Preparing Your Materials
How you prepare your materials will affect how your article is received by the editors and reviewers and how extensive the requests for revisions may be. To reduce delays and additional work, you should ensure that your article's level, length and format conform with the journal's requirements at submission and during each revision stage. For this reason, we recommend that you take the time to read the following sections before submitting anything to Leonardo:
This section provides a description of all types of articles published in both journals so that you may select the article type that best suits your material.
This section explains the recommended contents of a proposal.
This section includes detailed instructions for preparing your manuscript and art.
This section lists specific formats for the elements in your manuscript and the art in your article.
This section instructs you how to name and save your documents for submission.
This section identifies best practices to follow as you prepare your article to ensure the best results during the review process.
The types of articles in Leonardo are listed below. The content and scope of your article as well as its length should match the requirements of the type of article you choose. NOTE: The word count listed for each type of article includes the title(s), author information and biographies, abstract, captions, glossary, appendixes and endnotes. You may wish to include online supplemental materials that are too large or impractical to include in the printed version of your article. See Supplemental materials below for more information.
Artists’ Writings: 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.
Artist’s Article—word count: 2,500–3,500 words; figure count: up to 8
Artist’s Note—word count: 1,500–2,500 words; figure count: up to 4
General Articles and Notes and Historical and Theoretical Perspectives: 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.
General Article—word count: 2,500–3,500 words; figure count: up to 8
General Note—word count: 1,500–2,500 words; figure count: up to 4
Historical Perspective Article—word count: 2,500–3,500 words; figure count: up to 8
Theoretical Perspective Article—word count: 1,500–2,500 words; figure count: up to 4
Technical Articles and Notes: 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 Article—word count: 2,500–3,500 words; figure count: up to 8
Technical Note—word count: 1,500–2,500 words; figure count: up to 4
Statements: This type of article includes short writings that are published on a faster track to disseminate key new results, ideas and developments in practice. Statements may also be shorter versions of any of the above-mentioned types of articles. They are restricted to two published pages of material, and authors must submit their manuscripts utilizing either the one-page or two-page template (see Forms and Templates).
Statement, 2 pages—word count: 1,500–2,000 words; figure count: up to 3
Statement, 1 page—word count: up to 1,500 words; figure count: 1
Leonardo Gallery: This section highlights a variety of artists' works selected by an invited curator, generally consisting of a curator's statement plus 6–8 pages of artists' images and their very brief statements about the work shown. Generally one artist is featured on each page with 1–3 images and one 200-word statement. Galleries are published simultaneously online and in the journal.
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. See Understanding the Review Process.
To facilitate a smooth review and publication process, it is important that you ensure the text and figures of your manuscript are complete and in the appropriate format when submitted. The following guidelines include the essential basic elements of your manuscript, listed and described in the order in which they appear in your manuscript.
|Title of article||References and notes|
|Author list||Biographical information|
|Word count||Tables and charts|
Indicate which article type you have selected for your manuscript. See "Article Types" above.
Title of Article
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.
- Art-Science Interactions in the Destruction of an Archive: The after | image Project
If you are the sole author, list your name. If there are multiple authors, the lead author must ensure that all authors are included in the author list and agree with its order.
- John Smith
- John Smith, Amanda Wilson and Grayson Aldredge
The following information should be provided for each author who has contributed to the article and must be included in your manuscript in order to be accepted for publication:
- Author name
- Author profession (general description, not job title)
- Postal address (physical mailing address suitable for publishing)
- Email and/or web address
- Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID iD)
Use the following format:
Name (profession), address. Email: <email address>. Website: <website address>. ORID: 0000-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.
- John Smith (artist, researcher), University of California, Berkeley, History of Art Department, 416 Doe Street, Berkeley, CA 94720, U.S.A. Email: <email@example.com>. ORCID: 0000-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX.
- Amanda Wilson (architectural historian, designer), Architecture, Design & Planning, University of Sydney, Wilkinson Building G04, University of Sydney, 148 City Road, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia. Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Author information in your manuscript will be included in the final article, so please do not include information that is not suitable for publication. We ask that you include contact information in the form of at least an email/website or physical address for each author. Also note that all author information is included in the word count.
Include an abstract that is up to 100 words, written in the third person and present tense (e.g., "The author shows..."), and summarizes the essential points of the manuscript. Do not include numbered notes/references in the abstract.
Articles range from 900 words to 3,500 words. An article's word count includes the title(s), author information, body of the article, abstract, captions, glossary, appendixes and references and notes. Please check the word count limit listed in each article type above before you decide which type of article to write and submit for consideration. Manuscripts with word counts that exceed the maximum count for an article type will not be considered. You may wish to consider submitting nonessential background material as supplemental materials.
