Call for Papers: Special Issue on Critical Data Visualization

IEEE CG&A seeks submissions for this upcoming special issue.
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Submissions Due: 31 October 2024

Important Dates

  • Submissions due: 31 October 2024
  • Publication:  May/June 2025

Critical data visualization generally refers to the practice of examining and representing data  with an awareness of the cultural, social, and ethical implications. These methods support  consideration of the power structures embedded into visualization designs, inspection of the  politics latent to research methods, and reflection on visualization content and context more  broadly. Coming to prominence in information visualization from Dörk et al. (2013), the term  critical visualization originally described principles for authoring visualizations that expose  embedded values and support empowerment for readers. This field has since grown to  encompass a range of topics—for instance, integrating considerations of how data and  graphical practices might embrace feminist methods. Works in this area strive to challenge  existing visualization dogmas and identify overlooked assumptions as a way to push  conventional visualization practice toward more inclusive and reflective practices. 

Despite growing usage, however, there is a lack of a shared definition of what ‘criticality’ refers  to for visualization and how those ideas can be applied in a rigorous and useful manner. While  this plural understanding of criticality has afforded a vast array of creative applications, it has  precluded critical methods and goals from being broadly understood or adopted. Through this  special issue, we aim to both complicate and coalesce the visualization research community’s  understanding and definition of critical visualizations, as well as the challenges associated with  it. For instance, answering questions like: How to design ‘critical’ visualizations? What are the  goals of critical visualization? Or even, what is critical visualization? To address these concerns  we invite essays, explorations, and empirical work on topics including: 

  • Examinations of how critical theory intersects with data visualization (theoretical or empirical)
  • Critical methods that have led to new visualization methods, theories, or designs
  • Investigations of the relationship between criticality and feminism in visualization
  • Reflections on the ethical implications of visualization research
  • Challenges to appropriateness of critical theory for visualization research
  • Case studies of critical methods applied to visualization (for example, speculative design/auto-ethnography/diffraction)
  • New means of critically evaluating visualizations
  • Grand challenges for critical visualization. 

Submission Guidelines

Submitted manuscripts must not exceed 8,000 words or 14 pages (according to the CG&A template). For more author information and guidelines on submission criteria, visit the Author’s Information page. Please submit papers through the ScholarOne system  and be sure to select the special issue or special section name. Manuscripts should not be published or currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Please submit only full papers intended for review, not abstracts, to the ScholarOne portal. The Special Issue Guest Editors are happy to answer questions regarding scope on a rolling basis


Contact the guest editors at

  • Georgia Panagiotidou, King’s College London  
  • Andrew McNutt, University of Utah, University of Washington 
  • Derya Akbaba, Linköping University 
  • Nicole Hengesbach, University of Warwick 
  • Miriah Meyer, Linköping University