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Instructions for Authors, and Example Manuscript

The criteria on which manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Applied Biomechanics (JAB) are assessed during the blind peer review process include (1) the adherence to accepted scientific principles and methods, (2) the significant or novel contribution of the work to the area of biomechanics, (3) the clarity and conciseness of the writing, and (4) the interest to the readership.

For the word count of all article types, the limits apply only to the main body of the article; do not include the references.

Original Research. Original Research articles present the results of a hypothesis-driven study or, in some cases, a descriptive study, the results of which are considered novel and important. Original Research articles should not exceed 4,000 words or include more than eight figures.
Technical Note. Technical Notes are short articles that present results related to a new or modified method or instrument, or an important experimental observation. Technical Notes should not exceed 2,000 words or include more than four figures.
Reviews. Reviews are critical and inclusive presentations of important aspects of biomechanics. The role of Review articles in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics is to provide a stimulus for further systematic biomechanical inquiry on a particular topic of scientific and/or clinical importance. This requires that a presumably large body of accumulated literature is summarized so as to illuminate gaps in the state of knowledge. These gaps can be revealed by identifying conflicting evidence, problems borne of methodological disparities and/or inadequacies, the influence of invalid or unproven assumptions, and the potential for alternative interpretations. Collectively, these gaps should lead to establishing explicit and testable hypotheses. Such reviews should be forward looking and should not merely report the current state of the art. Please e-mail Editor-in-Chief J.J. Trey Crisco (joseph_crisco [at] brown.edu) if you are interested in submitting a Review article for consideration. Reviews may be up to 6,000 words in length and include no more than eight figures.
Target Articles. Target Articles present a summary of current scientific thought from the unique perspective of an experienced scientist on a matter of significance to the field of biomechanics. Invited responses to the Target Article and the author’s rebuttal are normally published along with the Target Article.
Proceedings. The publication of symposia or workshop proceedings is solicited by the JAB editorial board members. In addition, authors may directly contact the editor- in-chief (e-mail: joseph_crisco [at] brown.edu) regarding the suitability of symposium or workshop manuscripts.
Book Reviews. Book Reviews up to 1,000 words in length are welcome.

Manuscript Preparation. It is mandatory that authors follow an established style manual when preparing a manuscript. And, as of January 1, 2012, JAB authors follow the 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style. Manuscripts will likely not enter peer review if they do not follow the AMA Manual of Style. Copies can be found in most university libraries and bookstores. Some abridged versions are available via the Internet at no cost. The AMA Manual of Style is published in hard- cover and as an online subscription, and each version has its Web site, via the publisher, Oxford University Press. The Manual of Style uses numbered references, and authors are advised to use software to assist in reference preparation: for example, Reference Manager or Endnote.

The AMA Manual of Style is published expressly for authors of articles submitted to the American Medical Association’s journals, so not all sections of the Manual need be consulted. Therefore, the essential sections for JAB authors are as follows, and other JAB particulars are described next.

  • References, pp. 39–79
  • Tables and Figures, pp. 81–121
  • Style, pp. 315–380
  • Abbreviations, pp. 520–525
  • Math, pp. 907–913

Two freely available reference/style management templates are as follows:

All manuscripts must be written in English, with attention to concise language, a logical structure and flow of information, and correct grammar.
We appreciate that some of our authors do not speak English as their first language and may need assistance to reach the standards required by the journal. In addition, some younger authors may not be experienced in scientific writing styles. Since manuscripts that fail to meet the journal’s writing standards will not be sent out for review, such authors should ensure that they seek assistance from native English speakers and/or experienced colleagues prior to submitting their paper. Many journals acknowledge the existence of companies that offer professional editing services. An example of such a service can be found at www.aje.com/. This information does not constitute endorsement of this service. Use of an editorial service is at the discretion and cost of the authors, and will not guarantee acceptance for publication in JAB.

A numeral will always accompany an abbreviated unit of measure. For the correct abbreviations to use, see the Système international d’unités at www.bipm.org or at

As with other U.S. publishers, the authoritative reference texts for spelling are the current editions of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. The Chicago Manual of Style is also consulted.

