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Author Guidelines

M/C Journal submission process and writing guidelines

M/C Journal is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal of media and culture. We invite submissions from writers across the broad range of professions, disciplines, and interests. Submissions should, however, be clearly relevant to the central topic of the individual issue they are intended for and to the media and culture focus of M/C Journal.

Accepted articles are published as open access under a Creative Commons licence, and the journal does not and will never charge article submission, processing, or publication fees.

If you intend to submit an article to M/C Journal, please first register as a user, following the steps outlined in our Registration Guide.

In writing your article, please strictly follow the guidelines below (in particular also regarding your approach to bibliographic referencing):

1. Before you write

1.1 Topic

M/C Journal is a journal for media and culture, with each issue organised around a central topic. The topic of an issue will usually be a single word that has a large number of possible ties to issues in media and culture. For an indication of how widely article topics can spread from the focal term, please have a look at the M/C Journal past issues. If you wish to submit an article to M/C Journal, please ensure that it addresses the central topic of the issue it is intended for. Off-topic submissions will not be considered.

1.2 Submission deadlines

For topics and deadlines of upcoming issues, please see the upcoming issues page.

1.3 Abstract and Biography

Before you start writing an article for M/C Journal, please e-mail the issue editor(s) a 100-word abstract of the piece you intend to write and a brief biography. The biography should be three to four sentences in length and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. For style and content examples, see the contributors page. Please see the upcoming issues page for a list of issue editors’ e-mail addresses. If you wish your proposed article to be considered for the feature article (see 2.1, below), please include this information in your e-mail.

2. As you write

2.1 Word limit

Each issue of M/C Journal consists of a feature article of about 4000 words, and a number of shorter pieces of 3000 words. The feature article will usually be an invited contribution from an academically established guest writer. However, if you feel your intended topic would qualify for the feature article, please do suggest this to the issue editor(s).

2.2 General guidelines for writing in an online environment


M/C Journal is a crossover journal between the popular and the academic, so your submission should reflect that aim stylistically. You should present your thoughts in a way that is open to readers who are not necessarily involved in your field. Again, the articles we have already published (see past issues) will give you an indication of how to approach writing for M/C Journal.



As an online journal, M/C Journal also encourages contributors to adopt a new-media focus when writing and submitting articles. The journal, therefore, encourages authors to include links to external relevant websites, provided these links enrich the article’s content and do not detract from it.

Active vs passive voice

M/C Journal advocates using active voice over passive voice, where possible, to promote clarity.


Please keep paragraphs short. This makes documents easier to read in the online environment.

Endnotes and footnotes

Please do not include endnotes or footnotes in your submission. All referencing should be done using parenthetical referencing (see citation style guidelines, below).

2.3 M/C Journal-specific style guidelines

M/C Journal aims for a consistent writing style across the articles it publishes, and follows MLA style (6th edition) for most style decisions. As a contributor, it is your responsibility to ensure that your submission adheres to MLA style. Editors reserve the right to make minor editorial changes to the articles you submit to M/C Journal, including changes to grammar, punctuation and spelling, but no major alterations will be carried out without authorial approval.

The most important style considerations for M/C Journal (including any exceptions to MLA style) are outlined below, under the following headings:

  • Underlining and italics
  • Spelling
  • Capitalisation
  • Quotations
  • Numbers, dates, and time
  • Punctuation
  • Acronyms 

Underlining and Italics:

  • Italicise the name or title of newspapers, books, magazines, television shows, poems, plays, movies, TV programs, art works, song titles, and music.
  • Italicise foreign expressions, but please note that foreign expressions should only be used when absolutely necessary and when their meaning would be understood by the general readership of M/C Journal.
  • Italicise for emphasis. However, use this minimally, as excess italicisation can be confusing for online readers.


  • Use Australian spelling (e.g., organise instead of organize, behaviour instead of behavior, per cent rather than percent). However, do not change the spelling of any material quoted directly from another source.
  • Spell e-mail with a hyphen. Given that e-mail indicates the joining of two words—“electronic” and “mail”—M/C Journal encourages authors to use a hyphen.


  • Capitalise the words Internet, Web, and Net.


