• Submission checklist
• Ethics in publishing
• Human and animal rights
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Use of inclusive language
• Reporting sex- and gender-based analyses
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Publication options
• Open access
• Submission
• Sex and Gender in Research Reporting
• Queries
• Peer review
• Double anonymized review
• Article structure
• Essential title page information
• Highlights
• Abstract
• Ancillary Information
• Artwork
• Tables
• References
• Video
• Data visualization
• Supplementary material
• Research data
• Research Elements
• Online proof correction

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts for review, in English, relating to any aspect of rehabilitation of the upper extremity. The Journal of Hand Therapy is interested in the publication of research spanning the entire spectrum of clinical, basic, and translational science, including (but not limited to): clinical practice, theory and outcomes; biomechanics, motor behavior, neuroscience, or epidemiology. A clear indication of clinical relevance is essential for publication.

Manuscript categories for submission include: Clinical/Basic Research Studies, Case-Reports, Short Reports (Cross-cultural Translation, Literature Review (invited-only) Practice Forum and Letters to the Editor (published online only).

Inquiries for the Editor-in-Chief should be made to: Joy MacDermid, PT, PhD at [email protected].

Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.

Ensure that the following items are present:

One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
  • E-mail address
  • Full postal address

All necessary files have been uploaded:
  • Include keywords
  • Include the total word count (can be included in the cover page)
  • All figures (include relevant captions)
  • All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
  • Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided
  • Indicate clearly if color should be used for any figures in print
  • Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)
  • Supplemental files (where applicable)

Further considerations
  • Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'.
  • Insure that the abstract follows the correct format, word count and represents key findings (see below).
  • All references mentioned in the Reference List are cited in the text, and vice versa. Check that key foundational references, methods and measure references and salient work is cited.
  • Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet).
  • A competing interests statement is provided, even if the authors have no competing interests to declare.
  • Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed.
  • Referee suggestions and contact details are provided, based on journal requirements.
  • Reporting guidelines have been reviewed and the relevant checklist has been uploaded- see below.

For further information, visit our Support Center.

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information on Ethics in publishing.

Human and animal rights

All animal experiments should be carried out in accordance with the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986 and associated guidelines, the European Communities Council Directive of 24 November 1986 (86/609/EEC) or the National Institutes of Health guide for the care and use of Laboratory animals (NIH Publications No. 8023, revised 1978) and the authors should clearly indicate in the manuscript that such guidelines have been followed. All animal studies need to ensure they comply with the ARRIVE guidelines. More information can be found at

Clinical research studies involving human subjects require ethics approval. There are rare exceptions that can be addressed by authors in their letter of submission. The name of the Institutional Review Board that approved the research protocol involving human subjects must be provided. Authors should include a statement in the manuscript that informed consent was obtained. The privacy rights of human subjects must always be observed. Manuscripts with experimental results on cadavers must include a statement that a relevant utilization study committee approved the study.

Conflict of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Please note that the journal does not accept submissions written by people or companies to demonstrate their commercial products. Other potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding must be declared. Where a serious conflict of interest occurs between the author and intervention investigated, this will be considered as a potential reason for rejection. If there are no conflicts of interest then please state this: 'Conflicts of interest: none'. See also Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: The disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals", The form available on the ICJME web site at is to be used, with a separate form completed and submitted for each author. Please note that authors may sign the copyright transfer agreement form electronically.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. The corresponding author speaks for the authorship team and should be aware of best practices ( for authorship and criteria such as those outlined by The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (

Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. Where there is ant authorship dispute, publication of the manuscript will be suspended to provide time for researchers to resolve their conflict. The Editor is unable to resolve authorship conflicts between researchers, but will provide time for resolution. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify compliance, your article may be checked by Crossref Similarity Check and other originality or duplicate checking software.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Reporting sex- and gender-based analyses

Reporting guidance
For research involving or pertaining to humans, animals or eukaryotic cells, investigators should integrate sex and gender-based analyses (SGBA) into their research design according to funder/sponsor requirements and best practices within a field. Authors should address the sex and/or gender dimensions of their research in their article. In cases where they cannot, they should discuss this as a limitation to their research's generalizability. Importantly, authors should explicitly state what definitions of sex and/or gender they are applying to enhance the precision, rigor and reproducibility of their research and to avoid ambiguity or conflation of terms and the constructs to which they refer (see Definitions section below). Authors can refer to the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines and the SAGER guidelines checklist. These offer systematic approaches to the use and editorial review of sex and gender information in study design, data analysis, outcome reporting and research interpretation - however, please note there is no single, universally agreed-upon set of guidelines for defining sex and gender.

