Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development

Guidelines for Contributors

Mission Statement—

To responsibly evaluate and disseminate scientific research findings impacting the rehabilitative healthcare community

Purpose and Scope

The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) is a peer-reviewed scientific publication in the multidisciplinary field of disability rehabilitation. JRRD responsibly reports the results of rehabilitation research relevant to veterans. Our goal is to publish cutting-edge research that enhances the quality and relevance of Department of Veterans Affairs rehabilitation research and disseminate biomedical and engineering advances. Priority areas are prosthetics, amputations, orthotics, and orthopedics; spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders (with particular interest in traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and restorative therapies); communication, sensory, and cognitive aids; geriatric rehabilitation; and functional outcome research. JRRD accepts national and international submissions.

Only original scientific rehabilitation research and development papers (including pilot studies) are accepted. JRRD requires authors to document institutional review board procedures on human subjects and animals.

Submissions accepted are—

· Technical reports describing techniques, procedures, or findings of original scientific research.

· Clinical reports that evaluate the development of a particular prototype, a new clinical technique, or any other topic of clinical interest.

· Reviews.

· Letters to the Editor.

Clinical Trial Registration

As a condition for publication, JRRD requires registration of all trials in a public trials registry that meet the minimum registration data set requirement as described by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) ( For this purpose, a clinical trial is any study that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to evaluate the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. All clinical trials must be registered before submission of a manuscript based on the trial, starting January 1, 2006. For clinical trials starting patient enrollment after January 2006, trials must be registered before onset of enrollment. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g., phase 1 trials), are exempt. Trial registry names, registration numbers, and the URLs for the registry should be included at the end of the abstract. PLEASE NOTE: If clinical trial registration is required but has not been completed, authors will not be allowed to continue with the uploading of their submission.

Letters to the Editor are encouraged. We hope to open an ongoing dialogue between professionals as a means of exchanging information and sharing diverse opinions among disciplines. Letters should relate specifically to material published in JRRD. The following information must be supplied: full name of author of article, volume and issue number, and page numbers on which the article appeared. In addition, the letter should contain the full name, academic degree(s), and affiliation of the correspondent.

Review Process

Scientific papers submitted to JRRD are subject to critical peer review by two or more anonymous experts in the field. A paper’s suitability for publication rests on the results of the peer review and the recommendation of the JRRD Editorial Board member assigned to the paper.

Instructions to Contributors

Authors shall prepare manuscripts in accordance with the following guidelines, which were adapted from the ICMJE’s “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.”

Manuscripts shall—

1. Be original and in English. Nonnative speakers are strongly encouraged to have their submissions thoroughly reviewed by a native English speaker before submission.

2. Contain a title; all authors’ names, credentials, and institutional affiliations; abstract, including clinical trial registration information (if required); alphabetized key words; funding sources, including grant number(s); abbreviations; introduction; methods; results; discussion; conclusion; acknowledgments; references; and tables and figures and their captions all in ONE file. The JRRD at a Glance section is submitted separately. Copyright release and/or permission(s) must be obtained before submission and provided to the JRRD Editorial office. For additional detail on submission guidelines see ICMJE’s Uniform Requirements (

3. Be submitted online to in 12-point font, double-spaced with liberal margins, and appropriately paginated for 8 1/2 in. × 11 in. paper following all instructions given during the submission process. Specifically authors must:

· Indicate if clinical trial registration is required and if the registration was completed before submission (requirements described in previous section).

· Include a cover letter submitted online stating the name, credentials, institutional affiliation, address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the corresponding author. Please disclose any affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships that would be perceived as potential conflicts or biases. JRRD adheres to ICMJE’s definition of conflict of interest.

· List sources of funding, including grant number, on the title page of manuscript and online.

