CLOSED Call for Papers: Special Issue on Data Physicalization

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Submissions Due: 29 April 2020

Abstract submissions due: CLOSED
Final submissions due: CLOSED
Publication date: November/December 2020

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications plans a special issue on data physicalization. Data physicalization is an emerging cross-disciplinary research area that examines how physical representations of data – data physicalizations – can support communication, learning, problem solving, and decision-making with data. In contrast to traditional graphical data visualizations, data physicalizations encode data in a material form using 3D geometry and material properties. Recently, a series of successful workshops on data physicalization has occurred in several venues, including a Dagstuhl Seminar, IEEE VIS, ACM CHI, ACM TEI, ACM DIS, and DRS (see for details).

There are many cross-disciplinary challenges in designing, realizing and studying physicalizations with research questions touching on diverse issues related to representing, interpreting, exploring, manipulating and interrogating datasets. We welcome contributions from a diversity of domains that contribute to the understanding of data physicalizations, including from information visualization, computer science, HCI, art, design, engineering, data communication, psychology, and pedagogy. Topics of interest to this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Perception and cognition of data physicalizations
  • The design space and design patterns of data physicalization
  • Interactive technologies, tool kits, and hardware platforms to support physicalizations
  • Data physicalization in practice
  • Evaluation methodologies and results
  • Data physicalization as a pedagogical tool
  • Research agendas in data physicalization
  • Grand challenges in data physicalization
  • Application areas of data physicalization
  • Reflections on data physicalization
  • Data physicalization processes and methods
  • Data physicalization design
  • Frontiers of data physicalization
  • Data physicalization history
  • Deployments of data physicalization
  • Methodological approaches to the of data physicalization

This special issue welcomes general submissions on any of the above or closely related topics in the wider context of data physicalization. We require original submissions, i.e. those that have not been previously submitted and/or published (in any form) in other venues. Outstanding contributions that significantly extend existing work previously published in other venues will be considered, provided they contribute at least 50% new original work. Authors of such major added-value extensions will have to cite the original work and clearly identify the new content extending the original contribution.

Submission guidelines

The length of a peer-reviewed article submitted to IEEE CG&A depends on a number of factors. However, typically articles should not exceed 8,000 words (including main text, title, abstract, bibliography, biographies, captions, keywords, acknowledgements, and table text); about a quarter of its length should be taken up by images, photos, artwork, and tables, and the references should be well chosen, ideally not exceeding twenty (with exceptions to survey articles).

We also welcome submissions in other formats such as pictorials (similar to those provided by the conference on Designing Interactive Systems – DIS; see a description here Pictorials are research papers in which the visual elements (e.g. design sketches, annotated images, illustrations and diagrams, field notes, collages, photographs and annotated photographs) are the primary means of conveying information with at least, if not more, importance as the accompanying text. Pictorials work best when you need to show work that requires visual elements when reporting on design work or artistic practice. However, pictorials do not show design or artistic work only. It is important that whatever is reported in a pictorial must contribute knowledge rather than just documenting known concepts, methods, and processes. As the format of pictorials can vary widely, we strongly encourage authors to liaise with the guest editors to discuss the intended layout of the pictorial prior to the final submission.

Authors intending to submit should email a 500 word abstract by 31 October 2019 to Following this, final submissions should be made using the manuscript submission service at When uploading your paper, select the appropriate special issue title under the category “Manuscript Type.” Also, include complete contact information for all authors. If you have any questions about submitting your article, contact the peer review coordinator at


Please direct any pre-submission correspondence to

Trevor Hogan (, Cork Institute of Technology
Uta Hinrichs (, The University of St Andrews
Samuel Huron (, Télécom ParisTech
Jason Alexander (, Lancaster University
Yvonne Jansen (, Sorbonne Université