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Submission Guidelines

Editorial Scope

The journal invites manuscripts that enrich the understanding and practice of design in any area of human endeavor. Their orientation may lie in the investigation of design in the past, present, or future and may employ any approach or method that is suited to the exploration of design issues. The journal welcomes manuscripts that give evidence of originality, rigor, and significance.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Models (LLM)

In accordance with MIT Press Policy, Design Issues requires that authors who use Artificial Intelligence tools (i.e., ChatGPT), in the development of their manuscripts to produce text or images/graphics or to collect data, must inform: 1) the editors of this use (in the cover letter), and 2) the readers (using transparency in the manuscript) so that readers can understand how the AI tools contributed to the research. This identifying information is best placed in the Introduction but can be included in the Methods, Results, or Conclusion sections. See “Policy on the use of AI tools by MIT Press authors” 


The preferred method of submission is by email to: A Submission File should include: 1) Microsoft Word ONLY, double-spaced typed manuscript, containing an approximate maximum of 5,500 words (not including footnotes and captions), a brief abstract along with keywords identified, and image copies embedded within text and appropriately placed; 2) One paragraph of approximately 100 words explaining how this submission fits within the editorial scope (see above); 3) One cover letter containing for each author named: current affiliation, previous publications, email address, a biographical statement of 50–100 words (email may be included; bios will be used for publication on Contributors’ Page if the submission is accepted), and acknowledgment of any artificial intelligence used in the compilation or research of the manuscript; 4) A Caption Sheet identifying numbered images. Each caption must contain a title or brief description of the image including a credit line of the rights-holder; 5) An Image File containing high-resolution (350 dpi) with each image numbered to align with the caption sheet (ONLY tiff, jpeg, or eps). Images sized for print-ready clarity (see below for more details). Submission files that are too large for Email transmission should be submitted via a public domain (i.e., Dropbox) with Email notification to the managing editor at NOTE: Authors will be required to obtain and provide proper permissions to reprint any images, etc., for which they do not hold rights and should ensure the permissions will be obtainable if publication occurs.

Manuscript Text Format

The style of manuscripts should conform to the the Chicago Manual of Style (CMoS), 17th edition (; DOI: 10.7208/cmos17), published by the University of Chicago Press. Pages should be numbered consecutively.


Footnotes should identify authors’ first and last names (not initials) and be numbered consecutively. References to footnotes within the text are indicated with corresponding superscripted numbers, placed chronologically and individually (it is within the actual footnote that several may be merged into one), appearing primarily at the ends of sentences, or when mid-sentence, following punctuation. Style should conform to footnote style in the CMoS using superscripts. Design Issues does not use Reference or Bibliography sections. Quotations from foreign language sources should be translated into English (Roman font) inside brackets within the text. All foreign titles in footnotes (articles, books, journals, etc.) should also be translated into English and placed inside brackets immediately following the foreign title. Internet sources must be cited as the following example: “" (accessed January 24, 2023).”

Illustrations, Graphics, and Photos

Line art should be scanned at a minimum of 1200 dpi in bitmap mode and saved as EPS files. Grayscale/halftone (this means there is no color but the gradations of black and white are complex); art to be reproduced as halftones should be scanned at 350 dpi in gray-scale mode and saved as TIFF files. Photographs can be grayscale as well as graphs. Full-color art or images should be scanned at 350 dpi in CMYK mode and saved as TIFF files. Color images will be converted to black and white/grayscale. All visuals should be supplied digitally. We will not accept art, illustrations, or photos obtained from websites, as they are too small for legible print reproduction. Also, whiteboard presentations as graphics will not be accepted, only computer-rendered graphics; screen captures will not be accepted unless the image is legible within approximately 2” x 2” space. These guidelines assume that the overall size of the graphic is sufficient for end-use reproduction. When in doubt: the larger, the better. Any images, etc. which accompany your manuscript should be identified with the figure number corresponding to the position within the text, as well as a caption or description and appropriate credit/source information. NOTE: Authors are responsible for obtaining permission, whenever necessary and as required, for the reproduction of all illustrations, graphics, or photos for which they do not hold the rights.

Visual Projects

Design Issues invites submission of visual projects of a theoretical or experimental nature. The primary criteria for selection are that the work be provocative and of high visual quality. (See above for graphic standards.)

Book Reviews

Book reviews are solicited by the Book Review Editor. The length of the review will be determined jointly by the Book Review Editor and the Editorial Board. Reviews should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style and the editorial guidelines mentioned above. Book reviews should include: book’s title; author’s name including any editors, translators, etc.; city/state/country where published; press name; year of publication; ISBN; total page count; identify if illustrated or not; soft or hardcover; and USD amount. Persons interested in being considered as reviewers should send a current CV/resume to Managing Editor Gail Papay.

Recently Published Books

Publishers should send recently published books and other materials for possible review to Design Issues, c/o the Book Review Editor (see address below).

Responses from Readers

Design Issues encourages written responses to published articles and reviews, as well as comments on general or related issues. Letters should be limited to 1,500 words. Letters that comment on articles and reviews will be sent to the author of the original article for their response.

Open Access

For each issue of Design Issues one article is selected as a free downloadable contribution. For all remaining articles, authors may purchase “Open Access,” if they wish, by contacting MIT directly. Contact information, fees, and policies can be found here.

Design Issues and Peer Review

The purpose of this guidance is to brief authors on the process through which their manuscripts will be reviewed for publication in Design Issues and to support our peer reviewers in meeting the Editorial Board’s expectations.

