Capacious
Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry
Credit: Fruiting bodies of Lycogala epidendrum (Wolf's Milk), Benny Mazur, 2007 (CC BY 2.0)

Author Guidelines

Capacious: Journal for Emerging Affect Inquiry is dedicated primarily to the publication of writings and similar creative works by degree-seeking students (PhD, Masters, brilliant undergraduates), recent post-graduates, independent (non-academic) researchers, and early career researchers. On a rare occasion, an established scholar with an ‘emerging’ idea may also publish with Capacious. This journal seeks submissions that are shorter in length than most academic journal articles: generally essays in the range of 500-5000 words. The journal will continuously accept submissions on an ever-rolling basis and ‘publish’ them to the site after they have gone through the double-blind review process, been copy-edited, formatted, etc. Once five or six reviewed articles have been posted at the website, the journal will gather them together as a single downloadable ‘issue’ and, given the respective contents of that particular issue, recruit an appropriately resonant member from our editorial board to write an introduction or afterword that captures some of the key aspects and arguments raised across the assembled pieces.

We ask all authors to follow these basic guidelines when preparing your manuscript for submission:

Online Submissions

Follow this link to submit your article online. During the submissions process you will be asked to include a brief biographical note about the author(s) and, in particular, indicate whether the author(s) are: a degree-seeking student, post-graduate, independent (non-academic) researcher, early career researcher, or established scholar. You will also be asked to provide a brief abstract (no longer than 300 words) and up to five keywords. In the case of submissions with multiple authors, please indicate a corresponding author.

Article length

Capacious prefers to publish essays that are between 500-5000 words long, not including abstract and references.

Language

Capacious publishes manuscripts in English. Essays in other languages are welcome if accompanied by an English translation. (We are not averse to publishing essays in both the author’s native language and in English.)

Style for in-text citation and references

Capacious uses the Harvard in-text citation style with full references following the article text. Please carefully follow the format found here: citethisforme.com/harvard-referencing.

Endnotes

We do not publish footnotes. Please use endnotes only, and do keep them to a minimum. This will help ensure timely publication of your accepted submission.

References

Please check carefully to see that all works listed in your manuscript’s bibliography correspond to citations in the manuscript’s body text. With your attention to this detail, our copy-editing task will go much more smoothly.

Formatting

Because all articles will be reformatted for presentation online, Capacious does not stipulate a set typeface or font size for submissions. Please keep manuscript formatting simple. Authors should use standard typefaces (such as Times New Roman) set no smaller than 12pt, and double-spaced. Please do not use special alignment or spacing. Please do not use footnotes (and only minimal endnotes). Whenever possible, please utilize your word processor’s “Styles & Formatting” capabilities to ensure consistent formatting.

File formats

Capacious editors prefer receiving OpenOffice (.odt), Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx), plain text (.txt), or rich text (.rtf) file formats. Please ensure your file is not above 10MB in size.

Blind review

Please remove any indication of authors’ identities from your submission. This includes names listed in document headers, on an attached cover sheet, in the filename, or in file metadata. After removing any identifying details from the document text and properties, please remember to re-save your file using only the title of your submission as the filename.

Feedback on your submission

You should receive notification from the managing editor within seven to ten days of your emailed submission. They will let you know if the essay fits within the Aims and Scope of the journal. If so, the essay will continue on in the review-process and be assigned to two reviewers for their evaluation. It would be to your benefit to read over the Reviewer Guidelines in order to get a sense of the criteria that Capacious has established for evaluation of submitted work. Within four to six weeks, you should receive feedback from the reviewers and the managing editor about the status of your submission.

There are five categories for reviewed manuscripts:

  • Accept
  • Conditional Accept
  • Accept with Minor Changes
  • Revise and Resubmit
  • Reject

See Peer Review Process for more details on how essays precede through the pipeline toward publication. If you have any questions please email editor@capaciousjournal.com.

Reading and responding to reviews

Capacious is a journal primarily oriented to publishing intellectually rigorous work by graduate students. As such Capacious asks reviewers to frame their feedback from a perspective of mentorship and with an ethos of community building. Nonetheless, it’s sometimes difficult for authors to know exactly what is required of them in terms of revisions, and how to respond to reviewers. Below are some guidelines to consider when reading reviewer comments.

