Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions addresses common inquiries from prospective authors. Please review this page to see if your questions are addressed here before contacting ROMchip.

Is ROMchip just for the history of digital games?
Not at all! We take the “ROM” in ROMchip as expressive of both technical and metaphorical approaches to history: a journal that is an outpouring of “read-only memory.” ROMchip welcomes any and all submissions related to the history of analog games, and especially any writing that engages tabletop games, sports and other play forms through the methods and debates of more recent digital game history.

ROMchip has a couple different categories of content. What’s the best fit for my work?
As part of ROMchip’s mission to create a hybrid-audience venue, we’ve organized our content to be responsive to a varied readership. Depending on your professional background, expertise, and experience with different types of historical writing, we hope your interests will find a home at ROMchip. Our three sections are:

Articles | Intended Contributors: Academics, professional historians

This section hosts the standard currency of academic writing, the peer-reviewed article. Submissions are intended to run 7,000 to 10,000 words, and should offer a contribution to academic conversation within the professional field of game history. Articles should be legible and welcoming to non-academic audiences (clearly written, free of jargon). All approved submissions will be peer reviewed by members of the Editorial Board and are expected to engage in field-specific debates.

Interviews | Intended Contributors: Academics, journalists, critics, game devs, enthusiasts

This section hosts 4,000-9,000 word edited oral history transcripts or interviews with individuals related to the game industry (historical or present) and cultural institutions. We expect these to be thoughtful, deep engagements that go beyond basic chronology or biography. Our Interviews section serves as both a service to our contemporary community and a repository for future game historians.

Materials | Intended Contributors: Academics, journalists, critics, game devs, enthusiasts

This section hosts short, object-lesson-style essays of no more than 4,000 words, focused on specific game-historical objects. These may include a museum, library, archival or non-institutional acquisition, newly located or accessioned artifacts, or strange and unique historical finds related to game history. This section is inclusive of physical objects, as well as software objects, such as algorithms, assets, music, etc. This section is open to experimental or less traditional forms, and work can be presented as a photo essay, game walkthrough, video essay, podcast, etc. 

Translations | Intended Contributors: Academics, journalists, critics, game devs, enthusiasts, professional translators

This section publishes translations of any reasonable length related to the subject of game history. This may include translations of English-language ROMchip content into non-English languages, translations of historical materials and sources, as well as significant scholarship published in other venues (with permission). Translations can operate across any two languages and are not required to originate in or be translated into English. This section is available to anyone with translation experience. 

I want to submit something. How does this work?

You’ll create an account with our online submission system, found here. Articles will go through a lengthy process of anonymous peer review, to ensure quality control and research integrity (the author isn't identified to the reviewers and the reviewers aren't identified to the author). Interviews and Materials will go directly to the Editorial Group for review and feedback.

Will you comment on my abstract, manuscript, or publication idea before I formally submit it?
We will happily provide feedback on pitches for Interviews or Materials; please submit feedback requests to Managing Editor Laine Nooney [[email protected]] of the Editorial Group. However, in order to uphold the integrity of peer review, we will not comment on Articles that have not been formally submitted.

What is ROMchip's feedback and peer review policy?
Articles submitted to ROMchip will first go through an internal review process to decide if the work should be sent out for peer review. Work not sent on for peer review will receive a desk rejection. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee feedback for work that is not selected for peer review.

Submission formats that do not require peer review (Interviews, Materials, and Translations) can expect minimal feedback while in conversation with our Editorial Group about the appropriateness of the work's fit to the journal.

How long will it take my Article to be reviewed?
ROMchip uses a two-tier review process for Articles. Article manuscripts are first reviewed by members of the Editorial Group to determine whether the work should be sent for peer review. The first tier of the review process typically takes 4 - 6 weeks. If a manuscript is appropriate for peer review, the second tier of the review stage takes an additional 3 - 5 months.

What citation style should I use?
To save time, we permit authors to submit their work in whatever citation style is most convenient for them, so long as it is consistently and correctly applied. However, if the piece is accepted, it will need to be converted to Chicago style with endnotes (a bibliography is not necessary). A quick reference guide to Chicago style can be found here.

Can ROMchip pay its contributors?
ROMchip actively fundraises to be able to pay non-academic/freelance writers and translators. If you have an idea you want to pitch us, please reach out to Managing Editor Laine Nooney [[email protected]].

Are there any costs associated with publishing in ROMchip?
ROMchip does not charge authors to publish in the journal. Authors will only incur charges if they must pay for image rights.
I haven't yet obtained reproduction rights for all my images. Can I submit my article anyway?
Obtaining permissions for images, especially copyrighted works of art, is often time consuming. Some rights holders also wish to know details of publication before granting permission or setting price. Given this, we only ask authors be able to assure us that permissions for an image are obtainable before submitting their manuscript. Should a manuscript be accepted, it is the author's responsibility to obtain necessary permissions in order to move forward with the publication process.
Can I submit more than one contribution at a time?
No. Our policy is that potential authors may only have one contribution submitted at a time. Any additional contributions will be withdrawn.
I have an idea for a themed issue. What should I do?
ROMchip has a thorough proposal process for themed issues, which can be requested by contacting Managing Editor Laine Nooney [[email protected]]. The fitness of a themed issue will be judged on the proposal itself, and all components must be completed. However, it is advisable to contact the Editorial Group early on, to engage an informal conversation about whether your issue idea would be a good fit for ROMchip.