Leonardo and LMJ: Editorial Guidelines and Submission Procedures


Leonardo is an international journal for artists and others interested in work that crosses the artificial boundaries separating contemporary arts and sciences. Featuring illustrated articles written by artists about their own work as well as articles by historians, theoreticians, philosophers and other researchers, the journal is particularly concerned with issues related to the interaction of the arts, sciences and technology.

Leonardo focuses on the visual arts and also addresses music, video, performance, language, environmental and conceptual arts—especially as they relate to the visual arts or make use of the tools, materials and ideas of contemporary science and technology. New concepts, materials and techniques and other subjects of general artistic interest are covered, as are legal, economic and political aspects of art. Tables of Contents and Abstracts are available online. A few Sample Articles are also available online, although not in the same layout as they would appear in the journal.


LEONARDO MUSIC JOURNAL (LMJ) is an international journal for composers, sound and multimedia artists and others interested in the contemporary sonic arts. It features articles written by composers and artists about their own work.

LMJ has three main editorial areas. First, it is particularly concerned with the interplay between new technologies, music and sound art. Second, LMJ seeks to document ways in which contemporary science and technology are changing our understanding of sound and music, as well as other ways in which science and technology may be relevant to contemporary composers and sound artists. Third, it seeks to document the work of composers and sound artists developing new multimedia art forms that combine sound with other media, particularly works that take advantage of new multimedia and interactive technologies.

In addition to documenting the work of composers and sound artists, LMJ seeks to address theoretical and historical issues that are relevant to contemporary sound and music making. Issues in experimental sound work and music that do not utilize contemporary science and technology are also addressed to the extent that they represent important elements in the development of new directions in contemporary music, sound and multimedia arts worldwide.


Artists are invited to submit illustrated texts dealing with their current work or a body of work that has been carried out over an extended period. These texts should be written in the artist's voice, although they may be written with a co-author. Authors should discuss objectives, approaches, materials and techniques in adequate detail to provide meaningful information to artists and art teachers. Since one of the journal's primary purposes is to encourage artists to write about their work, the interview format is not recommended. Articles of 2,500 to 5,000 words in length (including endnotes) may have up to 12 illustrations. Articles under 2,500 words in length (including endnotes) may have up to 6 illustrations.

Short writings (under 1,500 words) by artists are published on a faster track in the Statements section of the journal. See Statements for formatting instructions for 1- and 2-page articles.


Authors are invited to submit illustrated texts on subjects of interest to artists, such as new developments in the physical and biological sciences, engineering, mathematics, computer science, art theory, history, philosophy and art education. Critical and analytical writings about contemporary art are encouraged and should treat issues and tendencies beyond the work of a single artist. Discussions bearing on the relationships between disciplines are of special interest to the journal.

Short writings (under 1,500 words) are published on a faster track in the Statements section of the journal. See Statements for formatting instructions for 1- and 2-page articles.


Illustrated texts dealing with specialized technical topics, such as new materials, the application of new technologies, conservation or restoration of materials used , and health hazards of materials, are encouraged. Technical Articles may be 2,500 to 5,000 words in length (including endnotes) with up to 10 illustrations. Technical Notes may be up to 2,500 words in length (including endnotes) with up to 6 illustrations.

Short writings (under 1,500 words) are published on a faster track in the Statements section of the journal. See Statements for formatting instructions for 1- and 2-page articles.


Leonardo publishes short writings (under 1,500 words) in the Statements section of the journal on a faster track to disseminate key new results, ideas and developments in practice. Papers are restricted to 2 published pages of material, and authors must submit their manuscripts utilizing the provided templates (download 1-page template and 2-page template here).


The Leonardo Gallery section highlights a variety of artists' works selected by an invited curator. The Gallery section generally consists of a curator's statement plus 6 to 8 pages of artists' images and their very brief statements about the work shown. Generally one artist is featured on each page with from 1 to 3 images and one 200-word statement. Galleries are published simultaneously online and in the journal. Curators interested in more information about the Gallery section, or in submitting Gallery proposals, should contact the Leonardo Editorial Office.


Leonardo accepts both solicited and unsolicited texts for review. Prior to developing a complete manuscript, authors are encouraged to submit an outline to the editors, who will make a preliminary decision regarding the topic's relevance to the journal's aims and scope and will provide suggestions for developing the manuscript.

Manuscripts and manuscript proposals should be sent to:

- Leonardo: editorialexpress.com/leonardo
- Leonardo Music Journal: lmj@leonardo.info
- Leonardo Electronic Almanac: lea@mitpress.mit.edu
- Special Projects: Inquiries about particular special project topics should be directed to each special project coordinator. See the list of Special Projects for specific contact information.

Authors should also send the names and contact information of two colleagues who would be capable of giving the manuscript a technical review (preferably working outside of the author's affiliated institution so as to avoid conflicts of interest). If you would like a particular member of the Editorial Board to look at your manuscript, please note this when you submit your manuscript, but do not submit your manuscript to them directly. If you are submitting your manuscript for a special project, please also note this when you submit your manuscript. Manuscripts for initial review may be submitted with embedded low-resolution images, which facilitates the review process. When submitting a manuscript, authors should include a statement indicating that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not being submitted for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts must be under the 5,000 word count limit (including references and figure captions) before it will be considered for review.

