Mission statement and submission guidelines

Welcome to Representology - a journal dedicated to research and best-practice perspectives on how to make the media more representative of all sections of society.

A starting point for effective representation are the “protected characteristics” defined by the Equality Act 2010 including, but not limited to, race, gender, sexuality, and disability, as well as their intersections. We recognise that definitions of diversity and representation are dynamic and constantly evolving and our content will aim to reflect this. 

Representology is a forum where academic researchers and media industry professionals can come together to pool expertise and experience. We seek to create a better understanding of the current barriers to media participation as well as examine and promote the most effective ways to overcome such barriers. We hope the journal will influence policy and practice in the media industry through a rigorous, evidence-based approach.

Our belief is that a more representative media workforce will enrich and improve media output, enabling media organisations to better serve their audiences, and encourage a more pluralistic and inclusive public discourse. This is vital for a healthy society and well-functioning democracy. We look forward to working with everyone who shares this vision.

The journal is a joint initiative between the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity at Birmingham City University and the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University.

Submission Guidelines

Representology is a hybrid journal at the intersection of industry practices, academic research and policy making. We welcome both non-academic and academic authors who would like to contribute thoughts, perspectives, analyses and research findings that help to foster diversity in the media and strengthen the media in diversity.

All ideas, abstracts and full manuscripts should be sent to Representology@bcu.ac.uk.

The journal accepts contributions in two strands: journalistic and academic, each with a different review and decision-making process.

Please understand the differences between the two strands when preparing and submitting your pitches, abstracts and manuscripts.

Journalistic articles

Journalistic articles should be between 1,000 and 3,000 words, and can take one of the following forms

  • Feature stories
  • Reflective essays
  • Issue reviews/analyses
  • Commentaries
  • Expert Q&As
  • Multimedia artefacts (for online publishing only)

Potential contributors must pitch their ideas to the journal in the first instance. Please include a two-line biography, including relevant links to past published work. Commission decisions will be based on evaluation by the editor in consultation with the editorial board. If we are interested in your pitch, we will contact to commission your piece. As our editorial team is small, it may take you up to a month to receive a reply. Full articles will then be assessed by members of the editorial board. All articles will be read on the understanding that they are solely submitted to Representology, and published articles will receive a modest honorarium.

Academic papers

Academic articles can take one of the following forms:

  • Research notes of around 3,000-4,000 words (discussion notes that seek to advance a new idea, concept, theory or method)
  • Research perspectives of around 3,000-4,000 words (short research-based analyses that aim to provide new, unique viewpoints on established issues)
  • Reviews and commentaries of around 2,000 words on recent research publications
  • Full-length studies of around 6,000-7,000 words

The lengths specified above are inclusive of everything (abstracts, texts and references). All academic submissions will go through a two-stage submission process:

In the first instance, please send us an abstract of no more than 500 words, outlining the topic, its background, rationale, theoretical and methodological approaches and key findings. The abstract should make clear which of the above academic paper forms the article belongs to. Abstracts should be sent, together with biographies of no more than 100 words per author, to Representology@bcu.ac.uk.

Our academic editors will consider whether your intended paper falls within the remit of the journal. We will respond to you within a month of submission. All full manuscripts developed from accepted abstracts will go through a rigorous peer review process by at least two relevant experts in the field. Final acceptance or rejection will be made by the editors in consideration of peer reviewers’ recommendations. For transparency purposes, each peer-reviewed article will be published with meta data regarding the peer review process and editorial decision (e.g. date of submission, date of revision if any, and date of acceptance) at the foot, to help readers distinguish them from non peer-reviewed pieces. All articles will be read on the understanding that they are solely submitted to Representology, and published articles will receive a modest honorarium.

Five Guiding Principles For Contributions
  1. Clear language: Making content as widely accessible as possible, writing should be clear, concise and engaging.
  2. Expertise: Contributors are expected to write on subjects for which they have proven expertise.
  3. Evidence: Articles should be supported by verifiable facts and research findings.
  4. Refresh debate: Submissions should seek to enrich current debates or create new ones.
  5. Diversity of perspectives: Preference will be given to writers seeking to widen representation and outline new perspectives