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Review of Communication Research (RCR) specializes in publishing literature reviews and meta-analyses articles for the communication field.

- Use APA style, 7th

- The manuscript should be in the range of 8,000 to 24,000 words, written in standard Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced. However, the number of words and pages should not be regarded as strict lower or upper limits. We urge you to present and discuss your claims in depth and be as concise as possible.

- Your writing should be precise and clear, and give the impression of being objective and impersonal, like your flow of thoughts.

- Use short sentences as often as you can.

- Erase temporarily any word that could lead to your identification (e.g., expressions such as “my own work” or “in press” followed by a citation).

- Submit your manuscript electronically via an MS Word attachment (.doc or .docx)or an RTF file through the Editorial Manager System. You have to register first:


Please, communicate to us any problems or doubts you might have ( Solving these issues will help us make the process easier for future authors and reviewers.


Submit two documents, the title page, and the main document.

Title Page

It includes the a) running head, b) authors in order of publication, c) full institutional address of the corresponding author or authors. For each author: affiliation, email address, authors' ORCID ID (if they have it), degree, brief bio information. To give you more projection, make sure that you have included your bio information in your registered user profile.

Include the acknowledgments that will be published in the article. Entities that finance the research have to be acknowledged. People who contributed to the manuscript but are not authors should be listed in the acknowledgments, along with their contributions.


Main Document

First Page

Title.  It can be up to 150 characters in length. The title should reflect the content and be comprehensible to readers outside the field.

It is highly recommended (but not compulsory) to identify the article as a literature review. You might use the word review, literature, past research, summary, integrative, synthesis, overview, or similar expressions. Use the term meta-analysis or systematic in case they apply.

For state-of-the-literature articles, you must add “state of the literature at (date).” We will add it to the first-page o in the list of bullet sentences. The date refers to the latest search for literature.

A running head: two to four words that identify the manuscript.

Add one interest group where the review essay would best fit, such as “Mass Communication” or “Video Games”.


Second Page

Abstract. We invite authors to make an effort to reduce the number of words to 200. However, we accept abstracts with 200 words maximum. As a general suggestion, the abstract can include a statement of the paper’s purpose, a statement of why it was necessary to undertake the review, and a conclusion that concisely summarizes the implications of the study.

Keywords. Provide the subfield and a maximum of 5 keywords. We invite our authors to think carefully about the keywords they choose. These keywords are relevant since they will be used for indexing purposes, matching with other reviews, and as metadata.


Third Page

Highlights. Write 4-8 bullet sentences of no more than 20 words to highlight the most important messages of your Highlights are similar to titles. They are sentences that should be able to stand on their own and transmit meaningful information. Some scholars prefer to read these short sentences when looking for information about an article.


Fourth Page

Table of Contents. Include a two or three-level table of contents. Word processors can create this table of contents automatically.


                                                                              Levels and Sections

Use as many levels and sections as necessary. Levels and sections will help readers to do selective readings.

                                                                             Level of Heading 1

Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading.

Level of Heading 2

Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading.

Level of Heading 3

Flush Left, Bold Italic, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading.

       Level of Heading 4.

Indented, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading ending with a period. Text on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

        Level of Heading 5.

Indented, Bold Italic, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading ending with a period. Text on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.



For the state-of-the-literature, meta-analysis, and systematic review articles is compulsory to have a section that explains how authors have located the primary studies (e.g., keywords, search settings and restrictions, databases), and the inclusion and exclusion criteria they have used. The search should be thorough and replicable. We recommend the use of PRISMA ( This section is not compulsory for literature-insight reviews at present, but it is strongly suggested.


                                                                              Tables and Figures

We invite you to use as many tables and figures as necessary to summarize the information, and to make them as clear and useful as possible. Even though APA rules disagree, use a table and a figure with the same information if you believe that the table and the figure will give different and complementary perspectives of the same information, provided it is explicitly clear that they refer to the same information.

Embed the tables and images into the text where you want them to appear. Tables and figures may be moved slightly during the production process.

If you create the table in an Excel sheet, you might be requested to send the Excel file during the reviewing process.

The table title should be no more than one sentence and should be placed above the table.

The table legend and footnotes to explain abbreviations should be placed below the table.

