You are here:
-A A +A

Guidelines for Authors

We hope that researchers will take the time to become active participants in the IAN Community. One way to do this is to write an article for the IAN Community.

Our Goals

The IAN Community is an online publication and meeting place for everyone concerned with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Our goals are:

  • To help the general public become informed consumers of autism research.
  • To let the general public know about current autism research projects.
  • To increase the understanding of ASDs.
  • To generate feedback from the autism community on autism research and IAN Research, specifically.
  • To provide researchers with an additional way of finding out about the needs of the community.
  • To allow researchers to tell the public about their research projects and their specialties.
  • To help people understand the importance of participating in autism research and the importance of helping researchers find answers.


We are looking for interesting and informative articles about ASD research that fit into the following categories, but we will consider contributions that do not.  (Creativity is encouraged.)

About My Research

Do you have an interesting research project or initiative that you would like to acquaint the autism community with? Do tell! We have a few excellent examples on the site. Sift through the IAN Articles section. If you are talking about the successes of a project, be sure your assertions are based on evidence, and that you present your evidence and references.

How Do We Do Research?

Are you doing research on DNA, the brain, educational methods, medications, etc.? Tell us how you do your research.

What is Research? Why is Research Important?

Many of our participants are consumers of autism research. Help them out by explaining research methods, terminology, research findings, statistics, etc. Please take a look at our Understanding Research section and see if there are any gaps that you would like to fill. Or, if you have a unique take on the subject, please feel free to tell the story differently.

What Do We Know?

Nothing is better than a nice review of the literature. Tell people what we think we know and why we think we know it, what we don’t know, what we need to know, and what we need to do to know it.

Projects Using IAN for Subject Recruitment or Data

Let people know how you are using IAN data to bolster your research project.



We recommend two to four double-spaced pages. Less is fine. More may be a little cumbersome for the web, but it is acceptable.


Articles should be written in English. The education level of our readers varies widely as do their interests, so we don’t expect all articles to appeal to all readers. I often recommend that people write as if they are explaining their research to a family member who doesn’t have a scientific background. Don’t think Nature or Scientific American. Think Time, Parents, or Psychology Today. One thing we know for sure about the autism community: they are hungry for good information.

Add a Personal Touch

Remember, our key readers are family members, friends, adults with autism, and care providers. They have a deep interest in the subject matter. They may know very little about autism and autism research, or they may be incredibly well-informed. They may have PhDs, or they may not have graduated from high school. Regardless, they will enjoy an article more if they know a little more about you, your motivations, and the day-to-day activities of an autism researcher. Be sure to add a personal touch! What does your lab look like? Send a photo! What does your team look like? Send a photo. If you have a child or family member with autism, add that information if you feel comfortable revealing that in this context.

Be Ethical and Rigorous

Though we are much more informal than a scientific journal, we hope that you will adhere to the same standards:

  • Your paper (and research) should be scientifically responsible.
  • You should disclose any conflicts of interest.
  • It should be an original work (unless you have received or work with us to receive republication rights).
  • Your data should be presented clearly.
  • You should not violate copyright or privacy laws.


Drawings, photos, graphics, etc. should be in gif or jpg format. We may change the image size for optimal display. If you are reusing material that is copyrighted to another person or institution, be sure to obtain permission to republish that material from the owner and include the appropriate text in your article.


Present references in a consistent and standard format. We prefer APA or AMA.

Links and References

When you include links in the body of your article or in a reference, please give the complete web address in your references section. Also, please verify the link and include the date that you last accessed the link in your reference.

Submitting Articles

  1. If we haven’t contacted you about a specific article, please contact us with the topic about which you would like to write.
  2. Submit your text article in Microsoft Word format and attach it to an email message. Because we have to reformat articles for the web, don’t worry about format, fonts, etc.
  3. Please include your name, title, organization, and email address.
  4. Send all submissions and inquiries to: Cheryl Cohen, Director, Online Community at

Editorial Process

If you decide to write an article for IAN, we are happy to help in any way. We will brainstorm with you, edit, reword, reorganize, or whatever. Please call (443-923-4146) or email ( if you need input. In a more formal vein:

1. The IAN Editorial Office will select materials for publication based on the quality of the research, relevance of the information, and quality of presentation.

2. We will have at least one subject matter expert review the article.

3. We will inform you if your article has been accepted for publication and when it is scheduled for production.

4. We may make minor changes to your article. If major revisions are needed, we will send you a note requesting the revisions.

5. When the article is produced for the web, we will send you a note with a web address so that you can review the article before publication.

Publishing Rights

All rights reside with Kennedy Krieger Institute unless specifically directed otherwise by the author(s). Kennedy Krieger Institute requires non-exclusive permission to make the material available. Author(s) are responsible for clearing any rights prior to submitting materials to us. (If you are having problems with this process, we are very happy to help.)

Contact Information

Any questions? Contact Cheryl Cohen, IAN's Online Community Director at 443-923-4146 or

Thank you for participating in the IAN Project!

Please rate the helpfulness of this article: 
No votes yet