How to write editorial notes

Each issue of the journal contains an introductory editorial column. One of the purposes of this is to make the papers accessible to a wider audience, and to suggest the practical or academic relevance of the work. On acceptance of a paper, we ask authors to provide a brief description (100-200 words) of their own views on what the paper is about and how the findings may be used. We then use these descriptions as a basis for writing the editorial. In this way, we hope to bring research and practice closer and make papers more accessible to all of our readers. The results of these editorial notes can be seen in the editorial of any issue of the journal. If you have had a paper accepted, it will be useful to follow these guidelines in preparing your paragraph of descriptive text:

  1. Somewhere in the text of the editorial note, usually the opening phrase, please use the authors’ names, in the correct sequence, by surname only, but not their titles, job positions or affiliations.
  2. In your description, don’t refer to “the paper”, refer to the authors, first by name, subsequently as “the authors”.
  3. The best place to start is with a brief statement of the kind of problem that your paper seeks to resolve. What is the paper about? Why is this work important? Why did you do it?
  4. A couple of sentences about the context should place the work in terms of geographical location, types of method used, and in which specific part of the construction sector is this work grounded in.
  5. Explain your research strategy, for example, how did you collect data? How did you analyse it?
  6. What did you discover? What were the outputs? For example, did you develop a model? Can you advise practitioners or policy makers? Have you developed a new theoretical position or perspective?
  7. Can you provide (or exemplify) one or two key ideas that you would wish your reader to take away after reading your research paper? It is not necessary for every paper to appeal to all audiences. Be selective about this.


About Will

Professor of Construction Management and Economics, University of Reading, UK. Editor-in-Chief, Construction Management and Economics (1992-2016). Programme Director, MSc Construction Management. School Director of Postgraduate Teaching Programmes.
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