Information for authors

What we publish

We publish eBooks and multimedia on the theory and practice of language documentation, language description, and language support and revitalisation. Topics include language structure and use, sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics, as well as language policy and applied linguistics.

Publications may be written by one or more authors, or be edited collections of papers by multiple authors on a particular topic or language area. eBooks normally range in size from 100 to 300 (printed) pages, and works incorporating media materials are encouraged.

To publish in Language Documentation and Description (LDD)

The journal Language Documentation and Description (LDD) has moved to the Aperio platform at the University of Virginia. Please refer to this page for information about new submissions:


We have an open submissions policy. If you are interested in proposing or submitting a draft publication, please email us at or use the Contact page to get in touch.

When preparing a submission please consider these guidelines, which draw from those established by Glossa and Language Documentation and Description. Formatting in accordance with these guidelines is not required until the submission is accepted for publication.

Submissions should consist of:

  • a single PDF file containing all tables and figures; and
  • a MS Word file containing all the text content, a word count (counting all words including footnotes and references) beneath the title. and labelled place holders for all tables and figures (e.g. “<Table 1 goes here>”).

In preparation for double-blind peer review, include only the title, word count, abstract (maximum 200 words), and up to six keywords at the top of your submission. Check the file properties and remove identifying information embedded in the document. (The names of all authors, affiliations, contact details, and corresponding author details will be documented elsewhere in the submission process.) If you have questions about the mechanics of blinding contact the Managing Editor.

If the submission is accepted for publication authors will need to provide all the media content (images, video, audio) as separate media files (in suitable formats and resolutions). We will discuss this with you during the review process. Accepted items should also if possible include the authors’ ORCID ID to associate with their name. More information about ORCID IDs can be found here.


Submissions should include an abstract of no more than 200 words summarizing the main arguments and conclusions. Use the heading ‘Abstract’.

Main text

The text may use up to three levels of headings, each formatted in bold. Subsection headings should also appear in italics. Numbering, if used, begins with 1, not 0. The conclusion should be the last numbered section. Any other sections, such as Acknowledgments, are optional and unnumbered. Article and section titles should not contain any capitalization except the first word, the lexical word after a colon, and words that generally require capitals such as proper and place names. Section headings do not end with a full stop / period.

Accessibility of data

Data or code included or cited in the submission should where possible be referenced so that readers know where and how to access the data’s source(s). Include source’s location and DOI where possible. See the Tromsø Recommendations for Citation of Research Data in Linguistics for suggestions about what information to include and how to format it.

EL Publishing may be able to host accompanying media files such as audio, video, images, or other data that is specifically associated with a publication. Such materials should be submitted for review during the initial submission process. Provide a separate list of any such files with a corresponding number, title, link, and description.


If Acknowledgements are included, they should appear separately under their own heading, placed after the main text but before the reference list. Acknowledgment of grant funding can be included.

Permissions and declarations

Authors are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions before an accepted submission will be published. Third-party content used in the work must be acknowledged and cited.

Authors must affirm that due diligence has been paid to matters of authorship, ethics and consent, acknowledgment of funders, and declaration of any potential conflicting interests.


Format accepted manuscripts as A4 page size, with margins of 2.5 centimeters on all sides, and text left-aligned, size 12 point. The recommended fonts are Times New Roman for body text and Arial for headings.

Bolding and italicization should be used in moderation. Underlining should be avoided.

Linguistic examples

Examples for languages other than English should be appear with a translation and interlinear glossing where appropriate. Set all examples using borderless tables to ensure alignment (do not align language terms and their glosses, translations using spaces or tabs). For further guidance on publishing linguistic examples, refer to the Leipzig glossing rules, or consult the Managing Editor about using any nonstandard layout.

If examples are numbered, the numbers are enclosed in parentheses. Language example sentences usually have normal capitalization of the first word and normal punctuation. A gloss line has no capitalization or punctuation.


