Preparing Manuscripts

Preparing Manuscripts for Demography

General matters of Demography’s style are summarized here. We rely loosely on APA style, including for reference lists. We use spelling conventions as listed in The Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

For readability, double-space all text, use 12-point font, and use one-inch margins. Number pages consecutively, and organize the paper as follows: (1) title page with no information identifying the authors; (2) abstract; (3) keywords; (4) text with footnotes (with no tables or figures embedded); (5) references; (6) tables; and (7) figures and figure titles.

Papers should be submitted in PDF for the review process. Papers that are later accepted for publication will need to be submitted in Word for editing, including LaTeX files.


Length of Manuscripts

Research papers should not exceed 8,000 words, excluding references, tables, and figures. All newly submitted papers should include a total of no more than 8 tables and figures of reasonable length.

Research notes—short reports providing new empirical evidence on or a novel methodological approach to an important demographic topic—should not exceed 4,000 words. They should include “Research Note” as part of the paper’s title and should be also identified as such in the abstract.

Brief commentaries on articles previously published in Demography, presenting reanalyses that generate new substantive conclusions, are not to exceed 2,000 words.

Title Page

The title page included with the manuscript should list only the title, with no information identifying the authors. Also include a separate file separate from the paper, a title page that contains the following elements:

  • The title of the paper
  • The names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses for all authors
  • A suggested running head of no more than 65 characters
  • The word count of the text (excluding references, tables, and figures).
  • An acknowledgement thanking those who provided help and listing funding information, including relevant grant numbers.


Include an abstract of no more than 200 words summarizing the research and results and highlighting the importance of the findings. It should not include details about the study population and methods unless the paper’s primary contribution is in its use of sources or methodology. The abstract should not contain lengthy mathematical expressions or complicated notation.


Below the abstract, supply up to five keywords. 



Divide the main body of the article with appropriate section and subsection headings. The journal does not use section numbers; do not number the headings. All headings are presented in title case: capitalize all major words of any length as well as prepositions of four or more letters (e.g., With, About, Among). Do not use subheads unless a section can be divided into two or more subsections.

  • Primary headings are in bold 14-point font (Primary Heading).
  • Secondary headings are in bold 12-point font (Secondary Heading).
  • Tertiary headings are italicized in 12-point font (Tertiary Heading).



All references listed in the Reference section at the end of the manuscript must be cited in the text. Reference citations must include the author’s surname and the year of publication, according to the following style.

In a direct citation, place only the date within parentheses: Author (2020). 

In an indirect citation, place both the name and date in parentheses, with no punctuation separating them: (Author 2020).

Citations following direct quotations must include the page number(s) of the quote. 

In citing particular pages, chapters, or other elements (e.g., tables or appendices), a colon follows the date. No space separates the colon and page number(s), but a space does precede other listed elements: (Jones 2018:25; Liu 2019: chap. 1; Warren 2020: table 2).

For works with two authors, use the full form of citation at all times. For three or more authors, use the first author’s surname followed by “et al.” for all citations.

When two or more works by the same author(s) are cited together, do not repeat the name(s). Separate the dates by a comma: (Author 2019, 2020).

When citing more than one reference in parentheses, alphabetize the list and separate them with semicolons: (Author 2020; Coauthors et al. 2020; Researcher 2020).

With more than one reference to a particular author or set of authors in the same year, present them in the reference list in alphabetical order of their titles; distinguish them in the reference list and text citations by lowercase letters (a, b) attached to the year of publication: (2020a, 2020b).

Personal communications are not included in the reference list but are cited in the text: (S. Smith, personal communication, April 27, 2019).



In general, numbers one through nine are spelled out; numerals are used for numbers 10 and above. When referring to millions, use numerals (e.g., 3 million). Also use numerals for ages (e.g., children ages 3–6).

Percentages are always indicated with numerals followed by the symbol %.

Ranges of years are written out in full (e.g., 2019–2020, not 2019–20).