· Include a paragraph of 100 words or less describing the relevance to the veteran for JRRD at a Glance. This plain-text, unformatted summary should be written for the layperson at approximately an 8th to 10th grade reading level. It should be separate from the manuscript and include a description of which persons will benefit from the work and what the likely benefits will be. It should enable a patient or family member to decide the appropriateness of discussing the research with a healthcare provider. The JRRD Editorial office will maintain the prerogative to rewrite the section if it does not meet the desired standards, subject to the author’s approval. This section should be uploaded after the manuscript is uploaded.

· Include a signed statement of originality (with all authors’ full names and academic degrees) confirming that the contribution has not been published by or submitted to another journal. By submitting this form with the manuscript, the corresponding author accepts the responsibility that all authors have agreed to be listed as contributors and have seen and approved the manuscript and its content prior to submission. A blank form can be downloaded from (also available in Word at and either emailed, faxed, or mailed to the JRRD Editorial office.

· Include figures (photos, illustrations, graphs) embedded in the text when submitting online. Use 8- to 10-point Arial bold font for charts and graphics. If the paper is accepted for publication, detailed instructions for submission of print-ready figures can be found in the Technical Specifications section of these Guidelines.

· Include at least two preferred and any nonpreferred reviewers. Online submission cannot be completed without the submission of at least two preferred reviewers.

· Preview the complete online submitted manuscript before the end of the submission process as directed. Please notify the JRRD Editorial office at if an email confirmation of receipt of the upload is not received within 24 hours.

Upon manuscript acceptance, authors must provide the final version of the paper (with all revisions/edits incorporated and redlining removed) and high-quality, print-ready figures and graphics (as individual files and NOT embedded in the manuscript). These materials must be emailed to Hard copies and individual, electronic files on CD must be mailed by regular post to the JRRD Editorial office.

Send all manuscripts, correspondence, and inquiries to the Editor, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 103 South Gay Street, 5th floor, Baltimore, MD 21202-4051; 410-962-1800, ext. 240; fax: 410-962-9670. Email: or

Technical Specifications

Abstracts: Shall be limited to 150 words and submitted with the manuscript. Shall give the factual essence of the article and be suitable for separate publication in index journals. Shall include clinical trial registry names, registration numbers, and the URLs for the registry, if required.

Key Words: Ten alphabetized key words shall be listed on the title page of the paper.

Abbreviations: The first time an abbreviation appears, it should be preceded by the full name or phrase for which it stands. List the abbreviations on the title page of the paper before the funding information.

Section Headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgments, and References. For general information about these section headings, please refer to ICMJE’s “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” ( For more detailed information regarding JRRD style, see Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. Chicago (IL): The University of Chicago Press; 2003. p. 43–56.

JRRD at a Glance: This summary of the research should be 100 words or less and written for the layperson at approximately an 8th to 10th grade reading level. It should be separate from the manuscript and include a description of which persons will benefit from the work and what the likely benefits will be. It should enable a patient or family member to decide the appropriateness of discussing the research with a healthcare provider. The JRRD Editorial office will maintain the prerogative to rewrite the section if it does not meet the desired standards, subject to author’s approval.

Figures: Graphics (i.e., drawings, illustrations, schematics, charts, graphs, and so forth) and photos may be used for clarifying the text. After the manuscript has been accepted for publication, images can no longer be embedded in the text and each figure must be submitted as an individual file on a CD with the final version of the manuscript as well as through email ( according to the following guidelines:

· Reduced to 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm) wide and submitted at a resolution of 300 dpi or greater. (Some special images may be 7 1/4 in. [18.4 cm] wide and no more than 7 1/2 in. [19 cm] high.) We recommend that authors design supporting artwork at 3 1/2 in. wide and inspect their figures at this size to ensure readability. Choose various colors and patterns that provide enough contrast as black and white images. Using Arial, 8 to 10 point, bold, works well for text with 3 1/2 in. wide images. Use of color for figures is at the discretion of the editor of JRRD.

· Sent as separate electronic PC files (Macintosh files are not acceptable) in .tif, .eps, or .jpg format on a CD and through email along with the final version of the manuscript (with all revisions/edits incorporated and redlining removed). Do not embed the images in the text.