Figures such as images, graphs, diagrams, maps, etc. must be clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to view or understand, you may be asked to provide a better version or omit it.

Tree diagrams should be presented as figures.

Figures must be captioned, and numbered in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Caption each figure with a descriptive title in italics. Include a short additional statement if appropriate.

Figure captions are placed below the figure. Place these at the location in the document where you would ideally like to see them appear, and enclosed in < > brackets. Note that they may need to be moved in the final published version.

The source of an image should be included, along with any relevant rights information, if needed.

Examples of captions for figures:

Figure 1. 1685 map of London.

Figure 1. 1685 map of London. Note the addition of St Paul’s Cathedral, absent from earlier maps.
Figure 1. Firemen try to free workers buried under piles of concrete and metal girders. Photo: Claude-Michel Masson. Reproduced with permission.

If there is text within a figure that is in the form of a media file (e.g. an image) then the text will appear as in the image and thus may not match the formatting of the main text.


Include tables in the text in their preferred location. The final layout will place the tables as close to this location as possible.

All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.).

Caption each table in the text with a descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarize the content and/or use of the table. A short additional description of the table can be added. Place table captions above the table.

Tables should not include rotated text, colour or shading to convey information, or images.

General information about tables and figures

During typesetting, the placement of tables and figures may change from where you put them in your submission. Therefore, do not refer to tables and figures using the words “following”, “below”, or “above”.

If a submission is accepted for publication, all images must be provided as individual files, if possible in colour and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB, and in JPG, PNG or TIFF format. For line drawings that originated as vector-based images, if possible provide the original vector file (e.g. .ai, or .eps). Name files systematically and refer to each in the text by its file name.


Use footnotes, not endnotes. These will appear at the bottom of each page. Footnotes should be used sparingly. Avoid using notes for referencing – cite references in the text instead. If in-text citations cannot be used, a source can be cited as part of a note. Place the footnote marker after the last relevant punctuation in the text.

Avoid presenting examples in footnotes; however if it is unavoidable they should be numbered using (i), (ii), etc. For WWW references, write URLs and dates of access in footnotes.


Acronyms that are not in common use should be spelt out in full or on first use. Use the acronym for all subsequent references. Acronyms should usually be in capital letters without full stops.

Research completed by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows …

UK, not U.K.

Hyphenation, em and en dashes

Use any hyphenation consistently throughout the submission.

Em dashes should be used to denote emphasis or interruption to the main sentence, such as in the following example:

The president’s niece ― daughter of his younger brother ― caused a media scandal when…

En dashes should be used when indicating a range. No space should surround en dashes.

10–25 years

pp. 10–65


For zero to nine spell out the whole words. Use Arabic numerals for 10 and above.

Use either words or Arabic numerals to represent large numbers (i.e. one million or 1,000,000) as long as they are consistent throughout.

If a sentence includes a series of numbers then Arabic numerals should be used. If a number appears as part of dataset, in conjunction with a symbol or as part of a table then Arabic numerals must be used. If a sentence starts with a number it must be spelled out, or the sentence should be re-written so that it no longer starts with the number. Use period rather than comma to mark the decimal place. Always precede a decimal point with a digit.

Artefacts were found at depths of 5, 9, and 29 cm.

This study confirmed that 5% of…

Fifteen examples were found to exist… / The result showed that 15 examples existed…

2.43 (not 2,43)

0.24 (not .24)


For the title and first level headings in the text, capitalize nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and conjunctions (e.g. as, because, although). Use lowercase for articles, coordinate conjunctions, and prepositions, e.g.

Slip-Sliding on a Yellow Brick Road: Stabilization Efforts in Afghanistan

For lower-level subheadings, capitalize only the first letter of the first word, and proper nouns.


For submissions in English, use either British or American spellings consistently. When referring to proper nouns and institutional titles use the official, original spelling, e.g. “World Health Organization”, not “World Health Organisation”.


