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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published in whole or in part in any form, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  • All authors agree to publication under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC-BY).
  • All authors have made a significant contribution to the content of the manuscript and have approved submission of the manuscript to ALTEX in its current form.
  • Where required, the publication has been approved by responsible authorities at the institution or organization where the work was carried out.
  • In case the manuscript includes the description of animal experiments, they have been reported in accordance with the full ARRIVE guidelines.
  • The manuscript includes page and line numbers.
  • Re-use of any image, table or text is appropriately cited; permissions for re-use have been obtained and are included in the submission.
  • References include DOIs (with hyperlinks) or, if not available, other URLs to full contents.
  • The manuscript includes a conflict of interest statement and a data availability statement.
  • All tables, figures and boxes are placed with the respective legends at the appropriate places within the text or together at the end of the text.
  • The submission includes a single pdf of the full manuscript including all text, figures, tables, and boxes. Supplementary materials for review purposes are included in the pdf or as additional files.

ALTEX – Alternatives to Animal Experimentation publishes open access academic articles on the development and implementation of alternatives to the use of animals for scientific purposes and informs on international developments in this field.

The use of animals for scientific purposes includes all experimental procedures involving the use of animals in testing, research, and education or to obtain tissues, organs, and other animal-derived products that may cause pain, suffering, distress, or lasting harm to animals. ALTEX is committed to ensuring that all research published gives full consideration to animal welfare and ethical issues.

ALTEX recommends the substitution of all materials that are obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering. Such materials include among others fetal bovine/calf serum, basement membrane extracts (e.g., Matrigel), antibodies obtained from ascites fluid, primary cells from animals, and other animal-derived products obtained by invasive sampling.

ALTEX publishes research articles, concept articles, opinion articles, reviews, consensus reports, workshop reports, short communications, letters, comments, corners, and meeting reports. Current news and events are posted online. ALTEX collaborates with the OECD in the review of adverse outcome pathways submitted to the AOP-Wiki and publishes manuscripts generated within this process as AOP Reports. An AOP Report is a full article that provides an overview of an AOP description, which conforms with AOP development principles described in the Developers' Handbook and has been entered into the AOP-Wiki (https://aopwiki.org/), and describes its 3R relevance and potential application. 

Submission of a manuscript to ALTEX requires confirmation that it is not before another journal for consideration and has not been previously published in whole or in part except on a not-for-profit preprint server, such as bioRxiv. Authors must still be in possession of copyright and are responsible for updating preprint information on the preprint server upon acceptance of the manuscript by ALTEX. Submissions are routinely screened for plagiarism with iThenticate.

All content is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is appropriately cited (CC-BY). Copyright on any article, short communication, meeting report or letter published in ALTEX is retained by the author(s). Unedited versions of main articles and short communications are published with open access upon their acceptance as "accepted manuscripts" with a CC-BY license. Journal content is archived in the PKP Preservation Network (PKP-PN).

Research articles, opinion articles, concept articles, reviews, consensus reports, workshop reports, AOP reports, short communications and letters
For submission, you will need to enter full names, affiliations, e-mail addresses, and ORCID ID (if available) for each author as well as up to five keywords.
ALTEX offers authors the choice between a blind (anonymous reviewer/disclosed author) or double-blind (anonymous reviewer/anonymous author) review of their manuscript except for AOP Reports, which undergo a blind review that is changed to an open review following an initial positive decision. In case a double-blind review is requested, authors are responsible for redacting all author-related information from their manuscript. Full author information must be entered into the submission system independent of which review type is chosen.
After completing all items in the submission preparation checklist, upload your manuscript as one full pdf file with page numbers and continuous line numbers. Include all figures, tables and boxes placed appropriately within the text or at the end. Supplementary data for review may be included in the main pdf or provided as additional files, e.g., .xlsx files, databases, or videos.
The manuscript does not need to fully adhere to the "Style requirements for publication" at this stage, e.g., reference format and figure resolution, but should include all elements necessary for an evaluation of the scientific content of the work. Studies involving animal experiments must be reported in accordance with the full ARRIVE guidelines and a completed ARRIVE author checklist must be included. Images, tables, and statistics must be prepared in accordance with good practice and details including information on statistical analysis and biological and technical replicates, where appropriate, must be given in figure and table legends. All data, program code, and other methods must be appropriately cited.
Authors are encouraged to upload a cover letter alerting the editor to the type and scientific importance of the manuscript. The cover letter should point out any copyright issues, publication of the manuscript on a preprint server (include link and/or DOI), and indicate whether a double-blind review is requested. Up to five potential reviewers who are not recent coauthors (provide full names, affiliations, and e-mails) may be suggested in the cover letter.
Opinion articles may be suggested for the Food for Thought ... section. Technical contributions may be suggested for the BenchMarks section. Workshop reports present and contextualize the results of workshop discussions rather than summarizing individual presentations. "t4 Workshop Reports" and "t4 Reports" can be authored only by members of the t4 collaboration.

