Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Instructions for Authors

Purpose of the Journal

Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation (TSCIR)
is an interdisciplinary journal published quarterly that is devoted to the study and dissemination of practical and theoretical information related to the subject of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The journal reviews and reports on clinical practices, state-of-the-art concepts, and new developments in spinal cord injury patient care and research. Both primary research papers and comprehensive reviews of existing literature are included. The objective of each issue is to summarize and synthesize current knowledge on a selected timely topic in spinal cord injury rehabilitation and to present current research articles of interest to the spinal cord injury professional.

  • TSCIR is indexed in PUBMED Central, EMBASE, the Excerpta Medica database; CINAHL, the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature; Psychological Abstracts; PsycINFO; PsycLIT; and OT Bibsys.
  • Online archive is fully indexed and includes all articles from 1997 to present
  • All articles older than 12 months are open access

To contact the editors of Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, send a message to:

Open Access Policy

There are no submission fees for this journal, and all articles are open-access in the online archive 12 months after publication. However, authors of peer-reviewed articles who choose to have their articles posted with immediate open access upon publication may request this only after an article is accepted for publication. There is a charge of $2,800 USD per article, which must be paid within 30 days of acceptance. To initiate immediate open access upon publication, contact

Manuscript Submission

TSCIR follows the uniform submission requirements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; and the reporting guidelines for health research (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research [EQUATOR]; Authors are advised to review these guidelines and adhere to them when preparing their submissions.

TSCIR uses the Editorial Manager online manuscript submission system. To access Editorial Manager click here. A brief registration is required. During submission, authors will be required to confirm their adherence to all ethics and reporting requirements. Forms and further information are available in the Editorial Manager system. If you have any difficulty with uploading your manuscript or have any questions about the process, contact

Manuscript Submission Contents

TSCIR follows a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions that are not blinded or are incomplete will be returned to the corresponding author with a request to resubmit.

Title Page including (a) title of article; (b) author names and affiliations; (c) corresponding author indicated, with current contact information; (d) word count and number of tables and figures; (e) conflicts of interest and financial support/disclosures; (f) adherence to ethics and reporting requirements; and (g) as applicable, device status and clinical trials registration number.

Manuscript (with title but without author identifiers) (a) double-spaced with line numbers; (b) abstract with key words; (c) text; (c) references in AMA style; (d) tables; (e) figure captions; (f) figures; and (g) supplementary digital content (optional).

Conditions of Submission form (includes Copyright Transfer)

ICMJE Disclosure form

Reprint Permission form (if applicable)

Models Release form (if applicable)

Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

Microsoft Word is the preferred word-processing program. Manuscripts should be double-spaced (including tables, references, and figure captions). The text should be ragged right (no right justification). Sequential page numbering should begin with the abstract. Do not insert any section breaks within the document.

To facilitate peer review, line numbers should be added to the document. No direct references to the author(s) or institution of origin should be made anywhere in the text or figures.

TSCIR follows the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, 10th ed. Use nonproprietary names of drugs, devices, and other products, unless the specific trade name of a drug is essential to the discussion. Capitalize trade names and place them in parentheses after the generic names. Include the name and location (city and state in USA; city and country outside USA) of the manufacturer of any drug or equipment mentioned in the manuscript. Laboratory slang and clinical jargon should be avoided. Keep abbreviations to a minimum. Spell out the full term for each abbreviation at first use in the text, unless it is a standard unit of measure.

Manuscript Organization

Title Page
The title page is a separate document (not sent to reviewers) including the following information):
- Title of article
- Names, degrees, and affiliations (department, organization, city/state/country) of all authors
- Complete mailing and e-mail addresses for corresponding author
- Statement of conflicts of interest, financial disclosures (grants and financial support), and adherence to ethics requirements and reporting guidelines.
- Clinical trials registration number (if applicable)
- Word count and number of tables and/or figures

Blinded Manuscript

Abstract: Provide an abstract of no more than 250 words with up to 7 key words that describe the contents of the article, like those that appear in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) or the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings ( Click here for an example of a structured abstract.

Text: Follow the guidelines for specific article types in the Article Categories and Requirements section.

References: Cite references in text and style in the reference list according to the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 10th ed. Journal names are abbreviated according to Index Medicus. Number references consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text (references in figures and tables are numbered after the last text reference). Reference numbers can be used more than once throughout an article. References should NOT be created using Microsoft Word’s automatic footnote/endnote feature.

Examples of reference citations:

Lezak MD, Howieson DB, Loring DW. Neuropsychological Assessment. New York: Oxford University Press; 2004.


