Areas of Study

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 “video-manuscript” 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

Download Guidelines PDF

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.

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) from Elsevier 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.

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 (see sample below.)

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.

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 for step 2): Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Transcript”

References: Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_References”

Master Sheet: Stand alone, “FIRSTAUTHORLASTNAME_V1_Mastersheet”

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