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Submission Guidelines

The following instructions apply to articles. (To submit a review of a book, recording, event, or product, visit To have such an item reviewed, send an inquiry to [email protected] with “[CMJ]” in the subject line.)

Manuscripts must be submitted on the Web at First register as an author, then log in and select “New Submission.” If you have questions or receive no acknowledgment within one week, please contact the Editor at [email protected], with a subject line that includes "[CMJ MS].”

Before submitting a manuscript, study the Journal's guidelines below, as well as the manuscript template and the style and spelling guide, available in the following forms:

CMJ Article Template (Word, 23k)

CMJ Article Template (LaTeX, zipped)

CMJ Style and Spelling Guide (PDF) 

Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that the editors may revise them for clarity and to conform to the Journal’s style. Manuscripts are peer-reviewed by at least two anonymous referees, and authors are sent proofs before publication. 

Copyright Policy

Manuscripts are received with the understanding that they represent original material and are not being considered elsewhere for print or digital publication. Six months after being published in the Computer Music Journal, the articles may be posted online, subject to restrictions stated here. Authors will be requested to sign a transfer of copyright to MIT so that authors and publishers may be protected from misuse of copyrighted material. If an earlier version has been or will be published in conference proceedings, please send that version as well; extensive rewording and substantive additions are required.


The manuscript must be submitted as an anonymous PDF file. The PDF document properties must not include the author’s name or institution. (See “Ensuring a Blind Peer Review” during the online submission process.) In the manuscript itself, omit the by-line, author addresses, acknowledgments, and unnecessary mentions of your institution. Also replace each obvious self-citation with “Reference removed for anonymity,” but retain the year. Delete the corresponding item from the References list. Also submit a supplementary file, for the editors only, that lists all the deleted material, being sure to deselect the checkbox labeled “Present file to reviewers.”


Please put your text into the Journal’s Word (preferred) or LaTeX template, then apply the appropriate style to every paragraph, including headings, code examples, references, etc. Start with an abstract of about 200 words. All material should be double-spaced, including references and figure captions. Put page numbers in the page header or footer. In the page setup, use Letter size, not A4. The submitted material should not exceed 32 pages, including references and figures. If possible, insert figures into the document where first discussed; otherwise, supply figures separately and use clearly visible figure callouts in the text, e.g., “(INSERT FIGURE 3 ABOUT HERE).” Generate a PDF file from the Word or LaTeX version.

Editing Guidelines

  • Articles should be presented in a formal essay style, with a single flow of text. Employ parenthetical expressions sparingly, and write in complete sentences. The Journal uses neither footnotes nor lists of bulleted items.
  • There are, at most, three levels of headings. Sections are not numbered. Their titles are printed with initial uppercase letters on all important words (not all uppercase).
  • Put at least one sentence between a heading and its first subheading.
  • The running text must mention each figure: e.g., "Figure 3 demonstrates this dependency." The first mentions must appear in the same order as the figures and tables.
  • Italicize the first use of a new term or item of jargon; do not use italicization or fonts for emphasis. Program code, however, uses a fixed-width font.


  • Cite references in the text by author’s last name and year of publication, in parentheses with no comma. Multiple citations from the same author are separated by commas, e.g., “(Castine 2004, 2006).” Citations from different authors use semicolons, e.g., “(Roads 1981; Roads and Pope 1997).”
  • References should be listed (unnumbered) alphabetically—chronologically for a particular author—at the end of the article. List cited references only. The Journal uses the Chicago Manual of Style format, with periods separating most items:
    • Feller, R. 2011. "Formatting References." Computer Music Journal 13(3): 51–55.
    • Cahill, M., and B. Terry. 1996. "All About References." Proceedings of the 1996 International Computer Music Conference, pp. 51–54.
    • Wyse, L., G. Tzanetakis, and D. Van Nort. 2004. Book References. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  • See the style guide for more examples.


Algorithms should be described in a well-known programming language and thoroughly commented (i.e., more English than program). To prevent incorrect line breaks, algorithms are presented as figures. 


Please submit all artwork as grayscale computer files. Diagrams reliant on color must be avoided. We require EPS (Encapsulated—not plain—PostScript) for line art, such as graphs, and TIFF (266 dpi minimum, at the desired print size) for bitmaps, such as photos and screen images. Avoid converting bitmaps to EPS, or line art to TIFF. To ensure legibility of line art, line settings should be no thinner than 0.5 points. The first word of each label in the artwork should start with an uppercase letter.

For the initial submission, place figures in-line in the manuscript. Upon acceptance, each figure must be supplied in a separate file, without the figure caption or figure number. Each subfigure must be in its own file, without the subfigure letter, e.g., “(a)” or “(b).” Include a README file describing the art files, their captions, and the programs that generated them.

Media Examples

Media examples that supplement the manuscript are encouraged, for possible inclusion in the Journal's annual Sound and Video Anthology. Please include short program notes. Contact the Editor about how to provide media files. Data files and software may also be provided.


For all other questions of style, please refer to the Journal’s style guide and to The Chicago Manual of Style (University of Chicago Press).

Peer Review Taxonomy

Identity transparency: Double anonymized
Reviewer interacts with: Editor
Review information published: None

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