Author Guidelines

The journal emphasizes the need for randomized controlled studies of various rehabilitation interventions, the use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a background for reports when appropriate, and the use of modern psychometric methodology in treating and reporting data from ordinal scales. Reports using qualitative methodology are also accepted, providing that the length of the paper is within the stipulated range.

In Review papers, which may be invited or non-invited, different current aspects should be covered, and systematic reviews are given priority. The Educational reviews – also published in cooperation with ISPRM and EBPRM – aim to cover recent development in key areas of rehabilitation presented with an educational as well as scientific approach. Special reports can cover current aspects of rehabilitation, such as papers on treatment procedures, organization, education, or of professional political nature, not being strictly scientific. In Letters to the Editor previous published papers may be commented, but new topics can also be covered in a short form. For short communications and case report see below concerning their length.

Preparing for submission in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine (JRM)

Please note that submission of a manuscript is held to imply that it has not previously been published and is not otherwise submitted for publication (except as an abstract, which in that case has to be stated).

Authorship: All persons designated as authors in a paper must participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility in its contents. Everyone meeting the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirements for authorship should be included as an author of a paper. Any individuals who have contributed to the article but who do not meet these criteria for authorship should be listed by name and affiliation in an ‘Acknowledgments’ section instead. The journal may require authors to justify assignments of authorship.

Length: Article length limitations will depend on the article type. Word limits of the main text (excluding references, figures, and tables) and limitations in number of references are as follows:

  • Original articles and Special reports: Abstract max 200 words, Introduction max 500 words, Material and Results 2000-2500 words, Discussion max 1500 words. References 35–40 (if strongly motivated more references can be accepted)
  • Short communications: Abstract max 200 words, Introduction max 400 words, Material and Results: 800-1000 words, Discussion max 800 words. References max 15.
  • Case reports: max 2,000 words. References max 10.
  • Letters to the Editor: max 1,600 words. References max 10
  • Reviews: max 5,000 words. Reference numbers may vary considerably.

Submission: You are encouraged to review articles in the area you are addressing including those that have been previously published in the journal, and to reference them where you feel it is appropriate. This will enhance context, coherence, and continuity for our readers. Submit the manuscript as one Microsoft Word file; using 12-point font (Times New Roman); 1.5-spacing; and employs italics, rather than underlining. All tables are placed at the end of the paper, after the references. Photographs and illustrations are submitted and as separate EPS or TIFF files (resolution of at least 300 dpi).

Language: High-quality English language is of primary importance when you submit your manuscript, so that reviewers and editors can fully understand the contents and give your work a fair review. All papers should be written in English (British English is preferable but American English can be accepted if written by Americans). Before you submit your manuscript we strongly recommend that you have it checked by an English-speaking colleague and/or use a professional language editing service, to ensure that it reads well. Upon acceptance, all papers will undergo English language editing for minor issues and style consistency. Any more extensive editing necessary at this stage will be invoiced to the authors in addition to the regular publication charges. Please note that the use of professional language editing services is not a requirement for publication, and does not guarantee that the article will be selected for peer review or accepted.

Conflict of interest and funding: Authors are responsible for recognising and disclosing financial and other conflicts of interest that might bias their work. They should acknowledge in the manuscript all financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work. If they have no interests to declare, this should be stated (recommended wording: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare).

UN Declaration of Human Rights: JRM makes a statement against war and violence, in all parts of the world, and therefore requires all authors to confirm that they accept and agree with the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights when submitting a manuscript to the journal.

Reporting guidelines: Information on the design, use, and array of reporting guidelines can be found on the website for the Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research (EQUATOR) network and they should be used for JRM manuscripts when applicable:

1) CONSORT for randomized controlled trials

2) Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) for observational studies:

3) Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) for systematic reviews and meta-analyses:

4) Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research for studies of diagnostic accuracy:

5) Case Reports (CARE) for case reports:

Arrangement of manuscript

In order to make the editorial and peer review process as efficient as possible as well as save authors time, we have prepared a manuscript template to help authors when submitting their manuscripts to JRM. We strongly recommend that you use this for your submission.

JRM submission template

Manuscripts should normally be divided into Title page, Abstract, Lay abstract, Introduction (including a clear statement of the aim of the study), Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. 

Abbreviations: All abbreviations should be explained the first time they are used - unless it is a standard unit of measurement - and thereafter the use of abbreviations should be consistent throughout the paper. Avoid excessive use of abbreviations. Never use abbreviations in the article's title or in the Abstract.

Title page: A separate title page should include:

  • the title of the article: it should be short and informative mirroring the main message of the paper,
  • full names of the authors (first name and last name), and highest academic degree
  • institutions of origin,
  • a short title

Abstract: Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine requires structured abstracts for all original articles. The following headlines should be used where appropriate: Objective, Design, Subjects/Patients, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. Please make sure the abstract provides an answer to the aim of the study, and that the total number of words does not exceed 200. A list of from 3-8 key-words or terms from Medical Subject Headings suitable for indexing terms should be typed at the bottom of the abstract page.

