Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

NBS translates the world’s best academic research into practical resources to help managers make their organizations more sustainable.
We aim to be the “Harvard Business Review” of sustainability. To best serve our readers, NBS reserves the write to edit all contributions for length, word choice, grammar and tone.

Here, we cover: 

General Writing Guidelines

Use lay language.

For example, replace this:

“Various direct and indirect communication vehicles exist to strengthen stakeholder engagement.”

With this:

“Strengthen relationships with customers by hosting factory tours or inviting them to participate in your next environmental audit.”

Use active voice.

For example, replace this:

“Companies affected by shareholder resolutions related to the environment are perceived as risky investments.”

With this:

“Analysts perceive companies as risky investments when shareholders mount environmental resolutions.”

Make your writing "scan-able."


Include links to relevant resources to make your article more compelling and persuasive.


Because we value credibility, we encourage contributors to cite their sources whenever possible.

Research Insights

A Research Insight is a short summary of an academic journal article designed to provide practical tips for sustainability managers.

Every month, our team of Topic Editors reviews the 45 top tier journals related to sustainable business. Examples include the Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, the Journal of Industrial Ecology and the journal of Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes.

From those publications, the Editors identify the articles that have direct implications for managers. Prior to publication, the Editors also review the written Research Insights to ensure they accurately reflect the research findings.

Word Count: 350 to 400 words

Hasle, P. 2011. The Working Environment in Small Firms: Responses from Owner-Managers. International Small Business Journal. 306-6: 622–39.

Sample Research Insights

Topic Blog Posts

Topic blogs are first-person articles written by academics on sustainability issues that matter to managers. The best blogs are short, opinionated and address a single concept.

Word Count: Approx. 400 words

Blog Ideas:

Thought Leader Posts

In these forward-looking blog posts, leading academics and industry visionaries describe their visions of sustainable business models for the 21st century. They identify existing barriers, coming challenges, emerging opportunities, and the actions we need to take now.

Thought Leadership contributors should focus on “big ideas” – major movements and key issues appearing on the horizon. For example, Gerald Davis’s post Buying Furniture on iTunes: Creative Destruction in a World of Locavore Production talks about how new technology is redefining the way goods are manufactured in the near future.

Word Count: Approx. 400 words