ISSN 0325-2957
printed version
ISSN 1851-6114
online version
ISSN 1852-396X
CD-ROM version

Instructions to authors


Scope and policy

1. Generallity

The experience gathered from the application of the existing Regulations in force for the publication of collaborators to Acta Bioquímica Clínica Latinoamericana (ABCL), together with international bibliographic information have served as a basis for the elaboration of this new unabridged and corrected version.
It has frequently been observed that the collaborations sent are not submitted pursuant to the instructions given. Yet, in many cases, the presentation does not keep any relation with its category.
Since all collaborations are sent to the evaluators, the presentation must be impeccable. Otherwise, the Editorial Committee will proceed to correct them whenever possible, with the subsequent loss of time and delay in the publication.
Meeting the regulations herein presented will ease the tasks intermediate to the reception and publication.
Authors are invited to evacuate their doubts referring to the Editorial Committee.

2. Scope of the publication

ABCL publishes scientific collaborations directly or indirectly applicable to the area of Clinical Biochemistry, and oriented to a better understanding of the functioning of the human body in case of health or in illness.
The following kinds of collaborations are distinguished:
2.1 Original
They are unpublished contributions aiming at increasing scientific knowledge with or without practical objectives. They will be published with the pertinent information so that they can be reproduced by those who are interested in doing so. Those theoretical contributions giving new or different approaches on a particular subject will also be included under this section.
2.2 Short or Preliminary Communications
They will provide scientific news from initial studies, and they will require further enlargements since the information presented results insufficient and continuation of the works becomes necessary.
2.3 Non original
Updates, technical files, bibliographic commentaries and Letters to the Editor are within this category. All these collaborations must be presented following the regulations hereinafter presented.



Form and preparation of manuscripts

The collaborations will be submitted to a preliminary evaluation on the part of the Editorial Committee, which will appoint two anonymous evaluators, experts on the subject. The Committee, once in possession of the respective evaluations, will draw the final report on which they will base the decisions to be taken:
Request for modifications to the author/s.
Were the collaboration rejected, the author would receive a copy of the report that originated that decision. In that case, the author would be able to appeal against the decision, stating their discrepancy.
Papers must be submitted in legal size (24 x 34 cm) pages, without headings, written on a single side, left margin 5 cm. wide, double-spaced, numbered on the top right angle. Two complete copies will be attached to the original ones, including boxes (in Arabic numbers), tables (in Roman numbers) and illustrations.


This page will contain all the following information:
1.1. Title: It must be concise and informative. It should nor exceed 100 characters, including spaces. If these requirements were unlikely to be met, the characters should be divided into title and subtitle. Do not use abbreviations, or symbols or chemistry formulae, except when indicating a marked compound.
1.2. The title must be submitted in English
1.3. Full name of the author/s followed by their highest academic degree.
1.4. Full address of the place/s where the investigation was performed.
1.5. Full address of the person whom the correspondence must be submitted to.


2.2. Abstract: this page will include an Abstract in no more than 200 words. It will have to be concisely written, only describing the following topics:
Aim of the study
What was performed and what scientific methods were used
Main results
Major conclusions.

It must be remembered that the abstract is the part that is mostly read, and as such , it must inform the reader in such a way so as to make them decide if they are absolutely interested in it. Besides, it eases the task of the publications specialized in analytical abstracts.
Commentaries not referring to any of the topics stated above should be avoided, unless they are strictly necessary.
The readership is assumed to have some knowledge of the subject, but it is not assumed to have read the article, and need not resort to it so as to learn what it is about.
Full stop must not be abused of, and the style used must be an impersonal one.

2.2. Summary: in this section, a summary in English must be introduced, having characteristics similar to those detailed for the Abstract in Spanish.
Serious problems have generally been observed in the drawing up of the Summary, mainly due to the fact that there is a tendency to make a literal translation into English of the Abstract written in Spanish, giving rise to some nonsense expressions. The summary should be written with the aid of a person who has some proficiency in English.
If considering that the Summary is the part of the paper mostly read, it may possibly be the only one read in non-Spanish speaking countries; for which reason it must be clear, concise and informative.

2.3. Key words: following the Abstract and the Summary, up to 10 key words will be stated in the corresponding language. These must be selected considering that by key word is meant a grammatical element (word or sets of words) that transmits the issue under discussion within a document.
This allows for easy classification of that document for indexing purposes. Request for several key words (up to 10) is justifiable since a given paper can encompass several representative topics.
The key words will be ordered in relation to the decreasing importance they have in the paper, the topic each of them refers to; an asterisk will be used as a separator between key words or groups of key words.


