Instructions to author



Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine (JRM) is an Open Access journal that aims to be a leading worldwide forum for research in physical and rehabilitation medicine, and aiming to increase knowledge in evidence-based clinical rehabilitation. Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are encouraged.

It is the official journal of the UEMS European Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EBPRM), the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (EARM), and it is also published in association with the European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM) as well as with the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM) and the Baltic and North Sea Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Original articles, being the majority of published papers, Reviews (including Educational reviews), Special reports, Short communications, Case reports, and Letters to the Editor are published. Clinical studies on rehabilitation in various patients groups, within neurological and musculoskeletal as well as in other relevant rehabilitation areas, reports on physical and behavioural treatment methodology, including rehabilitation technology, development and analysis of methodology for outcome measurements, epidemiological studies on disability in relation to rehabilitation, and studies on vocational and socio-medical aspects of rehabilitation will be considered for publication.

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, see the Guidelines for Reviews. 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 also new topics may be taken up in a short form. For short communications and case report see below concerning their length.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is an open access journal, for further information concerning the policy of the journal please see the open access policy. Also, please note that author(s) retain the copyright and we encourage them to deposit their manuscript at their own website or university repository, as seen below.



All persons designated as authors must participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility in its contents. For criteria for authors see "Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals" at: essence authorship credit should be based on:

1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data

2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content

3. Final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship, nor does general supervision of the research group. The author who submits the manuscript should state if the authors meet these criteria.

If there are 5 authors or more, a statement on each author's contribution must be described in the accompanying letter. In multicenter trials group members not meeting these criteria should be listed, with their permission, in the acknowledgement or appendix. All persons mentioned in the Acknowledgement should have accepted this to the responsible author.


Deposit of manuscript

When submitting a paper to our journal you are allowed to deposit the paper in a manuscript form at your website or university repository with acknowledgement where it is considered for publication. After acceptance, the printed article (pdf) may be posted similarly, with a link to the publisher's online version.


Preparing for submission of Original articles and Letters to the Editor


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).

In writing your paper, 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. After revision, the references should be checked to see if there are new references available. Submit the manuscript (including tables and figures) as a styled Microsoft Word file and photographs as separate EPS or TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Black-and-white digital images should be in grayscale mode and colour images saved in CMYK, not index or RGB, colour mode.

It is possible to upload one manuscript file and three image files at a time. If you need to upload more image files than three, you will be given the opportunity to do so after pressing "Upload". Please name the manuscript file according to the formula "Firstauthorname.doc" and any image files "Firstauthornamefig1.doc" etc. When uploading revised manuscripts, please name the manuscript file manuscript number + "ver" + version number in Roman numerals, eg. 123456verIII.doc.

The corresponding author will be notified that the manuscript has been received.

Checklist: Before finally submitting your paper, please refer to the checklist and verify that everything has been taken care of.

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

Duplicate publication: It is not acceptable to submit papers already published elsewhere or simultaneously submit a paper to another journal. Furthermore, the paper must not be under review in another journal. Accompanying the manuscript should be a copy of all references mentioned in the particular paper still not published.

Suggestions for reviewers: It is advisable to give suggestions on 3-4 reviewers that are well versed in the area of the manuscript. However, it is the Editor who will make the final decision on the choice of reviewers.

Should you have questions regarding submission contact us here!


Type and length of papers

Word limits of main text (without references, figures, and tables)
Original articles and Special reports: Abstract: max 200 words, Introduction: max 500 words, Material, and Results: 2000-2500 words, Discussion: max 1500
Short communications: Abstract: max 200 words, Introduction: max 400 words, Material, and Results: 800-1000 words, Discussion: max 800
Case reports: max 2,000 words
Letters to the Editor
: max 1,600 words
Reviews: max 5,000 words, see Guidelines for reviews.

