Guide for authors

Submission and publication workflow

Interested in submitting to the Traffic Safety Research (TSR) journal?

  1. Start by reviewing focus and scope of the journal to ensure that the TSR is the right venue to publish your work.
  2. Examine the publication types accepted by the journal and decide on your format.
  3. Check the ethical guidelines for authors—do you comply?
  4. Study the manuscript preparation instructions.
  5. Make sure that you have ‘yes’ for all items in the submission checklist.
  6. Submit!
  7. Learn about what happens after the submission.
  8. Learn how to promote your published article.
  9. Learn what you can do if updates after publication are necessary.

Ethical guidelines for authors

The inspiration for these guidelines comes to a high degree from the materials provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

In case the editor, reviewers or peer researches suspect that the authors behaved unethically in one way or another, the journal has a formal procedure for investigating such allegations as described here. On the other hand, the authors may raise complaints about the conduct of the handling editor or reviewers or appeal for reconsideration of the decision taken by the editor as described here.

Competing interests

A ‘competing interest’ (the situation may be also referred to as a ‘conflict of interests’) occurs when there is a risk that your research was influenced by other people or organizations affected by the publication contents. Competing interests can be of financial (e.g. employment, collaboration, receiving of grants, patents held or pending) or non-financial (e.g. political, legal, or other involvements) nature.

Competing interest does not mean that objectivity of your work is affected, but rather than it can be perceived as affected. As a rule of thumb, the authors should disclose any relations that, if discovered at a later stage, may cause them embarrassment.

Existence of competing interest does not mean that the paper cannot be published. On the other hand, an undisclosed competing interest identified later may lead to delays in the reviewing process and a potential rejection. If the article is already published, the authors will be required to issue a Correction notice or the article may even be retracted from the journal.

A special concern are the submissions in which the author(s) is in some way involved with the TSR journal, for example being a member of the Editorial team or a colleague/student to an editor. As such, the TSR does not forbid such submissions and their eventual publication. However, exceptional transparency and independence of the reviewing and decision taking process are required. An external guest editor must be called for, and in choosing the candidate, special efforts are made to minimize his/her conflict of interests. For example, the guest editor should not have jointly published, been a former colleague or a student/supervisor, worked together in joint projects, etc. with any of the authors. The circumstances of the involvement with the TSR and the way they were addressed by the journal are to be clearly described under the ‘Declaration of competing interests’.


Two minimum requirements define the authorship:

  • Making a substantial contribution to the work, verified by the ‘CRediT contribution statement’. Persons whose contributions are not deemed significant might better fit mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section.

  • Being accountable for the work and its published form. This is partly verified through ORCID iD confirmation that assumes that the author is aware about and approves the submission and later its publication.

Any authorship-related disputes are handled by the Editorial team following the guidelines developed by Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The recommended practice is to delay the review and production processes until a satisfactory resolution of all issues has been reached.

Originality and plagiarism

All manuscripts are checked by the Editorial team using Ouriginal or iThenticate plagiarism detection software.

The authors must ensure that all parts of their work are original. If the work and/or words of others have been used, they must be appropriately cited or quoted.

Overlap of text with an author's own previously published work, so called ‘text recycling’, is considered  by the editor on the case-to-case basis. Generally, the significance of the overlap is taken into account, as well as in which parts of the manuscript it takes place (it might be hard to avoid in method description, but is completely unacceptable in results section). The TSR follows the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) regarding text recycling.

Text recycling is not to be confused with redundant publications, which is generally a more serious problem.

Redundant or concurrent publications

In general, the authors should not publish more than one manuscript describing essentially the same research.

It is still acceptable that the research has been made public earlier in a form of an abstract, a poster, a conference presentation, a project report, or an academic thesis. Preprints are allowed (read more about the preprint policy of the TSR journal here).

In such cases, a proper note must be made in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript.

Scientific transparency

The authors must be very clear in description of how their results have been obtained. The data origins, definitions, calculation procedures, analysis methods, etc. must be described to such a degree that it would be hypothetically possible for a peer researcher to repeat all steps of your data collection and analysis.