Sex generally refers to a set of biological attributes that are associated with physical and physiological features (e.g., chromosomal genotype, hormonal levels, internal and external anatomy). A binary sex categorization (male/female) is usually designated at birth ("sex assigned at birth"), most often based solely on the visible external anatomy of a newborn. Gender generally refers to socially constructed roles, behaviors, and identities of women, men and gender-diverse people that occur in a historical and cultural context and may vary across societies and over time. Gender influences how people view themselves and each other, how they behave and interact and how power is distributed in society. Sex and gender are often incorrectly portrayed as binary (female/male or woman/man) and unchanging whereas these constructs actually exist along a spectrum and include additional sex categorizations and gender identities such as people who are intersex/have differences of sex development (DSD) or identify as non-binary. Moreover, the terms "sex" and "gender" can be ambiguous—thus it is important for authors to define the manner in which they are used. In addition to this definition guidance and the SAGER guidelines, the resources on this page offer further insight around sex and gender in research studies.

Article transfer service

This journal uses the Elsevier Article Transfer Service to find the best home for your manuscript. This means that if an editor feels your manuscript is more suitable for an alternative journal, you might be asked to consider transferring the manuscript to such a journal. The recommendation might be provided by a Journal Editor, a dedicated Scientific Managing Editor, a tool assisted recommendation, or a combination. If you agree, your manuscript will be transferred, though you will have the opportunity to make changes to the manuscript before the submission is complete. Please note that your manuscript will be independently reviewed by the new journal. More information.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (see more information on this). An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations. If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases.

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (more information). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.
Elsevier supports responsible sharing

Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing

Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement, it is recommended to state this.

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established many agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some funding bodies will reimburse the author for the Open Access Publication Fee. Details of existing agreements are available online. After acceptance, open access papers will be published under a noncommercial license. For authors requiring a commercial CC BY license, you can apply after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Publication options

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research subscription. Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

  • Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our access programs.
  • No open access publication fee is required by authors for this type of publication.

Open access
  • Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public, and allow reuse under specified conditions.
  • Where authors request open access, a publication fee is payable by authors or their designate upon acceptance.
  • Some funding agencies like NIH encourage researchers to share their funded research through open access.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Open access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.
The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 2000, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access
Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has many green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information. Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and it begins from the date the article is formally published online in its final and fully citable form. Find out more.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.

Language (usage and editing services)

Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's Author Services.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Submit your article

Please submit your article via

Manuscript categories

Scientific/Clinical Research Reports: A full-length report of an original basic, clinical or implementation/knowledge translation research investigation that advances the clinical science of upper extremity rehabilitation. This can include many different studies designs and types of research questions as outlined below.
The purpose of the research should be listed as: Descriptive, clinical measurement, epidemiology, etiology, natural history, prognosis, diagnosis, effectiveness, harm, economics or implementation. Where these do not apply, authors may propose another term. Further details on reporting the study design are listed below. Use of reporting guidelines for these studies are also described below.

Case Report: A detailed description of the management of a unique clinical case(s), problem or implementation. For complete instruction on cases see below or Case-Reports.pdf.

Technical Report: For complete instruction please see Template for a technical report.

Expert Review (by invitation only): A comprehensive and analytical review of the literature, addressing a topic of interest and relevance to hand therapists. The Editor-in-Chief or Guest Editor must invite manuscripts submitted in this category. Self-nominations for an invitation to submit a literature review may be sent via email be to the Editor-in-Chief, and should include a cover letter describing the unique contribution of the planned submission, and a current curriculum vitae. It is the intention that these be written by experts in the field with a substantial clinical and/or research track record that they can synthesize and apply to critical reasoning with respect to hand therapy practice or research.

