Journal Policies

This page details the operational practices and policies of the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy (SJOT). Our editorial board is committed to adhering to best practices and ethical standards of scholarly publication as established by independent organizations such as the Committee for Publication Ethics, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

For details on formatting a manuscript submission, please see the Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.


  • Mission of Student Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Publication Schedule
  • Who Can Submit?
  • General Submission Rules
  • Standard for Listed Authorship
  • Open Access Statement
  • Formatting Requirements
  • Article Submission Agreement
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Author Rights
  • Copyright Statements
  • Confidentiality
  • Plagiarism
  • Charges and Fees
  • Review Process
  • Attribution and Usage
  • Archival Policy
  • Crossmark Policy for Corrections and Retractions
  • Reporting Misconduct

  • Mission of Student Journal of Occupational Therapy

    The mission of the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy (SJOT) is to provide a dedicated venue for students and student practitioners to actively engage in open access research publication and to participate in the critical evaluation and digital publication of quality research and scholarly analysis that informs occupational therapy professionals at all levels.

    For more information, please see the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy Aims and Scope page.

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    Publication Schedule

    As a student-led journal, our publication schedule is closely tied to the academic year. The Student Journal of Occupational Therapy currently publishes 3 issues per year, aligned to the spring, summer, and fall trimesters.

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    Who Can Submit?

    Anyone enrolled in a degree-granting university program may submit work for consideration by the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy. All work submitted must be original, and the author must own the copyright to the submission or be authorized by the copyright holder to submit the work for publication in SJOT.

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    General Submission Rules

    Articles submitted to SJOT must not have been previously published in journals, published proceedings, or books (print or electronic) or be under review for such publication. By submitting an article to the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy, the author is stating that the submitted work is not currently in the publication process with another journal (print or electronic) and that the work will not be submitted to another journal until the final review decision has been made by the editors of SJOT. Please note: the editors of SJOT do not consider previous release within a working-paper series or through an institutional repository as prior publication for purposes of submission eligibility.

    Please see the Aims and Scope page for content and article types appropriate for submission to the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy.

    If you have questions or concerns about the submission terms for the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy, please contact the editors.

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    Standard for Listed Authorship

    Listed Authors

    The Student Journal of Occupational Therapy follows the definition of authorship set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which lists 4 criteria for inclusion as an author on a research paper.

    • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
    • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
    • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
    • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved

    Any listed author should meet all four criteria, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors.

    Please see the ICMJE Roles and Responsibilities page for further details.

    Non-author Contributors

    Those who do not meet all four ICMJE criteria should be acknowledged. Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, authors are advised to obtain written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals. See the Acknowledgments section below.


    All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (e.g., data collection, analysis, or writing or editing assistance) but who do not fulfill the authorship criteria may be named with their specific contributions and affiliations in an Acknowledgment entered in the author submission form. Written permission to include the names of individuals in the Acknowledgment section must be obtained. Acknowledgments should be brief, and should not include thanks to anonymous referees and editors, inessential words, or effusive comments. A person can be thanked for assistance, not “excellent” assistance, or for comments, not “insightful” comments, for example. Acknowledgment of emotional or mental support beyond specific forms of professional guidance is inappropriate here. Acknowledgments may also contain grant funding recognition and contribution numbers.

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    Open Access Statement

    In alignment with the values of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Library and its commitment to the open dissemination of research, SJOT supports "gold" open-access for all work published in SJOT, providing access to all content in its final form immediately and without charge to the individual or their institution.

    Users may read, download, print or share the full text of all articles published within this journal without seeking permission from individual authors or the publisher, so long as that use adheres to the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) International License. Please see the section below for best practices on attribution and usage under the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license when sharing articles from SJOT.

    If an article is published in SJOT, the authors retain full rights to their work. including but not limited to the right to archive the final, publisher version of the article on a personal or professional website, in an institutional repository, or in a subject repository, without charge. They simply grant the SJOT first right to publish their work in SJOT under a Creative Commons license.

    There are no Article Processing Charges (APCs) for publishing under this open access pathway, nor are there any author fees for submission, reviewing, layout, or publishing.

    The journal does not sell advertising of any kind, nor does it generate income through subscription or paid access. All operating expenses are provided through the operating budget of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Library.

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    Formatting Requirements

    The Student Journal of Occupational Therapy relies generally upon the Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association, 7th ed., for formatting, citation, and reference guidelines. Specific requirements for submission to the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy can be found in the Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines. Only manuscripts meeting these guidelines will be considered for publication.

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    Article Submission Agreement

    All author(s) must agree to the submission rules (the Submission Agreement) set forth by SJOT upon submission of the article. The agreement includes the author(s) approval, contribution verification(s), agreement of submission, responsibility for the submitted content, conflict of interest, financial disclosures, and statement of exclusive submission. If there are concerns about the submission agreement, please contact the editors via email (see the Editorial Board).

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    Conflicts of Interest

    Editors and peer-reviewers are expected to disclose any potential conflicts before agreeing to review a manuscript, if possible. In any case, such conflicts should be disclosed prior to the submission of a review or publishing recommendation.


    Upon submission of manuscripts to SJOT, the authors must disclose all financial and personal relationships and interests that may pose a potential bias or conflict of interest within their work. Purposeful failure to disclose conflicts of interest is a form of misconduct which may result in the manuscript not being published by SJOT. Such failure may be considered misconduct and will be investigated as outlined in the Misconduct section below and reported to the author's home institution if warranted.

    Peer Reviewers

    No peer reviewer should perform a review of an article in which there is the potential for the perception of a conflict of interest. Peer reviewers should disclose any potential conflict of interest to their editor before agreeing to review a submission, so that the submission can be assigned to another reviewer who does not pose such a conflict. Should such a conflict be recognized only after agreeing to review a submission, the reviewer should immediately disclose the conflict to their editor and decline to perform the review.