Because the Leonardo staff will not make major editorial revisions and cannot accept manuscripts requiring such revisions, the following requirements and styles are important to consider as you compose or revise your article:
- Articles must employ proper use of academic written American English.
- If you are not fluent in English, you should write in your native language and then have the text professionally translated before submitting it.
- Because the journal is read in many countries, avoid esoteric words, non-English words, slang, idioms and colloquialisms.
- Avoid writing in the passive voice. Your article should reflect your voice.
- One of the journal's goals is to be read and understood by an interested lay reader, so do not assume too much or assume that the reader is an expert.
- 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, followed by the abbreviated form in parentheses; thereafter use the abbreviation in the rest of the text.
- Texts should be condensed as much as possible and written to be accessible to the interested lay reader.
- As a guide to the reader, consider dividing the text into sections with headings. Levels of section headings should be clearly indicated (e.g., <1>, <2>) in the text.
- Avoid "Introduction" as a heading and never number section headings.
- There must be more than one level head at any given level. For example, if there is only one Level 3 head, it should be made a Level 2 head.
- Articles may include statements of belief and speculations, but they should be denoted as such.
- Do not include serial comma (e.g., a, b and c) unless a misreading could result without it.
- Titles of works: artworks, compositions and installations are italicized. Computer programs and software are in roman font.
- Names: use first and last names at first mention only (with some exceptions). Use last name with subsequent mentions.
- Always use European style: "1 January 2016"
- Date ranges: "between 1923 and 1924" or "during 1923--1924" (never "1923--24")
- Always use numbers for centuries: "19th century"; use hyphen when modifying: "20th-century art"
- Simple/short equations can be embedded in the manuscript file. Complex equations should be created in a separate equation editor and supplied as artwork; supply the equations in both .eps and .pict. Include the .pict preview with .eps if possible. Denote all equations files with your name and the equation number. Include only one equation per file. Please provide system/platform of origin and the program version in which the original art was first created.
Examples of Leonardo and LMJ Articles
If you have not previously submitted an article to one of the journals or you have not submitted an article recently, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the journals' style and content by reading them. If you do not have access to the journals, you may get free access to articles on the MIT Press website's lists of most downloaded articles for Leonardo and LMJ. We recommend that you download articles from 2015–present for the best examples of the current interior design and editorial styles.
Illustrations are encouraged, but not required. Leonardo's editorial office does not provide graphic services, so if you do include illustrations with your article, you have full responsibility for providing visual material that suitably compliments your article’s contents and meets the professional requirements of the journal. Reviewers may make additional suggestions regarding illustrations; these are left to your discretion.
As a first step in developing visual material, you should inspect current issues of the journals. Their formats allow a variety of layout options. Illustrations can be formatted in one or two columns horizontally and can range in height to a full page. A carefully considered manuscript includes illustrations in various formats. You may make layout suggestions, but final design decisions are made by the editorial office. Note that articles (including the illustrations) in the print journal are reproduced in one color, while articles posted online are in full color.
You should secure the highest-quality visual images that either illustrate or document material in the text. The images should be varied in content, each offering new information. You are encouraged to develop visual material in the form of charts, diagrams and maps specifically designed for your manuscript. Multipart (a, b, c, etc.) images are often useful in showing steps in a process or illustrating various facets of a subject.
At initial submission, you do not need to submit the high-quality art. Figures should be at good enough quality to be assessed by reviewers and incorporated with the manuscript text. Insert each figure (as a low-resolution, 72 dpi version) and caption in the body of the paper directly after the paragraph in which it is referenced.
Should your article be accepted, your editor will request that you submit the high-quality art as separate files. See specifications below.
As you compose your manuscript and accompanying illustrations, keep the following requirements in mind:
- Numbering: All figures must be numbered (e.g., Fig. 1, Fig. 2a) and discussed in numerical order in the text (e.g., “...as shown in Fig. 1”). NOTE: Use "Fig." for one figure, "Figs" for multiple figures (e.g., Figs 1 and 3) and spell out "figure" if it is the first word in a sentence.
- Caption: A figure caption must be provided for each figure. The caption must include the figure number, text to describe the visual material in the figure and credits to the copyright holder and/or photographer. For figures depicting art objects, the work's creator (when it isn't your work), title, medium, dimensions and date of execution are required; 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.
- Fig. 1. hitchBOT thumbs up. (© David Harris Smith and Frauke Zeller. Photo: David Harris Smith.)
