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Instructions to Authors

The Journal of Music Therapy

A forum for authoritative articles of current music therapy research and theory, including book reviews and guest editorials. An index appears in issue four of each volume. ISSN #0022-2917.

Contributions to Journal of Music Therapy

Contributions to the journal can be sent electronically to the editorial office here

Mission Statement

The Journal of Music Therapy (JMT) is a forum for authoritative articles of current music therapy research and theory, including book reviews and guest editorials. Its mission is as follows:

The Journal of Music Therapy seeks to advance research, theory, and practice in music therapy through the dissemination of scholarly work. Its mission is to promote scholarly activity in music therapy and to foster the development and understanding of music therapy and music-based interventions. To this end, the journal publishes all types of research, including quantitative, qualitative, historical, philosophical, theoretical, and musical, and may include discipline, profession, and foundational research topics. The journal strives to present a variety of research approaches and topics, to promote critical inquiry, and to serve as a resource and forum for researchers, educators, and clinicians in music therapy and related professions.

Journal Content

The Journal of Music Therapy publishes research articles that advance the science and practice of music therapy. All papers for publication are selected on the basis of their quality and contribution to existing knowledge. About 30% of submitted manuscripts are accepted for publication and include but are not limited to qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies; historical, descriptive, or philosophical inquiries; and systematic reviews, integrative reviews, meta-analysis, or meta-synthesis. Individual case studies or studies with very small numbers of participants are rarely published; however, an innovative case study may be accepted due to its unique contribution to knowledge.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

A submitted manuscript must be an original work not previously published (except as an abstract or preliminary report), must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere, and if accepted, must not be published elsewhere in similar form, in any language, without the consent of publisher. Each person listed as an author is expected to have made a significant contribution to the manuscript. Although the editor and reviewers make every effort to ensure the validity of published manuscripts, the final responsibility rests with the authors, not the Journal, its editor, or the publisher.

Copyright Transfer/Permissions.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright license to publish form. Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Please note that obtaining copyright permission could take some time. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see the Guidelines for Authors section at http://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/rights_permissions.html . Should you require copies of this then please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department on journals.permissions@oup.com .

For a copyright prose work, it is recommended that permission is obtained for the use of extracts longer than 400 words; a series of extracts totaling more than 800 words, of which any one extract is more than 300 words; or an extract or series of extracts comprising one-quarter of the work or more. For poetry: an extract of more than 40 lines; series of extracts totaling more than 40 lines; an extract comprising one-quarter or more of a complete poem

Anonymous Peer Review

Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously by members of the editorial board and invited external reviewers. Authors should not identify themselves or their institutions other than on the title page. The title page will not be seen by reviewers.


Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts must adhere to the following instructions or they will be returned to the submitting author before undergoing peer review.

Abstract: All manuscripts must include an abstract that is no longer than 250 words. The following five subheadings are required and should appear in the abstract:

• Background: brief statement describing existing knowledge and study significance

• Objective: brief statement of the study purpose/aims

• Methods: summary of participants, design, measures, procedures

• Results: primary findings

• Conclusions: specific statement about how findings can be interpreted and implications for practice

Key words : Provide up to five key words or brief phrases that describe the contents of the manuscript. Key words should be listed after the abstract.

Title page : The manuscript title should be brief, accurate, reflect the content and population studied. If the manuscript is a randomized clinical trial, this should be indicated in the title. Include the following information on the title page: (a) complete manuscript title; (b) all authors’ names, highest academic degrees, and affiliations; (c) corresponding author’s name, affiliation(s), address, e-mail address, and phone number; and (d) any acknowledgements, credits, or disclaimers. Include acknowledgement of all funding sources.

Manuscript : Please note the following guidelines when preparing manuscripts for submission:

• Manuscripts should be double-spaced, one-inch margins on all sides, standard 11 point font (Arial or Times New Roman). Do not right justify.

• Manuscripts must conform with the most recent style requirements set forth in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For historical or philosophical papers, Chicago (Turabian) style is also accepted.

• Page limit for manuscripts is 25 – 30 pages (standard 8.5 x 11 inch page size). The page limit is inclusive of all parts of the manuscript including cover page, abstract, text, references, tables and figures. Authors may request consideration for longer papers, in advance of submission, when there is clear justification for additional length (e.g., paper reports on more than one study; has a complex methodology).

