Dialectic Submission

Dialectic seeks to publish scholarship, analytical study and criticism that will enlighten and inform a diverse audience of design educators engaged not only in classroom teaching experiences but also in differing forms of research and professional practice. The journal's advisory and editorial boards recognize that design education, along with design research and professional practice, exist in relationships that are now broadly informed by theoretical frameworks and applications of knowledge derived from the social and applied sciences, the humanities, and other professions such as business, education, information technology and media studies. The outcomes of these synergies often result in the invention, discovery, understanding, and dissemination of new knowledge, innovation, and best practices.

Because of the heterogeneous makeup of Dialectic's targeted readership, and their respective educational realities and career goals, the journal welcomes submissions of varying types and focus that address differing topics, issues, and interests. On occasion, Dialectic will operate calls for submissions that address particular issues and themes that its Editorial and Advisory Boards feel are relevant and pertinent for its readership to examine more closely.

Dialectic is open access, double-blind-peer reviewed, and the official journal of the AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC). Our open access policy means that all articles and visual narratives are available on the internet to all users immediately upon publication. Non-commercial use and distribution in any medium is permitted, provided the author and the journal are properly credited.

Benefits of open access for authors include but are not limited to:

  • Free access for all users from across the world
  • All authors and creators of visual narratives retain copyright to their work
  • Overall visibility and readership of the work Dialectic publishes is increased

Published articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, which permits anyone to download, copy, distribute, or display the full text without asking for permission, provided that the creator(s)/author(s) are given full credit, no derivative works are created, and the work is not used for commercial purposes.

Authors do not pay fees to publish in Dialectic, and they retain intellectual copyrights for their work.

About Dialectic

Dialectic seeks to publish scholarship, analytical study and criticism that will enlighten and inform a diverse audience of design educators, design researchers and scholars, and design practitioners who are and have been engaging in diverse forms of teaching, research and professional practice, and who are seeking to share and construct new knowledge and understandings in and across these areas.

Focus and Scope for Dialectic

Dialectic publishes research, scholarship and criticism that contribute to the bases of knowledge that inform design education, design research and design practice, and—in particular—work that bridges gaps in understanding between these areas, as well as gaps in understanding that exist between professional and academic disciplines that are operate outside of design.

Submission Checklist

Manuscripts that are, from a grammatical and syntactic standpoint, poorly written are also likely to be rejected by Dialectic’s Editorial Board, Advisory Board and/or Producer during the desk review process. Authors are encouraged to seek and heed the counsel of readers or editors who can provide them with grammatical and syntactic assistance PRIOR to submitting their work to Dialectic’s Editorial and Advisory Boards and its Producer for initial review.

Download an example of three formatted manuscript pages (PDF)

Download Dialectic’s categorized citation formatting instructions (PDF)

A complete submission to Dialectic must include:

  1. A double-spaced, typed manuscript created ONLY in MS Word set flush-left, ragged-right in 11 pt. Calibri, Corbel or Times New Roman that adheres to the word count restrictions specified in the section of this website titled “WHAT WE PUBLISH;” images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. must be embedded as “for-position-only” entities (i.e. ~120 to 200 dpi) in the body of the manuscript so that they appear reasonably proximal to the language that refers to them. Each image, table, diagram, map, etc. must ALSO be submitted as individual files at 300 dpi as per the instructions articulated in issue 5 below. The type of piece (again, from the section of this website titled “Categorical descriptions of the refereed types of pieces Dialectic will publish”) must appear at top of the first page of each manuscript, followed by the title of the piece and the names of the authors. This manuscript should be submitted as a separate document under a file titled like this: “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_first four words of manuscript title”. Each manuscript should be submitted according to the categorical description it fulfills from the list above when the author(s) navigates his/her web browser to https://dialectic.submittable.com/submit to upload his/her/their paper/piece.
  2. One cover letter including, for each author named: his/her current affiliations and email address(es), (additionally, up to three references to previous publications may be listed—these are optional and are NOT required). This cover letter should be submitted as a separate document under a file titled like this: “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_cover letter”.
  3. For each author: a brief, biographical statement of no more than 125 words that includes his/her/their e-mail address(es); please bear in mind that bios will be appear in the “Contributors” section of Dialectic if his/her/their submission is published. This biographical statement should be submitted as a separate document under a file titled like this: “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_bio”.
  4. A separate page or pages saved as one document that provides sequentially numbered captions for the images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. used to support/“illustrate” the prose that constitutes the submission. Each caption must be comprised of between 15 and 100 words that describes the image, table, diagram, map, etc. All photographs and illustrations must include a rights-holder credit line. This list of captions should be submitted as a separate document under a file titled like this: “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_captions”.
  5. All images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. must be submitted as individual files (formatted ONLY as .tiff or .eps at 300 dpi). All of these should be sized to approximately 4” x 4”. Each one of these should be submitted as a separate document under files titled like these: “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_image01”; “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_table01”; “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_diagram01”; “Author or Authors’ Name(s)_map01”. The numbers used in these file titles should correspond with the numbers used in the sequentially numbered captions document described in issue 4 above.
  6. NOTE: All authors will be required to obtain and provide express, written permissions to reprint any images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. for which they do not hold rights. Authors should NOT submit images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. if they are unsure they will be able to obtain permission to reprint if and when publication occurs.