Practice Forum: This section presents novel or timely ideas of clinical relevance. However, topics that are not original should represent a unique application of an existing idea and should be referenced and limited to less than 750 words. The idea should be supported by current best science and this should be referenced in the beginning of the submission. The Journal of Hand Therapy has a clinical audience and we will be asking authors to pay greater attention to knowledge translation. Make sure the description of your techniques is sufficient that a clinician could replicate it, provide either appropriate photographs or preferably a video on techniques- to assist clinicians in implementation. If you are describing an exercise program or another intervention make sure you provide the dosage of the intervention also. If there is a vested interest or a conflict of interest between the author(s) and any products listed in the manuscript, such information must be disclosed in the initial submission to the Practice Forum editor. Authors will be restricted to one Practice Forum publication per year. Submit any Practice Forum inquiries and/or manuscripts directly to the Practice Forum editor: Kristin Valdes OTD, OT, CHT at [email protected]

Letters to the Editor: All letters and/or relevant comments regarding the content of the Journal of Hand Therapy must be submitted like all new manuscripts via the online submission and review website described below. Publications of any letters are at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief and will appear online. Authors will be invited to respond. Authors are limited to 2 letters/year.

Short Report Format for Cross-cultural Translation Reports: The Journal of Hand Therapy welcomes cross-cultural translation, adaptation and validation papers that follow accepted procedures for Cross -cultural translation and validation. These standards are defined in methodologic papers and are reflected in the short report template. We have adopted a short report format that allows for clear and consistent communication in the studies. Please follow the template and recommendations for these types of studies (Template for Short Report for Cross Cultural Translation.pdf). Reports will not be accepted if they have not performed both translation and validation. Authors should follow the outline to the extent possible; but may adapt it to fit the variations that occur across studies. These papers are titled and indexed in PubMed as all other JHT papers.

Manuscript Terminology Related to Orthotic Devices

The term splint should no longer be used in preparing manuscripts. Orthotic should be used as an adjective or an adverb when pertaining to the practice and science of a rehabilitation management approach, i.e., an orthotic intervention, orthotic treatment plan, orthotic assessment, orthotic fabrication, orthotic device, and orthotic maintenance. The terms orthotic (singular) or orthoses (plural) should be used as nouns to refer to the custom fabricated device(s) typically referred to as a splint(s). Far from just a technical skill, the design and fabrication of hand and upper extremity orthotic devices require an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and pathology, as well as the healing and positioning requirements for the range of conditions and surgeries encountered. Hand therapists are uniquely qualified to design, apply, monitor, and modify orthotic devices as part of the rehabilitation treatment plan. In substitution for the noun(s) splint(s), authors should use the terms orthosis or orthoses, respectively.

Sex and Gender in Research Reporting

Researchers should insure that the results they report are explicit in how these have considered sex (biologic) and gender (social) factors in the conduct and analysis of their research. The SAGER guidelines (taken from the document linked here) are listed below and will be considered during the review process. More detail can be found at

General principles
Authors should use the terms sex and gender carefully to avoid confusing both terms.
Where the subjects of research comprise organisms capable of differentiation by sex, the research should be designed and conducted in a way that can reveal sex-related differences in the results, even if these were not initially expected.
Where subjects can also be differentiated by gender (shaped by social and cultural circumstances), the research should be conducted similarly at this additional level of distinction.

Recommendations per section of the article
Title and abstractIf only one sex is included in the study, or if the results of the study are to be applied to only one sex or gender, the title and the abstract should specify the sex of animals or any cells, tissues and other material derived from these and the sex and gender of human participants.
IntroductionAuthors should report, where relevant, whether sex and/or gender differences may be expected.
MethodsAuthors should report how sex and gender were considered in the design of the study, whether they ensured adequate representation of males and females, and justify the reasons for any exclusion of males or females.
ResultsWhere appropriate, data should be routinely presented disaggregated by sex and gender. Sex- and gender-based analyses should be reported regardless of positive or negative outcome. In clinical trials, data on withdrawals and dropouts should also be reported disaggregated by sex.
DiscussionThe potential implications of sex and gender on the study results and analyses should be discussed. If a sex and gender analysis was not conducted, the rationale should be given. Authors should further discuss the implications of the lack of such analysis on the interpretation of the results.


Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether the suggested reviewers are used.


For questions about the editorial process (including the status of manuscripts under review) or for technical support on submissions, please visit our Support Center.

Peer review

This journal operates a double anonymized review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. Editors are not involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Any such submission is subject to all of the journal's usual procedures, with peer review handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups. More information on types of peer review.

Double anonymized review

This journal uses double anonymized review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Anonymized manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

Use of word processing software

It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used. The text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words. However, do use bold face, italics, subscripts, superscripts etc. When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very like that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). Note that source files of figures, tables and text graphics will be required whether you embed your figures in the text. See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors, you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and ‘grammar-check’ functions of your word processor.

Article structure

Manuscript and Abstract

All Scientific/Clinical Research Report, Case Report and invited Literature Review manuscripts should include the abstract (300-word limit), main text, references, and figure legends. All authors should consult the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: “Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication” ( Due to the double-blind review process the manuscript should not carry any author, facility, or institution identifiers.

Please be sure that the abstract includes terms that describe the type of research question and study design. Both the manuscript and abstract of Scientific/Clinical Research Report and Case Reports should be structured as follows:
Study Design
Purpose of the Study
Key words

Use of reporting guidelines

Authors should consult and use the reporting guidelines if there is one relevant to their study design. Where possible authors should use reporting checklists to insure their manuscript contains all the elements expected in a scientific manuscript. Please see the Equator website for information on reporting guidelines.

Authors must submit the relevant reporting guideline checklist when submitting the initial version of the study for consideration for the specific study types list below. Authors are encouraged to submit reporting guideline checklists for other study designs from those available on the Equator website.

Systematic reviews (with or without meta-analysis) should consult the PRISMA statement, include the checklist with their initial submission and include the flow diagram as a figure in their manuscript. If the review has been registered in a database such as PROSPERO, this number should be included in the study design section of the abstract and methods section. Registration of systematic reviews is not required.

For randomized controlled trials, authors must consult the CONSORT checklist and its related extension for trials of nonpharmacological treatments, submit a checklist, and include the flow diagram as a figure. See and CONSORT extensions for specific designs are available at Equator. In addition, all randomized trials must be registered. Registration should take place prior to enrollment of subjects. The registration number should appear in the study design section of the abstract. See

For observational studies (cohort, case-control, cross-sectional studies), authors should use the STROBE statement and submit a completed STROBE checklist with their submission.

Diagnostic test studies should use the STARD statement, checklist, and flow diagram.

Surveys should use CHERRIES as a guide to reporting.

Many other reporting guidelines and author resources are available on the Equator website.

There are two studies designs where JHT has journal specific reporting guidelines: Case Studies and Short Reports of Cross-cultural Translations. For cross-cultural translations, authors should follow our Template for Short Report for Cross Cultural Translation Studies. Case studies should consult the CARE website and use the CARE reporting guideline.

Statement of research design

Authors should specific terminology when naming their study design in the abstract and methods. Some common study designs are listed below and should be used where applicable. We recognize that this list is not all-inclusive and that more appropriate descriptors might be suitable for some studies. Authors are encouraged to pick the most appropriate study design descriptors for their study. These suggestions are merely provided as a means of encouraging consistency, where it would be both useful and informative. The purpose of the research and the study design should be listed.
  • Literature Synthesis: formal structured literature synthesis studies can be described in terms of the specific type: Systemic Review, Scoping Reviews, Reviews of Reviews (Overviews or Umbrella Reviews), Meta-analyses and others.
  • Primary Clinical Studies can include a variety of designs to address research questions. The purpose of the research can be listed as: Descriptive, clinical measurement, epidemiology, etiology, natural history, prognosis, diagnosis, effectiveness, harm, economics or implementation.

