JBIR Author Guidelines

The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research (JBIR) is a multidisciplinary publication that presents primary research, scholarly reviews, reports of innovative information, and research related to the blind. JBIR strives to publish research and professional discourse that broadens and deepens our understanding of blindness and “best practices” for increasing the independence, self-respect, self-determination, and potential of individuals who are blind. Relevant topics may include but will not be limited to: the education and rehabilitation of the blind, innovations related to Braille and the use of Braille, techniques and tools for independent movement and travel by the blind, development of innovative technological approaches, quality of life issues, findings that can effect advocacy-related efforts, analysis of data sets providing descriptive information about the blind, and innovative practices in preparing professionals and paraprofessionals to work with the blind. JBIR is not a medical journal and will not publish information related to the medical aspects of blindness.

Authors seeking publication in JBIR should be sure to read these guidelines prior to the preparation of a manuscript. JBIR will only receive manuscript submissions electronically. Those encountering technical problems should contact the JBIR managing editor. Guidelines specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA; 6th edition, 2010) should be followed.


1. Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they are original material and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

2. This journal accepts three categories of articles, all of which are peer-reviewed. They include:

Research Manuscripts.

Research manuscripts include intervention studies, quantitative analyses, qualitative and case studies, survey design and psychometric investigation of scales and instruments, and reviews of research literature. Manuscripts should be between four thousand and eight thousand words in length.

Professional Practice.

Practice-oriented articles include descriptions of teaching/instructional strategies, curriculum, reviews of education, rehabilitation, and social systems, guidelines for practitioners, best-practices, and recommendations for professional standards. Manuscripts should be between three thousand and five thousand words in length.

Other Scholarly Work.

Other articles, not classified as research or professional practice may be submitted for consideration. This includes book reviews, philosophical compositions, critiques of laws, policy, or existing systems, and reports of a technical or theoretical nature. Manuscripts should be between one thousand and five thousand words.

3. Because this journal uses double-blind peer review, make sure that your submission does not contain any identifying information, such as author names, acknowledgments, or other material that would identify the author of the material. You will provide full author information later if your manuscript is accepted for publication. Do not include an author name in your file name.

4. Below is a list of terms, the use of which is preferred in submissions to JBIR.

  • “Blind” and/or “low-vision” or “blindness and low-vision” rather than “visually impaired”
  • “Barriers” rather than “challenges”
    Example: The lack of an accessible ballot marking device in a polling place is a barrier that prevents a blind voter from voting privately and independently.
  • “Disability” rather than “impairment”
  • Person first language is acceptable, but not preferred. Disability first language is preferred for JBIR submissions.
    Example: Blind person rather than person who is blind.

5. The submission file should be in a recent version of one of the following: Microsoft Word, RTF, or Open Office.

6. Your submission should include the title of the paper, an abstract (limited to 150 words), and 4-5 keywords.

7. If the work you are submitting has been funded by a grant, please be sure to provide acknowledgement of the funding source in your manuscript. For federally funded projects, please include the grant number.

8. Articles should be formatted as follows: single spaced, left aligned, in a 14-point, sans serif font, such as Arial. Set all margins to 1 inch, and use a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch format.

9. Please use upper and lower case - do not use all capitals or small capitals.

10. Place all figures and tables at the end of the document with references to each within the text (e.g., “See Table 2”). Please use the MS Word table functions for all tables. All tables and figures must be accessible (e.g., figures should be accompanied by suggested alternative text).

11. Please use your tab key and centering functions for text alignment, paragraph indents, etc. Do not use the space bar for alignment.

12. Use endnotes as sparingly as possible. Number them with Arabic numerals starting with 1 and continuing through the article; for example: “(see Note 1).” Do not use footnotes.

13. Please be sure to provide correct URLs for references when appropriate. If referenced items have a DOI associated with them please provide that in your submission.

14. We strongly encourage authors to include a supplemental section entitled “Implications for Practitioners and Families.” This section is intended to provide a quick and meaningful description of the implications of your findings for teachers, families, and other non-research-focused individuals. This additional information is intended to make your work more meaningful to those outside of academia and to help improve the implementation of findings in real-world situations.

15. Permissions: Obtaining written permission for copyrighted material such as figures, tables, art, or long quotes taken directly—or adapted in minor ways—from another source is the author’s responsibility, as is payment of any fees the copyright holder may require. Because permissions often take a considerable amount of time to be granted, authors should start the request process as soon as possible. Authors should never assume that material taken from software, public sources, or downloaded from the Internet may be used without obtaining permission. Each source must be investigated on a case-by-case basis. If all necessary permissions are not secured, the article will be withheld from publication.

16. When there is more than one author for the manuscript, written permission must be obtained from each author, and author order must be clearly specified.

Successful submissions of manuscripts will be acknowledged by the managing editor by email. Articles that are appropriately submitted and formatted and that are deemed consistent with the editorial guidelines for JBIR will undergo double-blind peer review by a panel of two or three peer reviewers. In all cases, the author will be notified of the decision, and in the event the manuscript is rejected, a summary of the reasons for that decision will be forwarded. Every attempt will be made to complete the review process within six to eight weeks of submission.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it being considered for publication by another journal.
  2. The submission file has been prepared in Microsoft Word, Rich Text, or Open Office file format.
  3. Where appropriate, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 14-point sans serif font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed at the end of the document with appropriate references in the text.
  5. Appropriate acknowledgement to any funding sources and federal grant numbers have been included in the text.
  6. If the manuscript involves human subjects research, the author(s) attest that they have followed the procedures of their local Institutional Review Board to ensure the safety of research subjects.
  7. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  8. The author instructions related to double-blind peer review have been followed.
  9. The author has considered including an additional section entitled "Implications for Practitioners and Families."

Copyright Notice

Should my/our submission [the "Article"] be accepted by JBIR [the "Journal"], a publication of the National Federation of the Blind [the "NFB"], I/we [the "Author"] hereby grant the NFB exclusive rights to:

  • Publish the Article in a no-cost, open-access, online format;
  • Distribute the Article in the form of print and Braille reprints issued by the Journal or the NFB, and in anthologies or collections prepared by them;
  • Republish the Article in the Braille Monitor and other publications supported by the NFB;
  • Utilize the Article in connection with courses offered by the NFB;
  • Reproduce any tables, scales, or other useful features disclosed by the Article in connection with the NFB’s organization and activities.

The Author agrees that the uses described above may be made without liability for permission fees, royalties, or other payments of any kind, and that no accounting will be due to the Author in connection with those uses.

The Author retains ownership of the copyright and agrees that other uses of it authorized by the Author will credit the Journal and the NFB in the following form:

“Copied with permission from the Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, an open-access, online-only publication of the National Federation of the Blind.”

The Author agrees to cooperate with the Journal and the NFB in making claims or bringing legal actions, at their sole expense, against unauthorized users of the Article.

The Journal agrees that any uses of the Article that it makes under this license will provide the Author with full appropriate credit and that if modifications to the text of the Article are required in connection with authorized uses, these will be made so as to preserve the essential elements of the Article to the extent reasonably possible.