Footnotes

Footnotes should be numbered consecutively, and references to them indicated by corresponding numbers in the text. Style should conform to Chicago Manual Style, 16th edition footnote style. Quotations from foreign language sources should be translated into English in the text; their original manifestation, if necessary, may appear in footnotes. Internet sources must be cited as the following example: www. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/xxx (accessed December 4, 2015).

Illustrations, Graphics, and Photos

Any images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. that accompany a submission to Dialectic should be identified with the figure number corresponding to its position within the prose it accompanies/supports, as well as a caption or description and appropriate credit(s) information. All visuals should be supplied digitally according to the parameters specified in item 5 above. The following general guidelines assume that the overall size of a given image, table, diagram, map, etc. is sufficient for end-use/final reproduction. When in doubt: the larger, the better, although please be aware that nothing larger than a physical size of 8.5” x 11” will be accepted. Dialectic will not accept any types of art, illustrations, or photos obtained via simple “copy-and-paste” lifts from websites, as these are too often rendered at too small a resolution for legible print reproduction. Additionally, no whiteboard presentations will be accepted in lieu of other types of imagery that could effectively communicate this information as a diagram, map or table created in a graphics application software program. Please do not submit screen captures unless they can be clearly rendered at 8.5” x 11” at a resolution of 300 dpi. All line art should be scanned at a minimum of 1200 dpi in bitmap mode and saved as .eps files. Grayscale imagery (meaning there is no RGB or CMYK color present, but that the gradations between black and white are complex) must be rendered as halftones at a resolution of 300 dpi and saved in grayscale mode as .tiff files. Photographs can be submitted both as grayscale imagery or as full spectrum visuals; if they are the latter, they must be rendered in CMYK mode at 300 dpi and saved as .tiff files. AGAIN: All authors are responsible for obtaining permission, whenever necessary and as required, for the reproduction of all images, tables, diagrams, maps, etc. for which they do not hold the rights.

Editorial Correspondence

For Dialectic Issues 01—04, please contact Dialectic’s Producer (serious inquiries only, please).

Acceptance Criteria

Prospective authors MUST follow the submission instructions articulated in the “SUBMIT A PAPER” section of Dialectic before attempting to submit their work for review. Additionally, as Dialectic publishes work that spans eight specific topical categories (see below), authors should take care to submit work that meets the specific parameters that have been articulated per these categories (again, see below). These parameters can also be found in the Dialectic will publish material that meets the following categorical descriptions:

  • Research papers (between 3,000 and 4,500 words); these articles will recount how designers and design teams identified a situation that was problematic, formulated and operated research to understand the various factors, conditions and people involved that were affecting the situation, and then used their analysis of the data gathered from this research to guide design decision-making toward improving this situation. This type of writing should be grounded in evidentiary processes, and should clearly explicate a hypothesis, as well as posit and support a methodology and some form of a measurable data set.
  • Long-form case study reports or case series reports (between 3,000 and 4,500 words); these articles will describe how a particular person, group, project, event, experience or situation has been studied and analyzed, using one or more methods, during a specific span of time. These contributions should posit insights that exist as logical subsets of a larger category, and that are at least tangentially generalizable to the category. A case series report collectively describes how a group of individuals have responded to a particular type of treatment, experience or interaction. They can be used to help analyze and assess the responses of a cross-section of individual users to one or more iterations of an interface design, or an environmental graphics or wayfinding system, or a series of data visualizations.
  • Design criticism (as long-form essays of between 2,000 and 3,000 words); the goal of these pieces is to critically analyze design decision-making, and the affects that making and using what has been designed have on the operation and evolution of social, technological, economic, environmental and political systems.
  • Reviews of books, exhibitions, conferences, etc. (between 750 and 1,500 words); these shorter articles are written to critically analyze the efficacy of the structure, content, style, and relative merit of their particular subjects in ways that combine the author’s personal reactions and arguments to them with his/her assessment of how effectively they fulfilled or failed in their purposes.
  • Survey papers (between 2,000 and 3,000 words); these pieces are written to clearly summarize, organize, and analyze a select, topical grouping of scholarly articles, research papers, or case studies in a way that integrates and adds to the understanding of the work in a given discipline or field of study.
  • Theoretical speculations (between 3,000 and 4,500 words); these contributions will consist of attempts by their authors to explain a particular phenomenon, set of circumstances, or situational construct based on their ability to utilize observations rather than hard evidence to fuel speculative thoughts and suppositions. These contributions should be grounded in a viable paradigm, or use theory as a viable justification for what has been observed, and should be internally coherent and advance logical conclusions. 
  • Editorial responses from Dialectic readers (between 750 and 1,200 words); Dialectic encourages its readers to submit critical responses to specific articles, editorials, or visual pieces that have been published in previous issues. Authors are also welcome to bring any issues that they believe are pertinent to the attention of Dialectic's readership. Editorial commentary relative to specific published articles and pieces will be sent to their author(s) so they can respond.
  • Original visual essays and narratives; A visual essay, or visual narrative, can illustrate a particular social, cultural, economic or public policy issue or problem. It can also present or exemplify an argument that supports or refutes a specific claim being promoted by a social, political, corporate or government group, or an individual. Additionally, it can also provide a means to articulate a personal story that relates an individual’s outlook or feelings about a given topic. Visual essays and narratives submitted to Dialectic must be comprised only of still imagery at this time, although we anticipate being able to accept video-based submissions, animations and motion-based material in the near future. At this time, visual essays and visual narratives submitted to Dialectic may be comprised of the following types of elements, or combinations thereof:
    • Photographs
    • Illustrative work
    • Prints
    • Graphic imagery
    • Typographic elements
    • Tables, charts, diagrams and maps

