Houses of Parliament, London

The aim of British Politics and Policy at LSE (BPP) is to:

  • increase the public understanding of the social sciences in the context of UK government
  • facilitate the sharing and exchange of knowledge between experts within and outside universities
  • open up academic research to increase its impact

We have no editorial ‘line’ except a commitment to communicating social science research and commentary in ways that enhance public debate and understanding. The articles give the views of the author(s), and not the position of the British Politics and Policy blog, nor of the London School of Economics. 

Note to contributors:

We encourage submissions of posts from 750 to 1,250 words that are communicated in an accessible way. Our remit covers all aspects of British government and politics (including historical issues of contemporary relevance) and all aspects of British public policy (including theoretical issues and international/comparative aspects). We are keen to include tables, charts, and relevant figures where appropriate.

Authors of material relating to overseas countries or international issues should ensure that their blog relates substantively to our remit. Our Blog Team would be happy to advise and help, so you are welcome to propose ideas informally to them. To submit an article for consideration, please e-mail it in a Word file to the editors at the following address: politicsandpolicy@lse.ac.uk Please also include Excel files for figures and charts so that these can be modified.

Style guide

To help authors with the submission process, we’ve compiled a list of some of the main style issues to keep in mind when drafting an article for BPP.

Length and format

  • In order to increase readability and accessibility, we aim for our articles to be between 750 and 1,250 words.
  • We are also happy to post longer essays of over 2,000 words if appropriate for the topic. If you are interested, please discuss this with the blog team.

Audience, writing style and language

  • Our main aim is to increase the public understanding of the social sciences. With this in mind, your article should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policy-makers and other non-academics.
  • Our most widely read blog articles are written in a more natural style, so we recommend that you avoid overusing acronyms and academic terms, such as Latin words, or specific terminology that may not be well known outside disciplinary circles. Also avoid introductory phrases like “In this paper I will…”, or “This paper aims to…”, and go straight into your discussion of the topic.
  • Use short paragraphs made up of four or five sentences
  • If possible, convert numbered lists and bullet points into full paragraphs.
  • As with journalistic pieces ‘lead with the best.’ Don’t save your main argument or analysis 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. Avoid phrases such as “In my recent paper, I have shown that the House of Lords should be reformed…” and simply say “The House of Lords should be reformed for these reasons…” Remember that many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers will have access to them.

Referencing

  • 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: e.g. “Joe Bloggs has said…”
  • 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. Graphs and charts are preferable to tables, as they are easier for readers to interpret quickly. In all cases, please send us the raw data of your chart, table, or figure in Excel format.
  • 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

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, with your academic position, research interests, and details of your two most recent books.
  • Please also send us a small colour photo headshot. Our preference is for a more formal portrait style, rather than a photo taken from an event.

Our editing process

  • In most cases submitted articles will be reviewed speedily by the Blog Team, who will edit the piece to enhance readability to 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.
  • All articles on the British Politics and Policy blog should be evidence based. With this in mind, editors may double-check the factual accuracy of certain points, or ask you for links to supporting information.

British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog Team:

The BPP blog is run by the LSE Public Policy Group (PPG).

General Editor: Professor Patrick Dunleavy

Managing Editors: Artemis Photiadou & Luke Temple

For further information, and to submit a blog, please email the editors at: Politicsandpolicy@lse.ac.uk.