Author guidelines

Please read the scope of the journal to ensure that your article is aligned with the mission and vision of OpenPhysio and also familiarise yourself with the submission procedure. In order to ensure that manuscripts are dealt with efficiently, please pay attention to the guidelines on this page. If you have any questions about your research and its relevance for OpenPhysio, please contact the Editor.


The journal does not require authors, readers, or institutions to pay any fees for articles to be submitted, published, or read. The journal administration is conducted by academic volunteers and operational costs are borne by Physiopedia, the journal publisher.

Writing and publishing your article

Before submitting an article you will need to register as a user on the site, so go ahead and do that if you have not already done so. Submitting an article in OpenPhysio means posting it directly onto the website. If you have used a content management system of any kind (e.g. WordPress, Moodle, or Blackboard) then this will be relatively straightforward. However, if this is your first time writing directly to the web, you may want to go through this brief writing tutorial.

In OpenPhysio your articles will be first-class internet citizens, which means that you can include hyperlinks to external sources, embed images, audio, and video, and tag your articles to increase the chance that they are returned in search results. As long as you have permission to use the media, your article can be enhanced to present your ideas most effectively in an online and networked environment.

Types of manuscripts

OpenPhysio will consider all submissions on the condition that they have been created by the stated authors, have not been submitted or published anywhere else, nor that they are under consideration for publication elsewhere. We encourage authors to prepare articles so that they are between 3000-5000 words but this is a flexible guideline.

Research article: Articles describing empirical research are the primary presentation mode of communication in the journal. These articles include studies where authors have gathered data directly and are considered to be primary research.

Research reports: These are relatively small studies with limited findings that nonetheless describe interesting innovations in the classroom or clinical context. While these are usually small-scale studies with minimal theory and small sample sizes, these kinds of reports may contain interesting insights that can inform other innovations in practice.

Literature reviews: Secondary research that includes systematic, scoping and narrative reviews of the literature are not very common in educational research but we think that they may offer useful insight into the breadth and depth of certain topics.

Perspectives: Perspective papers (or opinions) are usually invited when the Editorial Board identifies a particular topic that may be of interest to the journal audience. Only those who are considered to have advanced expertise on the topic under consideration will be invited to submit.

Essays: Essays will usually form part of an invited series and as such will typically only be accepted as part of those calls for submissions. Essays should not exceed 2000 words and can be written by single or multiple authors. The use of references is possible but is not expected or encouraged. Essays will be reviewed by the editorial team responsible for the initial call for submissions and the criteria will be specific to each series. However, reviewers will likely look for expressions of imagination, originality, and creativity.

Study protocols: Study protocols can be registered as long as they provide a detailed account of the hypothesis, rationale and methodology of the study. Protocols can reduce publication bias and improve reproducibility as they lay out in advance the intentions of the author.

Book reviews: While book reviews are not generally considered for publication, we would be interested in book reviews that adopt a critical and scholarly stance. These reviews should not only summarise the book but also integrate the review with other literature to support the critique.

Research notes: Research notes are short articles (a maximum of 2000 words) that provide researchers with an opportunity to publish findings that would not ordinarily be possible to publish as full papers. They include detail that may be useful for the community, such as null results, single observations, updates to previous work, or insights based on classroom or clinical encounters. These notes may form the basis for future research, or might spark interest in a field. Authors may consider publishing notes as a series, which more closely resembles that way that much research is conducted.

Letters to the Editor: Letters should be a maximum of 400 words in length, including title, text, name and address of author(s), and a maximum of two references. Tables and figures are not permitted.

Ethics clearance

For all submissions, except literature reviews and position papers, we require the ethics clearance or project registration numbers to be included with the initial submission. While educational research carries with it a low risk of harm for participants, we believe that review boards also provide a level of oversight that ensures the research carried out is legitimate.

Reference style

OpenPhysio uses APA for the referencing style. Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists in APA style will be accepted. If reference manager software is used, the reference list and in-text citations must be unformatted and converted to plain text before submitting.

All items in the reference list, where possible, should include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).


