INFORMATION

Writer's Guidelines

2014 and 2015 Editorial Calendar/Book Review Guidelines

To see Security Management's 2014 editorial calendar and deadlines for article submissions, please click here. For the 2015 editorial calendar, click here. For book review guidelines, click here.
 

Authorship Made Easy

What's your story? If you're like most security practitioners who have been in the industry a few years, you have one to tell and Security Management would like to help you share it. We're not talking about war stories, but about your day-to-day problem solving skills and the lessons you've learned.

For example, perhaps you recently helped your company upgrade its access controls, integrate its security systems, make its computer network more secure, or revise preemployment screening procedures. By describing how your company tackled such a project, you can help others in the industry learn from your experience. If that prospect appeals to you, just follow the writers' guidelines provided below and send in your submission for our consideration. We look forward to working with you.

The magazine's mission. The objective of Security Management is to provide a forum within which security professionals can learn about industry trends and solutions, including security strategies, management techniques, and new technologies. A prospective author should keep these goals in mind when developing story ideas.

The audience. Seventy percent of the Fortune 500 companies are represented in the magazine's readership, as are government agencies, universities, and private firms. Security Management readers are employed by every kind of organization, from retail establishments and public utilities to banks and industrial conglomerates. Most subscribers are members of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), which publishes the magazine. Since 1955, ASIS has been at the forefront of the movement to promote and establish professionalism in the field of security.

When choosing a subject and preparing an article, remember that the story will be read by these industry peers throughout the world. Security Management readers know the basics and are looking for the latest developments on topics ranging from access control to personnel management.

Articles should be detailed enough to interest specialists in the particular industry segment discussed, but an author should define terms that would not generally be known by security professionals in other industries.

Topics

Every year Security Management publishes an editorial calendar describing several broad issues that will be addressed each month. Contributors are welcome to write on these topics, but they should treat the calendar only as a starting point.

The best articles are provided by security practitioners who write about their everyday experiences, including new responsibilities, management techniques, access control purchases, new budgeting methods, and revised reporting systems.

When sitting down to write an article, include the lessons learned from challenging circumstances, such as handling a difficult employee or a legal battle. These scenarios help others avoid similar pitfalls. Additional issues of interest include selecting and installing new security systems, working with contractors, convincing management to approve budget requests, blowing the whistle on a corporate executive, or handling a company crisis or local disaster that affected operations.

The key is to select a topic about which details and specific solutions can be provided. Security professionals know what their problems are and know generally how to solve them; a successful author goes beyond the general and gives the reader unique, useful, up-to-date, accurate information.

Lengths and deadlines

Articles should range from 2,500 to 3,500 words. It helps to conceptualize how the article will fit into the magazine. It takes about 1,000 words to fill one printed magazine page. If the topic you have in mind doesn't merit 2,500 words, it is probably not appropriate for a feature article. Shorter articles may be used as sidebars to longer pieces; however, not many sidebars are accepted.

If you wish to write about an issue that does not appear on the editorial calendar, don't worry about meeting the magazine's editorial deadlines. The editors will review the article when you submit a draft. If, however, you are targeting a particular month of the magazine, remember that magazines are prepared months in advance. In January, for example, the March issue is being finalized.

Whether or not a topic is on the editorial calendar, it's a good idea to call first and talk the story idea over with the editor. If an editorial calendar item is being targeted, Security Management's deadlines are the first of each month, four months before the issue date. For example, December 1 is the deadline for stories that will appear in the April issue. This extended time is needed for internal review, editing, layout, and printing.

Preparation

Once an idea has been firmed up, take time to outline its key points. This outline can be as simple as a list of main topics to be covered. Writing these topics down will help organize the piece in a logical manner and help determine how much space to devote to each point.

Do not dwell on introductory or historical material. Think of the magazine page as a classified ad, where each word costs. Don't waste space on old news or information that is general knowledge. Give the reader the main points and a clear idea of the story's goals early on, then fill in the details. Close with a quick summary. Where appropriate, include legal and legislative developments affecting the topic.

Fact checking

It is okay to rely on newspaper and magazine articles as a starting point for research, but this information should be regarded as background that leads to primary sources and not as the information on which the article will be based.

Authors have sole responsibility for the accuracy of the material in their articles. All facts should be verified at the source. For instance, if a newspaper article claims that Ernst & Young conducted a study and you want to quote the results, call Ernst & Young to verify that the findings reported in the article were correct and ask for an update.

Double checking facts is especially important when actions are attributed to individuals or companies. Contact the companies or individuals named to verify that the report is accurate, and they should be given a chance to provide their side of the story where appropriate.

Since Security Management is not a technical or scholarly journal, footnotes should be avoided when possible. Information or ideas that are original to the cited publication should instead be attributed to the source within the text. For example, in an article about the pros and cons of employing security officers, an author could write "According to a study done by Forbes and published in its August 1993 edition, 99 percent of workers feel safer when security officers are present."

