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IJSPP Author Submission Guidelines



These instructions are intended to help authors prepare high-quality and readable manuscripts. Authors are encouraged to refer to a recent issue of the journal to ascertain the preferred layout, format, style, and appearance.

Manuscripts. All manuscripts must be written in English, typed single-spaced in Times New Roman size 12 font with wide margins, and include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Please activate continuous line numbering. Clearly label any tables and figures and include them on separate pages. Number all pages in this order: title page (page 1), abstract, text, acknowledgments (if any), references, figure captions, tables, and figures. Authors who speak English as an additional language should seek the assistance of a colleague experienced in writing for English-language scientific journals. Carefully proofread the final revision and keep a copy of the manuscript. Do not submit the manuscript to another journal at the same time.

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically via ScholarOne (mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_ijspp). Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication will be required to transfer copyright to Human Kinetics, Inc. All electronic or paper submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter including the following information:

  1. A statement indicating that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the listed co-authors and meets the requirements of co-authorship as specified in the “Authorship Guidelines for IJSPP.”
  2. A statement that prior written permission has been obtained for reproduction of previously published material (where appropriate).
  3. A statement detailing any potential conflicts of interest (where appropriate).

Style. Manuscripts should be written in first person using the active voice. Writing should be concise and direct. Avoid using unnecessary jargon and abbreviations, but use an acronym or abbreviation if it is more commonly recognized than the spelled-out version of a term. Formats of numbers and units and all other style matters should follow the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition. Measurements of length, height, mass, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram). Only standard physiological abbreviations should be used because nonstandard abbreviations are unnecessary and confusing. Avoid abbreviations in the title. The full wording should precede the first use of an abbreviation.

Peer Review. Manuscripts that do not fall within the scope and mission statement of the journal or fail to comply with the submission guidelines will not enter the formal review process. The corresponding author is required to nominate 3 potential reviewers for the manuscript with suitable expertise in the area addressed by the manuscript. The journal is under no obligation to use any of the nominated reviewers. The corresponding author can also identify up to 3 potential reviewers who might have a potential conflict of interest with the content of the submitted manuscript and/or with one or more of the manuscript coauthors. Manuscripts will be read by the editor, associate editor, and 2 reviewers through a single-blinded review process in which the reviewer’s identify is concealed from the submitting authors. In contrast, peer reviewers will have access to all the metadata associated with a submitted manuscript, including the authors’ names and affiliations. This process will take 4 to 8 weeks. The associate editor will make a recommendation to the editor regarding the manuscript. The editor will then inform the authors of the editorial decision based on the reviewers’ and associate editor’s recommendations.

Conflict of Interest. Authors must identify potential conflicts of interest in the areas of financial, institutional, and/or personal relationships that might inappropriately influence their actions or statements. Financial relationships that could form a potential conflict of interest include employment, consultancy, honoraria, and other payments. Personal conflict of interest can relate to personal relationships, academic or sporting competition, and intellectual passion. Authors must disclose potential conflicts of interest to the subjects in the study being reported and state this explicitly in the Methods section of the manuscript. Disclosure of conflict of interest applies to all submissions to IJSPP, including original articles, reviews, invited commentaries, and other features.

Authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts of interest exist. In instances where the study has been funded by a third party with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcomes, the corresponding author should include the following statement in the cover letter accompanying submission: “I had full access to all of the data in this study and take full responsibility for their integrity and analysis.” The following statement should be included with the published manuscript in the Acknowledgments section: “The results of the current study do not constitute endorsement of the product by the authors or the journal.” The name of any funding agency or company, manufacturer, or third-party institution or organization that provided funding, equipment, or technical support should be stated.

Article Types. Original Investigation—traditional investigative articles encompassing experimental or observational research, limited to 3500 words and 30 references. Only studies involving human subjects will be published.

Brief Report—a shorter article encompassing experimental or observational research, a case study, or a detailed technical/analytical report of interest to practitioners, researchers, or coaches, limited to 1500 words, 3 tables or figures, and 12 references. Case studies should describe a single case or a small case series of physiological and/or performance aspects of a highly trained athlete, team, event, or competition. A case study is appropriate when a phenomenon is interesting, novel, or unusual but logistically difficult to study with a sample. The case can exemplify identification, diagnosis, treatment, measurement, or analysis.