Meeting reports, corners, letters, comments
ALTEX welcomes submissions that are relevant to the 3Rs field for these non-peer reviewed sections. Please contact the editorial office to discuss the appropriate length.

Articles having no relevance to alternatives to animal experimentation and articles of low scientific value are rejected upon internal review. At least two external experts’ reviews are obtained for articles that pass internal review. In case of disagreement, a further review may be commissioned. The evaluation takes into account the scientific merit of a manuscript and its contribution to animal welfare and the 3R principle. Reviewers recommend whether the manuscript should be accepted, revised, or rejected. The editor-in-chief decides whether to request revisions, require resubmission of a revised version, accept, or reject a manuscript. The blinded content of the external reviews is sent to the authors together with the editor’s decision. Revised versions must be uploaded together with a detailed point-to-point reply whereupon the editor may request reviewers to reassess the manuscript before taking a final decision.
In case of manuscripts submitted as AOP Reports, an internal review including a compliance check of the AOP description in the AOP-Wiki in accordance with the principles and guidance set out in the Developers’ Handbook is performed by the editor. At least three external experts’ blind reviews are obtained for submissions that have passed internal review. Reviewers collaborate to submit one consolidated review report of the AOP description, which is shared with the authors, and submit individual reviews of the AOP Report. The editor-in-chief decides whether to require resubmission of a revised version, accept, or reject the submission. If taken forward, the ensuing open revision process enables and encourages communication between the authors and reviewers. Revised versions must be uploaded in the ALTEX submission system together with a detailed point-to-point reply whereupon reviewers reassess the submission before making a final recommendation. The editor takes the final decision. Upon acceptance, the AOP Report is published by ALTEX and is linked to the open-source AOP-Wiki content to which a documentation of the review process including names and affiliations of reviewers, the comments from the review panel and the response from the authors is added. The successful completion of the scientific review process initiates the process of endorsement of the AOP by the responsible OECD committees.

Upon acceptance for publication, upload a .docx file containing text, tables and boxes as well as separate figure files and supplementary data files prepared according to the "Style requirements for publication" detailed below. Upon receipt of final files and clarification of all open issues, unedited versions of main articles and short communications are published with open access in the Latest Articles section as "accepted manuscripts" with a permanent digital object identifier (DOI). Unedited versions are replaced with final versions in print and online upon publication in a journal issue.

ALTEX will bill authors an article processing charge of €2,500 per full manuscript (Food for Thought ... articles, research articles, reviews, consensus reports, workshop reports, BenchMarks contributions and AOP reports) and €1,300 per short communication upon acceptance for publication. These publication costs include all costs associated with publishing manuscripts upon acceptance as an unedited "accepted manuscript" and of publishing the final manuscript in the print and online version of the journal. Include a billing address with the final version of the manuscript.
For letters and meeting reports, ALTEX will bill authors an article processing charge of €90 per printed page; for corners ALTEX will bill authors who are not members of ALTEX Edition €400. These publication costs include the costs of publishing the final manuscript in the print and online version of the journal.
Institutional members of ALTEX Edition benefit from free corners and a 10% discount on all article processing costs. Note that ALTEX is an open access journal listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Numerous funding institutions, university libraries, and scientific institutes support open access publication by contributing to the publication fees.
If your organization has no means to cover the publication costs, please state this in the cover letter and ALTEX may choose to waive these. The request for waiver must be co-signed by an institutional official certifying that the authors do not have funds available for publication costs.


General guidance for all submissions
Articles must be written in US English. Language should be based on the Chicago Manual of Style. Use the international standard measuring system (SI) and add a space between numbers and units, e.g., 10 mL. Use a period to indicate the decimal place and use a comma to separate groups of thousands (e.g., 12,345.67). Number equations (e.g., Eq. 1) and place them on a separate line. Indicate trademarks (™) and registered goods (®). Explain abbreviations when using them for the first time. If several abbreviations are used, add an abbreviation index as a footnote to the Introduction. Explain technical terms for readers who are not experts in your particular field. Include page numbers and continuous line numbers. Number sections starting with the Introduction (1); substructure long sections using numbered subheadings, e.g., 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2, etc. Use italics for Latin words, e.g., in vitro, Escherichia coli and direct quotes.