- Fig. 2. László Moholy-Nagy, AXL II, oil, graphite and ink on canvas, 1927, SRGM 64.1754, detail showing areas of unpainted, primed canvas in the two diagonal shafts. (Photo: Kristopher McKay. © Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Gift, Mrs. Andrew P. Fuller, 1964.)
- Fig. 3. CODEX Europe, 2014. Installation animating Wikipedia language edits from a 12-year period. (© Gavin Baily and Tom Corby)
- Credits in captions: Third-party materials must be properly credited in the caption. If the person granting permission of an illustration or text specifies particular wording, those instructions must be followed. However, the copyeditor of the article may make minor changes to conform to the journal’s style. Some works have more than one source and each must be cited.
NOTES: Your article cannot be posted to the Just Accepted page of the MIT Press website until all permission forms are signed and received and the figure captions include the proper credit in your manuscript. Your editor will check the format and style of the credits in the captions, but it is your responsibility to make sure that proper credit is given according to third-party agreements.
- Fig. 1. Mawalan Marika, Wagilag Creation Story, 1966, 116 × 40 cm, image courtesy Lauraine Diggins Fine Art (© Mawalan Marika/Viscopy).
- Fig. 2. El Lissitzky, Proun 19D, gesso, oil, varnish, crayon, colored papers, sandpaper, graph paper, cardboard, metallic paint and metal foil on plywood, 97.5 × 97.2 cm (38 3/8 × 38 1/4 in.), 1920 or 1921. Katherine S. Dreier bequest. (© Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York. Digital image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY.)
- Permissions: You are legally responsible to comply with copyright laws and laws of privacy and libel. Copyrights to illustrations published in the journal remain with their current copyright holders. Upon your article's acceptance, you must submit signed permissions to publish both text and images (see Forms and Templates). In cases where an image is copyrighted by a third party, you are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions, including online reproduction rights. This includes any illustration that you use with permission from another copyright holder, such as a photographer, museum or library. Any fees required to obtain illustrations or to secure copyright permissions are your responsibility. NOTE: MIT Press has provided an illustration policy that you should read and understand as you select, prepare and submit the illustrations in your article.
- Illustration file formats
- FOR CONTINUOUS-TONE IMAGES/FIGURES (e.g., photographs or graphics with smooth gradients):
- High-resolution digital images at 300 dpi or higher
- 7 inches wide (2,100 pixels wide; height is variable as appropriate)
- CMYK color space
- .tiff preferred; .jpg optional
- All levels must be adjusted.
- Artwork created or scanned at a lower resolution cannot be improved by resaving it at a higher resolution. The scanning of images of halftones (i.e., from books or other printed matter) results in images that do not reproduce well because moiré patterns are likely to result.
- Artwork is screened at 133 lines per inch (prescreened hardcopy artwork will be reproduced at the resolution in which it is submitted).
- FOR LINE ART IMAGES/FIGURES:
- We prefer vector files with editable layers. Acceptable formats include .eps, .ai, and .pdf.
- 7 inches wide (600 pixels per inch or better; 1,200 pixels per inch preferred)
- CMYK color space
- If fonts are used in a line art figure, use the same typeface for all figures, supply a duplicate file of the figure without the text, along with a file with text in place. Line art should be scanned or prepared at 600 pixels per inch or better (1,200 pixels per inch is preferred).
- FOR CONTINUOUS-TONE IMAGES/FIGURES (e.g., photographs or graphics with smooth gradients):
- Full color vs. one color: Full-color images are preferred where appropriate. Whenever possible, to ensure best quality of reproduction, black-and-white originals should be provided for images to be reproduced in black and white.
- Images of the artist/author: These are published only when the subject is an integral part of the artwork, as in the case of performance art.
- Filenaming convention: Use the following filename format for all figures: [lead author's last name]_FigXX.[extension].
Ackowledgments are optional. Keep them brief and do not include thanks to anonymous reviewers or editors. Grants may be acknowledged.
References and Notes
The use of references is strongly encouraged. Pay close attention to the following guidelines, as manuscripts will be returned to you for revision if the requirements are not met:
- The section should be headed with the following: References and Notes.
- References and notes must be compiled into one list appended at the end of the article's body text and before the glossary, appendixes, biographies and tables and charts.
- All sources cited in the text must be referenced.
- References and notes should follow a consistent style throughout the article.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to include accurate, complete and properly formatted citations. Leonardo editors will not check sources for accuracy nor make extensive formatting changes, though the copyeditor may perform a light edit for consistency.
- Sources of ideas and influences as well as previous related work of note should be referenced.
