For our special Health Affairs Blog series on End Of Life and Serious Illness we are interested in posts that document the challenges facing patients both young and old in the advanced stages of illness as well as those challenges confronting their caregivers, loved ones, and health care providers. Key questions include: How should physicians talk to their patients about death? How should patients plan for care and what should the provider’s role in the process be? How should we measure the quality of care for seriously ill patients? Can we learn lessons from other countries? What do new financial models portend for the quality of care in this difficult stage of life?
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.
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.