• All research involving human participants must have received approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the United States or a parallel process in other countries. Study approval, along with informed consent and assent procedures should be briefly described in the Methods section.

• Terminology should be sensitive to the individual who has a disease or disability. Language must conform to the "person first" recommendations outlined in the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

• Review of literature should be limited to 3 – 4 pages.

• Authors should describe the theoretical framework or rationale guiding the proposed study.

• Effect sizes must be reported for quantitative studies whenever possible.

• Tables and Figures should appear as separate pages after the References.

• Use the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for citations and references.

• References should not exceed 50 entries.

• No identifying information (author’s names) should be included on the manuscript.

• Authors submitting quantitative studies are encouraged to use the following reporting standards when preparing their manuscript:

• For randomized controlled trial designs, please refer to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials ( CONSORT )

• For non-randomized designs, please refer to Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs ( TREND )

• For music-based intervention studies (using randomized and nonrandomized designs), please refer to Reporting Guidelines for Music-based Interventions

• For systematic reviews and meta-analysis, please refer to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses ( PRISMA )

• Authors submitting qualitative studies are encouraged to use the following publications when preparing their manuscript:

• For guidelines related to the reporting/appraisal of qualitative research, please refer to Sandelowski, M. & Barroso, B. (2002). Reading qualitative studies. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1(1), 1-47. http://www.ualberta.ca/~iiqm/backissues/1_1Final/pdf/sandeleng.pdf

• For guidelines related to qualitative music therapy research, please refer to EPICURE (Stige, Malterud, & Midtgarden, 2009). Stige, B., Malterud, K., & Midtgarden, T. (2009). Toward an agenda for evaluation of qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 19(10), 1504-1516.

Language Editing

Language editing, if your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here . Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate entry entitled ‘Funding.’ This should appear on the title page, after the author(s) names/institutions and before the ‘Acknowledgments’ entry.

Crossref Funding Data Registry

In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here .


Acknowledgements and details of non-financial support must be included in a separate entry entitled ‘Acknowledgements.’ This entry should appear on the title page after author information and the ‘Funding’ entry. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Please note that acknowledgement of funding bodies and declarations regarding conflicts of interest should be given in separate Funding and Conflicts of Interest sections respectively. Please provide text for any required acknowledgements and/or credits for your manuscript.

This might include:

• Names of individuals/agencies who assisted with your project,

• Indication that the study was completed in partial fulfillment for a degree

• Other acknowledgements as appropriate

Example 1: The author would like to thank the medical and support staff of the cardiovascular treatment and recovery unit where this study was conducted, especially Sue Smith and James Sawyer. This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas. Full dissertation is available through KU Scholar Works at http://hdl.handle.net .

Example 2: The authors would like to acknowledge Katie Kanst for help with programming, Charles Yates for help with data processing, and all of the participants who took part in this study.

Example 3: This study was completed while the first author was on faculty at the University of XX. The authors would like to thank the patients and families who participated in this study at x, y, z hospitals.


Full references should be provided in accordance with the style of The Journal of Music Therapy. These should be cited in the text with an author-date citation system (i.e., Author, 2013), and must be listed alphabetically in the reference list. Journal titles and author initials should be properly abbreviated and punctuated. Do not truncate page numbers i.e. type 345-349 not 345-9 or 345-49. If an automatic referencing system has been used in the preparation of the paper, the references must not be left embedded in the final text file submitted. The citation of journals, books, multi-author books and articles published online should conform to the following examples:

• Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title. Periodical, xx, pp-pp. doi:xx.xxxxxx • Author, A. A. (year). Title of book. (Vol. xx). Location: Publisher.

• Presenter, A. A. (Year, Month). Title of paper or poster. Paper or poster session presented at the meeting of Organization Name, Location.

• Blackwell, E., & Conrad, P. J. (2003). A five-dimensional measure of drinking motives. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

• Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of chapter. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of book

For references with >6 authors, the first author should be listed, followed by et al., not italicized and with a period at al. References of the type Smith et al. (1989) should not be used in the text. References to manuscripts submitted, but not yet accepted, should be cited in the text as (B. Jones and L. Smith, Unpublished Manuscript) and should not be included in the list of references. Citations of submitted manuscripts should include all authors involved. Authors are encouraged to cite web URLs in parentheses at the appropriate mention in the text.