The review process involves peer review of all submitted articles longer than 2,500 words, including those solicited by the editors. Generally each manuscript is reviewed by one member of the Leonardo editorial board, one technical peer reviewer and an in-house editor. A request by an editor for a manuscript is not a guarantee that it will be published.

Authors are notified of acceptance, rejection or the need for revision within four months. Texts are judged on the basis of relevance to the aims and scope of the journal, originality, rigor of thought and the use of straightforward and precise prose. Texts should be condensed as much as possible and written to be accessible to the interested lay reader. Papers may include statements of belief and speculations, which should be denoted as such.

Most manuscripts require revision by the author before final acceptance. Revised manuscripts accepted for publication must be submitted as unformatted word-processed text without embedded illustrations or auto-formatted references. Each illustration should be submitted as a separate high-resolution file (see the following section on Illustrations). Texts longer than 2,500 words must be accompanied by a 100-word abstract. After a manuscript is accepted, it is edited at the editorial office and returned to the author for approval prior to publication.

Most manuscripts require revision by the author before final acceptance. Revised manuscripts accepted for publication must be submitted as unformatted word-processed text without embedded illustrations or auto-formatted references. Each illustration should be submitted as a separate high-resolution file (see the following section on Illustrations). Texts longer than 2,500 words must be accompanied by a 100-word abstract.

Accepted articles are posted unedited on the Leonardo Just Accepted page of the MIT Press web site http://www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/0/ja soon after acceptance and receipt of all required permissions, typically several months ahead of their appearance in the print journal.  After posting on Leonardo Just Accepted, the manuscript is edited at the editorial office and returned to the author for final approval prior to print publication.

Authors may also take advantage of the option to have supplemental materials to their articles (audio, video, additional images, appendices, etc.) published on the MIT Press web site.

Authors requiring rapid publication may wish to consider submitting to Leonardo Statements, a rapid-publication venue for timely material in the field (restrictions apply).

All texts must be submitted in English. Authors not fluent in English should write in their native language and then have the text professionally translated before submitting it. Since the journal is read in many countries, authors should avoid esoteric words, non-English words, slang, idioms and colloquialisms. Abbreviations and special terms, especially highly technical terms, should be defined in the text or in a glossary at the end of the text. Acronyms should be spelled out on the first appearance.

Authors should review previous Leonardo texts for general style and format. The LEONARDO staff will not make major editorial revisions and cannot accept manuscripts requiring such revisions.

More information on manuscript formatting.


Articles published in Leonardo are copyrighted by Leonardo, The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST), the owner of Leonardo. Copyrights to illustrations published in the journal remain with their current copyright holders. Signed permissions to publish both text and images must be received at the Leonardo editorial office before any manuscript will be edited in preparation for publication. In cases where an image is copyrighted by a third party, authors are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions, including on-line reproduction rights. Any fees required to obtain illustrations or to secure copyright permissions are the responsibility of authors.

Permission to re-use material copyrighted by Leonardo/ISAST is routinely given to the authors of articles for use in their own publications. Use by third parties generally is not provided without concurrence of the author.

More information on copyright issues.

Open Access Publishing

Leonardo and its publisher, MIT Press, are compliant with the open publishing requirements of several of the major funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation. NSF-funded authors may, 12 months after publication in Leonardo, have the full text of their paper appear in an NSF-designated repository. For those needing immediate open access for their paper to satisfy funding requirements we offer the following:  a special open access publication fee of $1,250 (USD) will allow for a paper to be open access upon publication and permanently archived on the Leonardo web page of the MIT Press website <www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/leon>.  NOTE that in all cases it is incumbent upon authors, rather than Leonardo or MIT Press, to deposit their papers into the appropriate repository following publication if necessary. Please visit the MIT Press Journals website for more information: <mitpressjournals.org>.


Titles must be descriptive, clearly reflecting the contents of texts and the type of artwork discussed in order to assist in indexing and information-retrieval services; two-part titles are encouraged.


Each paper requires an abstract written in the third person, summarizing the paper's main point; maximum 100 words.


Extremely technical or detailed material should be placed at the end of the text in one or more appendices, to which the text should refer.


The use of references is strongly encouraged. A list of general references in the form of a bibliography is also desirable. Footnotes are not used; such notes should be formatted as references. References should be numbered in citation order and listed at the end of the text. Reference numbers should appear in brackets in the text and each number should be used only once. Do not submit the manuscript with auto-formatted references such as are available with many word-processing programs. The following forms should be used when referring to:

Books and Exhibition Catalogues:

Books and Exhibition Catalogues: 1. Author, Title of Book (place of publication: publisher, date) page numbers. Example: L. Artel, Visual or Plastic Arts (London: John Doe Press, 2002) p. 5.

Include name of editor or translator, edition, date of original publication and any other pertinent information. Include page numbers of quotes.


