Guidelines for Spectrum Authors

Spectrum, the member newsletter of the Society for Health Care Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD), is a bi-monthly publication featuring articles addressing all aspects of health care strategy and market development, including strategic planning, marketing, public relations, communications, business development, physician relations, media relations, and community relations.

If you are interested in contributing to Spectrum, please provide an outline of the article you are proposing before developing and submitting an article manuscript. The outline should include:

  • The suggested title
  • A brief summary of the article that describes the main focus, why our members would be interested, and what they’ll learn
  • An outline of the article’s main points
  • Ideas for photography, images, infographics, charts, etc. to accompany the article

Please avoid suggesting topics that have been covered in Spectrum within the past two years. The outline should be accompanied by attachments or links to two samples of articles you have written for internal or external publications. Please submit outlines to Brian Griffin, senior editorial specialist, at

Articles must be original and submitted exclusively to Spectrum.  Please refer to previous issues to see examples of our format and style. Articles will not be considered for publication if they have been published, or submitted for publication, elsewhere. The preferred length for articles is approximately 1,000 words. It’s beneficial if the byline includes someone from a provider organization.

SHSMD members especially want to read educational “how to” articles on steps they can take to improve performance or implement best practices. They also enjoy reading case studies that include information on lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid so they can learn from their colleagues’ experiences. Please try to avoid writing an article that is overly general or lacks specifics.
Content that is commercial in nature and/or includes direct promotion of products and or services will not be published.

Manuscripts should be submitted via-email in Microsoft Word and follow these guidelines:

  • Use Times New Roman, 12-pt. font
  • Use 1.5 line spacing
  • Use subheadings to break up the copy
  • When referring to a published study:
    • Provide the complete citation, including author, title, publication, volume and issue numbers (if applicable), date of publication, and page numbers, when available 
    • Avoid referring to “studies” unless you can provide these specifics
  • Include a short biography of the author (up to 60 words), including name, title, position, credentials, organization, office location, and contact information

Photographs and graphics—tables, figures, and illustrations—related to the article are encouraged. Photos must be high res—that is, at least 300 dpi. Graphics that are in applications other than Microsoft Word or PowerPoint should be submitted as jpg, tif, or pdf files.

Each table, figure, or other illustration should be numbered, clearly labeled, and referenced by number in the text (for example, Figure 1, Table 2).

The submitted article will be reviewed and edited by Spectrum staff, and the author will have an opportunity to review and approve any revisions before the issue is printed and distributed. Authors do not receive galley proofs.

In submitting a manuscript, the author understands that s/he gives SHSMD the right of first refusal for publication and confirms that s/he will not submit the article elsewhere until s/he is notified of a decision about publication. Spectrum makes every effort to notify prospective authors promptly about publication decisions.

SHSMD is unable to provide remuneration to Spectrum authors. Authors receive ten complimentary copies of the issue in which their article appears, with a limited number of additional copies available on request. SHSMD does not provide article reprints, but will provide a PDF of the printed article at the author’s request.

If you have questions about the Spectrum editorial process, please contact Brian Griffin, senior editorial specialist, at or (312) 422-3736.