Author guidelines

What types of articles can I submit?

Articles with different purposes take on different forms. All research articles are expected to comply with JoVI’s standards of validated and open evidence. Articles may fall under multiple types. Examples of different types of articles include:

An empirical research article draws generalizable or transferable conclusions about visualization and/or interaction using methods and results that have not been described or published in another peer-reviewed venue. Also in this type are replication studies that improve or challenge existing knowledge through better methodology than the original studies (e.g., higher statistical power, improved methods, new population). Further examples: empirical measurements, reanalyses, meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews.

A registered report (RR) is a subtype of the empirical research articles with two stages: In the initial submission, the motivation, methods, and potential interpretation of methods are described, but the data collection has not yet been performed. The reviewers can evaluate and recommend revision prior to the authors collecting data. Once the initial stage is accepted, the authors can run the study knowing that the results will not impact whether the study is published. The second stage of review primarily checks that the authors stuck to the original plan, documented any deviations, and drew appropriate conclusions. For more information, see Registered Reports at COS.

A systems or design research article extends what is possible in visualization and interactions, including interaction techniques, interactive systems, and tools. Articles in this type could also describe a design or engineering process that improves in, e.g., reusability, replicability, availability, efficiency, robustness, sustainability, or economy.

Research software packages are frameworks, libraries, or toolkits that are designed to be used by researchers in the visualization and interaction communities. Examples include R packages with new visualization types, software for guiding novices through statistical analysis, or frameworks to ease development effort for multi-device mixed-reality applications.

Commentary enables the field to recognize unseen phenomena, see new perspectives, or challenge the status quo. For example, a commentary might describe concerns related to the methodology, analysis, interpretation, or generalization of previous work, or suggest new directions for the field as a whole. It does not need to collect any new evidence, as it simply needs to explain the issue. Comments may be about JOVI articles or any article related to visualization or human-computer interaction.

A literature review or meta analysis article provides an overview over a subarea of our research field, by summarizing, contextualizing, and categorizing a (usually larger) body of previous work.

Previously-published work

JoVI does not accept work that has been published in other peer-reviewed journals or conferences or work that has been plagiarized without citation from other authors. Note that this is different from claims about the superficial novelty of a work.

Exception: Because methods and procedures are not copyrightable (17 U.S. Code §102(b)), they may be copied from any source. However, the original work should be clearly cited.

What do I need to make a submission?

Submission template

You may use a template that you are familiar with, from IEEE, ACM, EuroGraphics, APA, or other well-known journals or conferences. We strongly recommend using either the IEEE or ACM single-column style for your submissions.

However, JoVI has the following additional requirements:

  • Paper size: Either ISO A4 or US-Letter.
  • The page orientation must be portrait.
  • The layout is single-column.
  • Line heights for body text between 1.0x and 1.7x. Double-spaced body text, which is common in APA submissions, is not allowed.
  • We recommend 1.2x line spacing and a single column with 1.5-inch margins on the sides.
  • Figures, tables, and their captions must be in the body text rather than all at the end.


We expect the following sections in the paper:

  • Abstract
  • (contents of the paper…)
  • References
  • Research material statements*
  • Authorship*
  • License
  • Conflict of interest*
  • Appendices (optional)

If you wish to use anonymized review, ensure that all of the above sections in the paper are appropriately anonymized (e.g., for the Research materials section, include anonymized links to the research materials). Additionally, non-anonymized versions of the sections marked with (*) should be submitted as a separate PDF—which will be seen only by the editors.


We highly recommend all JoVI articles use a structured abstract. Structured abstracts provide a succinct overview of an article using a common set of sections. Which sections are used depends on the type of research and its goals. For example, articles with empirical methods should have a data collection section, while articles that do not analyze data to support a conclusion do not need such a section.

Your paper may fall into multiple types of work. We provide some example sections you may want to include in your structured abstract in the JoVI article template, depending on the type of work (while that template is written for the experimental track, similar structured abstracts can be used for papers written on the traditional track). You can use the example sections to fill in the subsections that apply to your paper, then delete these first two paragraphs and the subsections that do not apply to your paper. Please add, merge, rename, or re-order sections if you feel that would improve clarity. See also (partial) examples of structured abstracts.