Limitations in number of references
Original papers: 35–40 (if strongly motivated more references can be accepted)
Short communications: max 15
Case reports: max 10
Letters to the Editor: max 10
Reviews may be considerably more, see Guidelines for reviews

Publication categories

Reviews may be invited on specific topics, but submitted reviews without previous invitation are also welcome. However, it is advisable in such cases to submit a short summary of the paper first for Editorial comments regarding whether the publication is feasible. We will also publish invited "Educational reviews".

Letters to the Editor commenting on a published article or covering other matters of general interest are welcome. They should, however, be kept short, and have only a few references. When commenting a published paper, the authors of that paper will also be invited to write a comment to be published together with the Letter. The Editor reserves the right to determine which Letters should be published.

All papers will be available on the Internet as soon as they have been proof-read, corrected, and paid for.

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 all financial support for the work and other financial or personal connections to the work in the manuscript. Where necessary, it should be stated that the funding agency e.g. a pharmaceutical or instrumental company, has had no influence on the interpretation of data and the final conclusions drawn. Thus, authors must disclose any commercial associations that might impose a conflict of interest in connection within the study. If they have no interests to declare, this should be stated (recommended wording: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare).


Ethics and consent

When reporting studies on human subjects all authors are required to follow the ICMJE requirements on privacy and informed consent. Information that could be used to identify patients, in the form of written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees, should not be published unless it is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Where someone is deceased, please ensure you have written consent from the family or estate.



 Clinical trials


Clinical trials and studies involving animal experiments must be approved by a local ethics committee. The researchers are strongly advised to register clinical trials to public trial registers, such as www.clinicaltrials.govTrial registration numbers should be included, and full details in the  methods section. 


Arrangement of manuscript

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

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 is necessary and should bear

  1. the title of the article: it is essential that the title totally mirror the main message of the paper. If considered necessary, the Editors will have the authority to change the title,

  2. full names of the authors (first name and last name), and highest academic degree

  3. institutions of origin,

  4. 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. The total number of words should 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.
Below the abstract: Title of the journal; The corresponding author's or the guarantor's complete address, including e-mail.

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.

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. For statistical methods, see below.

Results: Present results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures. 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.

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 List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus.

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.)

The most common types of references are exemplified below; for a full list, see Reference instructions. [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from:

Tables and figures: A letter from the publisher must accompany material that has been published previously in another publication stating that the authors have permission to reproduce the material.

Tables are to be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals. Each table should be included in the manuscript but placed on separate sheets at the end and should have a descriptive heading which is self-explanatory. Explain all abbreviations used in a footnote to each 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 a separate sheet in the manuscript. Each figure should be identified by the name of the journal (JRM), the author's name, and the figure number. In cases where it is not obvious, the top should be indicated. Line drawing and lettering should be large enough to sustain photo-reduction (min 300 dpi).



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:
5) Case Reports (CARE) for case reports:

Statistics (click here)

Studies concerning Rasch analysis

Qualitative studies

The journal appreciates studies using a qualitative methodology (see guideline). Data collection strategies such as the selection of subjects, methods of collection, type of data, the relationship of researcher to subjects/settings should be presented as also data analysis concerning the methodological approach and the analytic process, with clear definitions of concepts and categories/themes and how these were developed and how they relate to data.

Present quality and validity of data and analysis as strategies to enhance the quality of data, e.g. triangulation, respondent validation, application of critical thinking to analysis as attention to the influence of the researcher on data collection and on analysis, and critical approach to the status of data collected. Discuss applicability for theory development and practice.


The review process

All manuscripts are first reviewed by one of the Editors. Some papers may be rejected at this stage as they do not meet basic scientific principles or deal with topics beyond the scope of the journal. All other manuscripts will be entered into our peer review system and are usually sent to at least two reviewers with special expertise in the area. The review is single blinded according to the decided policy of the journal.
The manuscript will also be sent to a special statistical consultant for evaluation of the statistical methods used and the statistical results, where considered appropriate. After receiving the comments from the reviewers, it will be decided by the Editors whether the manuscript should be accepted directly, which in practice is rare, subjected to a minor or major revision before the decision about publication can be made, or rejected at this point. The revised manuscript is usually, if not only minor changes required, reviewed by the reviewers, sometimes including a third reviewer, if there are special reasons, before making the final decision about publication, and if necessary after some further revision. Guidelines for the reviewers can be found here.