All visual essays/visual narratives must be accompanied by prose of between 400 and 900 words in length that articulates 1. how and why the piece, or system of pieces, came to exist as it did, 2. why its creator made the formal, metaphoric, rhetorical and/or ethical decisions that guided the evolution of the piece, and 3. what impacts or affects the creator of the piece hopes(d) it would or will have.”

The criteria specified in the “Illustrations, Graphics, and Photos” section of the “2016-17 Submissions Guidelines for Dialectic” document must be met, and submissions that are assessed by the Editorial Board and/or external reviewers to be visually compelling and conceptually provocative will be considered for publication, pending the availability of page space in a given issue. 

Copyright Notice

Contributor’s Responsibilities 

The AIGA is sympathetic to the needs of scholars to include other copyrighted material in their Contribution, and is happy to provide guidance on this. Responsibility for obtaining permission for any copyrighted material that cannot be included under the Fair Use doctrine rests with Contributors. If the Contribution includes material for which Contributors do not hold the copyright, Contributors are responsible for submitting with the Contribution the written permission from the copyright holder of the material to include and reproduce the material within the Contribution. The permission must cover all media and all languages throughout the world in perpetuity. Contributors are responsible for the payment of such permissions. Please note: Whether the material is being used with permission, or on the basis that it falls under ‘fair dealing’ or ‘fair use’, full citation for the copyright holder and original publication of the material must be included with the submission. 


Contributor’s Rights 

1. Contributors will retain copyright in the Contribution. Contributors retain the right to register the copyright in the Contribution inContributors’ names as claimants with the United States Copyright Office and elsewhere as elected.


2.Subject to the conditions in this paragraph, without further permission each Contributor may:


  • At any time, distribute on a not-for-profit basis, photocopies of the published Contribution for teaching purposes or to research colleagues on an individual basis.
  • At any time, circulate or post on any repository or website, the version of the Contribution that Contributors submitted to theJournal (i.e. the version before peer-review) or an abstract of the Contribution.
  • No sooner than 12 months after initial publication, post on any non-commercial repository or website the version of theContribution that was accepted for publication.
  • No sooner than 12 months after initial publication, re-publish the whole or any part of the Contribution in a printed work written, edited or compiled by the Contributor, provided that citation is provided for the original publication by the AIGA, and the later work is not simply a re-publication of the Contribution.

For any use not detailed above, please contact MichPub at mpublishing@umich.edu. Please forward to MichPub all inquiries and requests received from third parties for permissions, reprint rights, subsidiary rights licenses, and all other use and licensing of the Contribution. The rights granted above in this paragraph are expressly made subject to and limited by the following restrictions: 


  • The MichPub-created PDF of the published Contribution may not be posted at any time.
  • Each instance of use of the Contribution, or any part of it, must include the copyright notice that appears on the issue of the Journal in which the Contribution is first published and a full bibliographic citation to the Journal as published by MichPub;
  • Copies of the Contribution, or any part of it, shall not be sold, distributed, or reproduced for commercial purposes (i.e., for monetary gain on a Contributor’s own account or on that of a third party, or for indirect financial gain by a commercial entity);
  • The Contribution, or any part of it, shall not be used for any systematic external distribution by a third party (e.g., a listserve or database connected to a public access server).

