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Submission Guidelines

As outlined on the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) Editorial Mission page, the journal accepts five major types of papers: Viewpoint, Review, Original Research, Brief Research Note, and Application.

Preparing and Reporting Guidelines

Viewpoints. APAQ will publish well-informed viewpoints relevant to adapted physical activity (APA) integrating the body of knowledge in a relevant area. Please refer to specific guidelines for preparing and reporting a Viewpoint article on the APAQ Web site.

Review. Articles reviewing and synthesizing the research literature available on a specific topic within the field of APA are welcome. Please refer to specific guidelines for preparing and reporting a Review article on the APAQ Web site and/or the widely accepted CONSORT guidelines.

Empirical Research. Potential contributors of data-based manuscripts must carefully consider both the assumptions and theoretical foundations of their work, as well as its methodology. Indicate relevance of your work by referring to theories, paradigms, or conceptual frameworks and by briefly reviewing the existing knowledge base. All empirical papers must be based on research methods and designs appropriate to the question(s) addressed, conforming to whatever standards of excellence are expected with the approach(es) adopted. Bearing in mind this condition, qualitative and quantitative methods are equally welcome. For quantitative research please refer to the many resources available in the literature, as well as viewpoint articles published in APAQ referring to the use of quality research and statistical methods (e.g., Sherrill & O’Connor, 1999; Sutlive & Ulrich, 1998). For qualitative research please refer to the Recommendations for Preparing and Reporting Qualitative Research on the APAQ Web site as a starting point, as well as additional well-established guidelines (e.g., chapter 7 in Sparkes, A.C., & Smith, B. (2014). Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: From process to product. London: Routledge), as well as COREQ for individual qualitative research papers and ENTREQ for synthesizing qualitative work.

Brief Research Note. APAQ encourages shorter articles reporting new ideas, information, or insights. All potential manuscripts should present original data. Content could include technical or methodological research, case studies, novel techniques, and replication or validation studies. Length limit is 1,500 words of text, plus one or two figures or tables and 15 references.

Application. APAQ also welcomes knowledge-translation studies or the presentation of a new and promising intervention, in its Application section. This section includes pre-experimental designs such as single-subject designs and case study or case-study series reports, demonstrating well-planned and documented interventions with applicative purposes or utilization of new sport and or measurement equipment, accompanied with a useful and exemplary set of descriptive data collection.

Writing the Manuscript

Using the PMAPA as a guide, pay attention to all the facets related to manuscript preparation. Format papers with a 1-in. (2.5-cm) margin, 12-point font, and double spacing, including quotes. Empirical research, as well as Viewpoint, Review, or Application papers, should not exceed 30 pages including tables and figures. Brief Research Notes should not exceed 15 pages including tables and figures.

Check format against APA sample paper (pp. 41–59). Note that Method is singular, and the heading Participants is preferred over Subjects. Insert line numbers 1–27 in the left margin of each page, beginning with the abstract page. This facilitates providing line-by-line feedback. All manuscripts must include a one-paragraph abstract of up to 150 words and three to five keywords chosen from terms not used in the title.


APAQ accepts a wide range of language around disability, gender, age, race, etc., provided that this language is both respectful and consistent with the theoretical or disciplinary perspective(s) of the manuscript. This includes person-first language (e.g., person with a disability) as explained in the PMAPA standards (6th ed., pp. 70–76). Pay particular attention to section 3.15. Refer to disabled citizens as individuals with disabilities. Avoid using characteristic and attribute. Instead, use demographic data, diagnostic criteria met, behaviors, or indicators. Do not assume commonalities; base language on individual assessment. APAQ also accepts the use of alternative terminology provided that there is a compelling and explicit rationale for doing so (e.g., theoretical consistency, historical accuracy, participant/community self-descriptions).

For more clarification see the following:

  • APAQ Language Policy based on Peers, Spencer-Cavaliere, & Eales (2014). Say what you mean: Rethinking disability language in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 31(3), 265–282. dx.doi.org/10.1123/apaq.2013-0091
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.)
  • Sherrill, C., & O’Connor, J. (1999). Guidelines for improving adapted physical activity research. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 16, 1–8.
  • Sutlive, V.H., & Ulrich, D.A. (1998). Interpreting statistical significance and meaningfulness in adapted physical activity research.