Submit an Article Guidelines updatedOctober 2020

Authors wishing to submit a manuscript to Athletic Training and Sports Health Care should refer to the following:

Author Form

At manuscript submission, each author must complete and submit the form below. This combined Author Statement-ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest addresses copyright transmittal and any relevant disclosures.

Interactive Author Statement-ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest (interactive PDF - preferred)

  1. Download the form to your computer.
  2. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader, fill it out, and then save it to your computer.
  3. Upload the form with your manuscript submission in Editorial Manager.

Note. Mac/Safari and Chrome users may have difficulty using the interactive form. These authors should use the Noninteractive Form, which must be printed, completed, and then scanned and uploaded with your manuscript submission in Editorial Manager.

Information for Authors

Journal Description and Mission

Athletic Training and Sports Health Care provides a forum for the dissemination of contemporary athletic training and sports health care information and guidance to clinicians involved in a variety of allied health professions. Primary emphasis is on the clinical relevance of information to the practicing sports health care professional. The Journal publishes peer-reviewed articles including original research, case reviews, evidence-based reports, evidence-based digests, clinical columns, systematic reviews, and literature reviews from a variety of sports health care disciplines.

The Journal offers an author-friendly approach from submission through publication. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care adheres to the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (2019) of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

Authorship Criteria and Responsibilities

Criteria for authorship include contribution to:

  • Conception and design, or
  • Data collection, or
  • Analysis and interpretation


  • Writing the manuscript, or
  • Critical revision of the manuscript

All individuals identified as authors should meet the necessary criteria for authorship listed above, and all individuals who meet the criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet the necessary criteria should be acknowledged (see Acknowledgments). Any issues related to authorship must be resolved before the manuscript is submitted to the Journal.

Authors should be accountable for the portions of the manuscript to which they have contributed. They should also have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of all other authors. All authors should have read the final manuscript prior to submission and be aware of its submission to the Journal.

One author must be identified as the corresponding author, who is responsible for (1) ensuring all authors meet the authorship criteria and complete the required Author Statement-ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest; (2) submitting the manuscript to the Journal and serving as the main contact during the review process; and (3) performing any related activities if the manuscript is accepted, such as reviewing proofs of the edited manuscript and answering editorial queries. The corresponding author will be identified as the primary contact in the published article.

Order of authorship must be determined and agreed upon by all authors before manuscript submission. Any disagreements should be resolved before submitting the manuscript. Changes in authorship (ie, order, addition, and/or deletion of authors) must be approved by all authors. Requests for changes in authorship after initial manuscript submission and before publication are required in writing (email preferred) signed by all authors.


Any individuals who contributed to the manuscript but do not meet the necessary criteria for authorship should be acknowledged. Acknowledgments should be limited to those who helped extensively, such as providing statistical help, essential equipment, or laboratory services; or translating references.

Copyright Transfer

Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that they have not been previously published (in print or online) and are not under simultaneous consideration by another publication. Accepted manuscripts become the permanent property of the Journal and will not be published until the Author Statement-ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest has been completed in full by each author.

Competing/Conflicting Interests and Sponsorship

If any author has a competing or conflicting interest in the subject matter of the manuscript, this must be indicated. If the manuscript discusses in any way a drug, a device, equipment, or an instrument, the authors must state whether or not they have any commercial or proprietary interest in the product or company. All reported competing interests are clearly indicated on all published articles.

If applicable, authors should describe the role of the study sponsor, if any, in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state. If applicable, authors must declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If the manuscript reports on a registered clinical trial and has been assigned a trial registration number from a public trials registry, authors should provide this information.

Human Subjects Protection and Protection of Identifiable Subjects

Reports of studies involving human subjects must indicate procedures for the protection of their rights, informed consent, as well as Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.

If subjects’ personal details are provided, measures should be taken to protect subjects’ identity. If photographs are submitted with a manuscript, permission to publish must be obtained in writing from all individuals pictured. Measures to conceal the identity of an individual in a photograph, such as placing black bars over the person’s eyes, should not be used.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts should be prepared following the AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition, and spelling should reflect Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary.

IMPORTANT! Manuscript files uploaded for review should NOT include any of the authors' names or institutional affiliations to facilitate blind peer review. Files MUST include continuous page and line numbers.

