Australian Occupational Therapy Journal

Cover image for Vol. 61 Issue 6

Edited By: Dr Elspeth Froude

Impact Factor: 0.827

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 50/62 (Rehabilitation)

Online ISSN: 1440-1630

Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal is the official journal of Occupational Therapy Australia. The journal publishes original articles dealing with theory, research, practice and education in occupational therapy. Papers in any of the following forms will be considered: Feature Articles, Research Articles, Reviews, Viewpoints, Critically Appraised Papers, and Letters to the Editor.


Type of Article

Word limit

Number of references

Figure files

Abstract required - word limit


Feature Articles






Review Articles






Research Articles












Critically Appraised Papers






Letters to the Editor






Feature Articles
Feature Articles can be in the form of research studies, theoretical papers, case reports or descriptive articles. Descriptive articles involve descriptions of interesting clinical, administrative, educational or technological innovations in occupational therapy. Single or multiple case reports may be used to illustrate the application of such innovations. Feature articles should contain the following:
Structured abstract: 250 word limit.
Introduction: The aims of the article should be clearly stated and a theoretical framework (if applicable) should be presented with reference to established theoretical model(s) and background literature. A succinct review of current literature should set the work in context. The introduction should not contain findings or conclusions.
Methods: This should provide a description of the method (including subjects, procedures and data analysis) in sufficient detail to allow the work to be repeated by others.
Results: Results should be presented in a logical sequence in the text, tables and figures. The same data should not be presented repetitively in different forms.
: The discussion should consider the results in relation to the purpose of the article advanced in the introduction. The relationship of your results to the work of others and relevant methodological points could also be discussed. Implications for future research and practice should be considered. The conclusion section of your structured abstract should contain the key messages/take home points of your article.
Feature Article manuscripts should not exceed 5000 words, and have no more than 35 references.

Research Articles
Research Articles should contain the following:
Structured abstract: 250 word limit.
Introduction: The aims of the article should be clearly stated and a theoretical framework (if applicable) should be presented with reference to established theoretical model(s) and background literature. A succinct review of current literature should set the work in context. The introduction should not contain findings or conclusions.
Methods: This should provide a description of the method (including subjects, procedures and data analysis) in sufficient detail to allow the work to be repeated by others.
Results: Results should be presented in a logical sequence in the text, tables and figures. The same data should not be presented repetitively in different forms.
: The conclusion should consider the results in relation to the purpose of the article advanced in the introduction. The relationship of your results to the work of others and relevant methodological points could also be discussed. Implications for future research and practice should be considered. The conclusion section of your structured abstract should contain the key messages/take home points of your article.
Research Article manuscripts should not exceed 5000 words, and have no more than 35 references.
For manuscripts that report on randomised controlled trials, please include all the information required by the CONSORT checklist. All manuscripts must include a flow chart showing the progress of participants during the trial. Where applicable, reference should be made to the extension to the CONSORT statement for non-pharmacological treatment and the CLEAR NPT. When restrictions on word length make this difficult, this information may be provided in a separate document submitted with the manuscript.

Narrative reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses are included in this category. Recommendations for clinical practice and further research should be included. A structured abstract is required of 250 words. Manuscripts should not exceed 5,000 words (not including references).

Viewpoints provide a forum for the debate and discussion of occupational therapy issues and related concerns. The discussion should highlight the author's opinion and the views presented should be linked, where possible, with an established literature base. Authors are encouraged to discuss topical and controversial issues, and to do so in a manner that sheds light on or challenges established practices and beliefs. In many cases, discussion will require attention to varying opinions.
Viewpoint may be an appropriate avenue for readers to debate the content of previous Viewpoints or other articles that have appeared in the Journal. Authors of articles commented on will be invited to respond in a Letter to the Editor which, where possible, will be published in the same issue as the Viewpoint.
Viewpoint manuscripts should not exceed 2000 words, include a 150 word abstract and have no more than 15 references. A title page, abstract, keywords and references should be included.
A Viewpoint abstract should, in 150 words, clearly articulate the significance of the professional/practice/theoretical issue you will address, your proposition/contention and an overview of how you will support your case.

