Editorial guidelines

The Academic publishes articles based on research findings and/or summaries of academic research. All articles should be sent to the The Academic editor (hello [at] theacademic [dot] com), in the form of a Word document, including a short bio at the end of the article. Authors are also required to send a headshot (at least 500 pixels), and any social media or other website details.

To capture the imagination of the reader, it is highly recommended that authors also include pictures, graphs, or infographics, to complement their writing. Suggested images may also be sent; however, the author must have the rights to them, or they must be creative commons licensed (or similar open licensing). If photos or other graphics are included, these should be inserted in-text but sent as a separate attachment also.

Length and tone

The Academic does not have strict word limits. Articles should be as short as possible to make the author’s point(s), or as long as needed to do justice to a topic. A good rule of thumb should be for articles to be around 800-1500 words.

Articles should jump straight into the specific issue at hand, beginning with the central questions/arguments/ideas. The readers of The Academic appreciate articles that get straight to the point. Authors are therefore encouraged to not load up the article with unnecessary background information. Instead, authors should focus mainly on the findings of their research and their practical implications. If necessary, it is suggested to use references to cite other research or articles in case there is a need to do so to back up the arguments of the author. 

Audience, writing style and language

The Academic aims to communicate the findings of state-of-the-art research to the layperson.  All articles should therefore avoid technical jargon and be written with a non-specialist, public audience in mind, including policy makers, the media, students, and the general public. To do this, authors are encouraged to avoid acronyms and academic terms not widely used outside of specific disciplines. Authors are encouraged to focus on their economy of words and not to be too verbose. Ideally, authors should use short sentences and short paragraphs (three to four sentences in length).


Authors must use 4 or more subheadings within each article to help break down their ideas and arguments into digestible sections for readers.

Spelling and punctuation

Authors should keep bullet points and lists to an absolute minimum i.e., to think about how these can be written out instead. The Academic uses UK English and the Collins Dictionary for spelling and punctuation (available free online). For example: misbehaviour not misbehavior, specialise not specialize. For the sake of consistency, the The Academic editors will make changes to any US spelling and/or punctuation, as they prepare to post articles on the site.


Authors must back up their arguments with references i.e., evidence, as much as possible, and to make this evidence available to the readers, for them to form their own opinions. All the referencing should be in the form of links rather than traditional academic citations. Links should point to more detailed information and, if possible, be open access. It’s important that the URLs do not link to automatic downloads (like PDFs or other files), as this disrupts readers who are using mobile data or limited bandwidth. Authors are encouraged not to use footnotes or endnotes and to integrate all content into the main body of your article. 

Terms and conditions

The Academic may share your article with regional media partners, and that the author agrees to work with the editorial team to shape the article for publication. Specifically, articles will not just be proofread, but edited for style and readability. A maximum of three authors are allowed to coauthor an article.

Responding to submissions

The Academic is run by a small team and receives many submissions. The editor will endeavour to get back to authors regarding their submissions within five working days (unless otherwise stated). Considering this, it is recommended that authors make it clear to the editor if the submission is related to a breaking news story so that it can be prioritised.

In some cases, articles may be rejected by the editor. It is not possible to edit and post every submission that is received, and preference is given to submissions that are closest to the guidelines above, and which engage with the subject from an original and interesting perspective.

If authors have any questions, they are encouraged to contact the editor at hello [at] theacademic [dot] com.