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Guidelines for Editors and Authors

Computers and Composition: An International Journal is devoted to exploring the use of computers in writing classes, writing programs, and writing research. It provides a forum for discussing issues connected with writing and computer use. It also offers information about integrating computers into writing programs on the basis of sound theoretical and pedagogical decisions, and empirical evidence. It welcomes articles, reviews, and letters to the editors that may be of interest to readers, including descriptions of computer-aided writing and/or reading instruction; discussions of topics related to compute use of software development; explorations of controversial ethical, legal, or social issues related to the use of computers in writing programs; and discussions of how computers affect form and content for written discourse, the process by which this discourse is produced, or the impact this discourse has on an audience.

(NOTE: The following submission guidelines provide information about submitting manuscripts to Computers and Composition: An International Journal, published by Elsevier. The online journal, Computers and Composition Online, has separate submissions guidelines. For more information, visit Computers and Composition Online.)


Guest Editors of special issues need the Guest Editor's Manual (PDF 236kb), which provides general information necessary to create an issue. The Style Manual (PDF 258kb) provides informating on the journal's house style.

We welcome any suggestions for changes and advice on how we can clarify or extend our commentary to assist you in accomplishing your editing tasks. Only if you tell us what you need to know can we make these manuals living, useful documents. As Computers and Composition matures, we make changes in our conventions and procedures. Thus, the manuals are also maturing; please let us know what you see as needed improvements.

Guide for Authors

Authors are requested to submit their manuscripts electronically by using our online submission system, the Elsevier Editorial System (EES). This site provides guidelines for Authors throughout the submission process. Authors should upload all source files for each manuscript in the preferred formats as detailed below, and the system will convert source files into a single Adobe Acrobat PDF version that is then used in the peer-review process. Please note that even as manuscript source files are converted into a PDF at submission for the review process, these files are needed for further processing after acceptance. Authors, Reviewers, and Editors will send and receive all correspondence by email.

Guidelines for Submission
Manuscripts are accepted for review with the understanding that the same work has not been and will not be published nor is presently submitted elsewhere, that all persons listed as Authors have given their approval for the submission of the paper, and that any person cited as a source of personal communication has approved such citation.

Authors submitting a manuscript do so with the understanding that if it is accepted for publication, copyright of the article, including the right to reproduce that article in all forms of media, shall be assigned to the Publisher. The Publisher will not refuse any reasonable request by the Author for permission to reproduce any of his or her contributions to Computers and Composition. See below for more information on copyright.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission
Manuscripts should be submitted and tracked electronically through the EES. Authors will need to submit at least three separate files: the manuscript in a Word document or RTF file that includes a 200-word abstract, 5-10 relevant key words, and no author identifiers; a cover letter; and a title page with a short (50-100 words) biographical statement. Manuscripts should be between 15 and 30 pages in length, double-spaced, and formatted for an 8 ½ x 11-inch document with 1-inch margins on all sides.

Manuscripts must follow the guidelines of the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2009), except where noted in the Computers and Composition Style Manual. See the Style Section below for more details.

Registration is required for new users, and instructions for submission are provided online. Log in or register as an author and upload all files. Processing may take up to four weeks, and once all required reviews are submitted, manuscripts are forwarded to the editorial office for evaluation and processing. Queries about possible submissions can be directed to:

Dr. Kristine L. Blair
Professor of English
Department of English
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403 USA

The guidelines of the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., 2009) should be followed apart from these exceptions:

Authors must provide first and middle names or first names and middle initials of authors upon first mention within the text (but not in parenthetical citations) and also in the references section (see below).

Additionally, specific tenses are used for in-text references to works: descriptions or reporting of results are made in the past or present perfect tenses (the author argued or has argued) while discussions or analyses of results are made in the present tense (the author's argument indicates).

See the Computers and Composition Style Manual (PDF 184kb) for more details on the journal house style.

Since manuscripts are submitted for blind review, all identifying information must be removed from the body of the paper. Once files are converted into PDFs, all metadata is automatically removed from files, and the manuscripts remain anonymous. The same applies to responses composed by Reviewers for Authors.

