Submission Procedure
From 2012 the Journal of Maps will be published by Taylor and Francis. Please see their submission guidelines for further details.


Submission Procedure

The Journal of Maps is entirely electronic, enabling the rapid refereeing of maps (and their associated article), as well as reducing distribution costs. To that end we only accept materials electronically through our online submission process. Please note that you must be registered on the JoM website as an author (not just a user) in order to go through the submission process. The "Submit a Map" link will be visible in the left-hand panel if you are logged in as an author; the "Upgrade to Author" link will be visible if you haven't performed this stage yet.

One article and one map file are submitted during the submission process; we only accept certain file formats. Any assistance with this process can be obtained from Submission Support.

Once submitted the materials are sent for review. If accepted, then publication will occur in the next available slot. Both article and map will be published as PDF files available from


Latex users can download a template with detailed submission details.

Processing Charges

At JoM we use a "reverse publishing" model whereby the author pays for the review and publishing process. This enables us to freely distribute your materials and obtain as wide a coverage as possible. Processing charges are currently 50 per article, although this is subject to change, without notice, at our discretion.

Editorial Policies

Article submission implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that all materials will be made freely available to anyone wishing to make use of them for non-commercial purposes.

No part of the article or map can infringe upon existing copyrights in any way. This is particularly important for map based data; the use of any copyrighted data should be made clear.

The article should be short (~1000-2000 words), describing the data presented in the map and any pertinent techniques used during the collection/mapping process. We will not accept long articles incorporating data analysis and interpretation; we strongly support the publication of articles elsewhere interpreting or referring to any materials published in JoM. The map should not have already been published or be under consideration by any other journal.

JoM should be seen as a channel to publish map based material not normally accepted by traditional journals that can then be referred to and viewed by other researchers.

Article authorship should be identified well in advance of manuscript submission and requires that a significant intellectual contribution has been made to the work; this may involve collecting data, analysis, cartographic design, writing the manuscript or reviewing a final draft. We strongly discourage "honorary" authorship and a manuscript can be rejected on this basis.

Plagiarism is presentation of someone elses ideas/material as your own and without attribution. We donot accept plagiarism in any form and a manuscript will be rejected without opportunity for resubmission on this basis.

File Format Guidelines

The following word processor file formats are accepted for the main article:

Microsoft Word (version 2 and above)
Rich text format (RTF)
Users of other word processing packages should save or convert their files to RTF before uploading.

Note that figures must be submitted as part of the main article document.

The map must be submitted as a PDF format file. If you are embedding audio or video in your article or map they must conform to either MP3 (for audio) or XVID (for video).

If a manuscript is accepted, authors must submit their references as either EndNote or JabRef files. This substantially improves the quality of referencing, as well as the speed of typesetting. If you currently do not use a bibliographic manager we recommend JabRef as it is open source and operates with our typesetting system.


References must include the DOI where available. If you donot know the DOI of your references, please use the CrossRef Simple Text Query to find them. Simply cut and paste all your references in to the text box and the system will retrieve the DOIs where available.

Article Guidelines

The following section titles should act as guidelines for the structure of your article. Unless otherwise noted, they are not mandatory, and are intended to be indicative of what might form the article structure.

Title page (mandatory)

The full names, institutional addresses, and email addresses for all authors must be included on the title page.

Abstract (mandatory)

The abstract of the manuscript should not exceed 250 words. Please refrain from using acronyms and do not cite references. The scale and area of the map should be stated.

Introduction (mandatory)

This section should outline the broad research area and a lay-persons introduction to the topic. Any introductory reading can be introduced. An overview of the map can be briefly made.


The research for which the map was produced should be described and any specific details about the methods used in data collection or map production should be made, as well as any analyses performed. If a detailed research article is to be published in another journal it should be introduced.

Conclusions (mandatory)

A brief statement about the conclusions to be drawn from the work can be made, as well as the relevance and importance.

Software (mandatory)

A brief description (~1 paragraph) of the software used at various stages during the production of the map.


