Australian Veterinary Journal

Cover image for Vol. 95 Issue 10

Edited By: Anne Jackson

Impact Factor: 0.772

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 79/136 (Veterinary Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1751-0813

Author Guidelines

Aims and scope

Please ensure your submission fits within the journal's aims and scope.

Over the past 80 years, the Australian Veterinary Journal (AVJ) has been providing the veterinary profession with leading edge clinical and scientific research, case reports, reviews. news and timely coverage of industry issues. AJV is Australia's premier veterinary science text and is distributed monthly to over 5,500 Australian Veterinary Association members and subscribers.

Editorial review process

The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance to the Australasian veterinary profession.

Manuscripts should be written in a clear, concise, direct style, so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. When contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of content, manuscripts will be edited to improve readability, enhance the precision of communication between the author and the reader, eliminate redundant material and conform to the required style. Extensive changes may necessitate the manuscript to be returned to the authors. To avoid unnecessary delays with publication, the editor reserves the right to make alterations to text in the final draft of accepted papers.

After review, recommendations on outcome are made by the Editorial Committee and the Associate Editors. Final decisions are made by the Editor in Chief, Dr Anne Jackson, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS. The AVJ reserves the right to reject any manuscript.

Submission of manuscripts

Manuscripts are submitted electronically through Manuscript Central using the Australian Veterinary Journal portal: Select the manuscript type from the drop down list as:

  • Australian Veterinary Journal – AVJ (default);
  • Australian Veterinary Practitioner – AVP or
  • Australian Equine Veterinarian – AEV.

Any questions can be directed to

All articles submitted via ManuscriptCentral must comply with these instructions. Failure to do so will result in the return of the manuscript and delay in processing, review and publication. The most likely reasons for papers to be unsubmitted before review are the quality of the image files, images embedded in a Word file, and the formatting of the manuscript and the references (see details below).

Articles that are being submitted to fulfill requirements for fellowship qualifications must not be submitted for review at the last minute. At least 6 months should be allowed for review of articles submitted, and their purpose should be stated in the covering letter.

Requirements for submission

In order to submit, authors must do the following by ticking the boxes on the Details and Comments page of the submission:

  • confirm that the manuscript has been submitted solely to the AVJ and is not published, in press or submitted elsewhere
  • declare that all the research meets the ethical guidelines of the study country; any handling and/or use of animals in experiments should meet the standards of to the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes1
  • declare any real or potential conflict of interest, including the source of any grants, consultancies or any other funding
  • confirm that the contribution of all authors is stated and all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript.

Please submit a covering letter when prompted by the submission system. The covering letter should contain:

  • information on prior or duplicate publication or submission elsewhere of any part of the paper
  • a statement explaining why the manuscript should be considered for publication in the journal
  • a statement confirming that any handling and/or use of animals in experiments conforms to the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes1
  • if the research was not conducted in Australia, please include a statement confirming that the research adhered to the ethical requirements of the study country.


Eligibility for authorship should be based only on substantial contributions to 1) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, and 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content. For example, for a pathologist to be included as author of an article, he or she should have contributed to conception and/or interpretation of pathological data, drafted relevant sections of the article and engaged in critical review and revision of the whole article.

Each author must have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for their contribution. General supervision of the research group, or participation in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data, do not in themselves justify authorship.

Material published in the AVJAVP or AEV, unless otherwise indicated, reflects the view of the author(s) only and not that of the AVA, the editors, the Editorial Advisory Boards or the referees.

Ethical considerations

Submission to the AVJ confirms that the protocol for the research project has been approved by a properly constituted Ethics Committee of the institution within which the work was undertaken.

The handling and use of animals in experiments must conform to the Australian Code of Practice.1 The approval number from an animal experimentation ethics committee should be included in the Materials and methods.

Where appropriate, proof of informed owner consent may be required.

If human subjects were involved in research (e.g., surveys, sensory panels, or other participation), the authors must certify that the studies complied with all appropriate laws, regulations, and policies governing the use of human subjects in research including in particular the  National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

The AVJ retains the right to reject any manuscript on the basis of unethical conduct of either human or animal studies.