Ten Important Rules for Authors

1. Always use commas and semi-colons in series to separate the items. The comma is the mandatory first-order separator, and the semi-colon is reserved to function only as the second-order separator, as in, “sports, exercise, and physical activity; randomized, double-blind, controlled trials; and enthusiasm, organization, and commitment. . . .” Always include the comma or semi-colon, as appropriate, before the conjunction word (and, or, but).
2. The semi-colon is used only to separate, and never to introduce.
3. The colon is used to introduce.
4. Capitalize only the very few kinds of words specified in the style manual, such as persons’ names. If in doubt, use lowercase.
5. Always use the SI units (with a few exceptions, eg, when other units are ubiquitous). Quantity and unit should always be separated by a space. No hyphens.
6. Use acronyms sparingly. Spell out a term at each instance if you use it only two to three times. Differentiate between abbreviations (usually lowercase letters) and acronyms (all capital letters). Always use the spelled-out form to begin a sentence. Once you introduce an acronym, keep using it and do not revert to use of the spelled-out term.
7. Always in text, parentheses always surround the brackets: ([ . . . ]).
8. In math, always use the multiplication sign (×) or centered dot (⋅), but never the asterisk (except in computer languages). In regular text, type a space on both sides of all operators, or allow the math software to apply standard spacings. Separate the operations thus: { . . . [ . . . ( . . . ) . . .] . . . }
9. Leave no spaces before, between, and after any subscript or superscript.
10. Never use the Tab key for any purpose except to indent the first line of a paragraph.

All manuscripts must be submitted only in Microsoft Word format (not in LaTeX). For equations, MathType is recommended.

Please double-space the text, add line numbers, and organize it as shown in the JAB Example Manuscript (a link is provided below). In the main text, headings should be unnumbered and limited to Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

Studies involving humans must include a statement regarding institutional approval of protocol and informed consent. Studies involving animals must include a statement regarding institutional approval and compliance with government regulations on animal welfare.

Following peer review, editorial decisions will be provided promptly. Upon acceptance, authors will be required to transfer the copyright for publication in JAB to Human Kinetics, Inc. Please visit Manuscript Central to download JAB’s copyright form located under the Instructions & Forms link in the upper right corner. You do not need an account to access this information.

Figure Preparation. Always prepare your art in black & white and for print resolution. Save your figures from the native software, and never paste your figures into Microsoft Word. At the JAB–ScholarOne Manuscripts submission site, upload each figure as a separate file in high-resolution EPS, TIFF, or PDF. The JPEG format is acceptable only when of large size and high quality. The software program PowerPoint is usually suitable only for screen resolution and is thus not appropriate. Each figure should have a brief caption that is self-explanatory and that defines author-created acronyms or nonstandard abbreviations used in the figure. In the text, figures must be mentioned parenthetically (as in Figure 1) at least once. Figures should be professional in appearance and have clean, crisp lines that are not too thin. Figures must be no larger than approximately 16 cm (6 inches) in width by 21 cm (8 inches) in height, not including the caption, and any text must be proportionally sized for legibility. In bar graphs, stripe patterns, cross-hatching, or solids (black or white) are best; shades of gray should be avoided. Be sure to identify each figure by including its number and the corresponding author’s name within the file name.

Color Figures. Only if absolutely necessary to convey meaning, color figures can be published at a cost to the author of $600 per page in the journal’s paper version. Likewise only if necessary, color figures may be used in JAB’s electronic version but at no cost to the author (the corresponding print version will be in black & white or grayscale).

Motion Picture Imaging (Movies). Video clips may be submitted to illustrate your manuscript. Files must be submitted through ScholarOne for review as part of the manuscript; each digital video file should be designated and uploaded as a “supplementary file.” You also should indicate in the cover letter accompanying your ScholarOne submission that you have submitted a video file. Digital material from a source not original to you as the author must be accompanied by a statement from the copyright holder giving the author permission to publish it; the source and copyright holder must be credited in the manuscript.

Video should be submitted in MPEG-4 (.mp4), Quicktime (.m4v, .mov), or Windows Media (.wmv) format with standard frame sizes of 1920 x 1080 pixels (for high definition) or 720 x 480 pixels (for standard definition) and a frame rate of 30 per second.

Human Kinetics will inspect all video submissions for quality and technical specifications, and we reserve the right to reject any video submission that does not meet quality standards and specifications.

Table Preparation. Tabular material should not duplicate the text. Each table must be numbered, have a brief title, and be mentioned in the text parenthetically (as in Table 1) at least once. Tabular material must be formatted using Microsoft Word’s table-building functions, using cells, rows, and columns. Any author-created acronyms or other nonstandard abbreviations must be defined in a table footnote. Likewise, explanatory notes should be given in footnotes below the table.

Permission to Reproduce Figures or Tables. Authors wishing to reproduce previously published material must obtain prior written permission from the copyright holder.

Manuscript Submission. In order to receive a digital object identifier (DOI), all types of manuscripts must be submitted via mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_JAB. Note that the identities of the authors are revealed to the reviewers but not vice versa.

Please Click Here for the JAB Example Manuscript