Editing and Writing Guide
 Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thoughts


The Middle East Research Institute (MERI) covers a broad range of topics related to the MENA region. It welcomes contributions that aim to analyse contemporary and historical dynamics and developments in the political, economic and social spheres. MERI places special value on interdisciplinary works that bring together analytical tools and concepts from different fields of the social sciences. Integrity of data, and plausibility, originality and clarity of arguments are the four main criteria for MERI’s publications.

We accept submissions throughout the year. All submissions should be submitted in Word format via email to submissions[at]

The institute accepts for publication research articles, op-eds and policy notes.

Research articles
Research articles are insightful pieces of written work on well-defined research questions. The analysis should be critical and underpinned by rich data and/or scholarly literature. Potential authors should use proper in-text citations and bibliography and/or hyperlinks. The word limit is between 1500 and 1800.
Op-eds are pieces of written work making a strong point about contemporary issues and developments employing vivid language. Accordingly, the author should be stating his main point in the opening paragraphs. Technical jargon should be avoided. The word limit is between 800 and 1000 words maximum.
Policy notes
Policy notes are substantive pieces of written work addressing a well-defined research question. Policy notes have a clear research objective, methodology and structure. Usually, secondary sources are coupled with primary sources such as interviews, archives, or newspapers. They should put forward original and plausible arguments that draw on primary and secondary sources and make use of analytical tools and empirical data. The word is limit is between 3000 and 4000 words maximum.

Before you submit a piece for publication, keep a few things in mind:

  • Firstly, it is advised you visit the MERI website and read our published material in order to have a better idea of the Institute and its work.
  • MERI accepts written work that is submitted exclusively for MERI publications.
  • MERI publications aim to have an impact on policy-making as well as on the literature of social sciences. Accordingly, the Institute’s focus is on problem-solving analysis in different issue areas, such as politics and governance, national security (broadly defined), foreign policy, economy, environment, civil society and culture.
  • Since we aim to be accessible to a variety of readers from diverse disciplines and professions, including academics, policy-makers, journalists and others, it is important that submitted pieces should pay attention to plausibility of arguments, clarity and cohesion of analyses.
  • It is imperative that original research or reporting is provided to support ideas, especially in the cases of research articles and policy notes. Be prepared to document what you say. We fact-check everything we publish.

The article should be readable as a standalone piece, even if it draws on a longer piece of work. Avoid any sort of digression that will make it difficult for readers to comprehend.

Writing Style and Language

As a general rule, British English is preferred. However, bearing in mind that a considerable proportion of the target readership may be made up of non-native speakers, use of colloquial British language should also be avoided.


Referencing is imperative to avoid plagiarism. It is a primary task for MERI reviewers to exclude any possibility for publication of plagiarised work. In case that any written piece is found to be the product of plagiarism, the author will be promptly informed and the article immediately discarded. In addition, no further articles by the same author will be considered for future publication.

For articles and reports that use citations, MERI uses the APA Referencing Guide 6th Edition. Further details on the Referencing Guide can be found here and authors can also use hyperlinks.


Once a research article, op-ed, blog post or policy note is submitted for publication, it goes through the following review procedure:

Stage I
Initially, the submitted piece is read by two anonymous reviewers who make extensive and critical comments. After the initial reading, the comments are then passed on to the Main Editor.
Stage II
Based on the reviewer’s comments, the Main Editor then decides whether the piece should either be published or rejected, or sent back to the author for further revisions.
Stage III
If revisions are suggested, the Main Editor will ask the author to make the relevant revisions and amendments in light of the comments made by the anonymous reviewers, including the Main Editor’s.
Stage IV
Once revisions are made, the piece is then reviewed for a second time.
Stage V
The reviewer’s comments are passed on to the Main Editor who then takes the final decision on publication