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Author Guidelines

IJTARP Author Guidelines

Issued 28 May 2014

It is always disappointing when we have to advise authors that significant information is missing, especially on the occasions when it is not feasible for them to go back and collect the information.  IJTARP, like most reputable journals, therefore issues Guidelines for Authors and these include suggestions for a structure that authors can follow:

Title - short titles tend to be unhelpful – readers need titles that give them a good idea of what might be in the paper, so they will be able to decide whether to read it.

Abstract – in addition to the title, this is the main item that potential readers will see. It is also the information that gets quoted elsewhere, such as in the various databases that people may be searching. For IJTAR, we also currently provide abstracts in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian as well as English – and these are accessible for general Internet searches. The Abstract should summarise the content of the paper - what the study was about, the background to it (literature review), the methodology and who was involved (the subjects/participants), the results and the conclusions. It may help to think of the Abstract as something that provides enough information that there is no need to read the paper J

Key Words – like the Title and Abstract, these are important for people who are searching.

Literature Review – this is really the introduction to the paper. It should contain a critical summary of what has been done before, both in terms of the development of theories and also a review of previous studies that have been conducted. It is important that the review is balanced, so it should include critique of previous material and not be simply a neutral listing. This section could begin with an introduction to the paper, but often that will not be necessary because it is obvious from the Title and the reader will of course have already seen the Abstract.

References - now that the Transactional Analysis Journal (TAJ) is available online, it is very easy to search for any prior articles on relevant topics. IJTARP is also online and the first issue contained lists of all known research studies at that time. It is a good idea to check reference lists in any articles that are found to be relevant, as they will often contain references to publications other than the TAJ.  Do not rely on references given being accurate – they need to be checked. Also, it is not enough to simply quote an author name as being referred to by another author – give full references so that your readers can follow up if they wish.  If you cannot access the source, the convention is that you write that you are quoting one author who was quoting another, although it is more professional to go back to the original source if this is possible, so that you can then quote the original author directly.

Questions that Reviewers consider - is the literature review relevant; is it up-to-date; is there anything missing?  Are the concepts properly defined and referenced; are points of controversy and consensus included; does the author identify/analyse gaps in existing knowledge?

Note: IJTARP will accept papers that are a comprehensive Literature Review that will provide researchers with useful background information.

Study Objectives/Hypotheses - there should be a clear statement of what you have set out to do, or to prove, or to find out. This should always include the possibility that the opposite may turn out to be the case – what is known as the null hypothesis. For example, if you set out to show that a particular application of transactional analysis had a positive impact on the subjects/participants, you should also check whether it had no impact, or even a negative impact. It is only by demonstrating that you checked that you can claim that such an outcome did not happen.

Questions that Reviewers consider- are the objectives/hypotheses clearly stated; has the researcher considered possible outcomes from different perspectives; is it clear how the objectives/hypotheses have arisen within the context of the situation described in the literature review; did the researcher consider potential negative as well as positive outcomes?

Funding Sources - if you have received any funding, this needs to be stated clearly so that readers can judge whether this might have influenced what you did.  You may need to include some comment to reassure the readers that you took care not to be influenced. For example, readers will expect to see evidence of careful boundary management if you are given a grant by a transactional analysis association and you are setting out to prove that transactional analysis is an effective approach.

Ethical Considerations – this section must always be included, because there are always ethical considerations when we undertake research. The most obvious is that there may be a clash of priorities between the needs of the client(s) and the needs of the researcher.  For example, careful consideration may be needed to ensure that the use of questionnaires before and after working with a client does not somehow interfere with the work being done. Or the need to operate to a specific protocol in order to measure the impact of a specific approach may discourage a researcher/ practitioner from choosing a different style of intervention that might be more helpful to the client.

Ethical considerations also include aspects such as how to ensure that there is genuinely informed consent, in that participants really understand what they are agreeing to: does a therapy client who has never previously experienced therapy really know what might happen, do the management of an organisation really understand how employees might behave when they learn about autonomy?

Confidentiality, such as the protection of participant identities, is also an ethical consideration. Even if an organisation or individual gives permission for their name to be published, this should not be done without careful consideration of any possible implications.

Another significant aspect of ethical practice is giving participants the right to withdraw from a study. This can be a particularly difficult right to manage because it may well threaten the viability of the research. It is important that this right is given without any ulterior discouragement, and that the researcher does not react to any withdrawal in a way that puts pressure on the participant to change their mind (such as inviting the participant to feel guilty about letting the researcher down).