JoM supports the distribution of original data, in addition to the publication of an article/map. If authors have created new data, that is not under any copyright restrictions, we would welcome the opportunity to distribute it. This section is therefore pertinent to those intending to submit data and should explain the structure of the data, format and any relevant operating instructions.


Individuals or organisatons that have had input to the work should be acknowledged including, where appropriate, any related grant numbers.

We also operate a "Secondary Author" system whereby those who have had significant involvement in a project, but would not normally be considered "authors", can be listed as "Secondary Authors". Individuals that might fall in to this category include cartographers, database managers, fieldworkers etc. Please list any secondary authors, with affiliation, after the main authors on the title page.

Map Design (mandatory)

Please include at the end of your article a brief paragraph any design notes that would be useful to the cartographic review editor with respect to understanding your design decisions. This will not form part of the final manuscript and therefore any releavant material should be included in the main body of the text.

It is also important to remember that your map should stand independently of the submitted written paper. For example, inset maps included in the paper to orient the map viewer, need also to be included on the map page. Explanatory text with respect to the data classification that is imperative to understanding the resultant maps should be summarized in a text box on the map page.

References (mandatory)

If a manuscript is accepted, authors must submit their references as either EndNote or JabRef files. This substantially improves the quality of referencing, as well as the speed of typesetting. If you currently do not use a bibliographic manager we recommend JabRef as it is open source and operates with our typesetting system. References must include the DOI where available.

If references are stored using JabRef, then they should be Exported (from the File menu) as "Havard RTF" and copied in to the reference section of your Word document.

Figure legends

The figure legends should be included in the main text, immediately following the references. Each figure should have a number (e.g Figure 1, 2, 3 etc) and a detailed legend.

Preparing figures

Illustrations should be provided as embedded files at the end of the manuscript. Text within figures should use either Arial or Helvetica fonts, although Courier may also be used if a monospaced font is required. There is no charge for the use of colour figures. If your manuscript is accepted for publication you will be requested to supply high quality raster (TIFF) or vector (EPS/PDF) graphics; vector graphics should be used wherever appropriate and your submission may be rejected if illustrations are not of a sufficient standard. Raster illustrations should be submitted at a resolution of 200 dpi (or greater).

Where necessary, the author(s) need to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce figures or tables that have been published elsewhere.

Preparing tables

Each table should be numbered (e.g. Table 1, 2, 3 etc.) and be complemented by a concise legend.

Larger sets of tabular data can be provided for download to the end user and should be submitted in spreadsheet format, either as Excel (.xls) or comma separated values (.csv). Please contact the editor if you wish to do this.


We currently only accept manuscripts written in English. Spelling should be US English or British English, but not a mixture.

JoM requests that authors limit their articles to 1000-2000 words. As the emphasis of the journal is on the presentation of map based data, articles are simply meant to support this work.

Reviewers do not edit for style or language, but may refuse an article on these grounds. Please write clearly and simply.


Please use standard fonts (e.g. Arial, Garamond, Times Roman, Courier); Arial or Garamond are preferred for body text

Please use double line spacing

Type the text unjustified, without hyphenating words at line breaks

Use hard returns only to end headings and paragraphs, not to rearrange lines

All pages and lines should be numbered

Footnotes to text should not be used

Greek and other special characters may be included. If you are unable to reproduce a particular special character, please type out the name of the symbol in full

Important Note: please ensure that all special characters used are embedded in the text, otherwise they will be lost during conversion to PDF for peer review. This is particularly important for any special fonts and/or symbolisation used on maps.

Cartographic guidelines

It is not feasible and certainly not desirable to prescribe the design, appearance or specification of maps submitted for publication in JoM. JoM encourages diversity in style and design, however maps should be produced to a high standard of draughtsmanship and the implementation of good cartographic design is strongly advised. Maps should be designed with care and attention to their page format, layout, data representation, symbolisation, data classification, line weights, colour use and typography. Visual relationships should be designed to optimise legibility, achieve appropriate visual hierarchy, make clear figure-ground relationships and, where appropriate, depict visual contrast. Where appropriate, maps should follow conventional symbolisation schemes to aid interpretation (e.g. geological symbols). Additionally, it should be borne in mind that maps are to be viewed as if in their printed form and therefore designed for the printed page rather than display on VDU.

