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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Submission Requirements:

    Please read and acknowledge that you've completed the requirements below before proceeding.
    • Cover letter confirming that all requested information has been submitted.
    • Cover letter includes names of two potential, appropriate reviewers.
    • The manuscript strictly adheres to the instructions provided in the author guidelines.
    • The references are correctly formatted according to APA 7th style. For help go to
    • Tables and figures are correctly formatted as per guideline instructions.
    • If this is a randomised controlled trial, the CONSORT flow diagram has been provided (http://www.consort-
    • International Standardised Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) is cited in papers reporting on
    study protocol or randomised controlled trials.

    • Where appropriate, human and animal experimentation has been approved by a properly constituted ethics
    committee; and a statement to this effect has been provided within the text of the manuscript, along with
    the ethics reference number allocated to the study by the ethics committee.
    • A statement regarding conflict of interest has been included at the end of your manuscript.
    • Signed, written permission from the copyright holder for the use of tables, figures, or diagrams previously
    published has been provided.
    • Acknowledgements section: The written permission of each person acknowledged has been obtained.
    • The manuscript has been edited to ensure appropriate spelling and grammar.

    Declaration statement: As the corresponding/submitting author, I have read the Submission Preparation Checklist and confirm that I have addressed all of the relevant requirements for submission.

Author Guidelines

The New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy is the official academic journal of Physiotherapy New Zealand Inc. The Journal invites authors to contribute papers relevant to any aspect of the science and practice of physiotherapy.

Manuscripts can be submitted under the following categories:

  • Research report
  • Scholarly paper: Clinical or professional perspective
  • Literature review
  • Case study
  • Study protocol
  • Letter to the editor


All manuscript category types, with the exception of letters to the Editor, are subject to external peer review. Submissions are screened for suitability by the Editor and/or an Associate Editor and, if considered to be of interest to readers and potentially publishable in the Journal, are sent for review to at least two reviewers.

The Editor considers the reviewers’ reports and decides whether the manuscript is:

  • Accepted in its present form.
  • Accepted with minor revision.
  • Accepted with moderate revision.
  • Requires major revision. Reconsider if revised and resubmitted.
  • Not suitable for publication in the Journal.

Authors are advised of the decision and reviewers’ reports are made available to the authors.

The Honorary Editorial Committee reserves the right to refuse publication of any material that it does not consider appropriate for the Journal, does not meet the required standards or fails to conform to the style guidelines for contributors. In some circumstances, the Journal may publish a retraction or issue a correction to an article, as outlined in the guidelines published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (


Papers are accepted for consideration on the understanding that they have been offered to the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy alone and must be accompanied by a declaration to this effect.

Authors must complete the manuscript submission checklist and all submissions are to be accompanied by a cover letter stating:

  • The title of the manuscript.
  • The manuscript category under which the manuscript is submitted for review.
  • The name of one corresponding author with complete contact details.
  • The names, affiliations, qualifications and email addresses of all authors of the manuscript.
  • A declaration that the manuscript is being offered to the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy alone and does not duplicate work that has been or will be published elsewhere. Please declare if the manuscript has been previously published as a conference paper, abstract or seminar, or if the paper is an adaptation of a presentation. State the name, date and venue of the conference or seminar.
  • A statement acknowledging that the authors agree to execute a copyright transfer to Physiotherapy New Zealand, should their manuscript be accepted for publication.
  • The names and contact details (including email) for at least two potential, appropriate reviewers for the manuscript.

A manuscript will be returned to authors if it does not meet the guidelines for publication in the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy or if the format for submission is not followed correctly.


Please submit two word documents, with figures submitted as additional files (TIFF or JPEG preferred):

  • Document 1: Unblinded title page.
  • Document 2: Manuscript. Present the sections in the following order with each section beginning on a new page:
    • Blinded title page
    • Abstract and key words
    • Main text
    • Key points
    • Impact statement
    • Disclosures
    • Permissions
    • Acknowledgements
    • Contributions of authors
    • References
    • Appendices
    • Tables
    • Figure legends

General formatting

All manuscripts require an abstract and with the exception of study protocols, a numbered list of ‘key points’ and an ‘impact statement’. All manuscripts should be prepared with 2.5 cm margins. Beginning with the title page, pages should be numbered consecutively; each page should be line numbered. Arial, 12 point font size and double spacing should be used throughout, including references, tables and legends for illustrations. Use only one space after a full stop.

The New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy endorses the use of bias free language, consistent with chapter 5 of the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual (7th ed) ( We prefer the use of person-first language (e.g. ‘woman with diabetes’ rather than ‘diabetic’ or ‘diabetic woman’) but if not possible, please provide justification for alternate language decisions. When known, use the language that people use to refer to themselves. In particular, use ‘they’ for a person who uses ‘they’ as their personal (singular) pronoun. Please note that, in this case, the verb should be plural (e.g. ‘They are a nurse.’ is correct for a single person who uses they/them as their personal pronoun).

