Style and content
Start with a clear idea of the concepts and information you want to convey. Think about your audience - you need to capture their interest and be relevant to a range of practitioners. Read other articles from the specific journal to get a feel for the tone and style.
When you write:
- write in your own voice about what you know
- be truthful - don't exaggerate or over-state your case
- be plain - write in a way that readers will easily understand, using clear, non-technical language
- be concise - don't over-write or over-argue your case
- be interesting and original - would you want to read what you've written?
- back up your arguments - evidence what you say, either from research, practice or personal experience
The structure of your article should be logical and obvious – ideally with a beginning, a middle and an end. The introduction will often include a rationale or overview, the middle is where you develop your arguments and ideas, and the ending summarises or concludes.
If you're writing about a piece of research, present it as a narrative, not in the style of an academic essay. Engage the reader with a lively opening paragraph setting out your argument.
Case studies make interesting and valuable reading. Try to include the client's voice wherever possible, either through first-person accounts or by using brief, anonymised case studies to illustrate your points. See guidelines on client confidentiality below.
Please use tables, graphs and figures only if they are essential to illustrate what you are saying. You are responsible for obtaining permission to use any visual material from a third party. See guidelines on copyright below.
We use Vancouver style for references. Number the references in your text in the order in which they appear, using superscript, then list them in numerical order at the end of the article. Please don't format your references as footnotes or endnotes.
Please include up to 50 words of biographical information including, for example, your current job title, relevant qualifications or research interests. This will be published with your article.
Please let the editor know if you want your email or website address included. We will not publish these unless you ask us to do so.
Articles accepted for publication in print will also be published online, across all BACP's communication channels.
Please send us your article as a Word document by email. We cannot accept typed or hand-written articles unless they are also in electronic format.
Include your name, address, daytime telephone number and email address. You must also provide a brief declaration confirming that the article is all your own work and has not been submitted or published elsewhere. If the article is co-authored, please confirm that everyone who has made a significant contribution has agreed to be named as co-author and consents to publication.
If we accept your article for publication, the journal editor will ask you to confirm in writing that you’ve read, understood and adhered to our author guidelines. Please take the time to read these carefully and contact the editor if you have any queries.
If your article is accepted, it will be edited to BACP house style. We will send you an electronic proof to check and approve before it goes to print.
If you include a case study in your article, please confirm in writing that it is fictitious, or a composite in which you've changed the personal and clinical details of any clients or individuals sufficiently for them not to be able to recognise themselves if they read the article, or to be recognised by others.
If you use an actual case study, please confirm in writing that the client has given informed consent and their identity has been anonymised. Ideally the client's consent should be provided in writing.
If a client wants to contribute to the article in their own right and using their own name, please obtain and send us their written consent.
If you include material about individuals (clients, colleagues or participants in any research or study), please provide written confirmation that you have their permission to publish the material and that you have anonymised all identifying details.
If you use any information obtained privately, for example in conversation, correspondence or discussion with third parties, please confirm that you have referenced all the individuals concerned and have their permission to use the material.
You must provide evidence that you have permission to use any written or visual material from a third party, such as extracts, pictures or diagrams.
BACP retains the copyright for all articles unless otherwise agreed with the editor.
If we receive a written complaint of plagiarism, we will raise the complaint with the author or authors.
If the author agrees that they have not acknowledged the original source, we will publish a clarification in the next available issue or as soon as possible.
If the author disagrees, but we are satisfied that the work has been published elsewhere, is in the public domain and the complainant can fully prove it is their work, we will publish a clarification in the next available issue or as soon as possible. If the complainant can't provide this evidence, we will take no further action. The final decision will rest with BACP.
Online posting by authors after publication
If you want to publish your article on your own website, you must request written permission from the journal editor. If the article is publicly available on our website, we will ask you to post a link. If the article is in our secure member area, we will send you a pdf and a copyright statement to publish on your site. Only this version may be posted.
BACP, and our journal editors, will keep any personal data you provide, such as emails, only for as long as necessary for our legitimate business purposes – that is for as long as we may justifiably need to contact you about your contribution to a journal or where we have a legal or regulatory obligation.
We operate GDPR-compliant contracts with any third party involved with the journals, including designers and printers, which cover how data is handled and how long it is retained.
Please see our privacy notice.
If you have any concerns about your data, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.