Writing an effective aims & scope

Advice on writing a compelling aims & scope for your journal

Does your journal have an up-to-date aims & scope? A well-written statement on your journal’s mission is useful to authors, readers, reviewers, and librarians alike. There may be plenty of different reasons you want to grab the attention of these groups (from attracting new submissions, to engaging new readers), but they’ll all see your aims & scope as your journal’s shop window.

If your aims & scope hasn’t been evaluated recently, it’s crucial to give it some attention now. Here’s our advice on writing a compelling aims & scope statement:

Express a vision

  • Describe why the journal exists, and what it aims to achieve
  • Outline the benefits (of reading, submitting, sharing) for each key audience
  • Stay focused on your aims (what are you trying to do?) and scope (how are you doing it?)

Get to the point, quickly

  • Grab a reader’s attention with a strong opening line
  • Strip out unnecessary detail and wordy sentences
  • Avoid repetition

Be realistic and specific

  • Don’t exaggerate
  • Use evidence to back up your claims (explain processes, recognize achievements, and explain the value of certain affiliations)

Be clear

  • Use accessible language – remember, this statement should be appropriate for an international audience
  • Avoid over-use of technical jargon and acronyms

Be timeless

  • Avoid text that will quickly age
  • If you’re including quotes or examples, remember to keep these up-to-date

We encourage you to make this a regular activity as part of your journal’s development planning. Your aims & scope statement should be current, so consider adding it as a standing item to annual editorial board meetings.

Don’t forget, you can always get in touch with your managing editor at Taylor & Francis if you have any questions about updating your aims & scope.