Figures and illustrations

Please be aware that the requirements for online submission and for reproduction in the journal are different: (i) for online submission and peer review, please upload your figures either embedded in the word processing file or separately as low-resolution images (.jpg, .tif, .gif or. eps); (ii) for reproduction in the journal, you will be required after acceptance to supply high-resolution .tif files. Minimum resolutions are 300 d.p.i. for color or tone images, and 600 d.p.i. for line drawings. We advise that you create your high-resolution images (of at least 600 dpi) first, as these can be easily converted into low-resolution images for online submission.

If you are submitting photograph negatives by post, please indicate which way these should be reproduced in order to avoid them being laterally reversed during typesetting.

Figures will not be relettered by the publisher. The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material. Any photomicrographs, electron micrographs or radiographs must be of high quality. Wherever possible, photographs should fit within the print area or within a column width. Photomicrographs should provide details of staining technique and a scale bar. Patients shown in photographs should have their identity concealed or should have given their written consent to publication. When creating figures, please make sure any embedded text is large enough to read. Many figures contain miniscule characters such as numbers on a chart or graph. If these characters are not easily readable, they will most likely be illegible in the final version. Certain image formats such as .jpg and .gif do not have high resolutions, so you may elect to save your figures and insert them as .tif instead.

For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to http://cpc.cadmus.com/da.

Color Illustrations

Authors are required to pay the full cost of reproduction of color figures. Inclusion of color figures is subject to a special charge (£350/US$600/€525 per figure).

The Journal of Music Therapy also offers free reproduction of color figures in the online version (figures in the print version will appear in black and white). If you require color reproduction of figures in the print journal you will be asked to approve the cost. You will be issued an invoice at the time of publication. Figure captions must be suitably worded to apply to both the print and online versions of the article.


All tables should be on separate pages and accompanied by a title, and footnotes where necessary. The tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. Units in which results are expressed should be given in parentheses at the top of each column and not repeated in each line of the table. Ditto signs are not used. Avoid overcrowding the tables and the excessive use of words. The format of tables should be in keeping with that normally used by the journal; in particular, vertical lines, colored text and shading should not be used. Please be certain that the data given in tables are correct.

Supplementary Data

Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures.

It is standard practice for appendices to be made available online-only as supplementary data. All text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats. All material to be considered as supplementary data must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication, and will not be edited. Please indicate clearly all material intended as supplementary data upon submission and name the files e.g., 'Supplementary Figure 1,' 'Supplementary Data,' etc. Also ensure that the supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as '(see Supplementary data)' or '(see Supplementary Figure 1).'

Page Charges

The journal strongly discourages authors from exceeding the page limits. Manuscripts exceeding the recommended limits may be rejected without review. In the event that a manuscript does exceed the page limits authors must submit a written request to exceed the page limit. In the proof email there is a reminder of the page charges on manuscripts that are over length.

Manuscript Submission Letter

A manuscript submission letter must accompany each manuscript submission. Submission letters should be sent as an electronic document and include the submitting author’s signature. Submission letters (aka cover letters) are to be sent with the manuscript via electronic submission (see link below under submissions).

The submission letter should include the following information:

• A statement indicating that the submitted manuscript has been seen and approved by all authors.

• A statement describing how the submitted manuscript is consistent with the journal’s mission and advances the science and practice of music therapy. In that description, specific reference should be made to the journal’s mission.

• A statement confirming that the manuscript has not been published, is not currently submitted elsewhere, and does not contain data that is currently submitted or published elsewhere.

• For research involving human participants, a statement that the study received approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) in the United States or a parallel process in other countries.

• Full mailing address, telephone, fax, and e-mail address for the corresponding author, along with names and affiliations of all co-authors.

• When a manuscript does contain data that is part of a larger study, the submitting author should describe the larger study and provide references for publications resulting from the larger study. The submitting author must clarify the relationship between the submitted manuscript and other published manuscripts that resulted from the larger study, specifying how the current submission makes a unique and substantial scientific and clinical contribution.


