We know pitches can be demanding, and often do not allow writers to tease out the nuances of an argument or opinion, so we would prefer to read the finished piece once you are ready.
Please note that we do not substantially edit pieces for grammar, language, tone, or content so would ask that you ensure these are at the highest level prior to contacting us.
Length and content
Opinions should be between 600-800 words, and should tackle subjects within the scope of CSIPS’s broad focus of peace and security, e.g. conflict, democracy, law, human rights, international relations. Pieces should also fit within one of the following categories:
- An existing topical issue that has wide appeal
- A difficult topic that requires explanation and/or deconstruction
- An emerging issue that is on the horizon in the near future
Generally, we would like to see that you are in a position of authority when writing about a topic i.e. a knowledge of the subject acquired from either personal experience or through your professional position. Try to bring this out in the piece e.g. when I worked at “x”, I learned first-hand the importance of “y”; or, as a former refugee, I know how the UNCHR resettlement process works.
Tone and register
Try to make sure that you are easily understood. Remember that you (and we) want your piece to be read and understood by the widest audience, so make it accessible to them. Avoid using lengthy words and phrases, long sentences and difficult terms where this is not needed – when in doubt, use the lesser of the more complicated choices.
DO NOT BE SHOUTY! Try to put your point across firmly but calmly, but back up your statements with evidence and references to other work and statistics where possible.
Each author must provide a max. 200 character bio (including current affiliation) for inclusion with the piece. Authors may also contribute a portrait photograph of themselves (min. 150dpi quality please). We would encourage you to also include social media and/or email details for readers if you would like readers to contact or follow you online.
Facts, figures, and disputed or contentious arguments should be supported by research and/or evidence. Please do not use footnotes/endnotes; instead, references should be embedded as hyperlinks in the text of the opinion piece e.g. “Despite protestors’ accusations that pubic transport has ground to a standstill, there is clear government evidence that the wheels on the bus go round and round.”
Please send pieces in Word format (.doc, .docx, etc) to allow for editing and upload to the website. Do not send PDF files as, unfortunately, we cannot use them! Make sure you send us your completed contributor statement (below) as well, as we will not be able to publish without it.
Media, charts, tables, and figures
As a rule of thumb, please include between 2-3 photos and/or figures in the body of the text at appropriate points to support or illustrate your argument. Please also select a cover photo that encapsulates the topic you are discussing, or which relates to the discussion. You are free to include your own media and figures/tables if you like, but creative commons licensing is the easiest way of including media that is not your own. If you wish to include material that is not your own or free to use you will need to secure your own permissions prior to submitting your piece. If you are not able to source any photos, we would be happy to select appropriate photos on your behalf.
Of course, it is in your best interests to distribute your piece as far and wide as possible! We encourage you to blog, tweet, post, shout about, and otherwise call attention to your article once online. We will promote your article across our social media platforms, and would encourage you to do the same. You are free to republish your article in its entirety wherever you like, so long as you credit the original publication to the CSIPS website.
Once accepted and in the event of any amendments being needed, you will have 48 hours to complete these. CSIPS tries to maintain a fast pace and we ask that you work with us on this front to meet deadlines when required.
On the other hand, sometimes your piece will be spot-on the first time around. In that case, this point does not apply to you. Well done, Professor!
Please send opinion pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject Line: “Opinion:” along with a completed Contributor Declaration Form, downloadable here.