Write for the IPR blog

Our aim is to:

  • Increase public understanding of public policy debates in the UK and beyond.
  • Facilitate the sharing and exchange of knowledge between experts within and outside universities.
  • Overall open up academic research to wider audiences.

Notes to contributors

We welcome contributions from all academic staff and postgraduate students across the University of Bath, as well as from external authors.

Contributions must meet the high editorial standards we set, outlined below, and conform to the preferred style set out by the university.

To submit a blog for consideration, or to learn more about publishing with us, please e-mail the blog editor, Sophie O’Brien.

Guidelines

We seek to publish well-developed, timely analyses of policy-relevant subjects from expert authors. Submissions are expected to draw upon the author’s research or professional experience and move beyond a statement of fact to pursue an argument that relates to policy.

For example, a piece detailing the findings of a new study into how claimants access the welfare system would be insufficient – but if the author used this information to make a case for changes to welfare policy, then it may be acceptable.

Length and format

  • In order to increase readability and accessibility, we aim for our posts to range from 800 to 1500 words.
  • We are happy to post longer submissions if appropriate for the topic.
  • All submissions must be communicated in an accessible way.

Audience, writing style and language

  • Our main aim is to increase the public understanding of public policy. Accordingly, your blog should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policymakers and non-academics.
  • We recommend that you avoid using acronyms and academic terms, such as Latin words, or specific terminology that may not be well-known outside disciplinary circles.
  • Avoid introductory phrases like "In this paper I will...", or "This paper aims to...", and go straight into your discussion of the topic.
  • If possible, convert numbers lists and bullet points into full paragraphs.
  • As with journalistic pieces, 'lead with the best'. Don't save your main arguments or analysis for the end of the post.
  • Write your post as a standalone piece, even if it summarises material in a longer paper or journal article.
  • Try to present all of your argument and evidence within the text and avoid relying too heavily on information contained in external sources. Remember that many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers have access to them.

Referencing

  • Use links rather than citations for references.
  • Links should direct readers to more detailed reports or other pieces of research, news items or other blog posts.
  • Open access sources are preferable compared to those behind paywalls.
  • Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you'd like to reference or simply place the URL in parentheses where you would like it to be placed and we will link to it ourselves.
  • Please try to avoid using footnotes wherever possible and integrate material directly into the text.

Graphs and charts

  • We encourage the use of charts and figures.
  • Each chart needs a clearly labelled heading, labels for the X and Y axes or histogram bars, including units of measurement and a readable scale or background grid.
  • There should be a clear legend distinguishing multiple data series from each other and a brief note on the sources.
  • Links must be thick enough and distinctively coloured.
  • Charts should use a numerical progression to make comparisons more visible.

The editing process

  • In most cases, submitted posts will be reviewed by the blog editor, who will edit the piece to enhance readability to the blog's wider audience.
  • The blog editor exercises final control over the writing and related images, however if substantive changes are made, the edits will be discussed with you in advance of publication.
  • All posts on the IPR blog should be evidence-based. With this in mind, the blog editor may double-check the factual accuracy of certain points or ask you for links to supporting information.

After publication

  • Once the blog has been published, the blog editor will also produce an accompanying digital communications campaign, including videos and infographics (where appropriate).
  • The blog will also feature on the university and IPR website and social media channels, and be included in the IPR's newsletter.

 

For further information, and to submit a blog, please e-mail the blog editor at: sw977@bath.ac.uk