The International Journal of Robotics Research

The International Journal of Robotics Research

2016 Impact Factor: 5.301
2016 Ranking: 2/26 in Robotics
Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2017)
Published in Association with Multimedia Archives

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 Carnegie Mellon University, USA

eISSN: 17413176 | ISSN: 02783649 | Current volume: 36 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: 14 Times/YearTimes/Year

New YouTube channel, watch the latest videos from IJRR

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.

Editorial Board
Jose Luis Blanco Universidad de Almería, Spain
Oliver Brock Technische Univesität Berlin, Germany
François Chaumette IRISA - INRIA Rennes, France
Howie Choset Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Henrik Christensen Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Steven Collins Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Dieter Fox University of Washington, USA
Seth Hutchinson University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Lydia Kavraki Rice University, USA
Oussama Khatib Stanford University, USA
Allison Okamura Stanford University, USA
Ingmar Posner University of Oxford, UK
Angela Schoellig University of Toronto, Canada
Julie Shah Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Advisory Editorial Board
Antonio Bicchi University of Pisa, Italy
Herman Bruyninckx KU Leuven, Belgium
Martin Buehler Walt Disney Imagineering, USA
Joris De Schutter Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Michael Erdmann Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Gerd Hirzinger German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany
Radu Horaud INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, France
Andrew B. Howard JPA, NASA, USA
Hirochika Inoue The University of Tokyo, Japan
Takeo Kanade Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Alonzo Kelly Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Jean-Claude Latombe Stanford University, USA
Matthew T Mason Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Yoshihiko Nakamura The University of Tokyo, Japan
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
K Waldron Stanford University, USA
Charles Wampler General Motors, Michigan, USA
Alex Zelinsky ICT Centre, Australia
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    1. Article types
    2. Editorial Policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgments
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Data
    3. Publishing Policies
      3.1 Publication Ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open Access and author archiving
      3.4 Permissions
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 New User Account
      4.2 New Submission 
      4.3 Novelty Statement 
      4.4 Title, keywords and abstracts 
      4.5 Corresponding author contact details 
      4.6 Reference style
      4.7 Mathematics
      4.8 Style for illustration
      4.9 Acceptable File Formats for Accepted Papers
      4.10 Multimedia
      4.11 Data Papers
      4.12 Page Length
      4.13 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.14 Supplementary material
      4.15 Journal layout
      4.16 Reference style
      4.17 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 SAGE Production 
      5.2 Post-Acceptabnce Corrections 
      5.3 Access to your published article
      5.4 Online First Publication
    6. Further Information

    This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

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

    Please read the guidlines below then visit the Journal's submission site to upload your manuscrupt. Please not 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 will be reviewed.

    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.

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    1. 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 provides engineers, researchers, and scientists with the very best of current research on robotics - from applied mathematics to artificial intelligence to computer science, to electrical and mechanical engineering.

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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-blind, 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 3 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 2 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 not 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. Please ensure all email addresses listed are associated with their institution and are current and correct.

    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 and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
    2. Drafted the article of revised it critically for important intellectual content
    3. Approved the version to be published

    Authors should mee the conditions of all the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.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.

    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.

    2.3.1 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.

    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.

    2.4 Funding

    IJRR 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 IJRR 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 Data

    SAGE acknowledges the importance of research data availability as an integral part of the research and verification process for academic journal articles.

    IJRR requests all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles alongside their article submissions to be published in the online version of the journal, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility. Examples of data types include but are not limited to statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor may consider limited embargoes on proprietary data. The editor can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations. For further information, please contact the Editorial Office at

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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

    IJRR 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.

    3.2 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 our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open Access and author archiving

    IJRR offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

    3.4 Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining 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 visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript

    4.1 New User Account

    Please log onto the website: If you are a new user, you will first need to create an account. Follow the instructions and please ensure to enter a current and correct institutional email address. Creating your account is a three-step process that takes a matter of minutes to set up. When you have finished, your User ID and password is sent via email immediately.

    Please edit your user ID and password to something more memorable by selecting 'edit account' at the top of the screen. If you have already created an account but have forgotten your details type your email address in the 'Password Help' to receive an emailed reminder. Full instructions for uploading the manuscript are provided on the website.