Structure of short communications
Short communications have no more than 4 printed pages of text (single spaced, 9 pt) and 1 page of figures or tables. Results and discussion may be combined. A supplementary file may describe materials and methods in detail. Otherwise follow instructions below.

Structure of main articles
There is no length restriction for these article types; avoid unnecessary repetition between sections. Follow the structure set out below:

Article type: Food for Thought …, Research Article, Review Article, Consensus Report, Concept Article, Workshop Report, t4 Workshop Report, t4 Report, BenchMarks, AOP Report
Title: Short and informative; no abbreviations
Authors: All authors must fulfil the following criteria defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) as Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be published, and (4) agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Include full first name, initial(s) of middle name(s), and full surname; superscripts after names refer to affiliations; give authors with the same affiliation the same superscript. Example: Zaria R. Kim1, Soren T. Smith2 and Maya Tonelli1
Affiliations: Institute, town, country in accordance with the superscripts after the authors’ names. Do not include street names, post office boxes or postal codes.
Summary: 250 words maximum; provide a concise summary of the purpose, approach, and main findings.
Plain language summary:
150 words maximum summarizing the article in non-technical terms and describing its scientific significance and 3R relevance.
Up to 5 words or phrases; do not use words from the title as these are indexed automatically; consider listing experimental techniques or methodology, potential applications and/or MeSH terms that represent the study’s content.
Disclaimer: Add institutional disclaimer if applicable.
Correspondence address: Provide the full name, academic title, full address, and e-mail address of the author who will be available for correspondence after publication of the manuscript.

1  Introduction: Provide relevant and succinct background on the study and explain its purpose and importance. Include a specific statement concerning the relevance of the article regarding the development and promotion of alternatives to the use of animals for scientific purposes.

Research Articles will then continue with the sections: (Animals), (human subjects), materials and methods, Results, and Discussion; Food for Thought …, Review Articles, Consensus Reports, Concept Articles, Workshop Reports, BenchMarks, AOP Reports are structured logically into sections and subsections by the authors and return to the standard structure with References, etc.

2  (Animals), (human subjects), materials and methods: Give a complete account of the animals or human subjects (if applicable), materials used and procedures followed in the study in sufficient detail to allow repetition of the study.

Experiments on animals:
- Do not list animals as materials;
- indicate which institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed;
- confirm that the study went through a process of ethical review prior to the study commencing, indicate which ethics committee approved the study and provide the associated permit number(s);
- if ethical approval was not required, include a statement of this and the reason;
- describe animal experiments in detail according to the full ARRIVE guidelines and submit a completed version of the ARRIVE author checklist with your manuscript. Indicate species and, where appropriate, strain of the animal; total number of animals used throughout the study; number of animals per experimental group; experimental design including statistical design and analysis; randomization and blinding methods; other pertinent details relating to the lifetime experience of the animals, including housing and care; refinements of experimental procedures to reduce suffering; pain management; humane endpoints; and euthanasia methods;
- confirm that the potential for application of the 3Rs was rigorously researched prior to starting, and every opportunity was taken during the course of the study to implement each of them;
- confirm that animal husbandry and care was in accordance with contemporary best practice and all individuals involved with the care and use of animals were trained and skilled to an acceptable level of competency, with euthanasia carried out according to contemporary best practice.
ALTEX recommends following the PREPARE guidelines in planning studies using animals to ensure that the above requirements are met and the respective information is documented during the study. ALTEX further recommends the use of the Experimental Design Assistant (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/our-portfolio/experimental-design-assistant-eda) for the design of experiments using animals to ensure that they use the minimum number of animals consistent with their scientific objectives, methods to reduce subjective bias, and appropriate statistical analysis.

Experiments on human subjects:
Indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration in its current version. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, explain the rationale for the approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. Confirm that subjects were properly instructed and gave written consent to participate. Ensure that patient privacy and anonymity is fully protected.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses:
Reports of systematic reviews and meta-analyses must include a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram. Provide the protocol and the registry number.

