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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.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • The DOI identifier is provided with cited references in the list of references where available and a copy of the list of references is pasted into the box called "References" in step 3 of the submission. Tips. You can retrieve the DOIs for all items in your list of references that has a DOI assigned by using the service at (free registration required).
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined below in the Author Guidelines.
  • The manuscript is prepared according to an appropriate style and genre outlined in the Section policies.
  • The manuscript is not a revision / resubmission of an existing submission to Voices.

Author Guidelines

Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy is an Open Access journal that welcomes contributions from scholars and practitioners in the broad interdisciplinary field of music, health, and social change.

We consider manuscripts on the condition that they have not been published elsewhere already and that they are not in press or under consideration for publication elsewhere.[1]

Authors are welcome to submit the same article translated into two or more languages, provided the versions are as identical as possible and one of the submissions is in English.

Submissions to the journal are made online.

Authors pay no article submission or processing charges. 

General Values and Principles

In line with the Vision Statement of Voices, the journal values inclusiveness and socio-cultural awareness and has increasingly nurtured a critical edge that refines the focus on cultural issues and social justice. The editors are committed to developing an egalitarian and interdisciplinary forum so that multiple voices can be heard. The journal therefore encourages evaluation processes that are informed by the values of dialogue and reflexivity. Authors, reviewers, and editors are invited to exchange ideas in the service of new and better understanding and all parties are invited to position themselves in relation to the values, contexts, and traditions that inform the contributions to the journal. Below you will find some general writing advice, based upon principles that are in line with the Voices vision statement and therefore central to the reviewers and editors when evaluating your text:

Choose an Appropriate Section

As an inclusive journal encouraging dialogue, Voices publishes a range of texts and multimedia materials. At submission, it is therefore crucial that you choose whether or not you want your work peer-reviewed as an article in the Research section or evaluated as a contribution to one of the other sections of the journal.

Voices welcomes contributions in a range of sections and styles of writing, in order to open up a space for innovative writing and exploration. When ethically and culturally appropriate, you are welcome to include photographs and other illustrations, as well as audio or video examples.

Research articles are sent out anonymously to at least two peers for consideration against the journal’s evaluation principles for various types of research. You will receive anonymous feedback which will inform the revision process. If your article is published, it will be indexed as a research article.

Submissions to other sections are also evaluated before publication, but according to more flexible standards and procedures. Usually one peer will offer reflections on the material and the editor will then dialogue with the author to reach a good form for publication. When relevant, we also consider the aesthetic quality of a piece and its impact as a representation of lived experience.

Once articles are ready for publication, they will be labeled as Research, Book Reviews, Columns, Essays, Interviews, Position Papers, Reflections on Practice, or Reports, as necessary.

Strive for Substantive Content

Whatever section you choose, your work will be evaluated based on the substance of your content. The standards for this criterion will be defined in relation to the section that you decide to write in, see Section Policiesfor more details.

Strive for Clarity of Voice

Voices editors and reviewers expect your text to be coherent and well-written. Imagine that you are taking your readers on a journey. Help them to follow your narrative without being distracted by poor grammar, errors, or tangents. Also, clarify the various voices of your text (e.g. the voice of the author vs. voices of authors cited or of participants in the field).

Situate the Text

By situating the text you help readers understand your intention and point of view. Try to include explanation about things that are unique to your context. It is often relevant to include reflections on how your text is embedded in geographic locations and socioeconomic conditions and almost always relevant to include reflections on the academic and sociocultural traditions that inform your work. This principle can be summarized as a request for reflexivity in action, the ability to position oneself in relation to the world of others.

Encourage Dialogue

Because Voices seeks to encourage dialogue, your text should offer ideas that are conducive to international and interdisciplinary exchanges. You can pose questions that will encourage the reader to reflect, you can challenge your own arguments and acknowledge other perspectives, or seek other ways of encouraging dialogue and exchange of ideas.

General Guidelines on Language, Style, and Ethics

For general advice on scholarly writing we refer authors to relevant manuals, such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago Manual of Style (APA’s manual is common within psychology, education, and some health disciplines, while the Chicago manual is common within the humanities and parts of the social sciences). There are regional and national differences as to what manuals are recommended. Style conventions also vary between sections and genres. Voicestherefore accepts a range of styles, as long as there is consistency within an article and the style chosen is appropriate for the article’s section and genre. Guidelines specific to Voices are:


To stimulate international communication, English is chosen as the main language of the journal (but submissions in multiple languages are encouraged, and we are committed to translating abstracts into several languages). Manuscripts should be written in clear English. Authors may use American (Merriam-Webster), British (Oxford English Dictionary) or any other formalized version of the English language, but consistency within one article is required. Similar considerations should be made for submissions in multiple languages.

All authors are asked to aspire to achieve fluency and economy of expression and to follow established scholarly principles of orderly and clear presentation. Non-discriminatory language is mandatory for all manuscripts.[2]

Word-limits, Abstracts, Bios, and Keywords

There are no predefined word-limits but economy of expression is expected.

All articles should have an abstract (200 words) and an author bio (150 words).

A photo of the author should be included.

All articles should include 3-6 keywords.

