Submission guidelines

Approaches is an open access peer-reviewed journal inviting diverse perspectives on music therapy practice, profession and discipline. Although the journal’s main focus is on music therapy, submissions of manuscripts originating from related fields from the wider music, health and wellbeing arena (such as special music education, community music, and medical ethnomusicology) are welcome. We encourage submissions from practitioners, researchers, scholars, as well as students.

A range of submission genres are invited, including: articles, reports, interviews, book reviews, conference reports, tributes, letters to the editor, translations and editorials. Further details about the submission requirements and review procedures for each genre are given below.

Submissions are received throughout the year, and once a manuscript is accepted for publication it becomes immediately available on the journal’s First View. While awaiting their assignment to a particular issue number, manuscripts are fully accessible and citable when published on First View. This ensures a prompt online publication speeding up drastically the publication timeline.

Submission genres

The table below outlines the different submission requirements and review procedures for each submission genre. Further details for each genre are provided below.

Articles

This submission genre includes a wide range of article types as follows:

  • Research articles: articles reporting on original research are welcome irrespective of their methodological orientation and sample size. Qualitative, quantitative as well as mixed method research is welcome. This may also include not only empirical, but also theoretical and historical research. The quality and rigour of each research article is evaluated with reference to its own epistemological and methodological orientation.
  • Evaluation articles: articles that report on any kind of evaluative project (such as audit, service evaluation, or clinical assessment) are invited. This may also include articles reporting on the development of an evaluation tool.
  • Theoretical articles: articles that draw on existing literature to explore a particular aspect or area of music therapy (or of a related field) are welcome. Based on in-depth literature review, such articles need to adopt a reflexive and critical stance presenting different views and perspectives on the subject under discussion. Apart from theory building, theoretical articles can contribute to the development of practice and research initiatives.
  • Practice-based articles: these articles have a practical focus and can take the form of case studies. Authors are expected to draw on material from everyday practice either in music therapy or in related fields of practice. Such material can be illustrated with relevant audio-visual examples. Although the focus is on practice, authors are expected to relate their arguments to existing theories and research as appropriate.

Reports

This submission genre includes reports on a range of projects, such as: reports on pilot projects; reports about the process of setting up a new service; reports on the development of innovative technology equipment; reports about a new collaboration. Such reports should situate each project within a wider professional and disciplinary context taking into consideration relevant literature and research sources.

Interviews

Approaches welcomes interviews of individuals from the field of music therapy and the wider area of music, health and wellbeing. Although interviews can vary in terms of foci, themes and style, they need to maintain a reflective and critical stance. If you are interested in conducting an interview, please email the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission to confirm the relevance of your interview proposal to the journal’s scope.

Your email needs to provide an outline of your proposed interview (including its theme and method, e.g. Skype interview), the proposed submission deadline, as well as a brief biography of the interviewer and the interviewee (max 100 words).

Book reviews

Approaches places a high value on book reviews. We believe that book reviews play a crucial role in promoting critical engagement with emerging knowledge within and around music therapy. In addition to informing the profession and public about new books, book reviews encourage disciplinary and professional dialogue and debate.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the journal, we invite reviews of music therapy books as well as of other music and health related publications embracing social, psychological, spiritual and other aspects of music’s role in human life, health and wellbeing. Aiming to promote interdisciplinary dialogue, we also invite professionals from other fields, such as community music, psychology of music and ethnomusicology, to review music therapy books, and vice versa.

A book review should inform the reader of the book’s content and its perceived quality. It is important that the review is more than just a summary of the subject matter. Reviewers are expected to retain a reflexive stance situating the book, its author and the topic in the overall body of knowledge and methodological context relevant to the publication. We are also curious to hear the reviewer’s voice, and its shifts in position from general professional observation to a more personal response.

Critique is welcome, provided that it is well supported and constructive. It should consider not only the context and the intention of the book itself, but also the author’s own background as well as the broader disciplinary context. Arguments should be substantiated using illustrative examples from the book, using page numbers where direct quotes are used.

The advisory word limit for a book review is 800-1000, but this can be extended by negotiation with the Book Review Editor. Extended pieces may consider creative and alternative methods of presenting book reviews. For example:

  • A review being written by two or more people in the form of a conversation.
  • Workshopping suggested activities or methods suggested in a text, and writing about your experience.
  • Sharing an arts-based response to the text. This could be in the form of a piece of creative writing, artwork, composed/improvised music or other arts-based method, with a commentary as to the process involved.

In the spirit of promoting professional dialogue and debate, we also welcome responses to the book reviews. Such responses can be by the book author/editor or other professionals in the form of Letter to the Editor.

If you feel there is a book that should be reviewed by the journal, please get in touch with us. Reviews of relevant artefacts such as films and podcasts may also be considered by the journal. If you wish to make any such suggestion, please email the Editor-in-Chief: approaches.editor@gmail.com Your email needs to outline the title of the book or artefact you would like to review and the proposed submission deadline. You should also include a brief biography (max 100 words) outlining your areas of expertise and how these relate to the book or artefact content.

