who are we?

Contexts is a quarterly magazine that makes cutting-edge social research accessible to general readers. We’re the public face of sociology. We are a publication of the American Sociological Association, edited by Rashawn Ray (University of Maryland, College Park) and Fabio Rojas (Indiana University). Paige Miller is our Correspondence Manager and Laura Wise is our Production Manager.

contexts editorial style

Contexts is formatted in magazine-style. We are the public face of sociology and our articles are meant to showcase sociological topics to the broader public. Articles should be scholarly, but should also help to breakdown sociological concepts for the everyday reader. Here are a few style notes that all contributors should adhere to when submitting your article to Contexts:

● Author Bio: Please feel free to include a short bio with your article including your university, your role, your area of focus, and any other pertinent information that relates to your work that you would like highlighted. If you don’t provide a bio, no worries, one will be written for you in Contexts style. Ex: Jennifer Lundquist is Senior Associate Dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and Celeste Vaughan Curington is in the department of sociology at North Carolina State University. Lundquist studies the pathways through which racial, ethnic and gender inequalities are perpetuated and sometimes undone in various institutional settings, and Curington studies intersectional inequalities around race, class, gender and citizenship in the areas of care labor and migration, family, and interracial/intra-racial intimacy.

● Foot Notes/ Citations: We do not include footnotes or citations in articles. Please fold them in, or they will be folded in during the copyediting process.

● Graphs/Tables: Please send all data for graphs/tables in a separate excel document when you submit your final article for copy editing.

● Hyperlinks: Please do not include hyperlinks in final article submissions as they will not be accessible once the magazine goes to print.

● Recommending Reading: Although we know that you’ve drawn from many sources to pull together your article, we can only accept 5 recommended readings to accompany your article. Please note that your recommended reading sources are included in the final word count.

word count

At Contexts , we take our word counts seriously. As a magazine, we are allotted a certain number of pages per year, therefore we must ask our authors to adhere to the word counts below to ensure that we don’t go over that page allotment. Please note, that word count does also includes your (up to) five recommended readings.

● In Brief: 250

● In Pictures: 8-10 pictures, 750 – 1000

● Q&A: 1,000

● Trends: 1,500

● Culture: up to – 1,500

● Features: 3000 (all articles that use data must include one sentence that explains if the data is available for replication, and if so, where can it be found.)

● Policy Briefs: 1,000

● Books: 1,000

● One thing I know: 750


Should an author want to publish an image they do not own, they will need to take on the task of contacting the owner and securing permission.Contexts aims to have visually pleasing articles, which often includes photographs and art. If you submit an image with your article, please note that we can’t publish any image until we obtain permission from the image’s owner. If you own the image, then you will be asked to sign a Contexts’ licensing form. If you do not own the image, then you will be responsible for contacting the owner to obtain permission. Sometimes, this is easy to do, but authors should know that this can be a cumbersome process in some cases. It may be challenging to clearly identify the owner of the image, the owner could refuse to respond to inquiries, or the image owner may want to be compensated at a very high level. Due to limited resources, the Contexts editorial team can’t always track down an image owner, but we can provide advice on how to best proceed. Contexts is able to provide a modest level of compensation for photographs, but for very expensive photos/art, the author will need to seek a source of funding to have the photo/art included in the article. Fortunately, there is a lot of photography and art that is available for free from websites like Pixaby and Flickr (which are the primary sources that we use to source images to accompany our articles). If an author can’t obtain photo permission, or can’t afford the reprint rights, there is often a very good substitute on such sites. Alternatively, graphic designers can be commissioned to produce art or illustration at modest cost.

photo size specifications

If you are submitting your own photos and the file is smaller than 1 MB, it’s probably too small to use (under 1 MB means that the photo is smaller than 2 inches height or width). We need all photos to be at least 3.5” wide at 300 DPI in order to use in publication.

data accessibility

To encourage transparency in research, Contexts asks each author of articles that use data to write one sentence about whether third parties can access the data used in the article. This sentence will appear at the end of the article. Each author is free to respond to this request in the way they think is most appropriate for their type of research.


If you have any production related questions, please feel free to reach out to our Production Manager, Laura Wise at laura@contexts.org.