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Instructions for Authors

The Journal of Physical Therapy Education accepts manuscript submissions through a submission service on another website. ​​​

The Journal of Physical Therapy Education considers for publication manuscripts pertaining to all aspects of education in physical therapy. Manuscripts are invited describing qualitative and quantitative investigations and descriptions of educational interventions and innovative methods used in academic, clinical, community, or patient education. The author(s) must have methodically examined the outcomes of the educational intervention or innovation and drawn conclusions about its usefulness in physical therapy education and practice. The Journal of Physical Therapy Education endorses the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals put forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Manuscript Categories

Manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Physical Therapy Education are reviewed under 1 of 5 categories:

Research Reports: Authors should report the results of original experimental or observational research projects

Introduction: Briefly state the relevance of the study for physical therapy education, the specific purpose of the study, and the research question(s) or hypothesis(es).

Review of Literature: Briefly describe the methodology and findings from published literature germane to the study being presented (eg, justify the variables, hypotheses, sample, or methodology). A summary at the end of the review of literature section should point out the relevance of the review to the study at hand.

Subjects: Describe the sample, including selection criteria and process.

Methods: Describe the research design and procedures; the nature of the data; the data collection instrument(s); and methods of data collection, reduction, and analysis.

Results: Give a verbal summary of the results together with any statistical summary of the data or other representations of the findings and analyses (tables, figures).

Discussion and Conclusion: First state conclusions based directly on the research question/hypothesis and the results of the study, then expand with an explanation of the relationship of the findings to the review of the literature. A discussion of the implications of the findings for physical therapy education and conclusions should be included.

Position Papers: Authors should adopt and defend a position on some issue of current concern and importance to physical therapy educators.

Background and Purpose: A brief introduction states the purpose of the article.

Position and Rationale: The position and the author’s rationale for taking that position are elucidated. Issues should be stated clearly and theoretical foundations with literature citations for the rationale stated. The logic of the argument and stance on the position should be clear.

Discussion and Conclusion: A conclusion should summarize the position relative to the concern or issue addressed. An abstract is required (see Manuscript Preparation and Requirements).

Reviews of the Literature: Authors should provide a critical overview of the research on specific topics related to physical therapy education. These reviews may be qualitative in nature, providing a summary of relevant work; they may be systematic reviews following a specific analysis format; they also may be statistically based meta-analyses of relevant literature.

Background and Purpose: In all cases, the authors should include an introduction.

Methods: Selection criteria, search strategy description of studies, methodological quality. Results: When applicable, they should include tables and figures showing characteristics of the reviewed studies, specification of the interventionsthat were compared, and the results ofstudies. Parameters for excluding studies in the review should also be included.

Discussion and Conclusion: The value of the conclusions in guiding educational policy and practice will be a determining factor in the decision to publish the review.

Method/Model Presentations: Authors should describe the development and implementation of an innovative approach to education used in physical therapy. Evidence of testing the reliability and validity of the method or model to education and a clear description of its elements should be included. Evidence from the literature supporting the use of the method or model should be cited. Educational outcomes related to the implementation of the method or model must be included. Essential in the summary of this method/model presentation should be conclusions about its usefulness and the feasibility and generalizability of the application of the innovation to physical therapy education. Areas for future investigation based on the method/model should be identified.

Background and Purpose: A brief introduction states the purpose of the paper.

Method/Model Description and Evaluation: Provide a description of the method or model that can be easily understood or replicated.

Outcomes: Identify measures used to assess the educational innovation. Discussion and Conclusion: Provide a discussion that addresses the value found in the reported innovation.

Case Reports: Authors should submit descriptions of educational practice and interventions not previously described in the literature. Case reports differ from method/model presentations insofar as they may describe an intervention or educational innovation with a smaller sample of individuals (or even an N = l). Case reports must state the purpose of the case report, citing relevant literature. Case reports should provide a clear and thorough description of the case, including the following: the rationale for and implementation of an educational intervention, methods or instruments used to evaluate the intervention, and outcomes. Since case reports cannot document efficacy, discussion of the case should include recommendations for further study (eg, method/model or research investigations).

