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Laboratory Animals

Laboratory Animals

Published in Association with Laboratory Animals Ltd
the international journal of laboratory animal science, technology and welfare

eISSN: 17581117 | ISSN: 00236772 | Current volume: 58 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Bi-monthly

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

Laboratory Animals is also the official journal of:

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

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

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

The international journal of laboratory animal science, technology, welfare and medicine, Laboratory Animals publishes peer-reviewed original papers, case reports, perspectives, and reviews on all aspects of the care and use of animals in research and the 3Rs principle. The journal seeks to promote the 3Rs principle, particularly looking at refinement for experimental procedures, animal care and welfare, promoting best culture of care and reduction and replacement approaches to improve scientific validity and reproducibility. This includes, but is not limited to, innovations in laboratory animals training and education, ethics, breeding and husbandry, veterinary medicine, procedures and care, animal unit facility management and biosafety developments. The journal is published on behalf of Laboratory Animals Ltd ( by SAGE Publishing Itd.

Editorial Board - Editors in Chief
Section Editors
Jaco Bakker Primates
A Bannach-Brown Systematic Reviews
H Bertrand Primates
A Bleich Microbiology
D Bouard Surgery
P Cinelli Genetics
P Clements Pathology
M Crim Aquatic Organisms
L D'Angelo Aquatic Organisms
M Dennis Management of Animal Facilities
S Diaz Management of Animal Facilities
J Fajemiroye Neuroscience
K Finger-Baier Aquatic Organsims
P Foley Anaesthesia and Analgesia; Pain and stress
R Gosselin Biostatistics and Experimental Design
G Griffin Alternative Methods, 3Rs and Ethics
J Harriman Toxicology
K Hohlbaum Alternative Methods, 3Rs and Ethics; Pain and stress
P Honess Primates
G Jarvis Biostatistics and Experimental Design
A Kerton Education
N Kostomitsopoulos Veterinary Medicine
L Lewejohann Behaviour
M Luz Alonso Alonso Small Animals
E Manell Large Animal Models
J L M Barrasa Microbiology
J Menon Systematic Reviews
D Mintz Microbiology
A Montesano Microbiology; Small Animal Models
T H Morris Large Animal Models
A Olsson Alternative Methods, 3Rs and Ethics
N. Pereira Aquatic Organisms
D. Ruiz Perez Surgery
D Petkov Pathology
R Pineda Reyes Neuroscience
B Pintado Reproductive Biology
M. Pinto Alternative Methods, 3Rs and Ethics
D Preissmann Behaviour
J-B Prins Genetics; Small Animal Models
P Reynolds Biostatistics and Experimental Design
D. Segelcke Behaviour
M Stammes Imaging
C Thöne-Reineke Education
R Thorat Reproductive Biology
G Tobin Nutrition
R Tolba Surgery
A Tsingotjidou Small Animal Models
C Van den Brom Small Animal Models
P Vergara Education
S Virtue Nutrition
L van der Weerd Imaging
S Wells Genetics, Neuroscience
L Whitfield Veterinary Medicine
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Laboratory Animals

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. Authors interested in open access publishing in Laboratory Animals please find the necessary information here:

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Laboratory Animals will be reviewed. Please read the Editorial entitled ‘You and your research report: implementing the ARRIVE Guidelines’

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Laboratory Animals accepts submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    Please ensure you strictly adhere to the Vancouver referencing style. In the reference list, note that up to three (3) authors may be listed per reference. If there are more than three (3) authors, then list the first three names and represent the rest using et al. Journal titles need to be listed in italics.  

    In addition to the main body of the manuscript, the word count includes: the authors and their affiliations; abstract; keywords; figure/table captions; the contents of tables; references; the acknowledgments; funding statement; and conflict of interest statement.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
      1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.3.1 Writing Assistance
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research ethics
      2.6.1 Animals, materials and methods
      2.7 Reporting Guidelines
      2.8 Research Data availability statement
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.1.1 Plagiarism
      3.1.2 Prior publication 

      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Laboratory Animals, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Working Group Reports
    Articles describing the recommendations or conclusions from working parties or groups mandated by one or more subscribing associations. These should be up to 7,500 words including references (of which there should be no more than 50), abstract, figure/table captions and the abstract. A hyperlink to additional information or the full deliberations of the Working Group will be accommodated and hosted as supplementary information on the journal website. All cited members of working parties will be considered as authors for the purposes of copyright.

    Review Articles
    Articles of a substantial and topical nature. These should be up to 7,500 words including abstract, figure/table captions and references.

