Login or Register to make a submission.

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission adheres to the idea journal Author Guidelines.
  • All images have permission to be published in idea journal and an image permission sheet has been uploaded.
  • The author has included an Orcid Number, affiliation, keywords, and biography to the author profile and the manuscript.

Author Guidelines (revised May 2022) 

These guidelines are for the manuscript for the final/revised manuscript only. For the peer-review manuscript, please ensure that all identifying elements are removed such author information, acknowledgements, bios, etc. Image permissions and final image files will be submitted at the stage of final or reviesed manuscript after peer review. 

Manuscript: There are two submission categories. Both essay forms should be formatted in Arial/10 pt/ 1.5 spacing, left margin justified only, and UK English. Please clearly state which category you are using in your abstract.

A text-based research essay takes the form of an academic essay where text leads and images and/or figures supplement the text. It is 5000-7000 words long, including notes, captions, and acknowledgements. Low-resolution thumbnail images (approx. 20 x 30 mm) should be inserted into the text with captions formatted as Arial/ 8 pt/ regular. The manuscript should be submitted for peer-review as an A4 Word document (.docx), not a .pdf, and without identifying the author(s).

A visual-based research essay uses the space of the page in a conceptual manner and the compositional arrangement of visual imagery and/or text as a creative work. Visual-based research essays should be submitted for peer review in 2 parts:

  • The first part is a Word document (.docx) that includes the title, keywords, 300-word abstract, and notes. A text portion of 0-2500 words (excluding the abstract) may be included to contextualise, introduce, and/or frame the visual imagery.
  • The second part is a single .pdf document that includes a maximum of 10 image pages in preferred order, A4, compressed to no more than 20MB. If these pages include text, save as an .eps file prior to saving as a .pdf file, and submit both. The journal is formatted in portrait orientation, visual-based research essays can be full-bleed on the page, but single page only; not double spread. Save all your original files so that future revisions can be made. See the following visual essays from previous issues for reference:

Lovers in an Upstairs Room by Maria Gil Ulldemolins

Sympathetic World-making: Drawing-out Ecological-Empathy by Pia Ednie-Brown, Beth George, Michael Chapman, Kate Mullen

Silvering (slowly)Augmentation, age, and mattering by Carl Douglas, Sue Gallagher, Emily O'Hara, Rafik Patel, Nooroa Tapuni


From the void, the night: A drawing-writing correspondence by Jen Archer-Martin, Lisa Munnelly



idea journal uses a variation of MHRA style (http://www.mhra.org.uk/style/) in which the notes are included at the end of the essay as endnotes and there is no bibliography. Endnotes list each source reference used in text- and visual-essays. References are written in full the first time the source is listed (including page number), and written using a ‘shortened notes’ style (not ibid.) on subsequent citations. Please avoid using endnotes as a place to add further detailed information; best to work that information into the text if it is crucial. Use superscript reference numbers such as this: 1 (not Roman numerals) to indicate each notes location in the text. idea journal follows all other facets of MHRA style guide, including when using quotation marks, acronyms, italics, dates and numbers etc.

Some other style suggestions from the editors:

  • Make a habit of introducing people when you mention them for the first time, such as political scientist Maxine Bardeen.
  • Spell out acronyms in the first mention, such as Design Institute of Australia (DIA). Offer definitions for key terms, especially if you are using them in a unique way. Avoid jargon.

Video/audio material  

idea journal welcomes the use of video and audio material. For the peer-review submission, insert hyperlinks to that material in a location that does not identify you such as a Google folder, a Vimeo site or YouTube. Most video and audio material is too big for the journal portal to be uploaded.

Spelling, punctuation, and grammar 

At point of peer-review submission, and final submission, the journal requires each author to take responsibility for checking their essay’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar in relation to MHRA style guide. Essays will be returned if they have not been checked.

Submitting a revised and/or final manuscript

If a manuscript is deemed satisfactory to progress to a next stage of minor or major revisions, authors will be given a date by which those revisions are due. Essays are not formally accepted until the final stage of the publication process when all material has been received and proofs have been approved. Revisions to be made will be indicated using Word’s Track Change function or, in the case of a PDF, using the sticky notes and highlighting function in Acrobat Pro.

Title (Times New Roman/20 pt/bold/ black)

Author Name (Times Roman/ 14 pt/ bold/ black) In the case of multiple authors, list them in the preferred order.

Affiliation (Arial/ 10 pt/ bold/ black)

Orcid number (Arial/ 08 pt/ regular/ dark grey 2). Example:  0000-0016-5273-0211

Keywords: The word ‘keywords’ (Arial/ 10pt/ bold/ black) and 5 keywords only (separated by semi-colon, all lower case unless proper nouns, Arial/10 pt/ regular/ black)


Abstract:  The word ‘abstract’  (Times Roman/ followed by 300 words maximum (not a repeat of the introduction section of the essay), no quotes or footnotes, (Arial/10 pt/ regular/ black).

Section Headings: (first one is sometimes considered an Introduction): Heading Title (Times Roman/ 10 pt/ bold/ black).

Section Sub-headings: (Times Roman/ 10 pt/ bold/ black).

Figures: Locate each figure by including in the text [insert Fig X here]. Close to that location in the text, insert a low res thumbnail of the image no larger than 4 cm in either direction. Under that thumbnail, provide a short and informative caption for each image; do not repeat what is already in the text. Follow the caption with an image credit.  If the image has a permission associated with it, include that also. (Arial/ 8pt/ regular/ dark grey 2) Example:

[insert Fig. 02 here].

Figure 02. The coastal landscape ravaged by the storm. Sally McManus, 2022. With permission from Turnbull Library Archives, Wellington, Aotearoa.

Acknowledgements Thank you, mentors, funding agencies and Acknowledgement to country (if appropriate) (Times Roman/ 10 pt/ bold/ black) and the text (Arial/ 10 pt/ regular/ black).

Author Biography (Times Roman 14 pt/ bold/ black) and text 50-100 words/ 50 each if there are more than one author.

Notes (Times Roman/ 8 pt/ bold/ black) followed by all notes, numbered 1, 2, 3 superscript using word endnote function (Arial, 8 pt/ regular unless MHRA indicates italics/ black, all urls hyperlinked.

If your manuscript includes a video or sound file, locate were you would like it to be posted as a Figure with a link or just a link and give it a caption and credits the same as an Figure.