For any reference entry that has a DOI, please append the DOI URL (prefixed with at the end of the reference entry. For example, see the last part of the following citation:

Besançon, Lonni, Anastasia Bezerianos, Pierre Dragicevic, Petra Isenberg, and Yvonne Jansen. 2021. “Publishing Visualization Studies as Registered Reports: Expected Benefits and Researchers’ Attitudes.”

This DOI URL allows CrossRef to recognize the references correctly. This issue is essential because some institutions still use citation counts from CrossRef for hiring or promotion.

Research material statements

Provide a URL to a repository containing raw data, open-source code, or (pre-)registrations, study materials, and any other supplemental materials or materials for reproducing this work. See Transparency and open research requirements for information on valid repositories below.

If materials cannot be shared at all or in the raw form, provide an explanation here.


Articles with multiple authors must describe the contributions of each author at the end of the article. Use the Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT).

  • A role may be performed by multiple authors
  • Not all roles are needed for every article
  • If an author of your paper performed a role not listed in the CRediT taxonomy, you can add it, but please do so sparingly.

An example authorship statement might read:

Aggie Eilwen: Investigation, Data Curation, Writing – Original Draft; Pedro Ellar: Writing – Review & Editing; Alena Ennio: Writing – Review & Editing, Supervision, Funding Acquisition.


JOVI articles are published with a CC-BY license or CC-BY-SA license.

For a CC-BY license, include the following text in your initial submission:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

For a CC-BY-SA license, include the following text in your initial submission:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Figures may be exempted from the CC-BY(-SA) licensing requirement, in which case they should have a copyright statement in their caption. However, we encourage CC-BY(-SA) licensing of figures if possible.

Conflicts of interest

All submissions must include a statement about potential conflicts of interest, including activities that potentially confer material or non-material rewards on the authors in connection with the topic of the article. The simplest example: “The authors declare that there are no competing interests.”

Page length

JoVI enforces no page limits on submissions. The page length of a paper should be commensurate with its contribution. Overly long papers are wasteful of the time of both readers and reviewers.

The corollary of this is that there is also no minimum page count for JoVI papers; short 2-page papers are encouraged if they represent small yet useful ideas of general value to the visualization and interaction community.

Delivery format

Traditional track: Deliver the article in one PDF file. If the paper will be reviewed anonymously, include a non-anonymized version in a separate PDF (this will not be released to reviewers). Experimental (“Github”) track: See How to submit page

Transparency and open research requirements

JOVI has implemented “Level 2” of the Transparency and Openness Promotion guidelines, which requires openness and transparency of any data and procedures used to produce results.

A summary table and the full guidelines are available from the Center for Open Science. Here is a brief overview:

  • Preregistration: If a preregistration was made as part of the research, it must be reported. Any deviations or additional analyses must also be explained and reported as exploratory. Work without a preregistration must be reported as exploratory.
  • Data collection material: Any code, stimuli, questionnaires, or other materials used to collect empirical data must be provided along with instructions and documentation needed to replicate the procedure.
  • Empirical data: Any data collected as evidence must be reported in as raw a form as possible. Aggregation and preprocessing should be avoided unless there is a documented explanation. However, a “cleaned” or simplified version of the data may also be included for convenience.
    Exceptions to this rule will only be granted in extraordinary cases, and only after careful ruling out of alternative options (e.g., adding noise to data to de-identify it).
  • Code and analyses: Any code or analyses used to produce results must be provided and should be described and documented in enough detail to be easily reproduced.

If any of these artifacts are not used as part of the article (e.g., for a comment article), authors are of course not required to provide them.

What if my data has private or personally identifiable information?

You can use a protected-access repository. See OSF’s list of protected access repositories.

JOVI recommends Databrary. Although the description on their website emphasizes video and audio, they also accept other data types such as transcripts.

Where do I share code, data, and other materials?

The Open Science Framework is JOVI’s recommended repository for all supplemental material. Any repository that is compatible with the FAIR principles is also acceptable as long as the repository:

  1. provides a unique immutable identifier
  2. time-stamps each version or update
  3. content is interoperable and accessibly documented
  4. has a long-term plan for persistence

A list of many compliant repositories is available at

Non-compliant repositories

  • Github: Github does not meet standards for persistence and immutability. However, you can use OSF (instructions) or Zenodo (instructions) to create a persistent copy of a Github Repository. Note that for OSF, you need to make a “registration” to archive the Github content; otherwise, it simply acts as a portal.
  • Personal or lab website: These websites are not immutable and are practically never persistent.

