Submission Guidelines

Infographic flowchart showing publication process

To have your article published in DSDJ involves a three-step process. Given the unique nature of this multilingual and bimodal journal, this process helps alleviate any potential uncertainty about the time-consuming production of sign language content accompanied by a text-based version. Traditionally, authors have a plethora of options for submitting their work to journals in their respective areas of expertise in a textual format. However, for articles in sign language, authors typically do not have the ability to redo the video for other journals.

Step 1: Proposal

The proposal helps assess the appropriateness and interest of the topic for DSDJ. DSDJ will provide guidance and feedback, if any, to ensure that the actual “videomanuscript” is accepted for peer review.

Submit a proposal for an article to DSDJ consisting of a video and its English equivalent.

  • Videography: The video abstract in sign language (either American Sign Language [ASL] or International Sign [IS]) should be up to seven minutes long, summarizing the proposed article. The materials should include:

    • Statement of interest
    • Research methodology
    • Conclusion

    A final version for publication will accept other sign languages as long it is accompanied by ASL or IS and English text. The video should be submitted as an .mp4 file or an unlisted YouTube link.

  • Written Document: Provide the following information:

    • Author’s name (co-authors if applicable)
    • Article Title
    • Field of study of the article
    • Article outline
    • Partial list of references in APA style, 7th edition

    The written version should be submitted as a Microsoft Word (.docx) file.

  • Submission: All materials should be submitted at once using DSDJ’s submission platform called Submittable and the links are provided from Call for Papers page. DSDJ will provide feedback within 10 days after the proposal is received. A video conference call may be scheduled if necessary.
Back to Submission Guidelines

Step 2: Draft Materials for Peer-Review Process

This step focuses on the content delivery (academic sign language), associated artifacts using APA (7th edition), a complete list of references, and an outline of the video manuscript. The video should be a clean draft (not in studio quality); a complete English transcript is not required at this point.

The following outlines the expectations and type of content for the draft materials that will be then submitted to the peer reviewers. The draft materials may require several revisions based on peer reviewer input.

The content draft materials should include a video manuscript of the article, a written outline of the article, background information, and any media associated with the article.

  • Videography: The draft video is not expected to be professionally filmed and edited, as long as it captures the author(s) from head to waist. A solid background should be used. Using a webcam or iPhone (with a tripod) at eye-level is accepted. Use a widescreen (16:9) landscape format, not regular (4:3).

    The final video must be at least HD (1080p and widescreen). Standing is optional at this stage of the publication process. The author(s) are not asked to do this, but you are free to incorporate any edits on the video (e.g. citations, media.) However, a list of time codes for any citations or associated artifacts are to be annotated for peer reviewers (see Master Sheet below.)

  • Register and Delivery: Though the video is a draft at this point, the article should be presented using an academic register of sign language, which means signing in an academic and professional tone. Be sure to sign clearly and avoid signing word-for-word the written English; the aim is for the sign language content to be the main source text.

    Do not use spatial references (pointing) during the video for images; the media will be presented in a separate window on the DSDJ site. While discussing any type of media, present from the signer’s perspective.

    The peer reviewers will provide, anonymously, comments on ASL or IS usage as if it were written English. Submissions may be redone for the final version.

  • Outline: The outline of the article submitted as part of the proposal in Step One should be further expanded throughout this process, but not as a full-fledged text-manuscript. This will help the peer-reviewers to situate the work in sign language. The outline must include time codes as a point of reference for the video.
  • Authorship, Best Practices: DSDJ prefers that the author(s) of the video manuscript narrate the content for publication. If this option is not utilized, we will still accept the submission. If the video-manuscript needs to be translated by a professional Deaf translator, the attribution to this individual is at your discretion. In principle, DSDJ adheres to the common best practices for authorship as outlined by the Council of Science Editors, which can be found in Section 2.2 here. However, there is a new trend in how to redefine authorship and contribution metrics from a community-based participation research perspective (Bordeaux et al., 2007; Castelden, Sloan & Neimanis, 2010; Flicker & Nixon, 2016). Another model on evaluating authorship via 14 contributor roles proposed by CASRAI (CRediT Taxonomy) can be found here. DSDJ believes in the inclusiveness of all individuals who make this scholarly publication possible.
  • Information: Authors are to provide their background information: name, institution, contact information, and URLs (e.g., ORCID, Google Scholar, institution link, etc.)
  • Attached Artifacts: DSDJ adheres to APA (7th edition) format for citations, references (including DOI when applicable), and visual materials (tables, figures, photos, videos, etc.) Any file format will be accepted; refer to Master Sheet below.
    Examples of Media:

    • Media includes data charts, visual aids, PowerPoints, and other videos. Data charts can consist of scatter plots, histograms, line charts, etc.
    • Visual aids can include photographs, GIFs, screenshots, English text of a quote (a translated ASL version must accompany the English text), drawings, and more.
    • Supplemental videos can include an ASL version with quotes, interviews, demonstrations, short videos, etc. as raw data with permission; do not exceed 1-2 minutes if possible. If more time is needed, please contact DSDJ.
    • Any other creative and “out-of-the-box” media presentations are welcome.

