Author - Procedure at

Revised:11 December 2017
Copyright: (c) 2012-17,, Inc.

Author Procedure

  • Authors must follow our procedures. Specifically, we ask you to complete the topics within the designated time, unless you tell us otherwise. We also ask you to ONLY write topics which we agree on, and to follow our procedures on how topics should be written. We try to cater to your interests, if possible.
  • After we confirm the topics you will author, we will email you a Word document of the topic as it currently exists, along with the list of headings we use to organize topics. Upon completion, please email the revision to us. After we have incorporated your changes and posted the topic, you will have another opportunity to review it, until you are satisfied. If you are deleting information, please tell us why. Please use the headings provided, but you can add subheadings as needed.
  • Update the topic with new information, new immunostains and new references, or rewrite from scratch
  • Send us how the topic should look, with text in bullet points. We don't need the old text - just what you want to include in the final version.
  • Correct any substantive errors or text that is incomplete or difficult to understand
  • Ensure that the topic contains material necessary for, or of interest to practicing pathologists
  • Provide microscopic or other images of the entity. This is an important part of the job. We recognize that it may take extra effort to find and photograph cases, or to contact other pathologists to get images, but this is a requirement of being an author. We are seeking adequate, representative high quality microscopic and other important images. Recommended size is 600KB, up to 1000 pixels in height or width (we can shrink if larger). It is usually helpful to include H&E images at low and high power, relevant immunostains, and to the extent relevant to the topic, clinical images (Xrays, endoscopy, intraoperative, patient lesions), gross images, molecular / cytogenetic images and EM images. We understand that for rare entities, links to other websites may be necessary.
    • Please provide caption information for your images (site, stain, diagnosis, description, etc.).
    • Please make sure images are of exceptional quality, included as separate attachments (JPG, GIF, TIFF format).
    • In addition to your own images, websites that we prefer for images (because they are stable) include: (particularly helpful for related entities), AFIP third fascicle (not online, but we have many digital images from this source), PathoPic,, Wikipedia and free full text journals.
    • Websites that we find useful for virtual slides include: Rosai Collection, vMic, Pathorama, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Leeds.
  • References: Pathologists want ready access to abstracts or full text for the most important journal articles, and also to know that that each topic incorporates the most recent literature. In general, articles should have at least 5 references, and preferably 10 references. Authors should search PubMed for articles posted since the last update, including Am J Surg Pathol, Mod Pathol, Am J Clin Pathol, Arch Pathol Lab Med and Hum Pathol. Of course, other journals and older articles may also be important. Please submit the PMID number for each reference (at the bottom of the PubMed citation) - that is all we need. We prefer references from journals with free full text in English, since some pathologists cannot afford subscriptions. For rare topics, there may only be a few journal articles at all - we prefer some citations, even if older or in a foreign language. We prefer references to be next to the text they support, instead of listed at the end of the topic. If you refer to a study, or specific results from a study, please include the reference after the text.
  • Before adding a new category of data, please check whether it is already included within another topic or ask us
  • Please ONLY do topics you are assigned
  • Our online textbook is different than a written textbook. We have a standard format so visitors can find information quickly, and the topics are easy to read. For that reason, we have intentionally formatted our topics in "outline" format, with bullet points and short sentences. If you believe a sentence is ambiguous, please correct it, but do NOT change the format.
  • Examples of well written topics: Colon-Solitary Fibrous Tumor, Thyroid gland-Crystals
  • Authors are given preference about the topics to write about, as long as they have not been updated recently. Our preference is to do one section of a chapter at a time. The initial topic is considered a 'test topic' so that we can evaluate your work and see if you would be a good fit. Some authors have obvious expertise, but do not write in a style acceptable to us. As long as your work meets our expectations, we will continue to send you topics. We would like you to finish the topic within 4 weeks of receipt. If you need more time or are unable to continue, please let us know.
  • After completing the topic, we will post your name on the topics written. We will also post your name, contact information and a "head shot" on our Authors / Editors page.
  • We pay $20 per topic completed, regardless of whether or not we license the content to others. We use Authors worldwide, but may be unable to pay some contributors outside the US and Canada, because the only payment options are check (payable to the Author only, US / Canada only), PayPal (email account required, but it can be any designated email) or Amazon gift card. Otherwise, we will consider your payment a donation to or our charity, Detroit College Promise. We will send the payment in December of each year, or earlier if you tell us you are done writing. For US residents who receive $600 or more per year from us, we will issue a 1099 form in February of the next year, and we will need your social security number or tax identification number.

    Order of Topic Headings

    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

    ICD-10 coding:

    Who gets this lesion - age, gender, geographic location, very strong causal connections (example: Kaposi sarcoma and HIV, HHV8); weaker associations are listed under clinical features)

    Parts of the body or organ typically affected

    Step by step details of how the lesion / tumor arises (if not obvious)

    Causes of the lesion (e.g. smoking)

    Those that don't automatically fit in another section

    Clinical features:
    Anything clinical not included above or below. Includes associations with other conditions

    Diagnostic criteria:
    Specific published criteria or generally accepted standards for diagnoses, with references

    Typical findings (positive or negative)

    Typical findings (positive or negative)

    For stains / biomarkers - what part of the cell stains (cytoplasm, nucleus, Golgi), and any typical staining patterns (diffuse, dot-like)

    Uses by Pathologists:
    For stains / biomarkers - how are these tests 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

    Case reports:
    The format is typically "25 year old man with coexisting zzz (reference)." Case reports should be submitted by youngest to oldest patient, at least 2-3, no more than 10-15. We also prefer references from free full text journals / websites, so pathologists can review the entire article. If there are numerous articles that can be cited, preferentially cite those in English over other languages.

    General modes of treatment. Drug dosages are usually not necessary - if you want to include them, please provide a reference.

    Clinical images:
    This includes radiologic images, intraoperative images, images of the patient, but NOT gross images

    Gross description:
    Description of the excised specimen

    Gross images:
    Images of the excised specimen

    Micro description:
    Patterns and cytologic features, common and uncommon. Associated features. Classification systems may be included here or under clinical features.

    Micro images:
    Low and high power, stains; if unavailable at this body site, you can include from another site with similar features. See Author Procedure for recommended websites.

    Virtual slides:
    See Author Procedure for recommended websites.

    Cytology description:
    Cytologic features and limitations

    Cytology images:

    Peripheral smear description / images:
    For hematopathology, or as relevant

    Positive stains:
    List most commonly used first. If not uniformly positive, provide percentage of cases. List staining patterns if uncommon.

    Negative stains:
    List most commonly used first

    Flow cytometry description / images:
    For hematopathology, or as relevant

    Electron microscopy descriptions / images:

    Molecular / cytogenetics descriptions / images:
    Includes idiotypes, karyogram, FISH, PCR gels

    Links to YouTube or other sites.

    Differential diagnosis:
    Include names of entities and most important differentiating features. We will link to the topic on our site.

    Additional references:
    General references for this topic not included above

    Board Review Question(s):
    Sample board review questions that highlight the important content from this topic. These questions will also be assembled into a practice Board Review Exam in the future. Click here for an example.

    Board Review Answer(s)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.