| Post date: 2013/04/27 | 


Instructions for Authors
The  Medical Laboratory Journal (MLJ) is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original articles, reviews, short communications and case reports dealing with the  scope of the journal. MLJ is an open access journal, and articles processing is free of charge .
The journal follows ICMJE's (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals as well as the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). Manuscripts should be submitted through the Online Submission System .
Main Considerations and Short Guideline
Please check the followings before submitting your manuscript:
1. The abstract must be structured (i.e., Background and objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion). 
2. Keywords are included according to MeSh and separated by semicolons.
3. Use double line spacing and include line and page numbering.
4. Highlights of the study should be included (for more information please read the previous issues). The authors can also provide a graphical abstract of their article.
5. Ethical approval (for human or animal subjects), Funding resources and Conflicts of interests should be stated.
6. References should meet the format of the journal (Standard Vancouver style) and cited using a reference manager, such as Endnote or Mendeley.
7. All figures and tables should be included in the text, after the reference list and cited properly in main document.
8. A cover letter stating the novelty of the paper must be included in the submission process.
9. Manuscripts should be submitted only through the Online Submission System (hyperlink here).
Manuscript Preparation
Manuscripts should be prepared and submitted in one of the following formats.
 Original Article
A full-length original research article presents novel findings relevant to the Aims and Scope of the journal.
Word limit: 3000 words including tables, figures, and excluding references.
 Case Report
Reports of novel or unusual cases should be sent with complete details of the symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of the case.
Word limit: 3000 words including tables, figures, and excluding references.
 Short Communications
Short communications are preliminary reports demonstrating new ideas, models, methods, hypotheses and results of complete small investigations.
Word limit: 500-2000 words including one table and two figures, and excluding references( not more than 10). 
 Review Articles
A narrative review provides a summary and discussion of the relevant literature about any topic covered within the Aims and Scope of the Journal.
Authors should refer to at least three of their previous publications on the same topic. Word limit: 5000 words including tables, figures, and excluding references.
 Systematic Reviews and/or Meta-analyses
These types of publications should report a clear narrow research question and a reproducible methodology including: a replicable comprehensive search protocol [syntax of the search in each database should be included in metadata] to obtain published and unpublished researches, screening process based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, PRISMA flow diagram, quality assessment process of studies and assessment of risk of bias, unbiased reasons for exclusion of studies, verified quality assessment tools used in the review, data extraction tools, and qualitative and quantitative analysis (meta-analysis) methods.
Editorials are short, invited opinion manuscripts that express an issue of great importance to the research community.
Word limit: 1000 words (with no abstract, figure or table) and a minimal number of references (not more than 5).
 Letter to editor
Letters discuss or give opinion about a previously published article. If such letter criticizes an article already published in this journal, then the authors of the original article will be given a chance to respond in the same issue in which the letter is published.
Word limit: 1500 words including tables, figures and references.
 Authors are responsible for the accuracy and reproducibility of the reported data and references to others' works, including bibliographic citations, etc.

General Considerations
·         There is no page charge for publication in the MLJ. (Except fast track article)
·         The manuscript should be written in good English.
·         The main sections and subsections (italicized) of the manuscript must be in bold. Successive subsections should be written with 2 fonts smaller. Any subsection may be given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on a separate line.
·         All manuscripts must be typed double-spaced, single column, in size 12 Times New Roman font with adequate margins.
·         Line and page numbers should be included.
·         No manuscript submitted to the journal can exceed 5000 words.
·         Submitted manuscripts to the journal should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, which should be stated in the cover letter.

Preparing Original Articles
Full research papers that present original high-quality research should be prepared accordingly:
 Title Page
Title: A brief and informative title directed at the general reader. Lengthy systematic names and complicated/numerous chemical formula should, therefore, be avoided if possible.
Authors’ information: Full names (First, Middle and Last) for all authors of an article should be included and specified with the superscript number(s) for the affiliation(s) (e.g., Saeed Mohammadi1). Name of the corresponding author(s) should be specified with an asterisk before the name (e.g., Saeed Mohammadi*1).
Affiliation: Affiliation of all authors should be specified with a number before address (e.g., 1. Faculty of …..). Email addresses of all authors should be mentioned in title page as well as in the Online Submission System.  ORCID IDs of the first and corresponding authors should be included in the relevant affiliations. Here is the link for ORCID registration:
Running title: A very short running title (no more than 50 characters) should be contained on the title page.