    All media content is encouraged to be presented with a solid background (either white or black), or with a transparent background in .png for a greater graphic manipulation for the final publication. You may consult with the DSDJ team for further guidance. Instill all content into one folder intended only for ‘Other Media Folder’.

Once the peer review process is complete, the DSDJ team will make a final decision and start Step 3 for final material submission.

Back to Submission Guidelines

Step 3: Final Materials

Once the peer-reviewers and DSDJ have approved your materials publication, the final video should be produced as a formatted version along with an English transcript that includes time codes for accessibility.

If and when accepted for publication, the content package should be finalized and submitted, and should include the finalized video, finalized related artifacts, an updated list of references, and a time-coded transcript using .vtt format.

  • Videography: The video must show the author(s) from head to waist, outfitted in solid and non-patterned attire. The background should be a solid tone or a non-obtrusive gradient tone. The video must be neatly filmed with excellent lighting. The video quality must be clear and professional, with no blurriness or graininess, and properly edited. Best practices include using an SLR camera or an iPhone with either HD or 4k video mode.

    The use of a teleprompter is encouraged to shadow the author(s)’ own signed language version approved during Step 2. The video should be submitted as an uncompressed file. DSDJ can provide technical support as needed.

  • Associated Media: Although associated media should have already been approved and finalized in Step 2, additional revisions may be required.
  • English Transcription: English transcription ideally is done after filming is completed; do not use this as a script for filming. Include citations in the transcript and include associated artifacts.

    The time-coded transcript should be a document consisting of transcribed text in English. The content will be delivered using two methods: scroll text (transcript) next to the video, and closed captions (see screenshot). DSDJ will publish a signed version along with scrolling text as a transcript for the video. DSDJ will not publish a fully translated text in the traditional sense of the presentation. The transcript must be submitted in .vtt format.

Use the same file labeling method and replace the prior versions label (V1, V2, etc.) with “FINAL” before submitting. The approved final materials will be reviewed by the DSDJ team prior to publication.

Back to Submission Guidelines
Top of Page

How to Effectively Submit Materials

Master Sheet: Provide an Excel document to track all citations and media within the video manuscript. List them in the order of appearance and provide a time code for reference. Be sure to match the media item to the file name in the Excel document.

File Labeling for Submission: ‘V1’ label denote first version, if there are any subsequent versions during the process, insert V2, V3, etc.

  • Main Folder: “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1” - all content listed below is to be placed into this folder and zipped (.zip).
  • Video: Submit as sub-folder; if there is more than one video, use “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Video.”
    • If there are chapters, add numbers in order: “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Video_01.”
  • Other Media: Submit as sub-folder, “LASTNAME_V1_Other_Media.” For each item used, “LASTNAME_V1_Media_01” and ensure the numbers follow the order of referral in article regardless of the file extension.
  • Transcript (optional): Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Transcript”
  • References: Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_References”
  • Master Sheet: Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Mastersheet”
Top of Page

Journal Policies and Best Practices

Goal of Publication

Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ) aims to advance the cultural, creative, and critical work in and about sign languages and their communities. The primary goal as a sign-centric journal is to provide a platform to foster content in Deaf Studies and encompass Deaf-related fields of studies such as Critical Theory, Sign Language, Pedagogy, Literature, Linguistics, Interpreting and Translation, Human Rights, History, Sociology, and among other. Unlike other academic and cultural publications, the DSDJ is a bilingual and bimodal publication primarily presented in both American Sign Language and English. The digital journal supports academic work in other sign languages and international sign. DSDJ is a dedicated space for the advancement of the Deaf people and geared toward both signing and non-signing communities. The primary language of publication will be in Sign Language while the accompanying written text is to support the primary form of visual communication.​

Open Access Statement

DSDJ is peer-reviewed, open access journal digital journal that is accessible to a wide audience without charge to the user or their institution.


​From 2006 to 2013, Gallaudet University and Sorenson Foundation funded DSDJ and saw four issues published. Currently, the journal is being funded by National Endowment for the Humanities: Digital Humanities Advancement Grants (#HAA-258756-8) in January 2018 for 30 months with an amount of $325,000.

Team Roles

DSDJ Executive Editor: Will finalize the approval of the proposal and the submission of the final draft before publication. The executive editor will work with the managing editor to select a team of peer reviewers.

DSDJ Managing Editor: The point of contact between the executive editor and the person of Interest for inquiries they may have prior and throughout the submission process. The managing editor will present the submitted proposal to the executive editor for review and assign the submission to peer-reviewers through a single-blind selection process.