· Mailed as numbered hard copies with the final version of the manuscript (with all revisions/edits incorporated and redlining removed). Include the word “TOP” and figure number on a typed label affixed to the back of each figure.


PowerPoint or CAD-CAM formats are unacceptable. If images were created in PowerPoint, authors must print them at 1200+ dpi directly from PowerPoint onto high-quality, smooth, white 32 lb paper. Then scan them at 400+ dpi resolution as .tif. or .jpg files. This will provide a sharp .tif image. If the image is saved as a .tif or .jpg directly from PowerPoint, the image will not be sharp; it will be soft and of poor quality. This method is therefore UNACCEPTABLE. The same applies to any other program that does not convert files as clean sharp printable images.

Figures for which an electronic version does not exist are scanned at 400 dpi and printed at 1200+ dpi on high-quality, smooth, white 32 lb paper and saved as .tif or .jpg files. (Using .tif files is best, but they are larger files.) They must be sufficiently distinguished by texture, pattern, and/or size to be identifiable in black and white at 3 1/2 in. wide. No external titles or labels are permitted. Place figure number on top of back. Standard lab prints are printed on glossy paper in a 4 × 6 in. or 5 × 7 in. format in black and white or color with good contrast; use no tape or paper clips on photos. Unacceptable illustrations and photos will be returned to the author for revision.

References: References should be typed separately, double-spaced, and numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. References cited in tables or figures must be first cited in the text and then they can be cited in tables or figures. Limited “unpublished observations” or “personal communications,” for which the author has secured permission of the person cited, should be treated as footnotes and not included in the numbered references. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their references; however, they must be retrievable through a standard literature search. Please follow these sample formats, which are in the Vancouver style:

Article. Gilsdorf P, Patterson R, Fisher S. Thirty-minute continuous sitting force measurements with different support surfaces in the spin. J Rehabil Res Dev. 1991;28:33–38.

Chapter in a Book. Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH. Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2d ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 233–39.

Published Proceedings Paper. Kauzlarich JJ, Thacker JG. Antiskid wheelchair brake design. Proceedings of the 14th Annual RESNA Conference; 1991 Jun 21–26; Kansas City, MO. Washington (DC): RESNA Press; 1991. p. 143–45.

Tables: Tables should be submitted as text files. For accepted manuscripts, DO NOT submit tables as image files or embed them in the Word file. Tables should not duplicate material in text or illustrations. They should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals cited in the text. Each table should be typed double-spaced on a separate sheet and should have a brief caption and/or legend. Short or abbreviated column heads should be used and explained. Sources should also be cited in footnotes, if applicable.

Mathematical Formulas: Traditional mathematical expressions should be extended by adding brief narrative notes of explanation and definitions of all terms and variables, as appropriate, to ensure that readers of other disciplines gain the fullest understanding of the material presented. The International System of Units (SI) is requested for all quantities in text, tables, and figures.

Permissions and Copyright: JRRD articles published and their original illustrations (unless borrowed from copyright sources) are in the public domain. To use illustrations from copyright sources, authors must acquire written permission from the copyright owner, to include full information about previous publication and credit to be given. Authors must obtain permission to reproduce figures and signed release forms to use photographs containing identifiable persons before the paper is submitted, and submit originals of those signed documents with the manuscript (email is not acceptable). Authors must also obtain permission to cite unpublished manuscripts.

Review of Proofs: Proofs will be emailed to the corresponding author, unless otherwise requested. To avoid delays in publication, check the proofs immediately and return corrections or changes to the JRRD Editorial office either by email, fax, or express mail within two working days. If corrections and/or changes are not received within the prescribed time, it will be assumed none are needed.

Editorial Questions


Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development

Scientific and Technical Publications Section

103 South Gay Street, 5th floor

Baltimore, MD 21202-4051

410-962-1800, ext. 240

Fax: 410-962-9670