In decimals, use a leading zero (e.g., 0.123, not .123) unless the number cannot potentially exceed 1, as in probabilities or correlation coefficients (e.g., r = .50).


Mathematical Material

Long mathematical expressions should be indented on a separate line and should be identified by consecutive numbers shown in parentheses aligned at right. Short expressions should be run on with the text unless they will be referenced elsewhere in the text.

Non-Greek variables should be italicized. Vectors and matrices should be shown in bold.

Use a multiplication symbol (×) or dot (·) rather than an asterisk to indicate multiplication.



Footnotes are numbered and are used only when necessary to explain or amplify text. Do not use footnotes to cite other sources. Do not use endnotes.



Appendices are not included in published articles. Any necessary appendices will be posted online as supplementary materials. Even then, carefully consider whether the appendices are necessary. Online appendices can be useful in providing readers with supplemental data, tables, and additional details that might not otherwise fit within the space constraints of the article. Excessive reliance on supplementary materials, however, can be a sign that the article is not sufficiently focused.

When submitting your paper for review, insert any appendices at the end of the manuscript.

Reference List

All works cited in the text must appear in the reference list. Under the primary heading References, double-space each entry, and use a hanging indent. The reference list primarily follows APA style.


Alphabetize the reference list by the first (or sole) author’s surname. Include each author’s first initial and (if available) middle initial; use an ampersand for lists of authors and editors. Entries for a single author precede entries for that author in collaboration with others. Multiple works by identical authors are listed chronologically. For works with multiple authors up to seven, list all authors’ names. For references with more than seven authors, list the first six authors, followed by ellipses, and then the last author.

If no author is identified for a source, begin the first entry with the title of the work. Alphabetize by the first word in the title other than “A(n)” or “The.”


Date of Publication

The date follows the name(s) of the author(s), is enclosed in parentheses, and is followed by a period. Works accepted for publication but not yet published are listed as “Forthcoming.”


Journal Articles

For articles with seven or fewer authors, list all authors; for articles with more than seven authors, list the first six, followed by an ellipsis, and then the last author (see the example below). Capitalize only the first word of the title, and do not use quotation marks. Italicize the journal title and the volume number. Include the issue number only for journal titles that do not number issues consecutively (that is, for journals that begin each issue of a volume at page 1). A comma separates the volume number (or issue number, where relevant) and the page numbers. For articles in journals that are published solely online, provide the doi number.

  • Article with two authors and a required issue number:

De, P., & Bhattacharya, B. N. (2002). Determinants of child immunization in four less-developed states of North India. Journal of Child Health, 6(1), 34–50.

  • Article with one author and no required issue number:

Hull, T. (1990). Recent trends in sex ratios at birth in China. Population and Development Review, 16, 63–83.

  • Article with more than seven authors in a journal that appears online only:

Vikat, A., Spéder, Z., Beets, G., Billari, F., Bühler, C., Désesquelles, A., . . . Solaz, A. (2020). Generations and Gender Survey (GGS): Towards a better understanding of relationships and processes in the life course. Demographic Research, 17, 389–440.


For an edited volume, list the editor(s) as author followed by “(Ed.)” (or “(Eds.)”). Capitalize only the first word of the book title and proper nouns, and italicize the title. Note when a book is a revised edition or is a volume in a series. List the publisher, and provide the publisher’s city and state (or country); the exception is when the publishers name includes the state (or country), in which case the state/country is omitted (see the example that follows). Use standard two-letter abbreviations for states and “DC” (for District of Columbia).

  • Chapter in an edited book:

Bell, M., Charles-Edwards, E., Bernard, A., & Ueffing, P. (2018). Global trends in internal migration. In T. Champion, T. J. Cooke, & I. Shuttleworth (Eds.), Internal migration in the developed world: Are we becoming less mobile? (pp. 76–97). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 

  • Forthcoming book:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (Forthcoming.). Gulf War and health (Vol. 11): Generational health effects of serving in the Gulf War. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

  • Publisher name includes state, and the book’s edition is listed:

Iceland, J. (2013). Poverty in America: A handbook (3rd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.