Data and reproducibility

Traffic Safety Research encourages the authors to share their research data and methodology (e.g. computer codes used in the analysis) when it is permitted by the data protection regulations. You can either share the data upon a request or (a much better option) share it directly by uploading to a publicly accessible data repository. A useful overview of repository services can be found here.

State clearly in the ‘Data availability’ section of your manuscript how the readers may get access to your data/protocols/analysis code.

Fundamental error in published work

If the authors discover a significant error in their published work, they must notify the journal editor and promptly retract or correct the paper. Read more about post-publication corrections here.

Funding sources

The authors must state all sponsors for the work described in the submitted manuscript (or explicitly state their absence) in the ‘Funding’ section of your manuscript.

In case a funder was involved in (i) study design, (ii) data collection, analysis and interpretation, (iii) writing process, or (iv) decision to submit the paper for publication, their role should be clearly described.

The journal submission system is integrated with the Open Funder Registry (OFR). During the submission, the author should provide the funder names and grant numbers (this might not be possible for some grant-giving organizations that are not registered with the OFR).

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Manuscript preparation instructions

Language standard

The Traffic Safety Research journal publishes materials written in English. It is expected that the authors have proofread their manuscript prior to submission, consulting specialized language services if necessary. Sloppy written manuscripts or those whose text the editor finds hard to understand due to language issues are direct candidates for desk rejection.

By default, the journal adheres to the British spelling and follows the Oxford Style guidelines (also known as the Hart's rules) when editing texts. This being mentioned, the TSR accepts manuscripts using American spelling or following other editing styles—as long as they are applied consistently. Only minor changes are enforced to the original texts during the copyediting, mostly to ensure the visual consistency of the published materials (such as capitalization of headings and reference formatting).

Given the fact that the majority of the TSR's authors, reviewers and editors are not native English speakers, a certain share of ‘language imperfections’ is unavoidable. These imperfections should not hinder the reading flow or create much ambiguity about the content.

Manuscript length

The TSR does not impose any specific restrictions on the length of the published manuscripts. The length should be adequate in relation to the contents, allowing for description of the work done in sufficient detail yet not giving the impression of being lengthy.

The authors may receive more specific recommendations during the review stage, for example suggesting to expand the method description or to shorten down the introduction giving more focus to the actual research problem.

How to format your manuscript

The initial submission may use any format and reference system as long as it is readable and understandable for the editor and reviewers. For reviewers' convenience, it is advisable to use double line spacing and line numbering.

If a referenced document is accessible online, its DOI/URL link must always be provided. Figures and tables must be placed within the text at their proper locations (rather than at the end of the manuscript).

Additionally, the manuscript must contain the following sections:

Additionally, it may contain the sections:

About authors (compulsory)

The manuscript must include a photo and a short professional biography (5–8 lines) for each of the authors. If in doubts about what to write, check the articles already published in the TSR for examples.

Acknowledgements (if relevant)

If the current research derives from earlier works (e.g. preprints, conference presentations, reports or academic theses), the authors must clearly state so in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section.

Contributors not included in the list of the authors may be mentioned here, too.

CRediT contribution statement (compulsory)

All authors of a submitted manuscript must state their contributions in the ‘CRediT contribution statement’ section. The same applies even if the manuscript has a single author.

Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT) is a high-level taxonomy that includes 14 roles typically played by the authors of a scientific paper. These include:

  • Conceptualization: ideas; formulation or evolution of overarching research goals and aims
  • Data curation: management activities to annotate (produce metadata), scrub data and maintain research data (including software code, where it is necessary for interpreting the data itself) for initial use and later re-use
  • Formal analysis: application of statistical, mathematical, computational, or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data
  • Funding acquisition: acquisition of the financial support for the project leading to this publication
  • Investigation: conducting a research and investigation process, specifically performing the experiments, or data/evidence collection
  • Methodology: development or design of methodology; creation of models
  • Project administration: management and coordination responsibility for the research activity planning and execution
  • Resources: provision of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computing resources, or other analysis tools
  • Software: programming, software development; designing computer programs; implementation of the computer code and supporting algorithms; testing of existing code components
  • Supervision: oversight and leadership responsibility for the research activity planning and execution, including mentorship external to the core team
  • Validation: verification, whether as a part of the activity or separate, of the overall replication/reproducibility of results/experiments and other research outputs
  • Visualization: preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically visualization/data presentation
  • Writing—original draft: preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically writing the initial draft (including substantive translation)
  • Writing—review & editing: preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work by those from the original research group, specifically critical review, commentary or revision—including pre- or post-publication stages.

