Balisage logo
Markup Vocabulary Customization

Balisage: The Markup Conference
Submission Instructions

Papers will be published in the proceedings of the conference. Talks, based on the accepted papers, will 30 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes for questions.

Please read and observe all the following instructions. If you have difficulty understanding or following these guidelines, let us know and we will do our best to address your needs.

The Deal - Summarized

  • Submissions must be:
    • Full papers or very extensive draft papers
      (Note: Authors or groups that have presented at previous Balisage events and have not provided full papers on time must provide full papers for peer review. These preliminary versions of their papers will be published in the conference proceedings if the submission is accepted and a revised paper reflecting the peer reviewer comments is not received on time.)
    • In XML, according to the Balisage tag set (a subset of DocBook V5 available in DTD, XSD, and RNG formats)
    • All new material (or previously presented only at small, local events; not previously published)
    • Received by 12 April 2019
  • Accepted speakers are expected to:
    • Provide a complete paper
      • In XML using the conference vocabulary
      • On or before 5 July 2019
      • Revised from the initial submission, taking into consideration the comments and suggestions of the peer reviewers
    • One or more of the authors of the paper are expected to:
      • Present a 30 minute talk, in English, based on the paper, at Balisage 2019
      • Answer questions, in English, about the paper after the presentation
      • Attend and participate in the entire conference
      • Pay the speaker registration fee (see Registration Forms)
    • All authors must sign the Balisage Non-exclusive Publication Agreement
  • Balisage will:
    • Peer review all reasonable submissions (described on the Peer Review page)
    • Tell authors if their submissions have been accepted on or about May 13, 2019
    • Publish all accepted papers in the online conference proceedings
    • Provide a discounted registration fee for all of the authors of the paper who attend the conference (see Registration Forms)
    • Publish speaker's on-site materials (e.g., slides) in the conference proceedings after the conference


All papers must be prepared in XML using the Balisage Tag Set (which is a small subset of DocBook V5) and submitted using the file naming conventions described in the Instructions for Authors.

Due Date

We must receive your submission by 12 April 2019. Especially if your paper contains complex formatting requirements (many graphics, unusual characters, large tables, equations) or if you are not experienced creating prose documents in XML we urge you to get the paper to us as soon as possible. We will notify chosen speakers and provide peer comments by 13 May 2019. Final papers will be due 5 July 2019.

Copyright Release

All presenters at Balisage 2019 will be required to sign the Nonexclusive Publication Agreement & License, which is available for review at: BalisagePublicationAgreement.pdf.

Instructions On Draft Paper Submission

Draft papers should be detailed enough to allow peer reviewers to judge the relevance of the topic, the interest of the results, and the quality and technical merit of presentation. No less than in final versions, bibliographic references to relevant work should be provided; claims that there is no relevant published work may be cause for skepticism from peer reviewers.

If the peer reviewers find that your draft paper has insufficient detail to evaluate your presentation, there will not be time for you revise your submission before the end of the peer review period. In other words: if you don't send in a paper with enough substance to be evaluated, your submission will not be accepted, however exciting may be its supposed findings.

Authors of Balisage papers, especially those who have not participated in Balisage before, may be interested in descriptions of the Balisage Peer Revew and Paper Selection processes.


If you have any questions on any of the above, or any problem creating your paper, please send email or call Debbie Lapeyre (+1 301/315-9633) or Tommie Usdin (+1 301/315-9634).

Please help us make Balisage: The Markup Conference exciting and lively. See you in Rockville, MD (just outside Washington, DC)!

Debbie Lapeyre
Jim Mason
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
B. Tommie Usdin
Norm Walsh

There is nothing so practical as a good theory