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Writing for the Safety and Health Practitioner
SUBMISSION OF PROSPECTIVE ARTICLES - GUIDANCE FOR AUTHORS
The editorial team of the Safety and Health Practitioner is happy to receive articles from prospective authors. All articles are reviewed by the magazine's editorial team and, when necessary, an editorial panel composed of experts from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. After the article has been reviewed, a member of the magazine's editorial team will contact the prospective author and discuss whether or not the article has been accepted for publication and, if so, whether any changes need to be made prior to publication.
The SHP editorial team reserves the right to amend headings, add sub-headings, form 'box items' from the text, and generally edit for accuracy, readability, style and length. Any major changes would, of course, be discussed with the author in advance.
Prospective authors who have not written for SHP before, or who are not generally considered as a "recognised expert" in the field, MUST submit, in the first instance, a summary, or outline of the proposed article, on the basis of which the editorial team can decide whether or not it will be of interest to the readers. This avoids unnecessary effort and time-wasting on behalf of the author, should the proposal be turned down. Please also be aware that SHP reserves the right to decide not to publish texts that were originally accepted on the basis of the synopsis, if the full draft does not adhere to that synopsis, or fails to sufficiently live up to it.
Published articles tend to be around 1500 to 2500 words in length with a title that reflects the direction and subject matter of the text. Text must be supplied in electronic format, i.e. sent via e-mail. SHP can accept Microsoft Word and Text Only files. Relevant diagrams, drawings, charts, and photographs, together with captions, should accompany the article. A short 'About the author' paragraph should also be supplied, giving details of relevant qualifications, membership of professional organisations, vocational experience, etc. SHP does not republish old articles, so submissions should not be either pending publication, or have already been published elsewhere.
Product manufacturers, service suppliers and PR/marketing agents should be aware that advertisements disguised as articles will be treated with the contempt they deserve! If your company/client is in a position to write knowledgeably about a health and safety issue owing to their experience in the market, that is fine - and the market perspective is a welcome alternative - but the opportunity to increase knowledge, share experiences and further best practice should not be abused in order to increase one company's profits.
Context and chosen topic
SHP publishes a wide range of articles, ranging from discussions of topical issues and current theoretical thinking, to specific 'case studies', i.e. how a particular health/safety situation was managed and resolved. Most importantly, articles should reflect current thinking and knowledge, with references to the latest legal and industry standards, where relevant. Care should be taken to use the correct terminology and references, particularly with regard to specific legislation.
Texts on specific issues and topic areas are welcome, but the issue under discussion should be placed in some kind of context, e.g. if writing an article about the problems surrounding machinery guarding, it would be useful to mention either statistics relating to accidents resulting from inadequate guarding (complete with references to the source of that material), and/or which industries have a particular problem with guarding.
The SHP readership includes both novices and experts who have been in the industry for some years. They come from a wide range of industries and have many concerns (from safety at height in construction, through office ergonomics, to gas detection issues within Local Authority work - to name but a few). Not all articles are expected to appeal to all SHP readers but the way an author treats a specific topic should cause a reader to think more closely about his or her work, which may or may not be related to the issue discussed.
Theses and academic papers
While SHP recognises that much excellent research is done by students on health and safety degree courses, and similar, it can be extremely difficult to turn a lengthy, academic text with reams of references, quotes, figures, etc into a short, to-the-point, lighter piece suitable for a magazine. For that reason, we are generally reluctant to accept articles based on academic work unless the conclusions/findings of the research behind it are particularly original and illuminating and the author can provide assurances that they can condense their work into 2000, or so words in a style suitable for the magazine.
When a quote is used, or if statistics are mentioned, the source of that information should be given a reference at the end of the article (please DO NOT use footnotes at the end of each page). Details required are: author; title of source publication; date of source publication; publisher; ISBN and any other information that would allow a reader to find the reference.
Conflict of interest
If data, confidential information, references or specific examples come from sources such as an identifiable employer or organisation, please ensure that permission to use this information is given and that acknowledgement is obtained. SHP does not print product profiles or company profiles. However, if a new development has taken place, which has official approval, we will consider the item.
Please ensure that your article is clear and concise. Often, asking a colleague to read the article can help you identify and iron out any weaknesses. Use of abbreviations, acronyms and specific terminology should be explained at the point of first reference, whether or not they are considered to be in common usage.
The editorial team of SHP can be contacted at:
UBM Information Ltd
245 Blackfriars Road
Tel: 020 7921 8047/8046
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