About the Journal

1. Aim and Scope

  • JOI is an open-access journal that aims at gathering resources to promote the study of illusion.
  • JOI defines an illusion as the perception of an object that is considered to be inconsistent with individual’s or group’s prior knowledge, recognition, or belief as to what the object should be in perception, cognition, and/or physics. Therefore, JOI focuses on perceptual illusions, cognitive illusions (e.g. magic or misunderstanding) or physical illusions (e.g. mirage or the Doppler effect). For perceptual illusions, not only visual illusions but also illusions at various sensory modalities are welcome. Trompe l’oeil as well as illusion artworks are also welcome.
  • JOI prefers phenomena to mechanisms. A single Illusion can be demonstrated in different ways even if the mechanism of the illusion is unitary. JOI does not put importance on the clarification of an underlying mechanism for an illusion. Rather, JOI calls for reports of new phenomena and/or new demonstrations/artworks that contain an illusion which deems novel, stunning, eye-catching, mind-blowing, compelling, and/or astonishing. Experimental studies on new illusions are also welcome. Review articles on new and/or known illusions are acceptable. Yet, theoretical studies that do not lead to new illusions are not welcome.
  • Rather than a hypothetical research, JOI prefers exploratory research that is usually unacceptable in the conventional style of scientific journals. The reason for our policy is because illusion works are often created based on the fruit of serendipity, not always on logical deductions from previous studies. Hence, a clear hypothesis is not required in the manuscript. On the other hand, studies based on a clear hypothesis can be submitted to the Registered reports category (see 3. Article type for detail).


2. Review policy

  • In the reviewing process, the reviewers are asked to evaluate how much the reported illusion is novel, stunning, eye-catching, mind-blowing, compelling, and astonishing. In addition, studies attempting to increase vividness, strength, beauty, and/or usefulness of illusions are also welcome.
  • Before a formal review of Phenomenal reports and Review reports, the editorial team evaluates the manuscript and decides whether the manuscript be forwarded to the formal review or be rejected. We believe this initial evaluation is a necessary process to maintain the quality of JOI.
  • A published article is further evaluated by JOI’s readership upon the service of plaudit (https://plaudit.pub/). Moreover, JOI has a specialized post-publication commentary section (see 4. Post-publication commentary for detail.)
  • For studies on known illusion, we adopt a registered report scheme to the Registered reports Before conducting experiments on known illusions, the authors need to submit (and register) the descriptions including the background and hypothesis of the experiment with a reasonable amount of citations of previous studies. Upon the approval of the registered study on the basis of the review by experts, the authors can submit experimental outcomes and discussion. The approved study is published after the reports of experimental data and discussion passed the second peer-review.


Specific review criteria

<Phenomenal reports>

  • Is the phenomenon new?
  • Is the phenomenon interesting?
  • Is the discussion appropriate?

<Registered reports>

Stage 1

  • Is the phenomenon interesting?
  • Are the hypothesis and experimental design appropriate?
  • Is the statistical method appropriate?

Stage 2

  • Was the experimental design carried out without any deviations that cannot be overlooked?
  • Is the discussion appropriate?

<Review reports>

  • Is the argument original?
  • Is the discussion appropriate?
  • Is the citation appropriate?


3. Article category

Figure 1 shows the submission criteria. In all categories, the authors are supposed to submit a text-based manuscript with figures and tables as like the format of a conventional journal article. Besides, the authors can submit extra photos, images, sound files, and/or video clips of their illusion works, which are also subject to open peer-review.

Figure 1 The submission criteria


3.1 Phenomenal reports

In this category, the authors are supposed to submit the manuscript that qualitatively describes a scientifically novel illusion. Moreover, we accept the manuscript comparing the novel and known illusions. This category also accepts the manuscript reporting novel versions of demonstration, design, artwork, and application cases of existing illusions. Computational model studies for novel illusion are also acceptable. Quantitative data is not always necessary. The authors are required to theoretically explain why the illusion is novel and how it works. A simple report of illusion without scientifically sufficient explanations is not acceptable as an article of this category. The editorial stream of this category is shown in Figure 2. The submitted manuscript is initially evaluated by the editorial team of JOI and is returned to the authors if the manuscript is evaluated to be unsuitable for an article in JOI. The manuscript which is considered to be potentially suitable for an article in JOI is sent to reviewers. After a peer-review process, the editorial team determines the acceptance/rejection of the manuscript.

Figure 2 Editorial flow of Phenomenal reports and Review reports.


3.2 Review reports

In this category, the authors are expected to submit a manuscript that aims at theoretically advancing our knowledge about illusions by overviewing previous studies on a certain type (or several types of) of illusion. A simple summary of the previous studies is not favorable here. The editorial stream of this category is shown in Figure 2.


3.3 Registered reports

In this category, the authors are supposed to submit the manuscript that quantitatively addresses a known illusion with a clear hypothesis. Figure 3 shows the editorial stream of this category. The authors who wish to submit the manuscript of the study protocol to this category need to first register the background, experimental design, analysis plan, and hypothesis of their study before conducting experiments. Similar to the Phenomenal reports, the submitted manuscript to the Registered reports is initially evaluated by the editorial team of JOI and is returned to the authors if the manuscript is evaluated to be unsuitable for an article in JOI. The manuscript which is considered to be potentially suitable for an article in JOI is sent to the first peer-review. After the registration is approved via the first peer-review, the manuscript is treated as in-principle acceptance, in which the manuscript will be published regardless of the positivity of the results. Afterward, the authors can submit the complete manuscript that contains reports of the experimental outcome and discussion as well as the protocol. The complete manuscript will receive the second peer-review before publication. The preprint of a registered manuscript can be accessed at a dedicated section called “In the pipeline”. For more information about the general system of registered reports, see the website of The Center for Open Science (https://cos.io/rr/).

Figure 3. Editorial flow of Registered reports.


4. Post-publication commentaries

The Journal of illusion will accept post-publication commentaries. Those commentaries are subject to peer review (Figure 4). We hope to collect the commentaries that have passed peer review and merge them with the original paper so that we can publish an updated version of the original paper with the comments at a later date. JOI assigns a doi not only to an original article but also to each of the post-publication commentaries.

Basically, the comments will be checked and sorted by the action editor, who was responsible for the original article. If for various reasons the action editor cannot engage in the check, a new action editor will be designated by the Editor-in-Chief. The action editor will judge whether the comment is publishable on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Is the comment academically and socially beneficial?
  • Is the rationale of the comment scientifically clear?
  • Is the claim in the comment original?

Figure 4. Editorial flow of post-publication commentary.



5. Manuscript preparation

  • When submitting, the manuscript can be prepared with the style as the authors like. Any style is OK if the manuscript includes title, author names, contact information, abstract, body text, reference list, and acknowledgments. Additional sections such as footnotes may be included if necessary. For file format of the manuscript, we prefer .pdf. For reviewers to evaluate the illusion in the best condition, figures and/or movies should be prepared with high quality
  • After acceptance, we will ask the authors to submit the text in .docx, figures in .jpg, .png, or .eps, audios in .mp3 or .wav, and movies in .mp4. The layout according to the journal format is also made after acceptance.


6. Article processing charge

  • Phenomenal reports : 500 USD (up to 6 pages*)
  • Review reports : 900 USD (up to 12 pages*)
  • Registered reports : 900 USD (up to 12 pages*)
  • Post-publication commentary : 100 USD (for 1 page*)

*55 USD will be charged per additional page.