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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.
  • 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).
  • I have read and followed the Author Guidelines for this article submission.

Author Guidelines

Instructional videos for Authors, Reviewers, Editors

Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ) / ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation (Annual)

The Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ) is a quarterly publication devoted to publishing scholarly and substantive manuscripts in the field of therapeutic recreation/recreation therapy (TR/RT). To be considered for publication the material must be (a) germane to the topic of TR/RT; (b) theoretically or empirically based with practical TR/RT implications; and (c) substantive in the sense of proposing, discovering, or replicating knowledge in the field of TR/RT. All material should adhere to the manuscript preparation guidelines that are outlined in each issue of TRJ.

The ATRA Annual is the official research journal of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. It is published as the 4thissue of the TRJ annually. The purpose of the Annual is to further advance the body of knowledge of the therapeutic recreation profession by creating new knowledge and understandings in practice and in education. Only those manuscripts that fit the purpose of the ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation will be reviewed for publication.

When an article is submitted to TRJ/ATRA Annual, it is considered the property of TRJ/ATRA Annual. If the article is not accepted for publication, it will be archived in the Sagamore-Venture Management System. Authors are not paid for articles published in TRJ/ATRA Annual.

Manuscripts submitted to the Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ) are considered for publication in issues 1, 2, and 3; the ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, (Annual) is published as issue 4 of the Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ). Review decision criteria for manuscripts submitted to all four issues are the same – accept, revise, revise and resubmit, and or reject. The Editor-in-Chief and Co-Editors (TRJ & Annual) jointly consider questions regarding these decision criteria. This practice adheres to the guidelines established by the APA, section 12.8 on p. 379, (7th ed). All submitted articles should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, latest edition.

TRJ/Annual 2023 Manuscript Acceptance Rate 34%: The Therapeutic Recreation Journal is receiving a Journal Impact Factor (JIF)* for the first time in Clarivate’s 2023 Journal Citation Reports (2022 data). The Therapeutic Recreation Journal has a current JIF of 0.6.

CEU INFORMATION:  The author(s) prepare 3 objectives/10 multiple questions on manuscript content. The purpose of these questions is to measure reader competence through issuance of CEUs by ATRA. Readers who elect to apply for CEUs from the issues have a 5-year period from the date of the issue to complete the CEU process (refer to CEU Instructions and Examples).

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

1. To undergo review manuscripts must adhere to the publication manual of the American Psychological Association 7thedition guide to APA style-criteria listed below.

2. Manuscripts must include as keywords, elements of/or the APIED process, therapeutic recreation or recreation(al) therapy.

3. Manuscript types considered for publication:     

a. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research manuscripts adhere to the APA common reporting standards across research designs (p. 73) and the respective reporting standards for quantitative research (p. 77), qualitative research (p. 93), or mixed methods research (p. 105). Authors should report effect size (Cohen’s D, Eta Squared, etc.) when conducting quantitative studies along with P values. Manuscripts present current and relevant primary or secondary studies (refer to explanation under Submission Details).

b. Theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical manuscripts present principles, ideas, foundational information upon which the practice of therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy is based.

c. Brief reports should not exceed 10 double-spaced pages (3,000 words, excluding references and tables). Manuscripts exceeding this length should be submitted as full-length manuscripts. Examples of appropriate content include:

  • preliminary findings of a pilot study, with emphasis placed on initial results, suggestions for future research, and how the author intends to further pursue the topic;
  • a specific aspect of a larger study or a replication or an extension of a previously reported study that contrasts the results of the two studies, referring to the earlier study for methodological details;
  • a summary of key findings and implications from a lengthy non-journal publication; or a highlight of an unusual observation or methodological approach.

d. Practice perspectives (refer to outline under Submission Details) focus on ways of knowing about the TR/RT experience and facilitating service delivery in both participant relationships and clinical, administrative, and interdisciplinary contexts. Two formats include:

  • case reports that are about (a) an individual or group in TR/RT and/or health and human service or (b) an intervention, protocol, or organizational aspect of TR/RT practice and
  • personal narratives, also known as "first-person accounts" or "lived experience reports," as a thematic lesson for TR/RT practice (by a direct or indirect recipient of care or a facilitator of service delivery).

