The Journal of Pathology

Cover image for Vol. 243 Issue 4

Edited By: C Simon Herrington, Editor-in-Chief

Impact Factor: 6.894

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 4/79 (Pathology); 22/217 (Oncology)

Online ISSN: 1096-9896

Associated Title(s): The Journal of Pathology: Clinical Research

Author Guidelines


All manuscripts must be submitted using our online system at There are no submission or page charges.

Every submission should conform to one of the categories listed below. Use the link from each category to obtain a brief mini-guide of manuscript requirements and format. Consult the detailed guidelines below (also linked to from each mini-guide) for more detail on each aspect of manuscript preparation.

  • Original Articles

Original articles are our main type of primary publication. They are up to 4000 words in length from beginning of Introduction to end of Discussion with up to 6 figures. Further information can be found here

  • Brief Definitive Reports

Brief Definitive Reports provide a forum for the rapid publication of highly significant and timely advances. They are up to 1500 words in length from beginning of Introduction to end of Discussion with up to 4 tables and figures. Further information can be found here

  • Reviews

Scholarly critical reviews of important subjects within the Journal’s scope. They are usually no more than 4000 words. Further information can be found here.

  • In Brief

Mini-reviews highlighting topical subjects. These are usually invited but suggestions are welcomed. Typically 1000 words Further information can be found here

  • Commentaries

Brief reviews placing recently published primary research from the Journal into context. These are usually less than 2000 words. Further information can be found here

  • Perspectives

Overview articles highlighting novel, debatable, or highly topical aspects of pathology research. These are usally less than 2000 words. Further information can be found here


The Journal of Pathology and the companion Journal of Pathology: Clinical Research serve as translational bridges between basic biomedical science and clinical medicine with particular emphasis on, but not restricted to, tissue based studies.


The focus of the Journal of Pathology is the publication of studies that further our understanding of the pathophysiological and pathogenetic mechanisms of human disease. Studies that bring pathological, biological and or clinical sense to genomic discoveries are particularly welcomed.

Studies with a predominantly clinical focus including those focusing on diagnostic, prognostic and predictive markers, and biomarker discovery and validation, will be more appropriate for the companion The Journal of Pathology: Clinical Research.

The Journal welcomes investigative studies on human tissues, in vitro and in vivo experimental studies, and investigations based on animal models with a clear relevance to human disease, including transgenic systems. In general, hypothesis driven studies that appropriately employ multiple investigative techniques are preferred over those that rely on a single methodology.

As well as original research papers, the Journal seeks to provide rapid publication in a variety of other formats, including editorials, review articles, commentaries and perspectives and other features, both contributed and solicited. In all cases, contributions are subjected to strict peer review.

Purely descriptive papers, including those on diagnostic pathology (including case reports and prognostic papers without mechanistic and experimental insights) are not considered central to the Journal’s purpose.

Correspondence relating to papers published in the Journal will be considered, but only if of general interest. Such correspondence may be published in online versions only, at the Editor's discretion.

In determining content, the primary considerations are excellence, relevance and novelty. As a journal of The Pathological Society, it seeks to reflect the broad scientific interests of the Society’s membership but its ethos, authorship, content and purpose are those expected of a leading publication in the international scientific literature.


For further detail, please see this Editorial: A guide to the Editorial processes at The Journal of Pathology. J Pathol 2009;142:1-6.)

On receipt, manuscripts are assessed by the Editor-in-Chief, a Senior Editor and at least one Associate Editor. At this point, those outside our scope or quality criteria are returned to the authors, typically within three working days.

Manuscripts selected for external review are assigned to an Associate Editor, who solicits two or more expert reviewers. A similarity search engine (iThenticate®) is used to detect plagiarism and duplicate publication.

Authors may suggest up to five external referees, but the Editorial team will not be bound by these nominations. Likewise, authors may state why a named individual may be inappropriate as a referee, again without binding the Editorial team.

The Reviewers’ and Associate Editor’s views are used by the Editor-in-Chief (or a Senior Editor) in reaching a decision, usually within three weeks of submission. The decision letter will indicate whether the manuscript is accepted, should be revised or is rejected. Minor and major revisions are expected within four weeks and three months of this decision, respectively. Invitation to submit a revision does not imply that acceptance will follow.

If authors dispute a decision, they should offer a compelling rebuttal, initially by writing to the Editor-in-Chief


Given our rapid initial review process, we do not accept pre-submission enquiries for original research papers. For guidance on “fit” to the Journal, authors should read these Guidelines and examine recent published issues.

We are happy to hear from potential authors of all categories of review article (including Commentaries and Perspectives). Contact the Editorial team via


For technical and administrative matters, please contact The Managing Editor (Mrs Nicky Cotterill) via

For scientific matters, the senior Editorial team can be contacted via

Author Guidelines

4.1 The cover letter

This must explicitly state that the manuscript comprises original unpublished work and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; any prior submissions that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication must be declared, including previously published or presented abstracts. The corresponding author must confirm that all authors have agreed with the submission in its present form. Any other manuscripts by the authors that are relevant to the submitted manuscript, and which are currently under review elsewhere or in press, must be listed and uploaded as ‘Additional files for review but NOT for publication'.

4.2. General points

Format the word processing document as double spaced A4 pages with an additional space between paragraphs and margins of at least 2 cm all round. Use a 12-pt standard font such as Times, Helvetica or Arial (with Symbol for special characters). Do not use line numbering, but include page numbers in the header or footer, aligned right. Use consistent, preferably UK English spelling.

