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Information and Guidelines for Authors

IJP's Information & Guidelines for Authors

(Please read all of this information very, very carefully: 
Many authors don't and this can compromise and delay their submission)

The International Journal of Psychotherapy welcomes original contributions from within the field of psychotherapy, from all parts of the world, and from all people involved within the field of psychotherapy: e.g. academics, clinicians, researchers, therapists, clients / patients, etc.

Review Process:  All submissions, once they have been initially checked for suitability (topic, length, English, etc.), will be subjected to a "double-blind" "peer-review" process: i.e. the articles will be anonymised and sent to at least 2 independent reviewers / referees for peer-review.  Once received back, these reviews will then also be anonymized and forwarded to the author, with a reformatted version of their article.
      The author is then 
advised - and encouraged - to respect the referees' views, along with any constructive comments and suggestions that the editor might make about their article.  They then have the opportunity to revise their submission before publications: and there will often be a time-factor indicated.  What is re-submitted is usually what is printed, however, the article may be subjected to further (usually very minor) copy-editing for language and punctuation at the editor's discretion.
      We have developed a fairly full description of this "double-blind" "peer-review" process, with a flow-chart (see here). The whole review process (from submission to potential publication of 'final' version) usually takes about 3 months (c. 12 weeks) though we are trying to speed this up.  As an author, you are reminded here-and-now that we only publish about once every 4 months (about March; July & November). 
    There is - quite often - a backlog of articles, still 'in the pipeline', so there can then be a further delay of a few months until the article is actually published in print.  

Timetable:  Currently (in Summer, 2021), we have a backlog of about 20 articles in the 'pipeline': enough for at least 1 or 2 new issues; plus any "Special Issues".  Newly submitted articles will therefore probably not become published until Nov. 2021 or March 2022 (at the very earliest).  However, as mentioned, we are also starting to publish articles, online, in advance of their printed publication (see here).  After the print publication, these articles then become part of the normal Back 'Catalogue': and versions of the articles will cost €3.00 for a PDF download.

Manuscripts: Manuscripts (articles and/or submissions) should be in the form of:

  • Full-length theoretical, clinical, descriptive and research articles, which should not exceed 5000-6000 words (including abstract and references), or
  • Medium-length articles (about 2000-3000 words), or
  • Short reports & reflections: for more rapid publication (1000-1500 words).
  • Book Reviews should usually be about 750-1000 words (which do not now need to be peer-reviewed), but if they are substantively longer, then they would need to be peer-reviewed.
  • News Items can be up to 400-600 words (and these will not be peer-reviewed).
  • Word Counts: We usually allow a 10% +/- margin of error on word counts.
  • In exceptional circumstances, longer articles (> about 6,500 words, or variations on these guidelines) may be considered for publication: however, the authors would need specific approval from the Editors in advance of their submission.  Please let us know, well in advance.

Publication decisions are based purely on merit and suitability, as long as there is also basic conformity within all these guidelines.  We do not discriminate between the (about 1,000) different types of psychotherapy.  As a rule, we do not publish articles that are primarily about 'psychology', 'psychiatry', other (non-psychological) therapies, counselling, etc. - unless they specifically relate to psychotherapy.

Criteria for Acceptance:  We really welcome: - original research articles; research reports; review articles; descriptions of new techniques or methodologies (ideally with some supportive indications); theoretical articles; clinical articles; case histories; etc. ... that are to do with psychotherapy.  Once submitted, the Editor(s) will review the article according to the following criteria:

  • Does the manuscript 'inform' the international field of psychotherapy and add to the 'body' of knowledge?
  • Is there a new, unique or interesting perspective that enhances existing knowledge or practice?
  • Is the manuscript respectful toward other methods, modalities, professions, or other aspects of the field of psychotherapy?
  • Are there any other issues ... suggestions for further studies; further questions; political or cultural considerations; etc.?  Does the article take us ... further?
With respect to specific research articles:
  • Is the literature review up-to-date?
  • Do the findings / results / conclusions etc. answer the research question; are they coherent; and do they stay within the main thesis? 
  • Has (where applicable) the research study been accepted by an ethics committee and (if so) has a suitable 'ethics statement' been attached to the article?
  • Has the author researched, read or referenced reasonably widely and reflexively, exploring their own possible "angles of bias", and presenting a reasonably wide, balanced and up-to-date view?
Fees:  Authors will not be asked for any fees or payments for the publication of their article (unless the article requires an extensive English edit, as indicated below).