Abbreviations should be used sparingly and only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter, use the abbreviation. Physiotherapists or physiotherapy must not be abbreviated to PT.

Measurements must be given in metric units. Statistics, measurements and ages should always be given in figures (e.g. 10 mm) except where the number begins a sentence. Numbers that do not refer to a unit of measurement or are less than 10 should be spelled out. Spelling should conform to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English Usage.

Quotations including quotations from research participants within the manuscript should conform to APA style guidelines; quotations of less than 40 words are embedded within the text and denoted by quotation marks. If the quote is 40 words or more, then it is a block quotation and should be displayed as an indented block of freestanding text. Quotation marks should be omitted from block quotations. If you use a pseudonym to attribute a quote to a research participant, use quotation marks around the name the first time you use it. After the first use, do not use quotation marks for pseudonyms. Use quotation marks around linguistic examples rather than using italics for emphasis; eg “italics” rather than italics.

Document 1: Unblinded title page

This page needs to be prepared as a separate document and must contain the following:

  • The title of the article, which should not exceed 20 words.
  • The author(s) name(s) written in full.
  • No more than three relevant professional and academic qualifications for all authors.
  • Current position(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of each author.
  • After the heading ‘Address for Correspondence’, provide corresponding author name, affiliation, postal address, telephone, email.
  • A word count of the main text, excluding abstract, references, tables and figures.
  • The number of figures and tables included in the manuscript.

All individuals listed as authors must qualify for authorship credit under the criteria defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication ( and all those who qualify should be listed.

Document 2: Manuscript

The manuscript must include all of the following sections:

Blinded title page

On a separate page, include the full title of the manuscript. Please include a running title/short title of no more than six words for the journal cover.

Abstract and key words

All papers must include a brief but informative abstract of 250 words. The abstract should describe the purpose, basic procedures, main findings, and principal conclusions of the study. The abstract should be one paragraph and not contain subheadings, abbreviations or references. Please provide up to five key words to assist with indexing of the article. If possible, select your key words from the Index Medicus Medical Subheadings (MESH) (

Main text

For research papers, the main text must include the following section headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion. All articles should include an introduction that provides the background to the paper and describes its purpose and relevance to physiotherapy. Reference should be made to an established theoretical background and/or background literature. The implications of this work for physiotherapy practice, and further research and/or conceptual development should be clearly described.

Key points

With the exception of study protocols, all manuscripts musts include a numbered list of no more than four key points, which reflect the main findings of the study and/or implications for the profession.

Impact statement

An impact statement of 100 words will be published in Physio Matters to promote the journal article. The impact statement should be a clear and short outline of the key findings of the article, understandable to a lay person. Please refer to for further guidance.


  • Funding source: Please acknowledge all sources of funding. If no funding was obtained for the study, then this should be stated.
  • Conflict of interest: Any competing interests (financial, professional or personal) which may be perceived to interfere with or bias any stage of the writing or publication process should be declared. This includes, but is not restricted to, any factors that may influence full and objective presentation of the article, peer review and editorial decisions. If no conflicts of interest are present, please state explicitly.


  • Ethics: Research reports on human participants or animals must include a statement that the study was approved by a properly constituted ethics committee and provide the number allocated to the study. The statement should affirm that informed consent was obtained from human participants.
  • Photograph release: If photographs of people are used, either (i) the participant facial features must be sufficiently obscured to conceal the participant’s identity) or (ii) if persons are recognisable, their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to publish. This statement must be signed by the participant, parent or guardian.
  • Reprinting tables and figures: Authors must obtain and submit written permission from the original sources if reproducing previously published illustrations, photographs, figures or tables. Permission obtained must explicitly permit reproduction in the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy.
  • If no permissions were required, this should be stated.


Substantial contributions by individuals or institutions, who do not qualify for authorship, can be acknowledged in this section.

Contributions of authors

Provide author contributions (initials only) using the following CRediT headings as appropriate: Conceptualisation, Methodology, Software, Validation, Formal Analysis, Investigation, Resources, Data Curation, Writing – Original Draft, Writing – Review and Editing, Visualisation, Supervision, Project Administration, Funding acquisition. See following example for formatting:

Design conceptualization and methodology, BJ, TRI, MP, HH and LWN; validation, TRI, MP, HH, RP and GB; formal analysis, BJ, GB, HH, PTK and RP; data curation, BJ, HH, GB, RP, TRI and PTK; writing—original draft preparation, TRI, BJ, MP and PTK; writing—review and editing, BJ, TRI, MP, PTK, GB, HH, RP and LWN; funding acquisition, BJ, TRI, MP and LWN.


