Guidelines for contributors
The principal aim of the Gatekeeper Series is to highlight emerging issues and new perspectives in the fields of environment and development. Each paper should provide a succinct review of an issue of contemporary importance and make preliminary recommendations for policy makers, researchers and planners.
We particularly welcome contributions from the global South and can offer editorial support and advice for potential authors. If you have an idea for a paper, but are unsure of the language and style, please contact the editor with details of the topic you wish to cover.
The editor is only half joking when they suggest to prospective authors that they should conduct a ‘bathtub test’ on their submissions. That is, they should run a hot bath and read their paper in the tub. If the water is cold by the time they are through, the paper is too long, too complicated, or both. Busy policy-makers are not disposed towards reading lengthy, jargon-filled papers. For many, the appeal of the Gatekeeper Series lies in their brevity.
An independent editorial committee reviews all submissions. Comments will be sent back to authors regarding content and style. Authors may be requested to make changes to papers accepted for publication. Any subsequent editorial amendments will be undertaken in consultation with the author. Assistance with language can be provided where appropriate.
When submitting contributions, please consider the following points:
Submitted material should be of interest to a wide audience, including non-scientists, and may combine an examination of broad policy questions with the presentation of specific case studies and empirical evidence. The paper should conclude with a discussion of policy implications and/or offer policy recommendations.
The readership mainly consists of policymakers, research scientists and development professionals in major international agencies, national departments, NGOs, and policy research institutes. Academics from both developing and industrialised countries frequently request Gatekeepers for use as course or seminar discussion material.
Conflict of Interest
Authors must declare any potential conflicting interests, such as having been in receipt of funds or fees by, or holding stocks and shares in, an organisation that may profit or lose through publication of the paper. Declaring a competing interest will not lead to automatic rejection of the paper, but we reserve the right to be made aware of it and to make an informed judgment about publication on that basis.
Submitting your article
Please submit an electronic copy of your draft paper to the Gatekeeper Editor (details below), taking the following points into consideration:
Style and Length
Gatekeepers must be short, and make clear, simple and concise points.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs.
- Keep language simple.
- Use the active voice (i.e. “Ms X said” rather than “it was said”)
- Include photos, figures/illustrations, bullet points, maps, tables, boxes, etc. to illustrate and reinforce key points
- Keep the length to a maximum of 5,000 words
Authors should also include a brief summary of their paper to serve as an abstract. This should be no longer than 450 words.
The title page should contain:
- Each author's name, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address (if possible)
- Each author's affiliation and qualifications and a brief (one paragraph) biography
- The location where the work was carried out
- The name of the author who is to deal with correspondence and proofs; preferably this author should have e-mail access for fast handling of proofs
References in the text should be cited thus:
Kanji and Tacoli (1999) demonstrate...
It was demonstrated that... (Kanji and Tacoli, 1999).
If works by more than two authors are cited, only the first author is named followed by et al., a comma and the year. The reference list must be typed double-spaced in alphabetical order and include the full title of both paper (or chapter) and journal (or book) thus:
Kanji, N. and C. Tacoli. 1999. Paper title/Chapter title in normal script. Book title/Journal title in normal script. Volume number (Issue number): Page number start – Page number end.
Kanji, N. and C. Tacoli. 1999. Chapter title in normal script. In: Thompson, J. (ed). Book title. Publisher's name, Place of publication.
Up to six contributors can be cited as authors.
Tables and figures
Tables, figures, legends and acknowledgements should be submitted as separate files. Units should always be expressed with the solidus, e.g. kg/ha not kg ha-1. All numbers should be written as digits. Percentages are represented with the symbol %.
Photographs, figures, diagrams and illustrations should be sent as a separate GIF or JPEG file attachment. All illustrations and diagrams should be clearly labelled with a caption or title and name of the photographer where appropriate. Please also number and insert appropriate numbers in text, e.g. Figure 1, Photo 1 etc.
Gatekeepers are published on IIED’s Website (www.iied.org) in PDF format and are available for free downloading.
For further information, or to submit a paper contact:
International Institute for Environment and Development
80-86 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8NH, UK
Fax: +44 (0) 20 3514-9055