The legend of an image will be placed below and should be succinct, while still explaining all symbols and abbreviations.

Images should be summited with a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (dpi) images, preferably in TIFF or JPG with maximum quality.

Colour illustrations are permitted.

Produce images close to the size of the version you want to be inserted into the article.



Try to avoid using footnotes, but if you do, they should be short.

Add footnotes at the end of the page, not at the end of the article.



Use APA 7th edition style to cite the references.

It is required to add the doi number of each reference whenever available.

You can search for the doi number of a reference here:  Please, paste the reference without line break.

Always display the doi numbers in the form

The doi number has not to be preceded by "doi:" or "DOI".

There is no need to include the location of the editorial (e.g., New York) in the references.

The text citation for three or more authors is shortened with “et al.” from the first time it is cited (e.g., Smith, J.H. et al.)

Add the surname and initials up to 20 authors in the references.

Only published or accepted manuscripts should be included in the reference list.

It is not recommended to include unpublished results and personal communications in the reference list. If these references are incorporated, they should include “Unpublished results” or “Personal communication” instead of the publication date. Citation of a reference as “In press” or “pre-published” means that the manuscript has already been accepted for publication.


                                                                              Writing the Review

Your paper will review and discuss recent literature on a problem or a topic relevant to communication. There is no unique formula for writing a review essay. Here there are some suggestions. They are meant to inspire you.

When writing a literature-insight article, you should a) revise all the relevant literature written on a topic, b) structure it on the basis of a relevant categorization criterion; c) evaluate the literature critically and, as a consequence, d) offer a strong input to the literature. This input could be clarifying a problem, identifying relations unnoticed before, finding contradictions between theories, pointing out inconsistencies in findings presented in the literature, or summarizing published literature into a new definition or a new theory.

When writing a state-of-the-literature article, you should follow the same steps as before, but the last, offer a strong input to the literature. The authors must include a rationale of why an update of the knowledge on the topic is needed (e.g., there has been a lot of research in the latest years and it needs to be organized; there are no similar literature reviews published in the last X years.) The authors should make a thorough search of the literature, analyze the state of the knowledge critically, and properly orient future research. It is required to have a method section. This section must allow the replication of the article selection (e.g., keywords, search settings and restrictions, databases, inclusion and exclusion criteria.)

Below there are some questions that you can use as a quick checklist. Reviewers will be asked to value these issues when commenting your article:

  • Is the focus of the topic too narrowly conceived, so that few scholars will find the article interesting?
  • Do you clearly define the problem or issue you are trying to clarify or review?
  • Do you summarize the most relevant and the most recent research to inform the reader of the state of knowledge on the specific issue?
  • Do you review the key theories related to the problem/issue?
  • Do you discuss and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the articles and theories you review?
  • Do you search, identify, and comment on the relations, controversies, gaps, and inconsistencies in the literature? In doing so, have you pointed out latest trends and ongoing debates related to the problem or the issue?
  • Have you clarified the problem you defined at the beginning of the article?
  • Does the review offer a substantially novel and useful advance to the literature? There is no unique formula to do this. You can add value to the literature, for example, by identifying inconsistencies, gaps and opportunities, or by presenting the problem from a new perspective.
  • Is it there a “take-home message” that integrates the review?
  • Do you suggest the next step or steps in solving old or new unresolved issues? Therefore, do you direct future research?

Other questions worth taking into account that relate more to style than to content:

  • Has the information been presented in a logical sequence?
  • Is the manuscript written clearly enough that it is understandable to non-specialists? If not, how could it be improved?
  • Have you provided proof for your claims without overselling them?
  • Have you treated the previous literature fairly?
  • Is it there any critical infringement of the APA 7th ed. style?

Ideally, your review essay will address all these ideas, but it is not necessary to do so to write a good paper. Often, it depends upon the focus on the issue you have chosen.


Manuscript Revision

During the publication process, you will receive comments from different reviewers. Take those criticisms into consideration to improve your manuscript. You will be requested to send a response for the reviewers and editor with the full list of comments with your rebuttal against each point that is being raised. Please, add your reply under each review.

Highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using colored text, or highlight it in yellow.

Your revised manuscript should be uploaded as soon as possible. Please, write to the editor or section editor to inform about revisions that may take more than three months.