Use footnotes if you aren't sure how to fit the information into the article. Editors will use that information as needed and will make adjustments to fit the magazine's style.

Anything that is common knowledge doesn't need to be sourced. Also, consider that most of the story should be original information. An abundance of footnotes may indicate a need to rethink the article.

Following are some guidelines for using footnotes:

  • When typing an article, provide all footnotes on a separate sheet of paper at the end of the article.

  • In general, footnotes that refer to a book should be provided with the following content and in the following form: Author, Title: Subtitle (Place: Publisher, date), vol. no.: page number. For example, the novel An American Dream would be footnoted as follows:

  • 1Norman Mailer, An American Dream (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1965): 100.

  • When citing a periodical, the following must be included:

  • 2Stephen Heidel, "Slayings Inspire Tighter Job Screening," The Los Angeles Times, vol. XXX, no. X (February 5, 1992): B1.

Do's and Don'ts

A magazine article should take the readers from one idea to the next in a logical, easy-to-understand way. Avoid long sentences, jargon, obscure references, and tangential information. Use bullets and lists sparingly to highlight important points. An article full of bulleted or numbered points is nothing more than an outline.

When making a point, support it with facts and examples. This not only makes reading more enjoyable, it adds to the credibility of the article.

Pictures

Making a point visually--using charts, graphs, and photos is a quick way to get a reader's attention and ensure his or her understanding of dry material, such as statistics. The author should supply as many supplemental materials as possible to provide the editorial and art staff flexibility in developing the best presentation of the story's ideas.

Photographs can be submitted in either color or black-and-white as 35mm slides, prints, or transparencies.

Charts, diagrams, and graphs must be simple and concise. If self-produced by a computer program, send a copy on disk and a hard-copy printout. Let the editors know what computer program was used to create the files. If a chart is copied from another source, be sure to cite that source completely. If a work is copyrighted, permission to use it must be obtained.

All visual materials should be identified. Any material to be returned should be clearly marked. More information is available on the digital guidelines.

Final draft

When the article is written, please  e-mail to teresa.anderson@asisonline.org an attached file  in word format.

A short biographical sketch of the author and any co-authors should be included with the manuscript. Each bio should include name, title, and company, as well as any ASIS posts each author holds.

Make sure the name, address, telephone number, and fax number of the person who should receive all correspondence regarding the submission are on the cover page.

Review. Once a manuscript is received, the editors will notify the author. The article will then go through an internal review process. Since each article is carefully read by all of Security Management's editors, the process can take several weeks. Once a decision has been reached, the author will again be notified.

Many times a manuscript is sent back to an author for additional information. If that is the case, an editor will call with questions and suggestions regarding a revised draft.

If the manuscript is accepted, a tentative publication date will be given.

A manuscript that is declined is usually not appropriate for Security Management for one of the following reasons:

  • It promotes a manufacturer's product or service.

  • It is too short and lacks sufficient details to be informative.

  • It reiterates common knowledge and fails to offer new approaches.

  • It contains information that is imprecise or inaccurate according to experts in the field.

  • It is too poorly organized.

  • It discusses an event or topic of only local or regional interest.

  • It discusses a subject recently covered by the magazine.

Editing

Just as each author is an expert in his or her security field, the editors of Security Management are experts in editing. All manuscripts are edited to fit the magazine's style. Other changes may be made to clarify points, improve readability, or conform to space limitations. In most cases, a new headline will be assigned to the article.

During editing, an editor may call to clarify various points or ask for more information. This is necessary to avoid the altering of ideas or the omission of important points.

Copyrights and reprints

Each issue of Security Management is copyrighted as a collection by ASIS. All authors are asked to sign one of two copyright release forms and return it to Security Management. One assigns copyright of the article to ASIS; the other allows the author to retain copyright.

The retention of copyright means that all calls regarding reproduction of the article will be referred to the author. If copyright is assigned to ASIS, permission to reprint or reproduce must be obtained in advance from the publications department.

Compensation

Security Management does not pay its authors for articles published in the magazine. Authors receive two complimentary copies of the issue in which their article appears. If an author wishes to purchase more than ten copies of one issue, the publications department should be notified one month before the article's publication date to ensure that an adequate supply will be available.

Guidelines at a Glance

  • Check deadline dates for editorial calendar items for 2014.

  • Draw story ideas from personal experiences and expertise.

  • Organize thoughts by formulating an outline.

  • Write 2,500 to 3,500 words.

  • Focus on new trends and solutions; provide specific details.

  • Include clear charts and graphs, as well as photos. Be sure they are all identified.

  • Include your name and address, as well as telephone and fax numbers on the cover page.

  • Do not format pages in columns, use page numbers, or add headers.

  • Do not include bibliographies or glossaries.

  • Put footnotes on a separate page at the end of the article.

  • Send an attached word file to teresa.anderson@asisonline.org.

 

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