  • Use double quotation marks for all direct quotations, except where the citation is more than four lines. In this case, format the quotation as a block quotation without quotation marks.
  • Use double quotation marks around directly quoted material, direct speech, for titles of episodes and speeches, for colloquialisms, or if you are using a word in an unusual way.
  • Use single quotation marks for quotes inside quotes.
  • Place commas and full-stops inside closing quotation marks except when a parenthetical reference immediately follows the closing quotation marks. For example:
  • “You must read ‘The Metamorphosis,’” she told me. (Comma is placed within quotation marks.)
  • His cat was named “Whiskers.” (Full-stop is placed within quotation marks.)
  • This is a clear instance of “reduction and totalization” (53). (Full-stop placed after parenthetical reference.)
  • Make any case changes at the start of quotations silently. For example,
As Foucault writes, “the year ...” Not: As Foucault writes, “[t]he year ...”

Numbers, dates, and time

  • Number format: In general, spell out numbers one to nine and express numbers 10 and over as numerals. However, express related numbers in the same style (e.g., only 3 of the 550 surveys were incomplete). Do not begin a sentence with a numeral.
  • Number ranges: For numbers under 100, give the second number in full (e.g., 1–7, 29–99). For numbers 100 and over, give only the last two digits of the second number, unless more are necessary (e.g., 102–07, 213–15, 67–102, 297–307). For ranges of years, write the years in full unless they are within the same century (e.g., 1992–2008, 2008–10). Use an unspaced en dash between the two numbers.
  • Date format: 20 March 2008, or Thursday 20 March 2008.
  • Decades: spell out 1960s instead of ’60s.
  • Time format: 9.00 pm.


  • Full stop: use only a single space after a full-stop.
  • Comma: use the serial comma (e.g., bread, butter, and jam)
  • Dash: use an unspaced em dash. Always use the em dash, with no spacing before or after the dash. The em dash is obtained by using two hyphens (--) and typing the next word straight after the hyphens. (To make sure the em dash function is switched on, check the “Autocorrect Options” option in the “Tools” menu in Word and ensure there is a tick next to the option that replaces “Hyphens (--) with dash (—)”. Alternatively, the keyboard command option+shift+minus will insert an em dash.
  • Ellipsis: Type a space before and after an ellipsis. If you have added the ellipsis to a direct quotation, use square brackets to denote this, for example:
  • Ellipsis in original text: chief and almost … only office
  • Ellipsis added by contributor: chief and almost […] only office
  • Possessive apostrophe: Always add an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to form possessives from singular nouns and names, irrespective of whether they already end in an ‘s’. For example,
  • Singular Noun: Congress’s decision
  • Singular Name: Bill Gates’s Microsoft


  • Spell out acronyms on first use, and use the shortened form every time thereafter. Spell out the acronym every time if it is uncommon or the same as another acronym.

2.4 Referencing and citations

Submissions to M/C Journal should be thoroughly researched and referenced, and should include a list of works cited formatted in MLA style. Do not include footnotes or endnotes. The following guidelines explain the basic principles of MLA citation style. For further information on the list of works cited or in-text citation, please consult the 6th edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

List of Works Cited:

  • Names: provide the author’s full name, including given name.
  • Titles: capitalise all major words in titles and names.
  • Place of publication: give only the first place of publication if more than one is listed in the source.
  • Publisher details: Abbreviate “University” and “Press” (e.g. “U of Queensland P," "Oxford UP"), but do not include “& Co.,” “Ltd.,” etc. in publisher’s names.
  • Page span: Give the second number in full if it is below 99 or the last two digits if it is above 99 (e.g., 64–69 or 364–69). Use an en dash, not a hyphen, between the digits.
  • Hanging indent: indent by one centimetre the second line of an entry in your list of works cited.

Please refer to the following examples of MLA style:

Articles in print journals:

Surname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): Page span.

Hazelhurst, Cameron. “The Dawn of the Satellite Era.” Media Information Australia 58 (1990): 9–22.

Morris, Meaghan. “On Going to Bed Early: Once Upon a Time in America.” Meanjin 4 (1998): 700.

Articles in online journals:

Surname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year). Date of retrieval ‹URL›.

Ferreday, Debra. "Bad Communities: Virtual Community and Hate Speech." M/C Journal 8.1 (2005). 25 Oct. 2005 ‹›.

Shalit, Ruth. “Welcome to the Habbo Hotel.” mpulse Magazine Mar. 2002. 1 Apr. 2004‹›.

Book by a single author or editor:

Surname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher’s name, Year.

Batchelor, D. Chromophobia. London: Reaktion Books, 2000.

Apollonio, Umbro, ed. Futurist Manifestos. London: Thames and Hudson, 1973.

Books by two or more authors/editors:

Surname, Firstname, and Firstname Surname. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher’s name, Year.

Sinclair, Iain, and Dave McKean. Slow Chocolate Autopsy. London: Phoenix, 1997.

