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Submission Preparation Checklist

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, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word or RTF file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines

Stylesheet and Author committment

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder.

Types of article

1. Original Research Papers (Regular Papers) should report the results of original research. The material should not have been previously published elsewhere, except in a preliminary form.

2. Review Articles should cover subjects falling within the scope of the journal that are of active current interest. They may be submitted or invited. Because of the nature of review papers, scrupulous attention must be paid to relevant attribution and this should be reflected in the references and in the acknowledgements.

3. Case Reports, by definition, must include core clinical content. Content can focus on a report of new condition, treatment and follow-up of complex presentations, working with variants of normal versus abnormal behaviors, a report of a familial condition with a proposed mode of inheritance, et cetera, as long as the nature of a case report is respected. The format for case reports, generally, is as follows: Presentation, history and presenting signs, physical and laboratory evaluation and any other diagnostic assessments deemed relevant, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, summary and discussion, acknowledgements, and references. Laboratory and other data can be appended in tabular form after the references.

4. Discussion/Roundtable can include synopses of, or reports from 'think tanks' or discussion groups, topical issues that have stirred debate, or invited discussion and commentary suggested by members of the Board of Editorial Advisors. Discussion contributions are not peer-reviewed, must be published with attribution, must be more formal than those in list serves, should include citations, where relevant, and may be edited prior to publication.

5. Point/Counterpoint submissions focus on subjects for which there may not be sufficient published data to generate a consensus view, or on approaches that may seem radical to some reviewers. Some papers submitted as "Original Research Papers/Regular Papers" may be published in this section, but independent submission for this section is also encouraged. Papers suitable for this section include those involving specific types of data that would need to be collected to make the case, but which are unavailable, and the case made within the paper justifies their collection.

6. In Brief: Practice and Procedure seeks to forge links between the research and practitioner communities. This section features submissions on common behavioral issues about which practitioners ask, and about techniques and approaches used in different types of research.


Each author is required to declare his or her individual contribution to the article: all authors must have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation, so roles for all authors should be described. The statement that all authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure.


All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or 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 submitted.

Articles availability

This journal offers authors two choices to publish their research:

1. Open Access: articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse An Open. Access publication fee is payable by authors or their research funder. All articles published Open Access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. To provide Open Access, this journal has a publication fee which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders for each article published Open Access. The publication choice will have no effect on the peer review process or acceptance of submitted articles. The open access publication fee for this journal is € 200.00, excluding taxes.

2. Subscription: articles are made available to subscribers through our access programs.


The text must be written in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform  the text to correct scientific English.


Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and the author will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of the files. Source files are needed for further processing after acceptance, these include tables, figures and images. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail.

Submit the article

The article can be submitted via

Peer review

All submissions will be reviewed by two to three anonymous reviewers to evaluate them for originality, clear statement of a hypothesis, experimental design appropriate for the hypothesis, completeness of methods, and thoughtfulness of the discussion and conclusions that are supported by data. If only two reviews are solicited/received and there is conflict in their assessment, a third review will be undertaken. Authors may name up to five potential reviewers when they submit the manuscript and must provide complete contact information, including e-mail addresses; however, the Editor-in-Chief retains the right to assign different reviewers as deemed appropriate. Appropriate Referees should be knowledgeable about the subject but have no close connection with any of the authors. In addition, Referees should be from institutions other than those of any of the Authors. The Author may also suggest reviewers he does not want to review his manuscript, stating his reasons for doing so. If an author wishes to appeal an outcome, he/she should contact the Editor-in-Chief in writing and detail his/her concern. Appeals will only be successful if reviews were inadequate or unjust.

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if the author is using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns.

The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts. The authors note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether or not they embed their figures in the text.

To avoid unnecessary errors the authors are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of their word processor. Lines should be numbered, and authors are encouraged to use 1.5 to 2.0 line spacing.

Article structure

Subdivision - unnumbered sections .

Author must divide the article into clearly defined sections. Each subsection is given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line. Subsections should be used as much as possible when cross-referencing text: refer to the subsection by heading as opposed to simply 'the text'.