Tables and Figures
Tables and figures should be completely understandable independent of the text. Each table and figure must be mentioned in the text, given titles, and consecutively numbered with Arabic numerals. Authors must provide appropriately formatted files for all figures to be directly reproduced for publication. Detailed instructions can be found in Elsevier's Artwork Guidelines page.

Elsevier also accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your research. Supplementary files offer additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, movies, animation sequences, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips, and more. Supplementary files are published online alongside the electronic version of articles in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. In order to ensure that the submitted material is directly usable, data should be provided in one of the recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. More detailed instructions are located in the Artwork Guidelines page.

Notes should be used sparingly and indicated by consecutive numbers in the text. Acknowledgments, grant numbers, or other credits should be given in separate footnotes.

All sources cited in the text must be included alphabetically in the reference list, and all reference items must appear within the text. Computers and Composition varies from the APA style by including first names in all references. Below are examples of entries:

  • Flinn, Jane Zeni & Madigan, Chris. (1989). The gateway writing project: Staff development and computers in St. Louis . In Cynthia L. Selfe, Dawn Rodrigues & William R. Oates (Eds.) Computers in English and the language arts: The challenge of teacher education (pp. 55-68). Urbana , IL : National Council of Teachers of English.
  • McDaid, John. (1990, March). The shape of texts to come: Response and the ecology of hypertext. Paper presented at the convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago , IL .
  • Strenski, Ellen. (1995). Electronic tutor training with a local e-mail LISTSERV discussion group. Computers and Composition, 12, 246-256.
  • Guyer, Carolyn & Petry, Martha. (1991) IZME PASS [Computer program] Boston : Eastgate Systems.

Additionally, a digital object identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string that is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. The correct format for citing a DOI is shown as follows (example taken from a document in the journal, Physics Letters B ):


The DOIs used to create URL hyperlinks to documents on the Web are guaranteed never to change.

If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the Author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by Authors. In these cases, and in cases of any other copyright queries, contact Elsevier's Rights Department, Oxford , UK : phone (+44) 1865 843830, fax (+44) 1865 853333, e-mail Further information can be found and copyright requests may be completed online via Elsevier's permissions page. Copies of any letters granting permission to reproduce illustrations, tables, or lengthy quotations should be included with the manuscript file.

Upon acceptance of an article, Authors will be asked to transfer copyright. (For more information on copyright, visit the "copyright" link at Elsevier's Authors' Home. This transfer will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. A letter will be sent to the corresponding Author confirming receipt of the manuscript. A form facilitating transfer of copyright will be provided.

Authors' rights
Authors (or employers or institutions) may do the following within the standard Elsevier Copyright agreement without the need for further or special permissions:

  • make copies (print or electronic) of the article for your own personal use, including for your own classroom teaching use
  • make copies and distribute such copies (including through e-mail) of the article to research colleagues for the personal use by such colleagues (but not commercially or systematically, e.g., via an e-mail list or list server)
  • post a pre-print version of the article on Internet Web sites including electronic pre-print servers and retain indefinitely such a version on such servers or sites
  • post a revised personal version of the final text of the article (to reflect changes made in the peer review and editing process) on your personal or institutional website or server with a link to the journal homepage (at
  • present the article at a meeting or conference and to distribute copies of the article to the delegates attending such a meeting
  • for employers if the article is a "work for hire" made within the scope of your employment; your employer may use all or parts of the information in the article for other intra-company use (e.g., training)
  • retain patent and trademark rights and rights to any processes or procedure described in the article
  • include the article in full or in part in a thesis or dissertation (provided that it is not to be published commercially)
  • use the article or any part thereof in a printed compilation of works, such as collected writings or lecture notes (subsequent to publication of your article in the journal)
  • prepare other derivative works, to extend the article into book-length form, or to otherwise re-use portions or excerpts in other works, with full acknowledgement of its original publication in the journal

Author Inquiries
Authors can also track the progress of their accepted article and set up e-mail alerts informing them of changes to their manuscript's status by using the "Track a Paper" feature in Elsevier's Author Gateway.

Each lead Author will receive 25 free offprints in hard copy or a PDF of the article -- chosen by the author.