Reporting guidelines

The AVJ encourages the use of reporting guidelines to help authors report their studies to consistent and publishable standards. The following guidelines are strongly recommended to authors where appropriate to their study:

  • STREGA (for reporting of gene-disease association studies)
  • COREQ (for reporting qualitative research)

Format of articles

Please refer to the specific instructions below for each type of article.


Do not indent headings or end headings with full-stops. Only the first letter is capitalised. Major text headings are typed in bold on a separate line. First-order subheadings are typed on a separate line and italicised in bold. Second-order subheadings are italicised and followed by a tab to separate them from the text, which follows on the same line. Do not number subheadings, paragraphs or itemised lists in the text.


The title should be concise, specific and informative, but should not make extreme claims about the conclusions of the study. Avoid including geographical locations unless they are of epidemiological significance. Only capitalise the first letter of the title.

Authors’ names and addresses

List each author initials then family name (e.g. KM Smith). Separate the authors’ names with a comma, except for the last two authors, which are separated with ‘and’ (e.g. KM Smitha* and KJ Smytheb).

Include the addresses of the institutions at which the work was carried out and indicate the authors’ affiliations with those institutions using superscript letters (a, b, c etc.). Indicate the corresponding author with an asterisk (*). Include the corresponding author’s postal and email addresses. The present address of the corresponding author only, if different from that where the work was carried out, should be supplied.

Structured abstract – all articles (except What’s your diagnosis?)

Up to 250 words following the general format of the article. No headings necessary but follow the order of the paper (e.g. IMRD). No references or abbreviations are used in the abstract. Sufficient information must be provided such that the abstract is a stand alone document.

Key words

Key words should appear after the abstract. Use the heading ‘Keywords’ and then up to 6 key words separated by semi-colons.


Abbreviations should be used only where they make reading easier by reducing repetition of long, technical terms, and only if the term is used three or more times. Do not use abbreviations for the authors’ convenience. All abbreviations must be written out in full the first time they appear in the text, followed by the abbreviation in brackets. Exceptions are SI units and commonly used terms that can be understood from the context, for example: IV, SC, IM, DNA, RNA, EDTA, IgA, IgG.


All sources of funding should be acknowledged.

Authors should acknowledge only significant intellectual and technical contributions, and permission from those listed should be obtained before publication.

Conflict of interest and funding

All sources of potential conflict of interest (simply defined as something that would embarrass the authors should it become known after publication) and funding should be acknowledged.


Reference format is the same for each journal, to facilitate the editing process. Use references judiciously and cite only those that are essential for the understanding of the study.

  • Number references in the text consecutively with superscript Arabic numerals that follow any punctuation marks.
  • Construct the reference list in the same numerical sequence of the references cited in the text.
  • References cited only in tables or in figure legends are numbered according to the first identification of the table or figure in the text, if possible.
  • References can be formatted using an Endnote style (AVJ), by clicking “Visit Endnote” link on the Wiley Author Services page ( or by going to and searching the Australian Veterinary Journal.
  • List all authors if there are 3 or fewer. When there are more than 3 authors, list only the first 3 and add 'et al'.
  • The abbreviation of journals follows that of Serial sources for the BIOSIS previews database. A list of journal abbreviations can be found at
  • Cite references to unpublished work only in the text, with a notation of (personal communication) or (unpublished data). Please send a copy of any cited work that is included in the reference list as 'in press'. It is the authors' responsibility to check the accuracy of reference citations.

Representative examples are as follows:

Journal article: Gibson KT, Hodge H, Whittem T. Inflammatory mediators in equine synovial fluid. Aust Vet J 1996;73:148–151.

Book chapter: Peterson ME, Randolph JF, Mooney CT et al. Endocrine diseases. In: Sherding RG, editor. The cat: diseases and management. 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1994:1403–1506.

Published proceedings: Rhodes AP. Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis vaccination. In: Proceedings of the 23rd Seminar of the Sheep and Beef Cattle Society. New Zealand Veterinary Association, June 1993: 12–18.