Author's Information:  The submission must contain a 'front page' with the following information: all of the authors' names, plus their professional titles, affiliations and/or place of work; all of the authors' contact details, their postal addresses + e-mail addresses; their main activities; tel/fax numbers, web-sites, etc. (optional) - as well as some basic biographical information (no more than about 20-30 words maximum) about each author.
      This 'front page' should also include any other necessary statements about: conflicts of interest, sponsorship, sources of funding, connections to industry, ethics committee approval, etc.
      None of the following pages - i.e. the rest of the article - should contain any information that specifically identifies the author(s).
      If the author has referenced their own publications extensively, they will probably need to submit an 'anonymised' version with their surnames and references redacted.

Competing Interests or Conflicts of Interest:  Authors are required to declare any competing interests ("conflict of interests").  Such disclosure may not invalidate their article, but any such interests must be declared on submission of the article.  Such interests might include the sources of any financial links, funding or grants, and any associations with organisations that may be (or may seen to be) relevant to the submitted article.
      Such a statement - on the front page - should read (something like): "I/We have read and understood IJP's policy on declaration of interests and declare that we have no such competing interests." or (something like): "I/We have read and understood IJP's policy on declaration of interests and declare the following: 1) A... B... is a [salaried/unpaid] member of the [group/company/organisation] X... Y... which is developing/promoting Z ...; etc."
Please read the attached policy (here), complete the form, and submit it with your article.

Permissions: The author is required to obtain - in advance - all necessary permissions to reproduce any copyrighted material (including pictures and diagrams) in their article. A copy of these written permissions should be attached to their submission.
      Without this submission, there is a basic understanding / presumption that the contribution's contents have not been published previously. (Previously published articles need a special permission from the IJP Editors and will also require any appropriate permissions from the previous publication, attached with the submission.)  Articles should also not be submitted elsewhere for publication at the same time as the submission has been sent to the IJP.

Electronic Submission:  The author(s) should make their submission as an attached document, e-mailed to the IJP Editor: to admin@ijp.org.uk.
      You can also submit an article or news item or comment via this website using the "Submit Online" tab (above). (N.B. If you do submit a manuscript via the website, please also send us an e-mail (admin@ijp.org.uk) informing us of the details of your submission with a copy of the submission as an attachment - just as a safety check).

Layout & Formatting:  After the initial 'Front Page' (see above), the submission should begin with the title of the article and then the abstract and keywords.
*   Please use a 'clean' (new) Microsoft Word program document.
*   Please set the 'Normal' text (in the "Styles" menu) to Times New Roman, 12-point font size, double-spaced, with 'normal' settings (i.e. no paragraph spacings, etc.).
*   Headings can be in bold; sub-headings in italics.
*   The setting of the document's language ("Tools" menu) should be 'English UK'.
*   The "Page Set-up" should be A4 (vertical, portrait) and margins set at 2 cm, with 1.25 cm for headers & footers.
*   Please, do not put any text or page numbering in the headers or footers.  Please (and again please), try avoid any 'fancy' formatting, watermarks, styles, etc.

Journalistic Style: The basic 'style' of the Journal contains the following conventions:

  • One (or two) spaces should be inserted between each sentence - though please make it consistent. 
  • Line-spacing should be set at 1.5; there can be an extra line-space inserted between sections.
  • Please do not use any formatted spaces before or after the paragraphs.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs by 1.25 cm.
  • Please try to keep footnotes and/or endnotes to a minimum: we may make changes to these.
  • With quotations in the main text from other books and articles, please always give the reference and the page number of the quotation's source: e.g. (Smith, 1900, p. 50).  Proper quotations should have double inverted commas either side: e.g. "Friends, Romans, Countrymen ..."
  • Make sure that dashes are both preceded by, and followed by, one space (e.g. “He is — after all — a great student.”).
  • Similar to British conventions, please make sure that punctuation is placed outside of any quotation marks unless the punctuation is a component of the original quoted material.
  • As mentioned above, please try to use English (UK) - rather than English (US) language spellings - it helps with spell-checkers, etc.
  • Please otherwise consult the APA Style Essentials (see here); or the APA Publication Manual (see here).