Manuscript titles should be concise, specific, and informative and should contain the key points of the work. Overly general titles, as well as questions and declarative sentences, should be avoided.

Use of abbreviations should be limited to those that are commonly understood without explanation. All abbreviations must be spelled out at first mention in the text. Pharmaceuticals should be referred to by their generic names. Device manufacturers and their locations should appear in parentheses following the mention of devices.

Manuscript Organization

Original Research

Original Research manuscripts should be no more than 16 double-spaced pages in length (3,000 words), excluding references, figures, and tables. See Length Limits below for specific requirements.

Abstract. All Original Research manuscripts must include a structured abstract of 150 or fewer words using the headings Purpose, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Text. The text should include the following sections when appropriate for the material. The use of subheadings is encouraged.

  1. Introduction: Previous pertinent literature is cited and discussed. The purpose/research hypotheses are clearly stated. Rationale for the study is provided.
  2. Methods: Research design is fully described.
  3. Results: Results are clearly presented and relevant to the study objectives. Text should not duplicate tables or figures.
  4. Discussion: Support/nonsupport of the hypotheses is noted and discussed with reference made to previous literature. Limitations of the study are indicated. Suggestions for future research are made.
  5. Implications for Clinical Practice: The clinical implications of the research are stated. No summary section is necessary.

References. References must be cited consecutively in the text with superscript numbers and listed in that order in the reference section at the end of the text. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references, particularly author names and page numbers.

Unpublished data and personal communications should not be listed as references, but rather mentioned parenthetically in the text.

Abbreviations of the names of journals should conform to PubMed/MEDLINE. The titles of those journals that are not listed in PubMed/MEDLINE must be provided in full. Journal titles should be cited as they existed at the time of publication.

References should follow the format specified by the AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition.

Figures, Photos, Illustrations. Each figure must be numbered and cited consecutively in the text. If applicable, arrows or asterisks can be present on figures for identification of specified areas that are discussed in the legend.

  • Permission: Drawings or computer-generated images submitted with a manuscript require permission to publish from the artist. Authors must disclose whether any figures or tables have been previously published; such materials must be accompanied by a letter of permission from the publisher, which extends non-exclusive worldwide rights to reprint the material for all forms of media now or hereafter developed to SLACK Incorporated. Content from U.S. government websites (eg, NIH, CDC, USDHHS) is in the public domain and generally can be used without permission. However, some content on these sites may be from another source, in which case permission must be obtained from the copyright holder.
  • Legends: The legend should be a brief description that allows the figure to be fully understood. Legends, headings, or captions should not be included within the image files, and instead should be provided in the manuscript files.
  • Digital Requirements: Digital images should be high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and saved in JPEG or TIFF format. Image files should be uploaded separately from manuscript text files. Images embedded in Word files and PowerPoint® slides are not acceptable.

Tables. Each table must be numbered and cited consecutively in the text and should have a short, descriptive title. Abbreviations used in tables that are not commonly understood should be explained in a table legend. Material that is in the tables should not be repeated in the text.

Case Reviews

This section contains case reports, techniques, and descriptions of instrumentation. Case Reviews require an abstract of 50 or fewer words and should contain approximately 1,200 words, no more than 3 figures, and fewer than 15 references. Case Review manuscripts should be organized in the following manner: Abstract, Introduction, Case Review, Discussion, Implications for Clinical Practice, and Conclusion.

Clinical Imaging in Sports Medicine

This section contains case reports where diagnosis and treatment is significantly impacted or guided by the results of clinical imaging. Clinical imaging submissions require an abstract of 50 or fewer words and should contain approximately 1,000 words, no more than 3 photographs, and fewer than 15 references. Clinical imaging manuscripts should be organized in the following manner: Abstract, Introduction, Case Review, Clinical Imaging, Discussion, Implications for Clinical Practice, and Conclusion.

Evidence-Based Reports

Evidence-based reports provide athletic trainers and sports health care professionals with up-to-date evidence to support clinical practice techniques and interventions. Authors of evidence-based reports should follow the guidelines for reporting clinical trials established by the CONSORT Group.Manuscripts for Evidence-Based Reports require an abstract of 50 or fewer words and should contain approximately 1,200 words.