- General sources on the topic may be included in the "References and Notes" section and referred to in the text (preferred) or listed alphabetically by author as a General Bibliography.
- Reference numbers in the text should appear IN NUMERICAL ORDER in brackets on the line of the text. Do not use auto-formatted reference numbers that are available in word-processing programs in the inline text references or in the "References and Notes" section at the end of the article. Do not use superscript numbers.
- Each reference number should appear ONLY ONCE in the text. Subsequent references to the same source should have a new number and refer back to the initial reference.
12. See Jones  p. 32.
- Do not use footnotes. Notes to the text should be formatted as references.
- Abbreviate four or more author names to "et al."
- In the text, more than one reference can be grouped within a single set of brackets as follows:
[1,2] (no space between comma and next number)
[1--5] (for more than two refs)
- For books and exhibition catalogs, use the following format:
Sequential number. Author, Title of Book (place of publication: short form of publisher's name, date) page numbers. Include name of editor or translator, edition, date of original publication and any other pertinent information. Include page numbers of quotes.
- 1. Jonathan Smith, Visual and Plastic Arts (London: John Doe Press, 1976) p. 5.
Examples of alternative listings:
- If editor credit only—no author:
2. Joe Jones, ed., Visual and Plastic Arts (London: John Doe Press, 1976) p. 5.
- If no publisher available (City: date):
2. Joe Jones, ed., Visual and Plastic Arts (London: 1976) p. 5.
- If no city available (Publisher, date):
2. Joe Jones, ed., Visual and Plastic Arts (John Doe Press, 1976) p. 5.
- Chapter in a book:
2. Julie Anderson, “Art Now,” in Art Forever (New York: Albany Univ. Press, 1988) pp. 17--29.
- For periodicals, use the following format:
Sequential number. Author, “Title of Article,” Name of Periodical Volume Number, Issue Number, pages (date). Include both volume and issue numbers. If an issue number isn't available, insert date in its place. Include page numbers of quotes.
- 3. L. Artel, “Art and Technology,” Leonardo 39, No. 1, 435--441 (2005).
- If no issue number:
4. E. Coleman, “Appreciating ‘Traditional’ Aboriginal Art Aesthetically,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004) pp. 235--247.
- For unpublished papers
- 5. Ron Nachmann, "Nonsensical Editorial Guidelines," unpublished manuscript, 1998.
- For performances
- 6. Ron Nachmann, Editorial Dance of Woe, ISAST Theater, San Francisco, California, 1998.
- For notes, use the following format:
Sequential number. Note text that is cited in the text.
- 7. The priming layers on these paintings were made with similar combinations of zinc and lead white, with a small amount of calcium-containing filler.
- For online references, include the URL in angle brackets and provide the access date. Remove all hyperlinks and "http://" from address.
- 8. Kadhim Shubber, “This German artist is training geese to fly to the moon,” Wired.UK, 9 September 2013, <www.wired.co.uk/news/archive>, accessed 14 December 2016.
- 9. This experiment is described at <we-make-money-not-art.com/amb-working.php#.Uwe0XPRdUj2>, accessed 20 October 2013.
Please include a brief, 2–3 sentence biography for each author.
- AUTHOR NAME is a lecturer at University X in the Department of X. She received her PhD in architectural and art history from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012).
A glossary should be included if specialized or original terms are used in the article.
Extremely technical or detailed material should be placed at the end of the text in one or more appendixes, to which the text should refer. Authors may wish to include appendixes as supplemental materials if word count is an issue.
Tables and Charts
- Each table/chart must be numbered and discussed in sequential order in the text.
- A comprehensive table legend (like a figure caption) must be provided for each table/chart.
- Insert each table and legend in a sequentially ordered list at the end of the article, after the “References and Notes” section.
- If a chart includes graphics and/or text, save as an .eps file and supply a duplicate file of the chart without the text, along with a file with the text in place.
You are permitted to provide up to three additional files of supplementary materials (up to 100MB each) to accompany your article. Multimedia content may include videos, code, audio files, as well as additional images and/or other supplemental text files. Video file formats accepted include .mov, .avi or .mp4.
Supplemental materials are not peer reviewed and are posted just as you submit them—unedited and unformatted—so you should ensure that they are clearly presented and referenced properly in the body of your article. Each file must be accompanied with a title, 50-word description, caption (including appropriate credits and copyright information) and signed agreements and image releases when appropriate (see Forms and Templates).
Supplemental materials are posted on the MIT Press website when your final, published article is posted. They are not posted with your Just Accepted or Early Release article and are not available with your article on online databases such as Project MUSE or JSTOR, though they are freely available on the MIT Press website once they are posted (i.e., one doesn't need to be a subscriber to access the files).