4.3 Manuscript title

This should be clear, simple and concise; long titles lack impact. Please remember that many readers will only scan titles, so they should reflect the message of the paper and catch the readers’ attention.

4.4 A short running title

This must be 75 characters or less, including spaces, and reflect the main title and content of the manuscript.

4.5 List of authors

Authorship credit should be based only on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; 3) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions 1, 2 and 3 must all be met. Acquisition of funding, the collection of data or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship. All others who contributed to the work but are not authors should be named in the Acknowledgements section.

A statement outlining the specific contribution of each author to the manuscript and the work reported in it must appear after the acknowledgements section (see below).

If you are submitting a REVISION and the authors have changed from the original submission, for example: if additional authors are added [or removed] then agreement of all authors is mandatory, with justification and explanation required within the cover letter, submitted via the ScholarOne system.

4.6 Full affiliations of all authors

Include the name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed. Append the corresponding author(s) full postal address, phone number and email address.

4.7 Conflict of interest statements

Authors must disclose all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work; to prevent ambiguity, a conflict of interest statement must appear on the manuscript title page, detailing any conflicts (or the absence thereof) for each author. There is a recent Editorial on this subject (Hall PA, Poulsom R, Wixon J. How does the Journal of Pathology deal with conflict of interest? J Pathol 2009; 219: 396-399).

Please see this accompanying document for details of our guidance on conflict of interest, with examples.

4.8 Word count (from beginning of Introduction to end of Discussion)

Concise articles make a greater impact than long ones and are less likely to be delayed by editing to a suitable length. Full articles should be no more than 4000 words from the beginning of the Introduction to the end of the Discussion. Review articles and special features may occasionally exceed this limit by arrangement with the Editor-in-Chief.

Online Supporting Information can be used for presenting additional material. However, authors must ensure that the main manuscript contains sufficient information to make the study intelligible without referring to the Supporting Information. For example, while it is not acceptable to shorten a manuscript by placing the entire Materials and Methods in Supporting Information, methodological details (e.g. PCR primer sequences) should go in Supporting Information.

4.9 Abstract (not structured and no more than 300 words)

Following the title page(s), the next page should carry an unstructured prose abstract of 300 words or less. It should clearly convey the purposes of the study, and the main procedures, findings and conclusions. It should be understandable without reference to the rest of the paper, and contain no citation to references in the reference list. Only standard abbreviations as listed below are permitted.

4.10 Keywords (3 to 10)

Below the abstract, authors should provide and identify as such 3 to 10 keywords or short phrases to assist indexing the article and that may be published with the abstract. MESH headings are a useful guide for authors in considering keywords. In addition, authors should examine the text of their title, abstract and keywords since any term not employed in these sections cannot be employed as a search term to reliably identify the work using standard search engines (including PubMed).

4.11 Manuscript structure

Research articles are divided into sections with the headings: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. Long articles may need subheadings (especially within the Results and Discussion) to clarify their content. The sections should not be numbered. Other types of articles, such as reviews and commentaries, still need a title and abstract and should adhere as closely as possible to these guidelines.

Authors are encouraged to consult reporting guidelines relevant to their specific research design, in particular:

  • Reports of tumour studies should be fully compliant with the REMARK guidelines and this should be outlined in the cover letter.
  • For all types of microarray analyses, follow the MIAME guidelines
  • Authors should note that it is mandatory to make the array data available. This should preferably be via a public database such as the GEO or Array Express databases prior to submission (release embargos until acceptance are permitted), quoting the accession number/s in your manuscript. An alternative is to make the data available via the Journal of Pathology website as Supporting Information.
  • For reports of randomised controlled trials, follow the CONSORT statement
  • For reports of studies involving animals, follow the ARRIVE guidelines and consider following the MINPEPA guidelines.

4.11.1 Structure of Commentaries, Perspectives and Reviews

These have greater flexibility than standard original articles, but a concise clear style is essential. While most are invited, the editorial team is happy to receive suggestions and outlines of possible contributions of these kinds. All will undergo peer review.

Commentaries are typically brief reviews (2 to 3 journal pages) placing a paper (or group of papers) in the Journal into a broader context. They should be focused, pithy, and accessible to a broader audience than the primary papers. Diagrams are often useful to illustrate concepts and ideas.

A Perspective is similar in form and length, but will have a broader remit and is not necessarily linked to a paper in the Journal. It may be polemical or provocative.

A Review article can range in length from short items (mini-review) through to very detailed, fully referenced contributions. However, a review should be focused in nature and not simply a literature survey: it must have a point!

4.12 Introduction

Authors should state the purpose of the article and summarise the rationale for the study or observation, providing relevant background. The length of the Introduction is not specified but it should be in proportion to the rest of the manuscript and sufficiently comprehensive to allow a non specialist to understand the setting of the work. Give only strictly pertinent references and avoid the inclusion of data or conclusions from the work being reported. The aims of the study and hypothesis being tested should be stated clearly and objectively.

4.13 Materials and methods

4.13.1 General aspects of Materials and Methods

Clearly describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects (patients or laboratory animals, including controls). Identify the age, sex and other important characteristics of the subjects where appropriate. As the relevance of such variables as age, sex and ethnicity to the object of research is not always clear, authors should explicitly justify them when they are included in a study report. The guiding principle should be clarity about how and why a study was performed in a particular way. Authors should avoid terms such as ‘race’ which lacks precise biological meaning and use alternative descriptors such as ‘ethnicity’ or ‘ethnic group’ instead. Authors should specify carefully what the descriptors mean and tell exactly how the data were collected.

Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses) and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s) and route(s) of administration

Studies using antibodies must define them using catalogue or clone numbers for the primary antibodies used and their supplier. Details of antigen retrieval, antibody dilution, secondary layers, fluorophores or colour reactions must be provided. Validation steps and controls must be explained.

Studies using cell lines must explain how each was obtained and describe steps taken to prove their identity. A minimum requirement is to check the ICLAC and/or NCBI databases to ensure that the cell lines are not misidentified.

Studies on biomarkers and/ or prognostic and predictive factors must describe the patient selection criteria and provide a detailed breakdown of the cohort(s) included in the study. Reports of randomised clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol (study population, interventions or exposures, outcomes and the rationale for statistical analysis), assignment of interventions (methods of randomisation, concealment of allocation to treatment groups) and the method of masking (blinding).

Studies employing high throughput molecular methods, such as microarray-based expression profiling and microarray-based comparative genomic hybridisation, should provide accurate information about percentage of the cells of interest) in the samples, method of nucleic acid extraction, RNA or DNA amplification methods, details of the platform used and the analysis methods employed. We would anticipate that data from high throughput analyses, whether array based or otherwise should be made available via a suitable database or via files in online Supporting Information. Relevant clinical information should accompany this data.

Important information that is not essential for the understanding of the manuscript may appear as Supporting Information online. Examples of this would include PCR primer sequences and extraneous experimental detail. As a guide, information required to understand what was done and how, should be in the manuscript. Detail required to fully replicate the experiments can appear as Supporting Information. Please note that it is unacceptable to move the entire Materials and Methods section to Supporting Information.

Reliable studies of clinical samples require high quality samples and we anticipate that authors will document BRISQ Tier one variables (see Table 1 in Moore et al. Biospecimen Reporting for Improved Study Quality, Cancer Cytopathology 2011;119:92-101)

4.13.2 Ethical issues

An explicit statement describing the ethical background to the study must be included in the Materials and Methods. Ethics committee or institutional review board approval should be cited, with relevant reference numbers and dates. Indicate whether procedures involving human subjects were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 1983. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate which institutional or national guidelines or law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Authors should be mindful of ethical standards such as those in "Guidelines for the welfare and use of animals in cancer research"; (Workman, Aboagye, Balkwill et al. Br J Cancer 2010; 102: 1555-1577)

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential but patient data should never be altered or falsified in an attempt to attain anonymity. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity.

The Journal recognises that the requirements and legislation pertaining to all aspects of ethical review may vary between different jurisdictions. If there are any legitimate concerns raised by reviewers or editors about any aspect of the ethical issues of the study that cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to decline to publish the manuscript.

4.13.3 Statistics and bioinformatics

Data sets should be made publicly available either via public repositories or online supporting information. Authors should provide complete data annotation including all the clinical data reported in their manuscripts using the same identifiers reported in the paper. Authors are encouraged to create a reviewer secured access link to their data during the review process.

Describe statistical and bioinformatic approaches for both data processing and analysis with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of error or uncertainty (such as standard error or confidence intervals). Sample size should always be indicated. References for the design of the study and statistical methods should usually be to standard works (with pages stated) but citation to the papers in which the designs or methods were originally reported may sometimes be appropriate. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries: do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Data underlying figures and graphs should not be included in the main body of the paper, but may be provided in supporting information. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as 'random' (which implies a randomising device), 'normal', 'significant', 'correlations' and 'sample'.

Open source and publicly available statistical/ bioinformatic software packages, which allow other workers to reproduce the analysis performed, are be preferred. If using a self-developed algorithm, this tool (a workflow of usage and a short documentation) should be made available on request or presented as supporting information, where possible. For high throughput sequencing we recommend consideration of the minimal information to be supplied as outlined by MGED (

Data derived from array-based experiments must be interpreted cautiously and validated using independent laboratory-based technology. Such validation would ensure that these are not outliers or noise. Detailed information should be given about the annotation framework used by the authors. Versions or releases of databases, sequences and software packages should be also reported.

The checklist for statisticians published by the BMJ is a valuable resource (see:

4.14 Results

Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables and illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasise or summarise only important observations. Figures and tables should be clearly referred to in the manuscript. It is generally the case that interpretation should be reserved for the discussion.

4.15 Discussion

Emphasise the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Include in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies including those that may conflict with the data you present.

Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data. In particular, authors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included. References to unpublished data should not be included.

4.16 Acknowledgements

List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship criteria (See Section 4.5) Groups of people who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as ‘clinical investigators’ or ‘participating investigators’ and their function or contribution should be described. The acknowledgements must also contain a statement defining funding sources. This should include source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, or drugs, all of these should be clearly and fully defined, including sources of materials, reagents or other resources as gifts.

4.17 Statement of author contributions

A statement outlining the specific contribution of each author to the manuscript and the work reported in it must appear eg, study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, literature search, generation of figures, writing of the manuscript. If all authors contributed equally, please state this. An example of the style we would prefer is: ABC and EF conceived and carried out experiments, JKL and PQ conceived experiments and analysed data. MN carried out experiments. All authors were involved in writing the paper and had final approval of the submitted and published versions.