Correspondence: Corresponding author is the primary contact responsible for handling correspondence at all pre- or post-publication stages. Full address, telephone and fax numbers (with country and area code) and email of the corresponding author(s) should be stated.
Other information: The number of figures and tables used in submitted manuscript, word count and number of references should be also stated clearly.
 Main Document
The main document of the manuscript should include "title" not the "title page" at the top. The author is responsible for anonymity of the article. Therefore, author names should not be provided in the main document.
 Abstract Page
Abstract: A concise and factual abstract is required for all manuscripts (maximum 300 words). The abstract should describe the main objective(s) of the study, explain how the study was done, including any model organisms used, without methodological detail, summarizes the main results and their significance. This section should include Background and objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusion. References and non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided in this section.
Keywords: Immediately after the abstract, 3-6 relevant keywords should be included and separated by semicolons. Keywords should be selected according to MeSh.
"Abstract" and following "keywords" should be placed at the top of the "main document" after the "title".
The introduction should provide background and objectives of the study that allows readers outside the field to understand the purpose and significance of the study. It should define the problem addressed and why it is important in form of a brief literature review. State relevant controversies or disagreements in the subject of the study and conclude with a brief statement of the overall aim of the work. The last paragraph should address the main objectives of the work.
 Materials and Methods
This section should provide enough details that allow other skilled investigators to fully reproduce the study. Specific information and/or protocols for new methods should be included in detail. If materials, methods, and protocols are well established, authors may cite articles where those protocols are described in detail, but the submission should include sufficient information to be understood independent of these references. The company’s name, city, and country of the manufacturer of the major equipment and catalog number when appropriate should be given. Unexpected hazards faced during the experimental work should be noted. Generic drug names should generally be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses. Studies on humans or animal models and/or tissue or field sampling must include required Ethics statements from the relevant local or national authority. The origin of the cell lines used should be stated. Submission of sequence data to databases: Novel nucleotide or protein sequence data must be deposited in the GeneBank, EMBL or DDBJ databases and an accession number obtained before the paper could be accepted for publication. For each accession number cited in an article, authors should type the accession number in capital. This section should also contain the type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate. They should also include a statement that informed consent was obtained for any experimentation with human subjects.
Please note that clinical trials should be registered in either a national (e.g. IRCT) or international (e.g. repository.
The MLJ follows ICMJE, please consider their Guideline for more information.
This section should be written in past tense and include the findings of the study as well as results of statistical analysis, either in the text, tables and figures. Results should be brief, clear and descriptive. Attention should be paid to the matter of significant figures and tables.
The same data should not be presented in more than one figure or in both a figure and a table. Avoid duplicating the results provided in the text and tables. Discussion, speculation and data interpretation should be included in the discussion section and not in the results section.
Notice: In "Short Communications", the results and discussion sections can be combined in a single section.
This section should discuss the implications of the findings in in relation to previous related studies and point out limitations of the study. Authors should explain how the results relate to the hypothesis or objective of the study (without repeating them). Avoid extensive citations and discussion of unpublished literature.
This section should provide the main conclusions and explain the importance and relevance of the study. Avoid introducing new findings in this section or reporting general conclusions or facts. This section could also highlight potential directions for future studies.
This section should include the name of individuals who contributed to the study or the article but do not meet the criteria for authorship (please read the authorship criteria from ICMJE here). Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge from all those mentioned in the Acknowledgements section. If you do not have anyone to acknowledge, please write "Not applicable" in this section.
All manuscripts submitted to the MLJ must contain the following sections under the heading 'Declarations' (If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section):
 Funding source(s)
All sources of funding for the research reported should be declared. The role of the funding body in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript should be declared. The grant code and the grant holder should be stated clearly.
 Ethics approvals and consent to participate
Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must include:
  • A statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived)
  • The name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate (The code of Ethics)
Studies involving animals must include a statement on ethics approval.
Notice: If your manuscript does not report on or involve the use of any animal or human data or tissue, please state “Not applicable” in this section.
For more information on ethical permissions and regulations please visit our policy here.
 Conflict of interest
All financial and non-financial competing interests must be declared in this section. Please use the authors’ initials to refer to each author's competing interests in this section. If you do not have any competing interests, please state "The authors declare that they have no competing interests" in this section. The MLJ uses ICMJE conflicts of interest form. Download the form to your computer. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader, fill it out and then save it on your computer. Submit the form directly to the journal. 
