Contacts and Guidelines
Planning & Environmental Law is published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the American Planning Association and is managed from APA's Washington office.
Planning & Environmental Law
American Planning Association
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Washington, DC 20005-1503
Guidelines for Writers
A 26-member board of land use law experts reports and contributes many of the commentaries for Planning & Environmental Law. Authors interested in contributing a commentary are advised to explore past articles posted online and review the publication's guidelines for writers.
1. Subject: Articles should address the legal aspects of a topic of significant interest to a national audience of planners, lawyers, and other professionals who deal with the many aspects of planning and environmental management. As these are very broad fields, articles may address a broad range of topics, at various levels. But they should be educational, providing readers with information and advice they can directly or indirectly use in their jobs.
For example, an article might:
- Discuss the legal implications of implementing particular policies, providing practical advice on how to draft regulations to implement those policies
- Analyze a particular legal doctrine or issue important to planning and environmental law
- Examine a recent court decision that has significant implications on how a law or legal doctrine may be interpreted or applied
- Review recent state legislation (or the process of getting the legislation enacted) that could serve as an example for planners in other states
- Serve as an introductory primer on a law or aspect of the law that may not be central to the day-to-day work of a local planner, but nonetheless is likely to become important to that work.
2. Length. Articles should run 5,000 to 7,500 words in length, excluding footnotes and references. Shorter articles may be accepted as a secondary commentary.
3. Software. Use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, or Rich Text Format (RTF).
4. Structure. An article should clearly identify its central thesis or focus near the beginning, be organized to develop that thesis or focus in a logical way, and end with a definite, positive statement about the subject presented or a call to action or for further inquiry.
5. Style. Planning & Environmental Law generally uses a modified law review style, with text generally uninterrupted by citations and notes, which are placed in footnotes. But because PEL's style template establishes a finite space for footnotes, lengthy or numerous footnotes are discouraged. If worth noting, explanatory or supplementary information should be incorporated into the text. For matters of grammar, style, spelling, and usage not specifically covered by The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, refer to the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
6. Tone. Although many Planning & Environmental Law subscribers are attorneys, most are not. Write with the assumption that readers may not be familiar with legal terminology and concepts. Write simply, in plain English, and avoid "legalese." Use a dignified yet conversational tone, with gender-neutral language and active voice.
7. Format. Use 12 point Times New Roman or an equivalent. Articles will be reformatted for layout and publication in accord with a defined style template. To facilitate that process, please minimize use of complex styles, formats, fonts, etc.
8. Citations. Citations should be written according to the most recent edition of The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, except that court decisions should be cited only to West Reporters (or Westlaw if not yet published in a Reporter), without parallel citations to state reporters or other commercial reporters.
9. Graphics. Articles may include graphics, though because of PEL's style template, any graphics should be limited to simple charts, tables, or line art that significantly add to an understanding of the subject presented. All graphics should be in a high-resolution format and include credit and caption information.
Submit the article to the editor (see above) by e-mail attachment. Also include a short statement of what you would like the credit line at the bottom of the article's first page to say. Credit lines typically identify the author's title and firm or organization, along with a brief note of one or two positions, activities, or publications that substantiate the author's expertise in the subject presented. If more than one person has written the article, designate one person to be contacted about editorial changes.
Planning & Environmental Law reserves the right to change the title and edit the text of any article to meet our publication standards. The edited article will be sent to the author for review before publication. All reasonable efforts will be made to respond to the author's suggestions and comments concerning editorial changes.
Planning & Environmental Law does not pay for articles. Each author will receive extra copies of the issue in which the author's article appears.
Generally, Planning & Environmental Law does not accept articles that have been published elsewhere. If we accept an article for publication, we will ask the author to sign a copyright agreement releasing the copyright to APA and warranting that the work is original and does not infringe on the rights of others.