Compensation/Benefits Author Guidelines

Submitting Bylined Articles for Review

The editors of SHRM Online's Benefits topics area and Compensation topics area will review submitted bylined articles that do not promote vendor products or services. "How to" articles that outline specific steps for HR professionals to take are often best for our purposes. "Real life" success stories/examples/case studies are welcome.

The articles at SHRM Online are typically around 800 to 1,500 words but can run longer (or shorter).

In general, articles posted on SHRM Online follow AP style. Here are some general tips we provide for authors:

  1. Write clearly and concisely. Use simple language; make your point in as few words as possible.
  2. Define terms that may not be well-known. Avoid jargon and clichés that may confuse readers or send them running for the dictionary. On first mention, spell out abbreviations or acronyms. If in doubt, define.
  3. Make sure any direct quotes are accurate and are clearly attributed to a source.
  4. Use subheads to organize the article and facilitate transitions from one idea to another.
  5. Use, as appropriate, bullet lists, charts, tables or other graphic elements supported by MS-Word.
  6. Avoid, if possible, referring to readers in the second person ("you"). Instead, say "HR professionals," "benefit managers," "compensation specialists," etc.
  7. Avoid footnotes. Footnotes in accepted manuscripts will be incorporated into the main text or deleted.
  8. Include, at the end, a few lines of relevant bio about the author, noting pertinent credentials/experience. Photos (headshots) may also be submitted, in gif or jpeg format.

Again, articles should not be promotional of a product or service, and should not be written in the second person (that is, they should not address readers as “you”).

The Review Process

Articles are reviewed by the SHRM Online editorial team, which may accept, reject or request revisions to a submitted article. The process is open ended. When an article is reviewed and accepted, we post. Most authors hear back from us within a week or two.

Your Rights, and Ours

SHRM Online does not pay for noncommissioned content. When appropriate, we typically request the return of a signed copyright transfer agreement. If copyright transfer is not possible, we instead ask for a sign-off on nonexclusive electronic rights (allowing us to post online without any financial obligation and to provide summaries and links to the posted article in SHRM's electronic newsletters), rights to republish in "technologies not known or hereafter to be made known" with attribution to the author, and to distribute the article to electronic databases for document delivery.

If you would like us to review a bylined article on a benefits or compensation-related HR topic, please e-mail SHRM Online editor/manager Stephen Miller ( with a draft, or contact him with any questions.

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