Guidelines for authors are intended for all future authors who wish to submit their manuscript to Biochemia Medica. Please free to download your copy and refer to it while preparing your manuscript.
Biochemia Medica is the official peer-reviewed journal of the Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, aimed to all professionals who share the same interest in medical biochemistry and laboratory medicine.
Manuscripts are published in English language only. All submitted manuscripts are given equal consideration, irrespective of the country they originate from, as long as the following main criteria are met:
A manuscript is written and prepared according to the Journal’s Instructions for authors.
A manuscript is within the scope of the Journal.
Following categories fit into the scope of the Journal: general clinical chemistry, haematology and haemostasis, molecular diagnostics and endocrinology. Development, validation and verification of analytical techniques and methods applicable to clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine are welcome as well as studies dealing with laboratory organization, automation and quality control. Journal publishes on a regular basis educative preanalytical case reports (Preanalytical mysteries), articles dealing with applied biostatistics (Lessons in biostatistics) and research integrity (Research integrity corner).
Genetic association studies, studies on animal models and/or cell cultures are not in the scope of the Biochemia Medica journal.
Authors are invited to contact the Editorial Board, if in doubt about any aspect of scope, format or content of a proposed contribution.
Throughout the entire editorial process, Biochemia Medica follows the best practice guidelines given by the Committee on publication ethics (COPE) (available at: http://publicationethics.org/files/Code%20of%20Conduct_2.pdf) and Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/).
Editors at Biochemia Medica are committed to ensure the integrity and promote innovative and evidence-based sources of information in order to maintain the quality and ensure the impact of the papers published in our Journal, according to the principles set by Sarajevo Declaration on Integrity and Visibility of Scholarly Publications communication (http://www.cmj.hr/2016/57/6/28051276.htm).
Biochemia Medica is open access journal and all its content is free and available at Journal’s webpage. Journal is maintained and published with the financial support of the members of the Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CSMBLM) and grants given by the Republic of Croatia’s Ministry of Science and Education. All Editorial work and peer-review are maintained voluntarily. Occasionally, Biochemia Medica may publish a promotional material and advertisement in order to promote sponsorship with emphasis on the special subjects from the field of Laboratory Medicine.
Article processing charges
Manuscript submission, article processing and publishing is free of charge.
Each manuscript received is evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief. The manuscripts that do not meet the main criteria listed in the Instructions for authors are returned to authors. Contributions that qualify for further consideration are further processed. Each manuscript is subjected to the additional editorial review of the methodological quality, statistical analysis, and data presentation. The estimated time from submission to the first decision is 6-8 weeks. Authors are usually given 4 weeks for manuscript revision.
Biochemia Medica gives equal consideration to every carefully performed study investigating an important question relevant to the Journal’s readership, whether the results are negative or positive.
Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the whole editorial process and also decision making responsibility.
In order to improve our editorial procedure and detect potential non-conformities, Editorial Board occasionally conducts research to obtain the information needed. All manuscripts submitted to Biochemia Medica may be used for such research. Also, Biochemia Medica archives all submitted manuscripts whether rejected or accepted and keeps them strictly confidential.
Manuscripts that meet the scope of the Journal and are prepared according to Instructions for authors are sent to peer-review. Biochemia Medica favours double blinded peer-review process which means that both reviewer and author remain unknown to each other. It is our belief that this model ensures objectivity during the process. All manuscripts are reviewed by at least two peer-reviewers. Each author may suggest up to three reviewers and also point out reviewers that he wishes to avoid. Editors are not obliged to follow author’s suggestions and final choice of reviewers is made according to the manuscript’s subject. The manuscript may be reviewed additionally by a statistical reviewer if shown necessary.
Biochemia Medica advises its reviewers to adhere to the Journal’s Guidelines for peer-reviewers available on the Journal webpage. In order to improve peer-review process and maintain high quality reviews, all peer-reviewers are encouraged to use Reviewer’s Check List while reviewing the manuscript. For additional information on ethical standards in peer-review process, all reviewers are instructed to read the article Šupak-Smolčić V, Šimundić AM. Peer-review policy and guidelines for Biochemia Medica journal. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2014;24:321-8.