What if my data is too large for OSF?

OSF will work for files up to 1 GB. For larger datasets, try a service such as Data Dryad. Feel free to ask the editors for help.

Making the repository anonymous

To submit an OSF repository with an anonymous submission:

  1. Ensure that the repository is private
  2. Create an anonymous version of a project.
  3. Create a view-only link to an anonymous version of a preregistration.

Supplementary repository vs. paper repository

Supplementary materials mentioned in this section are on a repository maintained by the author. This “supplementary repository” is separated from the “paper repository”—which JoVI creates on GitHub for each paper. This separation of ownership allows the authors to use their supplementary repository for (1) past/future papers on the same line of research, (2) keeping the preregistration records that were done prior to submission. The paper repository enables JoVI continuous and open reviewing process.

What if my interactive article requires server-side execution?

We prefer self-contained web applications as they will likely remain working in the long run. It may be possible to make your software self-contained as a WebAssembly application. See ongoing work in R and Python. However, there could be situations where the solutions above do not work or are unsuitable, e.g., works that require heavy computation.

If server-side execution is unavoidable, we expect the following in your submission:

  1. Your primary submission will be a “lite” version that can demonstrate the essence of the work in a self-contained package (HTML + Javascript). Upon publication, only the lite version will be archived by JoVI.
  2. The full version must be accessible to reviewers and editors throughout the reviewing process. After publication, maintaining the full version is at the authors’ discretion.
  3. A Docker file that allows your server-side infrastructure to be reproduced

I analyzed my data via a GUI and do not have analysis code.

Many GUI-based statistical software actually keep track of what you did in code that you can export, e.g., [SPSS], [JMP]. If your software does not provide script exports, please capture the steps that you went through as detailed as you can (e.g., indicate which options were checked or not, or provide screenshots). As a last resort, describe the statistical methods that you use in as much detail as you can.

Lastly, once you have the data in the table ready for GUI statistical software, running the analysis in R is only 2–3 lines of code. Many tutorials are accessible free of charge over the internet, e.g., Koji Yatani’s and Jacob Wobbrock’s, and Hadley Wickham et al..

Anonymity and secrecy

During the reviewing process, authors may choose to be anonymous or not. Reviewers may choose to sign their reviews or to remain anonymous. Editors will always know who the authors and the reviewers are. Potential editors may also see who the authors are during editor recruitment.

Sharing preprints prior to submission is encouraged.

Humane and transparent reviewing

JoVI aims for a collaborative, humane, and transparent review process. Reviewing is implemented as a (potentially anonymous) discussion between the authors and the reviewers rather than a one-sided argument about whether to accept or reject a manuscript.

  • Pre-review feedback: After initial submission, an action editor will perform a preliminary review to check for minor obvious problems. Broken URLs, formatting issues, a garbled figure, licensing concerns, and etc. may simply result in a request from the editor to resubmit a fixed version before it is sent out for review. You can resubmit as soon as the issue(s) is fixed.

  • Accommodating both sides: After the initial pre-review feedback, editors will recruit reviewers and ask each of them to give a timeframe for their review. Generally, we aim for the first round of the reviews to be returned to the authors in around 6 weeks after the pre-review approval.

  • Non-arbitrary: JoVI strives for reviews focused on the validity of claims and clarity of explanation. Reviews should also not rely on arbitrary thresholds such as minimum subject counts or maximum p-values.

  • Typos happen: Typos or minor grammatical mistakes are inevitable, and they can be especially difficult to detect for people who do not have English as a native language. We strongly recommend that you carefully proofread your manuscript before submitting and after any revision. But as long as the manuscript is clear and understandable, these issues will not affect the score by reviewers. They may simply add an additional minor revision request.

  • Editor review: Action editors check reviews before sending them to authors, and they may ask reviewers to rewrite a part of their review that comes across as overly personal. Should an author receive any personal or inappropriate comment in a review, they are encouraged to contact the editor or any member of the editorial board.

Submission instructions

See How to submit.


After a manuscript has been accepted by JoVI, it will be published through Aalborg University Press. The manuscript will receive a DOI. We are currently exploring the possibility of versioned DOIs, which will make it possible to submit updates to an existing article and turn it into a living, evolving document of the research process.

We recommend all authors read the reviewing guide for further information about the criteria and the reviewing process.