Guidelines on writing artices and success stories

Basic requirements

  • Title and a lead-in sentence.
  • Total length: 1500-2000 words.
  • Minimum two high quality images (1920 x 800px minimum) – if you have a permission to publish them along with your article or, if they are under Creative Commons License (provide a link with the credits). If you don’t have images, inform us.Also put the teaser image on top of your article without Figure number or caption text.
  • If you add images, reference them from the text. Additionally, you can also link to a video if you have permissions to publish it.
  • Include figure captions
  • Include at least one expert’s quote, ideally not a staff member of your organization to demonstrate the impact of the work. Quotes from external professionals provide an important element of credibility that is harder to achieve through internal quotes. When quoting staff, the quotes should focus on supporting the story while being understandable to a non-technical/bureaucratic reader.
  • Provide definitions for technical terms you use
  • Keywords/tags: thematic, region/country/climate zone, related SDG targets
  • Either reference in the text or provide links for researched information and facts that you include
  • Use Chicago style of reference to mention your sources / references to the biography. e.g., (Author, YYYY).
  • Follow the United Nations Editorial Manual accessible here.

 

Criteria

Within the story or article, highlight the role any space technology plays for a water management project. Furthermore, answer the following within your text:

  • Why do you write about this now / what happened?
  • Why would people beyond the immediate set of stakeholders be interested? E.g., the fact that a conference or workshop took place is unlikely to qualify on its own.
  • What are / have been / will be the results achieved?
  • What is the message, i.e., the most important point you would like the article to communicate?
  • Are there any external parties you could mention, in order to present the story with external validation?
  • Did you also look for a human element, on-the-ground beneficiaries involved and the tangible impact(s) on their lives?
     

Voice

The target audience is the non-technical but interested general public. We cannot assume familiarity with the topic, the project and recent developments. The objective is to provide enough context for the reader to recognize the significance of the issues without burdening the reader with too many details.

The story should have an objective tone. For instance, we cannot say something is ‘significant’ without attributing this value judgment to someone.

Aim for consistent, clear, concise, and comprehensive writing in simple English. As you write, keep these helpful tips in mind.

  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Do not use a long word when a short one will do.
  • Use the active voice rather than the passive voice as it is more engaging and easier for readers to understand. The passive continuous construction (“a conference is being organized”) is best to avoid completely.
  • Write simple and avoid complicated sentence structures and keep in mind what you’re trying to express.


Use short and relevant subheadings to break up longer text for easier reading.

UNOOSA is an intergovernmental organization, so we need to be careful when talking about Member States. For instance, we cannot say that “the environment is mismanaged in country x” – even if we are attributing this quote to a third party. We also cannot promote technology of one specific company.  

Use concrete facts, data, and numbers, rather than generalizations wherever possible: “the chlorophyll concentration has increased by 20%” is more interesting and credible than “the chlorophyll concentration has significantly increased.” Indicate the source of the figure, whether internal or external. Ideally, provide a link to this source. E.g., “According to the European Commission concentration in the Eastern Bering Sea has increased by XX% from 2000 to 2001 [LINK TO SOURCE].”

If possible and relevant, provide links directly in the text to related content on the UNOOSA’s Space 4 Water web portal and relevant, directly related external sites: web articles, videos, technical pages, background documents, etc.

On submission kindly add keywords, names of the region/countries your story refers to, and, if relevant, the SDGs / indicators or targets that the endeavour you write about contributes to. Also, don’t forget to add definitions of technical terms.

Finally, read through your article several times and edit duplications of the same message.

Structure

  1. Introduction
    1. Start with an introduction that builds a personal connection with the reader, you could also use an anecdote
    2. Transition from the personal story to the thesis of the article
    3. Thesis (Why should the reader read this article / story – what do you plan to argue?)
    4. Introduce any (research) project or organization, and if the project or organization has a profile on our portal link to it.

  1. Main Argument 1
    1. Quote experts or cite research here
    2. Don’t share your own opinion in this section
    3. Add a photo / image / graphic / table or chart

  1. Main Argument 2
    1. Tell a story on how the above worked in certain (specific) case studies
    2. Add a photo
       
  2. Takeaways
    1. How can this thesis be implemented?
    2. Provide examples
    3. Include an explanation why these are the best implementations
    4. Include any major challenges / reservations in these implementations
       
  3. Conclusion
    1. Get back to the beginning, your anecdote or personal introduction
    2. Possibly add an outlook for the issue/research/project
       
  4. Bibliography
    1. Kindly provide a bibliography using Chicago style of reference.

  1. Definitions
    1. If you use technical terms kindly provide definitions so everyone can understand what you are writing about.
       
  2. Keywords
    1. Provide keywords to increase findability of your article
      1. Thematic keywords
      2. Region / Country – if your article is focused on certain regions or countries include the list here.

Article topics

All space technologies with benefits to water research or management. Contributions related to the below listed topics are especially encouraged:

  • Water supply/fresh water access
  • Surface water bodies
  • Watershed hydrology
  • Space Technologies for WASH  (Water, sanitation and hygiene)
  • Water harvesting and groundwater recharge 
  • Water / sewage pipe leaks 
  • Non-conventional resources (desalinated, treated wastewater, grey water)
  • Groundwater detection
  • Erosion and sediment transport
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Water pollution: e.g. oil spills, trace metals, nutrient pollution, storm-water pollution (how space could support to detect sources of contamination)
  • Water treatment
  • Water conservation
  • Invasive species in water bodies
  • Monitoring, remediation, assessment, and protection of water resources
  • Climate change / global warming 
  • Melting of mountain glaciers
  • Permafrost
  • Weather forecasting / meteorology 
  • Innovative methods for rain and runoff water modelling
  • Disaster management:
    • Forecasting tsunamis
    • Forecasting hurricanes
    • etc
  • Impacts of climate change on hydrology and water resources
  • Impacts of climate change on desert environments 
  • Arid environments and their natural resources 
  • Plant Cover in Arid Environments
  • Plants and (evapo)transpiration  
  • Soil moisture
  • Water Agriculture Nexus (how water management through space can contribute)
  • Water use efficiency/productivity and irrigation methods
  • Space technology and water related topics in atmospheric physics and chemistry 
  • Water Energy Nexus (how water management through space can contribute
  • Space technology and hydropower engineering 
  • Water related environmental pollution and management 
  • Blue-green infrastructure
  • Environmental / water resources / systems engineering 
  • Ocean temperature monitoring
  • Sea level rise
  • Acidification of oceans: How space could contribute to the monitoring of acidification
  • Ocean Salinity
  • Monitoring sea ice thickness and type
  • Ocean and Coastal Engineering 
  • Physical oceanography
  • Cubesat applications for water research
  • All space technologies with benefits to water research or management
  • Other technologies applicable to generate knowledge on water such as artificial intelligence / machine learning
  • Computational modelling and simulation 
  • Geospatial Standards
  • Open Data
  • How to access data sources / products 
  • Specific spin-off technologies for water - in-depth on one technology with case studies
  • Comparison of water and space tech in rural/urban or LMIC/HIC
  • Water, space and the SDGs 
  • Gender focus: women’s role in space and water sector (less an application of space for water but highlighting the role women have played and do play in the sectors)
  • Indigenous people focus: any topic relating to indigenous knowledge and indigenous people's role in sustainable water management
  • Any other topic that has not been covered so far to be suggested to editors by means of an abstract sent to office@space4water.org