Editors may occasionally also wish to submit manuscripts to Biochemia Medica. All manuscripts submitted by the editors are considered and processed the same way as all other manuscripts received by the Journal and according to ethical standards for good editorial practice (available at: http://publicationethics.org/files/Code%20of%20Conduct_2.pdf). In order to assure impartial decision making and avoid potential conflict of interest, author of such manuscript is excluded from any editorial handling of the manuscript (review, editing and final decision).
Editorial board of Biochemia Medica strongly promotes research integrity and aims to prevent any type of scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, redundant publication, and authorship problems. All submitted manuscripts are revised by Research Integrity Editor and checked using Crossref Similarity Check (powered by iThenticate) screening system screening system for potential plagiarism (more information available at: https://www.crossref.org/services/similarity-check/).
In resolving any potential scientific misconduct, article retractions or expressions of concern, Biochemia Medica follows flowcharts provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and additionally consults COPE for any unclear cases (available at: http://publicationethics.org/resources/flowcharts). More detailed editorial policies regarding specific research integrity issues such as plagiarism, text recycling, duplicate publications, authorship issues, article retractions etc. are published in Biochemia Medica’s special section called Research integrity corner. All authors are invited to contribute by preparing manuscripts for this section regarding any issue important for promotion of research ethics and integrity.
Biochemia Medica adheres to guidelines for authorship set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html).
Each author should meet all four criteria as follows:
According to ICMJE: “In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work the author has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors. All those designated as authors, should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.“
All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work but do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section (technical help, writing assistance, language translation service, general support, financial and material support). All persons named in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript must give their permission to be named. Statement for such permission is included in the manuscript submission process.
Biochemia Medica promotes novelties in the area of scientific integrity. Therefore, Journal adopted the system by which each author is identified with his unique identification number, ORCID. ORCID ensures transparency in authorship and personal identification. It is easy to obtain and available for free at http://orcid.org/. It is recommended for each author to provide his/her ORCID number.
For more information on Biochemia Medica’s policy on authorship, readers and authors are encouraged to read the article Šupak-Smolčić V, Šimundić AM. Biochemia Medica’s editorial policy on authorship. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2015;25(3):320-3.
Ethical approval and informed consent
When reporting trials on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards set by the responsible human experimentation committee (institutional and national) and latest version of the Declaration of Helsinki given by World Medical Association (available at: http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/). Ethical approval (institutional or national) should be obtained for every study that includes collection of additional patient sample of any biological material (more than those required for the medical evaluation).
All subjects should sign an informed consent form and this information should be provided in the manuscript. Signed informed consent forms should be archived by the authors. The authors have to provide a statement that they have received and archived all patient informed consent forms, as required during the manuscript submission process. It should be noted that informed consent to participate in the research does not imply consent to publish personal individual data (names, pictures, hospital identification). Therefore, for publication that includes any individual data, patient must give his written consent. This is especially applied when it is not possible to obtain anonymity of the data without distorting scientific evidence.
Regardless of the preserved anonymity, patients presented in case report articles should always sign informed consent. Case reports without patients’ consent are not eligible for publication in Biochemia Medica. Specific types of case reports, extra-analytical mysteries, are not obliged to obtain informed consent as long as there are no patient’s personal data revealed. If there is need to publish patient’s rare diagnosis or specific demographic or personal data by which patient’s identity can be implied, than the authors must obtain patient’s signed informed consent.
In the spirit of promoting best practice guidelines given by COPE (available at: http://publicationethics.org/files/Code%20of%20Conduct_2.pdf), Biochemia Medica will not consider for publication manuscripts in which best ethical practice is not ensured, i.e. Informed consent is missing and/or Ethical approval is omitted.
