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Implementation of laser-plasma-based acceleration stages in user-oriented facilities requires the definition and deployment of appropriate diagnostic methodologies to monitor and control the acceleration process. An overview is given here of optical diagnostics for density measurement in laser-plasma acceleration stages, with emphasis on well-established and easily implemented approaches. Diagnostics for both neutral gas and free-electron number density are considered, highlighting real-timedoi:10.1017/hpl.2019.11 fatcat:i7z45xwz4nhhlewrduwlew7m44