Submitting an article to IOSH magazine
Last updated: January 2021
IOSH magazine is read by more than 48,000 occupational health and safety professionals around the world. Our readers are committed to supporting organisations in shaping a world of work in which people return home safely at the end of every working day.
As a publication we try to avoid stating the obvious; there is little value in our telling readers at any point in their careers as health and safety professionals that wet floors can lead to slips for example. But we will highlight those points of vulnerability, from control of contractors to road risk, that still catch out duty holders even when they are trying hard to protect workers and others.
Our aim is to provide content for IOSH members to enhance their knowledge and competence as OSH professionals.
1. General advice
Before you start to write, read some articles in respected publications. Look at the way facts are presented, arguments are made and the styles of the language used. Take a close look at the style of IOSH magazine and the way articles are written. When you begin to write, outline the order of your ideas and arguments.
As you begin to think about your writing, you should bear in mind the following:
- Who am I writing for? Those who refer to themselves as OSH professionals and members of IOSH (GradIOSH, Chartered members, Fellows etc)
- What question am I attempting to answer or angle am I wanting to take?
- What is the relevance of my article to OSH professionals/IOSH?
It is important that you write carefully and accurately; ruthlessly removing superfluous or ambiguous words including unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Please check your spelling, particularly unusual terms or names.
The key points to consider when you write are:
- Have I written the article with a view to writing for IOSH magazine and its readership?
- Is the level of argument and language used appropriate to the readership?
- Have I answered the question I set out to discuss accurately?
- Have I explicitly differentiated between personal belief/opinion and evidence/research-based fact?
- Could I improve the clarity of my article by rewriting sections, or providing more or better examples?
- Have I defined or explained unusual or novel words, terms or concepts? You may wish to use separate boxes to highlight these.
- If applicable, are my references up to date and have I looked extensively at the field of sources to gain evidence for the issue being discussed?
2. Types of article
Features (500, 1000, 1500 or 2000 words)
These can be descriptive articles based around the development of occupational safety and health practice, new innovations, research – any issues related to the profession.
Personal perspectives/opinions (500 or 1000 words)
Articles expressing a personal opinion are welcome. These should include references where appropriate.
News: if you have any potential news stories, please contact the digital editor, Kellie Mundell.
The above are guidelines and not strict rules. Please talk to the editor Emma Godfrey if you wish to write an article of significantly different length. If the subject area is covered in more depth, it may be necessary to divide your article into two or more parts and run a short series or alternatively run a shorter version in the printed magazine and the longer version online.
(Note about word counts: Rather than the word count being between 500 and 1000 words – the articles should be either one or the other. Staying within 50 words of these amounts will ensure that large sections of your article are not removed.)
3. How to submit your work
Ideally text should be typed in a clear font such as Arial – minimum point size 12. Also, text should be one and a half, or double spaced as this makes for ease of reading for editors.
Material must be submitted electronically via email as a word document attachment to
We are able to read text files from most programs. However, if your software permits, we prefer text files to be supplied in Word format. Also, please try to avoid giving files names such as ‘article’ or ‘IOSH magazine’ – try to use something representative of your particular article such as the title, subject matter or your name to avoid confusion, for example: OSH learnings/Joe Bloggs. Also, if you are sending in an updated draft of an article, please ensure that the file name reflects this (for example: ‘OSHlearningsv2.doc’).
Please do not use any form of text formatting, such as italicisation, emboldening or underlining as they will be lost in our file conversion immediately and invariable conflict with our house style. In particular, please do not try and space out words or paragraphs with multiple spaces or tabs, it is very time-consuming and error prone to remove these. All layout decisions are made by the editorial team, your work will simply be undone as soon as it is edited. Providing the text is clearly legible, a time-consuming ‘beautiful’ layout really will make no difference at all to our decision as to whether or not we accept your article. The golden rule is to keep your text layout as simple as possible. It is easier to read and takes you (and us) less time. There is one exception to this rule – see the strict guidelines on laying out references.
Tables, diagrams or illustrations should be displayed on separate pages. Please ensure that these are all appropriately numbered and that reference is made within the text to each one that you include.
Please ensure that all pages, including those for references and appendices (if applicable) are numbered.