The Value of Peer Review

For Design Issues the peer review process has four specific benefits among others. It helps to: (1) ensure the publication of high-quality research, (2) validate the integrity and trustworthiness of the scholarly record, (3) assist in the further development of an author’s manuscript, and (4) build the knowledge base that helps define a scholarly community. In itself, peer review is a continuous process that helps advance the integrity and quality of published work so that it contributes to the pool of knowledge underpinning design research. The mission of Design Issues aligns with these aims.

The Principles of Peer Review

Excellence Manuscripts selected for publication will demonstrate the highest standards of excellence as assessed by experts in the field.
Impartiality Expert peer reviewers will be selected against clear criteria and required to undertake their work without bias or conflict of interest. All manuscripts submitted to Design Issues will be treated equally regardless of their origin or identity of the authors.
Transparency All manuscripts will be considered against the review criteria set out for Design Issues (see below). Authors will receive adequate feedback on their proposals to which they may respond. Peer reviewers must disclose any use of Artificial Intelligence (how it was used, any prompts or sections, and dates of use).
Efficiency The review process at Design Issues has evolved to provide robust assessments within the shortest timescales possible and without unnecessarily overloading peer reviewers.
Confidentiality Data and intellectual property will be treated confidentially by all persons or agencies involved in the processes of peer review undertaken on behalf of Design Issues.

The Criteria for Peer Review

All manuscripts received by Design Issues will go before the Editorial Board and there will be no desk rejections prior to their consideration. In reading manuscripts the Editorial Board will apply two sets of criteria:

Threshold criteria
  • Does the manuscript fall within the editorial scope of Design Issues?
  • Is the use of academic English sufficient to merit publication?
Quality criteria
  • The originality of the author’s argument
  • The clarity and completeness of the argument (e.g., does the author take into account the relevant literature?)
  • The persuasiveness of the author’s conclusions (e.g., is the method and evidence provided by the author rigorous and adequate?)
  • The accessibility of the author’s writing style

The Stages of Peer Review

The full process of peer review has three stages through which some, but not all, manuscripts will progress: Stage one—new submissions; Stage two—peer reviewer feedback; Stage three—revised manuscripts. The Design Issues Editorial Board meets monthly to fully discuss and progress each manuscript through each of these three stages.

  • Stage One

    For each new proposal the Board will make one of the following decisions:

    • If the editors judge that a manuscript does not meet the threshold criteria (see above), it will receive no further consideration from the Board and be declined.
    • If a manuscript does not meet the journal’s requirements for publication (where, for example, it exceeds the maximum word limit set out for Design Issues or does not meet its citation or bibliographic requirements) but has merits, the author[s] may be first offered an opportunity to make revisions before consideration.
    • If the editors judge that a manuscript does not sufficiently meet the quality criteria for it to be sent out to peer review, it will be readily declined.
    • If the editors judge that a manuscript does meet the quality criteria, it will be sent out to peer reviewers for their independent assessment.
    • If the editors conclude that all aspects of a manuscript are of such a high quality of excellence that it should be put into the public domain without further delay, it will be directly accepted for publication.
  • Stage Two

    At this stage the Editorial Board will consider feedback and advice from peer reviewers (who will have been asked to assess manuscripts against the quality criteria [see above]) and then make one of the following decisions:

    • Publish as is
    • Publish with Minor Revisions (Conditional Accept)
    • Revise & Resubmit
    • Major Revision
    • Decline
  • Stage Three

    At this stage the Editorial Board will decide either to:

    • Publish
    • Decline
    • If the Board decides to decline a manuscript, it will provide the author(s) with an adequate explanation for the reasoning behind its decision. Beyond this the Editorial Board’s decision is final and there is no process for appeal.

The Process of Peer Review

The Editorial Board alone is responsible for deciding which manuscripts are to be published in Design Issues after taking account of advice and feedback from independent experts in the field.

The process of peer review, as operated by Design Issues, is double blind (i.e., neither the author(s) nor the peer reviewer(s) will know each other’s identity at any stage of the process).

The Editorial Board will identify peer reviewers from its international network of experts and match their expertise to the substance of the research under review.

Peer review is a confidential process between the editors, author(s), and reviewer(s) and all parties will respect this confidentiality.

Peer reviewers are required to review manuscripts personally and not to pass this responsibility onto another person without the Journal’s specific knowledge and agreement.

Peer Reviewers are required to acknowledge any artificial intelligence (i.e., ChatGPT) used in the compilation of their peer review report by identifying how it was used, any specific prompts or sections, and the dates of use. Peer reviewers who use AI must accept responsibility for the confidentiality and security of the manuscript’s content.

No information gathered through the review process will be used to advantage or disadvantage any other researcher or research.

All communications and interactions between the reviewer(s) and the author(s) will be managed through the Editorial Board.

A peer review will be owned by its author; and in submitting peer review assessments, reviewers grant the Journal’s Editorial Board the right to make their blinded peer reviewer comments available to the author(s) should the Board decide to do so.

Becoming a Peer Reviewer for Design Issues

Many authors benefit from the process of peer review. Their experience is an invaluable resource to the continued health of the design research community. Those authors wishing to become a peer reviewer for Design Issues should send their CV to the Journal’s Managing Editor Gail Papay for consideration by the Editorial Board:

Editorial Correspondence

Design Issues c/o Gail Papay
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University
Peter B Lewis Building, Room 345
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
Telephone: 216-368-2456

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