Use bullet points to present lists of items that do not have any intrinsic order. For lists of items with any kind of intrinsic order use a numbered list.

Quotation marks

Use double quotation marks except for quotes within already quoted content. Within quotes, use single quotation marks.

For quotations longer than three lines, use an indented paragraph block.

The source of any quoted material must be indicated.


In-text citations

Within the text, write references as the author’s surname followed by the publication year and page numbers where necessary. The year appears in parentheses, except if the citation is already inside parentheses.

If there are more than two authors, the surname of the first author plus et al. can be used. If all the authors are listed, the last name is separated from the others by an ampersand.

Thomason & Kaufman (1988: 276–280) point out that the northern dialects of English show more morphological innovations (and are morphologically more simple) than the southern English dialects. The notation we use to represent this is borrowed from theories according to which φ-features occur in a so-called feature geometry (Gazdar & Pullum 1982). Bannard et al. (2009) …

Both Jones (2013) and Brown (2010) showed that …

Use comma between dates of works by the same author in citations, but semicolon between different authors, e.g.

The statistics clearly show this to be untrue (Brown 2017; Jones 2013, 2019).

For citations from the same author and year, a lowercase letter, starting from ‘a’, should be placed after the year,

(Jones 2013a; Jones 2013b)

If specific pages are being cited then the page number should follow the year, after a colon, e.g.

(Brown 2004: 65–66; Jones 2013: 143)

For publications authored and published by organizations, use the short form of the organization’s name or its acronym instead of the full name.

(ICRC 2000) not (International Committee of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2000)

Do not include URLs in parenthetical citations, but cite the author or page title and include all details, including the URL and date of last access, in the reference list.

Surnames should be spelt as the authors spell their own name

It has been claimed by de Swart (1998) and De Belder (2011) that meaning is compositional.

Chinese and Korean names may be treated in a special way: As the surnames are often not very distinctive, the full name may be given in the in-text citation.

the neutral negation bù is compatible with stative and activity verbs (cf. Teng Shou-hsin 1973; Hsieh Miao-Ling 2001; Lin Jo-wang 2003)

Reference list

A reference list should appear at the end of the main text, alphabetically ordered by authors surname. If multiple works by the same author are listed, write the author’s name for each entry, rather than using a long dash. DOIs should be included for reference entries where possible.

General guidelines:

  • The names of authors and editors should be given in full, without abbreviation of given names.
  • In multi-author (or multi-edit) works the initial author’s name is given in the order Lastname, Firstname; subsequent authors are listed Firstname Lastname.
  • When there is more than one author (or editor), the last name is separated from the others by an ampersand.
  • Provide page numbers of journals. Provide issue numbers whenever possible.
  • Journal titles are not abbreviated.
  • Main title and subtitle are separated by a colon.
  • Titles of works written in a language or script that readers cannot be expected to know should be accompanied by a translation, given in square brackets.
  • No author names are omitted; et al. is not used in the references.

There are four standard reference types: journal article, book, article in edited book, and thesis.

Journal article

Milewski, Tadeusz. 1951. The conception of the word in languages of North American natives. Lingua Posnaniensis 3: 248–268.

Coseriu, Eugenio. 1964. Pour une sémantique diachronique structurale. Travaux de linguistique et de littérature 2(1): 139–186.


Matthews, Peter. 1974. Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lightfoot, David W. (ed.). 2002. Syntactic effects of morphological change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chelliah, Shobhana & Willem de Reuse. 2010. Handbook of descriptive linguistic fieldwork. Dordrecht: Springer.

Johnson, Kyle, Mark Baker & Ian Roberts. 1989. Passive arguments raised. Linguistic Inquiry 20: 219–251.

Article in edited volume

Erdal, Marcel. 2007. Group inflexion, morphological ellipsis, affix suspension, clitic sharing. In Jocelyne Fernandez-Vest (ed.), Combat pour les langues du monde: Hommage à Claude Hagège, 177–189: Paris: L’Harmattan.