Lay abstract: Include a lay abstract of a maximum of 150 words, which is easily read and understood by also non-scientific readers. Please avoid medical and statistical terms and try to explain your work to your “neighbour”. Emphasize the relevance of your work for clinical practice.

Introduction: State the purpose of the article and justify the study, why is it needed. Summarize the rationale for the study. Give only pertinent references; do not review the subject extensively.

Methods: Describe the selection of the subjects. Give details about randomization. Present characteristics of the subjects/patients; if pertinent use ICF terms from corresponding short forms of core sets (J Rehabil Med 2004; Suppl 44 and Disabil Rehabil 2005; 27: issues 7 & 8). Describe methods for any blinding of the observations. Identify methods, equipment/materials, and procedures in sufficient detail, including pertinent references, to allow others to reproduce the study. Names and addresses of the manufacturers and/or suppliers of equipment and/or materials used in a study must be identified by names, town, and stated the first time the equipment/material is mentioned. 

Results: Present results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures. It is strongly encouraged to present the main results in a figure. Avoid repeating information in text, tables, and figures. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain arguments and to assess their support. Use figures as an alternative to tables with many entries. Do not write in the text what variables are seen in a table but which are the main findings. Thus write "In table xx is seen" or give the reference to the specific table in parenthesis after the main information seen in the table is presented.

Interval data should be presented with means and 95% confidence intervals. Ordinal data from categorical (rating) scales are presented with medians, quartiles and range (if necessary and to compare to clinical praxis, means and SD may be given in addition). Please do not use “average” but rather "mean" or "median" and please always write SD as “mean (SD)” and not “mean±SD.

Discussion: Start with a one-paragraph summary of the main findings. Then place your study in context, referring to other relevant work. Do not repeat in detail data or other information presented in the Introduction or Result section. Discuss the limitation of the methods and the results presenting the clinical relevance of your study and the implications for future studies. Address the issue of effect magnitude, in terms of both the statistics reported and the implications of the results. You should not use a specific headline for the conclusion, but if pertinent, start the last paragraph with "In conclusion".

References: References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in the text by Arabic numerals in parenthesis as follows: "as shown by Smith (5)":... if two authors; "Smith & Jones (6)";... if more than two authors; "Smith et al. (7)". The style of references must follow the Vancouver system, and for the abbreviations of journal titles: please consult the Journals database, hosted at

Accepted but still unpublished material should be referred to as "In press". (References to submitted but not accepted material are not permitted but should be mentioned as footnotes.)

References should always include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) ​​if applicable. If you are unsure of the DOI for a given reference, or whether a DOI for the reference is available, you can search for title, author name, etc. at Please use the reference guide below when preparing your paper (an EndNote output style is also available to assist you). 

The most common types of references are exemplified below:

  1. Standard journal article (if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume the month and issue number should be omitted)
    Up to six authors:
    Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med 2002; 347: 284–287. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsb020632
    More than 6 authors:
    Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res 2002; 935: 40–46. DOI: 10.1016/s0006-8993(02)02445-9

  2. Chapter in a book
    Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002, p. 93-113. DOI: 10.1036/ommbid.320

  3. Journal article in electronic format: Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [serial on the Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 3 p.]. Available from: DOI: 10.1097/00000446-200206000-00031

Tables and figures: Tables are to be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals. Each table should be typed on a separate sheet and should have a descriptive, self-explanatory title (i.e. no unexplained abbreviations). Highlight an introductory sentence in bold and list footnotes below the table, using a, b, c for referencing. Asterix is used for probability values. Place other explanatory text above the table.

All illustrations should be considered as figures and uploaded as separate files. Each graph, drawing, or photograph should be numbered in sequence with Arabic numerals. All figures should have legends, listed on one separate sheet. Line drawing and lettering should be large enough to sustain photoreduction. Authors are responsible for obtaining the necessary permission to reuse any third-party material in the article. Where such permission is needed you will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to submission.

Supplementary material and Video Abstracts

Supplementary material can include for example video- and audio files but also figures, tables, and datasets that are of relevant to the main article. Including supplementary material with your article can make it more discoverable, and help maximizing downloads and citations.

Video abstracts can be a good way of getting others to engage with your research, ultimately increasing the visibility and impact of your work. Through a video abstract you can introduce the article in your own words, telling readers what the unique contribution of your article is and why they should read it. We recommend keeping a video abstract short and to the point (no more than a few minutes) and that you use images, charts or tables to help explain the focus of your article. Consider the aim of the video throughout – to get people to read your article. The best video format is MP4 although other video formats such as MOV and MPEG4 are also supported. The minimum dimension is 426 x 240 and the max dimension is 3840 x 2160.

Please make sure to include any supplementary files at the same time as you submit your manuscript, although a video abstract can be sent upon acceptance instead.

Supplemental material will be published as submitted, and will thus not be checked for scientific content, it will not be copyedited and it will not be typeset. Please note that publishing supplementary material involves a fee of 25 €/file to cover administration costs, but video files will be published free of charge.