To simplify the decision-making process on whether a type of study requires Informed consent and/or Ethical approval, authors are encouraged to consult the table below reprinted from Borovecki A, Mlinaric A, Horvat M, Supak Smolcic V. Informed consent and ethical approval in laboratory medicine. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2018;28(3):030201.
Copyright and publication license
After a manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors must guarantee that all copyrights to the manuscript are transferred to Biochemia Medica. The publisher (Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine) has the right to reproduce and distribute the article in printed and electronic form without asking permission from authors. All manuscripts published on line are subject to Creative Commons Attribution License which permits users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles in any medium or format. Also, users can remix, transform and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and any changes properly indicated. Complete legal background of license is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode.
Conflict of interest
Biochemia Medica encourages all authors and reviewers to report any potential conflicts of interest to ensure complete transparency regarding the preparation and reviewing the manuscript (research funding, grants, sponsorship, competing interests etc.). According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE): “Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution) has financial (employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria and paid expert testimony) or personal relationship, academic competition or intellectual passion that inappropriately influences his actions.” (available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/author-responsibilities--conflicts-of-interest.html)
Since 2011, this statement has been published as a part of each article. For more information, please read: Simundic AM. Biochemia Medica introduces the revised policy on Statement of Conflict of Interest. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2011;21(2):104-5.
All authors are welcome to submit an appeal if they feel there were irregularities during the submission process or if they do not agree with Editor-in-Chief’s decision. It is Editor-in-Chief’s responsibility to provide an answer based on the stated editorial policy and in the timely manner. All appeals can be sent to the Biochemia Medica e-mail address: email@example.com.
Readers and authors are also welcome to submit comments to published articles. Authors of criticized article have the opportunity to respond to such comments. All such written material should be submitted as any other manuscript through on-line submission system.
During the manuscript submission process corresponding author is asked to provide his ORCID ID number. Corresponding author is responsible to fill in the Submission form on behalf of all co-authors. Manuscript Submission form consists of following sections: authorship statement, statement of originality, conflict of interest disclosure, protection of research participants, and copyright transfer and publication license.
Instructions for authors comply with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly work in Medical Journals” (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/, updated in 2016). Editors hold the right to make all the necessary changes to the language and style of the original manuscript in order to adhere to the uniform standards of the Journal.
When reporting on specific study design, authors should prepare the manuscript according to the relevant guideline. Reporting guidelines were created in order to help the authors, editors, reviewers and readers to obtain enough detail to comprehend and evaluate the conducted study. All relevant data and updates on such guidelines are given by the EQUATOR Network and available at http://www.equator-network.org/. Articles with specific study design should be submitted together with appropriate checklist also available at http://www.equator-network.org/.
Contributions to the Journal are classified into the categories listed in the table below. The maximum word count does NOT include the title, authors and affiliations, abstract, keywords, subheadings, table and figure legends, and references. However, it does include the text in the tables, if any.
For Letters to the Editor, authors are kindly asked to contact the Editor prior to submission. The authors of papers already published in the Biochemia Medica will be given the opportunity to Reply to Letters commenting their papers, and both manuscripts will be published together. Each Letter/Reply is limited to 1000 words, 5 references, 1 single figure and 1 simple table.
The manuscript should be written in English and uploaded via the online submission system available at Journal website (http://www.editorialmanager.com/biochemmed/).
The following should be submitted:
Please note that a Manuscript file should not contain any information on the authors and their affiliation. Also, the Manuscript file name should not contain any reference to the author’s name. This is important because all manuscripts are sent for double-blind peer review.
Each corresponding author is asked to suggest one or more potential reviewers for the manuscript. This is not a mandatory step, but is highly welcome. Please note that the Editorial board members should not be suggested as reviewers. The author may also suggest opposing reviewers. This step is also optional.
During the on-line manuscript submission, corresponding author should provide accurate e-mail addresses of all authors.
