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The International Journal of Robotics Research

Published in Association with Multimedia Archives

eISSN: 17413176 | ISSN: 02783649 | Current volume: 41 | Current issue: 11-12 Frequency: 14 Times/YearTimes/Year

A leading peer-reviewed journal in its field for more than two decades, The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) was the first scholarly publication on robotics research.

IJRR offers incisive and thought-provoking original research papers and articles, perceptive reviews, and lively editorials on ground-breaking trends issues, technical developments, and theories in robotics by the outstanding scholars and practitioners in the field. The Journal covers more than just narrow technical advances-it embraces a wide variety of topics.

Consistently ranked in the top 3 in its category of the Thomson Scientific JCR, IJRR publishes scholarly articles that provides engineers, researchers, and scientists with the very best of current research on robotics research - from applied mathematics to artificial intelligence to computer science, to electrical and mechanical engineering.

IJRR also publishes high quality, peer reviewed datasets and multimedia extensions alongside articles. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

All issues of IJRR are available to browse online.

It is the policy of The International Journal of Robotics Research to encourage the application of theoretical advances to real problems and data. Results should represent a significant rather than incremental advance, and should be verified appropriately according to the topic. Experimental results are strongly encouraged. There should be an up to date literature review, and meaningful comparisons with previous work to demonstrate any proposed advance. All articles that pass initial editorial assessment are peer-reviewed by independent referees.






John M Hollerbach University of Utah, USA
Multimedia Editors
Timothy Barfoot University of Toronto, Canada
Jose Luis Blanco Universidad de Almería, Spain
Nicholas Roy MIT, Boston, USA
Siddhartha Srinivasa University of Washington, USA
Editorial Board
Jake J. Abbott University of Utah, USA
Jose Luis Blanco Universidad de Almería, Spain
Henrik Christensen Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Robert Howe Harvard University, USA
David Hsu Singapore University, Singapore
Robert J. Webster III Banderbilt School of Engineering, USA
Lydia Kavraki Rice University, USA
Ioannis Poulakakis University of Delaware, USA
Tim Salcudean The University of British Columbia, Canada
Niko Suenderhauf Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Advisory Editorial Board
Antonio Bicchi University of Pisa, Italy
Martin Buehler Walt Disney Imagineering, USA
Michael Erdmann Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Gerd Hirzinger German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany
Seth Hutchinson Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Hirochika Inoue The University of Tokyo, Japan
Jean-Claude Latombe Stanford University, USA
Matthew T Mason Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Yoshihiko Nakamura The University of Tokyo, Japan
Allison Okamura Stanford University, USA
Al Rizzi Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Bernard Roth Stanford University, USA
Mark W Spong The University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Russell H Taylor Johns Hopkins University, USA
Charles Wampler General Motors, Michigan, USA
Alex Zelinsky ICT Centre, Australia
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Manuscript Submission Guidelines: The International Journal of Robotics Research

This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR) will be reviewed.

There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

  1. What do we publish?
    1.1 Aims & Scope
    1.2 Article types
    1.3 Writing your paper
  2. Editorial policies
    2.1 Peer review policy
    2.2 Authorship
    2.3 Acknowledgements
    2.4 Funding
    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    2.6 Research Data
  3. Publishing policies
    3.1 Publication ethics
    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
    3.3 Open access and author archiving
  4. Preparing your manuscript
    4.1 Formatting
    4.2 Novelty statement
    4.3 Mathematics
    4.4 Style for illustrations
    4.5 Multimedia
    4.6 Data papers
    4.7 Page length
    4.8 Artwork, figures and other graphics
    4.9 Supplementary material
    4.10 Reference style
    4.11 English language editing services
  5. Submitting your manuscript
    5.1 ORCID
    5.2 Information required for completing your submission
    5.3 Permissions
  6. On acceptance and publication
    6.1 SAGE Production
    6.2 Online First publication
    6.3 Access to your published article
    6.4 Promoting your article
  7. Further information

1. What do we publish?

1.1 Aims & Scope

Before submitting your manuscript to The International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR), please ensure you have read the journal’s Aims & Scope.

1.2 Article Types

Consistently ranked in the top journals in the Robotics Category in the Science Citation Index, The International Journal of Robotics Research publishes peer reviewed, scholarly articles that provide engineers, researchers, and scientists with the very best of current research on robotics, from applied mathematics, artificial intelligence, and computer science, to electrical and mechanical engineering.

1.3 Writing your paper

The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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2. Editorial policies

2.1 Peer review policy

Submissions to the journal are assessed by independent referees who make recommendations on the suitability of the articles for publication. We are committed to providing timely assessment of articles and authors are informed of the publication decision as soon as possible.

It should be noted that our refereeing process, common to many other publishers, is single-anonymize, that is, the referees remain anonymous and their identities are not released to authors. The referees, however, are informed of the authors’ names and affiliations.