4.18 List of abbreviations (optional)

The Journal abbreviates all units of measurement for physical and chemical quantities according to standard metric usage (International System of Units (SI) base units and supplementary units). Standard abbreviations for countries (UK, USA etc), organisations (WHO, CRUK, NIH etc) and similar may be used. A list of standard abbreviations and symbols is provided these may be used singularly, or in combination, and do not need to be spelt out. For all other abbreviations, the full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text. A list of such non-standard abbreviations may be added after the acknowledgements section. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract

4.18.1 Units of Measurement

Measurements of length, height, weight and volume should be reported in metric units (metre, kilogram or litre) or their decimal multiples. Temperatures should be given in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be given in millimetres of mercury. All haematological and clinical chemistry measurements should be reported in the metric system in terms of the International System of Units (SI). Concentrations should usually be given as molarity (mol/L, abbreviated M).

4.18.2 Gene names

Human gene names should be upper case and italic and mouse gene names lower case and italic; protein names should be in plain type. Follow HUGO gene nomenclature for human genes, at:

Note differences between human and rodent gene, name conventions, and for mouse and rat gene nomenclature please follow the guidelines at:

For other species authors should take care to use standard internationally accepted nomenclature and we suggest that authors consult Entrez Gene ( to check the correct nomenclature for their species, as it lists the different symbols for each known gene.

4.19 List of supplementary material online Information (optional)

If used, a list of the files containing supplementary materials and methods, supplementary figure legends, supplementary figures, tables and movies must be provided after the figure legends in the main text file. A concise title should be provided for each file, and the files should follow the guidance in 4.24 Supplementary material.

4.20 Reference list (in the correct format)

References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables and legends by Arabic numerals in square parentheses. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. All references should be complete and accurate.

References cited in Supporting information must appear in the main list of references even if they are not employed in the main text, and not in a separate list seen only online.

Avoid using abstracts as references. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as ‘in press’; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication. Copies of any papers cited as ‘in press’ must be included in the submission. Avoid using unpublished observations and information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted.

Avoid citing a ‘personal communication’ unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. Authors must supply written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication.

The Journal’s reference style is modified Vancouver used by the NLM in Index Medicus. For articles with more than 3 authors, only the first 3 authors should be listed, followed by et al. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Title abbreviations can be checked using the PubMed Journals database: Articles published online but not yet assigned to an issue may be cited using the DOI (see example 4). Online citations should include the date of access. Examples of our reference style are:

Journal article from an issue
Going JJ, Moffat DF. Escaping from Flatland: clinical and biological aspects of human mammary duct anatomy in three dimensions. J Pathol 2004; 203: 538–544.

Journal article in advance of inclusion in an issue
Strizzi L, Bianco C, Hirota M, et al. Development of leiomyosarcoma of the uterus in MMTV-CR-1 transgenic mice. J Pathol 2006; DOI:10.1002/path.2083

Chapter in an edited book
Watson F, Herrington CS. Blotting techniques: Methodology and Applications. In Molecular Biology in Histopathology, (2nd edn), Crocker J, Murray PG (eds). John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester, 2003; 1–15.

Chapter in a book
Stevens A, Lowe J. Pathology (2nd edn). Mosby: London, 2000; 224–226.

Entry in a database
Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man [Internet]. Johns Hopkins University. Record No. 191170. Tumour Protein p53; TP53; [Accessed February 14, 2010]: Available from:

4.21 Tables

Type each table on a separate page at the end of the main document; use landscape orientation only if necessary. Tables should not be provided as images. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations used in each table. Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical rules.

4.22 Table and figure legends

All Tables and Figures must be clearly referred to in the manuscript text. Legends for Tables and Figures should be included on a separate page in the main manuscript. They should be clear and concise and not repeat material from the Results section. Type legends starting on a separate page with Arabic numerals corresponding to the Figure number. When symbols, arrows, numbers or letters are used to identify parts of the Figures, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend. Where appropriate provide internal scale markers for micrographs. Indicate the histological stain used only if it is other than haematoxylin and eosin. When you submit your manuscript, please remember to copy and paste your figure legends into the "Caption / Legend" field provided when you upload your figures.

4.23 Figures

The Journal of Pathology endorses the CLIP Principles for Documenting Clinical and Laboratory Images in Publications [1] and the guidance offered by Rossner and Yamada [2].

No figure or part thereof may have been published previously unless any necessary permission has been obtained from the copyright holder and provided to us. The original source must be cited in the text and figure legend. For example, “Reproduced from Bloggs, et al. [99] with permission.”

Images of patients, or their scans, must not allow them to be identified unless you provide us written permission from the patient allowing use of the specific image.

Regarding digital artwork, the figures submitted to us must be honest and accurate representations of the original observation(s) you made for the studies described in the submitted manuscript. We may screen images for unacceptable manipulation using forensic tools and other means, and this may delay progress of your manuscript. The Editors may request copies of the original un-manipulated source files, and in following COPE Guidelines may contact authors’ institutions for assistance with enquiries to establish probity. The Editors will take actions necessary to preserve the integrity of the scientific record, such as not accepting or revoking a manuscript.

