Author Guidelines

Manuscripts are submitted to the Editor-in-Chief at and must meet the requirements described in the “Guidelines for Contributors to AJOT, ” a document that is updated and published annually in the November/December issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy.

  • If you are considering submitting an article to AJOT, first visit; answers to most questions about submitting an article are provided there.
  • If you are an author and have questions about an article that has been submitted or published, contact

Updates to the "Guidelines for Contributors to AJOT"

Authors should review the following documents before submitting manuscripts to AJOT:

  • Chan, L., & Heinemann, A. W. (2014). Elevating the quality of disability and rehabilitation research: Mandatory use of the EQUATOR reporting guidelines. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 137–138.
  • Gutman, S. A. (2010). From the Desk of the Editor—Reporting standards for intervention effectiveness studies. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, 523–527.
  • Gutman, S. A., & Murphy, S. L. (2012). From the Desk of the Editor and Associate Editor—Information commonly unreported in intervention effectiveness studies. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, 7–10.

In addition, the most recent edition of the Guidelines contains changes to the maximum word/page count for several article types. Authors should note the following technical requirements:

  • Manuscript page numbering should begin with the page containing the abstract and key words
  • Figures submitted with articles should be black and white and should be able to be reproduced with minimal editing or resizing. All text within figures should be legible at the size at which it will be printed. For research articles, figures should be either 3.375 inches wide (1 column) or 7 inches wide (2 columns). For columns (e.g., Brief Report), figures should be 2.25, 4.625, or 7 inches wide.

Systematic Reviews

Clinical Trials

Beginning January 1, 2016, clinical trials that are the subject of manuscripts submitted to AJOT must be registered with  (or, for non-U.S. researchers, a similar public clinical trials registry). All trials commencing participant recruitment on or after January 1, 2016, should be registered prospectively (i.e., before recruiting participants). Trials that started or finished recruitment before January 1, 2016, but are the subject of manuscripts submitted  on or after that date must be retrospectively registered.

The trial registration website address and trial registration number must  be included in the final, unmasked manuscript in the Acknowledgments section.

AJOT uses the definition of clinical trial from (   

    A [clinical trial is a] research study using human subjects to evaluate biomedical or health-related outcomes. Two types of clinical studies are interventional studies (or clinical trials) and observational studies. An interventional study is “a clinical study in which participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes. The assignments are determined by the study protocol. Participants may receive diagnostic, therapeutic, or other types of interventions.”  An observational study is “a clinical study in which participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes. Participants may receive diagnostic, therapeutic, or other types of interventions, but the investigator does not assign participants to specific interventions.”

Open Access

Authors may now purchase immediate open access for articles. To do so, please email

Kudos: Get the Word Out About One's Research!

To help AJOT authors publicize their research to colleagues and funders, all authors—corresponding authors as well as contributing authors—are encouraged to participate in a free service called Kudos. Authors can use Kudos to make outreach efforts more effective:

  • Open up research to new audiences.
  • Track the most effective networks for getting one's work read, discussed, and cited.
  • Learn where to focus efforts to make best use of time.
  • Improve the metrics by which one's reach is evaluated.

With Kudos, authors can do the following:

  • Tell the story behind the research: Explain what the work is about and why it is important in plain language. Researchers can include a personal perspective that shares their experiences and inspirations with potential readers.
  • Keep track of all outreach: Kudos links can be shared through any existing social media networks (Twitter, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, etc.); its central dashboard maps any clicks on these links against changes in the number of downloads, altmetrics, and citations.
  • Manage all publications in one place: Kudos can be used to explain and share publications from any publisher that uses CrossRef DOIs. Researchers can also add links to related resources that further help explain the research, set it in context, or connect it to more recent activity in the field.

Centralizing outreach efforts and mapping them against meaningful metrics will let researchers make the most of their scarce time and improve understanding of which activities are most effective.

We encourage authors to take advantage of this free service. Questions may be directed to

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