Bodley R. Imaging in chronic spinal cord injury--indications and benefits. Eur J Radiol. 2002;42(2):135-153.

Sugarman H, Weisel-Eichler A, Burstin A, Brown R. Use of the Wii Fit system for the treatment of balance problems in the elderly: A feasibility study. Paper presented at: Virtual Rehabilitation International Conference; June 29 – July 2, 2009; Haifa, Israel.

US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2020. Accessed August 9, 2011.

Tables: Tables should be self-explanatory and supplement, rather than duplicate, the material in the text. Participant data presented in tables must be in aggregate form. If reporting individual cases in tables, the data must be de-identified by using categories for variables, such as age and years post injury (ie, 2-5, 6-10, etc). Avoid highly specific descriptions of the etiology of injury and diagnosis by utilizing broader categories. All arithmetic (percentages, totals, differences) should be double-checked for accuracy, and tabular data should agree with data in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the order they are cited in text. Each table should have a short title and each column should have a heading. Explanatory statements, notes, keys, and nonstandard abbreviations should be included in a table note. Footnote labels will use superscript lowercase letters a, b, c, etc. Source and permission lines are required, as needed. Credit lines should be provided exactly as requested by the original copyright holder. Data from another published or unpublished source may only be used with permission and must be acknowledged fully. It is the author's responsibility to obtain such permission. Click here to download a Permission to Reprint form.

Figure Captions: Figure captions should be provided after the reference list, with each figure listed in the order cited in text. Captions include the figure title; explanatory statements, notes, or keys; and source and permission lines. If a figure has been previously published, in part or in total, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce or adapt the material. Click here to download a Permission to Reprint form.

Figures, Images, and Photographs
Figures should be limited and used only when necessary. High-resolution figures should be submitted as either a TIFF or JPEG file with at least 300 dpi. We do not accept art that is embedded in the text, was downloaded from the Internet, or has been photocopied. Images will be printed in black and white. Color images may be included in the online version of the article or as supplemental digital content.
Patients’ names or other patient-identifying information should not appear anywhere on the images.

Supplemental Digital Content
Supplemental digital content that enhances the article’s text may be submitted for consideration. This includes text documents (intake forms, phone scripts, surveys, etc), graphs, audio, and video. Digital files are not copyedited by Thomas Land Publishers and will be presented as submitted. List all supplemental content at the end of the article (ie, Supplemental Appendix A.pdf).

Video requirements:
File format: .mp4 is preferred, also accepted are .avi, .mpg, .mpeg, and .wmv formats. No Flash files or streaming video.
File size: No larger than 10 MB.
Must be viewable in QuickTime or Windows Media Player.
If any person, other than the authors, is identifiable, a signed Model Release form must submitted. Click here for Model Release form.

Article Categories and Requirements

TSCIR accepts original/research articles, observational studies, reviews, brief reports, case reports, clinical perspectives, commentary, and letters to the editor.

TSCIR supports initiatives aimed at improving the quality of scientific publications by promoting transparent and accurate reporting of health research. We require authors to choose, according to the design of their paper, one of the following checklists, to conform the structure of their paper to the checklist requirements, and to specify on the title page which checklist was chosen: randomized controlled trials and studies of similar design (CONSORT), observational studies (STROBE), systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA), and case reports (CARE).  The EQUATOR network of reporting guidelines provides links to current guidelines and information about reporting requirements (

Studies of human subjects with prospective assignment of an intervention by the investigators, regardless of the size of the trial or method of assignment, must be registered in a publically accessible database. [Cohort and retrospective studies without an intervention and observational studies of clinical care do not require registration.] The clinical trials registration number should be included on the title page of the article.

Original Research/Article: 3,000 words + 5 figures/tables; structured abstract, 250 word maximum

Observational Studies: 3,000 words + 5 figures/tables; structured abstract, 250 word maximum

Review Articles: 5,000 words + 5 figures/tables; structured abstract, 250 word maximum

Brief Reports: 1,500 words + 2 figures/tables; unstructured abstract, 100 word maximum

Case Reports: 1,500 words + 2 figures/tables; unstructured abstract, 100 word maximum

Clinical Perspectives: 1,500 words + 2 figures/tables; structured abstract, 250 word maximum

Commentary: 1,000 words; no abstract

Letter to the Editor: 500 words + 1 figure/table; no abstract

*If necessary, additional material can be submitted as Supplemental Digital Content.

