Diagnostic Profile guidelines

A guide for authors submitting to the Expert Collection


Expert Review articles have been engineered specifically for the online environment. The structure is designed to draw the time-constrained reader directly to the information they require.

Three features in particular contribute to the unique value of Expert Review articles:

  • Expert Opinion

  • Article highlights

  • Information resources


The aim of a Diagnostic Profile is to provide a concise review of the design, basic technology, clinical use, and future potential of a specific diagnostic system/assay. 

Explore the Expert Collection

Discover all Expert Collection, journal specific guidelines.


The primary focus of the article should be on the design, reliability, validity, and clinical uses of the diagnostic of interest. Using the literature available, the authors are encouraged to provide a critical appraisal of the most important and up-to-date information and discuss how the diagnostic is likely to impact the clinical management and treatment of specific diseases. It is recommended that both the national and regional regulatory product guidelines are followed when discussing the uses of the diagnostic. 


The audience for the Expert Review series consists of clinicians, research scientists, decision-makers, and a range of professionals in the healthcare community. Authors should bear in mind the multidisciplinary status of the readership when writing the article. 

Word limit

The word limit for Diagnostic Profiles is 3,000-7,000 words (not including tables, figures, and references).


Several factors contribute to the selection of diagnostics to be reviewed, including the scientific need, emergence of new important clinical data, market launches and approval of new indications, and the requirement for an alternative appraisal of the literature. So, timing is critical, and it is important that the deadlines set by the Commissioning Editor are met. However, if you feel there is a need to delay publication, for instance to discuss new data presented at a scientific meeting or to coincide with the publication of primary literature, the Commissioning Editor will be happy to accommodate such requests.

Every article must contain

 Should be concise but informative, including the name of the diagnostic system and its indication. 

Including address, academic qualifications and job titles of all authors, as well as telephone number, fax number and email address of the author for correspondence on a separate cover sheet as the peer reviewers will not be aware of the authors’ identity.

Please note that only the address of the first author of the article will appear on Medline/PubMed, not necessarily the corresponding author.

Maximum 200 words.  

The aim of the abstract is to draw in the interested reader and provide an accurate reflection of the content of the paper. We therefore request the following abstract structure is followed for full-length Diagnostic Profile articles:

Introduction: Authors are required to describe the significance of the topic under discussion.
Areas covered: Authors are required to describe the research discussed and the literature search undertaken.
Expert Opinion: The author’s expert view on the current status of the field under discussion.

A brief list of keywords, in alphabetical order, is required to assist indexers in cross-referencing. The keywords will encompass the therapeutic area, mechanism(s) of action, key components etc.

An executive summary of the authors’ main points (bulleted) is very useful for time-constrained readers requiring a rapidly accessible overview.

Incorporating basic information on disease incidence and prevalence, unmet medical need and present diagnostic capabilities (highlighting regional variations where appropriate). 

Overview of the market: 
What are the unmet needs of currently available diagnostics? 
Specific populations the diagnostic may be used for (e.g. elderly, pediatric populations etc.) 

Introduction to the device: 
How the diagnostic works 
Cost-effectiveness (training, waste disposal, equipment required…) 
Performance standards 
Validity and reliability data 
Clinical profile and post-marketing findings: 
Data from pre-FDA approval studies 
Data from post-FDA approval studies (if approved) 
Include a table summarizing ongoing and completed clinical trials of the diagnostic 
Alternative diagnostics: 
A standalone section, summarizing competing technologies in the field 
Regulatory status: 
Include information on the status of the diagnostic, i.e., where it is currently approved, in which countries it is approved and for what indications. Should cover EU, US and rest of the world where appropriate. 
A short summary of the data presented in the review. 

To distinguish articles published in the series of journals, authors must provide an additional section entitled Expert Opinion. This section affords authors the opportunity to go beyond the conclusion and provide their interpretation of the data presented in the article, discussing any improvements the diagnostic has over currently available alternatives and how likely physicians are to convert to use the diagnostic ahead of any other available option.

In addition, there is the opportunity to discuss the developments that are likely to be important in the future and the avenues of research likely to become exciting as further studies yield more detailed results.

Authors are also challenged to include a speculative viewpoint on how the field will have evolved 5 years from the point at which the review was written. This section should be between 500-1000 words (included in the overall word count). 

A brief summary to direct the reader to the most important further reading, related articles and relevant websites.

Important references should be highlighted with a one/two star system and brief annotations should be given (see the journal Information for Authors page for examples and for a more detailed description of our referencing style).