The International Journal of Research and Practice

2014 Impact Factor: 3.639
2014 Ranking: 10/68 in Psychology, Developmental
Source: 2014 Journal Citation Reports ® (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

Editor in Chief
David Mandell University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Jim Bodfish Vanderbilt University, USA
Sven Bölte Karolinska Institutet & University Hospital, Sweden
Luc Lecavalier Ohio State University, USA
Will Mandy University College London, UK
Liz Pellicano Institute of Education
Aubyn Stahmer UC Davis MIND Institute, USA
Editorial Assistant
Katie Maras University of Bath, UK

eISSN: 14617005| ISSN: 13623613|Current volume: 19|Current issue: 6 Frequency: 8 Times/Year
Autism provides a major international forum for research of direct and practical relevance to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism or autism-related disorders. The journal's success and popularity reflect the recent worldwide growth in the research and understanding of autistic spectrum disorders, and the consequent impact on the provision of treatment and care.

Autism is interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on evaluative research in all areas, including:

  • intervention
  • diagnosis
  • training
  • education
  • neuroscience
  • psychological processes
  • evaluation of particular therapies
  • quality of life issues
  • family issues and family services
  • medical and genetic issues
  • epidemiological research

Electronic access

Autism is available electronically on SAGE Journals Online at

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

Social Media Editor
Laura Crane City University, UK
Editorial Board
Christos Alexiou Greek Society for the Protection of Autistic People, Athens, Greece
Tony Attwood Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
Anna Balazs Autism Research Group, Budapest, Hungary
Simon Baron-Cohen University of Cambridge
Dorothy Bishop Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford, UK
Patrick Bolton University of Cambridge, UK
Jill M Boucher City University, UK
Dermot Bowler City University, London, UK
Brian A. Boyd University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA
Susan E Bryson IWK Healthcentre, Halifax, Canada
Tony Charman Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Tina Taylor Dyches Brigham Young University
Terje Falck-Ytter Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Uppsala University, Sweden
Joaquin Fuentes Gautena, Spain
Mohammad Ghaziuddin University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Christopher Gillberg University of Göteborg, Sweden
Matthew S. Goodwin Northeastern University, USA
Paul Gringras Harper House Children's Services, UK
Dougal Hare University of Manchester, UK
Richard P. Hastings University of Warwick, UK
Peter Hobson Institute of Child Health, UK
Hideo Honda Yokohama Rehabilitation Center, Japan
Patricia Howlin Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Brooke Ingersoll Michigan State University, USA
Rita Jordan University of Birmingham , UK
Deb Keen Griffith University, Australia
Fiona Knott University of Reading, UK
Mary Konstantareas University of Guelph, Canada
Li-Ching Lee Johns Hopkins University, USA
Sue Leekham Cardiff University, Wales, UK
Sophie Lind City University, London, UK
Jill Locke University of Pennsylvania, USA
Ghislain Magerotte Université de Mons-Hainaut, Belgium
Evelyn McGregor Edinburgh University, UK
Gary Mesibov University of North Carolina, USA
Richard Mills Research Autism London UK and Bond University, Gold Coast Australia
Damian Milton University of Birmingham, UK
Laurent Mottron Hopital Riviere-Des-Prairies, Montreal, Canada
Chris Oliver University of Birmingham , UK
Carol Povey National Autistic Society, UK
Margot Prior University of Melbourne, Australia
Karl Reichelt University of Oslo, Norway
Diana Robins Drexel University, USA
Bernadette Rogé University of Toulouse, France
Sir Michael Rutter Institute of Psychiatry, London
Noah Sasson University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Paul Shattuck Drexel University, USA
Stephen Shore Adelphi University, USA
Cory Shulman Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Tristram Smith University of Rochester Medical Center, USA
Sarah J Spence MD PhD Boston Children's Hospital, USA
Elizabeth Starr University of Windsor, Canada
Jessica Suhrheinrich University of California, San Diego, USA
John Swettenham University College London, UK
Peter Szatmari McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Helen Tager-Flusberg Boston University, USA
Julie Taylor Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, USA
Tokio Uchiyama Fukushima University, Japan
Ina van Berckelaer-Onnes Rijsuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
Zachary Warren Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), USA
Jeremy Veenstra-Vander Weele Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, USA
Susan White Virginia Tech, USA
David Williams University of Kent, UK
Pamela Wolfberg San Francisco State University
Nurit Yirmiya The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum University of Alberta, Canada
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    1. Editorial Policies
      1.1 Peer review policy
      1.2 Authorship
      1.3 Acknowledgments
      1.3.1 Funding acknowledgement
    2. Publishing Policies
      2.1 Publication Ethics
      2.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      2.3 Open Access and author archiving
    3. Article types
    4. How to submit your manuscript
    5. Declaration of conflicting interests policy
    6. Other conventions
      6.1 Research ethics
      6.2 Patient consent
      6.3 Statistical analyses
      6.4 Randomized controlled trials
      6.5 Prisma
      6.6 Consort
    7. Permissions
    8. Manuscript style
      8.1 File types
      8.2 Journal style
      8.3 Reference style
      8.4 Manuscript preparation
      8.4.1 Keywords and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
      8.4.2 Corresponding author contact details
      8.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
      8.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
      8.4.5 English language editing services
    9. After acceptance
      9.1 Lay Abstracts
      9.2 Proofs
      9.3 E-Prints and complimentary copies
      9.4 SAGE production
      9.5 OnlineFirst publication
    10. Further information

