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Author Instructions

SLAS journals accept manuscript submissions on an ongoing basis from SLAS members and nonmembers via the JALA SAGEtrack and JBS SAGEtrack online manuscript submission and management systems.

Submissions will be returned to authors if they do not comply with the manuscript and figure guidelines that follows.

Please read these Instructions for authors completely and carefully.

Author Instructions are also available in the following languages:

Content Focus

Manuscript Category Descriptions and Examples

Manuscript Guidelines

  • All manuscripts must be written in the English language (American English) and submitted as Microsoft Word documents with standard 12-point fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Symbol), double-spaced with one inch margins. Text should appear in black. Please include all elements except for figures in one MSWord manuscript document. Do not use section numbering, page numbering, headers or footers, tracked changes or comments in your manuscript.  Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with ACS Style Guidelines.
  • Ensure citations and references comply exactly with ACS guidelines. Citations within the main text should be numbered (in order of occurrence) and super-scripted. References should be correspondingly numbered and included as a section at the end of each paper. Only the first three authors should be cited followed by "et al." Use CASSI abbreviations. Helpful links: American Chemical Society and University of Wisconsin Madison.

    For example:

    1. Cavnar, S. P.; Salomonsson, E.; Luker, K. E.; et al. Transfer, Imaging, and Analysis Plate for Facile Handling of 384 Hanging Drop 3D Tissue Spheroids. J. Lab. Autom. 2014, 19, 208-214.
    2. Dressler, O. J.; Maceiczyk, R. M.; Chang, S. I., et al. Droplet-Based Microfluidics: Enabling Impact on Drug Discovery. J. Biomol. Screen. 2014, 19, 483-496.
  • Manuscripts are expected to be concise, well organized and clearly written. (See Tips for Authors section at for helpful advice.) The manuscript must follow ACS Style Guidelines (© 2006 by the American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C.), but the format of the paper should be organized as follows:
    • Cover Sheet
      (includes title, author names and affiliations, corresponding author name and contact information for publication, and three to five keywords for indexing purposes)
    • Abstract
      (200 words that include purpose of study or investigation, main findings, and conclusions)
    • Introduction
    • Materials and Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgements (include funding statement)
    • References
    • Tables and table legends
    • Figure Legends
  • For JBS Technical Notes and JBS Application Notes, authors MUST combine the Results and Discussion sections into one section. For Original Research and Review articles, authors have the option to separate or combine the Results and Discussion sections.
  • For Review Articles, authors may prepare the main body of text as appropriate for the information being presented and authors should include a final section entitled Summary (i.e. Cover Sheet, Abstract, Introduction, Main Text/Sections, Summary, References, Tables and Table Legends, Figure Legends).
  • The Materials and Methods must be adequately described such that they may be duplicated by an independent laboratory by a practitioner skilled in the art. Although it is recognized that confidentiality regarding certain targets or compounds may need to be maintained, lack of disclosure of either will result in low impact ratings and potential rejection. In the case where authors are working on a target of a confidential nature, it is considered reasonable that they publish full details of the results of their assay/screening system using an analogous target protein. Manuscripts that do not disclose both target and compounds tested will not be accepted (with exceptions being virtual screening or statistical modeling). It is expected that proper statistical rigor will be utilized in the design and analysis of all data presented. All experiments must contain proper and relevant controls to ensure proper interpretation of results.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out when first used. Generic names for drugs and devices are preferred over brand names. Include a manufacturer's location (city, state and country if outside U.S.) in parentheses immediately after citing the manufacturer.
  • DO NOT embed tables or figures or placement instructions for tables or figures within the text of the main manuscript. Refer to figures and tables in text in accordance with ACS guidelines. Submit figures separately from the main manuscript document (see Figure Guidelines below).
  • DO NOT use tracked changes, comments, line numbering, page numbers, headers or footers in your main manuscript document. If you wish to emphasize points or passages for editors and reviewers, please do so in your cover letter. The SAGEtrack-generated PDF proof of your submission will include page numbers and line numbering. If necessary, reference those.
  • Refer to ICMJE guidelines and COPE guidelines for how to define authors and contributors. The acknowledgements section should identify collaborations, sources of research funds and other acknowledgements.
  • Recommended guidelines for assay development, validation, and data analysis are outlined in the Assay Guidance Manual prepared by Eli Lilly and Company and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
  • Authors (especially those who speak English as a second language) may wish to consider working with an author/language services company for help with editing, translation and formatting.
  • Manuscripts that require approval by an author's employer should be reviewed and cleared before they are submitted to JALA or JBS.

