Guidance for Authors

Prospective authors wishing to publish in In Practice should please read the below guidance before submitting their contribution.

General Guidance

Each edition of In Practice follows a theme announced in advance and published on CIEEM’s website. Non-theme submissions are also welcomed.

Feature articles describe innovations, offer new insights or provide evidence-based information of clear significance to readers.

Viewpoints offer personal perspectives, raise awareness, influence policy and encourage debate.

Sector Updates are factual articles that provide new or revised information on a topic of direct relevance to the profession. Often invited by a member of CIEEM’s Secretariat to address an information gap, they can also be submitted by members or others.

In Practice is constrained by its page limit and there is strong competition for space. Authors can contact the Editor to discuss ideas for contributions and ask for advice.

Articles are required at least three months before publication; submission deadlines are published on the In Practice webpage.

Articles are reviewed by the In Practice Editorial Board, who represent a cross-section of CIEEM’s membership. The Board decides which articles to accept and Board members provide feedback and comment. Some revision is usually required and guidance is given by the Editor, who works closely with authors through the editorial and publication process.

Articles should be:

  • of general interest to a broad range of professional ecologists, environmental practitioners and policy makers, and with clear practical application
  • approved by all relevant authors and institutions, and including everyone entitled to authorship
  • clear, concise and carefully prepared with all materials complete, checked and in final form.

Articles should not have been published previously, neither should they be accepted nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere, either in whole or in substantial part.

Each article is assessed against the following criteria:

  • Relevance to members
  • Relevance to the theme
  • Clearly and concisely written
  • Reporting sound, evidence-based science
  • Topical, original, innovative, thought-provoking, informative, influential
  • Set in context of current understanding and debate in the subject area
  • Having wide appeal

It is important that the:

  • title reflects the article content
  • keywords are appropriate
  • summary reflects the article scope and relevance
  • figures and tables are clear, useful and relevant
  • images illustrate the text, are clear, relevant and good quality

Feature Articles


  • Write for an audience educated in ecology and environmental management but not necessarily familiar with particular specialist areas.
  • Use plain English and avoid over-use of jargon and acronyms. The article should be easy to read and informative but not too technical or detailed.
  • Keep complex material to a minimum and explain it clearly. Avoid detailed statistical analysis but include summary results. Use diagrams, graphs and tables instead of lengthy descriptions – they help to break up the text and make complicated messages easier to understand.

Length of Articles

  • Feature articles should be no longer than 3,000 words, including all parts: title, authors, keywords, summary, main text, references, figure legends, tables and author biosketches.
  • Shorter articles may stand a higher chance of acceptance when space is limited.
  • You can include up to five figures and/or tables and 20 references. We are also pleased to consider photographs or other relevant artwork.


  • Title – choose a short title that immediately conveys what the article is about and engages the reader.
  • Authors – list the authors, their CIEEM post-nominals (if applicable) and institution.
  • Keywords – include up to six words or short phrases; avoid words used in the title and choose carefully to reflect the precise content of the article.
  • Summary – a short paragraph at the beginning of the article setting out what you are writing about and why. Emphasise the key message and tell readers why they should read on.
  • Introduction – give the background and aims of the work.
  • Subheadings – make the article easier to read by using headings to break up the text and signpost important aspects. Incorporate key words and phrases.
  • Data – represent data graphically or include tables.
  • Conclusions – end the article with a statement of the main conclusions and a clear explanation of the importance and relevance to the profession.
  • Acknowledgements – a short statement naming those whose contribution was essential.
  • References – include an accurate list of information sources, up to a maximum of 20, with full details so that readers can find the original (see specifications below).
  • Figures & Tables – high quality will be needed for publication (see specifications below).
  • About the author(s) – include a short biosketch (≤ 50 words) for each author including e-mail contact details and a portrait photo.
  • Boxes – used for additional material such as case studies, glossaries, methods, etc., that support the main text.
  • Notes – include key supplementary information at the end of the article. Do not use footnotes.

References and Further Reading

  • All cited material must be published and available to readers.
  • Cite key sources of information in brackets in the text as author(s) plus year, g. (Hill and Charles 2018); where there are three or more authors, abbreviate to et al., e.g. (Wilson et al. 2018). Two or more references cited together should be listed in chronological order. Do not use footnotes or numbers.
  • Include full details in an alphabetic reference list at the end of the article using In Practice format as follows:
    • Anderson, P., Buckler, M. and Walker, J. (2009). Moorland restoration: potential and progress. In: A. Bonn, T. Allott, K. Hubacek and J. Stewart (eds), Drivers of Environmental Change in the Uplands, pp. 432-437. Routledge, Oxford.
    • Macgregor, N.A. and van Dijk, N. (2014). Adaptation in practice: How managers of nature conservation areas in eastern England are responding to climate change. Environmental Management (online) 10.1007/s00267-014-0254-6. Available at http// Accessed 15 November 2018.
    • Morecroft, M. (2014). Climate Change Adaptation Manual. In Practice – Bulletin of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, 85: 14-15.
    • Rodwell, J.S. (1991). British plant communities, I: woodlands and scrub. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Prioritise material in the public domain. Give weblinks to online documents or website addresses and include the most recent date this material was accessed.
  • You may include a short list of Further Reading.