e. Intervention Protocols (refer to outline under Submission Details):

Manuscripts outline best practices and evidence-based practices applied to delivery of a specific program or to a specific client diagnosis. Format of the manuscript is determined by the nature of the protocol i.e. programmatic or client diagnosis and is embedded in the therapeutic recreation process of assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation with author comments.

f. Systematic/scoping/meta-analysis literature reviews are summaries or evaluations of the findings or theories within the therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy literature base that capture trends in the literature. These reviews are expected to follow established reporting guidelines of PRISMA-- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (.

g. Special themed or invited manuscripts responding to a topical call or invitation from the editorial staff and that adhere to APA standards.

4. TRJ/Annual Manuscript Criteria:

  • All materials are double-spaced with 1-inch margins, 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, in Microsoft word format
  • Include no more than 27 lines of text per page excluding header and page numbers
  • Present line numbers on each page (select Layout, line numbers, continuous all pages)
  • Desired length is approximately 20 pages excluding references, tables, figures
  • Prepare each table, drawing, illustration, photo, or map on a separate page. Limit these to a maximum of four. All images submitted must be 300 dpi.
  • Authors should remove all identifying information in the Sagamore-Venture electronic submission
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English
  • If appropriate ensure ethical publishing standards by indicating approval of institutional/ human subjects review board in the manuscript
  • Final acceptance of manuscripts includes presentation of 3 objectives and 10 multiple choice questions (refer to CEU Instructions and Examples)
  • Manuscripts not adhering to APA will be archived without full team review (see APA Style criteria prior to submission).

5. Manuscript APA Style criteria prior to submission—7th ed (2020):

Title p. 31

Running head p. 37

Abstract p. 38, 73

Keywords p.38

Page header p. 44

Heading levels p.48

Introduction p. 75

Quantitative design p.77-93

Qualitative design p. 93-105

Mixed methods p.105-108

Writing style and grammar p. 111-125

Table checklist p.207

Figure checklist p. 232

In-text citations p. 266

Direct quotations p.272

Reference examples p. 313 (refer to Citation and Reference List under Submission Details)

Overview peer review process and decision criteria p. 378, items 12.7 and 12.8

Manuscript Submission Steps: Sagamore-Venture Journal Management System

All TRJ/ATRA Annual content is managed by Sagamore Publishing through a data management system, which can be accessed at

Step 1-Start: New Submission

 ATRA Annual submissions: To submit your manuscript for the Annual, go to Sagamore-Venture’s website ( and register as an author for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal (TRJ). If you are already registered as an author for TRJ, log into your account on the Sagamore/TRJ website. In your “My Journals” section, click on the [New Submission] for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal. The next page (Step 1) will have a dropdown menu for Journal Section—choose “ATRA Annual.” This directs your manuscript to the Annual co-editors to be considered. The Annual ispublished as the fourth quarter issue of TRJ.

TRJ submissions:  Manuscripts submitted to issues one, two, and three of TRJ may be submitted at any time throughout the year; publication of manuscripts is determined by date of final acceptance. If not registered with the Sagamore-Venture system (, please register as an author; otherwise log into your account. Select “New Submission”; Step 1, Starting the Submission, Journal Section, select the type of manuscript, complete the acknowledgements, and move to Step 2.

ATRA Annual and TRJ manuscript submissions:

Step 2-Upload Manuscript and any files needed for editorial review:

In the system the manuscript is submitted under “Step 2 Upload Submission” In the system submit Tables, Figures, Photos, objectives and CEU questions, and author responses (without author identification) to editorial requests and revisions under Step 2.

Step 3-Enter Metadata:

In the system under Step 3“Meta Data” provide the manuscript title, key words, abstract, list of contributors, and references.

Step 4-Confirmation:

Review your submission, make changes if appropriate, click finish submission.

Step 5-Next Steps

Thank you for your submission, the editor is being notified and will follow up. You can review your submission, create a new submission, return to your dashboard.

Submission Details (links to examples and resources):

Practice Perspectives - Intervention Protocols - Citation and Reference list examples



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