Guide for Authors

Dear Authors,

Roadsides is a non-commercial, open-access e-journal. The editorial team works for the journal without payment. The Swiss National Science Foundation and the University of Zurich provide us with a small budget, all of which we spend on DOIs to make your articles discoverable, on design to make them beautiful, and on copyediting to ensure they read well. We do not employ any staff to, for example, clarify copyright issues or check the exactness of direct quotes. We depend on your help to make contributions as complete and as accurate as possible before submission.


Length of text contributions:
1500 words max. including footnotes, but excluding list of references and image captions.
When possible, structure each A4 page as at least two paragraphs; this kind of format is more e-reader friendly. We also welcome non-textual contributions such as graphic novels, audio-visual studies, photo essays, participatory cartography and other creative outlets of analysis.

Think of a short, pithy title. It should make your text readily identifiable and compelling for the audiences that you want to target. Due to the nature of our design, short titles of six to seven words look best. Alternatively, use a colon to divide the main title and the subtitle (e.g. Back to the Future: The Aftermath of Soviet Modernity in Tajikistan’s Pamirs).

Please provide max. 10 keywords. We enter these into the DOI protocols.

Author headshot and bio:
Please submit your headshot (greyscale or colour) in good resolution, avoid a white background. If you do not have one, ask a colleague to take a picture of you with a good smartphone camera, this will usually suffice. Please also provide a short bio.

All texts undergo an open, double peer-review. When resubmitting your article after revisions please explain how you have addressed the reviewers’ comments, or why you have chosen not to do so. Do this either in a separate document or directly by way of side-comments in MS Word.

Citation style:
… each infrastructure is a unique temporal event (Massey 2005: 138–42).
… Geoffrey Bowker (2015: 1) posits that infrastructures do not have “plotlines”… 
… the extraction of crude oil, which has fuelled a specific kind of infrastructure construction worldwide (Appel 2018) indexes extensive planetary temporalities …

See Fei 1992 and Duara 1995.
For a discussion of this rhetoric, see Crossley 1997 (189–201).
For detailed analysis of this process, see Flower 2005.
Massey (2005) argues that the spatial idea…

When including more than one citation, start with the earliest publication date, e.g.
“… the ways [time] figures in epistemology (Evans-Pritchard 1939; Fabian 1983; Gell 1992; Munn 1992; Bear 2016)…”

Please double check direct quotes, the copyeditor might not have access to the sources you cite.

Style for list of references:
Adam, Barbara. 1998. Timescapes of modernity: The environment and invisible hazards. London: Routledge. [The use of uppercase and lowercase should reflect the original title.]

Book with two titles, bilingual:
Zhongguo renkou tongji nianjian 2002 // China Population Statistics Yearbook. [Use double slash.]

Chapter in book:
Harvey, Penny, Casper Bruun Jensen, and Atsuro Morita. 2017. “Introduction: Infrastructural complications.” In Infrastructures and Social Complexity: A Companion, edited by Penny Harvey, Casper Bruun Jensen and Atsuro Morita, 1–22. London: Routledge.

Harrell, Stevan. 1989. “Ethnicity and Kin Terms among Two Kinds of Yi.” In Ethnicity and Ethnic Groups in China, New Asia Academic Bulletin 8, edited by Chien Chiao and Nicolas Tapp, 179–97. Hong Kong: New Asia College.

Foucault, Michel. 1990. The History of Sexuality. Vol. 1, An Introduction. New York: Vintage.

Journal article (always provide URL links):
Hodges, Matt. 2008. “Rethinking time’s arrow: Bergson, Deleuze and the anthropology of time.” Anthropological Theory 8 (4): 399–429. DOI:

Flower, John M. 2004. “A Road Is Made: Roads, Temples, and Historical Memory in Ya’an County, Sichuan.” The Journal of Asian Studies 63 (3): 649–85. Avaliable at: https://

Bowker, Geoffrey C. 2015. “The Infrastructure Toolbox: Temporality.” Cultural Anthropology Online. Available at:

Numerals, dates, measures:
14 February 1965; in April 2019

Spell out one to one hundred, e.g. thirty-two, eighty-eight
100–102; 101–99
Spell out big round numbers: two hundred, one thousand
6,540 people; 100,000 years
Partials: 3.4 million

Year spans:
1962–63; 1989–99; 1989–2007; 2001–2002

Decades and centuries:
in the 1970s; in the 2010s; in the eighteenth century; in the twenty-first century; in the first century BCE; in the second century CE [use CE only when needed for clarity]; seventh-century structures

Always use numerals and spell out “percent,” e.g. 56 percent.

“137 kilometres/kilometers” BUT “a 137km two-lane highway”
“5,740 square kilometers/kilometres” BUT “five thousand square kilometres/kilometers”
2,340 meters/metres above sea level; thirty miles; 1.3 miles

Language and font:
We publish in both British and US English depending on the author’s preferences.
Preferred fonts are Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, or Courier.

Image resolution, number of pixels, and print size are related mathematically: pixels (pix) = resolution (dpi) × print size (in mm). We require 300 dpi images, full width: 2480 x 3500 pix (landscape) or 3500 x 2480 (portrait).
Use the following formats for photographs and graphics:
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as “graphics.”
TIFF (or JPG): Colour or greyscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.

Integrate any illustrations into your text document AND provide them standalone as well. Please provide the credits for every image you use. Please clarify copyright of any images, sounds, graphs, etc. before publication. We do not have the capacity to do it.

Please do not supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG), as the resolution is too low. Do not supply files that are low resolution.

Links to websites:
We publish in the active pdf format. You are encouraged to embed permalinks in your text. These can be links to maps, archives, media articles, etc. which expand or add additional information to your text. For example:

“Drunken” trees lean in a crooked stupor, their narrow trunks pushed sideways not by relentless winds from above but rather by shifting soils below…”

“…The road through the Gal/i district requires continuous zigzagging to avoid potholes, and the landscape shows a succession of burned-out houses and skeletons of buildings…”

The full URL should always be given. Please double check access before submitting your paper.

Video or audio material will not be directly embedded in the final PDF file and should therefore be stored on the internet or on a server. Please provide the full URL. If you have questions about how to do this, ask the editor. If you have your own video that you would like to embed in the text, we can upload it onto the Roadsides YouTube channel.

Download Guide for Authors here