When scanning or otherwise acquiring digital images remember that:

  • the quality of your original data must be sufficient to allow subsequent analysis, interpretation and presentation.
  • Original images of gels or filters must retain background details in bright areas and gradation in dark areas.
  • When saving images avoid JPEG compression because this introduces artefacts, instead save as TIFF files with lossless compression using the Lempel–Ziv–Welch (LZW) algorithm.

When preparing figures remember that:

  • No feature of a data image may be selectively enhanced, obscured, removed or added.
  • Any changes to brightness, contrast or colour balance must have been applied to the entire image shown and not a selected part.
  • If a composite image is made, e.g. showing gels or blots with tracks from groups of samples analysed separately (or from different exposures) you must make the junctions obvious by using black or white lines, and explain in the figure legend why this was necessary.
  • Images must not be re-used in the same or other figures without explaining why you believe it was acceptable (e.g. control western data)
  • The boundaries of individual panels of a tiled image should be marked.
  • The Materials and methods section or the figure legend should explain concisely the changes you made to images and explain why. E.g. “Figure 5. Immunohistochemical staining for GATA3 (brown) with Mayer’s haematoxylin counterstain. Scale bar 75µm. Uneven illumination was corrected using a control image as described by Marty [3]”

[1] Lang TA, Talerico C, Siontis GC. Documenting clinical and laboratory images in publications: the CLIP principles. Chest 2012; 141: 1626-1632.

[2] Rossner M and Yamada KM. What's in a picture? The temptation of image manipulation. J Cell Biol 2004; 166: 11-15.

[3] Marty GD. Blank-field correction for achieving a uniform white background in brightfield digital photomicrographs. BioTechniques 2007; 42: 716-720.

4.23.1 Figure Format

Figures must be at the appropriate size and resolution. They must not be included or embedded within a text document. Instead, upload them as separate files (TIFF not JPG or PDF). Number them consecutively in the order of first citation in the text.

Figures should be prepared at the correct resolution (dots per inch = dpi), to fit either single column width (83 mm) or full page width (170.5 mm), with a maximum height of 251.5 mm.

  • Black and white and colour images – 300 dpi
  • Graphs, drawings, etc. – 800 dpi preferred; 600 dpi minimum
  • Combinations of photos and drawings (black and white and colour) – 500 dpi

Figures containing colour should be made and submitted in RGB mode. Figures with no colour present should be in Greyscale mode to reduce file size significantly.

Save figures as TIFF (.tif) files, without layers and without embedded profiles, and use LZW compression to reduce file size and retain quality.

Panel labels, numbers and symbols must be of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. Shading and hatches should be used with care and consideration of the final size of the image be made.

4.23.2 Colour images

The cost of printing colour illustrations in the journal is currently £400 per colour figure and will be charged to the author. Figures submitted in colour must be published in colour and we have no option for online only colour. If authors wish their illustrations to be printed in black and white, figures must be supplied and reviewed in black and white with appropriate contrast and brightness adjustments made for the best possible reproduction.

4.23.3 Graphs

In preparing graphs ensure that appropriate formats are used (histogram, points, box and whisker etc) with error bars wherever possible. Avoid patterned or gradient in-fills in histograms.

4.23.4 Suggestions for the cover image

Authors are invited to submit candidate cover images with their manuscript. These should be clearly identified with file names such as ‘Cover suggestion 1.tiff’ and designated as ‘Additional Files NOT for Review and NOT for publication'. Please note that the space available for such images is 150mm wide x 95mm high, and the resolution of the image should be no less than 600 dpi for line images, 300 dpi for tone images, and 600 and 300 dpi for the line and tone components of combination images, respectively. Authors should also note that the Editors are under no obligation to use any of the suggested images for the cover, and that the selection of an image for the cover will not affect any colour figure fees due for that article. One free copy of the issue and the PDF file of the cover will be sent to the corresponding author of the article from which the cover image was selected.

4.24 Supporting Information

Authors may supply additional text or data as 'Supporting Information files for online publication only', but the main manuscript must contain sufficient information to make the work intelligible without these files. Supporting Information is a formal part of the published manuscript and should not normally be re-published elsewhere.

Our recommended file types for Supporting Information are: .doc/.xls/.ppt/.txt/.jpg/.jpeg/.gif/.tif/.tiff/.png/.bmp/.eps/.ps/.html/.pdf/.mov/.mpg/.wav/.mp3/.wma

Please note that Supporting Information is not subedited or proof read, so authors should ensure that files are supplied ready for publication online. File sizes must be as small as possible, so that they can be downloaded quickly, and must not exceed 50MB.

4.25 Additional Files for Review but NOT for publication

Authors should provide to the Editors and reviewers preprints of as yet unpublished articles, or other relevant material, that have a bearing on the review of the submitted manuscript. These should be uploaded and designated as “Additional Files for Review but NOT for publication”.

4.26 Copyright and Permissions

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the non-standard Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the non-standard agreement to sign. The terms and conditions of the non-standard CTA can be previewed below:

Terms and Conditions. Please do not complete this PDF until you are prompted to login into Author Services as described above.

Note to Contributors on Deposit of Accepted Version

Funder arrangements

Certain funders, including the NIH, members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Wellcome Trust require deposit of the Accepted Version in a repository after an embargo period. Details of funding arrangements are set out at the following website: Please contact the Journal production editor if you have additional funding requirements.


Wiley has arrangements with certain academic institutions to permit the deposit of the Accepted Version in the institutional repository after an embargo period. Details of such arrangements are set out at the following website:

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

4.27 The submission process

The manuscript must be submitted via the online submission system You will need to create a user account for yourself and have available email addresses for each co-author. Follow the online instructions to guide you through the submission process.