- ALTEX recommends the substitution of all materials that are obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering. Such materials include among others fetal bovine/calf serum, basement membrane extracts (e.g., Matrigel), antibodies obtained from ascites fluid, primary cells from animals, and other animal-derived products obtained by invasive sampling. Your manuscript will not be penalized in the review process if you have used such materials, but we require authors to discuss this issue, preferably in the Discussion section, and indicate whether such materials could/shall be replaced in future studies.
- cell lines: source, authentication (e.g., by karyotyping, isozyme analysis, or short tandem repeats (STR) analysis), derivation, culture conditions (medium, temperature, atmosphere), passaging (frequency and method), passage numbers used, contamination control (e.g., type and frequency of mycoplasma tests)
- perfused organs: donor selection, organ collection and transport, perfusion fluid (oxygenation system, perfusion flow and pressure, temperature, type, additives), viability measurements (e.g., edema formation, oxygen uptake, glucose consumption), cytotoxicity parameters (e.g., potassium and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in the used perfusate); histology and organ-specific parameters if available.
- chemicals: source (company), purity, dilutions, diluent
- drugs: use the Recommended International Non-Proprietary Name (rINN), source
- antibodies: source (company, catalog and lot numbers or preparation protocol), species of origin, polyclonal or monoclonal, production method, specificity, dilutions used, controls, validation criteria.

- Explain all procedures in sufficient detail to allow reproduction in another laboratory.
- Previously published procedures may be summarized and referenced; indicate any deviations from the published procedure.
- ALTEX recommends depositing laboratory protocols at protocols.io where they can be assigned a digital object identifier (DOI).
- Gels or blots: For studies reporting semi-quantitative analyses of immunoblots, explain how quantitative data were obtained, whether signal intensity has a linear relationship with antigen loading, and how protein loading was normalized among lanes.
- Microscopic images: Make and model of microscope; type, magnification, and numerical aperture of the objective lenses; temperature; imaging medium; fluorochromes; camera make and model; acquisition software; software used for image processing and types of operations involved.
- Microarray experiments must conform to the MIAME guidelines.
- All data sets, program code and other methods must be appropriately cited and should include persistent identifiers such as a digital object identifier (DOI) where available.
- Statistical analysis: Describe the statistical analysis performed for each experiment and the basis for the choice of test. State whether any experimental data were excluded and indicate the reason and/or criteria for exclusion.

3  Results: Objectively describe the results; illustrate these as appropriate with figures or tables. Number tables and files in the order of appearance in the text, e.g., (Tab. 1) or (Fig. 1); refer to all tables and figures in the text. Also refer to any supplementary figures, tables, or files in the text, e.g., Fig. S1, Tab. S1, supplementary .xlsx file. State the number of independent samples (biological replicates) and the number of replicate samples (technical replicates), and report how many times each experiment was repeated. Report statistical analyses of variation using standard deviation (SD), confidence intervals (CI) or standard error of the mean (SEM) as appropriate.

4  Discussion: Objectively interpret the obtained results in light of the relevant literature. Discuss the limitations of the study. Explain the importance of the results and state future study objectives if appropriate. If materials obtained or derived from animals subjected to pain or suffering were used in the study (see the Materials section), discuss this issue and state whether these materials could/shall be replaced in future studies.

References: Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.
- Citations in the text should be marked with name/s of the author/s and the year of publication, e.g., (Devi and Garcia, 2008; Yilmaz et al., 2010). In case of several publications by the same author/s within one year, distinguish them with a, b, c, etc. after the year, e.g. (Nkosi et al., 2017b).
- Format the references at the end of the text according to the examples below and in alphabetic order of the first authors. If you use Endnote or RefWorks, you may download the ALTEX style here (ALTEX6 style for Endnote (.ens file) – last update April 24, 2017) or ALTEX_a style for RefWorks (.rwb file) – last update August 16, 2017).
- Include full DOIs or, if not available, other full content links. Use SimpleText Query to search for DOIs. 
- When referring to a website, place the full URL (weblink) in a footnote to the text and add "accessed" and the date.

Examples of the ALTEX format:
Journal articles; three authors or fewer:
Maertens, R. M., Long, A. S. and White, P. A. (2017). Performance of the in vitro transgene mutation assay in MutaMouse FE1 cells: Evaluation of nine misleading ("false") positive chemicals. Environ Mol Mutagen 58, 582-591. doi:10.1002/em.22125
Journal articles: more than three authors:
Rajkumar, A., Luu, T., Beal, M. A. et al. (2021). Elucidation of the effects of bisphenol A and structural analogs on germ and steroidogenic cells using single cell high-content imaging. Toxicol Sci 180, 224-238. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfab012
Book chapters: Honegger, P. and Schilter, B. (1992). Serum free aggregate cultures of foetal rat brain and liver cells: Methodology and some practical applications in neurotoxicology. In G. Zbinden (ed.), The Brain and Bits and Pieces: In Vitro Techniques in Neurobiology, Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology (51-79). Zollikon, Switzerland: MTC Verlag.
Books: Goldberg, A. M. (ed.) (1983). Alternative Methods in Toxicology, Product Safety Evaluation. Vol. 1. New York, USA: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Laws, regulations, directives:
OECD (2019). International Best Practices for Identification of Priorities within Chemicals Management Systems. OECD Series on Testing and Assessment, No. 314. OECD Publishing, Paris. doi:10.1787/0fafd6f5-en

