Writing for our comment pages

The comment pages on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies website publish short articles that analyse and assess contemporary policy developments – national and international – in the areas of crime, criminal justice and social harm.

Prospective contributors should contact the comment page editor, before submitting an article.

Publication, even of invited articles, cannot be guaranteed. We reserve the right to edit where necessary. Articles, can only be accepted on this basis.

Following publication, we are not able to make further changes to the article, except to correct factual inaccuracies.

Criteria for acceptance

To be considered suitable for publication, articles should be:

  • In keeping with the Centre’s interests: crime and criminal justice. Articles covering related areas of policy are sometimes published, but only if there is a clear linkage or read across to the Centre’s core interests.
  • Related to contemporary developments and offer an informed perspective on them.

Written style

Articles should be:

  • No longer than 700 words. On occasion we publish longer articles, but this is the exception and should be agreed in advance.
  • Written in concise, jargon-free and accessible prose. Complex sentences and a series of subordinate clauses should be avoided. Paragraphs should typically be short: two to three sentences.
  • Statistical and data analysis should be kept to a minimum, and only used to illustrate a key point in the argument. We do not publish articles that predominantly statistical in nature.
  • Proofed and publication-ready. The Centre does not have the resources to undertake significant editing of articles prior to publication.


An article would not normally have more than ten references. In many cases it should be fewer than this.

  • All references should be in the form of weblinks, included in square brackets in the text at the approximate point of inclusion. There should be no links that take the reader to paywall and subscription-based material.
  • There should be no academic-style referencing in the text, and no list of references at the end of the text.

Additional information

When submitting an article, authors should ensure that they include:

  • The full article, proofed and publication ready, in Microsoft Word format.
  • A suggested title for the article.
  • A single sentence biographical summary of the author (e.g. professional title, name, job title, department and organisation).
  • An author profile picture, in portrait format.