All hard copy and emailed manuscripts sent to the Editor-in-Chief, the Editorial Office or The Pathological Society will be returned to authors with instructions to submit online.

4.27.1 Submission of a revised version

Once authors have completed the revisions to their manuscript, they can only submit it by logging into and entering their Author Centre, where they will find the manuscript listed under "Manuscripts with Decisions". Under "Actions" click on "Create a Revision". The manuscript number will then be appended with an ‘R’ to denote that it is a revised version.

When submitting a revised manuscript, it is essential that authors include a ‘point-by-point’ response to the comments made by the reviewer(s) in the space provided, detailing the changes made. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in responses to the reviewer(s).

IMPORTANT: Authors must delete any original fles from the manuscript submission that are being replaced by revised files, and ensure that the files are in the correct order.

4.28 OnlineOpen

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article freely accessible to all, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive.

For the application form, and full details of the service, visit: (note that you should not try to order OnlineOpen until your manuscript has been accepted for publication).

4.29 Note to NIH and HHMI Grantees

Wiley-Blackwell will automatically deposit the accepted (not edited and typeset) version of primary research papers funded by these bodies to PubMedCentral. For NIH authors the papers are made freely available twelve months after acceptance and for HHMI authors six months after acceptance, for more details see our full policy statements:

4.30 English Checking Service for Authors in Asia (from non-English speaking countries)

A list of recommended English editing services is available for authors who want to have their paper checked and improved before submission. This list and further information on the service is available at Please note that this is an optional service paid for by the author.

4.31 Further Information

The e-mail address for the Editorial Office is This email address is for correspondence and not for the submission of manuscripts.

Failure to abide by the guidelines for submission to the Journal of Pathology may result in undue delay in the submission, review or publication of your manuscript.

4.32 Post-acceptance procedures

4.32.1 Accepted Articles

These are peer reviewed articles that have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Pathology and are currently being copy-edited and typeset. They will appear on the journal website on the “Accepted Articles” page as a PDF of the edited manuscript and will have a DOI (digital object identifier). Subsequently the full articles will appear on Early View in a matter of weeks, after proofing by the authors.

4.32.2 Early View

Early View is Wiley-Blackwell’s exclusive service presenting individual articles online as soon as they are ready before the release of the compiled print issue. Early View articles are complete, citable and are published in an average time of six weeks from acceptance.

4.32.3 Proofs

Proofs in PDF format will be made available for download by the corresponding author for checking. This stage is to be used only to correct errors that may have been introduced during the production process. Prompt return of the corrected proofs, preferably within two days of receipt, will minimise the risk of the paper being held over to a later issue.

A complimentary PDF offprint of the final paper will be provided to the author who checked the proofs, unless otherwise indicated. Hard copy reprints (minimum order 50, up to 300 copies) may be ordered online: and hard copies of a chosen issue can be ordered from Customer Services (, please remember to provide full details of the journal name and which issue (i.e. volume and issue number) you require.

4.33 Disclaimer

The validity of the data and the views expressed in articles in the Journal are the responsibility of authors and not of The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland or the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

4.34 Notes on Instructions to Authors

The requirements set out here are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals. Ann Intern Med 1997; 126: 36-47. A digital version is available on the ICMJE web site.

For additional tools visit Author Services - an enhanced suite of online tools for Wiley journal authors, featuring Article Tracking, E-mail Publication Alerts and detailed advice on preparing electronic artwork and supporting information files.

4.35 COPE


As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), adherence to these submission criteria is considered essential for publication in The Journal of Pathology; mandatory fields are included in the online submission process to ensure this. If, at a later stage in the submission process or even after publication, a manuscript or authors are found to have disregarded these criteria, it is the duty of the Editor-in-Chief to report this to COPE. COPE may recommend that action may be taken, including but not exclusive to, informing the authors’ professional regulatory body and/or institution of such a dereliction. The website for COPE may be accessed at:

If concerns are raised regarding potential misconduct, such as plagiarism, redundant publication, or fabrication or manipulation of data, authors should be aware that the Journal will follow the COPE guidelines in dealing with the case, which, if the Journal is not satisfied with the authors’ explanation, can lead to the withdrawal of a manuscript from peer-review, or the publication of a retraction, and also to the Journal informing the authors’ professional regulatory body and/or institution of the details of the case.

If a suspicion regarding the omission of conflicts of interest is raised during peer-review or after publication, the Journal will follow the relevant COPE guidelines to investigate this, and authors should be aware that this can lead to the publication of a correction statement.

If the addition, or removal, of author name/s is requested during peer-review or after publication, the Journal will follow the relevant COPE guidelines (in verifying that all authors agree to the change), and authors should be aware that a lack of agreement can lead to the suspension of peer-review or publication, or to the publication of separate letters from the authors.