Hodge, B., and D. Tripp. Children and Television: A Semiotic Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986.

Chapter of an edited book:

Surname, Firstname. “Title of Chapter.” Title of Book. Ed. Firstname Surname. Place of publication: Publisher’s name, Year. Pagespan.

Jones, John Paul. “Making Geography Objectively: Ocularity, Representation, and The Nature of Geography.” Objectivity and Its Other. Ed. Wolfgang Natter, Theodore R. Schatzki, and John Paul Jones. New York: Guilford, 1995. 67–92.

Newspaper article:

Surname, Firstname. “Title of Article.” Section of newspaper. Name of newspaper Date of publication: Page span.

Matchett, Stephen. “A Theory on Einstein.” Weekend Australian 11 Jun. 2005: Review 4.


Title of Film. Director. Studio/Distributor, Year.

Muriel’s Wedding
. Dir. P. J. Hogan. Village Roadshow, 1994.

Mask of Zorro, The
. Screenplay by J. McCulley. UA, 1920.

In-text citations:

  • Make in-text citations as brief as possible; only include information that is needed to
  • identify the source. This generally consists of the author’s surname and the page number, with no punctuation between the two. Where multiple works by the same author are cited, a short title (usually one word) should be added for example, "(Foucault, Discipline 34)".
  • When referencing quotations or citations of the text being reviewed, use page number; for example (236)

Please refer to the following examples:

Author’s name is referred to in text:

T. S. Eliot’s assertion that Hamlet is “most certainly an artistic failure” is clearly a polemical one (143).

Author’s name is not referred to in text:

Hamlet is “most certainly an artistic failure” (Eliot 143).

More than one author, referred to in text:

This may be contested, as Yannick and Roy suggest (53).

More than one author, not referred to in text:

It has been suggested… (Yannick and Roy 53).

When your bibliography includes two works by the same author:

Both practices engage with similar materials through a process of reflection (Marshall, Vertigo 17).

3. When you’re ready to submit your article

3.1 Formatting your document

  1. Save your file in Rich Text Format (RTF): In your word processor, choose Save As?, and in the file format box choose Rich Text Format (RTF). If you are sending a graphic, you can include it in the file, but also send two other versions of it as per the graphics instructions below. Do not save your file in Word 2007 (DOCX) format.
  2. Open the “Properties” window for your file (in Word, go to File → Properties) and delete anything that appears in the “Author” field. This ensures your anonymity in the peer-review process.
  3. You’re now ready to submit your article. From the M/C Journal homepage, click on “log in” or “register.” (If you have not submitted an article to M/C Journal before, you will be required to register.) Once you have logged in, click on the “author” link from your user homepage, and click on the link under “start a new submission.”
  4. Graphics: If you are sending a graphic, upload it as a separate file with a note in the document indicating placement. Please include both a 50 pixel square thumbnail plus the full size graphic. Save drawn graphics in .GIF format. Save photographs in .JPG format.


Submission Preparation Checklist

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.

  1. Topic

    I have ensured my article addresses the central topic of the intended journal issue.

  2. Abstract and Biography

    I have e-mailed the issue editor(s) a 100-word abstract of my article and a brief biography.

  3. Word Limit

    My article satisfies the 3000-word limit for submissions.

    Each issue of M/C Journal consists of a feature article of about 4000 words, and a number of shorter pieces of 3000 words. The feature article will usually be an invited contribution from an academically established guest writer. However, if you feel your intended topic would qualify for the feature article, please do suggest this to the issue editor(s).

  4. Writing and Bibliographic Style

    I have read and followed the M/C Journal style guidelines. Specifically, I have:

    • applied MLA style (6th edition) consistently
    • removed any endnotes or footnotes
    • followed M/C Journal punctuation guidelines
    • followed M/C Journal spelling guidelines
  5. File Formats

    • I have prepared an RTF file for upload to the M/C Journal OJS site
    • I have removed any identifying information from the "Properties" of my file
    • If my article contains graphics, I have prepared both a 50 pixel square thumbnail plus the full size graphic for upload to the site. Save drawn graphics in .GIF format. Save photographs in .JPG format. I have indicated within my article where the graphics are to be placed.
  6. Licencing

    Creative Commons License All articles published in M/C Journal are published under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivatives 3.0 Licence. By submitting to M/C Journal, you permit your article to come under this licence.

    Additionally, you also grant a non-exclusive licence for your work to be archived in and made available to users of the EBSCO Publishing Communication & Mass Media Complete database.


Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivatives 4.0 Licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (see The Effect of Open Access).


Privacy Statement

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