Preparation of Manuscripts

Instructions to Authors

Submission of an article is understood to imply that the article is original and unpublished and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. WORK is committed to the highest ethical standards and best practices in publishing and follows the code of conduct for Committee on Publication Ethics and the ICMJE. Any possible conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, related to the submitted work must be clearly indicated in the manuscript.

By submitting your article to this journal, you agree to the Author Copyright AgreementIOS Press Ethics Policy, and IOS Press Privacy Policy.

Publication fee

Please note that for articles submitted and accepted after 1 January 2023, authors are required to pay a publication fee of €300/$300. Publication fees do not apply to feature solicited articles, book reviews and letters to the editor.

A waiver request for the publication fee should be submitted before the initial submission of a paper. Please send your title, abstract, keyword list and author list including affiliations to the Editor-in-Chief, Karen Jacobs (kjacobs@bu.edu), along with your motivation for the waiver. Your request will be evaluated. Waivers are available for corresponding authors from low-income countries as identified by the Hinari Project (https://www.research4life.org/access/eligibility/).

Submission of manuscripts

Authors are requested to submit their manuscript electronically to the journal's online submission system. The manuscript should not include a title page or author information, as the journal uses a double blind peer review process. The journal does not accept submissions from authors using nondescript, anonymous email addresses (yahoo.comgmail.com163.comrediffmail.com, etc.).

Artificial intelligence policy

WORK follows the recommendations from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) regarding artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology.

Text generated from artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, or similar algorithmic tools cannot be the original content in papers submitted to the journal. Nor does the journal accept figures, images, or graphics produced by such tools. However, AI tools can be used in the writing process to improve the readability and language. A disclosure should be added to the paper in case AI tools were used and in which manner.

AI programs should not be included in the author list, nor should they be cited. AI programs cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work. The authors are ultimately responsible for the contents of the paper and, in case AI tools are used, should carefully review the output as it can be incorrect, incomplete, and/or biased. For more information, see the IOS Press Ethics Policy.

Changes to authorship

Please note that changing the authors list (i.e. adding / removing authors, or changing the order) is not allowed after submission of the manuscript, unless the journal editor and all co-authors are informed and are in agreement with this change. Please see the IOS Press authorship policy for further information.

Preparation of manuscripts

1.  Manuscripts must be written in English. Authors whose native language is not in English should seek the advice of a native English speaker, before submitting their manuscripts. Please use first person language (i.e. a person with an injury, not an injured person)

2. Typically, the journal only publishes data collected within the past 5 years

3. Manuscript formatting

  • Submit a Word document, not a PDF
  • Wide margins – do not use columns
  • Double spacing throughout the manuscript
  • Manuscripts should be max. 20 pages (no more than 7500 words), excluding references, tables and figures
  • Do not use page layout software and do not send PostScript files of the text
  • Number all pages
  • Avoid excessive use of bold and italics
  • Tables and figures should be included at the end of the manuscript or as attachments
  • Headings and subheadings should be numbered and typed on a separate line, without indentation

4. Manuscripts should be organized in the following order:

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Body of text (divided by subheadings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion)
  • Acknowledgements
  • References
  • Tables and captions (10 max.)
  • Figures and captions (10 max.)

5. Abstract

  • Title (should be clear, descriptive and not too long)
  • The abstract should be clear, descriptive, self-explanatory
  • No longer than 250 words
  • The following subheadings should be used: BACKGROUND, OBJECTIVE, 
    It should also be suitable for publication in abstracting services
  • Keywords (6-8 terms from the MeSH database)

6. Materials and methods

Ethical considerations 
Please include an explicit statement in the materials and methods section that procedures involving experiments on human subjects are done in accord with the ethical standards of the Committee on Human Experimentation of the institution in which the experiments were done or in accord with the Declaration of Helsinki of 1964 and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The approval number of the Ethics Committee or the institutional review board and its affiliation together with the date of approval, or alternative identifiers, must be added as part of the statement. Studies exempt from Institutional Review Board approval should report the reason for exemption, e.g. “This study, as a literature review, is exempt from Institutional Review Board approval”. Editors reserve the right to reject papers if there is doubt whether appropriate procedures have been used.

Informed consent 
Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable should be shown the manuscript before it is published. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the Methods section.

Reporting guidelines 
Manuscripts should adhere to the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines relevant to the research design.

Specify the acknowledgements. If there are none, you can still include this section and insert "The authors have no acknowledgments".

Conflict of interest 
Statement of any potential conflicts should be clearly identified at the end of the paper. If there is no conflict of interest to declare, you must still include this section and insert the following statement: "The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest."

Specify sources of funding. If there are none, you can still include this section at the end of the paper and insert "The authors report no funding".

7. Article types

Research articles 
Research articles should be structured as outline above. 

Review articles 
Review articles should be authoritative and topical and provide comprehensive and balanced coverage of a timely and/or controversial issue. For systematic reviews, authors should consult PRISMA (prisma-statement.org) and prepare their reviews as per the PRISMA Checklist. We recommend the EQUATOR Network (equator-network.org) and the NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives (nlm.nih.gov/services/research_report_guide.html) as good sources for reporting guidelines. Submissions must not exceed 7500 words and include no more than 80 references and a maximum of 10 tables and figures. The search should have been carried out within the past 6 months so that the manuscript is timely.

