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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, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • You confirm that the submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • You confirm that the authors have the rights to the material being submitted, including the data on which the submission is based.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, PDF or RTF document file format.
  • You confirm that the manuscript has been anonymized: that there is no identifying information in the front material or revealing references to previous work in the first person. Do not redact your self-citations, but do not refer to them in first-person.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); includes page numbers (preferably in the upper-right corner); does not use acronyms or computational abbreviations when discussing variables.
  • The abstract (max 500 words) is included on the first page of the manuscript submission file.
  • Figures and tables are exactly where they should fall in the manuscript, or, if need be, use a place holder [Figure/Table 1 about here], with the figure directly following on a new page. Do not place figures and tables at the end of the manuscript. Number figures and tables consecutively. All variables that appear in tables of figures should be described in appropriate detail in the text. Figures rendered in color are actively encouraged. The journal is not bound by the constraints of archaic publishing requirements, and we hope authors take full advantage of modern data visualization tools. Do keep accessibility in mind, e.g.,
  • The text uses consistent referencing that is based on a style that lists author-year in-text. If accepted, the final publication will have to use APA 7th style.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • You acknowledge that the authors will be responsible for final formatting (APA 7th style guide), using a template provided by the Journal.
  • The text only uses footnotes, no endnotes, but does not use footnotes for simple citations. For citations, use Author, Year in-text.


We do not publish causal claims.


Visualization submissions should include two parts. The main article will be a single figure (i.e. something that could be viewed on a single screen/page) and approximately 500 words (excluding caption & references) of expository text that highlights what is interesting and important about the figure. The reference list should be limited to no more than 5 citations. In addition, you should include a supplementary information file that contains details about the data and methods used to generate the figure. The supplementary file has no page limits and serves to provide methods and background for the work. At minimum, the supplemental file should provide methodological information of sufficient detail for readers to judge the veracity of the figure, reasonableness of the methods, and soundness of the conclusions drawn from the figure. To that end, while not required, we strongly encourage people to include code or post data that would allow others to replicate the work as well as discussion of aesthetic/display choices involved in producing the figure. The supplemental information file can also include background literature or other information author(s) think relevant to include. We will not copy-edit the supplementary information file.

More informally: We have a high bar for Visualizations. They have to be visually compelling and convey the descriptive information in an efficient way---something at the intersection of "amazing, put it on Twitter", "I'd cite that", and "don't need to read a full paper".


(Motivation and some of the above langauge for the Visualizations section taken from Socius.)

Letters of Inquiry

Before submitting an article, please submit a Letter of Inquiry  so that we can assess whether your planned submission is suitable for the journal.  LOIs should be no longer than a paragraph (maximum 500 words!) and address the questions below. LOIs should address all of the questions explicitly. Failure to do so will likely result in a rejection or a request for revision. Please note that in the review process we will pay special attention to sampling and weighting concerns, which are critical to ensure the validity of descriptive inferences. The more directly the LOI addresses these  questions, the sooner we will be able to evaluate it and respond to the submission. 

  • What is being described?
  • How is the sample constructed?
  • How does it pertain to digital media?

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