Guidelines for the WZB Democracy Blog
Length and format
- In order to increase readability and accessibility, we typically aim for our articles to be between 800 and 2,500 words long
- Please send us your draft article in Word format, with your name at the top.
Audience, writing style and language
- Your article should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policymakers and other non-academics
- Use short paragraphs made up of four or five sentences and add subheadings
- As with journalistic pieces ‘lead with the best’. Don’t save your main argument for the end of the post
- Write your article 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.
- We 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 (using ctrl-K in Word) or simply place the URL in parentheses where you would like it to be placed and we will link it ourselves.
Images, graphs and charts
- Please submit graphs, tables and images separately in JPG or PNG format and indicate where in the word-doc you would us to place the element so we can fit it in correctly.
- We encourage the use of images, charts and figures. Graphs and charts are preferable to tables, as they are easier for readers to interpret quickly.
- 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 sources. Lines must be thick enough and distinctively coloured. Charts should use a numerical progression to make comparisons more visible
- For images, the editors will try find a suitable image to accompany the blog post if you don’t have anything.
Biography and contributor photo
- We’re proud of our contributors, so we like to give them full attribution. Please send us a three to four line biographical note, detailing your academic position, affiliation and research interests
- Contributor photos are optional. We usually use them to promote your post on social media. Please send us a small colour photo headshot, ideally as a .jpg file.
Our editing process
In most cases submitted articles will be reviewed by the editor within one week. The article will be edited to enhance its readability; always considering the blog’s wider audience. Once these edits are complete, we will send you the final version of the article, and give you an opportunity to make final edits.
These edits may include:
- Shortening of text if the article is above our stated word limit
- The addition of a title to sum up the post’s main findings or sub headings
- The addition of short introductory paragraph outlining the article’s main arguments and findings (teaser), and any relevant background information for readers.
- The addition of links to additional resources or previous blog posts.
Once these edits and revisions are complete, we will send the final version of the blog article to authors with an estimated date of publication, and give the author an opportunity to make any further edits deemed to be necessary. Please note that owing to events and other circumstances beyond our control, we may have to change our posting order at very short notice.
Once articles are published, we are very happy to make further edits afterwards should the author deem them to be necessary.
Sharing policy and republishing
The WZB Blogs do not mind re-posts of posts on other blogs or outlets. If you repost the post in later versions on other platforms, please indicate that the post has been published in a previous version and provide a link to your original post on the WZB Democracy Blog.
We use our social media accounts to promote your posts and encourage you to join us in this effort to enhance the visibility of your post.
These Guidelines were adopted from the original as published by the LSE impact Blog.