Abstract & Key Words:  Underneath the title, the article must continue with an Abstract - of no more than about 150 words) - and about 4 to 6 Key Words.  These will be translated - at the IJP's expense - into French, German & Russian (when appropriate).  The author can supply a translation of the Abstract & Key Words in their own mother-tongue, if they so wish. 


*** Authors with their 'first language' being other than English: ***
*** The IJP only accepts articles written in good literary English.  However, the author can present an abstract of their article, suitably translated into English, to the IJP Editor, for an initial check for suitability.  If the article seems suitable for publication in the IJP, the author will then be encouraged to have the entire article translated, into good English, for the review process.  Any costs for such a translation and/or language corrections are the total responsibility of the author.  An acknowledgement of the translator's name should be included in the form of a sub-title after the author's name, or as a notation after the author's biographical details.  The author is not advised to try and translate the article themselves (see below). ***

Language:  All submissions must be made in good literary EnglishIf the author's mother-tongue is not English, then they should have the article properly translated, or (at the very least) checked out by someone with English as their mother-tongue.  The translation or corrections should be done by a competent, natural English-speaker, ideally with some familiarity of the topic.

Please Note: The author's own translations are nearly always insufficient.  Articles submitted in poor English, or with poor translations into English, may well be rejected - purely on those grounds, rather than on any other grounds.  However, if the article shows sufficient merit and the mistakes are relatively small, the IJP editors reserve the right to charge an 'English-language' editing fee.  This fee has a maximum of €250.00 for an (about) 5,000 word article; or at a rate of about €50.00 per hour, or €50.00 per 1,000 words.  If extensive pre-publication editing, layout and preparation of references is needed, this can also be charged at the same rate. 
      The author will be consulted first about any such potential 'editing' charges, and would need to agree to these charges prior to the submission being accepted.  There are - as mentioned (above) - no other charges or fees for publication in the Journal.

Publishing in a Language - other than One's Own:  Being an 'international' journal, we are very aware of many of the difficulties faced by authors who wish to publish in a language other than their own 'mother-tongue': i.e. usually in "English".  As an 'international' journal, we wholeheartedly welcome such submissions.  We are sorry that we cannot communicate with you in your language.  We always try to use clear and concise English in all our communications: so, if you do not understand something, or you wish us to clarify something in our communications, please just ask! 
      We also ask our reviewers (many of whom also have English as a second-language) to be clear and concise in their review and especially in any comments for the author(s). 
      Additionally, we will probably/often 'suggest' some minor corrections - usually to punctuation, style, word order, syntax, etc. - at some stage during the editorial process (usually in red text), so as to make your article more easily readable by others, who often also have English as their second language.  We will always ask if these 'suggestions' are acceptable to you, as it has to remain 'your' article.  If they are, please convert the red text 'suggestions' into black text. 

Mother-Tongue Articles: The IJP is also very willing to publish - in parallel with any article in English - a version in the author's "mother-tongue" within the same issue of the Journal.  When such parallel submissions are made ... both in English, and in the author's mother-tongue ... all final revisions, additions, corrections and amendments that have been agreed to in respect to the English version, will then need to be transferred to the "mother-tongue" version by the author, in good time and at their own expense.
      Anything written in the mother-tongue version is published at the author's own risk and with their responsibility.  We have absolutely no means of checking text in all of the various submitted languages, so the responsibility for any material or mistakes in this 'mother-tongue' version is therefore solely that of the author's.

Translations of Previously Published Articles:  We are happy to publish an English-language version of an article that has previously been published in another language: however, we would require all the appropriate permissions and consents from the original editor / publisher of the original article, in writing, or as an e-mail sent to the IJP Editor.

Postal Versions:  If you feel that you really want to send your manuscript by post, please send it directly to the Editor and please make sure that your contact address information is clearly visible on the outside of the envelope.  You must also include an electronic version on a CD-ROM, or on a memory stick/card, or on a 'thumb' drive, with the full article (and diagrams, tables, etc.) on it in MSWord .doc format (or similar) and conforming to the above criteria. We are not responsible for non-delivery. Nothing will be returned to the author.