Letter to the Editor—limited to 400 words and 6 references. Readers wishing to submit commentary or intellectual debate on published articles can do so in the Letters to the Editor section within 6 months of the appearance of the original article. Letters must declare any conflicts of interest. Authors of the original article will be given the opportunity to respond in the same issue of the journal as the letter. Published correspondence might be edited for length and style with approval of editorial changes by the author.

The following features are by invitation only from the editor:

Brief Review—a concise and insightful review of literature, limited to 4,500 words and 50 references.

Invited Commentary—examining a topic relevant to the research and/or practical aspects of sports physiology and sports performance, limited to 2000 words.

Title Page. The title page should contain the following information:

  1. Title of the Article. The title should accurately reflect the content of the manuscript and limited to 85 characters in length, including spaces. Authors should include specific and sensitive wording appropriate for electronic retrieval.
  2. Submission Type. The type of submission (Original Investigation, Technical Report, Case Study, or Letter to the Editor) should be indicated.
  3. Full Names of the Authors and Institutional/Corporate Affiliations. Do not list academic degrees. Names should be listed as First name Middle initial. Surname, e.g., John A. Citizen (or, if appropriate, J. Andrew Citizen).
  4. Contact Details for the Corresponding Author. The name, institution, mail address, telephone and fax numbers, and the e-mail address of the corresponding author should be provided.
  5. Preferred Running Head. A running head limited to 40 characters in length, including spaces.
  6. Abstract Word Count. The total word count for the abstract must be shown (limited to 250 words).
  7. Text-Only Word Count. The total word count for the text only (excluding the abstract, acknowledgments, figure captions, and references) must be shown (limited to 3500 words).
  8. Number of Figures and Tables. These details are useful for keeping track of the text and graphical elements of the manuscript.

Parts and Order of the Manuscript. Original articles should include the following elements, in order: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (and Practical Applications and Conclusions).

1. Abstract: Abstracts must be limited to 250 words or fewer and accurately reflect the content of the manuscript. For reports of original data, include the following headings: Purpose, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and the appropriate details under the specified headings. The results should state the magnitude of effects, precision of estimation, and/or statistical significance. The conclusions should emphasize the practical application of the main findings and not simply restate the results. A list of 5 key words, not repeating wording used in the title, should follow the abstract to assist in indexing and cross-referencing of the article.

2. Introduction: The introduction should provide a succinct statement of the context or background of the study. The justification, practical importance of the study, and specific purpose or research objective should be clearly stated. Secondary objectives can also be presented. The purpose stated as a research question or objective is preferable to an explicit hypothesis. Only pertinent references should be cited, and data or conclusions from the work being reported should not be presented here.

3. Methods: The Methods section should be limited to material available at the time of the study design, whereas information obtained during the study should appear in the Results section. The Methods section should include a description of the design, subject information (including a statement that institutional review board approval was granted, in the spirit of the Helsinki Declaration), interventions, outcome measures, and statistical analyses.

Subjects—The study subjects or participants should be described in terms of number, age, and sex. All investigations with human subjects should conform to the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki).

Design—The experimental approach should be clearly stated (eg, randomized controlled study, case study, observational research), and the incorporation of control subjects, if appropriate.

Methodology—The methodology, including facilities, equipment, instruments, and procedures, should be presented with sufficient detail to permit an independent researcher to repeat the study. References should be cited for established methods. Sufficient explanatory detail should be provided for new or unconventional methods.

Statistical Analysis—Authors are encouraged to consult a statistician in the planning and analysis phases of the study. The experimental design and statistical methods should be clearly identified. Sample variability should be reported with standard deviation and uncertainty (or precision) of estimates indicated using confidence intervals. Magnitudes of effects can be shown and interpreted with established criteria. Reporting the clinical or practical significance in a sport setting will help readers determine the real-world value or application of the main findings. Precise P values must be shown, because indirect indications such as P < .05 or P = NS are unacceptable and difficult for other researchers undertaking meta-analyses. Results should be reported so the number of digits is scientifically relevant. Standard and nonstandard statistical terms, abbreviations, and symbols should be defined and details of computer software given. Authors are encouraged to review the commentary of Batterham and Hopkins: Making meaningful inferences about magnitudes. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2006;1:50–57. A free PDF of this article can be found at journals.humankinetics.com/ijspp-extras. And for updates, please see the article “Progressive Statistics,” by Will Hopkins, Alan Batterham, Stephen Marshall, and Juri Hanin, published at Sportscience, www.sportsci.org/">www.sportsci.org/.