 Authors' contributions
The individual contributions of authors to the manuscript should be specified in this section. Please use initials to refer to each author's contribution in this section, for example: "SM analyzed and interpreted the patient data regarding the hematological disease and the transplant. MS performed the histological examination of the kidney, and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript."
 Consent for publication
If your manuscript contains any individual person’s data in any form (including individual details, images or videos), consent for publication must be obtained from that person, or in the case of children, their parent or legal guardian. All presentations of case reports must have consent for publication. You can use your institutional consent form or our consent form if you prefer. You should not send the form to us on submission, but we may request to see a copy at any stage (including after publication).
A section entitled “Highlights” should be included before references. The section will contain two subsections:
1) What is current knowledge?
2) What is new here?
Please prepare these subsections as bulleted points up to about 15-20 words, either in phrases or complete sentences. The highlights section increases the visibility and readability of your work.
All references, including URLs, must be numbered consecutively, in parentheses (e.g., ‘’ several studies indicated the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance (26)’’), in the order in which they are cited in the text, followed by any in tables or legends. Acceptable sources include published or accepted manuscripts and manuscripts on preprint servers. Do not cite unavailable and unpublished work. References must be listed at the end of the manuscript and numbered in the order of their appearance in the text.
The MLJ uses the numbered citation (citation-sequence) method and first six authors, et al. References should be in Vancouver style (download the Vancouver style here) and meet the followings:
Hou WR, Hou YL, Wu GF, Song Y, Su XL, Sun B, et al. cDNA, genomic sequence cloning and overexpression of ribosomal protein gene L9 (rpL9) of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Genet Mol Res. 2011;10: 1576-1588.
Devaraju P, Gulati R, Antony PT, Mithun CB, Negi VS. Susceptibility to SLE in South Indian Tamils may be influenced by genetic selection pressure on TLR2 and TLR9 genes. Mol Immunol. 2014 Nov 22. pii: S0161-5890(14)00313-7. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2014.11.005
Bates B. Bargaining for life: A social history of tuberculosis. 1st ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press; 1992.
Book chapters
Hansen B. New York City epidemics and history for the public. In: Harden VA, Risse GB, editors. AIDS and the historian. Bethesda: National Institutes of Health; 1991. pp. 21-28.
Halpen-Felsher BL, Morrell HE. Preventing and reducing tobacco use. In: Berlan ED, Bravender T, editors. Adolescent medicine today: a guide to caring for the adolescent patient [Internet]. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co.; 2012 [cited 2012 Nov 3]. Chapter 18. Available from: 10.1142/9789814324496_0018
  • In references, the journal titles should be in their complete form and not ISO or NLM abbreviations.
  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of cited references and these should be checked before the manuscript is submitted.
  • Only one publication can be listed for each number.
  • Published conference abstracts, numbered patents, and preprints on recognized servers may be included in reference lists, but text, grant details, and acknowledgments may not.
Tables should be designed as simple as possible, with clear borders and not in form of an image. Cite tables in ascending numeric order upon first appearance in the text. All tables should be placed after the reference list and cited properly in the main document. Label tables (e.g., “Table 1”) and provide brief description above the table. Place legends, footnotes, and other text below the table.
Cite figures in ascending numeric order upon first appearance in the manuscript file. Label figures (e.g., ‘’Figure 1) and provide a concise, descriptive title and captions below the figure. The caption may also include a legend as needed. All figures should be placed after the reference list and cited properly in main document. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures (or tables) that have previously been published elsewhere.
 Abbreviations and symbols
Define abbreviations in parenthesis upon first appearance in the text. Use standard abbreviations if they appear at least three times in the text. Keep abbreviations to a minimum and avoid using abbreviations and/or symbols in the title and the abstract. All values of quantities should be given appropriate unit with solidus presentation (mg/ml). Standard abbreviations such as RNA and DNA should not be defined.
Authors should ensure that papers conform to the scientific instructions and the aforementioned style. In order to accelerate the publication process, the journal requires that manuscripts be submitted online using Online Submission System facility of the journal.
The MLJ offers a completely digital submission, review and production process. It is suggested that authors follow the given guidelines above; unless otherwise, the submission will be returned to the authors for additional revision which may decelerate the manuscript evaluation process and hence delay publication. 
Changes to authorship
This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts. Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Editor from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement.
Electronic proof will be sent in PDF format to the corresponding author to check for typesetting accuracy. Page proofs are considered to be the final version of the manuscript. With the exception of typographical or minor errors, no changes will be made in the manuscript at the proof stage. 
 Privacy Statement
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

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