Visible Language is concerned with research and ideas that help define the unique roles and properties of language communicated visually. A foundational premise of the journal is that writing and reading form a distinct system of language expression which must be defined and developed in its own terms. To this must be added research and ideas that help define the presentation of information within the digital arena. The shift from page to screen is comparable in its significance to the shift from manuscript to print. Developing the knowledge base and conventions for this new media will take time and challenge our ability to move beyond the book and into more fluid, relational and responsive systems of presentation.
Published continuously since 1967, Visible Language maintains its policy of having no formal editorial affiliation with any professional organization — this requires the continuing, active cooperation of key investigators and practitioners in all of the disciplines that explore aspects of visible language.
Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published and is not being considered for publication elsewhere.
Authors can submit articles to the journal electronically as an attachment as either a Word.doc or pdf. by sending to the editor: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If the file contains many complex images, exceeding 18MB please send it via a file transfer site and email the editor about the location for pick-up.
All articles should be double-spaced as a text file. Page layout files are not accepted. Text and visual materials should be separate with a general position for tables, diagrams or images indicated in the text, for example [Table 1 about here].
The journal prefers authors to use social science format for citations, for example (Jones, 1971, 310) with a Reference list giving full citation details at the end of the submission.
Visible Language is an international journal that reaches across a range of disciplines, including design, communication, typography, anthropology, linguistics and literature. Authors should define terminology that is specific to their disciplines. Foreign language passages must be translated into English as a parenthetical comment.
Copy must be double-spaced throughout including indented long quotations, captions and references. Please leave generous margins on all sides. All manuscripts must include the following:
Visible Language lends itself to visual treatment: authors are encouraged to make every effort to incorporate examples, photographs, sketches, diagrams, charts, etc. Experimental graphic design, search or interface/interaction systems are encouraged.
Please use the following format for a book reference:
Rosenthal, Peggy. 1984. Words and Values: Some Leading Words and Where They Lead Us. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 110.
Please use the following format for an article:
Kinross, Robin. 1985. The Rhetoric of Neutrality. Design Issues, 2.2, 18.
Please use the following format for an Internet citation:
Agre, Phil. 2000. Notes on the new design space. http://polaris.gseis.ulca.edu/pagre/design-space.html (Accessed February 12, 2009).
When in doubt on an Internet citation, include as much information as possible see The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, 17.234 - 17.237. If given a choice between a book or journal article or an Internet citation, choose the book or journal article as Internet sources are less stable.
Additional sources limited to about five titles of particularly interesting/useful works can be listed under the heading Additional Reference at the end of the paper.
If material that authors plan to use is protected by copyright (or if they suspect it is), written permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Any fees associated with permission to reproduce are the responsibility of the author. When an article is accepted, authors must include documentation of the copyright holder’s permission, together with the exact wording of the credit line that accompanies the material. For detailed information, see The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition, 4.67 - 4.74.
Articles are sent out anonymously for a blind review to three appropriate scholars. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the journal, articles may go out to reviewers with different disciplinary backgrounds, they are asked to review a particular aspect of the article. The editor makes every attempt to get an impartial review. The reviewers’ comments are synthesized by the editor and sent to the author.
The reviewer is asked to address the following questions:
Reviewers are often generous in their comments on an article with authors finding their comments helpful to refine and clarify their work.
Authors are notified of the results of the review process and the journal’s publication intentions as soon as is practical, usually within three months. To expedite notification, please be sure to include your email address on the title page.
Contributors of accepted articles are asked to assign their copyright to Visible Language.
Visible Language is available electronically through ProQuest, the Wilson (Art) Index and ERIC, Education Resources Information Center. These connections extend the reach of the journal and consequently your contribution of ideas about visible language. By signing contracts with them, the journal assures them that it holds the copyright for the articles they electronically publish. In the past Visible Language has been fairly casual about who holds the copyright, but now it is in the interests of the journal and the author to assign the copyright to the journal as it is impractical for these corporations to run down individual authors for permission to copy.
Authors receive page proofs of their article for correction prior to publication. Corrections must be sent to the editor in a timely fashion, usually within a week.
The editor welcomes proposals for special issues of the journal devoted entirely to a single, critical Visible Language topic. Recent special issues are diverse: Communication Design Failures (2009-2010), Global Interaction in Design (2010) and Punctuation (2011).
Special Issue proposals can be prepared in two ways: a list of 5-6 scholars with a brief description of their contribution, or a Call for Papers. Regardless of the approach, the guest editor is responsible for selecting authors, guiding them through development of their papers, seeking appropriate reviewers and managing the review process. In most cases, the guest editor provides an introductory article for the special issue.
Once a proposal is accepted, the editor will construct with the guest editor a development schedule. It usually takes at least 9 months to get a special issue published; those with Calls for Papers take a year or longer. The publication position (year, volume, number) is subject to consideration of other general or special issues and their development schedules. The editor will make every effort to get special issues out in a timely manner. In general, the journal is planning a year ahead.
Send a description of your plan including possible contributors or a draft of a Call for Papers to the editor via email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone discussion is also welcome, call the editor at 970.577.1520.
Calls for Papers extend the reach for scholarship on a topic beyond the individuals known to the guest editor. It tends to tap into ongoing research and ideas that have not yet been fully developed for another venue such as a conference or extend ideas that an author has been pursuing for some time.
Visible Language will publish Calls in its print version and list the Call online on its home page. A Call for Papers generally includes the following: