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Public Management (PM) Editorial Guidelines


Most issues of Public Management (PM) magazine features a cover story that is decided in advance; contact the editor for upcoming editorial information. The magazine format also includes feature articles that focus on a variety of local government management topics.

PM welcomes contributions from all parts of the world. Articles published deal with professional issues in local government, particularly from the local government manager’s point of view. It is appreciated if submissions are directed to the editor in Word format at bpayne@icma.org.

It is understood by the contributor that all articles are subject to revisions by the editor and that the right of publication in any language or form is reserved by the magazine.

It is PM’s editorial policy to publish articles that are written in a clear and concise style in order to bring the article’s message to magazine readers. Contributors are encouraged to personalize their articles and to write articles that reflect what is important to local government professionals. Writing from experience, include information that readers can adapt to their own situations. Also, if applicable, include the monetary costs and any problems or benefits involved. PM does not publish articles that are self-promotional or market a product or service available from a vendor.

Articles should be double-spaced. Feature articles can be 1,500 to 1,800 words, while articles for departments should be 750 words. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Color photographs are encouraged if they illustrate points in the article; graphs or charts also are encouraged.

The article should include the title, the author's name, title, complete postal address, and email address. If there are coauthors, respective titles and addresses should be indicated clearly. If there is a change of title or address while the article is in the process of being published, the editor should be notified as soon as possible. At the time the article is submitted, the editor should be informed if it has been published or submitted to other magazines.

An author's color photo should also be included.

Endnotes/footnotes are not encouraged because Public Management is not a scholarly journal. If necessary, however, they should be numbered consecutively and listed separately at the end of the article.

A short production schedule prohibits sending authors the page proofs of articles that are ready to go on press. Checking copies of articles are sent to authors after the editing process has been completed.

Unless an author makes a request in writing to retain the copyright to an article, it is assumed that the article belongs to the magazine. Requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or translate articles in any way should be sent to the editor.

Writing for this Professional Magazine

Public Management (PM) magazine is constantly seeking manuscripts for publication, and many local government professionals have valuable information that can be shared with PM readers. But often having something to convey and actually conveying it are two different matters.

For one reason or another, potential authors either do not realize that they have significant ideas, or they just never get around to putting their ideas on paper. Many people view the task of writing an article to be overwhelming. Others would like to try but just do not know where to begin. This information is intended to help potential authors take the first step.

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT

Many professionals believe that they do not have anything to write about, but just checking their calendars or appointment books could generate ideas. They can write about what they have been doing or the challenges they have faced. They can describe how they solved a particular problem—with favorable or unfavorable results. What may not seem like earth-shattering news to one person could be enlightening to someone else.

Local government administrators can discuss views on important issues, or they can offer guidance to colleagues on matters of mutual interest. PM typically looks for manuscripts that have strong practical appeal. It does publish articles that are theoretical in nature, but many of the articles contain information that readers can put to immediate use in their own local governments.

Potential authors can write about topics that have been covered in other professional publications. Different people may address the same topic in different and unique ways and make an important contribution to the magazine.

Some administrators may find they have ideas and want to write about them, but just do not have the time to follow through. Jotting ideas down will help save them for use at a later time.

MAGAZINE FORM AND STYLE

Articles and PDF attachments can be submitted to the PM editor by e-mail (bpayne@icma.org).

PM articles usually have three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should catch the reader’s attention, describe the subject, and briefly outline the organization of the article. The body contains the author’s elaboration on the subject matter. This is the longest part of the article, and it includes all the analyses, descriptions, and examples that the author feels are necessary to get the ideas across. The conclusion section of an article can then summarize important points that were made in the body, draw inferences from the material in the body or call attention to the accomplishments the author set out to make.

Articles should he written so that readers can quickly skim over the main points. Exhibits, graphs, and tables can also help the reader understand the information.

An executive summary or "Takeaway" copy should be included with two or three bullet points that tell readers what they will learn from reading the article.

REVIEW PROCESS

Once the manuscript is received at ICMA, it is reviewed for possible publication. This process can take anywhere from one to three months. Authors will be notified if certain significant changes are made to it—or if they need to make them. Minor modifications often are made by the editorial staff without consultation with the author. An edit for PM style always follows the content review.

If the manuscript is rejected, it does not necessarily mean that it is not worthy of publication. It could be that another manuscript covering the same topic already has been accepted or published. The manuscript might also be held for publication in a future issue covering the topic.

BENEFITS

By writing a magazine article, you are sharing expertise with your colleagues and peers, and information sharing is what this magazine is all about.

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