Note that this section is titled ethical ‘considerations’ – what is required is that the author describes how they considered ethics. In cases where an Ethical Committee is consulted, the paper should still contain enough information about what was taken into account.

Questions that Reviewers consider – how comprehensively has the researcher considered the ethical implications; how competently have they ‘taken care’ that participants are giving informed consent?

Note – the ethics of writing for journals include proper attention to copyright – anything more than a short quotation needs permission from the original author and/or publisher. IJTARP also requires authors to confirm that their material has not been published before, is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere, and will not be sent for publication elsewhere after it has appeared in IJTARP without the written agreement of IJTARP. We are happy to work with authors so that they can produce different versions of papers about their research with a view to inclusion in a range of publications.

Note – you need to confirm that you have obtained permission (s) from any clients/participants/ organisations within the study: you are required to indemnify IJTARP against any legal action resulting from publication (check that your professional indemnity insurance covers this).

Methodology – it may be easier to think of this part as consisting of several subsections (not necessarily in the following order):

Methods: a description of how the research was conducted (this may refer back to previous researches described in the Literature Review); how was it predicted that such methods would relate to the objectives/hypotheses; numbers involved, timings, locations in which research was conducted; techniques used such as questionnaires, interviews, pre and post measures; what the researcher(s) and any others actually did.

Research or practice philosophy: the rationale for the method(s) chosen; why those methods and not others; and, importantly, how the researcher and their conscious and unconscious beliefs may have impacted on the research.

Sample/Subjects/Participants - who was being studied; how were they identified (were they chosen or did they volunteer); what is known about them generally that might have any impact on the results of the research (e.g. gender, age, physical and/or mental health status, relationship, employment, financial and/or educational status, geographical information, etc); what is known about them specifically that is relevant to the research (e.g. employing organisation, hierarchical level, systemic considerations, mental health classifications (and who did the classifications/what are their qualifications), etc).

Questions that Reviewers consider - do we know enough about the subjects; were they appropriate subjects for the research or practice being conducted; has the researcher or practitioner collected information on all characteristics of the subjects that might impact on the results?

Results - this section should contain the results of the research or practice, presented as neutrally as possible so that readers can consider their own interpretations. This section will often contain charts, figures, diagrams, etc as a visual presentation can make trends more obvious; there should also be enough data so that other researchers can conduct their own analyses if they wish.

Enough information should be included about the analytical methods so that the reader can understand any calculations or manipulations that have been undertaken on the data. It is important that any comments in this section are supported by the data.  It may be necessary to conduct further calculations that check whether sample sizes are sufficiently large for the results to be extrapolated to wider populations.

Questions that Reviewers consider – are the results presented clearly and in sufficient detail; were the analytical methods used appropriate; do calculations take into account sample sizes?

Discussion – this is where the author can discuss the implications of their results; having kept the Results section neutral, the author can now include their own opinions, speculations and suggestions, provided these are clearly labelled as such.

In addition to commenting on the meaning of the results, this section will also include discussion about the contribution that the research might make to existing knowledge and practices.  Suggestions for future research may also be highlighted.

Limitations - it is essential that this section includes comment on the potential limitations of the research. This might relate to possible author bias, small sample sizes, any aspects of the research that with hindsight might have been dealt with differently, and any unexpected findings that might indicate areas needing more investigation.

Note: IJTARP will accept papers with clearly stated Limitations indicating that the findings are unreliable and/or cannot be extrapolated from, provided such papers contribute background and ideas for future research by others.

Conclusion - this is an optional section that may include a final summary of aspects that the author considers to be particularly significant, especially as it relates to potential research in the future. It is not a summary in the normal sense of the word because that has been provided as the Abstract.

Questions that Reviewers consider when they reach this point – is the paper coherent – does the literature review lead into the research objectives/hypotheses, and these into the methodology, and thence into results and discussion; does the paper add to the body of knowledge, in terms of theory and practice; what, if any, revisions might be needed?

References - IJTARP uses APA (American Psychological Association) Guidelines, with some small modifications that relate to formatting style. There is no need to buy the APA Manual as an Internet search will provide several summaries produced by universities. Authors should access the most recent issue of IJTARP, where they will see examples of how the referencing appears.

Basically, in the text we expect to see the author last/family name(s) and year of publication within the text, followed by p. xxx for any quotations. If you put the author name (s) within your text, you then show the year of publication, in brackets after it. Alternatively, you can write your comment and put the author last/family name and year of publication in brackets.