Unpublished proceedings: Rhodes AP. Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis vaccination revisited. In: Proceedings of the 24th Seminar of the Sheep and Beef Cattle Society, Dunedin, New Zealand, June 1994:10–17.

Association document: Australian Veterinary Association. Tethering of sows and sow stalls. In: Greenwood PE, editor. Members' directory and policy compendium. AVA, Sydney, 1997:B5

Editorial: Where do we stand on manpower? [editorial] Vet Rec 1995;137:1

Foreign reference: Homberger FR. Mäusehepatitis-Virus. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 1996;138:183–188.

Web address or url: Council of Docked Breeds. The case for docking. 1992. Accessed October 2001.


Tables should be self-contained and complement information contained in the text. They must NOT duplicate information in the text and should only be necessary if the material is too complicated to be written out. Avoid excessive case by case tables for clinical case series (>4 animals) where the goal is to summarise and characterise rather than present individual cases.

  • Type the legend above the relevant table. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in brackets. All abbreviations must be defined in footnotes to the table. Use superscript lower case letters to mark footnotes (a, b, c etc.) and superscript capital letters to mark statistical significance (A, B, C etc.)
  • Construct tables such that the “x” variable is on the left and the “y” variable is across the top. This makes reading easier in the absence of grid lines.
  • Number tables with Arabic numerals consecutively in the order they occur in the text. Refer to the table in the text as (Table 2). Do NOT use a sentence to simply direct the reader to the table. Notify the reader indirectly with an informative sentence.


Include figures only if they are informative and necessary for the understanding of the text. Figures must be uploaded as individual files.

  • Number figures consecutively in the order they occur in the text, with Arabic numerals. Refer to the figure in the text as (Figure 3). Do not use a sentence to simply direct the reader to the table. Notify the reader indirectly with an informative sentence.

Line figures and graphs:

Line figures and graphs should be supplied in their original format (.xls, .eps etc) OR  at least 600 dpi and at least 8.6 cm in image width at that resolution.


  • Submit photographs as .tif or .jpg files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi, and at least 8.6 cm in image width at that resolution.
  • Photographs should be in clear focus and cropped appropriately.
  • Micrographs should be able to show the details that that are mentioned in the legend at a print width of 8.6 cm (single column).
  • Scale bars must be included on micrographs. Some indicator of measurement must be included in other figures when relative size or orientation is necessary.
  • Any lettering on the figures should be sans-serif, and must be large enough to allow for a reduction in size. Use a consistent style of layout, lettering, symbols and thickness of lines.
  • Images that contain text that are not in .xls or .eps format (e.g. .jpg or .tiff files) must be at least 600 dpi, and at least 8.6 cm in image width at that resolution.

Digital manipulation of an image is acceptable only if it is done to enhance photographic density or to eliminate artefacts. Any digital manipulation must be mentioned in the figure legend. The author(s) must also state in the covering letter that the scientific content of the image has not been altered. The editor may need to examine the original image.

Article types and word counts

Original articles must:

  • be original i.e. should include the work of the authors, rather than simply reporting the work of others
  • fit the definition of “research;” i.e defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes
  • be consistent with the aims and scope of the journal

Original articles that are unsuitable for publication include those that

  • are simply opinion pieces
  • are simply a collection of readily available information (such as a university lecture or textbook chapter) where there is no original research or critique from the author(s)
  • are simple reports of laboratory results or other activities, with no discussion as to the importance or significance to Australasian veterinary science.

Please look at a recent issue of the AVJ to see the elements of each article type. The editors may change the categories of submitted articles at their discretion. In general, articles will follow the IMRD system – introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion.

