CFP: Graphic Science

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Editor: Ernesto Priego, City University London
Stichtag: 31.10.2017

Comics have been well received in the science community and by publishers as a form of science communication. Recent publications demonstrate that comics have the potential of becoming academic outputs in their own right. Various webcomics as well as the growing trend of having illustrators document proceedings live at academic events (in the form of so-called ‘scribing’, ‘sketchnoting’ or ‘graphic facilitation’) provide evidence of the blurring of genre/medium distinctions between infographics, data visualisation, and comics. Likewise, there is evidence of researchers and educators working with illustrators to develop comics about their practice, research data and insights for dissemination and impact. (For more references and context, see Priego 2016).

In recognition of the ascendency of graphic representations of science, The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship calls for submissions on ‘science’ in graphic form. Submissions can be on any scientific field, topic or methodology, and can be the result of (but not limited to):

  • scientific research or research data
  • a collaboration between scientists and comics artists
  • he work of artists who are also scientists

As the journal’s domain is comics scholarship specifically, all graphic submissions will be peer reviewed. Authors of graphic submissions are required to provide two contact details of two specialists in the specific scientific discipline/approach that the submission belongs to who could serve as potential peer reviewers and to declare any conflicts of interest. Submissions without contact details of relevant peer reviewers for the science component will not be considered.

Graphic submissions lead editor: Dr Nicolas Labarre,

Key Dates

Deadline for expressions of interest: October 31st 2017
Deadline for accepted final submissions: March 1st 2018
Expected publication, depending on editorial processes: September 2018

Graphic Submission Guidelines

Submissions in graphic form (including but not limited to drawings, comics, and diagrams) can be of any type described in our submission guidelines , from Research to Commentary.

All submissions must include an abstract, references, and an introductory text that explains the method and the objectives of the submission, following the journal’s formatting guidelines. This text helps us to index the submission. As search engines currently rely on metadata to retrieve images, the detail in the text sections framing the graphic submission can enhance its searchability, potential discoverability and reuse.

Technical requirements

As with images in regular articles, all files must be provided in 300 dpi in either .jpg or .png. You may need to adjust hand-drawn submissions to ensure that the scanning process results in a clear and legible picture.

Nevertheless, the aesthetic qualities of graphic submissions are less important than their ability to convey information clearly. Visual scholarship should aim at presenting knowledge in a legible, efficient, and productive way, subordinating aesthetic choices to these goals.

While being a skilled draftsperson can improve the efficiency of such communication, minimalist solutions (see “Creativity and project management: a comic” , by Phil Jones Jones, James Evans) and technical options (see “Materiality Comics”, by Aaron Kashtan) are perfectly viable alternatives, provided the form is coherent with the content and the epistemic objectives of the submission.

Submission process

Graphic research is a time-consuming process, even compared to traditional forms of scholarly publication. We therefore encourage scholars wishing to submit graphic pieces to first contact the graphic submissions editor, Dr Nicolas Labarre , with their project, presenting the subject of the piece as well as the graphic strategies they intend to use. This collaborative approach is meant to generate useful feedback and to refine the submissions, but it does not guarantee that they will go through the peer-review process successfully.

Additionally, we will consider submissions in “thumbnail” or “storyboard” form for peer review. Such submissions should include the complete introductory text and a fully realized graphic sample, but the entire project need not be in fully-rendered graphic form. This process is useful for multiple-page articles in comics form, where the creator does not want to waste time on a fully-rendered project only to have it rejected.

The editors will make sure that reviewers are aware of these submission processes.


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