Background and Purpose: A brief introduction states the purpose of the case report.

Case Description: Describe the individuals/institutions involved in the case report in sufficient detail.

Outcomes: Identify measures used to assess the changes identified during the case.

Discussion and Conclusion: Provide a discussion that addresses the educational value found in the case report.

Also welcome are letters to the editor that support or refute material in the last issue, make pertinent comments on current issues, or encourage future discussion in the physical therapy education community and journal. Letters to the editor should be submitted to the editor directly, not through Scholar One.

Submission Requirements

All manuscripts must include the following: category of manuscript (from the 5 choices above); title; authors’ full names, credentials, job title, place of work, city/state (the lead author should provide both mailing address and email address); 3-5 key words for the manuscript; an abstract (no more than 1 page, double-spaced) that follows the same structure as the manuscript (see below for manuscript structures).

Articles must be written in English and should be limited to 15 typed, double-spaced pages of text. Authors should follow the style guidelines in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Manual of Style (10th edition) for text and reference formats.

Figures and Tables

Please submit all illustrations, figures, and photos as high-resolution files in JPG, TIFF, or EPS format (300 dpi or higher). Tables may be embedded in the Word document. Legends must be included with each table, illustration, or photo (please see AMA’s 10th Edition of Manual of Style for correct table and figure formatting). Tables, figures, and appendixes should follow the text and references (in that sequence) and should be numbered consecutively. Include only 1 table or figure per page.


Consistent with APTA Department of Education guidelines, the terms "physical therapist education program" and "physical therapist assistant education program" should be used when referring to particular programs. Authors should also indicate whether they are referring to professional (entry-level) programs or postprofessional education programs. If referring to education in general, for both physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, then "physical therapy education" is acceptable. For abbreviations, "PT" may be used to refer to physical therapists; "PTA" may be used to refer to physical therapist assistants. The abbreviation "PT" should not be used when referring to the profession in general or to interventions that physical therapists or physical therapist assistants provide. Finally, "people-first" language should be used throughout all manuscripts.

Submission Process

To submit manuscript for potential publication, please access Once in Editorial Manager, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • A cover letter designating 1 primary author, with address, telephone number, and e-mail address, to whom correspondence should be sent. The category of manuscript submission should be noted in cover letter.
  • An original and blind copy of the manuscript along with any tables or figures.
  • Complete the online copyright and disclosure author questionnaire.

Prospective authors may access and click on the Submission Guidelines for Authors resource link to find an electronic version of this Guide to Authors. All authors are strongly encouraged to seek external review of, and feedback on, their manuscripts by published authors prior to submission to the editor. Such reviews and feedback can expedite the review and publication process.

Each paper is accepted with the understanding that it is to be published exclusively in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. Authors agree to execute a copyright transfer if the manuscript is accepted for publication.

All materials submitted in accordance with the categories of manuscripts prescribed by the Journal of Physical Therapy Education are peer reviewed in a blind process by designated reviewer(s) and a member of the Editorial Board before acceptance and publication.

Potential contributors desiring more specific information about a publication topic should contact the editors, Susan Wainwright ( and Kevin Brueilly (, or visit the Web site at


As noted in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts, an author is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a published study. Authorship credit should be based on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators," and their function or contribution should be described-for example, "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," or "provided and cared for study patients." Authors will be required to disclose their role in manuscript preparation.

Authors also agree to be held accountable for the contribution each has made to the paper and to take responsibility for the accuracy and integrity of the work done by themselves and their co-authors.

Ethical Standards on Protocol Approval

Research submitted to the Journal of Physical Therapy Education must comply with ethical standards for human and animal research. For any research involving humans or animals, authors must confirm that their institution or other similar body approved the protocol. For studies involving human subjects, authors must also indicate in the manuscript that they obtained informed consent from participants or that the requirement of informed consent was waived by the institution’s internal review board.

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution), has financial, professional or personal relationships that may inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions. When authors submit any type of manuscript, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. On a conflict of interest notification page that follows the title page, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist and provide additional detail, if necessary, in a cover letter. For studies funded by an agency with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome, authors should describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state.