    Autism provides a major international forum for research of direct and practical relevance to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism or autism-related disorders.


    1. Editorial policies

    1.1 Peer review policy

    Autism operates a strictly anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and, the author’s name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. Each new submission is carefully read by one of the Editors to decide whether it has a reasonable chance of getting published. If the Editor thinks it does not have this chance, at least one other Editor will be consulted before finally deciding whether or not to send the manuscript out for review. Autism strives to do this within two weeks after submission, so that authors do not have to wait long for a rejection. Feedback is also provided on how to improve the manuscript, or what other journal would be more suitable. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within (e.g.) 6-8 weeks of submission.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of 1 peer who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below: 

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    1.2 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.

    1.3 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, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    1.3.1 Funding Acknowledgement
    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network(RIN), Autism additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. All research articles should have a funding acknowledgement in the form of a sentence as follows, with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets:

    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx].

    Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Thus:

    This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

    In some cases, research is not funded by a specific project grant, but rather from the block grant and other resources available to a university, college or other research institution. Where no specific funding has been provided for the research we ask that corresponding authors use the following sentence:

    This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    Important note: If you have any concerns that the provision of this information may compromise your anonymity dependent on the peer review policy of this journal outlined above, you can withhold this information until final accepted manuscript.

    For more information on the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers, please visit:

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    2. Publishing policies

    2.1 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.  

    2.1.1 Plagiarism

    Autism 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 articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where 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 (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

    2.2 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 our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open Access and author archiving

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    3. Article types

    The Journal considers the following kinds of article for publication:

    1. Research Reports. Full papers describing new empirical findings;

    2. Review Articles.
    (a) general reviews that provide a synthesis of an area of autism research;
    (b) critiques - focused and provocative reviews that may be followed by a number of invited commentaries, with a concluding reply from the main author.
    Both full Research Reports and Review Articles are generally restricted to a maximum of 6,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, tables, text).  Editors may ask authors to make certain cuts before sending the article out for review.

    3. Short Reports. Brief papers restricted to a maximum of 2,000 words with no more than two tables and 15 references. Short reports could include other approaches like discussions, new or controversial ideas, comments, perspectives, critiques, or preliminary findings. The title should begin with ‘Short Report’.

    4. Letters to the Editors. Readers' letters should address issues raised by published articles. The decision to publish is made by the Editors, in order to ensure a timely appearance in print. Letters should be no more than 800 words, with no tables and a maximum of 5 references.