The following order of presentation is recommended:
  Materials and Methods
  Discussion and Conclusions

Extensive papers can be divided into subsections.
The writing must be grammatically correct, without any neologisms or vulgar phrases or words. Experience shows that this is not always accomplished, leading in some cases to inconveniences in the correction process, which can turn almost impossible.
Writing in a flowery style or in extensive passages must be avoided. Coherence, cohesion and proper verb tenses must be kept throughout the whole text. It must always be remembered that it is scientific information what is intended to be transmitted, and it is for that reason that expressions must be accurate, clear and simple.


The purpose and importance of the paper must be specified in the introduction, and it will be long enough so as to offer an overview of the present state of the matter, the most important references, and the problems that are meant to be solved.
An introduction which is too long due to irrelevant information makes the reader want to avoid it and skip to the following item.


This section must communicate everything that is worth knowing so as to repeat the experience with the same or with better results.
If it were possible, together with that information, a list of the necessary elements must be made, including catalog or article numbers for drugs or reactants, type and trademark of the devices or instruments, and accessories.
The methods used must be cited and the modifications likely to be made must be stated clearly. Papers based on personal communications or secret information will not be accepted as original. Statistical treatment must be made clear by mentioning the number of observations, tests used and level of significance.


They will be expressed clearly, simply and in a logical order. Tables, graphs, figures and photos can be included, avoiding repetition in the text of what they are showing.

6.1 Tables, figures, graphs and photos

The location of the tables, figures, graphs and photos must be clearly indicated in the text. They will be separately presented and correlatively numbered.
6.1.1. Tables: they must be illegible without a need to resort to the text. The title must be descriptive.
6.1.2. Figures: whenever necessary, they must be drawn by a draughtsman. They will be presented in black and white, and should be shaded in gray on the basis of dot density. They will be presented in proper size so that when reduction takes place, details are not lost or the text does not result too small.
6.1.3. Graphs: they must not be drawn on millimetric paper. They will be made on a white background with black strokes. The aim of the graph is to exemplify a certain bahavior of variables. It must be simple and illustrative. Always remember that graphs having many curves lose clarity, consequently, only the most relevant ones should be drawn. It is advisable that a specialized draughtsman makes it. No graphs by hand will be admitted.
Legends at the bottom of the page will be highly explanatory and, if necessary, clear symbols will be used to identify specific points or those that might need to be spotted.
6.1.4. Photos: It is advisable that they are taken by experts and copied on glossy paper in black and white. Color will be admitted when its use is justifiable.


Never repeat results previously described. Highlight the main findings and the conclusions derived from them. Compare them with the ones obtained by other authors. Correlate the results with the object of study, and avoid conclusions that are not dully supported by the experience performed.


Scientific papers corresponding to original analytical methods or original modifications will include a section corresponding to the evaluation of such methods.
The section is advisable to have, at least, the following studies:
8.1. Precision:
8.1.1. Within the same series (replicability).
8.1.2. Within series (reproductivity).
8.2. Accuracy: this must be ideally evaluated against a reference method whenever there is one. On the contrary, recovery studies must be performed.
8.3. Linearity: it must encompass the range of clinical importance.
8.4. Specificity study
8.5. Interferences Study
In general, it is advisable to follow the scheme of evaluation of analytical methods suggested by the I.F.C.C.
Burtner J; Borth R; Boutwell J.H; Broughton P.M.G. (1979 a).
Approved Recommendation on Quality Control in Clinical Chemistry. Part 2. Assessment of Analytical Methods for Routine Use. Clin.Chim. Acta 98. F 145-F –162.


All data expressed are required to strictly adjust to the International System of Units. Authors are reminded that Spain numerals are used, for which reason decimals will be indicated with a comma, and thousands with a period; take special care about this both in the text and on the charts, tables and graphs. Besides, we will particularly focus on the use of symbols rather than abbreviations for the units, such as the SI suggests. Then, 5,2 ml rather than 5.2 mlts.; 5,3 cm rather than 5.3 cm., 0,5 pg rather than 0.5 pgr., etc.


They must be short and concrete.


