Author Procedures at

Revised: 14 December 2018
Copyright: (c) 2012-18,, Inc.

Author Procedures

General policies
  • We estimate it takes 5 hours to write a topic and obtain images.
  • Authors typically work on one topic at a time and only those confirmed by us. After confirmation, we will email you a Word document of the topic as it currently exists along with our procedures. Please email the completed topic to us for review. It will be returned with a list of changes needed. Then it will be reviewed by our Editor in Chief and Editorial Board.
  • Write using bullet points and concise phrases.
  • Eliminate excess words and use a separate bullet for each fact, see example:
    • Incorrect format:
      • This disease affects males and females equally. Approximately 10% of patients with this disease have clinical symptoms of fever and pain.
    • Correct format:
      • M=F
      • 10% have fever and pain (PMID XXXXXXXX)
  • Avoid abbreviations other than CT scan, HIV, PCR or others widely used.
  • Ensure that the topic contains material necessary for, or of interest to practicing pathologists.
  • Images:
    • Include several H&E images (JPG, GIF, PNG or TIFF format, 600 KB+, 1000 to 1600 pixels in height or width) demonstrating all important histologic features including low and high power and relevant immunostains.
    • Images should be original and color balanced.
    • Each image should be 1 individual picture, not a composite, so it can be easily viewed and used.
    • Images should be submitted as you would for a textbook, in which pertinent clinical history is a part of the figure legend. Do not submit groups of pictures as interesting cases or unknown cases.
    • For each image, submit both a caption and a figure legend in a word document.
    • The caption should be 1-4 words to go under each image thumbnail. Do not use captions such as “Case 1” or “Representative images”.
    • The figure legend will appear when the image is open and must contain all relevant information including site, diagnosis and key histologic findings. Do not use figure legends such as “Case 1” or “Representative images”.
    • Specify which current images should be removed, such as black and white images, outside images and poor quality images if your new images have rendered these redundant.
    • For existing images that you want to retain, rewrite the captions and figure legends (for images on our server) to follow the formatting described above.
    • To make the topic complete, include clinical images, radiologic images, gross images, intraoperative images, EM images and molecular / cytogenetic images which can be provided by you or with links to PathoPic, Radiopaedia, WebPath, Wikipedia or free full text journals accessed via PubMed.
  • Websites useful for virtual slides include: vMic, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Leeds.
  • References: topics should have 5+ journal references and preferably 10. Authors should search PubMed for articles. References should be from journals published in English and most should be from within the past 5 years. Examples of preferred pathology journals are Am J Surg Pathol, Am J Clin Pathol, Arch Pathol Lab Med, Hum Pathol, Histopath, Mod Pathol and Virchows Archiv. Please insert the PMID number for each reference after the text that it is supporting. Example: 30% present with advanced disease. PMID 27053535. For rare topics we prefer some citations, even if older or in a foreign language. Results from a study or anything not general knowledge should have a reference. WHO books or textbook references should be used sparingly, and only if they define histologic variants, grading or a newly recognized entity.
  • For case report citations, use preferably journals with free full text in English from the past 5 years.
  • Author names appear on topics and chapters with links to our Authors page, which lists topics completed per author.
  • We pay $50 per topic completed. We use Authors worldwide but the only payment options are check (payable to the Author, US / Canada only), PayPal (sent to any email account), Amazon gift card or payment declined. We send payments each December or earlier if you are done writing. We issue a 1099 form in February to US residents who received $600 or more in the prior calendar year.
  • Examples of well written topics:
  • Author checklists: Topics other than Stains, Stains and Molecular Markers / CD Markers

    Order of Headings for Stains and Molecular Markers / CD Markers

    See GATA3 for an example of a well done topic.

    For ease of use, we put topic headings in the same order. Note that each topic heading may not be relevant for each topic, and there is some overlap of the topics. We do NOT want topic headings to contain obvious or repetitive information - leave them blank if there is nothing to include. If there is only one sentence for several topic headings, we may combine them.

    A 1-2 sentence summary of the topic.

    Essential features
    This topic heading should be completed after the rest of the topic is finished, and should duplicate the 3-5 most important points mentioned elsewhere in the topic. In other words, it should list what every pathologist should know about the topic, or what would be in a Board Review book.

    Other names used today or historically that pathologists may be more familiar with.

    Step by step details of how the marker typically works in the body beyond what is stated in Definition/General.

    Those that don't automatically fit in another section. Provide caption and figure legend.

    Clinical features
    Anything clinical not included above or below. Includes clinical conditions associated with an altered biomarker.

    Describe which part of the cell stains (cytoplasm, nucleus, Golgi) and any typical staining patterns (diffuse, dot-like).

    Uses by Pathologists
    How are these results typically used by practicing pathologists? For many markers, there is "no current use by Pathologists."

    Prognostic factors
    Favorable or unfavorable prognostic factors for a condition based on the biomarker result.

    Micro description
    Any features describing staining patterns beyond what is stated above under Interpretation.

    Micro images
    Author must take and submit high quality representative micro images with figure legends. Include low and high power and a caption and figure legend for each image.

    Virtual slides
    See above for recommended websites. Provide a caption for each slide.

    Positive staining (IHC and special stains) - normal
    Tissues that are typically positive for the biomarker.

    Positive staining (IHC and special stains)- disease (or malignant)
    Diseases / malignancies that are typically positive for the biomarker.

    Negative staining (IHC and special stains)
    Tissues / diseases / malignancies that are typically negative for the biomarker.

    Molecular / cytogenetics description
    Description of DNA / RNA findings based on testing via sequencing, PCR, FISH, CISH, ISH, cytogenetics, etc.

    Molecular / cytogenetics images
    Images of FISH, CISH, ISH, electroperograms, PCR gels, karyograms, etc. with caption and figure legend for each image.

    Additional references
    General references for this topic not included above.

    Board Review Question(s)
    Prepare a board review style question that highlights important content from this topic. These are not necessarily actual questions from the Pathology boards, but questions written in the same format. There should only be one answer. Click here for an example.
    Note: the topic should contain all of the information relevant to the correct and incorrect answers.

    Board Review Answer(s)
    Answers to the Question(s) above, sorted alphabetically by the first letter in the answer.

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If you are interested in being an author, please send your CV and a list of topics or chapters you are interested in writing / reviewing to Erin, our Author coordinator at with any questions.