Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa
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Guidelines for authors

Your submissions and feedback to OT Insight are important. Please see the guidelines to help you with your article, opinion piece, review or news item for the occupational therapy magazine OT Insight.

This is your membership magazine and it succeeds due to members such as you – ‘putting pen to paper’. Consider writing something – members want to know what you do or what you think, as an occupational therapist. The editor is happy to help you with your submission. Occasionally the OT Insight will have a theme though other articles will also be published in conjunction with that theme. Guidelines and submission dates are found below.

Overall guidelines

  • Publication is at the editor’s discretion and for accepted articles, publication in the month submitted is not guaranteed.
  • Please work to a maximum of 1000-1500 words for a feature article  (or as discussed with the editor).
  • The submission should be an original work and must not contravene any existing copyright agreements.
  • The submission should not promote a product, service, or company.
  • The title should be three to six words and include an active verb where possible.
  • Please include a head-and-shoulders photo of the author and an author by-line. The purpose of the by-line is to identify the author (including position) and give some key information about the writer-relative to the article.
  • Send supporting charts, photos, or artwork as separate attachments – as well as embedded within the article.
  • Include full references and bibliography.  If these are very long, they will not be published but made available upon request.

Publications schedule

OTNZ-WNA Publications Schedule 2020

OTNZ-WNA Publications Schedule 2020

Copy deadline


OT Insight Vol 41 No. 1


1 January


OT Insight Vol 41 No.2


1 March


OT Insight Vol 41 No.3


1 April

15 May

OT Insight Vol 41 No. 4


1 June

24 July

OT Insight Vol 41 No. 5


1 July


OT Insight Vol 41 No. 6


1 September


OT Insight Vol 41 No. 7


1 October


*OTInsight is published 7 times a year: February, April, May, July, August, October, and December.
**Please note that our NZJOT is also published 3 times a year (March, June and September)
***Please note that themes and dates are up to the discretion of the editor and may change. The editor reserves the right to edit material for space and clarity without consultation with the author. For any questions please contact the editor. Email [email protected]


Occupational therapy features

On occasion longer articles (up to 2000 words) are published – and this may be over two or even three editions.  Readers of OT Insight love images, charts and diagrams – so please insert them in the document (see below), and also send them as separate attachments.

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Opinion pieces

These pieces seek to provide the viewpoints of you, our members, and are welcome on any occupational therapy topic.  The style can vary as there are diverse viewpoints.  The column is an ‘opinion’ piece, and righteous indignation or impassioned pleas and statements are encouraged.  The editor, who holds all she reads as confidential until published, makes no judgement on the author.  However, she will not allow disrespectful material to be published, and if text should be unflattering to the author or others, she will advise.  Please keep word count to below 1000 words or less, and provide a photo and by-line (see below). Regarding that photo; feel free to provide an informal photo.

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Book reviews

The form of a book review is an essay. You should begin with an introduction that both grabs the reader’s attention and provides a statement of the points you intend to make. You may then choose to move on and write a paragraph about each of the categories (methodology, style, and personal evaluation). You may decide that the topic of your book review lends itself to a deeper examination of one category over the others, for example, if the methodology is especially interesting or terrible. Finally, provide a conclusion for your essay which sums up your argument.

This is a critical analysis, not a summary of the work’s content. In a book review, you should evaluate the way in which the author handled the subject and the contribution of the book to your understanding of the issues discussed. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the author’s theme or thesis? What is the author’s purpose in writing the book?
  • What are the author’s values and biases? From what point of view does the author write?
  • Are the author’s assumptions and assertions in agreement with those generally held in the field? If not, are deviations clearly identified, well motivated, and overtly justified?
  • What impact does this work have in its field? Does it contribute something original? Will it have lasting value?


  •  What are the sources of the author’s data? Are these sources adequate? What are the limitations of the data, any inherent biases or problems which must be taken into consideration in its use?
  • What kinds of questions does the author ask about the subject? Are there questions which remain unasked, or questions asked but unanswered?


  • Is the book well written? Are there passages of eloquence or elegance?
  • Is the book well argued? Does the author clearly articulate and answer questions raised in the book? How well does the author’s point come across and does it convince you?
  • Is the book accessible to an intelligent reader or only to a specialist?

Personal evaluation

  • What is your response to the author’s point of view?
  • What do you think to be the greatest strength of the work, and the greatest weakness?
  • What does the book contribute to your understanding of the subject?

Strictly keep the word count to 800 words. Please also include publisher details, ISBN, and recommended retail price and where to purchase if you have that information.