Original article (maximum 6500 words)

  • Include up to 6 key words and an abbreviation list if applicable.
  • Introduction – set premise for study, give sufficient background to justify study, state objective(s) and hypothesis if study is hypothesis driven.
  • Materials and methods – state methods in enough detail for readers to reproduce work. For observational studies, the data manipulation is the main focus of the methods and must be described in detail.
  • Results – succinctly report the results, provide sufficient detail that data analysis can be replicated, refer to figures and tables when necessary (do not duplicate results).
  • Discussion – interpret and critique findings that relate to objectives, do not present new data, do not over interpret results nor propose mechanisms beyond the scope of the study. Finish with appropriate conclusion, again, relative to objective(s).
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (up to 40)
  • Tables
  • Legends

Review (maximum 6500 words)

  • Introduction – set premise for review, justify why one is necessary, state objective clearly (i.e.  propose question to be answered by review)
  • Critical review – the relevant literature must be critiqued (in light of the question posed) examining the relevance and validity of findings and conclusions. You must source original information (i.e. do not include other reviews).
  • Conclusion – summarise findings in light of objective(s).
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (up to 50)
  • Tables
  • Legends

We encourage evidence-based reviews that critically evaluate the effect of specified treatments or interventions on defined conditions form a valuable part of evidence-based medicine.

Clinical review and case reports/series (maximum 3500 words)

  • Case report/series – specify reason for publication and justify merit. Case reports must provide substantial evidence to support publication.
  • Clinical features – History and clinical findings, diagnosis, treatment and outcome.
  • Discussion – discuss the case in light of other published, discuss evidence provided by case, discuss relevance or implications of case report 
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (up to 30)
  • Tables
  • Legends

Short contribution (maximum 1500 words)

  • May include novel observations and interpretations that have not arisen within rigorous experimental constraints and may not therefore warrant a full article, or observations that are of wide interest, but of a minor nature.
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (up to 15)
  • Tables
  • Legends

What’s your diagnosis? (maximum 750 words) (AVP and EVA only)

  • Content - The purpose of the What Is Your Diagnosis? feature is to provide readers an opportunity to evaluate and interpret diagnostic information including physical examination findings, ECG, clinical pathology (haematology, serum biochemistry, fluid analysis and cytology), radiographs and other types of diagnostic images, gross pathology or in some cases, histopathology. Applicability of content will be determined by the Editor.
  • The text for manuscripts submitted for this feature should be organized under the following headings:
    • Signalment and History – brief description of signalment and pertinent history with other key findings that are not highlighted by the diagnostic test in review.
    • Diagnostic findings and interpretation - section should describe all pertinent abnormalities in the images provided or the listed findings (for blood work, fluid analysis) and list the diagnosis or differential diagnoses considered on the basis of the diagnostic findings.
    • Comments - A brief discussion of the differential diagnoses, treatment, and outcome of the case.  The Comments section should focus on how the diagnostic information/test was useful in obtaining the diagnosis, rather than on the disease or condition itself. Contributors are encouraged to discuss features of the diagnostic test that contributed to making the diagnosis.
    • This report is intended to be a learning exercise for readers, 2 sets of images or tabulated results should be provided. The first should not contain any identifying marks. The second should include arrows or other labels identifying the important abnormalities.
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (6-7)
  • Tables
  • Legends

History (maximum 5000 words)

  • Articles should be relevant to the history of veterinary medicine in Australasia
  • Acknowledgements – acknowledge funding, technical support etc.
  • References (up to 40)
  • Tables
  • Legends

Original papers based on AVA conference proceedings (maximum 6500 words)

AVJ may accept papers that are closely based on papers submitted as part of AVA conference proceedings which would otherwise be available only from the AVA Resource Library. These articles will be:

  • clearly identified in the journal as being based on conference proceedings
  • consistent with the normal requirements for AVJ submission, except that publication of results at an AVA conference will specifically not preclude publication in the journals
  • will go through a standard peer review process
  • likely to be different to the original paper submitted to the conference.

Online-only supplementary material

Authors are now able to present material online that cannot physically be displayed in the print journal (e.g. Excel files, video), or that might be cost-prohibitive (e.g. extra tables or large data sets), or that is too detailed for publication in the print issue. A note will appear in the print version that more material can be found online.  Material to be posted online must go through the review process, and consequently should be in an application  or format easily accessible by most reviewers and readers.

Style of writing

We recommend standard texts for clarity of expression2-4 and Australian spelling.5,6 Papers should be written in English, submitted as a Word document with double spacing and pages numbered.