4. Results: The results should be presented in a logical sequence, giving the most important findings first and addressing the stated objectives. Do not duplicate results between the text and the figures or tables. Use graphs to summarize large amounts of information, and avoid creating large tables of numeric data. Avoid inappropriate use of statistical terms such as random, significant, normal, sample, and population.

5. Discussion: Authors should emphasize new and important findings of the study and the practical applications and conclusions that follow from them. Material from the Results section should not be repeated, nor new material introduced. The relevance of the findings in the context of existing literature or contemporary practice should be addressed.

6. Practical Applications: The Practical Applications section is an important feature of manuscripts published in IJSPP. Authors should summarize how the findings could be useful for coaches and athletes and/or other researchers in sports physiology and sports performance. The study’s limitations and generalizability should also be addressed and, where necessary, recommendations made for future research.

7. Conclusions: Only conclusions supported by the study findings should be included.

8. Acknowledgments: Individuals making a limited contribution to the study should be listed with their institutional affiliation and a brief statement of their involvement. The acknowledgments might include individuals who provided technical assistance, expert opinion, access to facilities and equipment, manuscript review, and/or coaches and athletes (subjects) involved in the study. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged. Specific details of research grants should be provided if appropriate. All individuals cited in the acknowledgments should be advised of their inclusion before submission, because their appearance in this section can be inferred as endorsement of study findings and applications.

9. References: Each citation in the text must be designated by a superscripted numeral, and full information must appear in the reference list. Reference information must be accurate. References must be limited to pertinent published works or papers that have been accepted for publication; usually this can be achieved with fewer than 30 references, although review papers might have more extensive reference lists. An abstract properly labeled (Abstract) may be cited only when it is the sole source. The reference list is to be single-spaced, arranged in the order the works are first cited, and numbered serially, with only 1 reference per number. Entries in the reference list should follow the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition, as follows:

JournalArticles—Surname of first author, initials, then surname and initials of each coauthor; title of article (capitalize only the first word and proper nouns), name of the journal (italicized and abbreviated according to style of Index Medicus, see www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=journals), year, volume, and inclusive page numbers:

Cordova ML, Jutte LS, Hopkins JT. EMG comparison of selected ankle rehabilitation exercises. J Sport Rehabil. 1999;8:209–218.

Book References—Author(s) as above, title of book (italicized and all major words capitalized), city and state/province of publication, publisher, and year:

Pearl AJ. The Female Athlete. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1993.

Chapter in an Edited Book—Same as book references, but add the name of the chapter author(s) and title of chapter (capitalize first word and proper nouns) before the book information and the page range at the end:

Perrin DH. The evaluation process in rehabilitation. In: Prentice WE, ed. Rehabilitation Techniques in Sports Medicine. 2nd ed. St Louis, MO: Mosby Year Book; 1994:253–276.

10. Figures and Tables: Each figure and table should have a caption that is self-explanatory and defines all abbreviations. Figures should be professional in appearance and have clean, crisp lines. They should not be in color and should be no larger than approximately 16.5 cm (6.5 in) × 23 cm (9.5 in), the size of the print area on a journal page. Hand drawing and hand lettering are not acceptable. Photographic images can be submitted if they are saved in JPEG or TIFF format at a resolution of 300 dots per inch (dpi). Authors are urged to submit illustrations rather than tables. When tabular material is necessary, it should not duplicate the text. Tables must be prepared using Microsoft Word’s table-building functions.Tables should be single-spaced on separate sheets and include brief titles. Explanatory notes should be shown in footnotes below the table.

Permission to Reproduce Figures or Tables. Authors wishing to reproduce previously published material should obtain prior written permission to reprint from the copyright holder(s) of the original manuscript. The phrase “used by permission” should appear in the caption of the figure or table.




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