Figure Guidelines

It is the author's responsibility to provide original, high-resolution images for all figures, photos and illustrations. Images should be at least five inches wide and may be saved as TIF, JPG, EPS or Microsoft PowerPoint files. If possible, save all images in one file, such as PowerPoint. The file name should include the lead author's name and indicate content (eg. Smith Figures 1 to 5).

For text/labels that appear within images, authors are asked to use Times New Roman font.

There is no charge for images that appear in black and white. Authors who wish to publish color images may do so for a fee to subsidize additional printing expenses. Color charges are $800 for the first color page and $200 for each color page thereafter. Otherwise, figures will print in black and white free of charge and they will appear in color online only. If authors choose the color option for print, an invoice will be sent later in the production process.

Figures should be presented as simply and clearly as possible with the minimum symbology necessary to convey the information contained. Each variable in a figure should be represented in only one way — for example, either by a different symbol or by a different line pattern, but not both. To the extent possible, labels and annotations should be placed directly on the figure rather than in the caption below the figure. Recommended approaches for improving the clarity and style of figures can be found in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte. All abbreviations in figures should be spelled out in figure legends.

  • Tables
    Prepare each table with a title. User Arabic numerals to number tables. Each table must be understandable independent of the text. Tables should be included in the MSWord main manuscript document and positioned at the end (after the references), not within the text of the manuscript.
  • Mathematical Equations
    Mathematical equations should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numbers in parentheses, for example, Eq. (1). In the text, equations should be referred to as Eq. (1), Eqs. (2)-(6). All equations should be legible so that every character is easily recognized. All symbols used should be defined in the text. If a special font (other than Symbol) is required for symbols, this should be indicated in a note to the editor.
  • Supplemental Material
    Authors may provide supplemental data for online publication to accompany their articles. Clearly label supplemental files and submit them separately from the manuscript. For supplemental “print” materials (i.e. text, figures, and tables), the files should be submitted in one all-inclusive PDF file or ZIP file that includes a title/cover sheet. If accepted, supplemental files will appear online only EXACTLY AS PROVIDED by the authors. Videos/movies may be submitted as .avi, mpeg/mpg, .mov or .wmv files and should not exceed 15 MBs each.

The Peer Review Process

The review process is confidential, and reviewers are obliged not to discuss papers or authors with anyone outside of the SLAS editorial staff. Manuscripts are typically evaluated in response to these general Peer Review Guidelines and initial feedback is usually provided to authors within four weeks after submission. Manuscripts can be accepted as written by reviewers, declined as inappropriate, or as is more often the case, reviewers will suggest revisions. Authors are then offered the opportunity to revise and re-submit their manuscripts, or provide explanations in response to reviewer questions or suggestions. Revisions and responses are re-reviewed by the editor-in-chief and/or peer reviewers before final publishing decisions are made. Invited reviewers are asked to decline their invitations if they have any perceived conflict of interest with the author, the author's affiliation and/or the topic of the paper.

SLAS conducts conventional single-blind reviews in which reviewer names are always concealed from the submitting author. As part of the submission process, authors are asked to provide names, company names and e-mail addresses of experts who could be called upon to review their manuscripts. Recommended reviewers (preferred reviewers) should be experts in the field who can provide objective assessments of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. For example, reviewers recommended by authors should not:

  • Have prior knowledge of an author’s submission.
  • Have recently collaborated with any of the authors.
  • Be from the same institution as any of the authors.

Authors also are asked to share names of individuals that they do NOT want invited to review their work. SLAS editors will consider these recommendations and requests without obligation.


