Obviously, we would like to see Mongolia Focus as a trustworthy source of analyses. We should therefore be quite transparent about our editorial policy.
The easy part is the regular writers who appear under the “About” menu where you also found this page. These authors either wrote or are currently writing blog posts. Almost all of them were or are affiliated with the Univ of British Columbia. The only exception to that is Marissa who joined the editorial team in 2017 after writing several posts.
Regular writers also have the privilege of their own author category. For example, Marissa’s post can be found under https://blogs.ubc.ca/mongolia/author/marissa-smith/
We are also happy to publish posts written by guest authors, marked as “Guest Post:” in the title of the post.
Almost all of these are written by Mongolia scholars whom we invite to contribute. Generally, we offer suggestions on their drafts and some pointers as to the style we’re looking for, but we don’t heavily edit these posts, nor subject them to a (blind) peer review.
If you would like to contribute a post, please get in touch with one of us and we’d be happy to discuss that.
What We’re Looking For
When we were unable to travel to Mongolia for the 2020 parliamentary election, we hoped that more readers might contribute posts and offered some suggests for content and formatting.
Our posts have generally been around 800 words or so, but there is no hard minimum or maximum. When posts get too long, we often suggest that they are broken up into multiple posts instead.
As a general rule, the more specific a post, the better as more specific aspects are more interesting to our readers. This is especially true of posts that draw on larger research projects. Attempts to summarize such projects are rarely very engaging, instead very specific findings or observations tend to be much more interested as blog posts.
Assume that readers are roughly aware of contemporary developments in Mongolia, it is a semi-specialist audience in our mind. That is a bit less true during elections, as some people who might usually not follow political developments closely, especially from abroad, might be more interested, but even then, posts do not have to start with basic explanations. No, “Mongolia is a scrappy democracy landlocked between two giants, Russia and China”.
- structure, i.e. subheadings, etc.
- images, but we generally include them via embedding social media posts (esp. Twitter and Instagram) as we don’t have to maintain a giant filing system for images within WordPress that way
- quotes, whether by embedding social media posts or otherwise
- we generally don’t include Reference sections at the bottom, but links to sources in the text are very much encouraged
- Mongolian. Feel free to include specific terms or even statements in original Mongolian (Cyrillic rather than romanized) and offer translations in parentheses
- authors who regularly read our posts as they will have a good sense of what we like