Bibliographic References will be submitted when the paper is finished and they will be cited with a number correlative to the order in which they appear in the text, assigning number 1 to the first one.
If a reference must be cited more than once in the same text, the minimum order number corresponding to the first citation of that reference will have to be kept. It is advisable that the number of reference in the text is underlined and put between parentheses.
Citations from papers that are not going to be published, from oral reports or from personal communications will not be accepted.
Those personal communications that are supported by a written authorization for its use and, which are available for the interested party will be accepted.
The style from Vancouver 2000 has been adopted for bibliographic references.


Articles from scientific journals

  • Ordinary article from a journal
    Author/s. Title of the Article. International Abbreviation of the journal; year; volume (issue): initial-last page of the article.
    Include the first six authors followed by "et al"
    Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Inter Med 1996 Jun 1; 124 (11): 980-3.
    As an option, if a journal uses continuous paging throughout the volume (such as many medical journals) the month and the number can be omitted.
    Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Inter Med 1996; 124: 980-3.
    More than six authors:
    Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, Masuyer E, Friedl HP, Ivanov E, et al. Childhood leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5 year follow-up. Br J Cancer 1996; 73: 1006-12.
  • Corporate Author
    The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing. Safety and performance guidelines.
    Med J Aust 1996: 164:282-4.
    The name of the author is not indicated
    Cancer in South Africa (editorial). S Afr Med J 1994; 84:15.
  • Article in a foreign language
    In this article, by foreigner it is meant any language that is different from English.
    Ryder TE, Haukeland BA, Solhaug JH. Bilateral infrapatellar seneruptur hos udligere trisk kvinne.
    Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1996; 116:41-2.
  • The Supplement of a volume
    Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994; 102 Supl 1: 275-82.
  • The supplement of an issue.
    Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women’s psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996; 23 (1 Supl 2): 89-97
  • Part of a volume
    Osben T, Nacitarhan S, Tuncer N. Plasma and urine sialic acid in non-insulid dependent diabetes mellitus. Ann Clin Biochem 1995; 32 (Pt 3): 303-6.
  • Part of an issue
    Poole GH, Mills SM. One hundred consecutive cases of flap lacerations of the leg in ageing patients. NZ Med J 1994; 107 (986 Pt 1): 377-8.
  • Issue without volume
    Turan I, Wredmark T, Fellanter-Tsai L. Artroscopic ankle arthodesis in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Orthop 1995; (320): 110-4.
  • Without issue or volume
    Browell DA, Lennard TW. Immunologic status of the cancer patient and the effects of blood transfusion on antitumor responses. Curr Opin Gen Surg 1993; 325-33.
  • Paging in Roman numbers
    Fisher GA, Sikic BI. Drug resistance in clinical oncology and hematology. Introduction. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 1995 Apr; 9 (2): xi-xii
  • Indication of the type of article, accordingly
    Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson’s disease [letter]. Lancet 1996; 347:1337.
    Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy (HVN) [summary]. Kidney Int 1992; 42:1285.
  • Article containing a retractation
    Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried TN. Ceruloplasmin gene defect associated with epilepsy in EL mice [retractation by Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried TN. En Nat Genet 1994; 6: 426-31]. Nat Genet 1995; 11:104.
  • Article withdrew due to retractation
    Liou GI, Wang M, Matragoon S. Precocious IRBP gene expression during mouse development [retratation in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994; 35:3127]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994; 35:1083-8.
  • Article on which a list of errata was published
    Hamlin JA, Kahn AM. Herniography in symptomatic patients following inguinal hernia repair [list of errata published in en West J Med 1995; 162: 278].West J Med 1995; 162: 28-31.

Books and other monographs

    Author/s. Title of the Book. Edition. Place of publication: Editorial; year.
  • Individuals as authors
    Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leader-ship skills for nurses. 2nd. ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
  • Directors (editors) or compilers as authors
    Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editor. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
  • Organization as author and editor
    Institute of Medicine (US). Looking at the future of the Medicaid program. Washington (DC): The Institute; 1992.
  • Chapter of a book
    Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. En: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis and management. 2nd. ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465-78.
  • Conferences Proceedings
    Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.
  • Article presented at a conference
    Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical informatics. En: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Rienhoff O, editores. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva, Switzerland, Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992.p. 1561-5.
  • Scientific or technical report
    Publication through funding/sponsoring agency:
    Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed during skilled nursing facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Dept. of Health and Human Services (US), Office of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.: HHSIGOEI69200860.
    Issue by sponsoring agency:
    Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley JC, editors. Health services research: work force and educational issues. Washington: National Academy Press; 1995.
    Contract No.: AHCPR282942008. Sponsored by the Agency for Health care Policy and Research.
  • Doctorate Thesis
    Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly’s access and utilization [dissertation]. St. Louis (MO): Washington Univ.; 1995.
  • Patent
    Larsen CE, Trip R, Johnson CR, inventors; Novoste Corporation, assignee. Methods for procedures related to the electrophysiology of the heart. US patent 5, 529, 067. 1995 Jun 25.