Examples: Berne (1961) wrote that  . . .  or, after your comment, put (Berne 1961)

For two authors, put XXXX and YYYY (year of publication) or (XXXX & YYYY year of publication). For three or more authors, show all names the first time you refer to them, and afterwards put first author name et al (year of publication).

Examples: (Lieberman, Yalom, Fredricks, Stein & Miles 1973) - then Lieberman et al (1973)

In the References listing it should show last/family name, initials or first name# of all author(s), year of publication (in brackets), title of book (in italics), location: name of book publisher.

# Note that APA and IJTAR previously had initial only but this is no longer enough for Internet searches – so please include first names of authors if you know them.

Example: Gallwey, Timothy (2000) The Inner Game of Work, Canada: Random House

For articles in journals, show last/family name, first name of author(s), year of publication (in brackets), title of article, name of journal (in full please and in italics), volume/issue of journal as xxx: yy, page numbers as 111-999 (no p or pp needed before page numbers)

Example: McNeel, John (1982) Redecisions in psychotherapy: A study of the effects of an intensive weekend group workshop Transactional Analysis Journal 12:1 10-26

For chapters, show last/family name, first name of author(s), year of publication (in brackets), title of chapter, in, last/family name, first name of editor(s) (editor/s) followed by name of book (in italics), location: name of publisher, page numbers as 111-999 (no p or pp needed)

Example: Groder, Martin (1977) Asklepieion: An integration of psychotherapies in Barnes, Graham (editor) Transactional Analysis after Eric Berne New York: Harper’s College Press 134-137

For website references, show author last/family name, first name or initial, (year of publication online), title of item (if appropriate), URL, accessed and date (you last viewed online)

Examples: Kelly, V C Jr (2009) A Primer of Affect Psychology. http://www.tomkins.org/uploads/Primer_of_Affect_Psychology.pdf downloaded 15 March 2011; Berne, Eric (1966) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwkDASzw_Zs accessed 23 Jan 2014

Do not delay submitting a paper because the references may not be formatted correctly – that can be sorted out whilst the paper is being reviewed.

Author Details – please submit these separately and they will be added before publication. IJTARP shows for each author the name, TA and other qualifications, and an email address. Please ensure that your statement of TA qualifications is in line with EATA Professional Practice Guidelines, particularly including the field of application.

Formatting

Please submit your paper as a word document, rtf or similar.  Do not submit as a pdf.

Please use minimal formatting.  Do not use footnotes and do not embed bibliographic field codes. (You might want to also save the version with codes in case revisions are needed after reviews are done).

Please provide original data tables for any graphs etc and not just the final charts, so we can ensure good quality reproduction.

You may include tables, figures, etc within the text or at the end; we will decide final positions depending on page formatting constraints.

Please ensure you have permission(s) to reproduce any material from the works of other authors.

Please ensure that your identity is not shown within the text, so the paper can be sent for blind peer review.  To refer to your own publications in the references, show your name as a normal reference in the text – do not write about yourself as “I” or “The author” when you refer to your own publications.

Use double quotes for direct speech and quotations; include page number(s) for quotations.

Single quotes may be used for non-TA concepts when first introduced (and referenced).

Use lower case for transactional analysis concepts except for ego states, drivers, process scripts, miniscript, drama triangle positions, etc, where initial capitals are customarily used to differentiate the terms from the everyday use of the same words.

Use italics and reference transactional analysis concepts when first mentioned.

Non-discriminatory language is essential.  Where this appears in quotations, indicate with (sic) to denote that it is there only for historical accuracy.

 

Submission Preparation Checklist

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

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor), nor will it be offered elsewhere for publication during the review process nor, if it is accepted, after publication in IJTARP, without the written permission of IJTARP Editor.
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. URLs and download dates for online references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses 10-12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are either placed within the text at the appropriate points or at the end with placemarkers included within the text to indicate preferred positions.  Original data used to prepare graphs, pictures, etc is provided at the end or in a supplementary file so that these can be produced to IJTARP format if necessary.
  5. The instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  6. With the exception of verbatim quotes, gender inclusive language has been used, including they, their, etc as an option for singular to avoid clumsy use of her/his etc.
  7. Appropriate permission has been obtained from clients, subjects, participants, etc and identities have been protected.
  8. Copyright conventions have been observed in line with the latest international legislation.  I agree to indemnify IJTARP against legal action resulting from publication of material I have provided, and have appropriate arrangements such as professional indemnity insurance or organisational support for this purpose.

  9. I have read the Author Guidelines and the Reviewer Guidelines and confirm that my material is produced in accordance with both.
 

Copyright Notice

Creative Commons License

The work in this journal is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

 

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