Internal Auditor Writer's Guidelines
Internal Auditor's editorial content is divided into two segments: feature articles and departments. Potential authors need to decide whether their ideas should be explored in depth — and are thus more appropriate for a feature article format — or whether their submission would work better in one of Internal Auditor's departments.

Authors are usually practicing internal auditors, but not always. Retired auditors, senior management, academics, those involved in research relevant to the internal audit profession, consultants, and others are welcome to submit articles for Internal Auditor.

Almost one-third of Internal Auditor's readers are from regions outside the United States, so submitted manuscripts should reflect the magazine's global focus. Authors need not worry about their writing ability; the magazine's review committee and editors are available to help focus the article and develop its content.

Subject Matter
One basic criterion for any good manuscript is whether or not the author has something of value to say: Does the manuscript provide information others might need or value? The best catalyst for a good article is likely to come from one's own internal audit experiences. Individuals who have found a way to audit a new high-risk area or to simplify report writing, for example, have information others want and will avidly read. Successful writers put themselves in the position of the readers and think about what the readers want to know about the topic, not just what they want to say about it.

Most of our readers tell us they prefer practical, "how to" articles that provide information they can apply to their own work. Articles falling under this category include case studies that describe actual procedures or methodologies used at a particular organization or discussions of audit challenges that offer solutions, using actual or hypothetical examples. Articles that are theoretical in nature or are based on academic research should include practical applications. Manuscripts based on studies or surveys, for example, should draw conclusions from the research, analyze the impact on the profession, and offer insight or advice that will be useful to readers. Research-based material also needs to be timely — studies or surveys discussed should be no more than six months old.

Format/Style
Because writing an article requires a considerable investment of time and energy, potential writers may want to review back issues of Internal Auditor to get an idea of the types of material generally published, as well as the general editorial tone and article construction. Authors are also invited to write or call an Internal Auditor editor to discuss a particular topic or find out whether another article on the topic has been published recently.

To facilitate the writing process and develop the structure of the article, authors are encouraged to submit an outline of their ideas. The magazine's editorial review board will help authors develop the article's concepts and ensure that all relevant points are covered and the article's structure is logically organized prior to the author actually beginning the writing process or investing significant time in writing a full manuscript.

The Basics of Writing
When composing a draft article, authors should begin with a clear, concise introduction that explains what the article is about and why the reader would be interested in it. The rest of the article should then address the points covered in the introduction and remain as focused as possible. Articles should be broken into separate sections with subheads so that readers can more easily digest the presented information. Also, because readers may not have the time to read an entire article, they may need to browse section headings to determine which portions of the text are relevant to their work.

Authors should strive to write using plain language. If technical terms or jargon must be included, they should be accompanied by brief explanations. Essential references need to be woven into the text (i.e., do not use footnotes or endnotes.) Slang or idiomatic language should also be avoided, in light of Internal Auditor's global audience.

Authors are encouraged to use visual elements to help convey complex processes or illustrate an important concept. Such content, however, should not simply repeat information already provided in text. If a chart is copied from another source, be sure to cite that source completely. If a work is copyrighted, permission to use it must be obtained.

Submitting a Feature
Articles should be submitted electronically (by email), preferably in Microsoft Word. All submissions should be sent to Managing Editor David Salierno at Internal Auditor, 247 Maitland Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32701-4201 USA. The author's name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number are necessary, even when the manuscript is submitted through an IIA chapter. A submission should have no more than three authors and should not exceed 2,000 words.

Review Process
The review process for manuscripts submitted to Internal Auditor generally takes about four to six weeks. As soon as the manuscript is received, an acknowledgment is sent to the author. Three members of the editorial advisory board, selected for their knowledge of the topic, receive a "blind" copy of the manuscript (i.e., the author's name is removed from their review copy). They evaluate the manuscript based on:

  • Interest to auditors.
  • Quality of writing.
  • Global perspective.
  • Technical soundness.
  • Timeliness.
  • Originality.

Once the reviewers have made their recommendations, an Internal Auditor editor evaluates their comments, makes the final decision on whether or not to publish, and notifies the author. If an article has been rejected, the author is usually given a consensus comment from the reviewers' critiques. Sometimes the author is asked to rewrite the article and submit it again.

For several reasons, one being that Internal Auditor is a bimonthly publication, there may be a substantial time lapse between date of acceptance and date of publication. Accepted articles are filed according to their date of acceptance, but they may not always be published in precise chronological order because of special editorial considerations (an issue focusing on a special theme, for example).

Once the article has been scheduled for publication, the author is notified that the editing process has begun. The editor may suggest changes that are minor or fairly extensive. The author is sent a copy of the edited manuscript so that any questions can be answered and inaccuracies can be corrected before publication. Dialogue between the editor and the author is part of the final editorial process.

 

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