Use the same font throughout the text, tables and figure legends. Do not use ‘Enter’ at the end of lines within a paragraph. Do not underline anything.

Use concise English without jargon or colloquialisms. Avoid long sentences. Reading the text aloud helps with punctuation and finding the right syntax. Please use computer spelling and grammar checking programs. It is recommended that the manuscript is critically read by a colleague experienced in scientific authorship, but who is not directly involved in the study, before submitting it to the AVJ.

The authors are responsible for making sure that manuscripts are submitted in the correct format and with a suitable standard of English. Papers will be returned without review if the English is not of a sufficient standard. Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission or during the review process. Wiley offer English language editing services (, however please note that using this service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted.


Use SI basic or derived units or declared units of the Australian metric system (e.g. ha, min, °C) where applicable. Write dates in the form 10 April 2002 and currency in the form A$33. Use a comma as a thousands marker in numbers of more than four digits (e.g. 21,000).


Abbreviations should be used only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Use abbreviations only if the term is used three or more times. All abbreviations are to be listed in the abbreviations list and written out in full the first time they appear in the text, followed by the abbreviation in brackets. Exceptions are SI units and commonly used terms that can be understood from the context, for example:


These need not be written out in full or included in the abbreviations list.

Trade names

Mention the manufacturer and essential location information for drugs, reagents and equipment in parentheses within the text (e.g. Jurox, NSW, Aust). Details of commonly used and well-known materials may not be necessary unless likely to influence the results.

Genes and proteins

The AVJ expects the use of standard international gene and protein nomenclature. As a general rule, gene names are italicised (e.g. rpogene encodes RNA polymerase in bacteria), while protein names are not (e.g. Rpo). General rules for naming genes in different organisms can be found here:

  • HGNC (HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee) for humans, livestock and primates
  • MGI (Mouse Genome Informatics) for laboratory mice and rats
  • NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) for microorganisms including bacteria and viruses, and for queries on specific gene and protein names.

Scientific naming of organisms and microorganisms

Organisms and microorganisms must be correctly named with genus and species, where appropriate. This may not always be necessary for common livestock and mammal species, however, this is a requirement for all microorganisms. Ensure genus and species names are italicised; the full name of the microorganism should be used the first time it is mentioned in the text (e.g. Escherichia coli), thereafter it should be abbreviated to genus initial and species name (e.g. E. coli); strain name/ number should be used where appropriate.

Publication process

Copyright license agreement

Authors publishing in the AVJ will be asked to sign a copyright license agreement. In signing the agreement, authors are confirming that they have obtained permission to use any copyrighted or previously published material. All authors must read and agree to the conditions outlined in the agreement, and must sign it or agree that the corresponding author can sign on their behalf. Articles cannot be published until the appropriate license agreement has been signed. For more information on copyright, please see the FAQs on the Wiley Author Resources page ( or contact


Notification of the URL from where to download a Portable Document Format (PDF) typeset page proof, associated forms and further instructions will be sent by email to the corresponding author if an article is accepted for publication. The purpose of the PDF proof is a final check of the layout, and of tables and figures. Alterations other than the essential correction of errors are unacceptable at PDF proof stage. The proof should be checked and approval to publish the article should be emailed to the Publisher by the date indicated, otherwise publication will be delayed.


A free PDF offprint will be supplied to the corresponding author. A minimum of 50 additional offprints will be provided upon request, at the author’s expense.

Other useful information

Contact the AVJ office:


About the Australian Veterinary Association:

About the AVJ:


1. National Health and Medical Research Council. Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. 8th edn. NHMRC, 2013.

2. Style manual for authors, editors and printers. 6th edn. John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd, Melbourne, 2002.

3. Council of Biology Editors. Scientific style and format: The CBE manual for authors, editors, and publishers. Cambridge University Press.

4. Strunk W, White E, Angell R. The elements of style. Allyn & Bacon.

5. Bruce Moore, editor. The Australian Oxford dictionary. Oxford University Press.

6. Delbridge A, Bernard JRL, Blair D et al, editors. The Macquarie dictionary. Macquarie Library, Sydney.