Sports Medicine Digests

Sports Medicine Digests feature summaries of recent evidence-based research relevant to athletic trainers and sports health care professionals. Manuscripts submitted for this section are succinct reviews of published systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or randomized controlled trials on topics pertinent to practicing clinicians. Sports Medicine Digests do not require an abstract. Sports Medicine Digests should be no more than 1,200 words, with no more than 5 references and 1 figure. Manuscripts for Sports Medicine Digests should be organized in the following manner: Citation, Clinical Question, Data Sources, Study Selection, Data Extraction, Main Results, and Summary.

Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews describe a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research. Each article discussed in the manuscript must be examined and graded. Systematic Reviews should be organized in the following manner: Abstract, Background, Literature Review, Findings, Discussion, Conclusions, and Further Research. Systematic review articles require an structured abstract of 150 or fewer words or less using the headings Purpose, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Literature Reviews

Comprehensive Literature Reviews serve to inform readers of sports health care topics related to clinical practice. Literature Reviews should be organized in the following manner: Abstract, Background, Literature, Findings, Conclusions, and Further Research. Formal guidelines for writing literature reviews can be accessed here. Review articles require an unstructured abstract of 150 or fewer words and should be no more than 4,000 words. The number of references is not limited, but authors should include only those that are most relevant.

  • Pearls of Practice: This column is published three times per year. Column submissions should be a succinct description of a single concept, practical tip, or clinical technique. This column is intended to disseminate high-yield content that will benefit athletic trainers or other allied health professionals. Submissions should be no more than 750 words and contain no more than 5 references. Tables and figures are encouraged when applicable. Pearls of Practice columns do not require an abstract. Any questions about submissions or content can be directed to Paul Geisler, column editor.
Length Limits for Submissions



Maximum Number of Words


Abstract Word Count


Maximum Number of Tables*


Maximum Number of Figures*


Maximum Number of References

  Original Research











  Review Article











  Case Review











  Sports Medicine Digest











  Pearls of Practice











  Note. Maximum number of words is exclusive of the title page, abstract, references, and figure captions.

  *Number of tables and figures applies to the print version; other table and figures may be included as supplemental material in the online version of the article at the editor’s discretion.

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted via Editorial Manager®. Authors should contact the editorial office with questions regarding the submission process.

Review Process

All manuscripts undergo pre-publication double-blind peer review by the Editorial Board and reviewers. Final decisions regarding manuscript disposition are made by the Editor, and the Editor mediates all interactions between reviewers and authors. Authors are notified by e-mail as soon as possible about the acceptability of their manuscript. It is recommended that novice authors have their manuscripts reviewed by their well-published peers, instructors, or mentors prior to submission.

Manuscripts are evaluated based on their scientific rigor, novelty, and importance to the profession, using the following criteria: topic is of interest, material is original and timely, writing and organization are clear, design and methods are appropriate, data are valid, and conclusions are supported by the data.

Peer reviewers are required to declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests related to manuscripts they are invited to review. A competing or conflicting interest is anything that interferes with, or could reasonably be perceived as interfering with, the full and objective presentation, peer review, editorial decision making, or publication of manuscripts submitted to the journal. Competing interests may be personal, financial, nonfinancial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. They can be related to an organization or a person.

If a reviewer realizes a competing or conflicting interest during their review of a manuscript, either related to themselves or to the manuscript authors, they should contact the editorial office for additional guidance. If a reviewer suspects the identity of the author(s), they should notify the editorial office if this knowledge raises any potential competing or conflicting interests.

If the Editor of the journal authors or co-authors a manuscript, the Editor will not be involved in the peer review or decision-making process for the paper. An Associate Editor will assume those duties. If an Editorial Board member of or reviewer for the journal authors or co-authors a manuscript, that person will not be involved in the peer review or decision-making process for the paper.

Reviews completed for the journal are owned by the journal and are not published. Peer reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality about the manuscripts they review and must not divulge any information about a specific manuscript or its contents without prior permission.

Supplemental Material or Data

Supplemental material or data submitted with a manuscript will undergo peer review with the main manuscript. If the manuscript is accepted for publication and if the supplemental material is deemed appropriate for publication, the material or data will be posted online only with the article at the time of publication. Supplemental material will not be copyedited or formatted; therefore, the authors are responsible for the accuracy and presentation of the material.