2. Author, "Title of Article," Name of Periodical, Volume Number, Issue Number, pages (date). Example: L. Artel, "Art and Technology," Leonardo Vol. 39, No. 1, 435-441 (2005).

Include both volume and issue numbers. Include page numbers of quotes.


To accompany articles published in Leonardo journal and Leonardo Music Journal, Leonardo’s publisher, MIT Press, allows the posting of supplementary materials on the MIT Press web site. Authors can supply multimedia content, such as video or audio files, as well as additional color images and/or supplemental text. The Leonardo editors work with authors of accepted texts to arrange the posting of supplemental files on the MIT Press web site.


Draft-edited versions of articles are returned to authors for proofreading, clarification and approval prior to typesetting. Lead authors of texts longer than 2,500 words will receive from the editorial office a free copy of the issue in which their work appears and will receive from MIT Press a PDF file of their article. Authors may also order hard copy article offprints through MIT Press and may purchase additional discounted copies of the issue in which their text appears.


Authors or potential guest editors wishing to explore options outside of these guidelines should contact the main editorial office.


Selection of Visual Material
Preparation of Visual Material
Digital Illustration Instructions
Figure Captions
Credits and Copyright Permission
Digital Illustration Instructions

Illustrations are encouraged for all manuscripts and should be provided as high-resolution digital images, 300 ppi at 7 inches wide, saved in CMYK format with all levels adjusted, preferably as TIFF files (JPEG files accepted). Frontispiece images should be supplied at 300 ppi at 9 x 11.5 inches. Color images are preferred where appropriate. For the print version of the journal, only one image per article can be reproduced in color; however, all images will be reproduced in color in the online version of the journal.

Images of the artist/author are published only when the subject is an integral part of the artwork, as in the case of performance art.

Lettering on diagrams must be professional quality.

A list of figure captions should be included with each illustrated manuscript and must include credits to the copyright holder and/or photographer.

Please use the following naming protocol for digital image files: "JonesFig1.tiff" (file names should include author’s last name, figure number, file type).

If you are unable for any reason to supply illustrations that meet these requirements, please contact the editorial office: isast@leonardo.info.

Articles accepted for publication in LEONARDO or LMJ must have both an effective visual component and a carefully edited, informative text. Authors have full responsibility for providing visual material that suitably complements their manuscripts and meets the professional requirements of the journal. The editorial office does not provide graphic services. Careful attention to these guidelines should assure authors of visually effective articles.


As a first step in developing visual material, authors should inspect current issues of the journal. Its format allows a variety of layout options. Illustrations can be formatted in one, two or three columns horizontally and can range in height to a full page. A carefully considered manuscript includes illustrations in various formats. Authors may make layout suggestions, but final design decisions are made by the editorial office.

Authors should submit highest-quality visual images that either illustrate or document material in the text. The images should be varied in content, each offering new information. Authors are encouraged to develop visual material in the form of charts, diagrams and maps specifically designed for their manuscripts. Multipart (a, b, c, etc.) images are often useful in showing steps in a process or illustrating various facets of a subject.

In an Article (2500 to 5000 words), as many as 12 black-and-white illustrations and one color illustration can be published. In a Note (less than 2500 words), up to six black-and-white illustrations can be published. Occasionally a color illustration can be included with a Note. Artists' Statements may have up to one black-and-white illustration.

Photographs of artists/authors are allowed only when the subjects are integral to the artwork---for example, in a performance-art illustration. No illustrations that are solely representations of commercial products will be published.


Authors unable to comply with these requirements or uncertain about the reproductive quality of their illustrations should enlist the aid of a graphics professional.


Black-and-white illustrations should be no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches with no side smaller than 3 inches. Each illustration must be numbered and be referred to by this number in the text of the manuscript. This "figure number" must reflect the figure's citation order in the text. On the reverse side of each print, the author's name and the figure number must be listed and the top of the image indicated. Author's name, figure number, top of the image and right-reading side must be indicated on the edge of slides. Figure numbers, author's name and format must be indicated in the names of digital files, e.g. "JonesFig1.tiff."

For digital artwork, see also Digital Illustration Instructions.


In addition to being referenced in the text by number (each figure must be discussed in the text), each figure requires a comprehensive figure caption. The caption must describe the visual material in the figure. For art objects, the work's title, medium, dimensions (height by width and depth) and date of execution are necessary; for nontraditional art forms and other visual imagery, appropriate descriptive details should be supplied.

Captions should also provide a sentence or two of summary information related to the image; figures must be discussed more fully in the text. Careful attention should be given to this matter, as the captions are intended to facilitate a quick overview of the article. Incomplete figure captions will be returned to the author for revision.

A numbered list of all figures and their captions must be submitted with the manuscript.


The captions must also include credits to photographers and artwork owners and, in the case of copyrighted material, the names of copyright holders. Authors are responsible for securing permissions to reprint copyrighted material and must supply original, signed documentation of this permission from the copyright holder(s) and photographers to the editorial office before material can be published (see information on Image Release Forms). Any fees required to secure copyright permissions or use of figures are the responsibility of authors.


Address and contact information: Main Editorial Office

Updated 3 May 2016