Tables, Figures, Audio, and Video

Tables, illustrations, and figures are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end. Illustrations and figures must be ready for publishing in one of the following formats: gif, jpg, png.

Authors are encouraged to use audio and video recordings for documentation of case studies and vignettes of practice (but consult Ethical Considerations below). Audio and video must be made available online (also in the review process) through links to protected or public websites (such as Vimeo or YouTube).


A complete list of references in alphabetical order should follow articles. Relevant literature references must be given according to APA style or Chicago Manual of Style. Consistency is required.

In writing your article, you are encouraged to review previously published articles in the area you are addressing and, where you feel appropriate, to reference them. This will ensure academic grounding of your work and enhance the reader’s experience of continuity, coherence, and context.

Ensuring Anonymous Review

Because manuscripts are sent out anonymously for editorial review, author details should only be included in the metadata form in Step 2 of OJS submission process. All identifying personal data should – as much as possible – be removed from the body of text.

Permissions and Other Formalities

Permission to quote from or reproduce copyright material must be obtained by the authors before submission.

The symbol TM or ®.should be used when applying a proprietary term or trade mark.

Ethical Considerations

Authors are responsible for following high ethical standards in their writing. The anonymity and protection of participants is ensured by the authors, and they – not the journal – is responsible for having collected necessary formal permissions from superiors, ethical committees, service users, and relatives of service users.

There are varying standards and ethical requirements for research involving human participants from country to country. However, it is expected that authors will adhere to the highest standards for protecting the privacy and welfare of the individuals who participate in their research, even when formal ethics review procedures are not required in the author’s particular location. In addition, the specific precautions for protecting participants’ welfare and rights used in the research must be described by authors and included in the initial submission of the manuscript to Voices.[3]


[1] Publication in English of articles previously published in other languages can be considered, if permission from the original publisher has been obtained by the author(s) and the editor(s) of Voices find the article relevant. Such translated articles are usually submitted to the same evaluation process as other articles.

[2] For advice on the use of acceptable, inclusive language for e.g. gender; sexual orientation; physical and/or intellectual disability; race, ethnicity, culture, and/or religion; see

[3] The World Federation of Music Therapy (the WFMT Commission on Research and Ethics) has developed a paper aimed to encourage consideration about “Ethics and Informed Consent Requirements for Publication of Music Therapy Research”, see


The research section of Voices is dedicated to a broad and inclusive understanding of research as a practice in the service of knowledge development and social change. Research articles in Voices include empirically based research (quantitative and qualitative studies, including arts-based studies), literature-based research (historical research, review articles, theoretical and philosophical studies), and mixed methods research. Listed alphabetically, descriptions of types of research are:

Empirically Based Research

Empirical research articles of various forms may be submitted to Voices, but we urge authors to follow the IMRaD structure whenever possible and relevant:

Introduction: Develop the problem of investigation, review pertinent literature, and state the aim of the work.
Method: Describe details of the method used (subjects, materials, design, and method of analysis).
Results: Present representative empirical material.
Discussion: Discuss relationships and point out exceptions. Show agreement or disagreement with previous research. A conclusion and statements about the significance of the work may be presented at the end of the discussion or in a separate section.

Qualitative Studies: Qualitative research is a broad label covering a multitude of approaches informed by a large range of perspectives, such as grounded theory, phenomenology, hermeneutics and critical theory, as well as feminist, postmodern, and postcolonial perspectives. How the researchers position themselves in this landscape determines to some degree the criteria of evaluation. While in some cases systematic analysis of the empirical material is central, in other cases the interpretive and critical aspects will be more central. In either case, reflexivity is key to qualitative research. Authors and reviewers are referred to the EPICURE agenda which allows for dialogic evaluation of qualitative research. When relevant, authors are encouraged to employ arts-based and performative forms of research that pay justice to the multimodal nature of human communication and the aesthetic and performative dimensions of music therapy practice.

Quantitative Studies: Various types of quantitative research may be submitted. These include descriptive, correlational, as well as experimental studies. Typical criteria used in evaluating quantitative research include: Thoroughness of related literature, Clarity and relevance of purpose, Relevance and utility of research design in addressing research questions, Rigor of research design, Adequacy of the description of procedures used, Control of confounding variables, Risk of bias, Reliability and validity of measures and data collection, Appropriateness of data treatment and integrity of analysis, and Appropriateness of conclusions. Voices recommends using available guidelines for the reporting of quantitative research, such as the CONSORT statement for randomized controlled trials and the TREND statement for non-randomized evaluations. For the presentation of results, information about direction and magnitude of effects is often essential (for example effect size, p-values, confidence intervals). The appropriate use of figures is also often important and helpful in understanding the meaning of the results of quantitative research. Authors of quantitative studies must adhere to SI units.

Literature-based Research

This section includes historical research, review articles, and theoretical and philosophical studies, and may therefore include texts informed by a large range of epistemologies or meta-theoretical perspectives:

Historical Research: As the discipline and profession of music therapy grows older and becomes more culturally and geographically diverse, the importance of historical research is increasing. Historical research goes beyond the description of events and the gathering of facts to include critical examinations and interpretations of these events in order to understand the contexts, processes, agents, and ideas that helped to shape them.

