Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Cover image for Vol. 46 Issue 2

Edited By: Barbara von Beust

Impact Factor: 1.049

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 57/136 (Veterinary Sciences)

Online ISSN: 1939-165X

Author Guidelines

Veterinary Clinical Pathology
An International Journal of Laboratory Medicine
The official journal of the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology and the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Edited by: Barbara von Beust, Editor-In-Chief, Winterthur, Switzerland

Managing Editor

Laura Brashear
Phone: 972-854-8948 Fax: 888-910-7760


1. Scope and Mission of the Journal
2. Author Agreements
3. Reporting Requirements and Recommendations
      3.1 Method Validation and Comparison Studies
      3.2 Reference Interval Studies
      3.3 Studies of Diagnostic Accuracy
      3.4 Animal Care and Use
      3.5 Study Approval Registration
      3.6 Owner Informed consent
      3.7 Appropriate Use of Terminology
      3.8 Quality Assurance Guidelines
4. Manuscript Review, Editing, and Publication
      4.1 Article Categories
      4.2 Supporting Information
      4.3 Manuscript Requirements
      4.4 Fast Track Option
      4.5 Online-only Publication
      4.6 Errata
5. Online Submission of Manuscripts
6. Other Information
      6.1 Offprints
      6.2 Resources for Writing In English
      6.3 Authenticity Check
      6.4 Publication Ethics
      6.5 ORCiD


1. Scope and Mission of the Journal

Veterinary Clinical Pathology (VCP) is the leading international journal in veterinary and comparative laboratory medicine. The mission of VCP is to provide a forum to communicate and discuss new developments that advance laboratory diagnosis in domestic and laboratory animals and in avian, wildlife, and special species through publication of authoritative reviews; experimental and clinical research; special reports on clinical laboratory practice, policy, and education; novel case reports; and editorials and letters.

VCP welcomes the submission of original manuscripts involving acid-base and electrolytes; biomarkers of disease; blood-banking and transfusion medicine; clinical chemistry; coagulation, platelets, and hemostasis; cytopathology, including effusions and body fluids; experimental and pathophysiologic studies that emphasize clinical pathology; genetic blood and biochemical disorders; hematopathology, including blood cells, hemoparasites, iron metabolism, bone marrow, and hematopoietic neoplasia; hormonal analysis and endocrine disease; infectious diseases of blood and bone marrow; inflammation and inflammatory mediators; instrumentation and diagnostics, including point-of-care testing, assay validation, method comparison, and molecular diagnostics; lipids and lipoproteins; quality assurance and laboratory statistics; telepathology and digital imaging; and toxicologic clinical pathology.

2. Author Agreements
Manuscripts will be considered with the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere (except in abstract form) and are not concurrently under review by any other publication. Authorship implies substantial contribution and approval of the manuscript by each author. VCP adheres to guidelines for authorship established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (
If a 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 copyright transfer agreement
If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

Copyright Information:
CTA sample:

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 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:
Requests to copy, reprint, or use portions of published material (including information in figures and tables) should be addressed to Wiley-Blackwell
Authors are expected to acknowledge all sources of funding or support and to disclose any financial interest with companies that manufacture products that are the subject of their research or with companies that manufacture competing products.

VCP reserves the right to reject manuscripts if it appears that experimental animals have been subjected to unacceptable stress or pain, or if the use of experimental animals does not appear to be justified by the significance of the knowledge gained. Investigations involving research animals must be done in accordance with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals or equivalent guidelines (see below).

3. Reporting Requirements and Recommendations
Studies that report validation or comparison of methods, establishment of reference intervals, and tests of diagnostic accuracy must adhere to the guidelines listed below. In addition, in reporting studies for which specimen analysis is central, full descriptions of specimen handling and laboratory methods are required and include: type of specimen analyzed, time from collection to analysis, storage conditions, name and generation of commercial assays, and performance characteristics (imprecision of the assay, reportable range, reference intervals used) of assays used in the study.

3.1 Method Validation and Comparison Studies
Please refer to the following publication:

Jensen AL, Kjelgaard-Hansen M. Method comparison in the clinical laboratory. Vet Clin Pathol. 2006; 35:276-286.

