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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Submit the text of the article as a file that we can edit. Formats like .doc, .rtf or .txt will work.
  • You should submit images separately in high-resolution. Please do not include the images in the text document.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • Try to avoid footnotes. If you really need them, use them sparsely.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the following Author Guidelines.
  • Please provide a 100/150-words Bio and personal photo for each author. These will be included with the email contact at the end of your article unless otherwise specified.
  • Submit the references in Chicago Manual of Style format.

Author Guidelines

We welcome spontaneous submissions, as well as suggestions for thematic issues. Articles will be peer reviewed.
A Blue Papers article contains the following elements:

Title: The title makes clear what the article is about, in fact it is the shortest version of your article.

Abstract: The article begins with a 100 – 200 word abstract. The abstract helps a potential reader to understand if your article provides the information they are looking for. The abstract is also required for indexing purposes.

Full text: The full text of the article has a maximum of 1500 words for case studies and 2500 words for conceptual pieces. Longer articles are accepted only upon approval of the editors.

Conclusions: The article finishes off with a short paragraph ‘conclusions’ that effectively summarizes the findings of the article (100 – 200 words).

Categories: Please choose between 1 and 5 categories from the tangible water categories, and between 1 and 5 items from the intangible water categories ( 

SDGs: Provide the UN Sustainable Development Goals your article connects to;

References: Each article should refer to articles, books or other sources on the topic that it addresses.For referencing literature, use Chicago Manual of Style, author-date.

Within the text: using (Author Year), for example:
As indicated by (Vos et al. 2020), water collectives are “instances of collective action, coordination and shared governance arrangements”.

The reference at the bottom of the article would then be:
Vos, Jeroen, Rutgerd Boelens, Jean-Philippe Venot, and Marcel Kuper. 2020. “Rooted Water Collectives: Towards an Analytical Framework.” Ecological Economics 173 (July): 106651.

Originality: You can only publish your own work, you can't present the accomplishments of someone else as yours. Plagiarism is not accepted;

Credit: If your research is a joint effort, then you should give your co-researchers/designers credit by listing them as co-author;

Writing style: We appreciate lively and original writing:

US English: Please use US English spelling;

Language editing: The author is responsible for journal ready editing of the final version;

Images: Please provide maximum 5 high quality and high resolution images (minimum 300dpi) that are free to use, preferably under a Creative Commons License. To maintain high print quality of the journal, we reserve the right not to include the images which fail to meet these requirements. Indicate in the text where the images belong (fig. 1) and add a caption in this format: Fig. 1 Caption (Source: Author Name, Year). Deliver the files separately in high-resolution. We reserve the right to adjust selected images in consultation with the author to match the overall graphic design of the journal. 

Layout & Formatting: Authors are welcome to propose their own layout and formatting of the article in agreement and in consultation with the graphic design team, provided it fits within the general format of the journal. This concerns especially articles which rely heavily on images, include a larger (full page, full spread) infographic or map, etc.



Case study Template – 1000-1500 words, 5 images
The case study section of the Blue Paper aims to provide concrete insights into the relation between historic water systems (considering the spaces and practices connected to them), their recognition as tangible and intangible heritage today, and their role for a sustainable future. We are looking for examples that concretely explore the relation of water and heritage throughout history and their role for sustainable development. We are taking an approach that includes environmental, social and cultural significance building on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The inherited structures and activities have evolved from the past to the present and compose the system in which we live now. We can use these historical spaces, structures and institutions - good and bad - to rethink today’s practices. Such explorations can help us think about preservation, reuse and sustainable development for the future.

This template is meant to guide you in structuring your article, so please feel free to adapt this structure according to your case study, while being mindful of the total word count.

1. Statement (importance of this project) – 100-150 words
Start with a strong catchy statement and a clear message on why and how your specific case matters for the question of water, culture and heritage, and how it relates to sustainable development (SDGs).

  • How does your case study address a unique question of historic water management? 
  • How is your case study recognized as heritage today? And how does this recognition (or its absence) matter for water and heritage management? 
  • How can your case study contribute to contemporary needs of sustainable development? 

Please list the SDGs related to your article.

2. Introduction (general information) – 200-300 words
Introduce the specific geographical, historic conditions of your water system, heritage site, or practice and its challenges over time. Consider local conditions of your case study in terms of past water management (geography, topography, history, institutions, practices, culture etc.) 

3. Current approaches preserving and managing water heritage  – 300-400 words
Discuss the current approaches to your case study in light of water and heritage management. Consider local Institutions, mandates, and legal systems (global, national, regional, local) relevant for the case. Consider the water heritage involvement in spatial planning, water management, and its economic dimension. Also indicate how it reaches out to  the public through education, communication, museum practices etc. 

4. Current and future challenges to this water system – 300-400 words
Reflect upon current and future challenges to your water system. Think about water-related changes (i.e. climate change, environmental change, water usage and consumption), built environment (i.e. urbanization, population, land use), Institutions and stakeholders (i.e. new institutions or policies, political changes from local to global levels, changes in power and involvement, frictions and collaborations, everyday practices).

5. Conclusion and future approaches – 200-300 words
Tell us about the takeaway points from your case study for an international audience. Identify values (political, economical, social, environmental, cultural) that can inform future strategies integrating water and heritage for sustainable development in your case and beyond. 

References –  a maximum of 5 key references

About the Author(s) 100-150 words
Please provide a short biography, email address and a headshot for each author.

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