The cover letter should contain following:
The title page should be a separate page. The title page should include:
The corresponding author should be marked with an asterisk (*). The affiliations should be noted with a superscript number.
Giuseppe Lippi*1, Emmanuel J Favaloro2
1Institute of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Morphological and Biomedical Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2Department of Hematology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR), Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
A manuscript should be prepared as follows:
the file should be in MS Word format (*.doc format only, submission system does not support *.docx format);
the text should be double-spaced throughout including the title page, abstract, body text, references, acknowledgments, individual tables and legends;
Please note that the cover letter and title page are not included into the manuscript file.
All pages of the manuscript (except for the cover letter and title page, which are attached separately) should be within a single document. Original manuscripts should be structured as follows: Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments, Tables and Figures, and References.
All types of manuscripts should contain an abstract.
An abstract of 250 words maximum should be provided on a separate page in the Manuscript file (abstract only, without authors and affiliation). The abstract of an original article should be structured into four headings: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Conclusions. For other article types, abstracts do not have to be structured.
Please whenever possible, provide 3-5 keywords from MeSH database, available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html
In the Introduction section, the authors should point out new information in the manuscript, the hypothesis, and the aim of their work. The Introduction section should not contain results and conclusions.
Materials and Methods
The Materials and Methods section should only include information that was available at the time the study was planned. All information obtained during the study should be provided in the Results section. This section should be structured as follows:
Subjects (if research includes human subjects), Materials (otherwise);
In the Subjects/Materials section it is recommended to include the following:
In the Methods section, methods, instruments (give the manufacturer’s name, town and country in parentheses), and procedures should be described in sufficient detail to allow other researchers to reproduce the results. For well-established methods, only references should be provided.
Example: All tests were run on Roche Cobas C501 chemistry analyser (Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Mannheim, Germany).
In the Statistical analysis section, authors should list all statistical methods used in the study and preselected level of significance (P). If possible, findings should be quantified and presented using appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (e.g., confidence intervals).
For more details, please read: Simundic AM. Practical recommendations for statistical analysis and data presentation in Biochemia Medica journal. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2012;22(1):15-23.
At the end of this section, authors should specify the statistical software used.
State the main or most important finding first. The data presented in the tables or figures should not be repeated in the text. Graphs should be used as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not present the same data in duplicate (e.g., in both graphs and tables). Exact P-values should be provided for all tested differences (e.g., write P=0.048 instead of P<0.05) rounded to three decimal places.
For more on graphical presentation, please read: Sperandei S. The pits and falls of graphical presentation. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2014:24(3):311–20.
Emphasize the new and important conclusion based on the study results in the context of the best available evidence. Do not repeat the data presented in the Introduction or Results section. Clearly state the limitations of the study.
All contributors who do not meet the authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. These persons must give verbal permission to be acknowledged. Authors should provide that statement during the manuscript submission process. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged and reported in conflict of interest disclosure during the manuscript submission process.
Biochemia Medica endorses the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) (available at http://www.ascb.org/dora/) and promotes the proper usage and interpretation of various citation indexes and fair article referencing. For that reason the authors are advised to reference only original articles, avoid referencing irrelevant articles, personal communications or conference abstracts. In order to prevent artificial “citation boost” authors are encouraged to reduce the number of auto-citations. Authors are responsible for verifying the accuracy of the references by using an electronic bibliographic source, such as PubMed, or printed original articles. References must not refer to the retracted article except if the authors want to refer to the particular retraction.
Biochemia Medica applies Vancouver referencing style. Literature citation should conform to the standards available at NLM’s International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References available at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html. References should be numbered consecutively, using Arabic numerals in parentheses, in the order of appearance in the text.
Prostatic carcinomas with final score <7 were considered low-intermediate grade; and, with final score >7 were considered high-grade (4).
References cited only in tables or figures should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first appearance in the text of the table or figure. Also, the authors should not include DOI numbers at the end of cited reference.
Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the style used in the
NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases, posted by the NLM and available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals.
The most common examples are as follows:
Name all authors unless there are more than seven, in which case list the first six plus et al.
Punglia RS, D’Amico AV, Catalona WJ, Roehl KA, Kuntz KM. Impact of age, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and cancer on prostate-specific antigen level. Cancer. 2006;106:1507-13.
Chen L, Wang X, Carter SA, Shen YH, Bartsch HR, Thompson RW, et al. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the matrix metalloproteinase 9 gene (-8202A/G) is associated with thoracic aortic aneurysms and thoracic aortic dissection. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006;131:1045-52.
Article published electronically ahead of print version
Cals JW, Kotz D. Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part X: choice of journal. J Clin Epidemiol. 2013 Oct 31 [cited 2013 Nov 7]. [Epub ahead of print]
Book or handbook:
Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Burns DE, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders, 2006.
In language other than English:
Gamulin S, Marušić M, Kovač Z. et al., eds. [Patofiziologija]. 5th ed. Zagreb: Medicinska naklada; 2002. (in Croatian)
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, eds. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
In language other than English:
Vrkić N. [Smjernice za laboratorijsku dijagnostiku akutnog koronarnog sindroma]. In: [Dijagnostika hitnih stanja]. Topić E, ed. Zagreb: Medicinska naklada; 2006. (in Croatian)
Dag Stat. Mackinnon A. Available at: https://www.biostats.com.au/DAG_Stat/. Accessed May 5th 2006.
Cahill, J., Barkham, M., Hardy, G., Rees, A., Shapiro, D.A., Stiles, W.B. & Macaskill, N. Outcomes of patients completing and not completing cognitive therapy for depression [Electronic version]. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 2003:42;133-43. Accessed July 19th 2003. from http://www.bps.org.uk/publications/jCP_1.cfm.
Tables with brief captions should be provided each on a separate page at the end of the document. Use only horizontal lines of a table grid. Tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. Ensure that each table is cited in the text. Each column should have a short heading title and detailed explanation provided in a footnote. All non-standard abbreviations should be explained in table footnotes using the symbols in the following order: *, †, ‡, §, ║, ¶, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, ║║, ¶¶, etc.
Each figure and its brief caption should be provided on a separate page at the end of the document. Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order of appearance in the text.
Technical editors will redesign or recreate all graphical elements (pictures, schematic presentations etc.) of the manuscript if they do not conform to the uniform style of the Journal.
All graphical elements and figures should be presented in black and white and/or grayscale. Decision to publish some graphical material in colour is with the Journal Editors.
If, for some reason, figures cannot be inserted into the manuscript file, they can be uploaded as separate electronic files. Acceptable image file formats for print publication are: *.jpg, *.bmp or *.tiff; the desired resolution is 300 dpi.
Units of measurement
Units of measurement should be reported according to the Journal style. Complete list of acceptable units is available at the link Abbreviations and measurement units. Biochemia Medica accepts the International System of Units (SI) except for temperature (degrees Celsius), blood pressure (millimeters of mercury) and enzyme activity (U/L).
Abbreviations and symbols
Use only standard abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title of the manuscript. Always spell out abbreviations on first mention and include the abbreviation in parenthesis unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement. For additional information, see the list of Abbreviations and measurement units.
All files that cannot be included in the manuscript files (broad tables, XML codes etc.) but are important for accurate interpretation of the presented data can be uploaded and published as a separate electronic file. All such material has to be mentioned and referenced in the manuscript text and supplementary material has to be clearly and unambiguously connected with the respective manuscript.
Language and style
Manuscript should be written in English in understandable style and checked for correct spelling and use of grammar. Authors whose first language is not English are strongly advised to have their manuscript edited by a language professional or fluent English speaker before submission. Please note that this does not guarantee the acceptance of the article for publication. The Journal does not provide language editing service. However, authors may find the links to several language editing services. Biochemia Medica does not have any preferences for the use of any particular service provider.