4.36 Units of Measure, multipliers and standard abbreviations

The Journal abbreviates all units of measurement for physical and chemical quantities according to standard metric usage (International System of Units (SI) base units and supplementary units). Standard abbreviations for countries (UK, USA etc), organisations (WHO, CRUK, NIH etc) and similar may be used.


a, atto (10-18)
Å, angstrom unit(s) [10–8 cm]
aa, amino acid(s)
Ab, antibody
ABC, ATP-binding cassette
AChR, acetylcholine receptor
ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone
AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
AMP, adenosine monophosphate (ADP, ATP)
ANOVA, analysis of variance

BAC, bacterial artificial chromosome
β-gal, β-galactosidase
BMI, body mass index
bp, base pair(s)
BP, blood pressure
bpm, beat(s) per minute
BrdU, bromodeoxyuridine
BSA, bovine serum albumin
BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy
BW, body weight

c, centi (10-2)
°C, degree(s) Celsius
cAMP, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cGMP)
CCL, CC chemokine ligand
CCR, CC chemokine receptor
CD, cluster of differentiation
CDK, cyclin-dependent kinases
cDNA, complementary DNA
CDP, cytosine diphosphate
CFC, colony-forming cell
CFTR, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator
CFU, colony-forming unit
ChIP, chromatin immunoprecipitation
CHO, Chinese hamster ovary
Ci, curie(s)
CI, confidence interval
cM, centimorgan(s)
CMP, cytidine monophosphate (CDP, CTP)
CMV, cytomegalovirus
CNS, central nervous system
CoA, coenzyme A
COX, cyclooxygenase
cpm, count(s) per minute
CSA, colony-stimulating activity
CSF, colony-stimulating factor
Ct, threshold cycle
CT, computed tomography
CTL, cytotoxic T lymphocyte
CXCL, CXC chemokine ligand
CXCR, CXC chemokine receptor

3D, 3-dimensional
d, deci (10-1)
da, deca (101)
Da, dalton(s)
DAB, diaminobenzidine
DAPI, 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole
DEAE, diethylaminoethyl
DLCBL, diffuse large cell B cell lymphoma
DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium
DMSO, dimethylsulphoxide
DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid
dpm, disintegration(s) per minute
dsDNA, double-stranded DNA
DTT, dithiothreitol

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E1, E2, E3 etc, embryonic day 1, 2, 3 etc
EAE, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
EBV, Epstein-Barr virus
EC, endothelial cell
ECG, electrocardiogram, electrocardiography
ECL, enhanced chemiluminescence
ECM, extracellular matrix
E. coli, Escherichia coli
ED50, 50% effective dose
EDTA, ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid
EEG, electroencephalogram
EGF, epidermal growth factor
EGFR, EGF receptor
EGTA, ethyleneglycol-bis-(b-aminoethylether)-N,N,N’,N’-tetraacetic acid
ELISA, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
EM, electron microscopy
EMEM, Eagle’s minimal essential medium
EMSA, electrophoretic mobility shift assay
eNOS, endothelial NOS
ER, endoplasmic reticulum
ERK, extracellular signal–regulated kinase
ES, embryonic stem [cell]

f, femto (10-15)
F-actin, filamentous actin
FasL, Fas ligand
FBS, fetal bovine serum
Fc, crystallizable fragment [of immunoglobulin molecule]
FCS, fetal calf serum
FDA, Food and Drug Administration
FFA, free fatty acid
FGF, fibroblast growth factor
FISH, fluorescence in situ hybridization
FITC, fluorescein isothiocyanate

g, gram
g, unit(s) of gravity
G, giga (109)
GABA, g-aminobutyric acid
GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase
GC, germinal centre
G-CSF, granulocyte CSF
GFP, green fluorescent protein
GFR, glomerular filtration rate
GLUT, glucose transporter
GM-CFU, granulocyte-macrophage CFU
GM-CSA, granulocyte-macrophage CSA
GM-CSF, granulocyte-macrophage CSF
GMP, guanosine monophosphate (GDP, GTP)
GPCR, G protein–coupled receptor
Gy, gray(s)

h, hour(s)
h, hecto (102)
HA, haemagglutinin
HBSS, Hanks’ balanced salt solution
HCV, hepatitis C virus (HAV, HBV, HDV)
HL, Hodgkin’s lymphoma
HDL, high-density lipoprotein
H&E, haematoxylin and eosin
HEPES, N-2-hydroxyethylpiperazine-N’-2-ethanesulphonic acid
HGF, hepatocyte growth factor
HIF, hypoxia-inducible factor
HIV, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1, HIV-2)
HLA, human leukocyte antigen
HMG, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl
HPLC, high-performance liquid chromatography
HPV, human papilloma virus
HRP, horseradish peroxidase
HSA, human serum albumin
HSC, haematopoietic stem cell
hsp, heat shock protein
HUVEC, human umbilical vein endothelial cell

IC50, 50% inhibitory concentration
ICAM, intercellular adhesion molecule
ID50, 50% infective dose
IDDM, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
IDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein
IFN, interferon
Ig, immunoglobulin (IgE, IgG)
IGF, insulin-like growth factor
IκB, inhibitor of NF-κB (IκBa, IκBb)
IL, interleukin (IL-12)
i.m., intramuscular(ly)
i.n., intranasal(ly)
iNOS, inducible NOS
i.p., intraperitoneal(ly)
IP, immunoprecipitate, immunoprecipitated, immunoprecipitation
IR, insulin receptor
IU, international unit(s)
i.v., intravenous(ly)