The Association’s Use of the Contribution 

Although Contributors have retained the copyright in the Contribution, Contributors have granted the AIGA an exclusive license to exercise the rights under copyright. This helps ensure protection against infringement of copyrighted material through breach of copyright or piracy anywhere in the world. It also ensures that requests from third parties to reprint or reproduce all or any part of the Contribution are handled efficiently many years after publication of the Contribution, ensuring the ability of the Contribution to receive broad dissemination. 

Licences

Dialectic allows the following licences for submission:

  • Copyright - More Information  
    © the author(s). All rights reserved.
  • CC BY 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • CC BY-ND 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • CC BY-NC 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • CC BY-SA 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Publication Fees

Authors who publish their work in Dialectic pay no publication fees. 

Peer Review

Dialectic’s two-stage peer review process is an important and essential aspect of the publication process of an article or visual essay or narrative.

The first stage of this process involves a desk review. Each submission is critically examined by one to three members of our Editorial and Advisory Boards, and/or our Producer, to assess 1) whether its subject matter is appropriate for Dialectic, 2) whether it has been written and/or visually crafted well enough to meet Dialectic’s standards for prose structure and argumentation or, in the case of visual essays or narratives, formal design, and 3) whether the topic it addresses, rationale(s) it advocates for, position(s) or concepts it espouses, or research it reports and/or examines is based on sound reasoning, credible theoretical frameworks and/or viable method(ologies). Only submissions that have been evaluated during our desk review process as being “worthy to advance” are sent on for more in-depth, “double-blind” peer review, or “refereeing.”

The second stage of Dialectic’s peer review process involves external, double-blind peer review. Submissions that have been deemed “worthy to advance” during the desk review process are sent to between two and four reviewers from the university-level design education community around the world who have developed knowledge in and around the topic area for more in-depth analysis and assessment. None of the external reviewers who analyze and assess a submission that has advanced beyond our desk review stage will know the identity of the author(s)/designer(s) of that submission until after (and if) it is published. These reviewers will also not of the author(s)/designer(s) address, e-mail, fax or web URL, and will only be able to discern the author(s)/designer(s)’ affiliation and country if these are somehow mentioned in the narrative of the submission. In the same manner, no author(s)/designer(s) will know the identity or affiliation of those who have analyzed and assessed their submission. Facilitating this process in this way eliminates the possibility of bias as it transpires and afterwards, and, as such, meets the COPE standard for double-blind peer review. Download one of our sample double-blind, external peer reviewer assessment forms.

Each external peer reviewer is charged with analyzing and assessing the relative strength and appropriateness per submission category for any and all submissions he/she receives from Dialectic’s Editorial Board and Producer. Once an external peer review for a specific submission has been completed, the external peer reviewer assessment form is sent from the reviewer to Dialectic’s Producer and/or one to three members of Dialectic’s Editorial Board. After the external peer reviewer assessment form for a given submission has been critically read by one to three of these personnel, it will be sent back to the author(s)/designer(s) for revisions that must be completed by the deadline date specified in writing by Dialectic’s Producer to the author(s)/designer(s).

Any information in the Acknowledgement and Declaration of Conflict of Interest that may lead to the uncovering of the identity of the author is also removed from the manuscript prior to sending it to reviewers.

In addition to offering critical commentary to author(s)/designer(s) in prose form, external reviewers will make one of the following recommendations to the submissions they assess on the external review form:

  • Accept As Is
  • Requires Minor Corrections
  • Requires Moderate Revision
  • Requires Major Revision
  • Submit to Another Publication, Such As:
  • Do not publish

On receipt of the author(s)/designer(s)’ revised manuscript or visual essay or narrative, which should be re-written or re-designed according to the feedback offered on the external peer reviewer assessment forms, these forms and the revision will be provided to members of Dialectic’s Editorial Board and its Producer. The revision will then be assessed by these personnel in light of the feedback provided on the external peer reviewer assessment forms. At this point, one of the three following decisions regarding the publication of the revised submission will be made:

  • Accept
  • The Manuscript Requires Improvement
  • Reject

Only an Editor or the Producer has the authority to “Accept” or “Reject” a submission to Dialectic.

If a submission is rejected, the author(s)/designer(s) are informed of the decision and no further processing is done on it.

If a submission requires improvement, it is sent to the author(s) with one or more Editor’s and/or the Producer’s recommendations for further revision. The Managing Editor and the Producer will then make a final decision on the revised submission either “Accept” or “Reject” it.

Publication Cycle

This journal will be published once in the late summer/early fall of 2021, and then twice per year each year after that.

Sections

Section

Public Submissions

Peer Reviewed

Indexed

Article