Examples of study design include:
  • Randomized Clinical/Controlled Trial: Patients are enrolled at a relevant baseline and allocated to different intervention arms based on a random concealed process; outcomes are ascertained prospectively. Where specific variants were used please state the subtype- such as Cross-over, Factorial, Equivalence, Non-inferiority, Expertise-based etc.
  • Prospective Cohort: a longitudinal study where subgroups of patients are enrolled and research questions defined at a relevant baseline point (prior to when outcomes occur); patients are followed forward in time for outcomes ascertainment. For treatment studies, at least 2 groups are defined at baseline; in prognostic studies, potential predictors are collected at baseline.
  • Retrospective Cohort: a longitudinal study where subgroups of patients are involved in a prospective data collection but the research questions (and variables) were defined retrospectively; treatment groups or prognostic factors may have been defined after data collections was initiated e.g. database research
  • Case-Control: a longitudinal study where subgroups of patients are identified/enrolled after outcomes have been ascertained and data are collected retrospectively (recall or pre-existing data) on the treatment or prognostic factors of interest.
  • Cross-sectional: Study data are collected at a single time point.
  • N-of-1: A single patient is enrolled at a relevant baseline and allocated to cross-over different intervention arms based on a random concealed process; outcomes are ascertained prospectively.
  • Case Series: Data are collected on a single subgroup of patients (no comparison group). This can be cross-sectional or longitudinal.
  • Case Report: Data are collected on a single subject.
  • Repeated Case Study: a formal comparison of 2-5 cases, extending beyond summary data.

Qualitative Study Designs
  • Meta-syntheses: a synthesis of the better quality qualitative studies.
  • Grounded Theory: research that seeks to understand and identify theoretical processes; themes used to develop an understanding and theoretical explanation.
  • Case Study: an in-depth study of an individual lived experience and perspective.
  • Descriptive: Studies that may use qualitative and quantitative method to describe a phenomenon- without intention to develop theory or meaning
  • Ethnography: the description of the customs of groups or cultures.
  • Interpretive Description: inductive analytic studies designed to understand clinical phenomena with a view to applications

Mixed-Methods Designs include both quantitative and qualitative components that seek to address a common or complementary research questions. The components can be conducted concurrently or sequentially to expand, explain or triangulate findings of the other component. The author can explain the approaches using any of the design taxonomies described for mixed methods.

A summary of the questions and design is illustrated in the figure.

Basic science research. This includes mechanistic studies i.e. anatomy, biomechanics, electromyography, physiology. Where applicable the descriptors above may be used. At a minimum author must state whether data collection was observational or randomized and whether data was Longitudinal: collected at multiple time points, or Cross-sectional: collected on a single occasion.

Essential title page information

  • Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
  • Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
  • Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
  • Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a ‘Present address’ (or ‘Permanent address’) may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


Highlights are optional yet highly encouraged for this journal, as they increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point).


A concise and factual structured abstract is required. It is imperative that the abstract clearly defines the purpose, methods and key data/findings. The abstract must be a concise (300-word limit) summary of the work.

The headings of the abstract must include the following:
Background: One to 2 sentences that cite they key background or rationale the supports the need for the current study.
Purpose: A specific purpose for the research which clearly states what research question(s) are being answered. For example, for clinical studies the purpose should indicate what patients, interventions comparisons, and outcome measures are being examined.
Study Design: Using the information above the type of research, and research design should be stated. Where possible use the terminology above. For example, a clinical measurement, cross-sectional study or a qualitative, interpretive description study.
Methods: The key methods including sample, interventions, measures and statistical analyses should be described.
Results: The key findings must be presented. For quantitative studies, the value that indicate the size of the observed effects, not just the p-values. For all studies, the most salient data should be succinctly presented.
Conclusions: The key conclusion, answer to the research question should be succinctly summarized. Where a direct implication to practice can be made, it should be stated.

An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone and represent the work in isolation. For this reason, references and non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided.

Ancillary Information

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes, and so best represent your work if they are terms likely to be searched and that are as specific as feasible.

Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided instrumental help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.). This should also include acknowledgement of research funding sources, whether operating or researcher support.


Follow internationally accepted rules and conventions: use the international system of units (SI). If other units are mentioned, please give their equivalent in SI.