    Journal Editors

    Editors making final decisions regarding manuscripts submitted to SJOT will make decisions only for articles in which they hold no conflict of interest. If there is a conflict of interest, the conflict should be immediately disclosed to the senior editor, and the decision will be assigned to an editor who does not pose a conflict of interest.

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    Author Rights

    As further described in the Submission Agreement, by submitting the Work for publication, the authors agree to allow first publication rights to SJOT and to allow SJOT to share the Work under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) International License.

    Notwithstanding this CC-BY-NC License, authors retain all rights to future use, including publication, of their work without restriction.

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    SJOT does not require any copyright transfer agreement for publication. Authors do grant to SJOT the non-exclusive first right to publish accepted work in the journal. Accepted work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) International License. Authors retain all rights to use their work in the future without restriction.

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    All information regarding manuscript submissions to SJOT is considered confidential information with intellectual property held by the original authors. The editors and reviewers of SJOT will not discuss any information submitted to the journal, including the review process or publishing decisions with anyone but the authors and reviewers. There will be no sharing of the authors’ work or ideas prior to publication of the manuscript to ensure the protection of authors’ intellectual property. If a manuscript is rejected, a copy remains within the electronic system but is only accessible by authorized editors when necessary for administrative purposes. If confidentiality is breached for allegations of dishonesty, SJOT editors will notify authors or reviewers.

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    Plagiarism Policy

    All acts of plagiarism, copyright infringement, and other ethical breaches related to the publication of manuscripts are taken very seriously. If plagiarism is suspected, SJOT reserves the right to use third-party plagiarism software to determine if plagiarism has occurred. Manuscripts may be retained within third-party plagiarism software after they have been checked. If the commission of plagiarism is identified, SJOT reserves the right to take action regarding the specified article.

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    Absence of Publication Charges and Fees

    SJOT charges no fees for submission, review, or publication of articles. There are no hidden fees at any stage of the review or publication process. All publication costs are absorbed by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Library. This is done in alignment with the library's commitment to advancing an infrastructure for open access publication of scientific research and with SJOT's mission to promote student engagement with open access publication and dissemination of accessible occupational therapy research.

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    Review Process

    Each manuscript will undergo a careful review process before being accepted for publication. Each submission will initially be reviewed by at least one of our editors to ensure that its content meets the aims and scope of the journal and that it has been appropriately reviewed for spelling and grammar. The manuscript will be then reviewed by 2-3 reviewers, comprising at least one student reviewer and at least one practicing professional with expertise in occupational therapy. These reviewers assess the importance, methodology, validity, and applicability of the work to occupational therapy practice. These reviews will be double-blinded. Suggested edits and publication decisions from reviewers will be communicated to editors, who will communicate with the author for revision as required.

    The review process may require 8-12 weeks for the delivery of initial revision requests to authors. Additional rounds of review, if needed, may extend that time further. If the manuscript is accepted and when all requested revisions have been made, the editors will submit a final proof to the author for approval. Authors are expected to respond promptly to requests for revision and approval of final proofs.

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    Attribution and Usage Policies

    Work in the Student Journal of Occupational Therapy is published under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) International License. Reproduction, electronic posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, requires that attribution be made to the Author and SJOT.

    Best practice for such attribution is to include a standard citation of the article, linking to the DOI of the original publication and to include the statement "Used under CC-BY-NC 4.0 License". If possible, a link to the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license information at the Creative Commons website (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) should also be provided. The cover page attached to each article meets these requirements fully.

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    Archival Policy

    As part of our commitment to the persistent accessibility of published material, all SJOT content will be sustainably archived through a network of mirror sites utilizing the LOCKSS system. SJOT began implementation of LOCKSS in December 2019. Complete implementation is expected before publication of the first issue of 2020.

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    Crossmark Policy for Corrections and Retractions

    SJOT participates in Crossmark, a multi-publisher initiative supported by the Crossref organization to provide a standard method for locating the current and authoritative version of a piece of content. Addenda, corrigenda, errata, and retractions will be issued for previously published articles as appropriate These will be published in SJOT and linked directly to the original work through the Crossmark system. Please see our Crossmark Document Update Policy for details.

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    Reporting Misconduct

    SJOT is committed to ethical publication practices and adheres as closely as possible to the guidelines, frameworks, and reporting practices established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) All reports of misconduct will be investigated. SJOT will likewise cooperate with investigations into misconduct at other institutions that are brought to our attention. Where misconduct is found, disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with best practices established by the COPE. Disciplinary action may include retraction of work, reporting of misconduct to the authors' home institution and/or the sharing of information with other journal editors where appropriate.

    • Author misconduct may include abuse of credited authorship, data manipulation or fabrication, statistical manipulation, plagiarism, abuse of informed consent, or other research misconduct. Author misconduct should be reported directly to the Senior Editor of the journal for investigation. See the Editorial Board for contact information.
    • Peer-reviewer misconduct may include intentional violation of double-blind review policy, failure to disclose financial interest or conflicts, or unethical bias in publication recommendations. Peer-reviewer misconduct should be reported directly to the Senior Editor of the journal for investigation. See the Editorial Board for contact information.
    • Editor misconduct may include assertions of publication bias, abuse of the blind peer-review policy, manipulation of journal impact ratings, failure to disclose conflicts, or other unethical publication management behavior. Editor misconduct should be reported to the Professional Misconduct Committee (pmc@usa.edu) of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

    The COPE has published detailed flowcharts which clearly outline the steps to be taken following reports of misconduct. The journal, the editors, and the Professional Misconduct Committee are committed to following these established practices to ensure the integrity of the journal, while providing a fair process to all concerned in decisions of misconduct.

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