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JAK, Janus kinase
JNK, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase

k, kilo (103)
K, increment on temperature scale Kelvin
kb, kilobase
kcal, kilocalorie(s)
Kd, dissociation constant
kDa, kilodalton(s)
KI, inhibition constant
Km, Michaelis-Menten constant
KO, knockout

l, litre
LD50, 50% lethal dose
LDL, low-density lipoprotein
LN, lymph node
lod, log odds ratio
LPS, lipopolysaccharide
LUC, luciferase
LV, left ventricle, left ventricular

m, milli (10-3)
m, metre(s)
M, molar (moles per litre)
M, mega (106)
mAb, monoclonal Ab
MALDI, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization
MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase
Mb, megabase(s)
M-CSF, macrophage CSF
MD, muscular dystrophy
2-ME, 2-mercaptoethanol
MEK, MAPK kinase
mEq, milliequivalent(s)
MFI, mean fluorescence intensity
MHC, major histocompatibility complex
min, minute
miRNA, microRNA
mmHg, millimeter(s) of mercury
MMP, matrix metalloproteinase
mo, month(s)
MOI, multiplicity of infection
mol, mole(s)
MOPS, 3-(N-morpholino)propanesulphonic acid
Mr, relative molecular mass
MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
mRNA, messenger RNA
μ, micro (10-6)
MW, molecular weight

n, nano (10-9)
n, number in group
N, normal [solution]
N, total sample size
N/A, not applicable
NAD, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
NADH, reduced NAD
NADPH, reduced NAD phosphate
ncRNA, non coding RNA
NF-κB, nuclear factor κB
NHL, non-Hodgkin lymphoma
NIDDM, non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
NK, natural killer
NKT, natural killer T [cell]
NMDA, N-methyl-D-aspartate
NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance
NO, nitric oxide
NOD, nonobese diabetic
NOR, nonobese resistant
NOS, NO synthase
NP-40, Nonidet P-40
NS, not significant
NSAID, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug
NSCLC, non-small cell lung cancer
nt, nucleotide(s)

OCT, optimal cutting temperature [compound]
OD, optical density
ORF, open reading frame

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p, pico (10-12)
P, phosphate (PO4)
P, probability
P1, P2, P3, postnatal day 1, 2, 3
PAGE, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
PAR, protease-activated receptor
PAS, periodic acid–Schiff
PBL, peripheral blood leukocyte
PBMC, peripheral blood mononuclear cell
PBS, phosphate-buffered saline
PCR, polymerase chain reaction
PDGF, platelet-derived growth factor
PDGFR, PDGF receptor
PE, phycoerythrin
PECAM, platelet–endothelial cell adhesion molecule
PET, positron emission tomography
PFU, plaque-forming unit
PG, prostaglandin
pH, hydrogen ion concentration
pI, isoelectric point
PI3K, phosphatidylinositol-3’-kinase
PIPES, piperazine-N, N’-bis(2-ethanesulphonic acid)
PKC, protein kinase C (PKA, PKB)
PLC, phospholipase C
PMA, phorbol myristate acetate
PMSF, phenylmethylsulphonyl fluoride
PPAR, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPARg)
psi, pound(s) per square inch
PVDF, polyvinylidene difluoride

r, correlation coefficient
RA, rheumatoid arthritis
rad, radiation-absorbed dose
RAG, recombination activating gene
RANK, receptor activator of NF-κB
RANKL, RANK ligand
RANTES, regulated on activation, T cell expressed, and secreted
rbc, red blood cell
RFLP, restriction fragment length polymorphism
RIA, radioimmunoassay
RNA, ribonucleic acid
RNAi, RNA interference
ROS, reactive oxygen species
rpm, revolution(s) per minute
RPMI, Roswell Park Memorial Institute [medium]
rRNA, ribosomal RNA
RT, reverse transcriptase [or reverse transcription in RT-PCR]

s, second(s)
SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome
s.c., subcutaneous
SCF, stem cell factor
SCID, severe combined immunodeficiency disease
SD, standard deviation
SDS, sodium dodecylsulphate
SEM, standard error of the mean
shRNA, short hairpin RNA
siRNA, small, interfering RNA
SIV, simian immunodeficiency virus
SCLC, small cell lung cancer
SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
SMC, smooth muscle cell
SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism
SOCS, suppressor of cytokine signalling
SOD, superoxide dismutase
SSC, standard saline citrate
STAT, signal transducer and activator of transcription

t, time
T, tera (1012)
t1/2, half-life
TBS, Tris-buffered saline
TCA, tricarboxylic acid
TCR, T cell receptor
Tg, transgene, transgenic
TGase, transglutaminase
TGCT, testicular germ cell tumours
TGF, transforming growth factor
Th, T helper [cell] (Th1, Th1)
TLC, thin-layer chromatography
TLR, Toll-like receptor
TNF, tumour necrosis factor (TNF-a)
TOF, time of flight
TPA, tissue plasminogen activator
Treg, regulatory T cell
Tris, tris(hydroxymethyl)-aminomethane
TSG, tumour suppressor gene
TRITC, tetrarhodamine isothiocyanate
TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end-labeling
TXA, thromboxane A

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U, unit(s)
UMP, uridine monophosphate (UDP, UTP)
UV, ultraviolet

V, volt(s)
VCAM, vascular cell adhesion molecule
VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor
VEGFR, VEGF receptor
VHL, von Hippel-Lindau disease
VLDL, very low-density lipoprotein
Vmax, maximum velocity
vol, volume
VSMC, vascular smooth muscle cell
vWF, von Willebrand factor

W, watt(s)
wbc, white blood cell
wk, week(s)
wt, weight
WT, wild type

yr, year(s)

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