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Website reviews

There are many elements to cover when writing a review of a website or blog.  Some fundamental aspects should be noted:

  • Design: The first thing that you see when looking at a website is its design. Is the design pleasing to the eye? Is the site cluttered or difficult to navigate? Are there any glaring design flaws or glitches, or is the site a work of art?
  • Focus: What is the focus of the site? If you can’t figure it out, then the author is doing something wrong. Focus should be apparent without hunting around too much. Typically by using design elements, or simple headlines or sub-headlines a site must convey its focus.
  • Content: The most obvious element to cover in your review is the site’s content. Does the content of the site match its focus? Is the content easily readable? Does it make sense? What are some of the highlights? Is there a page, article or section of the site that really stands out as being fantastic?
  • Writing style: Writing style is one element that many people often ignore. Does the author share his/her voice? Do you find yourself relating to what you read?
  • Grammar and punctuation: Does the site use proper grammatical elements? Are there spelling mistakes and punctuation errors all over the place?
  • Message effectiveness: Overall, do you find that the site is effective in putting out its message?
  • Website audience: Who is the intended audience for this site or blog? Are the intended and actual audiences different?
  • Information about the author: Is there anything interesting to note about the author? E.g. “I was watching the news last night and they were talking about a blog written by a boy with cancer.” Is the author an expert or do they have no idea what they are talking about? Do they have any qualifications to write what they are writing?
  • Anything else you think is important: Of course, there are other elements that you can discuss as well. Anything about the site that stands out, good or bad, should always be covered in a review.

Strictly keep word count to below 800 words.

Fear of writing a negative review
Some people are afraid to write honest reviews, feeling that they may hurt someone’s feelings. By not remaining completely honest when writing a review, you are cheating the reviewee! You must always stick to your honest opinion.

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Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor are welcomed. Please email the Editor or send your letter to:

Letters to the Editor
OT Insight
PO Box 10493
Wellington 6143.

Letters must include the writer’s full name and email address, should not exceed 300 words and should be exclusive to OT Insight. They may be edited for clarity and length.

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Article structure

Consider the following key questions:

  • What is the significance of the paper/article?
  • Why is it important and original?
  • Who will be interested, who is the intended audience?
  • What next? What are the implications for practice? What are the further research questions?

Structure your article with the following components:

  • Title: Often comes as the beginning of the idea as a working title, and is changed over the course of writing the article. The editor can make title suggestions.
  • Summary or introduction: Focus on the first paragraph of your article to provide you with your summary and introduction at the same time. Like the title, it should create curiosity in the mind of your reader to entice them to read further.Provide/describe that ‘aha’ moment or problem this article will address. Describing the problem by means of a story or example helps to make it real in your reader’s mind. A personal example also helps to establish you, the writer, as a real person and creates a rapport with your reader.
  • Body: The body of your article will bring across your main train of thought/solution to the idea/issue/problem that you have sketched in the mind of your reader in your summary and introduction. One topic is best. It is very tempting to branch off into different directions, especially if you are enthusiastic about your area of expertise. If you find that you are wandering off into other areas, even if they are related to your main topic, consider saving that information in a scratch pad, amend it to the end for the editor to consider or make another article out of the material.Please use bullet points and/or subheadings to break up your article. Bullets and headings catch the eye and once more pull the reader into the text.
  • Conclusion: The ending should come full circle – provide closure; summarise what is stated in the title and the introduction. Try and end with an interesting point or final quote, to invite readers to further investigate the topic.
  • Resource box or sidebars: Pertinent facts or data that do not fit within the main body of the article including links, background information, further reading.

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Style guidelines

  • When referring to an association, corporation, or business for the first time, use its full name, followed by its acronym in brackets. For example, “Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa (OTNZ-WNA)”. In subsequent references, either use the acronym or say “the association”.
  • Capitalise titles when they precede a person’s name (“Professor Clare Hocking, says…”), but lower-case them when they follow the name (“Clare Hocking, professor of…”). Make sure names and titles are complete and accurate.
  • Do not use the abbreviation ‘OT’. Please spell out occupational therapy or occupational therapist in full. Note both are lower case.
  • Spell out the numbers one through ten, from 11 on, use Arabic numerals. Use Arabic numerals for addresses and dates.
  • In numbered addresses, use the abbreviations St., Rd., Ave., and so forth.
  • Paragraphs are composed of two or more sentences that develop a single idea. No paragraph should be longer than one third of a page.
  • Separate or highlight key points with numbered or asterisked (*) lists.
  • Use the serial comma (for example, “red, white, and blue” — not “red, white and blue”).

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