3.2 Reference and Interval Studies
VCP requires adherence to ASVCP and CSLI guidelines in most cases. Please note that: A) a list of procedural steps for determining reference intervals is found on p. 27 of reference 1 (complete guidelines) and in Table 5 of the summary of the guidelines published in VCP ; B) the addendum in reference 1 includes tables for tabulating data for reference populations of varying multiple sample sizes; and C) a useful freeware tool, Reference Value Advisor, can be found at

1. ASVCP Quality Assurance and Laboratory Standards Committee (QALS). Guidelines for the determination of reference intervals (RI) in veterinary species (pdf file) and Addendum (tables for reporting).
A summary of these guidelines is found in:
Friedrichs KR, Harr KE, Freeman KP, Szladovits B, Walton RM, Barnhart KF, Blanco-Chavez KF. ASVCP reference interval guidelines: determination of de novo reference intervals in veterinary species and other related topics. Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41:441-453.

2. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Defining, Establishing, and Verifying Reference Intervals in the Clinical Laboratory; Approved Guidelines. 3rd ed. Wayne, PA: CLSI; 2008
Other useful references include:

3. Geffré A, Friedrichs K, Harr K, Concordet D, Trumel C, Braun JP. References values: a review. Vet Clin Pathol. 2009;38:288-298.

4. Geffré A, Braun JP, Trumel C, Condordet D. Estimation of reference intervals from small samples: an example using canine plasma creatinine. Vet Clin Pathol. 2009;38:477-484.

3.3 Studies of Diagnostic Accuracy
VCP requires adherence to STARD guidelines in most cases. See: or Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JP, Bruns DE, et al. Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative. Vet Clin Pathol. 2007;36:8-12.

3.4 Animal Care and Use
Investigations involving research animals must be done in accordance with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals ( or equivalent guidelines. VCP endorses use of the International Association for Veterinary Editors (IAVE) consensus author guidelines on animal ethics and welfare for editors at and the ARRIVE guidelines: Kilkenny C, Browne WJ, Cuthill IC, Emerson M, Altman DG. Improving bioscience research reporting: the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting animal research. PLOS Biology. (also reprinted in Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41:27-31).

3.5 Study Approval Registration
Authors must confirm the registration of laboratory animal study approval and/or ethics committee consent for the performance of animal studies. Authors will be required to enter the ID or protocol number, the exact designation of the authorizing agency, and the date of approval upon submission. In addition, examples of owners' written consent forms are be required.

3.6 Owner Informed consent
For any studies involving materials from animals belonging to private owners, authors must obtain written informed consent from the respective owners. This includes consent for use of any remaining materials from those initially obtained for diagnostic purpose.

3.7 Appropriate Use of Terminology
For guidelines on use of proper terminology, see:

Braun JP. Communicating with precision in veterinary clinical pathology: definitions, units, and nomenclature [editorial]. Vet Clin Pathol. 2009;38:416-417.

3.8 Quality Assurance Guidelines
It is strongly recommended that authors adhere to the principles outlined in the following guidelines:

1. ASVCP QC guidelines (, which include these Special Reports: Flatland B, Freeman KP, Friedrichs KR, Vap LM, Getzy KM, Evans EW, Harr KE. ASVCP quality assurance guidelines: control of general analytical factors in veterinary laboratories. Vet Clin Pathol. 2010;39:264-277.
2. Vap LM, Harr KE, Arnold JE, et al. ASVCP quality assurance guidelines: control of preanalytical and analytical factors for hematology for mammalian and non-mammalian species, hemostasis, and crossmatching in veterinary laboratories. Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41:8-17.
3. Gunn-Christie RG, Flatland B, Friedrichs KR, et al. ASVCP quality assurance guidelines: control of preanalytical, analytical, and postanalytical factors for urinalysis, cytology, and clinical chemistry in veterinary laboratories. Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41:18-26.
4. Melinda S. Camus, Bente Flatland, Kathleen P. Freeman, Janice A. Cruz Cardona. ASVCP quality assurance guidelines: external quality assessment and comparative testing for reference and in-clinic laboratories. Vet Clin Pathol. 2015;44(4):424-436.
5. Kendal E. Harr, Bente Flatland, Mary Nabity, Kathleen P. Freeman. ASVCP guidelines: allowable total error guidelines for biochemistry. Vet Clin Pathol;43(4):424-436.
6. Bente Flatland, Kathleen P. Freeman, Linda M. Vap, Kendal E. Harr. ASVCP guidelines: quality assurance for point-of-care testing in veterinary medicine. Vet Clin Pathol;43(4):405-423.