Math formulae

Please submit math equations as editable text and not as images. Present simple formulae in line with normal text where possible and use the solidus (/) instead of a horizontal line for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In principle, variables are to be presented in italics. Powers of e are often more conveniently denoted by exp. Number consecutively any equations that must be displayed separately from the text (if referred to explicitly in the text).


Footnotes should be used sparingly. Number them consecutively throughout the article. Many word processors can build footnotes into the text, and this feature may be used. Otherwise, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes themselves separately at the end of the article. Do not include footnotes in the Reference list.


Electronic artwork

General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
• Ensure that color images are accessible to all, including those with impaired color vision.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.

Color artwork

Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions

Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.

Tables should be carefully constructed to provide a clear representation of data. The table or figure should have clear labels, units and a title that conveys what the table/figure represents. Figure legends should provide any information or abbreviations needed to interpret the table. Tables an Figures should be able to be interpreted independently. We suggest that authors consult guides for formatting tables. Examples of guides are:∼pkamat/pdf/graphs.pdf


Proper citation practices is a key element of scientific rigor. JHT expects the following:
  1. The background section of the paper describes the scientific foundations of the work and should cite key foundational studies that define the current state of knowledge and gaps that the submitted study will address.
  2. The placement of citations in the text should clearly indicate which specific studies are being cited for specific facts or statements. Where multiple citations are used in a sentence insure attribution is clear and precise.
  3. Relevant studies should be cited; but, indiscriminate inclusion of citations is discouraged. Authors should insure the most salient citations are used.
  4. Authors should be clear when citing others whether they are citing a finding/fact or interpretation/opinion.
  5. The methods section should cite key foundational papers for the test/measures used. For patient -reported outcome measures or developed performance tests this includes the original development paper and any key references that document reliability and validity of the tests and measures in a similar population.
  6. Routine statistics do not need citations e.g. t-test; but more complicated study designs/ analytical methods may.
  7. The discussion should cite and discuss salient agreeing and opposing findings. Bias in citation, undermines the validity of the interpretation of the researcher. For discussion of citation bias see:
  8. Secondary referencing is to be avoided. Researchers insure they have read and properly attributed the primary source of information.
  9. Citations of abstracts, personal communications, and conference proceedings should only be used where no full citation is available.

Citation in text

Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference links

Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, Crossref and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is highly encouraged.

A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.

Web references

As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references

This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

Preprint references

Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

Reference management software

Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley. Using citation plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

Reference style

Text: Indicate references by (consecutive) superscript Arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the text. The numerals are to be used outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. For further detail and examples you are referred to the AMA Manual of Style, A Guide for Authors and Editors, Tenth Edition, ISBN 0-978-0-19-517633-9.
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun. 2010;163:51–59.
Reference to a book:
2. Strunk W Jr, White EB. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York, NY: Longman; 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, eds. Introduction to the Electronic Age. New York, NY: E-Publishing Inc; 2009:281–304.
Reference to a website:
4. Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK.; 2003 Accessed 13.03.03.
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] 5. Oguro, M, Imahiro, S, Saito, S, Nakashizuka, T. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1; 2015.

Journal abbreviations source

Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.


The Journal of Hand Therapy encourages authors to submit video files that would allow readers to better understand the testing, intervention, skill or patient performance. These files will be associated the paper as a link.

Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data linking

If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Research Elements

This journal enables you to publish research objects related to your original research – such as data, methods, protocols, software and hardware – as an additional paper in Research Elements.

Research Elements is a suite of peer-reviewed, open access journals which make your research objects findable, accessible and reusable. Articles place research objects into context by providing detailed descriptions of objects and their application, and linking to the associated original research articles. Research Elements articles can be prepared by you, or by one of your collaborators.

During submission, you will be alerted to the opportunity to prepare and submit a Research Elements article.

More information can be found on the Research Elements page.

Data statement

To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution. If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data Statement page.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published.

For Inquiries relating to the submission of articles, please visit This site also provides the facility to track accepted articles and set up e-mail alerts to inform you of when an article’s status has changed, as well as detailed artwork guidelines, copyright information, frequently asked questions, and more.