4 min

OpenHeroines Blog — Editorial Rules of the Road

Black and white image of papers on the table.
Written by
Published on
June 14, 2016

Thank you for being interested in writing for us! We’re really looking forward to receiving your submission and promoting your ideas and work. As everyone knows, the Internet can be a challenging place to hold a constructive discussion at times, so here are a few rules of the road. We’ve tried to keep it as flexible as possible to allow everyone to be creative, but also be clear about how we will handle it if anyone’s not playing nice :)

Author and blog eligibility

The blog must be about a project, opinion, research, event or news related to open data, civic tech or open government.

The majority of blog authors will naturally be female as our #1 priority is to promote the work and brilliance of under-represented women in the open data & government space. However, we will occasionally consider submissions from male writers as/when appropriate and relevant.


The blog is administered by a group of Open Heroines editorial volunteers. Each blog that is published is reviewed by one of the volunteers to check it meets the guidelines.

We support free speech and the right of readers to their own opinions. The editorial and blog admins will keep an eye on comments and take the necessary steps against any comments that cross the line from debate and disagreement to being hateful, threatening or using foul language (“foul language” includes swear words and derogatory terms based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc.).

We will try to get blogs edited and posted within 3–4 working days. If you’d like your blog to be published at a certain date/event, please bear in mind we’re volunteers and need a bit of notice.

Editorial committee reserves the right to have the final say on whether a blog is suitable or not and whether content in the blog meets our guidelines.

Submission guidelines

Please submit your idea to the editorial committee using the email worldopenheroines@gmail.com with the word BLOG in the subject line.

Submissions should be under 800 words and can be in the body of an email, Google doc or Word doc.

Style & format

We will accept blogs written from a personal or institutional perspective, as well as blogs written under a pseudonym.

We do not have a strict style — blogs can be formal, informal or somewhere in between! But above all they should be more in the vein of opinion pieces more so than factual research reports. If you’d like to write about research findings — excellent! But we prefer you do so in an engaging way that shares your view on the subject and then links to the full research piece or presentation as a way of citing the evidence to support your claim or assertion.

Please avoid extremely long and complex sentences, overuse of jargon and technical terminology and “big words” that no one uses in real life. We want content to be accessible to non-experts and to those whose first language is not English.

Languages other than English welcome

We have started the blog in English, but as a diverse group who believes in diversifying and localising content on the Web, we are very happy to accept contributions in other languages provided one of our Editorial committee or community members can read that language and check it meets these guidelines. If you’d like to pitch a blog idea in another language, just write to us and we’ll be happy to let you know if we can take it on! At the moment we can definitely accept Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic, Hebrew and Dutch.


Posts should be about open data, civic tech and open government — of course! But within those parameters, the possibilities are obviously “open” to your creativity.

We would like as many blogs as possible to showcase the work of amazing women in the open data and open government space. We will also occasionally post blogs about what it’s like to be a woman in the space, the experience of women, gender and diversity issues but the core focus is highlighting great achievements and female thought leadership. (In other words, we don’t want to just have women writing about being women all the time! Many of you out there have great work we want to promote in its own right.)

Claims, facts and figures should be properly cited with a link to the source. (E.g. if you want to point to the corruption of country X or the lack of open data in country Y, please do try in as far as possible to point to a credible source for this claim so we are not making any accusations without proof — or at least say “allegedly”.)

We will not accept:

  • Personal rants
  • Content of an overly religious nature (reference to religion or the role of religion in your life e.g. “I go to mosque” or “Buddhism inspired me to do X in open gov” or “our church used open data to get more public funding” = fine, proselytizing, sermon-style rants or making statements that are alienating by insinuating one religious belief is better than another = not fine)
  • Anything that includes an attack on a person (disagreeing with ideas and actions = fine, calling someone an idiot for his/her ideas and actions = not fine)
  • Anything that includes unfounded allegations/sweeping statements you cannot prove or cite the source for, especially if it is potentially libelous/slanderous.
  • Anything that is clearly marketing, sales or promotion for a product or service — we don’t do free advertising.


Just contact the editorial team on worldopenheroines@gmail.com.

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