Publication fee

When a paper has been accepted the author(s) will be charged a fee (Article Processing Charge, APC), to cover the costs associated with running the journal. Please note that no articles will be published until the APC has been paid. The APC depend on the article type and follows the HINARI waiver policy for developing countries.

Short communications (up to 2000 words/1-2 illustrations, or max 4 pages): 950 euros

Full papers: 1600 euros

Comments to earlier published papers: Free 


When publishing articles open access in this publication, the author(s) will retain the copyright in their work. We will however ask the author(s) to sign a license to publish, which gives us the non-exclusive right to publish the Version of Record of the article. This license to publish incorporates the Creative Commons license, CC-BY-NC, which dictates what others can do with the article once it has been published. Please note that authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission for reproducing copyrighted material from other sources.


Page proofs are sent directly from the editorial office to the corresponding author, via e-mail as pdf-files. It is his or her full responsibility to read and check the proofs against the manuscript. One proof should be signed and returned to the Editorial Office within four days by airmail.


Lengthy papers may be published as supplements, the full cost being borne by the author. Supplements are subject to editorial revision before publication.



Supplementary material and Video Abstracts

Supplementary material can include for example video- and audio files but also figures, tables, and datasets. 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. 

Supplementary material that requires language editing or typesetting from the editorial team will involve a fee of 25 €/supplement (extensive material might count as two supplementary files due to the extra workload involved). Video files will be published free of charge.



Corrections policy

We follow the STM Association guidelines that “Articles that have been published should remain extant, exact, and unaltered to the maximum extent possible”. Necessary corrections will be made to published articles however as authorized by the Editors of the journal. Any necessary changes will be accompanied with a post-publication notice which will be permanently linked to the original article so that readers will be fully informed of any necessary changes. The Editors will decide the magnitude and the nature of the errors, and decide on corrective actions accordingly.

Minor corrections will be made directly to the original article (such as minor layout changes/fixes, typos or grammatical issue that do not affect the content or meaning).

Major corrections will be dealt with as follows:

  • Erratum (a statement by the authors of the original paper that briefly describes the correction(s) resulting from errors or omissions) – This is used for errors introduced by the publisher that affects the integrity of the article, the reputation of the authors, or the reputation of journal. Hence, the corrected article is not removed, but a notice of erratum is given.
  • Addendum (notification of additional information to an article) – This is published when the Editors decide that an addendum is necessary for the readers’ understanding of a significant part of the published paper. An addendum does not contradict the original publication, but if the author omitted significant information available at the time, this material can be added in this way.
  • Retraction (notice that the paper should not be regarded as part of the scientific literature) – This is used if there is clear evidence that the published findings are unreliable, which may be the result of misconduct or an honest error. The published article is not removed from the online journal, but notice of retraction is given as well as the reason for the action and who is responsible for the decision.
  • Corrigendum (notification of a significant error made by the authors of the article) – This is used when an important error is made by the author(s) that affects the publication record or the scientific integrity of the paper, or the reputation of the authors or the journal. All decisions on corrigenda are made by the Editors.



Peer review appeals and author complaints

We follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on appeals to editorial decisions and complaints about the management of the peer review process. 

The editors don’t expect frequent appeals and rarely reverse the original decisions. The decision to reject a manuscript will often involve the editor’s judgment of priority/ importance/relevance. These are things which authors usually cannot address through an appeal. However, if you believe that there is a case to be made for a genuine appeal please submit an appeal letter to the editorial office detailing the basis for the appeal. Should you as an author wish to comment on aspects of the journal’s editorial management, you are welcome to submit such a comment to the editorial office.