Reading reviewer comments

Authors will receive an email that will include an aggregate of reviewers’ comments and any additional comments by the Editor-in-chief. Reviewers only see the paper and do not know any biographical details about the author, including name or institutional affiliation. Authors will also receive a decision from one of the five categories described in “Feedback on your submission” above.

The guidelines are one of the few things about our journal that cannot be entirely capacious; the Editors-in-Chief, in consultation with our reviewers, may have come to an assessment (accept, revise, reject, etc) that is the best compromise between sometimes varying perspectives. Fortunately, the reasons supporting the ultimate decision on the status of your submission should become more clearly evident by closely attending to the reviewers’ commentaries and the Editors-in-Chiefs’ overview of them.

When reading reviewer comments, bear in mind the following:

Frequently felt questions (FFQ) about reviewer Feedback

Q: The reviewer said my paper is awful! I can’t send it back in.

A: They didn’t say that, we promise! Getting feedback can be excruciating and can sometimes feel terribly personal. (After all, those words in that essay are mine! This critique is of me!). But, rest assured, any feedback – even and especially when perhaps quite pinpointed – was intended to respond to your writing and its stated aims, and not a dagger aimed at your heart. Think of critique and comments as suggestions, even ‘suggestives’ and, thus, the initiation of an invigorating conversation (with the journal, the reviewers, your eventual readers when published). All comments are meant to assist in clarifying and improving your work, so, unless the paper has been rejected outright (and even then, we aim to offer helpful feedback), then please follow the advice and send your paper back to us.

Q: Do I have to do everything the reviewer suggests?

A: Yes, usually. You should address every concern the reviewer has about your paper, but the way in which you do it is up to you. You don’t have to write the paper way the reviewer would write it. But your reviewer is also your audience, if they didn’t understand it, then you can bet much of the journal readership will likely be head-scratching too. When resubmitting a revised paper, it is good practice to include a brief statement outlining the ways that you chose to address the most significant critiques and suggestions raised by reviewers over the course of working up your rewrite. And, yes, it is perfectly alright to stand your ground against particular suggested revisions. But do make sure to offer a spirited defense of why you are sticking with your original text in such cases (it is not enough to say, if only implicitly: “just because” or “hey, you’re not the boss of me”).

Q: I did everything the reviewer asked but my paper is still not accepted, why?

A: We aim to be as supportive and transparent in our review process as possible and so hopefully you will have received additional clarification from the Editor and/or reviewers, as to why another round of revision is necessary.

Not all problems with the paper are written explicitly in the review. Reviewers may have addressed what they thought were the most seriously pressing issues while some of the more nuanced rationale for improvement may reside between the lines of these larger concerns. So if you have a ‘reject and resubmit’ decision, for example, use this as a moment to really consider the paper as a whole rather than just addressing, say, the three stated comments in the review.

In the case of ‘Revise and Resubmit’ please bear in mind that your revision is a new submission. We cannot guarantee that once you resubmit that there will not be further suggestions for improvements, nor will your paper be automatically accepted if resubmitted. That said, the reviewers saw something promising in your paper or they would not have invited you to resubmit.

Q: I don’t agree with the reviewers’ criticism, I think they are wrong, should I just ignore their comments?

A: To quote the inimitable Queen Bey “always stay gracious, best revenge is your [well argued, beautifully clear academic] paper” (Knowles, “Formation,” 2016).

This is your paper and only you can write it. That said, the onus is on the author to convince the readership of the importance of their paper, not the readers’ job to find or intuit that significance. The reviewers are also your readership and the peer review process is aimed at improving the thinking, writing, and clarity of your paper. Our best advice is to address the reviewers’ concerns by making changes to your paper, how you address them is up to you. Generally though, sending the same paper back with little or nothing of substance changed will not be the quickest route to publication.

Q: My paper was rejected outright, that’s not very capacious!

A: Capacious reviewers are asked to assess your work in relation to the stated aims and scope of the journal, see Aims and Scope, so if your paper falls out of scope or is incremental rather than original, then your paper might be rejected. This does not mean you have a terrible paper or it is poorly written or that you are a terrible person and a poor writer, but Capacious might not be the venue for your paper’s publication. Try us again. But with a new paper, not the same one.

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