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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is outlined below.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines


Authors need to register with the journal prior to submitting, or can log in if they already have an account. 

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. According to the Open Access Policy, research articles published in CGN are available to read, download and share freely as long as articles are properly cited.

No Article Processing Charges (APCs) are required. CGN does not charge any publishing fees to authors.

Please prepare and format the manuscript according to the guidelines below.  The manuscript should fit the journal’s scope, be original in style and content, i.e. must not be not under review, accepted and/or published elsewhere.


We welcome articles of various lengths but manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words (incl. figures, tables and appendices, excl. references). Please contact the Managing Editor, Lindsey Bouzan at should you wish to publish a longer text. 

File format:

Manuscripts should either be in the Microsoft DOC or DOCX- format or in the free ODT-format (e.g. LibreOffice). Do not submit PDF’s.

Main text:

The manuscript should use 1.5 line-spacing, 12 pt. font, may use italics but no underlining (with the exception of URLs); all illustrations, figures und tables have been placed at an appropriate position in the text.


Illustrations, tables and graphics should be numbered consecutively in the text as Table 1, Table 2 etc. or Illustration 1, Illustration 2 etc. and additionally be given a title. Please include figures and tables at the correct location in the main document for peer review. Make sure that the references in the text to the figures, illustrations etc. is correct. In case of acceptance, images should be supplied as separate files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). For tables and simple diagrams and charts, the version generated in MS Office or LibreOffice / OpenOffice suffices. Line art should be submitted as vector-based, separate .eps files with a resolution of 600 dpi. It is important that space markers for overviews, tables and graphical material in the text are numbered accordingly and that the numbers and titles are identical in the non-textual files. All illustrations, tables etc. can be submitted in color. 

Page numbering:

All pages of the manuscript should be numbered consecutively.


Complexity, Governance and Networks uses Harvard-like reference style with citations in-text, in parentheses. Page numbers for direct quotes only and after publication year and colon without „p.“ or “S.”; examples for in-text citations:

  • One author: (see Holland, 1995) and (Meier, 2011: 32) respectively
  • Two authors: (see Meier & Holland, 2011) and (Meier & Holland, 2011: 32) respectively
  • Three or more authors: (see Meier et al. 2011) and (Meier et al. 2011: 32) respectively
  • In case of more references to works of one author in one publication year, distinguish different sources with lower-case letters: (see Meier, 2011a, 2011b)
  • When citing classical works, first list the original publication date, followed by the publication date of the edition cited: (see Keynes, 1936/2011)
  • Separate citations of different authors with semicolons and order alphabetically: (see Meier, 2011; Holland, 1995)


Authors are responsible for ensuring that the information in each reference is complete and accurate. All references cited in the manuscript should be listed alphabetically after the heading “References” at the end of the main text. This list should include only works cited in the text. Don’t use “et al.” in the reference list but list all authors. The general logic of a reference is as follows: surname, shortened first name (publication year in brackets). Title. Source. Italicize the title of books or edited volumes and the journal title respectively. Page numbers without „pp.“  after a comma at the end.

Example book:

  • Butler, J. (1991). Das Unbehagen der Geschlechter. Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp.

Example journal article:

  • DiMaggio, P.J./Powell, W.W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review, 48 (2), 147-160.

Example article in an edited volume:

  • Wegscheider, A. (2009). Armut und Behinderung: Zur Situation von Menschen mit Behinderung in Österreich. In: Blaha, B./Weidenholzer, J. (Hg.). Gerechtigkeit: Beiträge zur Sozial-, Bildungs- und Wirtschaftspolitik. Wien: Braumüller, 55-70.

Example conference paper available online:

  • Boons, F. & Gerrits, L. (2008). Between self-organization and government: a complexity perspective on the rise and fall of the hierarchical state. Paper presented at European Consortium for Political Research, Essex. Online: 

Transparency and Open Data:

Complexity, Governance & Networks aims to increase the transparency of research and follows the Open Science Framework ( in encouraging authors to publish their data online through open access journals. According to OSF: Accumulation of scientific knowledge proceeds via open communication with the community. Sharing evidence for scientific claims facilitates critique, extension, and application. Papers featuring open data will receive a special marker to denote that the good practice has been followed and that the data has been made available. “There are circumstances, however, in which open practices are not possible or advisable. For example, sharing some human participant data could violate confidentiality. A description can be used in order to explain why the data can’t be made available to the readers.

Structure of the Manuscript:

The text should be structured and include the information as follows:

Title and Authorship Information: 

Please provide author details only on the submission page of the manuscript (first page); make sure to omit any formulations in the main text of the article that would reveal the author’s identity to the reviewers. The submission page should contain at least the following: 

  1. Paper title
  2. Full author names and affiliation
  3. Full institutional mailing addresses
  4. Email addresses

Author details can include web addresses and twitter aliases. One author, if possible the submitting author, should be marked as the corresponding author. 


The manuscript should contain an abstract in which the main question, the method used and the main conclusion is presented in a concise manner. The abstract should be self-contained and citation-free and should not exceed 200 words. 


This should cover the main research question and the motives for that question. This section should be succinct, with no subheadings.

Main Corpus

The main corpus should include the main components of the research, including theoretical framework, methodology, data, and analysis. It should contain sufficient detail so that all procedures can be followed and, if possible, repeated. It can be divided into subsections if necessary.

Results and Discussion

This section may each be divided by subheadings or may be combined.


This should clearly explain the main conclusions of the work highlighting its importance and relevance.


All acknowledgments (if any) should be included at the very end of the paper before the references and may include supporting grants, presentations, and so forth.

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