All in-text citations and the reference list should conform to APA 7th style ( All in-text citations are attributed using the name of the first author followed by “et al.” The only exception occurs where doing so would create ambiguity (e.g., when two papers have the same first author), in which case list as many names as needed to differentiate the authors.

The format for a journal in the reference list is:

Author, A., Author, B., & Author, C. (year). Title of article. Journal Title, x(x), xxx–xxx.


Appendices are used to provide essential material not suitable for figures, tables or text. These are labelled consecutively (A, B, C etc.).


  • Tables capture information concisely and display it efficiently; they also provide information at any desired level of detail and precision. Including data in tables rather than text frequently makes it possible to reduce the length of the text.
  • Each table must be on a separate page. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and indicate in the main text where the table must be inserted. Supply a brief title for each.
  • Do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines. No outline border is required on the sides of the table. See Example
  • The number of the table is to be in bold and situated above the table. Beneath this, include the title of the table in italic title case.
  • Consider the length and size of the table; larger tables may be clearer when information is divided into two tables.
  • Explanatory matter should be included as notes, not in the heading. Notes should be situated underneath the table – either general or specific as outlined in the APA 7th style guide.


  • Figures must be provided in an electronic format that will produce high-quality images (e.g. TIFF or JPEG). Photo images need to be a minimum of 300 dpi and figures and line drawings 600 dpi.
  • Figures should be submitted as separate files and not as part of the main manuscript.
  • Letters, numbers and symbols on figures should be clear and consistent throughout and large enough to remain legible when the figure is reduced for publication.
  • Figures should be made as self-explanatory as possible. Detailed explanations belong in the legend, not on the illustration itself.
  • No border required surrounding the outside of the figure.
  • No bold or italics to be used in the figure (unless at discretion of the Editor).
  • Photographs of potentially identifiable people must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph.
  • Figures should be numbered consecutively (Arabic numbers) according to the order in which they have been cited in the text.
  • When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the figure, identify and explain each one clearly as a note.

Table and Figure examples


Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor should relate specifically to articles published in the New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy or to issues of research relevance to the physiotherapy profession. To be considered for publication, letters relating to an article must be received within eight weeks of publication of the article.

Literature Review

Meta-analyses, systematic and narrative reviews of literature on topics of interest to physiotherapists are included in this category. In all cases, authors should conclude with specific recommendations for clinical practice and/or future research. Although authors may wish to further a viewpoint or theoretical argument, this should not be the major purpose of this paper. A review should not exceed 5000 words.
We recommend the PRISMA checklist is followed for meta-analyses and systematic reviews.

Research Report

Research reports include original research using quantitative or qualitative methods, including quasi-experimental and single subject designs. A research report should not exceed 5000 words.

Papers reporting on randomised controlled trials must provide a CONSORT flow diagram as well as an International Standardised Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN). For other study designs, please refer to Equator Network for appropriate reporting standards.

Scholarly Paper: Clinical or Professional Perspective

A scholarly paper expounds on a specific clinical approach to patient care, either imparting a specific point of view or presenting a theoretical argument or addresses professional issues in physiotherapy, healthcare and related areas. References should be sufficiently extensive to support the opinions presented in the paper. A scholarly paper should not exceed 2500 words.

Case Study

A case study (or report) is an indepth description of an individual’s condition or response to treatment. It is often used to report on unusual or unique patients or novel interventions. It allows the clinician to explore and understand those factors important to the aetiology, care and outcome of the patient’s problems, through a detailed description of a patient’s background, functional status and response to treatment. Current literature, which supports the rationale for treatment and interpretation of outcomes, should be cited and discussed. A case study should not exceed 2500 words.

Clinical Commentary

A scholarly paper expounding on a specific clinical approach to patient management or addressing professional issues in physiotherapy. Clinical commentaries are submitted for peer review. A clinical commentary should not exceed 4000 words.

Study Protocol

A description of proposed or ongoing research, which provides a detailed account of the rationale, hypotheses and methodology of the study. The paper should include details of the study design and setting, the participants or materials involved and a thorough description of all interventions and outcome measures to be used. Details of the data analyses to be undertaken should be included, including a power calculation if appropriate. Preference for publication will be given to study protocols for randomised controlled trials. If the study is a randomised controlled trial, it must have an ISRCTN. A study protocol should not exceed 4000 words.

  • Protocol papers should report planned or ongoing studies, not completed work. Protocols must be submitted prior to completion of data collection. Manuscripts reporting results will not be considered as protocols. The dates of the study must be included in the manuscript and cover letter.
  • Protocols for studies requiring ethical approval, must have evidence of having received that approval.
  • Preliminary or pilot data may be included but only if essential to support the proof of principle or feasibility of the study.
  • Use the protocol-specific reporting guidelines
  • Include evidence of appropriate consultation: We strongly encourage authors of study protocols, where appropriate, to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section. For guidance for best reporting of patient and public involvement as set out in the GRIPP2 reporting checklist (

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