We encourage submissions of posts from 800 to 1,200 words that are written in an accessible way. We’re interested in global public policy responses to Covid-19: economics, finance, government, psychology and behavioural science, media, culture, global development and governance. We are keen to include tables, charts, and relevant figures where appropriate.
Contributors should normally be studying at doctoral level, or have significant professional expertise in the subject they are writing about.
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 LSE Covid-19.
Length and format
To make our articles as readable and accessible as possible, we usually aim for a length of between 800 and 1,200 words. We are also happy to post longer essays of over 2,000 words if appropriate for the topic. Please discuss this with Ros and Roch. ‘Snap’ contributions of around 400 words are also welcomed, particularly if they are timely. 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. Economist special reports offer a good model. 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. Avoid introductory phrases like “In this post I will…”, or “This post aims to…”, and go straight into your discussion of the topic.
Use short paragraphs made up of a few sentences. 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 Brexit is affecting the psychological wellbeing of EU migrants…” and simply say “Brexit is affecting the wellbeing of EU residents…” Remember that many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers will have access to them. Ultimately the aim is to present your research, not simply to describe what you have written elsewhere.
Unless your references are offline (for example, books), 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 preferred to those behind paywalls.
Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you’d like to reference: e.g. “Joe Bloggs has said…” Please try to avoid using footnotes wherever possible and integrate material directly into the text.
We use narrative titles – a single sentence that sums up the main argument of the article. The more descriptive and catchy the title, the more likely the article is to be read. Try to avoid general topics (Covid-19 and cities). We’re happy to write these and get your approval.
Try and keep titles to twenty words or less, if possible.
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 editors, who will edit the piece to ensure it reaches as wide an audience as possible. Once these edits are complete, we will send you the final version of the article, and give you an opportunity to make any corrections.
All articles on 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 LSE Covid-19 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.