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OT Practice Author Guidelines

Mission Statement

OT Practice is the clinical and professional magazine of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). It serves as a comprehensive, authoritative source for practical information to help occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to succeed professionally. OT Practice provides professional news and information on all aspects of practice and encourages a dialogue among AOTA members on professional concerns and views.

Editorial Focus

OT Practice focuses on news and practical information that occupational therapy practitioners need to succeed professionally and that encourages discussion of professional concerns and views. Articles that are research oriented should be submitted to theAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy. We present only new articles in OT Practice, so please do not send us manuscripts that are being considered by other publishers or that have already been published. Articles should include concrete examples and demonstrate the unique contribution and expertise of occupational therapy practitioners.

Submissions to OT Practice should support occupation-based practice by reflecting the language of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process or the language of a developing model in the field (e.g., model of human occupation, person-environment-occupation, person-environment-occupational-performance, occupational adaptation, enabling occupation, etc.). In addition, they should incorporate the principles of evidence-based practice. Consistent with the Guidelines for Supervision, Roles, and Responsibilities During the Delivery of Occupational Therapy Services (2004), the roles of the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant shall be considered and, when appropriated, role distinctions shall be clarified.

Submissions should be a maximum of 2,500 words (about 10 double-spaced, typed pages). There is no minimum length.

References and Copyright

Using other people’s ideas is an important way to build on the body of professional knowledge. However, you must acknowledge these ideas by citing the original source. If you are using text exactly as it appears somewhere else, use quotation marks and include the page number(s). References must be up to date and reflect the most current practice ideas. For assistance with putting your references into APA style, go to the Son of Citation Machine Web page, and follow the instructions.

You must submit a signed release form from the copyright holder in the name of AOTA for previously published tables and figures, or for tables and figures created by someone other than yourself. Authors are responsible for obtaining releases for all copyrighted materials before publication and for any associated fees. The staff of OT Practice can provide you with the appropriate copyright forms.

Articles published in OT Practice are copyrighted by AOTA and may not be published elsewhere, in whole or in part, without written permission from AOTA. By submitting an article to OT Practice, you are granting us permission to publish all or part of it. Before publication, all authors must sign a copyright release form. This will be sent upon acceptance, and is always available on AOTA’s Web site (www.aota.org) in the Publications section.

Photographs

Photographs are always welcome. We prefer them in color, and they should enhance your article by showing people doing something. The best photographs have a simple background and good lighting.

Do not write directly on photos; attach a separate sheet of paper to the back of each one that states your name, address, and telephone number(s); the name of your article; and a caption or description of what the photo demonstrates. Place photos between two pieces of cardboard for mailing. Always keep negatives or copies of the photos you submit in case the originals are lost. If you send negatives, do not cut them from their strip. If you send slides, please put them in an envelope with the same information that is required for photos (see above).

Digital photographs must meet the following criteria:

  • 300 dots per inch (dpi) or 1600 x 1200 resolution (depending on your settings) at the approximate size that the photo will print in the magazine.
  • 3 inches x 5 inches minimum; 8 inches x 10 inches maximum
  • JPEG (Mac or PC version), TIF (Mac or PC version), or EPS (Mac version only)

When in doubt, take photos at the highest resolution your camera offers.

You must submit a signed release from each identifiable subject or subject’s guardian in a photograph before publication. You must also submit a release from the photographer if you do not own the photo.If your article and photos are accepted, the OT Practice staff will provide you with the necessary release forms. Any fees associated with printing author-submitted photos are the responsibility of the author.

Editing Process

All accepted articles are edited by the OT Practice staff for clarity, length, adherence to AOTA style, and reflection of the terminology and construct of the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process or other models in the field. OT Practice editors use the American Psychological Association style guide in addition to an in-house guide. OT Practice is not peer reviewed, although articles are reviewed by practitioners with expertise in the subject area.

Before publication, all articles are returned to the author for a final review.

Unsolicited Manuscripts

We welcome unsolicited manuscripts and consider them for both feature articles and departments. Please e-mail a draft of your article to otpractice@aota.org. Include your name, address, and a phone number where you can be reached during the day. You will be notified when your article is received, and within 3 months (maximum) you will be notified of whether it has been accepted for publication.

Writing Tips

  • Tell us your story.
  • Why is this topic important?
  • How will reading your article enhance your peers’ practice?
  • Provide strategies that readers could apply the next day (as opposed to vague, sweeping statements).

Vague: Persons recovering from stroke benefit from intervention based on their interests.

Practical:
 Mr. D. had enjoyed carpentry before his stroke. Therefore, the therapist modified his workbench to allow him to complete simple projects that increased his strength and range of motion.

  • Use case examples to demonstrate your ideas.
  • Write crisply.
  • Read your story out loud. If you have to pause at an unnatural breathing point, the sentence is probably too long.
  • Use the active voice to engage readers and clarify the action.

    Passive voice: 
    The assessment was administered.

Active voice: The occupational therapist administered the assessment.

Submission Checklist

  • Manuscript via e-mail.
  • A cover page that includes the title of the article and each author’s name, in the order in which they should appear in print, credentials, and short biography; and the contact author’s address and phone number(s).
  • A copyright release form signed by each author (for accepted or assigned articles). The release(s) may be mailed or faxed.
  • A release form signed by each identifiable person (or his or her guardian) in each submitted photograph (for accepted or assigned articles). The release(s) may be mailed or faxed back.

Contact the OT Practice Staff

By phone: 800-SAY-AOTA (800-729-2682), ext. 2652 (members) or 301-652-2682, ext. 2652 (nonmembers)

By e-mail: otpractice@aota.org

By fax: 301-652-7711

By mail: OT Practice, AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-3425