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About the blog

The Oxford Government Outcomes Blog publishes articles on a range of topics related to improving social outcomes, including (but not limited to): 

  • Outcomes orientation  
  • Cross-sector partnerships and collaboration 
  • Outcomes-based partnerships (including outcomes-based contracting, impact bonds and impact investing) 
  • Responsible business 
  • Place-based approaches 
  • Procurement and social value 
  • Public sector reform in the UK and abroad 

Even if your idea doesn’t quite fit into any of these categories, if you think it’s relevant to our work, please get in touch! 

How to contribute

Those wishing to contribute to the Oxford Government Outcomes Blog should submit a short proposal (no more than 150 words) outlining your pitch for an article, along with any other important information, including key dates/indicative timelines and any relevant relationships you may have to the subject of the article. Send your proposal to Michael Gibson (Editorial Lead) at michael.gibson@bsg.ox.ac.uk.  

Proposals will be reviewed by a member of our Editorial Board, which consists of the senior Directors of the GO Lab and members of our senior academic and practitioner networks. If we’d like to move forward with your proposal, one of the Board members will commission your article, and will be in touch to talk next steps. We may ask to see a full first draft before confirming that we will publish the piece. Not every piece will be right for the blog, but we’ll aim to respond to every proposal in a timely manner. 

What we’re looking for

Length and format

Our standard article format is 750-1000 words. However, as a general rule, the more concise a piece you can deliver, the better.  

We do have scope to publish longer pieces. For example, doing justice to a large research project or in-depth case study of a particular project may require more than 1000 words. If you have a good reason for your piece to take a longer format, let us know. This is at the discretion of the Editor, and we’ll let you know what we think is appropriate for your article.  

Pictures, graphs and diagrams are encouraged where appropriate to explain or clarify your ideas. 

Use subheadings to help readers to navigate your piece. 

References should be included as hyperlinks to relevant further information.

Audience and style

Our audience is a diverse mix of policymakers, practitioners and academics from a range of fields and geographies. They are generally informed but unlikely to be expert in your particular field. Use short sentences and keep to one idea per paragraph. Avoid jargon and technical language, favouring plain English whenever possible.  

Our readers are busy, and it should be clear to them why they should read your article, so make your main argument clear early. Structure your thoughts so as to make them easy to follow, with a beginning, middle and end, rather than as a loosely connected collection of ideas. At the end of the piece, reinforce your main point again. 

Content

Articles should lean towards analysis over description. You should consider what insight you can bring to the piece beyond basic background to a topic. Do you have insights from your experience that could inform wider practice? Have you conducted in-depth research on a particular topic? Do you have new idea, or a new perspective on an existing one? There are many more ‘angles’ besides these your piece may offer – what is important is that it has one.  

The content of your article should be yours. We don’t republish pieces, but if you have already written on a topic, you may adapt it for the Oxford Government Outcomes Blog.  

Disclaimer: All contributions are an individual’s own and are not necessarily representative of the views of the Government Outcomes Lab or any other party. Contributors are solely responsible for the material and for any claims relating to its content. All original content is subject to the University of Oxford’s terms and conditions for ownership, liability and use.