Peer Review History

Original SubmissionJune 14, 2019
Decision Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor


Structural patterns for transmedia storytelling


Dear Mr Javanshir,

Thank you for submitting your manuscript to PLOS ONE. After careful consideration, we feel that it has merit but does not fully meet PLOS ONE’s publication criteria as it currently stands. Therefore, we invite you to submit a revised version of the manuscript that addresses the points raised during the review process.


Dear Mr Javanshir,

Many thanks for your submission to the PLOS One 'Science of Stories' collection. As you can see from the attached reviews, a lot of value was found in your work, but also some flaws. On this basis, I am recommending it for potential acceptance pending major revisions. In particular, it seems to me that the following are the most crucial areas for improvement:

1. Your theoretical foundation has a number of significant gaps in it, something all three reviewers noted in different ways, in particular Reviewer 2.

2. The layout and construction of your central argument is based on a perhaps too large sample to be presented as you have chosen to do so.

3. A thorough copy editing is needed.

I hope you will consider revising your article for resubmission.

With every good wish.

Jennifer Edmond, Academic Editor


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Kind regards,

Jennifer Edmond, Ph.D.

Academic Editor


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Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Partly

Reviewer #3: Yes


2. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: No

Reviewer #3: N/A


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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

Reviewer #3: Yes


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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes

Reviewer #3: Yes


5. Review Comments to the Author

Please use the space provided to explain your answers to the questions above. You may also include additional comments for the author, including concerns about dual publication, research ethics, or publication ethics. (Please upload your review as an attachment if it exceeds 20,000 characters)

Reviewer #1: The paper is clear and proposes a useful framework that is demonstrated through 20 examples. There were some in-text citations missing for the example narratives, some misspelled names (e.g., McCluhan), and lack of consistency of capitalisation and italics for the names of titles and the identified patterns. There is also a lack of consistently referring to the “case studies” in the beginning of the paper vs “examples” at the end. Two scholars that have worked on narrative structures and patterns that could be referenced and used as a basis to differentiate this work are Espen Aarseth’s Game Variable Analysis Model and Marie-Laure Ryan’s “Narratives as Virtual Reality 2” book which includes several examples of narrative structures/models.

More explanation of how the authors came up with the terminology for the different patterns (e.g., more stories, portmanteau, and subsidiary) would help contextualise them further and aid other researchers in identifying the same patterns in their own case studies. The authors could add some signposting or introductory paragraphs to contextualise the overall broad patterns that were found and the wider implications of these patterns for future studies.

In the section “6 forms of transmedia storytelling” the authors further explain the narrative patterns in the case studies. It would help solidify the arguments if these sections were integrated with each case study’s graphical pattern rather than as its own separate section at the end so that the reader does not have to scroll back and forth and the rationale and identified pattern would be clearly reinforced.

Reviewer #2: Overall I admire and appreciate what the authors are trying to do here. They are right that the term transmedia is broad and takes on different meanings in different concepts. More consistent language could therefore the valuable. The article is well written and clearly structured, with some useful terms.

However, I cannot help but feel that the authors are overlooking a vast amount of recent research into transmedia studies that does some of this work for them. The authors rely on understandings of transmedia from 2006-2009, but ignores almost everything else. Transmedia studies has done much work since then, employing all kinds of new terms, models and approaches. For example, look at:

- Susana Tosca and Lisbeth Klastrup's work

- Matthew Freeman's work

- Routledge Companion to Transmedia Studies

- Elizabeth Evans' work

- Renira Rampazzo Gambarato's work

All of these, and others, have developed new models and terms re transmedia, and these should be acknowledged if the author's aims are genuine and to be of significance. Without engaging with this work, the the article feels outdated - though admirable in its intent.

The other issue, for me, is the number of case studies. 20 is surely too many for qualitative analysis, which leaves very little room for detailed analysis. Perhaps more of a quantitative approach would be better? In fact, very little research in transmedia studies takes a quantitative approach, so this would make it more original.

Reviewer #3: This article deals with an original analysis of Transmedia productions and strategies, offering new methodologies and a pattern which could easily be reproduced.

The methodology is well described and we can easily follow the arguments of the authors throughout the article.

The authors used different cas studies, allowing them to draw some conclusions and provide a relevant pattern.

We would have liked to have a final table at the end of the article, presenting a summary of the projects and findings. It could help the reading.

The authors should give their own definition of Transmedia storytelling and Transmedia projects, since the case studies they have chosen to use in this article do not match Jenkins' seminal definition.

There are still some mistakes and misspellings in the text.


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Reviewer #1: Yes: Nicole Basaraba

Reviewer #2: No

Reviewer #3: Yes: Melanie Bourdaa

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Revision 1

1. Grammar - We have edited the document to fix grammar and spelling mistakes. (Reviewer 1, Reviewer 2, Reviewer 3)

2. References and Background – We have updated our background section to include more context to our research, and further related work. (Reviewer 1)

3. Signposting – We have expanded our introductory paragraph in section 5 to provide more signposting for the reader. (Reviewer 1)

4. Integrate section 6 with case studies – We felt that this would in fact make the reading much harder, and would risk talking about the same things twice. Our findings in section 6 are grouped according to the forms of the case studies. (Reviewer 1)

5. Table – We have added a table in section 6 to summarise our findings (Reviewer 3).

6. Definitions – We have included more background literature for definitions, and included our own (Reviewer 3).

7. Case study amount – We feel that we needed at least this amount to be able to identify the patterns that we did. Our objective was not to do a detailed qualitative analysis, but rather a structural analysis of how these experiences operate. (Reviewer 2)

Submitted filename: Response_to_Reviewers.docx
Decision Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor

Structural Patterns for Transmedia Storytelling


Dear Dr. Javanshir,

We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it complies with all outstanding technical requirements.

Within one week, you will receive an e-mail containing information on the amendments required prior to publication. When all required modifications have been addressed, you will receive a formal acceptance letter and your manuscript will proceed to our production department and be scheduled for publication.

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With kind regards,

Jennifer Edmond, Ph.D.

Academic Editor


Additional Editor Comments (optional):

Dear Mr Javanshir,

Thank you for your revised manuscript, and for the attention you have given to the reviewer feedback. I am happy to recommend acceptance on this basis.

With every good wish,

Jennifer Edmond

Reviewers' comments:

Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Jennifer Edmond, Editor


Structural Patterns for Transmedia Storytelling

Dear Dr. Javanshir:

I am pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please notify them about your upcoming paper at this point, to enable them to help maximize its impact. If they will be preparing press materials for this manuscript, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact

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Thank you for submitting your work to PLOS ONE.

With kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Dr. Jennifer Edmond

Academic Editor


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