Rejection Rates:  Please be informed that current statistics suggest that about 9 out of every 10 research papers (globally) face rejection from high-impact, 'scholarly' journals - such is their prestige and how they maintain it.  It has also been confirmed that other journals, which aim to achieve a high impact standard, tend to follow suit - i.e. high rejection (low acceptance) rates are therefore considered (by some) to be desirable.
      We take a slightly different view: (a) we try hard to help you to make the best out of your article; and (b) we also want to be 'seen' to be selective, i.e. to have a 'reasonably high' rejection rate.
      Some articles are rejected - not because of lack of merit - but because they are not about 'psychotherapy', but basically about counselling, or psychology, or psychiatry, or social work, or a (new) specialised form of therapy that is not really a 'psychotherapy'.
      If - prior to any submission - you have any uncertainties about your article or about the research - you must get these clarified yourself, by getting an experienced mentor, or an informed professional colleague, to read through the article and 'critique' your work.  This helps to ensure that the article - as submitted - is of a reasonably high standard. If the help and advice of your mentor or colleague is substantive, they make wish to be acknowedged as a co-author.
     
In return, it is, therefore, important to us that - as a professional writer/author in your particular field - you deserve to be published, without being rejected (perhaps almost out of hand).  In order to accord you the respect that your article deserves, we are pleased to give you some of our time and effort - as well: so, this is something of a collaborative process.  You have done your best; we have reciprocated. Such editorial efforts are mainly in the area of - language, syntax, punctuation, presentation, etc. This is our speciality.     
      We - therefore - ask that you respect our efforts in reviewing and editing your research paper for any errors that might otherwise have caused a rejection, according to other journals' editorial policies. 
     
This 'editorial assistance' does not make us a 'soft touch', or an 'easy path' to publication: for example, some authors have presented us with 'pseudo-scientific' research papers demonstrating the 'efficacy' (or effectiveness) of their own particular method or modality: this sort of submission is now - in itself - a reason for rejection.  We are dedicated to producing a journal of a very high standard.  If you have a new method, go through the 'proper' hoops and get it externally validated by several different 'bodies'. Then - and only then - consider publication.

Book Reviews:  These are seen as a very important aspect of the 'Web of Science'.  We welcome them - according to the basic formats mentioned above.  We also have about 60 'review copies' sent to us for reviewing: there is a list of these here.
      There is additionally particular information about 'Writing a Book Review' and 'Becoming a Book Review Editor' for publications in a (non-English) language: 
here.

Response Times:  Authors should receive an initial acknowledgement of their submission within a few days.  There may be a second response shortly after this, but usually only if the article is considered to be unsuitable, or if it needs some immediate revisions (before going into the peer-review process), or if it is decided that it is better suited elsewhere.  This is an 'editorial' decision.
      Once the article has been accepted initially, it is then made available to be sent out for peer-review. Authors should receive a fairly definitive response to this review process within about 3-4 months (16-17 weeks).  Whilst being experts, our reviewers are all (in essence) 'volunteers'. 
       As our editorial and production processes are currently all manual, an article can sometimes get 'stuck', 'overlooked' or 'mislaid': this is our problem, not yours: and, if needs be, we will apologise sincerely.  If you do not hear anything within this stipulated time-frame, please ask!  Sometimes, we need your reminders.

Reviewing Your Article: Our panel of about 30-40 expert reviewers are invited to choose (your) article based on just the title and abstract (see here).  They are then given an anonymised version of the whole article and an IJP referee's form (see here).  They will then assess your article according to 10 different criteria (each on an 11-point Lykert scale: from +5 to -5) and also to assess whether the Abstract and Keywords are appropriate.  They then are asked for a "Recommendation" (see below).  They can then make (anonymised) comments to the author; and also (private) comments to the Editor(s); the Editor(s) themselves may also comment.  You will then receive an anonymised version of each of these review sheets, with the reformatted version of your article.  You will have a month or so to revise and resubmit it, if it is worth it.