1. Copyright

Permission to use copyrighted data and third party map materials MUST be obtained prior to publication.

2. Map Accuracy

Positional and vertical accuracy of the information contained within the map is important. A statement of map accuracy should be included to indicate the quality and completeness of information shown on the map. Generalisation, although necessary for derived products, should be kept to a minimum.

3. Map Title and Authorship

The title of the map, author names and affiliations should be included.

4. Map projection and grid

A statement identifying the projection, spheroid and grid should normally be included.

5. Map extents

Maps should be framed (please use a 1cm white page edge) within a suitable border and positional information (latitude/longitude or grid co-ordinates) visible.

6. Map datum

National datums used to derive horizontal control co-ordinates and vertical control values should be identified.

7. Grid lines and graticule

Where appropriate, grid lines and/or a graticule should be used at a suitable interval.

8. Names and map lettering

Names and descriptive notes are integral components of a map and are essential aids to the identification and qualification of features depicted on the map. They also provide information where symbolisation is inappropriate.
Some general notes:

The final map should not be cluttered or ambiguous in content.
Names and descriptive notes should be in a size and style relevant to the prominence and/or of the importance of the depicted feature.
The proper selection and placement of text is of extreme importance and will not only benefit the map user but also the final appearance of the map. Poor or careless labelling of features can cause complications in map reading and negate the cartographic quality of the map.
Abbreviated names are discouraged.
Name placement should follow conventions for general placement, naming curved features, word spacing, direction of labelling, point feature labelling, overprinting of graticule and grid lines, overprinting of symbology, area name placement, area name letter spacing and naming linear features.
Lettering should be appropriately designed, normally with a Sans Serif font.

9. Geographical source information

All information sources should be clearly identified.

10. Map symbols: design and positioning

Map symbols should be designed to connotate the appropriate level of measurement and feature dimensionality. Appropriate visual variables should be employed to depict qualitative and quantitative map features appropriately. Normally, the centre of the symbol should correspond with the centre of the feature. When it is necessary to displace a symbol for clarity, the extent of displacement should be kept to a minimum.

11. Masking

Masking of map features should be applied uniformly where overprinting between symbols of different colour is undesirable and clashes between features are unavoidable.

12. Colour and patterns

Colour should be applied judiciously, to increase legibility and improve the portrayal of variation in the data. Conventional use of colour in map symbolisation is encouraged. Text should normally be in black. Text that refers to water features should normally be in blue.

13. Paper size

Whilst map size should be a function of their design and content, for subsequent printing purposes please ensure they are submitted to an ISO standard paper size specification. These include:

TypeSize (mm)
A0841 x 1189
A1594 x 841
A2420 x 594
A3297 x 420
A4210 x 297
A5148 x 210

14. Multiple Pages

Submissions may contain multiple maps portraying different variables related to a topic, but the pdf file must be a single page. Contact the editor if you have a question about what is acceptable. Examples include:

15. Copyright ©

If accepted for publication, JoM will hold a joint copyright with the author to license and distribute the map and article. JoM requires a copyright statement on all maps that are published. Please incorporate "© Journal of Maps, 200x" in to the design of the map.

16. Cartographic references

For guidelines to assist in understanding cartographic principles and the design and production of maps, the following texts may be useful. The list is by no means complete and many more texts are available:

DENT, B.D. (1993) Cartography: Thematic Map Design (5ed). William C Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.

KRAAK, M.J. and ORMELING, F. (2002). Cartography : Visualization of Spatial Data (2ed). Pearson, Harlow.

MacEARCHEN, A.M. (1995) How maps work: Representation, Visualisation, and Design. Guildford Press, London.

ROBINSON, A.H., MORRISON, J.L., MUEHRCKE, P.C., KIMERLING, A.J. and GUPTIL, S.C. (1995) Elements of Cartography (6ed). Wiley, Chichester.

17. Cartographer

If you are unable to produce your own map then we would suggest the engagement of a cartographer to produce one for your submission. We can recommend the following:

Claire Ivison
School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Surrey, KT1 2EE
United Kingdom