Policy on Research Misconduct

The publisher and editor will take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including but not limited to plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. Per journal policy, final manuscript acceptance is contingent upon successfully passing a plagiarism software check. If an allegation of research misconduct is made related to an article published in the Journal, the publisher and editor will follow the guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to address such allegations.

Open Access Publication Option

The Journal offers an open access publication option to authors of accepted peer-reviewed articles. With this option, articles are made freely available online immediately upon publication in exchange for payment of an article-processing charge of $1500. SLACK Incorporated’s Open Access Publication Policy can be found here.

Copyediting and Author Proofs

All accepted manuscripts are professionally copyedited to adhere to the AMA Manual of Style, 11th edition, and journal style. Proofs of the edited article are provided to the corresponding author for review and approval. Rewriting the manuscript or making frivolous changes at the proof stage is unacceptable. Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made during copyediting and production that are approved by the corresponding author.

Author Complimentary Access

After publication, the corresponding author will receive a link that allows 50 complimentary PDF downloads.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor may be correspondence regarding articles that have been published in the Journal or brief descriptions of findings that are not appropriate for the Case Reviews section. If the letter is regarding a previously published article, it must be submitted within 12 months of the article’s publication to be considered for possible publication, and the author of that article will be given the opportunity to respond. For other types of letters, authors should briefly describe their findings and the implications for other athletic trainers and sports health care professionals.

Letters should be no more than 500 words, with no more than 5 references and 1 figure. Letters may be edited for clarity or length, and letter authors must disclose any competing or conflicting interests. All letters are published at the Editor’s discretion. Letters should be submitted by email to the editorial office.

Corrections and Errata

Requests to publish corrections should be emailed to the editorial office. Corrections and errata are reviewed by the Editor, published promptly, and linked online to the original article.

Article Reprints, Eprints, and Licensing Opportunities

For article reprints, eprints, and licensing opportunities, contact Sheridan Content Solutions.


The publisher works with Portico to ensure electronic backup and preservation of access to Athletic Training and Sports Health Care content.

Editorial Office

Questions regarding the Journal should be directed to the editorial office.

SLACK Author Services

Authors interested in services that include English language editing, publication support, translation services, and research communication (including research summaries, research infographics, and posters) can click here to access SLACK Author Services (in collaboration with Editage). Fees apply to services selected. Use of SLACK Author Services does not guarantee acceptance by any SLACK journal.

Scholarly Uses of Journal Articles

Acceptable uses of SLACK Incorporated journal articles that are not published open access are outlined in the chart below (click to enlarge).

Open Access Articles

Articles that are published open access in the Journal may be shared at any time as long as the applicable Creative Commons license is observed and remains in place.

For details and more information about publishing open access, access the Journal’s Information for Authors.

Commercial Uses and/or Systematic Distribution

Authors of non-open access articles published in SLACK Incorporated journals may reuse the articles only for the scholarly purposes as set out above but may NOT use or post them for commercial purposes or under policies or other mechanisms designed to aggregate and openly disseminate manuscripts or articles. This includes the use or posting of articles for commercial gain or to substitute for the services provided directly by the journal, including the posting by companies of their employee-authored works for use by customers of such companies (eg, pharmaceutical companies and physician prescribers); commercial exploitation, such as directly associating advertising with such postings; the charging of fees for document delivery or access; and the systematic distribution to others via email lists or list servers, whether for a fee or for free. Please note that scholarly social networks such as ResearchGate and are commercial entities and that posting the final published version of an article to these sites is considered commercial reuse.

Public Access Policy for Non-Open Access Articles

SLACK Incorporated’s journal copyright agreements enable authors funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to deposit their accepted manuscripts to PubMed Central for posting 12 months following publication by SLACK Incorporated. The agreement also allows posting of accepted manuscripts on authors’ institutional repositories 12 months following publication by SLACK Incorporated. Authors should include a link to the final published article on the journal website. SLACK Incorporated will retain copyright for these articles, which prohibits republication elsewhere, and SLACK Incorporated will retain the right to charge a fee for the final published versions of these articles in whatever format they appear.

For uses that do not fall within the situations listed above, please visit

Questions? Contact: SLACK Customer Service, 1-800-257-8290 (856-848-1000 in NJ) or


Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents