Guidelines for Authors

Thank you for considering submitting an article to Clinical & Forensic Toxicology News, a quarterly, online newsletter published by AACC and cosponsored with the College of American Pathologists.

Our audience includes clinical laboratorians, pathologists, clinical and forensic toxicologists, and medical technologists. We welcome interesting, thought-provoking, newsworthy content, and case studies are especially appreciated.

Articles should be free from commercial bias and organized according to the following guidelines:

Feature Articles
Length. The total length of the article—excluding suggested readings or references, biographical sketch, tables and figures—should be 2500 – 3000 words. Articles exceeding this length may be shortened as necessary.

Style. Article should be written in the active voice. Be concise and clear, using as few words as possible.

Original: The enzyme cytochrome P450 is responsible for the metabolism of…
Better: Cytochrome P450 metabolizes… 

Define all abbreviations. Write all words at first use. Abbreviations may be used thereafter.

Example: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Title. Use a brief but descriptive title to attract reader interest.

Introduction. Open with a paragraph introducing the subject and its relationship or importance to the reader.

Text. Give the reader a basic understanding of the topic. Use case studies or examples to illustrate your point. Use subheads to delineate sections.

Conclusion. Conclude with comments on how controversy might be resolved or readers might apply the information presented.

Figures and Tables. Use figures to show data or help explain the text. Use tables to summarize or list information. Four to five figures and/or tables is usually ideal. (See Guidelines for Figures and Tables below.)

References. Specific citations within the text should be numbered sequentially and listed at the end of the article. Suggested readings should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name at the end of the text. Typically, no more than 12 references or suggested readings is sufficient.

Biographical Sketch. After the reference section, include name, degree(s), position, institution, and email address for each author.

Example: John Jones, PhD, is Bureau Chief of Toxicology at the New Mexico Department of Health, Scientific Laboratory Division, in Albuquerque, N.M. Email:

Medium Length Articles
Guidelines are the same as those for feature articles, with the following exceptions:

Length. 1000 – 1500 words.
References. Limit of six.
Tables and Figures. Limit of two.


Short Articles

Guidelines are the same as those for feature articles, with the following exceptions:
Length. 500 – 750 words.
References. Limit of three.
Tables and Figures. Limit of one.


Guidelines for Figures
List figure titles and captions on an individual page after references or suggested readings. Each figure should have title and caption clearly labeled (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Multi-panel figures and figures with parts (a, b, c, etc.) should be distinctively labeled (Figure 1a, Figure 1b, Figure 2a, etc.).

Copyrighted or previously published material. Authors must obtain written permission from the copyright holder for previously published material. Permission should be submitted with your article. Acknowledge the original source in the figure caption. Please specify whether the figure has been reproduced exactly or adapted from the original source. Even if the figure has been modified, it may still require permission.  

All figures must be submitted as image files in one of the following formats:
Joint Photographic Experts Group format (.jpeg), Tagged Image File Format (.tiff), or Encapsulated Postscript (.eps). Microsoft Power Point (.pptx) is also acceptable; however, the graphics must contain embedded fonts with one image per slide. Each image should have a resolution of 600 dots-per-inch (dpi).

Guidelines for Tables
Tables are considered text; however they do not contribute to the word count. All tables should be included in the same Word document as the text of the article, directly following the reference section or figure legends. Each table should appear on an individual page, have a title, and be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, etc.). Define all abbreviations used at the bottom of the table.  
Each column of a table must have a heading and be clearly defined. Indicate explanatory footnotes at the bottom of the table.  

How to Submit an Article
Submit the article and figure(s) by email to Cheryl A. Kassed, PhD.  All submissions will be acknowledged by email.  

Although CFTN is not a peer-reviewed journal, the Editorial Advisory Board conducts a limited review of all articles. If modifications are necessary, the lead author will be contacted by a member of the board or the editor.

Revisions for publication
All articles are subject to copyediting for style, grammar, and clarity. Authors may review the revised article for accuracy; however, the editor retains final authority on matters of grammar and style.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) retains the copyright to all material published in CFTN. All authors must sign a copyright release upon acceptance of the article.

CFTN readers may earn ACCENT® continuing education credit. All individuals in a position to control the content of an accredited continuing education activity must disclose any financial relationship(s) with a company if both (a) the relationship occurred within the past 12 months and (b) one or more of the company's products are relevant to the activity topic. Even if a product is not specifically referenced or discussed during the activity, individuals must disclose their financial relationship(s) with the company. All authors must complete and sign a disclosure form.

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