All papers should include an abstract of up to 200 words. The abstract should reflect the content of the paper including the background, methods used, results, and conclusions drawn. The abstract should conform to the following general structure:

  • Background: Explain why the study is being done and how it relates to other published work. Relevant theories and frameworks should be defined in the context of the study.
  • Aim: Describe what the study intends to find out, and why this matters to the reader.
  • Methods: Should include the study design, number of participants, description of the research tools/instruments, and the analyses that were done on the data.
  • Results: Describe the results according to the methods described.
  • Conclusion: Must be supported by the data, and can include recommendations for further study/actions.

Please ensure that the structured abstract is complete, accurate and clear and has been approved by all authors. It should convey in brief terms what the study is about without needing to refer to the main body of the article.

Do not include any references in the abstract.

Practical implication

Authors should include a maximum of two implications for practice, which will be included in the beginning of the article. These implications should be based on the results of the study and should highlight what the authors consider to be the main outcome of the paper.

Editing and formatting

The first page of the manuscript should contain the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Names of all authors and their institutional affiliations
  • Name, address, and email address of the corresponding author.

OpenPhysio uses British English spelling conventions (“s”, not “z”).

Tables and Figures should be included in the main text of the manuscript (i.e. not as separate pages), and should conform to the following style guides. A good rule of thumb is that you should use as little complex formatting in your document as possible.


Tables should only be used to present information more efficiently than in the running text. Care should be taken to avoid any arrangement that increases the depth of a table, and column heading should be made as brief as possible, using abbreviations liberally. Lines of data should not be numbered unless those numbers are needed for reference in the text. Columns should not contain only one or two entries, nor should the same entry be repeated numerous times consecutively. Units should appear in parentheses in the column heading but not in the body of the table. Tables should be typed using single-spacing. All tables should be captioned with descriptive text, and should be given Arabic numbers (e.g. Table 3). Do not use separate columns for n and %.


Photographs, graphs and diagrams are all referred to as Figures and should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 3). All figures must be captioned with descriptive text, making interpretation of the figure possible without reference to the text. Captions should include keys to symbols. It is in the author’s interest to provide the highest quality figure format possible.


We advise authors to follow the guidelines provided by the Uniform Requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors for advice on authorship and contributors to papers. The contribution of each author listed on the submission must be described in the relevant section as part of the manuscript submission process. In brief, authorship should be based on:

  • Substantial contribution to conceptualisation, design, analysis and interpretation of data
  • Drafting or critical revision of important scientific content
  • Approval of the manuscript to be published

Declaration of interest

Conflicts of interest can derive from any relationship that may influence authors’ or reviewers’ opinions about a manuscript. The existence of a conflict, whether actual, perceived or potential, does not preclude publication of an article. The aim of disclosure is to ensure that readers are able to effectively evaluate the conclusions reached in a paper. OpenPhysio requires that both authors and reviewers declare all sources of support for their research, any personal or financial relationships (including honoraria, speaking fees, gifts received, etc.) with relevant individuals or organisations connected to the topic of the paper, and any association with a product or subject that may constitute a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest. If you are unsure whether a specific relationship constitutes a conflict, please contact the editorial team for advice. If a conflict remains undisclosed and is later brought to the attention of the editorial team, it will be considered a serious issue prompting an investigation with the possibility of retraction.

If authors have no declarations of interest to report, this must be explicitly stated. The suggested wording in such an instance is: “The authors report no declarations of interest.” When submitting a paper to OpenPhysio, the Declaration of interest field is compulsory (authors must either state the disclosures or report that there are none). If this section is left empty authors will not be able to progress with the submission.


It is usual for researchers to acknowledge any funding organisations that contributed to the research, as well as to thank publicly their colleagues for any assistance received, for example, with data gathering or statistical analysis.

Information upon acceptance

Should your submission be accepted for publication, authors will receive a link to the pre-print proof of the document once it has been laid out according to the journal style guide. Authors will be asked to sign off on the manuscript proof and will be able to download the document in a variety of formats.

Should you have any questions about any of the information on this page, please contact the Editor for clarification.