Please submit manuscripts and submission letters electronically using AMTA's online submission program at the URL/link below. AMTA's online submission system is, ScholarOne located at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jmt

Should you have any difficulties with your online submission, please contact via email:

Sheri L. Robb , Editor, Indiana University School of Nursing 1111 Middle Drive, NU492A Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Authors should keep a copy of the manuscript to guard against loss. Do not submit manuscripts by ground mail.

Manuscripts will be acknowledged upon receipt by the Editor. Authors can usually expect a decision concerning acceptability of a manuscript for publication within 3 months after receipt. Accepted articles generally appear in print within 4-6 months after acceptance.

Book Review Guidelines & Submission Instructions

Book reviews focus on recently published books and monographs in music therapy. Book reviews of publications outside the field of music therapy will be considered where specific clinical, professional, educational, or scientific relevance can be demonstrated. Reviews should include a complete bibliographic citation for the work including full title, author, publisher, date of publication, pages, price, and ISBN. Reviews should include a summary of the book, providing sufficient information so the contents can be understood by the reader. Additional interpretation and analysis by the reviewer is welcomed. Submissions should be no more than 3 - 5 pages, typed, double-spaced with 1-inch margins on all four perimeters. Right margins are not to be justified. Manuscripts must use standard 11-point font (Arial or Times New Roman).

Although book reviews do not go through a peer-review process, submitting a book review does not guarantee publication. It will be reviewed for its scholarly writing style. In addition, we are looking to limit published reviews to recent publications. If a book has been in print for several years, or if multiple reviews have already been published, we may be less inclined to publish. For those wishing to submit a book review, please contact the Editor by e-mail in advance of writing the review to make sure it is a publication that is well aligned with the Book Review Criteria in terms of relevance and timeliness. Book Reviews can be submitted using the on-line manuscript submission system.

Code of Ethics

The Journal of Music Therapy adheres to publication and research ethics outlined in the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Code of Ethics and the Research Publications/Presentation Code of Ethics .

Submitting authors are expected to abide by standards specified in each document. Copies of each document can be obtained online. AMTA Code of Ethics (see Section 3.0 Relationships with Clients/Students/Research Subjects and Section 8.0 Research) and the Research Publication/Presentation Code of Ethics .

Editorial Review Process

The Journal of Music Therapy is a fully refereed journal; reviewers evaluate all articles without express knowledge of the author’s identity or professional affiliation. Editorial board members are selected by the editor and confirmed by the Executive Board of the American Music Therapy Association. Editorial board members are chosen to represent the broad range of research, clinical, and academic practices in music therapy. In some cases, persons from other professions are selected because of their particular expertise in areas related to music therapy. The review process usually takes about 3 months from the time the editor receives and acknowledges receipt of the manuscript. The manuscript is sent to at least three members of the editorial board (or invited external reviewers) with expertise in the subject area of the article. Each reviewer reads the manuscript and recommends publication, revision, or rejection with specific examples to support their recommendation. The editor compiles the responses of the editorial committee, makes a decision about publication, and relays this decision to the corresponding author. Accepted articles generally appear in the journal within 4-6 months of their acceptance. Almost all submitted material to the Journal of Music Therapy require revisions prior to publication. Therefore, author(s) who are invited to resubmit with revision should certainly be encouraged, not discouraged.

Revision Process

When reviewers request revision of a manuscript prior to publication, a detailed list is sent to the submitting author. The submitting authors must provide a point-by-point response indicating how they have addressed each of the reviewers’ comments and highlight changes in the revised manuscript. Revised manuscripts must be returned to the editor within 60 days or it will be considered a new submission. Upon receipt, the revised manuscript may be sent to reviewers for additional comment/recommendations. Sending manuscripts out for additional review is determined based on reviewer recommendations and judgment of the editor.


Authors are sent page proofs by email. These should be checked immediately and corrections, as well as answers to any queries, returned to the publishers as an annotated PDF via email or fax within 2 working days (further details are supplied with the proof). It is the author's responsibility to check proofs thoroughly.


Authors will receive electronic access to their paper free of charge. Printed offprints may be purchased in multiples of 100. Rates are indicated on the order form which must be returned with the proofs.

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