4. Manuscript Review, Editing, and Publication
At least 2-3 anonymous peer reviewers and a Section Editor will evaluate each manuscript. Authors are asked to respond to reviewer suggestions within 60 days. Revised manuscripts may be re-reviewed, sometimes by new reviewers. Upon acceptance, manuscripts will undergo editorial review, and authors may be asked to respond to additional editorial and reviewer comments. Copyediting will be done according to AMA style guide. Proofs will be sent to the author for final approval. Articles will be published online on the journal's Early View page prior to print publication.

4.1 Article Categories
Articles are welcome in the following categories:

Original Articles - Peer-reviewed, prospective or retrospective research investigations that include a structured Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion. Manuscripts are limited to 5000 words not including the title page, abstract, tables, figures/figure captions, and references, which are limited to a maximum of 40 references.
Brief Communications - Peer-reviewed research investigations that include a structured Abstract and have few or no separate sections. Manuscripts are limited to 2500 words not including the title page, abstract, tables, figures/figure captions, and references, which are limited to a maximum of 15 references.
Technical Reports - Peer-reviewed reports similar in format and length to Original Research or Brief Communication articles but describe use of techniques, statistical tests, or software of interest to the clinical pathology community.
Case Reports - Peer-reviewed reports describing a novel case (or set of cases) with detailed documentation and diagnostic investigation that include an unstructured Abstract, Case Presentation, and Discussion. Manuscripts are limited to 3000 words not including the title page, abstract, tables, figures/figure captions, and references, which are limited to a maximum of 25 references.
What Is Your Diagnosis? - Peer-reviewed brief reports without abstracts that focus on a 'diagnostic challenge' followed by the solution. The first page includes 1-2 'unknown' image(s) or data and a Case Presentation (maximum 200 words). The following page (maximum 500 words) contains the Interpretation, Additional Results, and Discussion, with up to 2 or more additional images and 5 or more references. For online submission purposes, a 2-3 sentence summary should be entered in the required abstract field on the ScholarOne Manuscripts submission site.
Editorials, Reviews, and Book Reviews are generally invited, but unsolicited manuscripts in these categories are also welcome.
Letters to the Editor are welcome, particularly those in response to published articles. Letters may include references and a figure or table. VCP reserves the right not to publish letters containing defamatory, libelous, or malicious statements.
Laboratory Medicine: Yesterday • Today • Tomorrow is a standing feature that highlights notes of historical interest, current trends, progress on the horizon, or images worthy of note. Contributions to this feature are welcome and will be published at the discretion of the editor-in-chief. Submissions should be sent to Examples of various formats can be found in earlier issues of Vet Clin Pathol.

4.2 Supporting Information
Supporting Information can be a useful way for an author to include important but ancillary information with the online version of an article. Examples of Supporting Information include additional tables, data sets, figures, movie files, audio clips, 3D structures, and other related nonessential multimedia files. Supporting Information should be cited within the article text, and a descriptive legend should be included. It is published as supplied by the author, and a proof is not made available prior to publication; for these reasons, authors should provide any Supporting Information in the desired final format.

4.3 Manuscript Requirements
Manuscripts must be submitted as a Word or rtf file and should be written in US English (see section 6.2 below) and double-spaced throughout, including the abstract, references, tables and figure legends. Pages and line numbers should be numbered consecutively, starting with the title page and continuing through the end of the text. Numbers should use decimal points (.) instead of commas. Authors should refer to a recent issue of the journal for general style and format. A helpful resource on scientific writing, Writing for Publication in Veterinary Medicine, is found at

Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum. All nonstandard abbreviations should be defined the first time they are used in the text. The following abbreviations should never be spelled out: ALP, ALT, ANOVA, APTT, AST, ATP, CBC, CI, CK, CV, DNA, EDTA, ELISA, FACS, GGT, HCT, HGB, HPF, IgA, IgE, IgG, IgM, LDH, MCV, MCH, MCHC, MPV, NADH, NADPH, PCR, PCV, PT, RBC, RDW, RI, RNA, SD, SEM, WBC, and H&E.