All material should be submitted with a separate title page, this must include as much of the following as possible:
- Author name(s) – this is the only place where your name(s) should appear, clearly indicating the corresponding author (see Appendix 1 about authorship)
- Current appointment(s), including job title, company and institution details
- Correspondence/contact address
- Daytime and/or mobile telephone number
- Email address
- Date of submission and indication of article version: original, first or second amendment, as applicable
- Word count.
- Only include illustrations where necessary
- If using or adapting illustrations from another source, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission to reproduce the material and to credit it accordingly. Ask us if you require help with this
- Tables: please check arithmetic for numbers and/or percentages given, and give explanations for data that is missing or incomplete. If tables include response rates then the full numbers should be given on each table.
Graphs and charts
These must be clearly labelled, and the axes on graphs made clear.
- As with illustrations, only include where necessary
- We can use most forms of photograph, as long as the image is clear and the resolution is high enough (300dpi or about 1MB in size). Relevant details about the image should be clearly indicated
- We will often use images on a particular subject from a picture library or create infographics based on the article’s content.
All illustrations are submitted at the owner’s risk. While we make every effort to return all illustrations, the publisher accepts no liability for loss or damage while in possession of the material.
4. References (if applicable)
Correct referencing is an important cornerstone of professional writing. It protects you from the criticism of plagiarism. It shows that you have investigated other authors’ opinions before coming to your own conclusions. Last, but not least, it provides readers with the opportunity to check your arguments and opinions against those of others. Authors should verify references against the original documents.
IOSH magazine uses an adapted Harvard style of referencing, which are uploaded onto the IOSH magazine website and do not appear alongside the printed article. The name of the author and the year of publication in brackets identifies references in the text. For example: It has been suggested by Braid (2018) that there are research opportunities for health and safety practitioners on the internet.
For references with more than two authors, the first author should be used, followed by ‘et al’ and then the year. For references with two authors, both authors should be used with ‘and’ in between, followed by the year, for example: Smith and Jones (2018). If a direct quote is made, then the year should be followed by a colon and the page number, for example: Braid (2018: 31) explains some of the ways of using resources on the internet: ‘Pictures are accessed by typing key words such as “OSH professional”.’
References are listed in alphabetical order online. If there is more than one reference with the same author(s) then these should be ordered by year. If there are still duplications then list them as ‘1995a’ and ‘1995b’ in the order in which they appear in the article’s text, where they must also be referenced in the same way, i.e. Jones (1995a) and Jones (1995b). Papers, books and websites can all be referenced if applicable.
5. Basic house style tips
All publications adhere to an in-house style so content remains consistent. These are just a few basic points to remember:
- Spelling should conform to UK versions of words as opposed to US. For example, where either ‘s’ or ‘z’ can be used, please use ‘s’, such as ‘organisation’. However, if it is a registered company name, for example World Health Organization, then this is an exception
- Numerals one to nine should be written as a word, 10 and over typed as figures
- Percentages should be written using the symbol %
- Full stops should not be used to indicate abbreviations, such as DHSC. Terms should be spelt out in full when first used followed by the abbreviation in brackets
- Quotation marks should be single, except for quotes within quotes
- Capitals should not be used for job titles
- Tables and figures should be numbered sequentially and labelled.
6. Review process
All material is acknowledged, and it is reviewed by the editor and IOSH to assess its suitability for publication – this process takes up to six weeks. The editorial team reserve the right to revise material or send it back to the author for amendments before accepting it for publication. The author may be required to revise the article on more than one occasion.
The editorial team also reserve the right to amend material during production in accordance with house style and demands for space and layout. However, all articles are sent to authors for checking before publication. This may be several weeks after you have been informed that the article has been accepted. Corrections at this proof-reading stage should be kept to a minimum and references and quotations should be checked carefully.
7. Copyright (important to note for all contributors)
All material is accepted for publication on the understanding that it has not been published before and it is not due for publication elsewhere, and that it is the authors’ own original work. The copyright of all material accepted for publication lies with IOSH.
8. Where to send your article and further help
- Have any queries about presenting your article?
- Would like to discuss an idea for a potential article?
- Need help to start writing?
- Need help to condense a longer piece of work into a suitable length for publication?
The editorial team will be delighted to answer any questions that you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Editor, IOSH magazine