What to Submit
Before submitting a post for consideration, authors are encouraged to review content recently published on Health Affairs Blog to get a sense of both the style and content that we’re looking for. The most successful posts are written to be accessible to the wide range of Health Affairs readers. We encourage authors not to shy away from complex or specialized topics, but to explain those topics in a manner understandable to readers interested in health policy who may not be completely versed in the particular area being discussed.
Unlike traditional research manuscripts that often begin with a long wind-up and extended background early in the piece, typical blog posts are structured like essays or op-eds, with a strong, clear explanation of the issue and key themes upfront. We encourage you to discuss how your work may be relevant to policymakers as well as researchers.
For exhibit files, please attach original editable data files in Excel. If exhibits were created in a software other than Excel, please export figures as either a vector .eps with transparent background, or a high resolution pdf, along with data points in an Excel file.
Writing For The Web
In addition to the Health Affairs Blog submission guidelines, here are a few additional tips we recommend when writing content for the web:
1. Be concise
Blog content should be concise and readable. Most blog posts come in under 2,000 words.
2. Link to references
Instead of using endnotes, include a link to references within the text. If a link isn’t available, include the citation in parentheses.
3. Use the “inverted pyramid”
Front-load your text. Put the most important information in the first few paragraphs and give the reader your main points quickly, but feel free (and indeed encouraged) to delve deeply into the material in subsequent paragraphs.
4. Use headers and lists
Separate your content using subheads so that it’s easier for your readers to navigate. It can often be useful to combine numerous items of a similar nature into bulleted or numbered lists.
If possible, embed hyperlinks in the text instead of using endnotes or footnotes.
We can provide quick turnaround for particularly newsworthy posts, but due to the volume of posts it can sometimes take a few weeks from submission to publication. And, as mentioned above, we are not able to publish all submissions.
The GrantWatch section of Health Affairs Blog features news and updates about health grant making, particularly as it relates to current health policy issues. Blog content includes information on foundation-funded reports and on new initiatives and grants, plus news from foundation meetings, occasional “People Posts” announcing personnel changes and job openings at foundations, and more.
1. In general, it is best that the document you submit not have been published elsewhere (in print or on the Web) before. Occasionally, we do publish a post that has been previously published on another blog—with necessary attribution and permissions, of course. Do let us know upfront if you are suggesting that we re-publish something that you have written.
2. Your blog post should not be too general: there should be a philanthropy “angle.” For example, how did the foundation decide to fund this project? How much funding is the foundation putting into this project? If reporting results: most (perhaps many) foundation-funded programs do not have all good news to report: were there any “challenges” in this project—things that did not work out?
3. Post should not be a PR piece for the philanthropy (or the grantee)! No press releases!
4. Length should be 600–1,000 words.
5. Try to avoid jargon and acronyms. The journal as a whole has a goal of making articles and blogs posts accessible to the educated non-policy wonk!
6. Blog posts do not use footnotes or endnotes. However, we do encourage appropriate citation of others’ work by using hyperlinks. If you do not know how to create hyperlinks, you can just say <http://www.healthaffairs.org> etc., at the place in the sentence where you want the link, and we will put it in.