Title Page - The first page of the manuscript should include the following:

  • Full title of the article
  • A short title of 50 characters or less, including spaces, to be used a running header
  • The authors' first and last names and middle initials and the name of the institution(s) of the authors at the time the work was done
  • The corresponding author's mailing and e-mail addresses

Abstract - The abstract is limited to 250 words and should be written in complete sentences and structured using the following headings: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Case Reports do not require a structured abstract, but should include an abstract that summarizes the case. What Is Your Diagnosis? articles do not include abstracts.
Key Words - Identify 3-6 key words that do not duplicate words in the title of the article and place them in alphabetical order after the Abstract. Use terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus at; if suitable MeSH terms are not yet available for recently introduced items, current terms may be used. The type of animal, the organ system studied, and the methods should always be listed.
Introduction - The Introduction should provide sufficient background information to justify the rationale for the study and why it is important, state the hypothesis or research question, state the objective(s) or specific aims of the study, and cite only relevant literature.
Materials and Methods - Methods should include, as appropriate, a description of study design, experimental animals, analytical methods, and statistical analysis. Products (e.g., instruments, reagents, stains, drugs) should be referred to by their generic or chemical names, followed by the model or trade name, and the name and location of the manufacturer in parentheses. Use of metric or SI units is strongly encouraged. When describing centrifugation, provide g force and not rpm. Statistical analysis must be described completely. A few useful references are:

1. Bland JM, Altman DG. Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet. 1986;1:307-310.
3. Erb NH. Prior Probability (the pretest best guess) affects predictive values of diagnostic tests. Vet Clin Pathol. 2011;40:154-158.

Results - Report results in logical order and in parallel with the Methods (for every method, there should be a result). Tables and figures should be referred to in parentheses at the end of a sentence referring to the results. Data in tables and figures should not be duplicated in the text. Results should not repeat the rationale for the methods used.
Discussion - The Discussion should begin with the most important findings related to the hypothesis and study objectives. Summarize results succinctly and discuss them in the context of other studies. Include limitations of the study in addressing the objectives and conclude with main conclusions or implications and the need for additional studies, if warranted. Only discussion relevant to the results should be included. Avoid repetition of specific results and introduction of new methods or results.
Acknowledgments - Funding, grant support, or provision of supplies used in the study and individuals providing other forms of assistance (e.g., statistical review, manuscript preparation, technical assistance) may be acknowledged. When individuals are acknowledged, provide their affiliations.
References - References should be limited to pertinent literature and formatted according to American Medical Association guidelines, as shown in the examples below and in recent issues of VCP. Article titles in languages other than English should include an English translation in brackets. Non-peer-reviewed references (e.g., abstracts, book chapters, proceedings) should be kept to a minimum; the most recent edition of a textbook should be cited if it contains the pertinent information. References should be listed and numbered in the order in which they first appear in the text, and should be identified in the text by superscript Arabic numbers. Journal abbreviations should be those used in Index Medicus. References with more than 6 authors should list the first 3 authors followed by et al.
Examples of reference formats are as follows:

Pitorri F, Dell'Orco M, Carmichael N, Barker EN, Hollywood M, Tasker S. Use of real-time quantitative PCR to document successful treatment of Mycoplasma haemocanis infection with doxycycline in a dog. Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41:493-496.

Paolo Silvestrini P, Piviani M, Alberola J, et al. Serum cardiac troponin I concentrations in dogs with leishmaniasis: correlation with age and clinicopathologic abnormalities. Vet Clin Pathol. 2012;41-468-574.

Books and chapters in books:
Stockham SL, Scott MA. Fundamentals of Veterinary Clinical Pathology. 2nd ed. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2008:3-51.
Young DS, Bermes EW. Specimen collection and processing: sources of biological variation. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 1999:184-190.

Abstracts, letters, and editorials:
Gelain ME, Rossi G, Paltrinieri S. Use of Sysmex XT-2000iV hematology analyzer to identify hematopoietic neoplasms in dogs [abstract]. Vet Clin Pathol. 2007;36:385-386.

Cebra CK. Biochemical abnormalities in blood and forestomach fluid from llamas with gastrointestinal disease. Proceedings of the 15th Annual ACVIM Forum. Lake Buena Vista, FL, May 22-25, 1997:447-448.

ASVCP: Coagulation Sampling Guidelines for Venipuncturists. Brooks MB, ed. 2009. Available at: http://www.asvcp.or/pubs/pdf/CoagSampleGuide.pdf. Accessed August 16, 2011.

Reference to unpublished work:
Authors citing papers in press, personal communications, or other unpublished work must submit a copy of the unpublished manuscript or a letter from the individuals concerned, confirming the work and giving permission for the citation.