Letters to the Editor
The Journal welcomes letters from readers who wish to comment on previous articles in the Journal or on any topic relating to occupational therapy theory, research, practice or education. Letters should not exceed 500 words.
A longer letter may be considered as a Commentary if it is a comment on a specific article; however, it should not exceed 800 words. The author(s) of the original article will be given a right of reply to the Commentary. The reply should also not exceed 800 words.

Critically Appraised Papers
Critically Appraised Papers are usually solicited by the Editorial Office. If a submission is planned, please contact the Editorial Office for specific guidelines.

The acceptance criteria for all papers are quality, originality and  significance to our readership. Except where otherwise stated, Feature Articles, Research Articles, Reviews and Viewpoint manuscripts are blind peer reviewed by two anonymous reviewers. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editorial Board or the editor, who reserves the right to refuse any material for publication.
Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. They should be written in a clear, concise, direct style. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of scientific content, the Editor and the Publisher reserve the right to modify typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.

Papers are accepted for publication in the journal on the understanding that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, and this must be stated in the covering letter. The covering letter must contain an acknowledgement that all authors have contributed significantly, and that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript.
Authors must also state that the protocol for the research project has been approved by a suitably constituted Human Research Ethics Committee of the institution within which the work was undertaken and that it conforms to the provisions of the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in 2008). All investigations involving humans must include a statement about the ethical review process. It is expected that most investigations will seek review by a Human Ethics Review Committee. Where ethical review has not been sought or obtained, justification must be provided. It is expected that most investigations involving humans will require informed consent for participant data to be collected and/or used; this process should be described. A statement is also required about preserving participant anonymity. The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal retains the right to reject manuscripts which do not describe these processes, or which describe unethical conduct related to human or animal studies.

Accepted papers will be passed to Wiley's production team for publication. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Wiley's Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be asked to complete an electronic license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper. FAQs about the terms and conditions of the standard copyright transfer agreements (CTA) in place for the journal, including terms regarding archiving of the accepted version of the paper, are available at: CTA Terms and Conditions FAQs

OnlineOpen - 'Gold road' Open Access
OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article freely available to all on Wiley Online Library under a Creative Commons licence. In addition, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access, known as 'gold road' open access.

OnlineOpen licenses
Authors choosing OnlineOpen retain copyright in their article and have a choice of publishing under the following Creative Commons License terms: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY-NC-ND).
For more information about the OnlineOpen license terms and conditions click here.

Manuscripts should follow the style of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2009).
Spelling. The Journal uses Australian spelling and authors should therefore follow the latest edition of the Macquarie Dictionary.
Units. All measurements must be given in SI or SI-derived units.
Abbreviations. Abbreviations should be used sparingly - only where they ease the reader's task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter use the abbreviation only. The abbreviation of OT is not allowed in the manuscript.

Manuscripts should be presented in the following order: (i) title page, (ii) abstract and key words, (iii) text, (iv)acknowledgements, (v) references, (vi) appendices, (vii) figure legends, (viii) tables (each table complete with title and footnotes) and (ix) figures. Footnotes to the text are not allowed and any such material should be incorporated into the text as parenthetical matter.

Title page
The title page should contain (i) the title of the paper, (ii) the full names, qualifications and designations of the authors and (iii) the addresses of the institutions at which the work was carried out together with (iv) the full postal and email address, plus facsimile and telephone numbers, of the author to whom correspondence about the manuscript should be sent. The present address of any author, if different from that where the work was carried out, should be supplied in a footnote.
The title should be short, informative and contain the major key words and consider including the study design for research articles. Do not use abbreviations in the title. A short running title (less than 40 characters) should also be provided.
All submitted manuscripts must indicate the total word length for the manuscript, word length of the abstract, number of references, figures and tables on the title page of the manuscript.

Abstract and key words
Research, Feature and Review articles must have a structured abstract that states in 250 words or fewer the purpose, basic procedures, main findings and principal conclusions of the study. Divide the abstract with the headings: Background/Aim, Methods, Results, Conclusions and significance of the study. Viewpoint articles should have an unstructured abstract of 150 words or fewer. Abstracts should not contain abbreviations or references.

Key words
Three to five key words must be supplied. They are required to index the content of the paper and should be selected from the US National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list. Key words should be arranged in alphabetical order. Please do not use words already written in your title or abstract.