Do not attempt to design or lay out your manuscript in any way with multiple fonts and point sizes, multiple columns, wrapped text, etc. The simpler, the better.
- Do not center headings.
- Do not justify lines.
- Do not insert two spaces after an end punctuation mark.
- Do not indent paragraphs or insert an additional hard return or extra spaces to indicate a new paragraph.
- Do not use the word processor autonumbering feature.
- Do not use footnote or endnote formatting linking notes to note markers.
- Insert titles, subheads and the like as isolated paragraphs. Indicate levels of heads with angle brackets (e.g., <1>, <2>).
- Do not use advanced formatting features intended to present the manuscript as it is to be published; minimally formatted text is more easily manipulated by editors and typesetters.
- Special characters: Use accented characters and non-Latin characters, math characters and such. If possible, please use the following convention for dashes:
- --- (three hyphens) for an em-dash (a long dash indicating a break in thought)
- -- (two hyphens) for an en-dash, used in ranges of numbers, as in "1898--1906"
- - (one hyphen) for hyphens in compound words
- Include RUNNING HEADERS that include your last name, article title (e.g., Smith, Article Title) and date and RUNNING FOOTERS that include the page number.
- DOCUMENT FORMATS:
- Font: Times New Roman
- Point size: 12 pt
- Line spacing: 1.5 lines
- Justification: Left
- Margins (top, bottom, left, right): 1”
- Space after paragraphs: 12 pt
- Auto-formatting of numbers: Off
- Hyphenation: Off
- Extracts: indent .5”
- ORDER OF ELEMENTS in an article:
- Article title
- Article subtitle (where appropriate)
- Author name(s)
- Author’s generic title (e.g., educator, artist), affiliation, author postal and/or email address
- ORCID iD
- Article text (with inline headings, bulleted and numbered lists, extracts, and figures and captions)
- References and Notes
- General Source Bibliography (where appropriate; may be supplemental material)
- Glossary (where appropriate; may be supplemental material)
- Appendixes (where appropriate; may be supplemental material)
- Bibliographical information: 1–2 sentences about author’s occupation and/or affiliations.
- Tables and charts
- Initial submission—manuscript: Your manuscript file must be saved as an MS Word document (not a PDF). Use the following filename format: [lead author last name]_ms.docx. Example: Smith_ms.docx.
- Initial submission—illustrations: Your manuscript should have low-res (72 dpi) versions of figures inserted directly after the paragraphs in which they are referenced, followed by their captions. You do not need to submit the high-quality versions of illustrations at this time, but if you have them, you may submit them at this time. See the figure specifications for resubmissions below.
- Resubmission—manuscript: Your revised manuscript file should still have low-res figures integrated in it and be saved as an MS Word document (not a PDF). Use the following filename format: [lead author last name]_ms_resubmit.docx. Example: Smith_ms_resubmit.docx.
- Resubmission—illustrations: When you resubmit your revised manuscript and figures, you should also submit the high-quality illustration files if you have not already posted them. See the figure guidelines above for final image file formats. Use the following filename format for all figures: [lead author's last name]_FigXX.[extension].
- We place priority on works by artists but also publish theoretical work, research and essays relating to art/science/technology.
- Papers submitted to Leonardo and LMJ should present original research findings, original analysis or original artwork. However, articles should also in general discuss existing work by others to provide a context for the work they present.
- Include a statement in your submission that states that your manuscript has not been published previously and is not being submitted for publication elsewhere.
- While other art-oriented publications cover art criticism, we do not publish living authors writing about other living persons (if the person is deceased or no longer professionally active it’s art history), and we make an exception for an author discussing concepts and theory and discussing the work of several living artists or scientists.
- Because one of the journal's primary purposes is to encourage artists to write about their work, the interview format is not recommended.
- Leonardo has ongoing special sections to which unsolicited submissions may be relevant. Please see the Opportunities Hub.
- If you require rapid publication, you may wish to consider submitting to Leonardo Statements, a rapid-publication venue for timely material in the field (restrictions apply).
- Refer to the Manuscript Guidelines at the beginning, middle and end of your manuscript's development. You will find something new every time you read it.
- Keep the formatting simple. Any design work you do to your manuscript that is above and beyond what is specified in the Manuscript Guidelines may complicate the review process and will be stripped out.
- Informative illustrations can be an important element of your article.
- Manuscripts for initial review should be submitted with embedded low-resolution images, which facilitates the review process. Don't include images that you do not have permission to use or that you will not be able to receive production-ready versions of in your initial submission.