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Journal of Intellectual Disabilities

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities

eISSN: 17446309 | ISSN: 17446295 | Current volume: 28 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly
This journal provides a medium for the exchange of best practice, knowledge and research between academic and professional disciplines from education, social, and health settings to bring about advancement of services for people with intellectual disabilities.

"The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities provides evidence of inter-professional scholarship in this applied area. The Journal combines a unique and eclectic blend of evidence of scholarly activity that combines practice development innovation with robust research methodology. The result is a publication that aspires successfully to provide pragmatic solutions to service change and advances in professional practice, based upon best evidence and intellectual rigour. Furthermore, the Journal continues to provide a forum that makes a significant contribution to enhancing the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities and their supporters'. Professor David Sines, London South Bank University

"Multi-disciplinary research in the field of learning disabilities is much needed but hard to realise. The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities plays a major role in making this a reality to the benefit of both practitioners and researchers." Professor Roy McConkey, University of Ulster

"The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities appears to provide genuine recognition of a multidisciplinary trend in professional practice and seeks to promote research and scholarly work to advance activities of the caring professions. It draws upon several academic disciplines although its focus is practice-oriented. It would appear to fill a market gap insofar as the other major journal in the area is strongly rooted in the discipline of psychology. Published articles are varied yet have in common a shared concern to enhance professional policies and practice." Professor Nigel Malin, University of Derby

The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities is now covered by MEDLINE!

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The principal aim of the journal is to provide a peer-reviewed medium for the exchange of best practice, knowledge and research between academic and professional disciplines from education, social and health settings to bring about advancement of services for people with intellectual disabilities.

The idea of a practice-led journal is both exciting and timely. This journal serves as a medium for all those involved with people with intellectual disabilities to submit and publish papers on issues relevant to promoting services for people with intellectual disabilities.

The editorial committee and advisory board membership will be multi-professional to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of service provision for people with intellectual disabilities. Manuscripts submitted for publication must be highly relevant to practitioners and presented in a scholarly fashion.

In January 2005 Journal of Learning Disabilities was renamed Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. Within the UK the term 'learning disability' is still a relatively new term that is used to describe a group of people with significant developmental delay resulting in arrested or incomplete achievement of the 'normal' milestones of human development. Elsewhere in the world terms such mental retardation and mental handicap are also used, but such terms are felt to portray negative imagery concerning people with disability. Therefore changing the name of our Journal was fraught with problems. This is because we wanted the Journal to have a title that had international meaning, we did not seek to further marginalise people with disability nor did we wish to be seen to further disempower them by imposing yet another name. Thus the decision to change the title of our Journal was not undertaken lightly nor without considerable consultation. Whereas I accept that 'naming is not a simple act' (Luckasson (2003)), the increasing internationalisation of our publication has led myself and others to conclude that it was necessary for the Journal to change its title. I concluded that the term most suited to the aims and scope of this Journal, and that which seems to have most Universal consensus is that of Intellectual Disabilities. The aims and scope of our Journal remain the same and I hope that the readership will welcome this development to our title. As ever the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities continues to welcome scholarly papers from the wide range of disciplines involved in intellectual disabilities to disseminate their ideas, practice, knowledge and research to their peers through an accessible yet authoritative international publication.

Bob Gates, Thames Valley University-London


LUCKASSON, R. (2003) 'Terminology and Power', in S. S. HER, L. O. GOSTIN & H. H. KOH The Human Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Founding Editor
Prof Bob Gates University of West London, UK
Dr Fintan Sheerin Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Forthcoming Events & Reports Editor
Dr Neil James University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Editorial Committee
Professor Owen Barr University of Ulster, UK
Bob Gates University of West London, UK
Professor Garry Hornby Institute of Education, University of Plymouth, UK
Neil James University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Professor Ruth Northway University of South Wales, UK
Dr Laurence Taggart University of Ulster, UK
Consulting Editor
Scott K. Baker University of Oregon, USA
Amy Crosson Pennsylvania State University
Chris Espin Leiden University, Netherlands
Asha Jitendra University of California, Riverside, USA
Erica Lembke University of Missouri, USA
International Advisory Board
Dr May Agius University of Malta, Malta
Dr. Helen Atherton University of Leeds, UK
Professor Michelle A Beauchesne Northeastern University, USA
Dr Petra Bjorne Lund University, Sweden
Dr Catherine Bright Aneurin Bevan Health Board, UK
Dr Owen Doody University of Limerick, Ireland
Dr Sandra Dowling University of Bristol, UK
Professor Susan Gabel Wayne State University, USA
Dr Haitham Jahrami Ministry of Health Manama, Bahrain
Dr Thomas Kishore National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), India
Professor Roy McConkey University of Ulster, UK
Dr Eimear McGlinchey Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Dr Mary-Ann O’Donovan University of Sydney and Centre for Disability Studies, Australia
Professor Wojciech Otrebski John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Dr Maria Paiewonsky University of Massachuchetts, Boston, USA
Professor Trevor R. Parmenter University of Sydney, Australia
Professor Sue Read Keele University, UK
Dr Fiona Rillotta Flinders University, Australia
Dr Anupam Thakur Surrey Place Centre, Canada
Dr Katja Valkama Hame University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Dr Nathan Wilson Western Sydney University, Australia
Dr Jane Wray University of Hull, UK
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Journal of Intellectual Disabilities will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Journal of Intellectual Disabilities may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.

    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
      2.7 Data
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style and language conventions
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Your manuscript should ideally be between 6000 and 8000 words long, and double spaced. Please also supply an abstract of 100-150 words, and up to five keywords, arranged in alphabetical order.

    Books for review should be sent to: Dr Roja D.Sooben, Senior Lecturer Learning Disability Nursing Research Lead, Room 1F300, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Each paper submitted, if considered suitable by the Editor, will be refereed by at least two anonymous referees, and the Editor may recommend revision and re-submission.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Funding

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of Journal of Intellectual Disabilities to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

    For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations 

    2.6 Research ethics and patient consent

    Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

    For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.

    Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.

    Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.

    2.7 Data

    Sage acknowledges the importance of research data availability as an integral part of the research and verification process for academic journal articles.

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities requests all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles alongside their article submissions to be published in the online version of the journal, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility. Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations. For further information, please contact the editorial office.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guideline page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style and language conventions

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities does not accept the abbreviations such as ID for "intellectual disability" or NDD for 'neurodevelopmental disability'. This needs to be written in full throughout the manuscript and not abbreviated.

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information. 

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Journal of Intellectual Disabilities is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities editorial office as follows:


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