Authors should use the following subheadings to divide the sections of their manuscript: Introduction, Methods, Results and Conclusion. All articles should include an introduction that provide a background to the article, describes its purpose and outlines its relevance to occupational therapy. References should be made to an established theoretical background and/or background literature. The implications of the work for occupational therapy practice, and further research and/or conceptual development, should be clearly described.

The source of financial grants and other funding must be acknowledged, including a frank declaration of the authors' industrial links and affiliations. Authors should state any potential conflicts of interest. The contribution of colleagues or institutions should also be acknowledged. Personal thanks and thanks to anonymous reviewers are not appropriate.

The American Psychological Association (author, date, title, source) system of referencing is used (examples are given below). In the text give the author's name followed by the year in parentheses: Smith (2000). If there are two authors use 'and': Smith and Jones (2001), but if cited within parentheses use '&': (Smith & Jones, 2001). When reference is made to a work by three to five authors, cite all the authors the first time: (Davis, Jones, Wilson, Smith, & Lee, 2000); and in subsequent citations, include only the name of the first author followed by et al.: (Davis et al., 2000). When reference is made to a work by six or more authors, the first name followed by et al. should be used in all instances: Law et al. (1997). If several papers by the same author(s) from the same year are cited, a, b, c, etc. should be inserted after the year of publication. Within parentheses, groups of authors should be listed alphabetically. In the reference list, references should be listed in alphabetical order.
In the reference list, cite the names of all authors when there are six or fewer; when seven or more, list only the first six followed by et al. Do not use ibid. or op cit. Reference to unpublished data and personal communications should not appear in the list but should be cited in the text only (e.g. A. Smith, unpublished data, 2000). All citations mentioned in the text, tables or figures must be listed in the reference list.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.
We recommend the use of a tool such as Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

Journal article
Bennett, S., & Bennett, J. W. (2000). The process of evidence-based practice in occupational therapy: Informing clinical decisions. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 47, 171-180. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1630.2000.00237.x.

Advanced online publication of journal article with DOI
Rodger, S., Clark, M., Banks, R., O'Brien, M., & Martinez, K. (2009a). A national evaluation of the Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (1994): A multistakeholder perspective. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2009.00794.x.

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Chapter in a book
Law, M., Cooper, B. A., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P., & Letts, L. (1997). Theoretical context for the practice of occupational therapy. In: C. Christiansen & C. Baum (Eds.), Occupational therapy: Enabling function and well-being (2nd ed., pp. 72-102). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Inc.

Electronic media
Occupational Therapy Australia. (2003). Australian Occupational Therapy Journal author guidelines. Retrieved from

These should be placed at the end of the paper, numbered in Roman numerals and referred to in the text. If written by a person other than the author of the main text, the writer's name should be included below the title.

There is a limit of four tables or figures per manuscript. Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information contained in the text. Number tables consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals. Type tables on a separate sheet with the legend above. Legends should be concise but comprehensive - the table, legend and footnotes must be understandable without reference to the text. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses; all abbreviations must be defined in footnotes. Footnote symbols: †, ‡, §, ¶, should be used (in that order) and *, **, *** should be reserved for P-values. Statistical measures such as SD or SEM should be identified in the headings.

There is a limit of four tables or figures per manuscript. All illustrations (line drawings and photographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be cited in consecutive order in the text. Each figure should be labelled on the back in very soft marker or chinagraph pencil, indicating name of author(s), figure number and orientation. Do not use adhesive labels as this prohibits electronic scanning. Figures should be sized to fit within the column (80 mm), intermediate (114 mm) or the full text width (171 mm).
Line figures should be supplied as sharp, black and white graphs or diagrams, drawn professionally or with a computer graphics package. Lettering must be included and should be sized to be no larger than the journal text. Photographs should be supplied as sharp, glossy, black-and-white or colour photographic prints and must be unmounted. Individual photographs forming a composite figure should be of equal contrast, to facilitate printing, and should be accurately squared.
Magnifications should be indicated using a scale bar on the illustration.
If supplied electronically, graphics must be supplied as high resolution (at least 300 d.p.i.) files, saved as .eps or .tif. A high-resolution print-out must also be provided. Digital images supplied only as low-resolution print-outs and/or files cannot be used.