As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of three pertinent reviewers who you feel are the most knowledgeable on your topic, and will provide the best review. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript.

This request is to be taken seriously, since a poorly chosen set of reviewers will be taken as evidence of a lack of knowledge of the field and the paper will be returned. Please also provide a link to your own personal academic homepage where possible.

At least two reviewers should be chosen from your list of references. An institutional contact address for each reviewer must be provided.

Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:

  • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
  • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
  • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

2.2 Authorship

Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

  1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
  2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
  3. Approved the version to be published,
  4. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

2.3 Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

  • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
  • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
  • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

2.3.2 Writing assistance

Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

2.4 Funding

The International Journal of Robotics Research requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

It is the policy of The International Journal of Robotics Research to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.

2.6 Research Data

The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the SAGE Research Data policy pages

Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

  • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
  • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
  • cite this data in your research

Code Ocean Trial: Through 2019The International Journal of Robotics Research is running a trial with Code Ocean. Authors can upload the code associated to their published article so that readers can view and execute it. The platform, which is based on Docker, hosts the code and data in the necessary computational environment and allows users to re-run the analysis in the cloud and reproduce the results, bypassing the need to install the software. A link to the code, data and computational environment will be included in the journal article enabling readers to seamlessly access and reproduce the code or rerun it against their own inputs. Please visit this page for more information and instructions for how to utilise this service for your article. If you wish to use this service, please upload your code as soon as possible after receiving this letter, to ensure the code can be linked to your article during the production process.

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3. Publishing Policies

3.1 Publication ethics

SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

3.1.1 Plagiarism

The International Journal of Robotics Research and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

3.1.2 Prior publication

If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

3.3 Open access and author archiving

The International Journal of Robotics Research offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at SAGE please visit SAGE Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

4.1 Formatting

The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. If you wish to upload LaTeX files, please upload these in a zipped file along with a separate PDF copy of the manuscript. For further instructions on uploading LaTeX files and to download a template, please see the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

4.2 Novelty statement

During the submission process authors will be required to provide a novelty statement to accompany their submission to IJRR. Compliance is essential.

As part of the submission process please include a short statement of no more than 80 words summarising the contributions made by the paper including the reasons your paper is novel and of specific relevance to IJRR’s Aims & Scope. This statement should be different from the abstract. This statement will be considered by the Editors when assigning your paper for peer review and only papers with justifiable novelty statements will be moved to the next stage of the peer review process. 

4.3 Mathematics

Type mathematical copy exactly as it should appear in print. Journal style for letter symbols is as follows: variables, italic type; constants, roman text type; matrices and vectors, boldface type. Indicate best breaks for equations in case they will not fit on one line.

4.4 Style for illustrations

A sharp image and good contrast are essential for quality reproduction. Keep in mind that most illustrations will be reproduced in a 3" column width. Show only essential information on charts and graphs, for example, coordinate axis, major grid lines, and lines on points of interest.

Provide captions for all illustrations. Label them clearly and concisely (Fig1a, Fig10, etc.). 

4.5 Multimedia

IJRR will consider the publication of archival quality multimedia extensions which are submitted together with their technical papers. Such material should enhance the contents of a paper, both in clarity and in added value. Please ensure guidelines are followed for all multimedia types as stated below.

Multimedia extensions can include video, image sequences, experimental data or code. Instructions on how to submit Multimedia Extensions can be found here:
Multimedia Extension Submission Guidelines

Example IJRR video

4.6 Data papers

Data papers are short (circa 5 - 6 pages) submissions that support and summarize a substantial archival data set which has itself been peer reviewed with the same diligence that regular submissions receive. The contribution is expected to be in the quality and utility of the data to the robotics community.

In the first instance anyone interested in submitting a Data Paper should contact one of the Multimedia Editors to discuss their submission:

Tim Barfoot - 
Jose Luis Blanco -
Nicholas Roy - 
Sidd Srinivasa -

Instructions on what is defined as a Data Paper and how to submit can be found here:
Data Paper Submission Guidelines

4.7 Page length

It is required that you submit a paper no less than 12 pages in length. Submissions below this minimum may be considered if they are of sufficient merit. Please contact the Managing Editor to discuss your submission if it does not meet the 12 page minimum length.

4.8 Artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

4.9 Supplementary material

This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

4.10 Reference style

The International Journal of Robotics Research adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

Please note: While observing Harvard reference style, we do ask that you include all names in the references. ‘Et al’ should not be included in any references.

If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

4.11 English language editing services

Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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5. Submitting your manuscript

The International Journal of Robotics Research is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to log in and submit your article online.

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.


As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

5.2 Information required for completing your submission

You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

5.3 Permissions

Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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6. On acceptance and publication

6.1 SAGE Production

Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

6.2 Online First publication

Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

6.3 Access to your published article

SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

6.4 Promoting your article

Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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7. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to The International Journal of Robotics Research editorial office at

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