Other Important Information

Click here for SAGE Publishing Policies.

  • Permissions Guidelines

    Any text, tables, or figures reproduced from previously published work can only be reprinted with written permission from the copyright holder. Permissions statements must be submitted with the manuscript files, and must include print and online publication. Acquiring permission is the sole responsibility of the author. The publication from which the material is taken must be cited in the references and any required “reprinted with permission” statements must be included as appropriate in text or legends by the author. For more detailed information about permissions, visit the RightsLink website.

    When requesting permission, identify JALA and JBS as a “Publisher, STM” (in the RightsLink dropdown menu). SLAS journals are published in partnership with SAGE Publications and SAGE is a member of International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) which usually allows signatory publishers and their authors to use small amounts of other signatory publishers' materials without payment of a fee. For more info, visit

  • Funding

    To comply with the guidance for authors, publishers and research funding agencies issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), JALA and JBS require all authors to acknowledge the sources of their funding in the Acknowledgements section of their manuscripts, or to state: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Copyright and Simultaneous Submissions

    Manuscripts are considered for publication with the understanding that if a paper is accepted, copyright is transferred to the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), and that no paper presenting the same information has been or will be published elsewhere. If part of a contribution has appeared or will appear elsewhere, the author must specify the details in the comments portion of his or her submission.

    Simultaneous submissions of manuscripts to multiple journals at the same time is not acceptable — please do not submit manuscripts that may be under consideration by another publication or electronic medium. Published manuscripts may be published elsewhere only with the written permission of SLAS.

    Authors whose research was funded by an NIH grant are responsible for submitting the final, accepted version of their manuscripts to PubMedCentral. Please note, however, that SLAS journals content does not become open access until 12 months following the date of final (print) publication of the manuscript. JALA and JBS offer open access options that are compliant with major funding mandates of RCUK, NIH and Wellcome Trust. The open access fee is $3,000. Contact for more information.

    • Conflicts of Interest
      All prospective authors must recognize and disclose any conflict of interest, or potential conflict of interest, that may bias their work, or could be perceived to bias their work, and acknowledge all financial support and any other personal connections. SLAS follows the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, especially as they relate to conflicts of interest.
    • Scientific Misconduct
      In accordance with the Council of Science Editors, SLAS recognizes that as a general guide, the term "research misconduct" applies to any action that involves purposeful manipulation of the scientific record such that it no longer reflects observed truth, or mistreatment of research subjects. The concepts of negligence and deceit are central to the definition of research misconduct. Research misconduct generally falls into one of four areas: fabrication of data, falsification of data, plagiarism, and unethical treatment of research subjects. [MORE]

      If SLAS suspects misconduct by authors, reviewers, editorial staff, or other editors, it will take action. This duty extends to both published and unpublished papers. SLAS will first seek a response from those accused. If SLAS is not satisfied with the response, SLAS will ask the employers of the authors, reviewers, or editors, or some other appropriate body (perhaps a regulatory body) to investigate. In the case of its own editorial staff, SLAS will conduct the investigation itself. SLAS will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a proper investigation is conducted. If this is not possible, or does not happen for whatever reason, SLAS will make all reasonable attempts to persist in obtaining a resolution to the problem and a correction of the record if it is needed.
    • Offprints and Reprints
      SAGE Publications will provide order forms and pricing information with page proofs of accepted manuscripts.

    Other Submissions

    • Letters to the Editor
      Comments on published articles are welcome and will be published if deemed appropriate by the editor. Letters should not exceed three double-spaced manuscript pages. Please include a brief title succinctly stating the topic of your letter. Letters to the editor are screened, but also may be peer-reviewed or subjected to rebuttal by the authors of the initial article. Send letters to the editor in MSWord file format to
    • Editorial Contact
      Send any questions, suggestions, ideas or concerns regarding SLAS journals to:

      Nan Hallock
      Director of Publishing
      Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening
      819 Shorewood Boulevard
      Manitowoc, WI 54220 USA
      Tel: +1.630.256.7527, ext. 106