Figure legends
Type figure legends on a separate sheet. Legends should be concise but comprehensive - the figure and its legend must be understandable without reference to the text. Include definitions of any symbols used and define/explain all abbreviations and units of measurement.

Author Services enables authors to track their article, once it has been accepted, through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated emails at key stages of production so they do not need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit the Author Services website for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources, including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

It is essential that corresponding authors supply an email address to which correspondence can be emailed while their article is in production. Notification of the URL from where to download a Portable Document Format (PDF) typeset page proof, associated forms and further instructions will be sent by email to the corresponding author. The purpose of the PDF proof is a final check of the layout, and of tables and figures. Alterations other than the essential correction of errors are unacceptable at PDF proof stage. The proof should be checked, and approval to publish the article should be emailed to the Publisher by the date indicated, otherwise, it may be signed off on by the Editor or held over to the next issue.

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via Author Services only. Please therefore sign up for Author Services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers. A minimum of 50 additional offprints will be provided upon request, at the author's expense. These paper offprints may be ordered online. Please visit, fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields. If you have any queries about offprints, please email

A charge of A$1000/US$530/¥64000 for the first three colour figures and A$500/US$265/¥32000 for each extra colour figure thereafter will be charged to the author.

The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal is covered by our Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at

Australian Occupational Therapy Journal online
Visit the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal homepage for more information, and Wiley Blackwell's web pages for submission guidelines and digital graphics standards.
The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal is available online at Wiley Online Library. Visit Wiley Online Library to search the articles and register for table of contents and email alerts.

The Australian Occupational Therapy Journal is now using ScholarOne Manuscripts for online submission and peer review. To submit a manuscript, please follow the instructions below.

Getting started
1. Launch your web browser (supported browsers include Internet Explorer 6 or higher, Netscape 7.0, 7.1, or 7.2, Safari 1.2.4, or Firefox 1.0.4) and go to the
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal's ScholarOne Manuscripts homepage.
2. Log-in or click the "Create Account" option if you are a first-time user of ScholarOne Manuscripts.
3. If you are creating a new account:
• After clicking on "Create Account", enter your name and e-mail information and click "Next". Your e-mail information is very important.
• Enter your institution and address information as appropriate, and then click "Next."
• Enter a user ID and password of your choice (we recommend using your e-mail address as your user ID), and then select your area of expertise. Click "Finish".
• If you have an account but have forgotten your log in details, go to Password Help on the journals ScholarOne Manuscripts homepage and enter your email address. The system will send you an automatic user ID and password reminder.
4. Log-in and select "Author Center."

Submitting your manuscript
5. After you have logged in, click the "Submit a New Manuscript" link in the menu bar.
6. Enter data and answer questions as prompted.
7. Click the "Next" button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen.
8. You are required to upload your files.
• Click on the "Browse" button and locate the file on your computer.
• Select the designation of each file in the drop down next to the Browse button.
• When you have selected all files you wish to upload, click the "Upload Files" button.
• NOTE: you have a limit of 100MB combined for all files you upload.
9. Review your submission (in both PDF and HTML formats) before sending to the Journal. Click the "Submit" button when you are finished reviewing.

You may suspend a submission at any phase before clicking the "Submit" button and save it to submit later. After submission, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You can also access ScholarOne Manuscripts any time to check the status of your manuscript. The Journal will inform you by e-mail once a decision has been made.

Getting help with your submission
Each page of the ScholarOne Manuscripts website has a 'Get Help Now' icon connecting directly to the online support system. Queries can also be emailed to and telephone support is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week through the US ScholarOne support office: +1 434 817 2040, ext 167. If you do not have internet access or cannot submit online, the Editorial Office will help with online submissions.

Pre-acceptance English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Visit our site to learn about the options. All services are paid for and arranged by the author. Please note using the Wiley English Language Editing Service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted by this journal.

Author material archive policy
Authors who require the return of any submitted material that is accepted for publication should inform the Editorial Office after acceptance. If no indication is given that author material should be returned, Wiley Blackwell will dispose of all hardcopy and electronic material two months after publication.

For further information or advice please contact:
Fotini Toso
Editorial Assistant
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
155 Cremorne Street
Richmond Vic. 3121