Experts: A team of experts in the field of Deaf Studies, Human and Computer Interaction, Accessibility, Library Science, and Publications are part of the journal team.

Advisory Board: DSDJ consists of an international Advisory Board from a variety of scholarly work with extensive experience in the field of academic publication.

Peer Reviewers: Reviews and provides feedback to the presented submission. The submitters will be in dialogue with the reviewers throughout the review process, and they will determine whether the submission can be published unedited, needs alteration, or is rejected.

See DSDJ’s “Team” and “Advisory Board” pages for a complete list of the current team composition.

Style Guide

DSDJ follows the current academic standards for publishing. As of October 2018, DSDJ will only accept submissions formatted in APA 6th style. Further, all submissions must include an abstract, keywords, an English transcript of the signed version with time codes, and references. All written text must be submitted in word format. All video files must be MP4 at least 1080p; other related supplemental videos must be open captioned and follow best practice for an accessible content to all. See publication requirements page for more details.


The intellectual copyright for papers published in DSDJ is retained by the authors. Published articles are distributed open-access under the terms of Creative Commons License allowing users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, link to the full texts of the articles without asking permission as long as proper attribution is provided. All other uses not specified by the license are managed by the authors. Authors are not permitted to re-publish the same content to other journals unless it will be translated in other languages with permission from DSDJ. The video re-post to other platform is not allowed; there will be a direct link of the journal page available to everyone to access at no cost with a digital object identifier.

Review Process

DSDJ is a peer-reviewed journal. The Executive and Managing Editor will review all submissions to determine if they fall within the scope of the journal’s interest. Then, the submission will be reviewed by professional colleagues of their respective area of expertise. Submissions that are determined to not be within the journal’s scope are declined. As of October 2018, the journal will be a single-blind review in which the author will be unaware of the multiple reviewers assigned to their article. Since the article will be presented in a video format and sign language, it will be nearly impossible to have a double-blind review. There are two possible venues for the reviewers to respond: in written English, and in ASL using a translator by shadowing the reviewer’s signs. If the reviewer only submitted in written English, an executive summary in ASL will be made by DSDJ team.

Plagiarism Policy

DSDJ checks each submitted manuscript for plagiarism before publication. If plagiarism is detected by either the editorial staff or peer reviewers at any stage in the editorial process, one of two approaches will be utilized. If plagiarism is minor and may be an oversight in the citation process, the author(s) will be contacted and asked to revise the text or quote the original text precisely, while citing the original source. If plagiarism is extensive, the article will be rejected. Self-plagiarism or duplicate publication is not permitted and will result in the rejection of a submitted manuscript. Please review COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

Article Processing Charges and Submission Fees

DSDJ is a ‘pure gratis’ Open Access Journal since Issue No.1. As of January 2018, DSDJ has received substantial federal funding from National Endowment for the Humanities to cover all related publication costs for five subsequent issues (No.5 to No.9). DSDJ may implement a minimal publication charge after ninth issue is published. Authors will pay submission fees or processing charges to publish in the journal. Authors are responsible for covering their own publication costs such as videography and translation of textual contents.

There is a donation option that is voluntary and much appreciated to help mitigate the costs of running the journal and ensure that the journal can remain operational longer. Please contact the journal managing editor for further inquiries.

Archiving and Preservation

DSDJ is preserved as part of the University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Michigan Publishing, a division of the University of Michigan Library, is committed to preserving content indefinitely and will continue to migrate content even after a journal has ceased to publish

Dissemination and Search Engine

DSDJ pages will be searchable and discoverable through library databases with DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), and Google Scholar. Other tools that DSDJ use to promote the content with Altmetric, which works behind the scenes, collecting and collating all of the disparate information to provide a single visually engaging and informative view of the online activity surrounding the submitted manuscript’s scholarly content. This includes cited work in other journals to take account of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The benefit of Altmetric is that the activity is immediately tracked and updated to gauge the article interest online instead of waiting for more than one or two years to get the Impact Factor score.

All articles will have their own digital object identifier (doi) which will allow for the immediate re-direction of articles, and the links are permanent. The author will distinguish themselves with ORCID with specific and permanent identifier where it collates all their scholarly published work online. DSDJ aim to continue to work to ensure the visibility of the published work to be available to the world.

Top of Page

How to Submit

Visit the DSDJ website at deafstudiesdigitaljournal.org and click on Submissions. There is more information about the submissions accepted by DSDJ and on how to submit scholarly work. DSDJ is using Submittable platform for all journal submission and communication.

Top of Page

Contact Email Address

Please contact DSDJ’s Managing Editor at dsdj.managining.editor@gallaudet.edu with any questions or concerns.

Top of Page

Additional Resources