Working and Discussion Papers, Reports, Presentations, and Unpublished Documents

The title of a working/discussion paper, report, or unpublished manuscript is in italic type. Following the title, note the type of document (e.g., working paper, report, unpublished manuscript) and the sponsoring body or repository. If this body or repository is a university, include the department or division name; if a corporate or other institution, include the location. For papers presented at conferences/meetings, the month of the presentation is listed after the year.

  • Working paper:

Anukriti, S., Bhalotra, S., & Tam, H. (2018). On the quantity and quality of girls: Fertility, parental investments, and mortality (Working Paper No. 950). Boston, MA: Boston College, Department of Economics.

  • Paper presented at an annual meeting:

Duncan, G. J., Kalil, A., & Ziol-Guest, K. M. (2013, April). Increasing inequality in parent incomes and children’s completed schooling: Correlation or causation? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, LA.


Data Sets

Data sets should be cited and listed in the reference list. Many data providers will suggest citations, listing the required elements for the citation. Our general citation format is shown in the following example:

Ruggles, S., Flood, S., Goeken, R., Grover, J., Meyer, E., Pacas, J., & Sobek, M. (2019). Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 9.0 [Data set]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.



Tables are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited, and all tables must be cited and discussed in the text. Each table should appear on a separate page at the end of the manuscript; do not embed tables within the text of the paper. In the typeset version of the article, tables will be placed as close as possible to their first discussion in the text.

Provide a brief descriptive title for each table. Every column should have a brief heading to identify content. The heading should not be much wider than the longest entry in the column. Standard abbreviations are permissible without explanation (e.g., “no.” for number, “SD” for standard deviation); explain abbreviations for other terms in a note to the table. Sometimes a straddle heading is appropriate to avoid repeating the same word in multiple column heads.

Separate headings from the title using a horizontal rule covering the width of the table; separate straddle heads from the column heads using a single horizontal rule straddling only the relevant columns; separate column heads from the body using a horizontal rule extending the width of the table. Do not use vertical lines anywhere in the table. Horizontal rules in the body of the table should be avoided. Close the body of the table with a single horizontal rule covering the width of the table.

Values such as standard errors, standard deviations, and t statistics that are displayed in parentheses below the coefficients or means should be identified as such in the notes to the table. Alternatively, they can be placed in their own columns with appropriate column heads identifying them.

When additional information is necessary to clarify the table, use notes beneath the rule closing the body of the table. General notes (indicated by “Note:” or “Notes:”) should be presented first; more specific notes indicated by superscripted letters a, b, c, and so on, should be presented next; sources should be identified next (indicated by “Source:” or “Sources:”); and significance values should appear last.

Levels of significance are indicated with a superscripted dagger () for p < .10, one asterisk for .05, two asterisks for .01, and three asterisks for .001. Only those significance levels that are shown in the body of the table are listed beneath the table; for example, if the table does not display values significant at .01, then no indicator for .01 would appear in the footnote beneath the table.


Figures are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited and discussed in the text. Each figure must have a title. The title is run on with any notes describing the figure, including an explanation of any abbreviations used in the figure. The combined title and notes are shown beneath the figure.

Use bold type and title case for axis labels. Values along the y-axis should not be in bold type, and they should be placed upright rather than sideways. Use a consistent font and font size in each figure of the paper. Given that the journal will be published online only, figures may be displayed in color.

When a figure contains multiple panels, it may be useful to distinguish those panels with letters. In those cases, use lowercase letters (a, b, and so on) to distinguish the panels. If you need to reference particular panels in the text, do so separately from the figure number (e.g., “In panel a of Figure 1,” not “In Figure 1a”).

Authors of accepted papers will be asked to submit their figures in EPS or PDF, although other file types might also work well.