The British Interest adheres to the following guidelines:
- Commentaries, c. 800-word articles focusing on a key event, concept or idea;
- Essays, c. 1,500-2,000-word articles focusing on a key event, concept or idea, but in more depth;
- Interviews, c. 800-1,000-word articles with a politician, civil servant or well-known analyst or scholar;
- Standpoints, c. 1,000-word articles deconstructing established concepts or ideas;
- Telegrams, c. 1,500-word articles with an ‘applied’ historical dimension.
The ‘British’ clause
- All articles – whether Commentaries, Essays, Interviews, Standpoints, or Telegrams – should connect in some way to the United Kingdom, either in relation to the topic, or in terms of any recommendations offered. Commentary or analysis from a ‘global’ or ‘international’ perspective is not suited for publication in The British Interest.
- Avoid excessive jargon. If unusual or technical terms (‘jargon’) must be used, please explain them.
Titles and subtitles
- Except from the first word, titles should not be capitalised.
- Only Essays and Telegrams should have subheadings, but these should be short (and emboldened) and use lower case letters (apart from the first word).
Grammar and spelling
- Use British spellings: use -ise and -yse spellings. Use labour instead of labor, neighbour instead of neighbor, programme instead of program, etc.
- For possessives ending in ‘s’ do not add another ‘s’: e.g. St. James’ House, not St. James’s House.
- Do not use the ampersand symbol (i.e. ‘&’).
- Use the Oxford Comma (where appropriate) – e.g. one, two, and three.
- Do not use contractions, e.g. don’t, shouldn’t and can’t.
- Hyphenate double words like state-building, peace-building and decision-making, but not words such as geopolitical, geostrategic or multilateral.
Italicisation, punctuation and formatting
- All foreign words must be in italics, including Latin terms like: a priori, ad hoc, and raison d’être.
- All book titles, newspapers, magazines and journals mentioned in-text should be in italics.
- Use the ‘en’ symbol (e.g. – ) rather than a simple dash for sentence clauses and ensure there is a space between the symbol and words (e.g. – hello).
- For paragraphs, do not insert spaces and do not use indentation.
- Define an abbreviation the first time that it is used (no matter how common): write the term out in full followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Use the abbreviation consistently thereafter, including at the start of sentences.
- Do not insert full stops after abbreviated prefixes, e.g., Mr, not Mr.; Mrs, not Mrs.; and Dr, not Dr.
- Do not insert full stops after acronyms, e.g. UK, not U.K.; US, not U.S.; EU, not E.U.; NATO, not N.A.T.O.
- In sentences, try to use ‘for example’ not ‘e.g.’, but in parenthesis use ‘e.g.’ not ‘for example’.
- From one to nine spell-out each number in full. From 10 onwards use numerals.
- Use commas to separate thousands, e.g. 1,500, 20,000 and 1,500,000.
- When specifying percentages, use the symbol ‘%’.
- Half, not 1/2.
- 100 kilometres, not 100km or 100 km.
- Six centimetres, not six cm.
- All currency should be in Pounds Sterling, albeit with the dollar equivalent in brackets beside it, e.g. £500 million (US$700 million). Also, it is £150 million, not £150 millions or £150 mln.
- For lists use 1., 2., 3., 4., not a., b., c., d.
- 30th September 2003, not September 30th, 2003.
- 1960s, not 60s. Use mid-1970s. Use 1990-1995, not 1990-95.
- Twentieth century, not 20th century or XX Century.
- Capitalise all personal titles, e.g. the President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary.
- Capitalise politically defined or geographically named locations, e.g. the Heartland, the World Island, South America, South-East Asia, the North Sea, the West, the Indo-Pacific, the Western Approaches.
Quotations and references
- Short quotations should be indicated by single quotation marks (‘…’), while double quotation marks should be used for quotation material within the quote. A full stop (or other punctuation mark) follows the reference for the quote – e.g. ‘… is the most decisive and important’. – unless there is also a full stop (or other punctuation mark) within the quote.
- For quotes of five lines or more, indent and separate from the paragraph by one centimetre.
- Use […] to denote shortened sentences, e.g. ‘[…] is the way that the Commission works […] and understanding the institution is necessary.’
- Use square parentheses if making any grammatical changes to quotations: e.g. ‘but the original study argued that “[t]he following exercise is unfeasible”.’
- If possible, add a hyperlink next to the relevant sentence or keyword in the text.
- Figures, graphs, tables and illustrations may be used: simply position them in the text.
- Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce figures, graphs, tables and illustrations in their article and must provide evidence that they may be reused.
- Ensure any figures, graphs, tables and illustrations submitted are of the highest possible quality and resolution, ideally 1200×600 pixels.
- References to figures, graphs, tables and illustrations must be accompanied in-text with a numbered heading (e.g. Figure 1) and a corresponding hyperlink.