Tables - Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers and have a brief descriptive title (e.g., Table 1. Quality requirements for biochemical analytes expressed as desirable total allowable error for 3 levels of commercially available quality control materials.). Tables should be double-spaced and contain no vertical lines. Decimal points should be indicated by a period (.) and not a comma. Footnotes that define the dataset (e.g., "Data are means SD"), abbreviations used in the table, and other elements should be placed at the end of the table. Tables should be included in the manuscript file, between the references and any figure captions.
Figure Captions - A list of figure captions should follow the references in the main document and should not be included in the figure file itself. Captions should be double-spaced, numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers, and should stand alone. Include a brief description of the image, graph, or diagram, beginning with identification of the specimen (e.g., Fine-needle aspirate of a cutaneous mass on the pinna) or graph/plot (e.g., Passing-Bablok plot of.....) depicted. Define abbreviations, symbols, parts of a plot (e.g., box and whisker plot) in the caption. Decimal points in the figures should be indicated by a period (.) and not a comma. Indicate the stain or chromagen used. For magnification, indicate the objective lens used (e.g., x10 objective) or provide internal scale bars. Captions for unknown images in What Is Your Diagnosis? articles should include only the source of the image, stain, and magnification, without a description.
Images - Each figure or image should be uploaded as a separate file. Black and white graphs and line drawings should be scanned at 1200 ppi and uploaded as TIFF files. Color and gray-scale photographs and photomicrographs should be acquired or scanned at a minimum of 300 ppi, saved as TIFF files, and uploaded. Color images should be saved in CMYK mode. There is no charge for color figures. Excel and PowerPoint files may also be acceptable in some cases. More information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at At the time of publication, figures may be cropped. The size of most figures will be 1-column width.

4.4 Fast Track Option
Authors submitting a new article or a revised version to VCP can now choose the Fast Track option by completing a mandatory checklist which includes the majority of editorial issues. It is up to the discretion of the editors whether an article fulfills the requirements for Fast Track publishing. Authors can indicate that they wish to choose the Fast Track option during submission.
Articles submitted for Fast Track publishing but not qualifying due to time-consuming editorial review will enter the regular production queue.

4.5 Online-only publication from 2016
Veterinary Clinical Pathology will be published in online-only format effective with the March 2016 issue (VCP 45.1). This is a proactive move towards reducing the environmental impact caused by the production and distribution of printed journal copies and will allow the journal to invest in further digital development. Published articles will continue to be disseminated quickly through the journal's broad network of indexing services, including ISI, MEDLINE and Scopus. Articles will also continue to be discoverable through popular search engines such as Google. All color images will be reproduced digitally and published free of charge.

4.6 Errata
Corrections to published articles should be made by issuing an Erratum. Please contact the editorial office at with the circumstances and text of your proposed Erratum.

Basic format for errata:

When this article1 was published in the journal, [explain error here]. [If needed, state:] The correct text is:

[Correct text]


1. [Citation for the article with the erratum]

2. [Any other necessary citations continue here]

Examples of Errata:

5. Online Submission of Manuscripts
VCP uses ScholarOne Manuscripts for the submission of manuscripts. Please go to the journal's site at and click on 'new user' to establish an account. Once logged in, follow instructions for submitting your manuscript, figure files, and cover letter. Using your user ID and password, you may enter the Author Center at any time to follow the review process.

6. Other Information

6.1 Offprints
Free access to the final PDF offprint or your article will be available via Wiley-Blackwell’s Author Services. Please register to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers.  Visit to register.

6.2 Resources for Writing in English
Submitted manuscripts must be written in English (US spelling). Authors whose native language is not English are advised to seek assistance in manuscript preparation from someone fluent in written English and knowledgeable about scientific writing. The European Association of Science Editors (EASE) provides guidelines in multiple languages to improve scientific communication in English: EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English, In addition, professional services (for a fee) are available at Use of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

6.3 Authenticity Check
VCP published by Wiley-Blackwell is a member of CrossCheck, a service offered by CrossRef and powered by iThenticate software. iThenticate is a plagiarism screening service that verifies the originality of content submitted before publication. iThenticate checks submissions against millions of published research papers and billions of web materials. Authors can also use iThenticate to screen their work before submission by visiting

6.4 Publication Ethics
VCP is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE),

6.5 ORCiD
VCP offers voluntary participation in ORCID ( for authors by allowing them to include an ORCID iD when creating their account in ScholarOne Manuscripts.