Original/Research and Observational Studies: Present new and important basic and clinical information, extend existing studies, or provide a new approach to a traditional subject. Statistical analysis to support conclusions is usually necessary. Often the article is hypothesis-based and attempts to provide conclusive evidence as to the validity of the hypothesis. Manuscripts should be limited to 3,000 words of text (Introduction through Conclusions), with a structured abstract of no more than 250 words (Background, Objective, Method, Results, Conclusion).

Introduction: State the purpose of the article. Summarize the rationale for the study or observation. Do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

Methods: Describe the objective of the investigation. Describe the research plan, the materials (or subjects), and the methods used. Explain what data were collected and how they were analyzed. For clinical trials, provide the Clinical Trial registration number.

When reporting work with human subjects, indicate whether the procedures followed protocol in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible institutional review board, ethics committee, or with the Declaration of Helsinki, as appropriate for the country where the research took place.

Results: Specify the statistical methods used to analyze the data. Describe the success of any blinding of observations. Report treatment complications. Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (ie, dropouts from a clinical trial). Present results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations.

Discussion: Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Describe the limitations of the research plan, materials (or subjects), and methods, considering both the objective and the outcome of the study. When results differ from those of previous investigators, explain the discrepancy. Include implications for future research.

Conclusions: Link the conclusions with the study's goals but avoid unqualified statements not supported by the data. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.

Issue Topic Articles: Editor-in-Chief and/or Issue Editor will solicit contributions for the topical portion of the journal. These articles include original research, review articles, meeting proceedings, among others.

Review Articles: Review articles can be narrative or analytical. Review articles should be no more than 5,000 words of text (Introduction through Conclusions), exclusive of references, with a structured abstract no longer than 250 words (for systematic reviews: Background, Objectives, Data Sources, Study Selection, Data Extraction, Results, Conclusions; for clinical reviews: Background, Evidence Acquisition, Results, Conclusions).  

Brief Reports: Brief Reports are short versions of clinical studies. They represent observations that are preliminary, speak for themselves, or offer new insight into a recognized condition.

Case Report: A case study or case series reporting on a new or unusual syndrome or medical condition, new diagnostic method, or highlight of an important clinical complication of a common condition. The text should include the following sections: introduction, presentation of the case report or series, and discussion.
Clinical Perspective: Description of the authors’ experience with a specific clinical subject. The text describes how or why a technique or method is used. Articles that translate knowledge, practices, and technologies into the care of patients and describe their evidence-based effectiveness are of particular interest.

Commentary: A commentary is a short essay that states a specific opinion, often on a controversial topic.

Letters to the Editor: Letters are published at the discretion of the Editorial Board and can provide additional comment on an article published in TSCIR or can be a very concise report on study findings. The editorial staff reserves the right to solicit a response from the authors of the cited paper as well as condense and edit without consulting the writer.

Manuscript Review Process

TSCIR uses a double-blind, peer-review process. All manuscripts are reviewed by one of the Editors and at least two outside reviewers for clinical relevance, originality, scientific quality, and statistical accuracy. The Editor will make the final determination as to the acceptability of a submission, after collecting the referee’s comments. Authors may recommend reviewers they deem especially well-qualified, however, the Editor will not be bound to follow such suggestions. Reviewers receive blinded manuscripts to ensure an unbiased review.

Conditions for Submission Form

The Conditions for Submission form must be signed by all authors and accompany the manuscript at the time of submission. It should be uploaded electronically with the manuscript.

Click here for the Conditions for Submission form.

This form stipulates the following: author(s)' warranty of responsibilities, author(s)' rights, copyright transfer agreement, exclusive publication statement, disclosure of conflict of interest, adherence to reporting guidelines, adherence to Institutional Review Board (IRB) or animal care committee policies (if applicable),  device status (if applicable), and identification of funding source (including National Institutes of Health status, if applicable).

The ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Possible Conflicts of Interest must also be submitted with the manuscript. Click here for the ICMJE form.


Corresponding Author: A single author of the manuscript is required to serve as the primary correspondent with the editorial office, to accept responsibility for addressing revision recommendations from reviewers and editors, to review final page proofs, and to make decisions regarding release of information to media outlets or government agencies. The corresponding author is also responsible for providing statistical data if requested by the Editor and is responsible for identifying names, addresses, and affiliations of all undisclosed writers who have contributed to this submitted manuscript. All authors must agree to the identity of the corresponding author designee before manuscript submission.

Author(s)' Warranty: Any person listed as a manuscript author should have made substantive intellectual contributions to the study as established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, The authors warrant that the entire manuscript is an original product of the author(s) and represents honest and valid work.