Conflict of interest: Authors who have a financial interest in the publication of the manuscript may have a conflict of interest. This does not disqualify them from submitting a manuscript to ALTEX. Declare any author’s conflict of interest or declare that the authors have no conflicts of interest, as appropriate.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledge all sources of funding and contributing persons who are not co-authors. Authors are responsible for obtaining the agreement of the persons named.

Data availability: State where the research data described in the manuscript is available (e.g., a public repository, a public domain resource, within the article and/or its supplementary data, upon request from the corresponding author), under what conditions it can be accessed (license, restrictions, permission), and provide hyperlinks to the respective data set/s (e.g., doi and/or reference number). Also include a statement in case no datasets were generated or analyzed during the study.

Table and figure legends: Each table or figure must have a number, e.g., Fig. 1, Tab. 1, and a caption title, and may have a caption text. Figures and tables that are included in the supplementary file(s) are numbered Fig. S1, Tab. S1, etc. In the caption text, as appropriate, state the number of independent samples (biological replicates) and the number of replicate samples (technical replicates) and report how many times each experiment was repeated. Report statistical analyses of variation using standard deviation (SD), confidence intervals (CI) or standard error of the mean (SEM) as appropriate.

Tables, figures, boxes and supplementary files:
Tables: Design tables as text tables that can be edited, not as images; indicate footnotes by letters, e.g. a,b.
Figures: Upon acceptance, you will need to provide all figures in high quality (at least 300 dpi), each in a separate .jpg, .tif, .png or .pptx file (.pptx only if the figure was drawn in Powerpoint). If the figure was created in a different program, use the export function. Check that all parts of the figure including the text are sharp when blown up to full screen size on your computer screen. If an element of a figure has been exported/saved at low resolution, upscaling the dpi afterwards will reduce the quality and make the figure blurred. Pasting a figure into Powerpoint or Word also will reduce its quality. Instead, export the element at high resolution.
The size of the ALTEX type area is 23 x 17.4 cm. This represents the maximum size for a figure or table. If figures have multiple panels, mark them with A, B, C and refer to these in the legend.
Ensure that any text in figures is in sans serif font, e.g., Arial, and is large enough to remain legible upon size reduction, i.e., it should be at least 7pt in the final figure size. Avoid white or pale font on a colored background within figures.
Avoid splicing gel or blot images or indicate borders between different sections; molecular markers above and below bands of interest must be included in the image.
Include scale bars in microscopic images.

Copyright: If using another author’s illustration or table, enclose a copyright transfer from the copyright holder and reference the material accordingly.

Supplementary files: Information related to the manuscript may be submitted as a supplementary file(s). If related research is in press or under review elsewhere, this must be included as supplementary files for review purposes only for reasons of transparency. AOP Reports must include a snapshot of the developed AOP generated in the AOP-KB prior to review as a supplementary file. Upon acceptance of the manuscript, a snapshot generated upon completion of the review will also be included. 

Mathematical equations: Provide formulae as separate pdf(s) with embedded fonts.

Privacy policy
The data collected from registered and non-registered users of this journal falls within the scope of the standard functioning of peer-reviewed journals. It includes information that makes communication possible for the editorial process; it is used to inform readers about the authorship and editing of content; it enables collecting aggregated data on readership behaviors, as well as tracking geopolitical and social elements of scholarly communication.
This journal’s editorial team uses this data to guide its work in publishing and improving this journal. Data that will assist in developing this publishing platform may be shared with its developer Public Knowledge Project in an anonymized and aggregated form, with appropriate exceptions such as article metrics. The data will not be sold by this journal or PKP nor will it be used for purposes other than those stated here. The authors published in this journal are responsible for the human subject data that figures in the research reported here.
Those involved in editing this journal seek to be compliant with industry standards for data privacy, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provision for "data subject rights" that include (a) breach notification; (b) right of access; (c) the right to be forgotten; (d) data portability; and (e) privacy by design. The GDPR also allows for the recognition of "the public interest in the availability of the data," which has a particular saliency for those involved in maintaining, with the greatest integrity possible, the public record of scholarly publishing.

Last update: June 27, 2024