    Original Articles
    Articles describing substantial original research that fall within the aims and scope of the journal. These should be up to 5,500 words including the abstract, figure/table captions and references and have no more than six displays (figures and tables). Structured headings are required and must include: Introduction; Animals, Material and Methods; Results; Discussion; Acknowledgements and References. The abstract must be unstructured and consist of a single paragraph with fewer than 250 words. Please refer to section 6.4 regarding required information on animals, and their conditions of husbandry and care. For manuscripts whose word counts exceed 5,500 or more than six displays, the additional information and displays can be submitted as supplementary information. 

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

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

    Word count should not exceed 3,000 words, including abstract and references. Word count for the abstract should be 250 words. No more than 4 displays (tables and/or figures). Up to 30 references.

    Short Reports
    Technical notes and preliminary communications with adequate methodological details and conclusions. These should have fewer than 1,500 words including abstract, figure/table captions and references. The abstract should have fewer than 200 words, and have no more than two figures or tables. 

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

    LAS Perspectives
    Perspective or opinion papers as well as news on current laboratory animal science topics. Word count should not exceed 1,500 words, excluding references. No abstract is needed, no subheadings needed. No more than 2 displays (tables and/or figures). Up to 10 references.

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

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:

    •  The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors

    •  The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper

    •  The author has recommended the reviewer

    •  The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution). 

    2.2 Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
    2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
    3. Approved the version to be published,
    4. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support. 

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.4 Funding

    Laboratory Animals requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of Laboratory Animals to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

    2.6 Research ethics 

    All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The Journal has adopted the ARRIVE guidelines.

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

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

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

    2.6.1 Animals, materials and methods

    The journal requires detailed information on the animals and their conditions of husbandry (see Laboratory Animals 1985;19:106–108). The methodology for the euthanasia of animals should be consistent with recommendations in previously published reports (see Laboratory Animals 1996;30:293–316 and 1997;31:1–32). The journal recommends referring to the American Veterinary Medical Association document on euthanasia also ( The protocols and studies involving fish should be reported in the manner detailed in Laboratory Animals 2000;34:131–135. Please read the Editorial entitled 'You and your research report: implementing the ARRIVE Guidleines' for further clarification. 

    Of particular note, the source and full strain nomenclature of any laboratory animal stock must be specified according to international recommendations. Authors should note this information is available from source laboratories and animal vendors. A brief statement describing the legislative controls on animal care and use should be provided. Measures to refine experimental techniques to benefit animal welfare can be described in detail and the disposition and fate of the animals at the end of the experiment should be clear.
    Products used (e.g. drugs, equipment, feed, bedding) should be described in the format “generic description (trade name, vendor name, city and country where vendor located)". 
    The experimental design and the statistical analysis should be detailed, particularly in relation to using only the appropriate numbers of animals (see Festing M et al. The Design of Animal Experiments: Reducing the use of animals in research through better experimental design 2nd Edition, available from Sage). Pre-test power analyses should be presented in justification of sample size or number of animals required whenever possible. Power analyses for many common statistical procedures both parametric and non-parametric are given in Zar J. Biostatistical Analysis, 4th edn. When reporting variability about the mean, variances, and/or discussing significance or non-significance of statistically derived values, the Zar recommendations should be considered, and claims of statistical non-significance should be accompanied by post-test power analyses whenever possible.

    2.7 Reporting Guidelines

    If your research involves pre-clinical studies, please confirm that you have carefully read and adhered to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided in the ARRIVE guidelines before submitting your manuscript. Please read the Editorial entitled 'You and your research report: implementing the ARRIVE guidelines' for further clarification. 

    You must complete and upload the ARRIVE checklist with your submission.

    The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, systematic reviews and meta-analysis shoudl include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline. 

    Other resources can be found at NLM's Research Reporting Guidelines and Initatives

    2.8 Research Data availability statement

    All research articles should include a data availability statement at the end of the paper before the references; this should state if the original data are available and how it can be accessed. Laboratory Animals strongly encourages authors to make available any primary data used in their research articles. This can be made available as the supplementary material, or via a link to a third-party data repository,  and include detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Laboratory Animals and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. Nevertheless, Laboratory Animals does accept material that has previously been posted on a preprint server, inistitutional archive, or a scholarly collaboration network. 

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Laboratory Animals offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted. The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point. 

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article. 

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Laboratory Animals adheres to the Sage Vancouver reference style. View the Sage Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Vancouver EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information. 

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Laboratory Animals is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.  

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Laboratory Animals editorial office as follows:

    Editorial Office:

    Individual Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Backfile Purchase, E-access (Content through 1998)