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Library Knowledge Services (North)

Northern Lights - Author Guidelines

What is the difference between the Northern Lights Newsletter and the LKS North Blog?

“Northern Lights” is the pan-North newsletter by and for the Northern Health Libraries community.  Articles are submitted to the “Northern Lights” editorial group for editing and approval and are then uploaded to the blog section of the LKS North website in real-time. The blog on the website is also used to share other items and posts that are not part of Northern Lights, such as service updates. All newsletter articles posted on the blog are tagged with the “Northern Lights” category and a full archive is available, as well as the archive for the predecessor newsletter LIHNNKup. Once a quarter the editorial board write an editorial presenting the stories published in that quarter, this is sent as an email with links to the individual articles on the blog.


Who can contribute to the newsletter?

All members of the North Health Library and Knowledge Networks (i.e. Yorkshire and Humber; North East and North West) are welcome to contribute to “Northern Lights”. We particularly encourage contributions from para-professional staff and anyone who has not previously written for publication.  Still not sure if you can contribute? Drop the editorial board an email (from 1st July 2022)


Can I contribute if I do not work for an NHS Organisation?

Yes.  If you are part of the North Health Library and Knowledge Networks (i.e. Yorkshire and Humber; North East and North West) and work in the health field we are interested in having your perspective.  Please contact the editorial board if you are still unsure: (from 1st July 2022)


Why contribute to the newsletter?

  • Share learning (things that worked and things that didn’t work so well) with colleagues
  • Hone your writing for publication skills
  • Articles make great pieces of evidence if you’re working towards professional registration


What can I write about?

Really it is up to you.  We’re looking for topics of interest to health library and knowledge services staff. Below are some suggestions:

  • Something new that you have used, or your library or service has introduced
  • An overview of a piece of software (i.e. a social media tool)
  • Lessons learned (good or bad) from doing something differently in your service
  • Good news that you want to share with North colleagues
  • Introducing and welcoming a new starter to the networks
  • An account of an event or course you have attended. For conferences or courses please include what you found most valuable and what you will do differently having attended the event or course
  • Anything else you think North colleagues would be interested in


Is there a word count minimum/maximum?

  • Northern Lights excepts articles of different length. However, a good word length to aim at would be around 700 - 800 words. Short reports of c300 - 400 words would be accepted.


What format should I use to send my contribution and what should I include?

  • Send your documents as a Word file (either .doc or .docx)
  • Please ensure you include your Name and the organisation your work for as well as a title for your article and a date. You might also want to include some subject tags with your article
  • Any photos or artwork you want to include (preferably in JPG format). Please attach these as separate files, with a meaningful caption, rather than embedding them in the Word document. Make sure you’re happy these can be shared online via the blog and on Twitter
  • Give full details of events, courses and conferences This should include:
    • The name of event and location
    • Date of event
    • Name of organising or sponsoring body
    • Details of how any support materials can be obtained e.g. website urls
    • Full references to any published reports, articles etc.
  • Write out all acronyms in full the first time they are used in the text
  • The tone can be quite informal (articles will be posted to the North LKS blog and then included in a quarterly email bulletin so whatever writing style you think is appropriate)


Where should you send your article to?

Please send your contribution, or queries, to (from 1st July 2022)

All contributions will be reviewed, and proof read by the editorial board before final publication.


Is there a deadline for contributions?

There is no deadline as such. Articles will be published on the blog as soon as they are received and approved by the editorial board. Once a quarter the editorial board will also produce an e-bulletin - this will include a round-up of all the articles that have been published on the blog up to two weeks before it is distributed. Any articles submitted after that date will be included in the next quarterly bulletin. The publication schedule is as follows:

Publication Date

Call for Papers

1st Reminder

2nd Reminder

Closing date

1st March

15th January

1st February

15th February

22nd February

1st June

15th April

1st May

15th May

22nd May

1st September

15th July

1st August

15th August

22nd August

1st December

15th October

1st November

15th November

22nd November


Any other questions?

If you have any other questions or concerns just drop the newsletter board an email: (from 1st July 2022)

We look forward to hearing from you,

The Northern Lights Editorial Board (updated 30th June 2022)