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests
      6.3 Funding acknowledgement
      6.4 Other statements and conventions
    7. Permissions
    8. Manuscript style
      8.1 File types
      8.2 Journal style
      8.3 Reference style
      8.4 Manuscript preparation
    9. After acceptance
      9.1 Proofs
      9.2 E-Prints
      9.3 SAGE production
      9.4 OnlineFirst publication
    10. Further information


    Laboratory Animals publishes a diverse range of papers dealing with both the use of animals and their management in biomedical research consistent with the aims of Laboratory Animals Limited “to promote education and training in laboratory animal science". The journal considers manuscripts reporting replacement, reduction and refinement, collectively termed the “3Rs", but particularly focuses on those findings which either refine protocols involving animal models or can improve future experimental designs. Articles will therefore inform the journal’s readership about the practical application of 3Rs and therefore report on incremental improvements in the ethical use of animals in biomedical research. This extends to findings and observations which enhance the understanding of laboratory animal welfare, microbiology and the environment of laboratory animal facilities. Clinical case reports or studies in laboratory animals are also considered. Papers consolidating or reporting background data on the use of animals in particular fields such as toxicology are welcomed when the data can be broadly applied in the discipline.

    1. Peer review policy

    Contributions are reviewed by independent referees, and the final decision on acceptance or rejection remains with the Editorial Board.

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    2. Article types

    Working Group Reports
    Articles describing the recommendations or conclusions from working parties or groups mandated by one or more subscribing associations. These should be up to 7500 words including references (of which there should be no more than 50), abstract, figure/table captions and the abstract. A hyperlink to additional information or the full deliberations of the Working Group will be accommodated and hosted as supplementary information on the journal website. All cited members of working parties will be considered as authors for the purposes of copyright.

    Review Articles
    Articles of a substantial and topical nature. Review Articles are generally invited and the Editorial Office may be contacted by prospective authors to verify our interest in any proposed manuscript. These should be up to 7500 words including abstract, figure/table captions and references.

    Original Articles
    Articles describing substantial original research that fall within the aims and scope of the journal. These should be up to 5500 words including the abstract, figure/table captions and references and have no more than six figures and tables, though papers reporting background data may have more than six figures and tables. Structured headings are required and must include: Introduction; Animals, Material and Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgements and References. The abstract must be unstructured and consist of a single paragraph with fewer than 250 words. Please refer to section 6.4 regarding required information on animals, their conditions of husbandry and any associated refinements in the experimental design which contributed to improved animal welfare. The contribution of the findings to improving replacement, reduction or refinement should be explicit in at least one paragraph of the discussion.

    Case Reports
    The journal also publishes case reports or case series which report one of the following:

    a) A new and/or emerging disease; b) A new association or variation in a disease process; c) An unreported or unusual adverse drug reaction; d) An unexpected or unusual presentation of a common problem or an unexpected event in the course of observing or treating an experimental animal that has not been previously reported; e) Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect; f) A case which could be used as a teaching exercise in deductive reasoning and clinicopathological correlation and/or a practical lesson for the investigation and/or management of similar cases.

    Word count should not exceed 3000 words, including abstract and references. Word count for the abstract should be 250 words. No more than 4 displays (tables and/or figures). Up to 30 references.

    Short Reports
    Technical notes and preliminary communications with adequate methodological details and conclusions. These should have fewer than 1500 words including abstract, figure/table captions and references. The abstract should have fewer than 200 words, and have no more than two figures or tables. There should be no structured headings. This type of article should encourage the submission of reports on reduction and refinement of animal use that are of relevance to practitioners in the field.

    Letters to the Editor
    Letters to the Editor will be considered for publication but only on issues related to the scientific or ethical content of the journal, and authors will be given the opportunity to publish a reply to any letters.

    News Items
    Submissions are only accepted from Subscribing Societies.
    Submissions should be no more than 1,500 words including abstract and references. If two pictures are included the word limit reduces to 1,000 words. Articles can be in the language of the societies and/or in English. Contributions to the News section are not subject to peer review and they reflect the opinion of the subscribing society. If accepted for publication, authors will be required to provide contact details and sign an electronic copyright form. Questions may be sent to Nathalie Baehler via the Editorial Office at

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    3. Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once the authorization of all contributing authors has been gathered. 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:

    • have made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
    • drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
    • approved the version to be published.
    • Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    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 ICMJE Authorship guidelines at

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    4. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Please the Equator Network guide on which research guidelines are appropriate for the type of paper you are submitting: your research involves animal pre-clinical studies, please confirm that you have carefully read and adhered to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided in the ARRIVE guidelines before submitting your manuscript. 

    Laboratory Animals is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Please read these guidelines below, and then visit 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 Help.

    Covering letter
    Please include a covering letter with your submission. The covering letter is important to help the Editor in the preliminary evaluation of manuscripts and should indicate the compelling reason to progress the manuscript through peer review to publication. The covering letter for revisions to conditionally accepted manuscripts should indicate how the revised manuscript addresses comments arising during the review process.

    All submissions must be in English and of a good grammatical standard. We recommend authors with a first language other than English request an English speaking colleague to review their manuscript prior to publication. The Editor can recommend a commercial editorial service specialised in the field if prospective authors require.

    Tables and figures may be submitted as separate files, in which case the files should be uploaded in the following order: (1) main text, including title page, abstract and references; (2) tables; (3) figures; (4) supplementary files.