Reviewers' Categories of Acceptance, Revision or Rejection?  Having completed the basic reviewer's (referree form), there are several different categories that the reviewers may recommend:

  • * Acceptance - just as it is: or Acceptance with only minor revisions:  The first category is quite rare, but very welcome. Articles - such as these - form the intellctual framework of the Journal.  The first category might be found quite rarely (<10%); the submissions to second category covers about 50% of all submissions.  This means that the author has to make (or agree to) relatively minor revisions, usually 'suggested' by the editor and/or the reviewers.  If this is done, there is rarely the need for a second peer-review process.  There may be a time factor indicated (i.e. within two or three weeks) if the article is to meet its deadline for the next issue.

  • Major revisions needed:  This is not a rejection - but neither is it an acceptance! [But, it is counted officially as a non-acceptance in the Acceptance Rate].  If and only if the article is suitably revised according to the editor's and referees' comments, it could then be considered that it might become a viable and useful contribution to the Journal.  However, the author needs to take the editor's and reviewers' points into serious consideration, and to revise and then re-submit the article.  A revised article will not be considered for publication until it has been revised and re-submitted (as above).  It may then need to go through a second peer-review process.  The article should be re-submitted within one or two months.  About 10% of submissions, fall into this category. 

  • Rejection:  Your article may not be considered 'suitable' for the Journal - by one particular reviewer, or by both.  If the other reviewer supports publication, then a third review will be sought. If two (or more) reviewers, as well as the editor, decide that the article does not make a sufficiently relevant contribution, or otherwise fails to meet standards of quality, the article will be "rejected" and the reasons will be given.  Between 15% - 40% of submissions will fall into this category.  An alternative journal may be suggested if (and only if) the article is considered 'good enough' for publication elsewhere.

Copyright:  It is a necessary condition of publication that authors assign the copyright of that particular (final) version of their article, including the abstract, to the International Journal of Psychotherapy (IJP) and to the publisher, the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP).     
       Submission of the article, and the subsequent acceptance of the submission, essentially constitutes an acceptance of that contract.  Authors will
not be asked to sign a copyright agreement.
      Subject to any agreed revisions, the editors and publisher have the absolute and indefinite right to sell this version - this version of the exact published and formatted article - in hard copy, or electronically, with no time limits, until perpetuity.
      Further publication elsewhere - as in a chapter of a book, or as a seminar paper, or as a handout - of this (exact published format) version is nearly always possible with the express permission of the IJP editors, on behalf of the publisher (EAP). Very occasionally, a small fee may be charged.
      The author always retains the natural copyright of their original material and ideas, and the exclusive copyright to any previous or subsequent versions of the article (as long as they are significantly different - usually by about 10%-15%) - from the published, edited and re-formatted version.
      The author will be sent a PDF copy of the printed article to be available for their own personal use.  They can post this copy of their article - in its original form, or in its published format - on their own website, available for single persons, or as a PDF download, and they can publish it in Researchgate or similar on similar platforms. 
      Multiple copies of the published article; or copies made available for seminars and lectures; or as training or academic course material; or copies of the published article made available for further sale; are all subject to the express written permission of the IJP editors and publishers (EAP) and a small permission fee may well be charged.  There is more (and similar) information here.

Plagiarism:  With the general increase in material that is now easily available - and copyable - on the internet, this has - to a general extent - led to an unfortunate increase in 'plagiarism'.  The IJP has developed a document, "Advanced Writing Awareness" about plagiarism (see here), and we also subscribe to, and use, 'Grammarly' - a computer program specifically designed to detect plagiarism (which also proof-reads articles and helps to check and correct over 250 types of different writing 'issues').  You have now been informed!

Mentoring:  Most published authors are happy to receive - and give - some advice and assistance to other authors: however - if you as a relatively new author - need more than some initial help, then consider asking someone who you may know and respect to become a "mentor" for you for this article.  In such a case, they may (or may not) make a nominal charge for this, or they may (or may not) ask to share in the publication credits. 

Corrections:  After the review process is finished, you will receive your article back (once it has been re-formatted) for inclusion in the Journal, along with the reviewers' comments and with the Editor's various comments and corrections.  This is your main (and only) chance to make any corrections, additions or amendments to your article.  We need you take into account - very carefully - the reviewers' various remarks, as well as those of the Editor.  You will be asked to re-submit a final version, probably within a particular time-frame.  This version is what will be published.  Please do not consider making any changes or corrections after this point.  If you 'require' us to make any further changes, you may be charged for these.