Other papers published

  • Articles from newspapers
    Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions annually. The Washington Post 1996 Jun 21; Sect. A: 3 (col. 5).
  • Audiovisual Material
    HIV+/AIDS: the facts and the future [videocassette]. St. Louis (MO): Mosby-Year Book; 1995.
  • Legal Documents
    Public Law:
    Preventive Health Amendments of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-183, 107 Stat. 2226 (Dec. 14, 1993).
    Draft of a law not passed:
    Medical Records Confidentiality Act of 1995, S. 1360, 10th Cong., 1st Sess. (1995).
    Code for Federal Regulations:
    Informed Consent, 42 C.F.R. Sect. 441. 257 (1995).
    Increased Drug Abuse; the Impact on the Nation’s Emergency Rooms: Hearings before the Subcomm.. on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations of the House Comm. on Government Operations, 103rd Cong., 1 st Sess. (May 26, 1993).
  • Maps:
    North Carolina. Tuberculosis rates per 100,000 population, 1990 (demographic map) Raleigh: North Carolina Dept. of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources. Div. of Epidemiology; 1991.
    The Book of the Bible
    The Holy Bible. King James version. Grand Rapids (MI): Zondervan Publishing House; 1995. Ruth 3: 1-18.
  • Dictionary and similar references
    Stedman’s medical dictionary. 26th. ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1995. Apraxia; p. 119-20.
  • Classical Works
    The Winter’s Tale: act 5, scene 1, lines 13-16. The complete works of Williams Shakespeare. London: Rex; 1973.

Unpublished papers

  • In-print
    Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. En prensa 1997.
    Electronic Material
  • Journal Article in electronic format
    Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5]; 1 (1): [24 screens]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/eid.htm.
  • Monograph in electronic format
    CDI, clinical dermatology illustrated [monograph on CD-ROM].Reeves JRT, Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, procedures. 2nd. ed. Version 2.0. San Diego: CMEA; 1995.
  • Computer archives
    Hemodynamics III: the ups and downs of hemodynamics [computer program]. Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerized Educational Systems; 1993.


Those collaborations that gather, analyze and discuss information already published and referring to a topic in particular will be considered under this category. For indexing purposes, an Abstract, Summary, key words in Spanish, key words and title in English must be included.


This is a short communication on the content of a piece of writing, generally a book. It is aimed at spreading information as well as supporting the bibliographic selection. It can be descriptive o critical in character, according to the author’s criterion.
It consists of three parts: 1) heading, 2) text and 3) authorship.
The heading is the bibliographical description of the piece of writing, which, if possible, must include:
    * The title itself
    * First place of publication, editorial, date of publication.
    * Number of volumes or pages, illustrations, dimensions.
    * (Title of the series/responsible for the series, ISBN of the series. Title of sub series/responsible for sub series, ISBN of sub series, number of sub series.)
    * Special Notes.
    * Price.

The text must be no more than 400 words in length. Authorship must be indicated according to the following modality:
    - Full first and last names
    - Place of work
    - City
    - Province
    - Country


Collaborations that present a method of work with which they have experience will be published under this denomination. In general, apart from all the necessary information to put it into practice, the file is expected to be accompanied by commentaries tending to ease the methodological development of the technique being presented.
It must be accompanied by the complete data of the author, original citation of the method and pertinent bibliography.


This section will be used to introduce the readership considerations, points of view regarding papers already published, or to comment on scientific personal experiences that the author may deem of interest for other specialists.
The letters will not be longer than 400 words and they will be sent accompanied by the author’s full data.



Sending of manuscripts

The presentation of papers implies that the author is commitment not to have published or not to publish in future in future the material presented in any other means of information, being it foreign or national. The collaborations must be sent via registered mail with return receipt to:

Acta Bioquímica Clínica Latinoamericana
Calle 6 N º 1344
1900- LA PLATA

40 publications will be handed out free of charge. Bigger amounts will have to be asked for from the Editor when submitting the paper; and charges whereof will be paid by the requester.



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