Guide for authors

Before submission

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

  1. Start by reviewing Focus and scope section to ensure that the TSR journal is the right place to publish your work.
  2. Examine the Publication types accepted by the journal and choose your format.
  3. Check Ethical guidelines for authors—do you comply?
  4. Check Manuscript preparation instructions.
  5. Read and follow Cover Letter instructions.
  6. Make sure that you have 'yes' for all items in the Submission preparation checklist.
  7. Submit!
  8. Learn What happens after the submission.

Ethical guidelines for authors

The inspiration for these guidelines came to a high degree from the materials provided by 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.

Competing interests

A competing interest (also known as a conflict of interest) occurs when there is a risk that your research was influenced by other people or organisations affected by the publication contents. Competing interests can be of financial (e.g. employment, collaboration, receiving of grants, patents hold 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 by the editor, reviewers or readers 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 an Erratum or the article may even be retracted from the journal.


Two minimum requirements define 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 unresolved 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, the editor must be informed during the submission and a proper note is 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 possible for a peer researcher to repeat the study.

Data and reproducibility

Traffic Safety Research encourages the authors to share their research data and methodology (e.g. computer code used in the analysis) when it is permitted by the data protection regulations. You can either share the data upon a request or (much better option) upload it 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 (see the template) 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.

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Manuscript preparation instructions

How to format your manuscript

The initial submission can use any format and reference system as long as it is readable and understandable for the editor and reviewers.

We recommend, however, to consult the journal article template (found at the 'Downloads' section in the right sidebar). The template contains all the compulsory sections ('CRediT contribution statement', 'Declaration of competing interests', etc.) as well as general advice on writing and formatting.

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 proofreading services if necessary. Sloppy written manuscripts or those whose text the editor finds hard to understand due to language issues are 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.

*The latest reference book on the subject is the New Oxford Style Manual from 2016 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edition—link) which brings under the same cover the New Hart's Rules (edited by A. Waddingham) and the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (originally compiled by R. M. Ritter). The toolkit is well complemented by the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary from 2014 (Oxford: Oxford University Press—link).


The journal uses referencing system based on the Harward style (author + year). Reference formatting examples are provided in the journal article template (see the 'Downloads' section in the right sidebar). If you use the EndNote reference management software, you can also download and use the TSR journal's reference style file (*.ens).

Where available, DOI/URL links for the references must be provided.

Figures and tables

Figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points (rather than at the end of the manuscript). They must be readable and the amount of information limited to what is necessary.

CRediT contribution statement

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

All authors of a submitted manuscript must state their contribution in the ‘CRediT contribution statement’ (see the journal article template). The same applies even if the manuscript has a single author.

Declaration of competing interests

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.

Data availability

In case the authors have possibility to share the data and/or research methodology (e.g. computor code), this section should contain the references to where these could be accessed.


In the 'Acknowledgements', the author must provide information on how the research was funded, and refer to earlier works, presentations and publications (preprints) from which the current research derives.

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

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Cover Letter instructions

The initial submission must include a Cover Letter. The Cover Letter should provide core information about your manuscript to help the editor and reviewers to quickly understand what to expect from reading it, as well as how well it fits into the publication profile maintained by the TSR journal. The Cover Letter is uploaded as a separate document and it must contain (preferably in a bullet list form) answers to the following questions:

  • What road safety problem does your work address?
  • What are your most important findings?
  • What methods have you used?
  • What is the practical value of your results?
  • How does your work align with Safe System/Vision Zero?

Put your answers in simple, clear and concise words.

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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:

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it submitted to another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in the 'Comments to the Editor' field).
  • The manuscript is written in English and has been checked for language issues (spelling, grammer, vocabulary use).
  • The submission includes a Cover Letter written according to the instructions provided in the Guide for Authors.
  • The manuscript contains 'CRediT contribution statement'.
  • The manuscript contains a 'Declaration of competing interests' (if the authors have no interests to declare, it should stated so).
  • The manuscipt contains 'Data availability' section describing how the research data and methodology can be accessed by the readers. Alternatively, the authors have explicitely chosen not to share their data/methodology.
  • The manuscript contains 'Acknowledgements' section describing the source of the research funding, referring to earlier works from which the current manuscript derives (e.g. conference presentations or pre-prints), and mentioning other contributors not included in the list of the authors.
  • Where available, DOI/URL links for the references have been provided.
  • The manuscript contains the authors' short biographies and photos.

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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 procees, 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 reviewing 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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