State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results. Introduction should not exceed 1.5 manuscript pages.

Materials and methods

Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described.


Results should be clear and concise.


This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid excessive citations and discussion of published literature. Although there are always exceptions, a good rule of thumb is for the Discussion section to not exceed 5 double-spaced manuscript pages and to limit the number of references to no more than 35.


The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

Essential title page information


• TITLE. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.

• AUTHOR NAMES AND AFFILIATIONS. Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.

• CORRESPONDING AUTHOR. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that phone numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be kept up to date by the corresponding author.

• PRESENT/PERMANENT ADDRESS. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, they must be cited in full, without reference to the reference list. Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself. Abstracts must be limited to a single paragraph with no more than 2,500 keystrokes (characters plus spaces).

An abstract in Italian language will be added by the Editorial Board to improve the diffusion of the journal in Italy.


Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.


Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

Statistical conventions

Means and standard errors / deviations and, or medians, interquartile ranges, and confidence limits, should be written: 0 ? 10.20 ? 1.01 g, N=15. For significance tests, the name of the test should be noted followed by a colon, the test statistic and its value, the degrees of freedom or sample size (depending on the convention of the test), and the P value. These parts should all be separated by commas. Decimals should not be cited as naked points. In other words, use 0.01, not .01.

Nomenclature and units

Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other quantities are mentioned, give their equivalent in SI. Authors are urged to consult IUB: Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents: for further information.

Tables and figures

Tables and figures must compare in the text, in the exact position for the print. Number tables and figures consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters. Avoid vertical rules. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.


Citation in text - Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Web references - As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Reference style

Text: Refer to the author's name (without initial) and year of publication, followed, if necessary, by a short reference to relevant pages. Examples: "Since Peterson (1988) has shown that..."; "This is in agreement with results obtained later (Kramer, 1989, pp. 12-16)". If reference is made in the text to a publication written by more than two authors, the name of the first author should be used followed by "et al." This indication, however, should never be used in the list of references. In this list, names of first author and all co-authors should be mentioned. References cited together in the text of the manuscript should be arranged chronologically, starting with the earliest reference and ending with the most recent.

List: Arrange alphabetically on authors' names. When the same author has more than one citation, references should be in chronological order starting with the earliest reference and ending with the most recent. If an author's name in the list is also mentioned with co-authors, the following order should be used: publications of the single author, arranged according to publication dates - publications of the same author with one co-author - publications of the author with more than one co-author. Publications by the same author(s) in the same year should be listed as 1974a, 1974b, etc. Examples:

Reference to a journal publication: Gazzano A., Mariti C., Sighieri C., Ducci M., Ciceroni C., McBride E.A. Survey of undesirable behaviors displayed by potential guide dogs when with puppy walkers. J. Vet. Behav. Clin. Appl. Res. 2008; 3: 104–113.

Reference to an edited symposium, special issue, etc. published in a journal: Thompson K.V., 1991. Flehmen and social dominance in captive female sable antelope, Hippotragus niger. In: Mungal, E.C. (Ed.), Ungulate Behavior and Management. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 29, 121-133.

Reference to a book: Gazzano A., 2013.  Manuale di etologia del cane. Edizioni ETS, pp. 63-75.

Reference to a chapter in an edited book: Gazzano A., 2013 Il Periodo Prenatale. In Gazzano A., 2013.  Manuale di etologia del cane. Edizioni ETS, pp 24-26.

Journal abbreviations source - Journal names should be abbreviated according to

Index Medicus journal abbreviations: ; List of serial title word abbreviations:;

Use of the Digital Object Identifier

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):

When authors use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.

After acceptance

When the article is accepted, authors will be asked to upload a non-anonymous version of the paper. Information will have to include email addresses of all authors and their respective affiliations.


One set of page proofs (as PDF files) will be sent via OJS to the corresponding author.

Conflict of interest

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work.

Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. If there is no conflict of interest this should be stated. This should be listed at the end of the text, after any acknowledgements and just before the Reference list, under a subheading "Conflict of interest statement".

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