Pre-publication:  Once we have received the final version, there may be a period of time before the actual date of print publication.  We only print 3 times a year.  We will occasionally - and at our discretion - publish an article 'on-line' in advance of print publication: this may be downloaded free-of-charge for the period of time it is available.

Author's Copies:  After publication, a printed copy of that complete issue of the journal will be sent - free of charge - to each of the authors in that issue.  The author needs to ensure that their correct postal address is 'on file' with the Editor to ensure postal delivery. Extra copies of that particular issue can be ordered, if available.  A PDF version of the article itself will also be supplied, on request, for the authors' own 'personal use' (see above).

Illustrations:  Please ensure that all illustrations &/or photos, etc. used, have proper copyright assigned to the author.  The author is absolutely and totally responsible for arranging this, including the payment of any copyright fees for such permissions.  Any copyright permissions etc. need to be attached to the article. Illustrations should be sent as a separate file: with an indication in the text where the illustration should go: the positioning of this may be varied by the editor or printer, so as to accommodate the illustration on a particular page.  Colour illustrations will usually be converted, either into black and white, or grayscale, before publication.

References:  The author must submit a list of all references mentioned in the text, in Roman text - alphabetically, not numerically - at the end of the article, or on a separate sheet(s), using the basic Harvard-APA Style (see below for short examples).
      The list of references should refer only to those references that appear in the text of the article, e.g. as (Fairbairn, 1941) or (Grostein, 1981; Ryle & Cowmeadow, 1992). Please do not list references and articles that are used in a 'literature review' and/or in wider bibliographies (about the 'topic'): these references will 
not be accepted.  
      Details of the common Harvard-APA style can be sent to you on request, and/or are available on various websites:  Please check here or here for examples pertaining to books, chapters in books, journal articles, on-line citations, etc. - as well as how to cite correctly within the text.  In short, the following format is used, with exact capitalisation, italics, spacings and punctuation.  Here are three basic examples:

      (1) For journal / periodical articles: Titles of journals should not be abbreviated (e.g. Brit. J. of Med.), but put in full, in italics, with the volume number, issue number, and page numbers.  
FAIRBAIRN, W.R.D. (1941). A revised psychopathology of the psychoses and neuro-psychoses. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 22 (1), pp. 250-279.

      (2) For books:
GROSTEIN, J. (1981). Splitting and projective identification. New Jersey: Jason Aronson.

      (3) For chapters within multi-authored books:
RYLE, A. & COWMEADOW, P. (1992). Cognitive-Analytic Therapy (CAT). In: W. DRYDEN (Ed.), Integrative and Eclectic Therapy: A handbook, (pp. 75-89). Philadelphia: Open University Press.

If the original reference was in a non-Roman language (e.g. Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, etc.), please put the reference into a recognised Romanization format: do not use non-Roman text in the references.  Please avoid too many diacritics or special punctuation, unless it is for a proper name (e.g avoid 'français', use 'francais'; however you can use 'François'). Always give an English translation of the chapter, book or article title (if in a foreign language) afterwards in square parentheses: e.g. Mein Kampf [My Struggle]. 

Citations: Your choice of references - "citations" - has an effect on a Journal's "impact factor" - both theirs (the journal that published the article which you are referencing) and also on ours.  Please try to reference recently published (within last 5 years) articles from Journals with an impact factor. 
      Please also - when writing articles for other professional Journals (with impact factors) - it really helps our impact factor if you were to cite references from IJP articles: you can see the full list of IJP published articles here
      It is not very 'professional' - and may even be counter-productive - if you mainly cite your own articles.  In such cases, you may be asked to pay closer attention to your choice of references by one of the IJP Editors.

Decisions: The IJP editors' decisions are absolutely final. We are - and have to be - legally, ethically and totally responsible for everything that is published in the Journal.

Submitting Your Article

Once you have read, understood, and  (hopefully) followed all of the above - or as much of the above as is relevant for your article - you are probably ready to submit your article. We are sorry that this may have been such a long and (possibly) complicated process, but much of the above is in direct response to authors' questions and issues that have been raised in the past. It can, therefore, be understood that - in this way - we try to ensure that we don't get into a complicated process of ... "you haven't done this; or that" - before we can accept the submission of your article. 

Please read the above webpage again, very carefully, and check that you have done all (or as much as possible) that you can.    Thank You!