The order of authorship is a joint decision of, and must have been agreed to by, all of the authors. All authors should meet all of the following conditions with regard to the manuscript: (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; (3) final approval of the version to be published; and (4) taking public responsibility for its content. Please note that acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of a research group, alone, does not justify authorship.

Contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. For example, persons providing technical help or writing assistance or a department chair providing general support should not be included as authors, but should be listed in the Acknowledgments section.

Author(s)' Rights: Thomas Land Publishers hereby licenses the following rights back to the author(s):
(1) Patent and trademark rights to any process or procedure described in the article;
(2) The right to photocopy or make single electronic copies of the article for their own personal use, including for teaching purposes within an educational environment, or for the personal use of colleagues, provided that the copies are not sold or systematically distributed in paper or electronically. Posting of the article on a secure network (not accessible to the public) within the author(s)' home institution is permitted;
(3) The right, subsequent to electronic or print publication, to use the article or any part thereof, free of charge in a printed compilation of works of their own, such as collected writings or lecture notes.

Note: All copies, paper or electronic, or other use of the information must include an indication of the Thomas Land copyright and a full citation of the journal source.

Copyright Transfer Agreement:
The author(s) agree to transfer, assign, or otherwise convey all copyright ownership, including any and all rights incidental thereto, exclusively to the Thomas Land Publishers, in the event that this work is published. If the manuscript is not accepted for publication, then all said rights return to the author(s). For officers or employees of the US government, Thomas Land Publishers recognizes that works prepared as part of their official government duties are in the public domain, but they must still sign the Conditions for Submission form.

Exclusive Publication Statement: The author(s) certify that this manuscript and the material within this manuscript have not been previously published in print or electronic formats in part or in whole and this manuscript and materials within this manuscript are not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. This includes symposia, transactions, books, journals, invited articles, and preliminary publications. This restriction does not apply to abstracts of fewer than 500 words.

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest:
Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged on the title page. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding (including grant number) must be included on the title page that accompanies the manuscript, and the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Possible Conflicts of Interest must be submitted with the manuscript.

Reporting Guidelines: Authors should follow the appropriate guidelines for reporting health research and address all items recommended by the guidelines. Studies of human subjects with prospective assignment of an intervention by the investigators, regardless of the size of the trial or method of assignment, must be registered in a publically accessible database. [Cohort and retrospective studies without an intervention and observational studies of clinical care do not require registration.] The authors must affirm that the manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.

Patient Anonymity and Informed Consent: It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that a patient's anonymity is carefully protected and to verify that any experimental investigation with human subjects reported in the manuscript was performed with informed consent and following all the guidelines for experimental investigation with human subjects required by the institution(s) with which all the authors are affiliated. Authors from US institutions must comply with regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Authors should mask patients' faces and remove patients' names from figures (and videos where applicable) unless they obtain a signed Model Release from the patients and submit it with the manuscript.

Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research: When reporting work with human subjects, authors must indicate whether the procedures followed protocol and accord with the ethical standards of the responsible institutional review board, ethics committee, or with the Declaration of Helsinki, as appropriate for the country where the research took place. A statement of such must also be included in the Methods section of the article. Manuscripts that report research involving animals must include a statement that either the protocol was approved by an institutional animal care board or that the animal care complied with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Institute for Laboratory Animal Research).

Device Status: A statement appearing on the title page of the manuscript regarding the presence or absence of the use of any medical devices in the study is required. The first mention of the device in text should include the manufacturer’s name and location. If a medical device(s) is discussed, then a statement regarding its legal/regulatory status is required, including FDA status (eg, approved for indicated use, investigational, exempt from regulations [and why], not approved, or unknown).

Gender and Race: Authors are strongly encouraged to include data disaggregated by sex (and, whenever possible, by race) and provide a comprehensive analysis of gender and racial differences. The authors should include the number and percentage of men, women and, if appropriate, transgender persons who participated in the research study. Anatomical and physiological differences between men and women (height, weight, body fat-to-muscle ratios, cell counts, hormonal cycles, etc.), as well as social and cultural variables (socio-economic, education, access to care, etc.), should be taken into consideration in the presentation of data and/or analysis of the results.

Funding Source:
All manuscripts must include in the title page a statement of the source of funding of the study (if applicable). This information will appear in the Acknowledgments section of the article when published.

Compliance with NIH Accessibility Requirements
For works that have received NIH funding (confirmed by NIH grant number), Thomas Land Publishers will deposit the final, published manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC) on behalf of the authors no later than 12 months after publication. This service will help authors comply with the revised NIH Public Access Policy.