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    5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement   

    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 our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    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 plagiarised 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.

    5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    6. Statements and conventions

    6.1. Acknowledgements

    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.
    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, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. It is the policy of 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 include any declaration at the end of your manuscript after any acknowledgements and prior to the references, under a heading ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’. If no declaration is made the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None Declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. 

    When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

    Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in the covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article.

    For more information please visit the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    6.3 Funding acknowledgement

    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), Laboratory Animalsadditionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    6.4 Other statements and conventions

    6.4.1 Ethical approval and other ethical considerations

    All research 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 Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Veterinary Journals published by the International Association of Veterinary Editors.

    Papers will only be published if the experimental procedures employed conform with the accepted principles of how animals are used in biomedical science. Usually the principles applied will be those specified in the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes and its appendices and/or the National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

    If the experimental design or programme of work reported in the manuscript raises particular ethical or welfare concerns, the Editorial Board will consider the current UK legislation Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and its contemporary interpretation.

    6.4.2 Animals, materials and methods

    The journal requires detailed information on the animals and their conditions of husbandry (see Laboratory Animals 1985;19:106–108). The methodology for the euthanasia of animals should be consistent with recommendations in previously published reports (see Laboratory Animals 1996;30:293–316 and 1997;31:1–32). The protocols and studies involving fish should be reported in the manner detailed in Laboratory Animals 2000;34:131–135.

    Of particular note, the source and full strain nomenclature of any laboratory animal stock must be specified (see Abbreviations section below) according to international recommendations. Authors should note this information is available from source laboratories and animal vendors. A brief statement describing the legislative controls on animal care and use should be provided. Measures to refine experimental techniques to benefit animal welfare can be described in detail and the disposition and fate of the animals at the end of the experiment should be clear. Products used (e.g. drugs, equipment, feed, bedding) should be described in the format “generic description (trade name, vendor name, city and country where vendor located)".
    The experimental design and the statistical analysis should be detailed, particularly in relation to using only the appropriate numbers of animals (see Festing M et al. The Design of Animal Experiments: Reducing the use of animals in research through better experimental design, available from SAGE). Pre-test power analyses should be presented in justification of sample size or number of animals required whenever possible. Power analyses for many common statistical procedures both parametric and non-parametric are given in Zar J. Biostatistical Analysis, 4th edn. When reporting variability about the mean, variances, and/or discussing significance or non-significance of statistically derived values, the Zar recommendations should be considered, and claims of statistical non-significance should be accompanied by post-test power analyses whenever possible.

    6.4.3 Abbreviations

    Symbols and abbreviations should be those currently in use. Authors should not create new abbreviations and acronyms. References to animal strains should be in accordance with current nomenclature. For reference, use The International Index of Laboratory Animals, 6th edn (Festing M, 1993); the Mouse Genome database and the Rat Genome Database.

    6.4.4 Units

    All measurements should be expressed in SI units.

    6.4.5 Statistics

    If preparing statistical data for publication, please read the statistical guidelines.

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    7. Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining 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 visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    8. Manuscript style

    8.1 File types

    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, DOCX, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted.  Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork below.

    8.2 Journal style

    Laboratory Animals conforms to the SAGE house style.  Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style.

    8.3 Reference style

    Laboratory Animals adheres to the SAGE Vancouver reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Vancouver to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Vancouver output file here.

    8.4 Manuscript preparation

    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3 cm for left and right hand margins and 5 cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    8.4.1 Your title, keywords and abstracts: helping readers find your article online

    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    Title page
    The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the initials and last names of all the authors and their and affiliations, the department(s) and the institution(s) where the work was carried out; and the name, postal and email addresses and telephone and fax number of the author responsible for all communications about the manuscript and proofs.
    The title should be concise, informative and must not be unnecessarily punctuated. The short title should be no more than six words long.

    An unstructured abstract of no more than 250 words (or no more than 200 words for Short Reports) and a list of up to five key words must accompany all Working Group Reports, Review Articles, Original Articles, and Short Reports. Letters to the Editor do not require an abstract. Ideally one of the key words should be replacement, reduction or refinement.

    The first heading after the Abstract (usually Introduction) is omitted. Where appropriate, the remainder of the paper should be arranged under the headings Animals, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References.

    Tables must be prepared using the Table feature of the word processor. Tables should not duplicate information given in the text, should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text, and should be given a brief title. Tables should each appear on a separate page at the end of the manuscript as part of the text file. Vertical rules and/or background shading should not be used. The legend of a table should be concise and enable the reader to understand the data without excessive reference to the text.

    8.4.2 Corresponding author contact details

    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors.

    8.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics

    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.

    8.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files

    This journal is able to host approved supplemental materials online, alongside the full-text of articles. Supplemental files will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article.  For more information please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files.

    8.4.5 English language editing services

    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service.  Visit English Language Editing Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    9. After acceptance   
    9.1 Proofs

    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    9.2 E-prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit Offprints and Reprints on our Journal Author Gateway.

    9.3 SAGE Production

    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    9.4 Online First publication

    Laboratory Animals benefits from Online First, a feature offered through SAGE’s electronic journal platform, SAGE Journals Online. It allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our Online First Fact Sheet.

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    10. Further information
    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Editorial Office:

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    If your research involves animal pre-clinical studies, please confirm that you have carefully read and adhered to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided in the ARRIVE guidelines before submitting your manuscript. 

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