    4.2 New Submission

    Submissions should be made by logging in and selecting the Author Center and the 'Click here to Submit a New Manuscript' option. Follow the instructions on each page, clicking the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen. If at any stage you have any questions or require the user guide, please use the 'Get Help Now' button at the top right of every screen. Further help is available through ScholarOne's Manuscript Central customer support at +1 434 817 2040 x 167.

    4.3 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 and 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.

    4.4 Title, keywords and abstracts

    Please supply a title, short title, a 150-250 word abstract that states clearly the subject of the paper, methods used in dealing with the subject, and principal results and their significance and keywords to accompany your article.

    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting the SAGE Journal Author Gateway for guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    4.5 Corresponding author contact details

    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including institutional email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    4.6 English language editing services

    IJRR uses the Harvard referencing system. Alphabetize the reference list and cite references by author and date in the text; for example, (Doe 1982). Include the following information in references.

    We require all initial submissions to contain a full and complete references list, which clearly shows all contributing authors for each reference.

    Books: Authors' last names and initials, year, title, city, publisher, page numbers (if any).

    Chapters in books/Papers in published proceedings: Authors' last names and initials, year, title of chapter/paper, title of book/proceedings, editors' initials and last names, city, publisher, page numbers (if any).

    Journal articles: Authors' last names and initials, year, title of article, name of journal, volume
    number, issue number, page numbers, for example

    Featherstone, R. (2005). Efficient factorization of the joint space inertia matrix for branched kinematic trees. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 24 (6): 487-500.

    Conference papers: Authors' last names and initials, year, month and days of conference, title of paper, name of conference, location of conference.  

    Journal articles using a DOI: Authors' last names and initials, year, title of article, name of journal, DOI, for example:  
    Featherstone, R. (2005). Efficient factorization of the joint space inertia matrix for branched kinematic trees. DOI: 10.1177/0278364905054928: 487-500.

    Memos and Technical Papers: Authors' last names and initials, year identifying number of paper, city, name of institution, name of department.

    Theses: Author's last name and initials, year, title of thesis, identification of paper as thesis (Ph.D.thesis), name of institution, department in institution. Use "et al." after primary author if there are four or more authors.

    Use section numbers for the first three levels of headings: 1. 1.1., 1.1.1.

     4.7 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.

    4.8 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.).

    4.9 Acceptable FIle Formats for Accepted Papers

    When using the Word of LaTeX template please select double column formatting

    Electronic submission of manuscripts must be prepared using LaTeX or MS Word. Framemaker is not acceptable.

    The LaTeX template can be downloaded from the SAGE Author Gateway. NOTE: The size of this journal is “short A4”.

    Please use the “ShortAfour” option when using the SAGE classfile. That is: \documentclass[ShortAfour]{sagej}  (please see the classfile documentation in the guidelines for full instructions).

    The MS Word template can be downloaded from the SAGE Author Gateway.

    No attempt to emulate the typographic style of IJRR should be made.

    All rules of submission for conventionally prepared manuscripts apply.

    If the manuscript has been prepared using plain LaTeX or a custom macro package, the typographic style should conform to the rules of submission for conventionally prepared manuscripts. Avoidance of intricate or nonportable macro constructions is strongly encouraged.

    All LaTeX submissions should use only Computer Modern typefaces. Source files as well as all relevant input files should be submitted in generic ASCII format.

    Authors wishing to submit illustration files should prepare them as editable PDFs, and send those files along with the main manuscript files. Other file types will be considered.

    These files should not contain labels or tags that are not intended to be printed with the illustration.

     4.10 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

     4.11 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 Data Papers and how to submit can be found here:
    Data Papers Submission Guidelines

    4.12 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.

    4.13 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.

    4.14 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. These will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article.  For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files, which can be found within our Manuscript Submission Guidelines page.

    4.15 Journal layout

    IJRR conforms to the SAGE house style. Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style.

    4.16 Reference style

    IJRR adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

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

    4.17 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. On acceptance and publication

    5.1 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.

    5.2 Post-Acceptabce Corrections

    Please ensure that any required changes are made to your paper prior to the acceptance and proofing stage. The accepted version of your article should not be subject to revision once in the production process. Proofs should only be checked to ensure no typographical errors have been made in the typesetting process.

    5.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    5.4 Online First publication

    Online First allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a final journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our Online First Fact Sheet

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    6. Further Information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the IJRR Editorial Office at

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