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    4. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Autism is hosted on SAGEtrack a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne Manuscripts. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines below, and then simply 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.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please refer to the contact details below.

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    5. Declaration of conflicting interests                  

    Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. Autism does not require a declaration of conflicting interests but recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    6. Other conventions

    We would prefer to use the term ‘people with autism’ or ‘people with autism spectrum disorders or conditions’. We would also prefer the term ‘typically developing’ rather than ‘normal’.

    6.1 Research ethics
    All papers reporting animal and human studies must include whether written consent was obtained from the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number.

    We accept manuscripts that report human and/or animal studies for publication only if it is made clear that investigations were carried out to a high ethical standard. Studies in humans which might be interpreted as experimental (e.g. controlled trials) should conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and typescripts must include a statement that the research protocol was approved by the appropriate ethical committee. In line with the Declaration of Helsinki 1975, revised Hong Kong 1989, we encourage authors to register their clinical trials (at or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE, If your trial has been registered, please state this on the Title Page. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate on the Title Page which guideline/law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

    6.2 Patient consent
    Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. 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 be shown the manuscript to be published.

    Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

    6.3 Statistical analyses
    Where statistical analyses have been carried out please ensure that the methodology has been accurately described. In comparative studies power calculations are usually required. In research papers requiring complex statistics the advice of an expert statistician should be sought at the design/implementation stage of the study.

    6.4 Randomized controlled trials

    All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in Autism should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at for more information.

    6.5 Prisma

    Autism requires a completed PRISMA checklist and flow diagram as a condition of submission when reporting the results of a systematic review. Templates for these can be found on the PRISMA website You should ensure that, at minimum, your article reports content addressed by each item of the checklist. Meeting these basic reporting requirements will greatly improve the value of your systematic review and may enhance its chances for eventual publication.

    6.6 Consort

    Autism requires a completed CONSORT 2010 checklist and flow diagram as a condition of submission when reporting the results a randomized trial. Templates for these can be found on the CONSORT website [] which also describes several CONSORT checklist extensions for different designs and types of data beyond two group parallel trials. You should ensure that your article, at minimum, reports content addressed by each item of the checklist. Meeting these basic reporting requirements will greatly improve the value of your trial report and may enhance its chances for eventual publication.

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    7. Permissions
    Authors are responsible for obtaining 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 visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    8. Manuscript style

    8.1 File types
    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted. Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork and supplemental files below.

    8.2 Journal Style
    Autism conforms to the SAGE house style. Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style.

    8.3 Reference Style
    Autism operates a Sage Harvard reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    8.4. Manuscript Preparation
    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point. SI units should be used throughout the text.

    8.4.1 Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring that readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE's Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    8.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact details
    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    8.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
    Artwork, figures and other graphics such as tables should be uploaded through SAGE’s Online Submission System alongside the main body of the text, as a seperate file to ensure best quality in production. For further guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    8.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
    This journal is able to host approved supplemental materials online, alongside the full-text of articles. Supplemental files will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article. For more information please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files.

    8.4.5 English Language Editing
    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit English Language Editing Services for further information.

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    9. After acceptance           

    9.1 Lay Abstracts
    Upon acceptance of your article you will be required to submit a lay abstract of your article to the Social Media Editor, Laura Crane ( Lay abstracts are brief (max 250 words) descriptions of the paper that are easily understandable. These abstracts will be made available to researchers and clinicians, as well as the general public (including individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families).

    These abstracts should avoid both technical terminology and the reporting of statistics. Examples of lay abstracts are provided in recent issues of the journal.

    9.2 Proofs
    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    9.3 E-Prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit

    9.4 SAGE Production
    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( ). We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Autism with SAGE.

    9.5 OnlineFirst Publication
    Autism benefits from OnlineFirst, a feature offered through SAGE’s electronic journal platform, SAGE Journals Online. It allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our OnlineFirst Fact Sheet

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    10. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editorial Office as follows:

    Katie Maras
    Department of Psychology
    University of Bath
    Claverton Down
    Bath BA2 7AY
    United Kingdom

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