Figures, Tables and Images

  • Figures and tables must be high quality, clear and well presented. Use the maximum font size for labels, keys and headings, remembering that the size may be reduced when printed.
  • Provide enough detail in legends and image captions to allow the reader to understand what is shown without having to read the full article.
  • Refer to figures and tables consecutively in the text as Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, etc.
  • Low-resolution versions of figures and photographs can be embedded within the article for review but high-resolution versions will be needed for printing: at least 300 dpi (or >1Mb file size). We accept BMP, EPS, GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG and TIF formats.
  • List captions, titles and figure legends at the end of the article, together with any image credits or copyright details. Check copyright restrictions for material taken from external sources.
  • Figures and tables will be positioned as near as possible to the first text reference when the article is typeset; add a note to request anything different.
  • We are happy to consider photographs or other visual materials that illustrate the article. As a guide, we can usually include one figure or image per 750 words.
  • We will need a good quality portrait photo of each author. This will be printed as a thumbnail next to the author biosketch at the end of the article.

Scientific Names

  • Give the full scientific name for each species immediately after the common name at the first mention in the text. Do not separate with commas or brackets.



  • An opportunity to give a personal perspective on a key topic with the aim of raising awareness, influencing policy and encouraging debate.


  • No longer than 1,500 words including all parts of the article.
  • Include up to 2 figures or tables and 10 references.

Structure, References, Figures, Images, etc.

  • The layout of Viewpoints can be flexible but the specifications for the title, author(s), keywords, summary, references, figures, tables, images and author biosketch(es) are the same as for Feature articles.

Sector Updates


  • A factual update on a topic of direct relevance to working practices and the profession.


  • Between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • Up to 2 figures or tables and 10 references; other material dependent on available space.

Structure, References, Figures, Images, etc.

  • The layout of Professional Updates is flexible but follow the specifications given above.

Submitting Your Article

  • By submitting an article for publication, the author(s) affirm that the material is their own original work with all necessary acknowledgements included; also, that the article has not been published previously, nor been accepted or be under consideration for publication elsewhere, either in whole or in substantial part. 
  • Send articles to the Editor by email before the submission deadline. Include a note of the relevant theme or edition and the date of any earlier correspondence.
  • Submission dates are on the In Practice webpage (or contact the Editor). The review period is strictly limited; late submissions cannot usually be considered but will be held until the next edition.
  • We do not need high resolution versions of figures, tables, images or photographs initially; high quality versions will be requested when an article is accepted.
  • In Practice rarely publishes articles that have appeared elsewhere but occasionally makes an exception (copyright permitting) if the Editorial Board decides an article is of exceptional value to CIEEM members. Such articles must reference where they were first published.

Editorial Review Process

  • All articles are reviewed by the In Practice Editorial Board who make the final decision on what to publish. The Board decide which articles can or cannot be accepted, and identify those needing minor or major revision.
  • Decisions are agreed by committee following careful assessment according to the criteria given above.
  • Comments, feedback and the Editorial Board’s decision are usually sent to authors by the Editor within one month of the submission deadline.
  • Revisions are often needed and authors must be able to carry out the work quite quickly to meet printing and production deadlines. The Editor gives detailed feedback and guidance.
  • All articles must follow the correct layout and format specifications, and the Editor will make amendments or corrections as necessary. Author(s) are usually consulted on these changes but it is best to get these details right from the outset. The Editor has the final say on the text and layout.
  • Some articles will need more substantial revision. Resubmission might be invited or an article may be held for a subsequent edition of In Practice. Articles that would have more impact in a different theme may also be held back from publication until a later date.
  • The popularity of In Practice continues to increase so, unfortunately, we are not able to accept all articles.


  • CIEEM holds the copyright to In Practice, including all published articles.
  • Authors are sent a pdf reprint after publication which may be uploaded to a personal website.
  • Permission for wider use is decided on a case-by-case basis. CIEEM recognises the benefit of making published articles more widely available and sometimes allows authors to republish articles as long as full details of the original publication are included and CIEEM is acknowledged.  Any requests for republication should be directed to the Editor.
  • We cannot grant permission for re-use or republication of an article before it is published in In Practice.


These guidelines were last revised in January 2020.