Jung, Dagmar & Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. 2011. Retelling data: Working on transcription. In Geoffrey Haig, Nicole Nau, Stefan Schnell, & Claudia Wegener (eds.), Documenting endangered languages: Achievements and perspectives, 202–220. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.


Yu, Alan C. L. 2003. The morphology and phonology of infixation. Berkeley, CA: University of California dissertation.

Names of a book series follow the book title. They appear between brackets and in italic. They may be accompanied by an (optional) issue number.

Gawne, Lauren & Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker. 2018. Reflections on reproducible research. In Bradley McDonnell, Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, & Gary Holton (eds.), Reflections on language documentation 20 years after Himmelmann 1998, 22–32 (Language Documentation & Conservation Special Publication 15). Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.

Capitalize all lexical words (i.e., use title case) in journal and series titles. Capitalize only the first word (plus proper names, including place names, and the first word after a colon or m-dash) for book and thesis titles, and article and chapter titles. The principle is that title case is used for titles that are recurring, and lower case used for those that are not.

When citing a web resource that is not a regular scientific publication, it should be treated like a book, to the extent possible. For references to archival materials, see the Tromsø Recommendations for suggestions about what information on what to include and formatting.

Titles of works written in a language or script that readers cannot be expected to know should be accompanied by a transliteration and translation, given in brackets.

Haga, Yasushi. 1998. 日本語 の 社会心理. Nihongo no shakaishinri [Social psychology in the Japanese language]. Tokyo: Ningen no Kagakusha.

Li, Rulong. 1999. Minnan fangyan de daici [Demonstrative and personal pronouns in Southern Min]. In Rulong Li & Song-Hing Chang (eds). Daici [Demonstrative and personal pronouns], 263–287. Guangzhou: Ji’nan University Press.


If the text includes copyrighted material exceeding that allowed as fair use, permission will need to be obtained from the copyright holder.

  • Authors retain copyright and grant EL Publishing right of first publication with the work licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This licence allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and publication by EL Publishing.
  • Authors can make additional agreements with other parties for non-exclusive distribution of the published version of the work (e.g. post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its first publication by EL Publishing.
  • Authors are encouraged to also post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their personal website) prior to and during the submission process, as this can lead to productive exchanges, and increase citation of the published work (see The Effect of Open Access).

Where appropriate, EL Publishing can arrange for managed/controlled access to sensitive or restricted materials.

By submitting to EL Publishing an author undertakes that all named authors and rights holders have agreed to the above terms of publication.

Note: some institutions require authors to seek written agreement to the terms of publication. If this is required, request a separate licence agreement document from the editorial team.


Names and email addresses provided to EL Publishing will be used exclusively for the stated purposes, and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Publication Fees

EL Publishing does not normally charge publication fees. Where a large amount of complex layout, language checking or sub-editing is required, we may discuss with authors about a payment contribution.


El Publishing aims to obtain two or three double-blind peer reviews per submission, and to provide authors with a review report.

Preparation checklist

  • The submission has not been previously published, in part or in whole, nor is it currently submitted to another journal for consideration.
  • All authors qualify as authors and have given their permission to be listed.
  • Authors commit to obtaining all necessary permissions to use third-party material if the submission is accepted for publication.
  • Authors commit to adhering to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines if the submission is accepted for publication.
  • The submission has been anonymised in preparation for peer review, unless the author has agreed alternative arrangements with the editor.
  • All tables are cited in the main text and are included within the main text document.
  • All figures are cited in the main text and are provided as separate files. Figures and images have a resolution of at least 300dpi. Image files are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, PNG, EPS (the original media file, if available, is preferred).
  • Authors have obtained all necessary ethics approvals to conduct and publish research reported in the submission.
  • Authors have confirmed that they have no conflicts of interest, or declared any conflicts of interest.
  • ORCID identifiers are provided for authors, if possible.