Review Articles: Review articles are critical evaluations of material that has already been published. Review articles contribute to the development of music therapy by considering the evolution of existing research in elucidating an issue or problem. Authors should:

  • Define and clarify the issue or problem to be reviewed.
  • Summarize previous research in order to inform the readers about the state of knowledge pertaining to the issue or problem.
  • Identify gaps, inconsistencies, and contradictions - as well as other aspects - in the literature reviewed.
  • Suggest further steps in the investigation of the problem or issue.

For systematic reviews of quantitative research, we recommend using available guidelines for the reporting, such as the PRISMA statement.

Theoretical and Philosophical Studies: Authors of literature-based theoretical articles draw on existing literature in order to promote or evaluate theories of music therapy or fields closely related to music therapy. As music therapy is multi-faceted, theoretical articles may build upon scientific research literature and/or theoretical contributions from the humanities. Voices finds it especially important to encourage theoretical developments that integrate relevance to practice, empirical grounding, critical awareness, and philosophical refinement. Literature-based philosophical studies examine the beliefs and assumptions of music therapy theories and practices, including practices of research. Philosophical inquiries in music therapy often concentrate on practice and everyday concerns. As such, philosophical studies can offer new tools for navigation and reflection in the daily life of both practitioners and scholars.

Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research usually involves the combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. Studies within mixed methods research therefore de-emphasize differences and incompatibilities and emphasize how various methods can supplement and support each other. Researchers typically collect mixed data within a single study, concurrently or sequentially. Mixed methods research is especially relevant when data from different sources complement each other; when one method alone cannot answer the research questions; or when data from one method helps researchers understand data collected from another. In some ways, studies that combine empirically based research and literature-based research also can be considered mixed methods research. Selecting the best approach to the evaluation of mixed methods research can be a challenge. Voices recommends that authors and reviewers use the EPICURE agenda as a basis and then supplement this with various statements on e.g. quantitative research evaluation as relevant (see Quantitative Studies above).


The section of Reports includes descriptions of music therapy events or developments of various sorts, such as the event of an interesting conference or the development of a program or a project, or a specific way of working. Reports may illuminate local or regional traditions, and may also illuminate national or international developments.

Reflections on Practice

The section Reflections on Practice includes texts that invite reflection upon presented material from practice, whether these are linked to a clinical context or a community context. While authors are encouraged to relate their reflections to current research and theory, texts in Reflections on Practice are not themselves presented as research or theoretical contributions. This section is important in contributing to the integration of practice, research, theory. Contributions on innovative and new practices as well as on more conventional or traditional practices are welcomed.


The section of Interviews should be useful in helping us to maintain the humanistic aspects of our work on music, health, and social change. The relationship between the interviewer and interviewee can communicate the dynamics of an interpersonal dialogue, shared between two professionals or perhaps a professional and a lay person. Because so much of the written word is created by academics, the interview also provides a wonderful environment for reaching out to experts who might be willing to share traditional knowledge not readily available in texts. We want to create a level playing field in which established scholars who regularly publish scientific articles can come into dialogue with new scholars and new practitioners as well as established traditional practitioners.

Book Reviews and Book Essays

The section of Book Reviews and Book Essays can be helpful for readers searching for information about and appraisals of literature on music, health, and social change. Book reviews and book essays can therefore play a crucial role in the development of critical thinking and awareness in the field. When writing a book review you should develop and communicate your scholarly appraisal of a book, based on a summary of its content. It is important to clarify the genre of the book, the author’s aims, and the intended audience, and to clarify the reviewer’s position and perspective. Book essays elaborate on the relevance of and relationships between two or more books that supplement each other in some way.


Some reflections and contributions are difficult to forge into theoretical papers and other traditional styles of academic writing. Yet these contributions can add significant aspects to our discursive practices in music therapy. In Voices we therefore encourage authors to make advanced reflections in a more free and personal style, through use of the essay genre. Texts in this genre may elaborate upon an issue or problem, in an analytic and interpretative manner, including constructive speculations or experiment with more fluid genre mixing.

Case Stories

The section of Case Stories provide the readers with narratives from music therapy and related practices. Case stories are given a narrative form that can frame a problem or create a metaphor that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Stories are often told to honor a hero or heroine, but can also celebrate or examine the life of a group or community. Stories are told to transmit knowledge about ways to exist in a society. They are also told as a meaningful expression of history, affiliation, and social norms. In Voices, stories take a written form, but can respond to readers as imagined listeners, therefore addressing, in part, the “immediacy” and some of the more traditional uses of the story format.

Columns and Essays

The section of Columns and Essays allows for reflections and contributions are difficult to forge into theoretical or philosophical research and other traditional styles of academic writing. Columns (short pieces) and essays (more elaborate pieces) can add significant aspects to our discursive practices in music therapy. They allow authors to make advanced reflections in a freer and more personal style. Texts in this section may elaborate upon an issue or problem, in an analytic and interpretative manner, including constructive speculations. Sometimes authors of columns or essays experiment with fluid mixing of styles.

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