Case reports 
Case reports are composed of novel or complex case examples encountered in the area of work. The focus can be on a client, a family, a community, an institution, or any other defined unit. Alternatively, the focus can be on an event, trend, initiative or project. Case reports must not exceed 1500 words and should be written in third person, past tense, active voice. Case reports must include an abstract (max. 150 words including a description of the case(s) and setting), an introduction (literature overview and purpose of the case study and its significance to work), a case history (demographic information, a detailed description of the case and supporting material), a discussion (focused on evidence-based interventions), and a short summary. No client, family, community, institution or any other defined unit or product identity (product-neutral) should be included.

Letter to the editor 
Authors can submit comments of 1000 words or less concerning prior articles published in WORK. Letters should not exceed 500 words and five references; should have one table/figure max.; should have no abstract or key points; and should include any conflicts of interest. Letters will be shared with the authors of the original article for possible response prior to posting.

Commentaries are short opinion pieces representing the author’s viewpoint. Commentaries can be around 1000 words with an abstract and no other subdivisions.

Sounding board 
Sounding board is an editorial platform designed for thoughtful analysis, constructive criticism, and the exploration of viewpoints. Sounding board is the viewpoint/opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the viewpoint of WORK.

Clinical trials 
Clinical trial papers are scholarly papers that provide comprehensive and detailed reports on the design, methodology, results, and conclusions of research studies conducted to evaluate the efficacy of interventions. 

Return to work corner 
The Return to Work Corner series consists of short articles written by the Return to Work Corner Editor Dr. Rumrill Jr. and colleagues that address specific aspects of return-to-work/stay at work services for people with disabilities. The articles include strategies for engaging employers in return to work services, environmental accessibility and workplace safety for workers with disabilities as employers require physical return to work, return to work strategies for people with substance use disorders, and the role of occupational health nurses and physicians on the return to work team.

Bridging the gap: Hospital to workplace 
The Bridging the Gap: Hospital to Workplace series consists of columns written by the Editor Leonard N. Matheson and colleagues. The columns provide case examples of what has been demonstrated to have utility in helping their clients to bridge the gap and return to their worker role in competitive employment. Information about effective approaches to evaluation, therapy, and accommodations are exemplified by anonymized case studies presented by senior members of their disciplines with the intent to encourage and guide ongoing professional development.

8. Figures

  • Figures should be numbered according to their sequence in the text. The text should include references to all figures
  • Figures should be kept to a minimum (10 figures max. Additional figures can be included as supplementary materials).
  • For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account: line art should be have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, save as EPS or TIFF; grayscales (incl. photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering), or 500 dpi (when there is lettering); save as tiff, not as JPEG, this format may lose information in the process
  • Figures should be designed with the format of the page of the journal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%
  • On maps and other figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e. do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figures need to be reduced
  • Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity


9. References

  • References must be listed in Vancouver style. Place citations as numbers in square brackets in the text. All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references following the text of the manuscript. Only articles published or accepted for publication should be listed in the reference list. Submitted articles can be listed in the text as (author(s), unpublished data).
  • References should be kept to a minimum (80 references max.).
  • Examples of references in Vancouver style:

[1] Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002; 935(12): 406. 
[2] Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002. 
[3] Berkow R, Fletcher AJ, editors. The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. 16th ed. Rahway (NJ): Merck Research Laboratories; 1992. 
[4] Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGrawHill; 2002. p. 93113. 
[5] Canadian Cancer Society [homepage on the Internet]. Toronto: The Society; 2006 [updated 2006 May 12; cited 2006 Oct 17]. Available from: http://www.cancer.ca/.

10. Footnotes

  • Footnotes should only be used if absolutely essential. In most cases it is possible to incorporate the information in the text
  • If used, they should be numbered in the text, indicated by superscript numbers and kept as short as possible

11. Pre-press and proofs

Shortly after the author corrections are received, the corrected proof is published online in the journal's pre-press module and is indexed by PubMed where it appears as [Epub ahead of print]. The pre-press article is fully citable by using the DOI number. This is not the final version. When the article is published in an issue, the final, updated version replaces the pre-press version.

12. Quoting from other publications

An author, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing a figure or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing copyright. Although in general an author may quote from other published works, he should obtain permission from the holder of the copyright if he wishes to make substantial extracts or to reproduce tables, plates or other figures. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. Submission of a paper will be interpreted as a statement that the author has obtained all the necessary permission. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.

13. How to order offprints, reprints, pdf, extra journals, books

  • The corresponding author of a contribution to the journal is entitled to receive 1 watermarked copy of the electronic article pdf free of charge. An order form for offprints, journals or a pdf file without watermark will be provided along with the galley proofs
  • If you wish to order reprints of an earlier published article, please contact the publisher for a quote. IOS Press, E-mail: editorial@iospress.nl
  • Authors are entitled to a 25% discount on books. See author's discount (25%) on all IOS Press book publications.


Authors of published articles (non-prepress, final articles) will be contacted by Kudos. Kudos is a service that helps researchers maximize the impact and visibility of their research. It allows authors to enrich their articles with lay metadata, add links to related materials and promote their articles through the Kudos system to a wider public. Authors will receive no more than three emails: one invitation and a maximum of two reminders to register for the service and link the published article to their profile. Using and registering for Kudos remains entirely optional. For more information, please have a look at our authors section.


Would you like some pointers on how to help your research achieve a wider reach and greater impact? Please consult our Promotional Toolkit for Authors for tips.