The role titles are to be used ‘as is’ without any changes. For each author, the relavant roles are picked from the list, separated by commas:

Author One: Methodology, Visualization, Writing—review & editing. Author Two: Investigation, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.’

Data availability (if relevant)

In case the authors wish to share the data and/or research methodology (e.g. computer code), the explanations on how these could be accessed are provided in the ‘Data availability’ section.

Declaration of competing interests (compulsory)

A submitted manuscript must contain a ‘Declaration of competing interests’, even if authors have no interests to declare (in this case, they should clearly state so). Read the definition of competing interests here.

Ethics statement (if relevant)

When relevant, the authors should explain in the ‘Ethics statement’ how the rights, dignity, and welfare of the people affected by the research were taken into consideration. Alternatively, a reference to an evaluation performed by a relevant authority (e.g. a research ethics board) could be provided.

Funding (compulsory)

The authors must state which funding agencies, and through which grants, financed the research described in the manuscript. If no external funding was received, it should be clearly stated so, too.

If a funder directly affected some of the decisions related to this research, this must be clearly described. Read more here.

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Submission checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items:

  • The submission has not been previously published in peer-reviewed journals, nor is it submitted to another journal for consideration. In case the manuscript derives from earlier works (e.g. conference presentations, reports or academic theses), it is stated so in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section.
  • The submitter has received approval from all authors for the submission of the manuscript in its current shape.
  • The manuscript is written in English and has been checked for language issues (spelling, grammar, vocabulary use).
  • The manuscript contains a ‘Declaration of competing interests’ (if the authors have no interests to declare, it is stated so).
  • The manuscript contains ‘Funding’ section describing the sources of the research funding.
  • The manuscript contains ‘CRediT contribution statement’.
  • The manuscript contains the authors' short biographies and photos.
  • Where available, DOI/URL links are provided for the referenced sources.

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Ready? Go to the Submission page. You will be asked to register or, if already registered, simply log in to begin the submission process.

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What happens after?

After receiving your submission, the journal will assign a handling editor to it. It is the editor's responsibility to handle the peer-review process, including the communication both with the reviewers and the authors. Read more about the Open peer reviewing procedure at the TSR here.

In case the authors suspect some misconduct during the review process or disagree with the editor's decision, they may lodge an appeal and request the situation to be investigated. Read more about the procedures for complaints and appeals here.

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Promote your published article

You publication will receive more attention (and, ultimately, citations) if you actively promote it. Here are some ideas on how to do that: 

  • Add a TSR banner to your email signature linking to the published paper. You can download the suggested banners here.
  • Use the ‘Share’ buttons that appear on your article page at the TSR website (just under the Scopus citation counter).
  • Like or share the post about your article in the journal's official LinkedIn and X (former Twitter) channels.
  • Alternatively, put some efforts into writing an original ‘tweetable’ abstract for your paper—concise, engaging, and not too technical. Carefully choose a picture that best illustrates your work.
  • Write a post about your findings in your professional blog, add a link to the full paper.
  • Make sure that the paper is listed in your researcher's profiles—institutional, ORCID, ResearchGate, etc. See the TSR's pre- and postprint policy for details on how to share your work responsibly.
  • Present/share your paper at workshops, seminars, conferences.
  • Ask your co-authors to do the same!
  • Timing is crucial. Start promoting your paper as soon as it has been published.

Please, use the hashtag #tsrjournal when posting about the Traffic Safety Research journal.

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Updates after publication

Read more about the TSR's policy regarding post-publication corrections, retractions and expressions of concern here.

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