If you have been invited to review a book and think that it is not worth reviewing for one reason or another, please contact the Book Reviews Editor explaining why this might be so. Also, if you are a colleague of the author of the book to be reviewed or feel that for any other reason it would be inappropriate for you to re-view the book, please alert the relevant editor.

Authors of reviews are typically provided by the publisher with a free complimentary copy of the book they are invited to review.

Conference reports

Approaches welcomes manuscripts reporting on recent conferences across the world. Such reports can focus on music therapy conferences or conferences from the wider area of music, health and wellbeing. In addition to providing an outline of the conference and its themes, authors are invited to share their own reflections and experiences from the conference, as well as to share their views regarding the conference’s contribution to the field. Authors are also invited to include audio-visual material (e.g. photos and videos), as well as any useful web-links (e.g. links to proceedings, photo galleries). If you are interested in writing a conference report, please email the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission to confirm the relevance of the conference to the journal’s scope.

Tributes

Approaches welcomes tributes which celebrate individuals whose work made a significant contribution to music therapy or to a related field during their lives. In addition to outlining aspects of a person’s life, these papers need to focus on this person’s key contributions to the field and include a list of relevant references. Photos and links to other audio-visual material are welcome. If you are interested in submitting a tribute, please email the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission to confirm the relevance of your proposal to the journal’s scope.

Letters to the Editor

This submission genre aims to encourage dialogue and constructive critique of recent publications that appeared in Approaches, including articles, reports, interviews, conference reports and book reviews. Letters to the Editor should not exceed 1000 words in length and may include up to five references. Letters must not duplicate content published or submitted for publication in Approaches or elsewhere. The authors of the original publication are given the opportunity to respond to the letter. Letters and related responses are evaluated by the editors and are not sent for external review. Letters can have a personal tone but need to be clearly situated and draw on existing knowledge and evidence in the field.  

Translations

Approaches publishes only original manuscripts. This submission genre, however, is an exception where publication of a translated version of an existing manuscript is permitted provided all relevant permissions both from the original authors and the original publisher are given.

Approaches welcomes Hellenic or English translations of texts which have already been published in a different language. This submission type focuses on original manuscripts which are considered important in terms of their research findings or their contribution to a theoretical area either in music therapy or a related field. Potential authors/translators are strongly encouraged to email the Editor-in-Chief prior to submission providing the full reference of the proposed original paper.

Editorials

Editorials are normally written by the Editor-in-Chief. If you wish to contribute as a Guest Editor, please read how you can propose a special issue.

Word limit

Minimum word limits vary according to the submission genre as indicated in the table above. Although Approaches sets no maximum word limit, authors are encouraged to be succinct in the development of their arguments.

Use of language

Approaches is a bi-lingual publication and accepts manuscripts written in English and/or in Hellenic language. In the former case, please ensure you use British spelling consistently throughout the manuscript. Manuscripts written in both languages are also welcome.

Audio-visual material and graphs

All submission genres can include audio-visual material (such as photographs, videos, and audio recordings) as well as graphs. Such items should be emailed as separate attachment files and accompanied by relevant brief captions within the main text indicating clearly where to position them.

Photographs need to be sent in high resolution, while graphs need to be submitted in an editable format (e.g. Microsoft Office Excel). Upon publication both photographs and graphs are embedded within the manuscript which becomes available in PDF format.

Once a manuscript is published, video and audio recordings become available via Approaches’ official YouTube channel. The relevant YouTube links are placed within the manuscript as well as on the website of Approaches.

It is the authors’ sole responsibility to ensure that all consents and copyright permissions for publication of audio-visual material are in place prior to the submission of their manuscripts.

Ethical considerations

Authors are responsible to ensure that their manuscripts adhere to the ethical standards as these defined by the genre of their submission. Authors of research articles, for example, need to ensure that the implementation and reporting of their research meets the ethical standards as defined by the research ethics committee (or the appropriate body) which approved their project. Where applicable, the name of the research ethics committee (or of the appropriate body) as well as the reference number of the research ethics approval need to be stated in articles.

Anonymity, confidentiality and privacy of people (such as research participants, music therapy clients etc.) as well as the collection of all the necessary formal permissions (such as consent forms) are common considerations not only for research and evaluation, but also for practice-based articles which may report on collected data, audio-visual material and so on.

Also, permission to quote from or reproduce copyrighted material must be obtained by the authors before submitting their manuscript.

Further useful information about ethics can be found in the document Ethics and Informed Consent Requirements for Publication of Music Therapy Research which has been developed by the Commission on Research and Ethics of the World Federation of Music Therapy.

Referencing style

Approaches follows the APA (American Psychological Association) referencing style.

At the end of each manuscript a full list of references (which corresponds to all in-text citations) should be included. In-text citations should provide the names of authors and publication date. In cases of direct quotes, in-text citations should also include the exact page numbers. The full list of references must be organised in alphabetical order.

Detailed information about the APA referencing style can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010, 6th Edition): http://www.apastyle.org/ and http://blog.apastyle.org/