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2017 Impact Factor: 3.906
2017 Ranking: 9/73 in Psychology, Developmental
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product; Indexed in PubMed: MEDLINE
Published in Association with The National Autistic Society
The International Journal of Research and Practice

Editor in Chief
David Mandell University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, USA
Sven Bölte Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Meng-Chuan Lai University of Toronto, Canada
Julie Lounds-Taylor Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, USA
Will Mandy University College London, UK
Liz Pellicano Macquarie University, Australia
Aubyn Stahmer UC Davis MIND Institute, USA
Editorial Assistant
Katie Maras University of Bath, UK

eISSN: 14617005 | ISSN: 13623613 | Current volume: 23 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: 8 Times/Year
Autism is a major, peer-reviewed, international journal, published 8 times a year, publishing research of direct and practical relevance to help improve the quality of life for individuals with autism or autism-related disorders. It is interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on research in many areas, including: intervention; diagnosis; training; education; translational issues related to neuroscience, medical and genetic issues of practical import; psychological processes; evaluation of particular therapies; quality of life; family needs; and epidemiological research.

Autism provides a major international forum for peer-reviewed 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

All issues of Autism are available to browse online.

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

Social Media Editor
Laura Crane Centre for Research in Autism and Education, UCL, 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, UK
Sander Begeer Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dorothy Bishop University of Oxford, UK
Patrick Bolton University of Cambridge, UK
Jill M Boucher City University London, UK
Dermot Bowler City University, London, UK
Brian A. Boyd University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA
Mark Brosnan University of Bath, UK
Carissa Cascio Vanderbilt University, USA
Tony Charman Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
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
Katherine Gotham Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA
Paul Gringras Harper House Children's Services, UK
Dougal Hare Cardiff University, Wales, 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
Deb Keen Griffith University, Australia
Fiona Knott University of Reading, UK
Mary Konstantareas University of Guelph, Canada
Luc Lecavalier Ohio State University, USA
Li-Ching Lee Johns Hopkins University, USA
Sophie Lind City University, London, UK
Jill Locke University of Washington, USA
Ghislain Magerotte Université de Mons-Hainaut, Belgium
Peter B. Marschik Medical University of Graz, Austria
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
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
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
Leann Smith DaWalt Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Sarah J Spence MD PhD Boston Children's Hospital, USA
Jessica Suhrheinrich University of California, San Diego, USA
Peter Szatmari McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
Helen Tager-Flusberg Boston University, USA
Tokio Uchiyama Fukushima University, Japan
Ina van Berckelaer-Onnes Rijsuniversiteit Leiden, Netherlands
Zachary Warren Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), USA
Jeremy Veenstra-Vander Weele Columbia University, USA
Susan White Virginia Tech, USA
David Williams University of Kent, UK
Pamela Wolfberg San Francisco State University, USA
Lonnie Zwaigenbaum University of Alberta, Canada
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  • 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 Autism will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    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.

    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 Clinical trials
      2.8 Reporting guidelines
      2.9 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 Terminology
      4.5 Reference style
      4.6 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 Autism, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 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), but excluding references.  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.

    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

    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 2 peers 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/reject any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    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.

    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.

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

    2.4 Funding

    Autism 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.

    Important note: If you have any concerns that the provision of this information may compromise your anonymity, you should withhold this information until you submit your final accepted manuscript.

    2.4.1 National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded articles

    If you have received NIH funding for your research, please state this in your submission and if your paper is accepted by Autism an electronic version of the paper will automatically be sent to be indexed with the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central as stipulated in the NIH policy.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Autism encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    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 Clinical trials

    Autism conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.

    2.8 Reporting guidelines

    The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.

    The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) guidelines should be followed when submitting in single-case design (SCD) and meet the standards outlined for internal validity of the SCD. 

    Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives

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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

    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 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

    Autism offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    Autism asks that authors use the APA style for formatting. The APA Guide for New Authors can be found on the APA website, as can more general advice for authors.

    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 Terminology

    Autism has researched and compiled their own Terminology Guidelineswhich all authors should follow.

    4.5 Reference style

    Autism adheres to the APA reference style. View the APA guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    4.6 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

    Autism 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.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

    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 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.

    6.2 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. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.3 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.

    6.4 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.5 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. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos.

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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 Autism editorial office as follows:

    Katie Maras
    Department of Psychology
    University of Bath, UK

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