Guide for Authors

Dear Authors,

Roadsides is a non-commercial, scholar-led Open Access e-journal. The editorial team works for the journal without payment. The Swiss National Science Foundation, the University of Fribourg and the University of Zurich provide us with a modest 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.

Types of contributions:

We publish a variety of article formats, such as:

    1. Articles: 1500 words max. (including endnotes, but excluding list of references and captions) plus up to five images.
    2. Interviews: 1500 words max. (including endnotes, but excluding list of references and captions) plus up to two images.
    3. Photo essays: up to ten images plus text of max. 1500 words (including endnotes, but excluding list of references and image captions).
    4. Video/audio essays: video/audio recording of max. 10 min plus text of max. 1500 words (including endnotes, but excluding list of references and image captions).
    5. NEW FORMAT ‘Roadsides Breakdown’: one central image plus explanatory text of max. 1500 words (including endnotes, but excluding list of references and image captions). For examples see: and 


Due to its design, short titles of two to three words look best. Alternatively, divide the title into the main title (2-3 words) and a subtitle (max. 4-5 words).


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:

Roadsides is an experimental journal. We favour new and avant-garde approaches to story-telling that include visual or audio-visual elements. However, we are nonetheless an academically rigorous journal. All essays published in Roadsides must therefore include proper citations, lists of references, correct quotes, etc.


… 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.

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.]

Edited book:

Hockenberry, Matthew Curtis, Nicole Starosielski and Susan Marjorie Zieger (eds.). 2021. Assembly Codes: The Logistics of Media. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 

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.

Online media articles:

Desmarais, Anna. 2020. “N.W.T.’s Mackenzie Valley fibre line not living up to expectations, experts say.” CBC News, 25 June. valley-fibre-line-last-mile-1.5625828


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

Journal article (please only provide URL links to Open Access articles accessible without paywalls and in full-text online):

Peldszus, Regina. 2020. “Space Infrastructure Resilience: Reflections on Recovered Launch Debris.” Roadsides 3: 30-41.

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


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

Mackenzie Valley Fiber Link (website). 2022. “Northern Opportunities, World Class Possibilities: The Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link.”

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.


Images should develop the argument, not just illustrate the text. Please consider carefully what their role in the essay should be. Often it is better to have two strong photographs rather than five weak ones. Integrate any illustrations into your text document AND provide them as standalone images as well.

We only accept high-quality images. This means that they should have a good contrast, be sharp, and have a high resolution.

We require images in full width: 2480 x 3500 px (landscape) or 3500 x 2480 px (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) at 300 dpi.

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

Due to our design template, publication of photographs on an article’s title page is not possible.

Image captions and image credits:

Please note that image captions should be no longer than thirty words. A caption should contain: image title (optional), information on place and year, and author’s full name/source. 

Please clarify copyright before publication. Roadsides is an OA journal licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC-SA). This means that the images that we publish can be shared, used and copied, but not for commercial purposes. Please make sure that image authors understand the license and agree to its terms. Below we list some examples for orientation. If you choose to have no captions, please consult the section ‘Artwork copyright and credit’ below.

Example of image captions:

A lorry under construction, workshop in Port Sudan. Photo: Kurt Beck, 2008.

Construction of a viaduct over the River Great Ouse flood plain. The new route has to navigate terrain where the boundary between land and water is historically uncertain, December 2017. Photo: Highways England.

Āpirana Ngata and Te Rangihīroa (Peter Buck) weaving a tukutuku latticework panel during the Dominion Museum Ethnological expedition to the East Coast in 1923. Courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.

The debris of the Cluster I mission was archived at the European Space Agency, and captured afresh three decades later. Image: © Sascha Mikloweit & VG Bild Kunst 2020.

Still captions:

Monitor image of Mir from the approaching Soyuz rocket. Still from Out of the Present (1997). Credit: Andrei Ujică.

Stills from Madhav Kunte’s Power for Progress 1969, 0:22–1:34. Source: 

Artwork copyright and credits:

Please clarify copyright before publication. Roadsides is an OA journal licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC-SA). This means that the images that we publish can be shared, used and copied, but not for commercial purposes. Please make sure that artists understand this license and agree to its terms. 

Image credits and copyright information can be handled in multiple ways. For examples see:, or

Please always provide a copyright note at the end of the article, like here: or here: 

We can also include a copyright information in each image, like here:

You might also want to consider including the artist as a co-author of the article, like here: or here

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.


We encourage authors to limit their notes to the necessary minimum; no more than ten per piece. Due to our sidenote publishing format (see this piece for example), footnotes or endnotes should not be longer than 20 words each.

Download Guide for Authors