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, use one-inch margins, and number pages consecutively beginning with the opening page. On Demography’s online submission system, you will be prompted to choose a submission type and then submit (1) a title; (2) abstract; (3) a Microsoft Word manuscript (with no information identifying the author) including text with footnotes (with no tables or figures embedded) and references; (4) tables, figures, and figure titles, if applicable; and (5) three to five keywords or phrases. You will be asked to answer a few questions about your submission, build a PDF to review, and submit.
Papers should be submitted as Microsoft Word files to Demography’s online submission system, ScholarOne Manuscripts. (Papers that are later accepted for publication can be submitted in Word or LaTeX for editing. At that time, all supplementary/appendix materials should be submitted in a separate PDF; appendices are not edited and will appear as an online appendix.)


Length of Manuscripts

Research papers should not exceed 8,000 words for the main text. 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 for the main text. They should include “Research Note” as part of the paper’s title and should also be identified as such in the abstract. We recommend a maximum of about 15 references.

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


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, complicated notation, or references.



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 words of any length as well as prepositions of four or more letters (e.g., With, About, Among). Begin the text with the primary heading “Introduction.” 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 italic in 12-point font (Tertiary Heading).



All references listed in the References 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 surname 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 figures), 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), but 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), and use a comma in thousands (e.g., 5,000). Also use numerals for ages (e.g., children ages 3–6), age decades (e.g., 20s), and measure scores (e.g., a score of 0, 1, or 2).

Percentages are always indicated with numerals followed by the symbol %; however, the number is spelled out if beginning a sentence (e.g., Five percent of respondents…).

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 proportions, probabilities, correlation coefficients, p values, and R2.

Use en dashes (not hyphens) for ranges of page numbers, years, scores, or other values (e.g., 25–30, 2000–2020, 30–40%); also use en dashes for negative signs in the text, tables, and figures (e.g., –0.35).


Mathematical Material

Long mathematical expressions and those that call for display should be indented or centered on a separate line and identified by consecutive numbers shown in parentheses aligned at right. Short expressions should be run into the text unless they will be referenced elsewhere in the text.

Vectors and matrices should be shown in bold (without italics), Greek letters in regular type (without italics), and all other non-Greek variables in italics.

Use a centered multiplication symbol (×) or dot (•) rather than an asterisk to indicate multiplication, and all operators should have a thin space on either side.



Footnotes are numbered and should be used only when necessary to explain or amplify text, particularly when the material would disrupt the narrative flow. Do not use footnotes to cite other sources. Do not use endnotes.



Appendices are not included at the end of published articles, but are linked to and posted online as supplementary materials. Online appendices can be useful in providing readers with supplemental data, methodology, tables, figures, and additional details that might not fit within the space constraints of the article. 

Name/number appendix elements as Table A1, Table A2, Figure A1, Figure A2, Section A or Section 1, etc.

When submitting your paper for review, please 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 or institution 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 (i.e., 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.

  • Article in another language:

Atoh, M., & Kojima, H. (1983). Gendai seinen no kekkon kan [Attitudes toward marriage among the unmarried Japanese youth]. Journal of Population Problems (Jinko Mondai Kenkyu), 168, 31–57. (in Japanese)


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 publisher’s name includes the state (or country), in which case the state/country is omitted (see the example below). 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.

  • Unpublished work:

Kojima, H. (1992). Determinants of postnuptial residence in Japan: Does the sibling configuration matter? (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Brown University, Providence, RI.


Datasets and Software

Datasets and specific software should be cited and listed in the reference list. Many 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). IPUMS: Version 9.0 [Dataset]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.

Lee, D. (2020). CARBayes: Spatial generalised linear mixed models for areal unit data (R Package Version 5.2) [Computer software].



Original tables should be editable (in Word or Excel) and not pasted into the main text Word file as an image. Tables are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are cited, and all tables must be cited and discussed, however briefly, in the text. Each table should appear on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. In the typeset version of the article, tables will be placed as close as possible to their first discussion in the text. For each table, insert a call-out for production (“Set Table 4 about here”); to cite a specific panel, use “see Table 3, panel A” or similar.
Provide a brief descriptive title for each table; use initial cap only. Every column should have a brief heading to identify content; use title case for these. 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, in the order †, *, **, ***.

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 (in initial cap only), which is run into any notes describing the figure or its source, including explanations of any abbreviations used. The combined title and notes should be placed beneath the figure.

For any above-graph panel labels, use bold type (and lowercase letters if desired), center on the panel, and set in initial cap only (e.g., a. Cohabiting partners). Use bold type and title case for axis labels, with words in parentheses in lowercase (e.g., Duration of Relationship (years)). Values along the y-axis and x-axis should be in black type (not gray, which reduces reproducibility) and placed upright for readability rather than sideways; be consistent with decimal treatment (e.g., .10, .15, .20) and use an en dash for negative signs. If axis labels or signifiers consist of words, use initial cap only. For key material, use initial cap only to describe the elements (e.g., ● Most vulnerable  ○ Least vulnerable; ● Ages ≤19  ○ Ages 20–29). 

Use a consistent OpenType or TrueType font and font size in all figures (with appropriate size differences as helpful to differentiate among labeling needs), and use a sans serif font for cleaner and better reproducibility. Fonts should be no smaller than 6 points in size (or larger if the image is very wide and must be reduced significantly for typesetting). Keep line weights between 0.5 and 2.0 points; do not use hairlines. Given that the journal is published online only, figures may be displayed in color. To ensure that the color palette is colorblind-friendly and reproduces well even in grayscale, consider consulting these resources: and

When a figure contains multiple panels distinguished by lowercase letters and you 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”).

Submit each figure as a separate high-resolution EPS or PDF file (at least 300 dpi); such vector-based files are preferable to raster-based files (e.g., PNG, TIFF, JPEG) because of their greater clarity and scalability. To avoid lost time during the production process, please make sure that all images are sharp and accurately reproducible. 

New requirement: Because Duke University Press complies with requirements for making digital content accessible to everyone, please include alt text for each figure. Alt text is a short description (usually less than 200 characters, but can be longer) of images, graphics, and other visual material that is embedded in an online article and not visible on the page. Its inclusion enables individuals using screen readers or other assistive technologies to understand and engage with your research and fosters a more inclusive and diverse readership. Please consult this Duke resource for guidance: In the following link, see the relevant examples under “Graphs”: For a period of time, Duke can have a vendor draft the alt text, which you can then review at the proofreading stage of production.