Author Guidelines


The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin is an official publication of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequency of Publication: Monthly.

Purpose: To provide a forum for the exchange of information on law enforcement-related topics.

Audience: Criminal justice professionals, primarily law enforcement managers.


Length: Feature articles should contain 2,000 to 3,500 words (8 to 14 pages, double-spaced). Submissions for specialized departments, such as Police Practice and Case Study, should contain 1,200 to 2,000 words (5 to 8 pages, double-spaced).

Format: Authors should submit three copies of their articles typed and double-spaced on 8 ½- by 11-inch white paper with all pages numbered. An electronic version of the article saved on computer disk should accompany the typed manuscript. Authors also may e-mail articles.

Authors should supply references when quoting a source exactly, citing or paraphrasing another person’s work or ideas, or referring to information that generally is not well known. For proper footnote format, authors should refer to A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed., by Kate L. Turabian.

Writing Style and Grammar: The Bulletin prefers to publish articles in the third person (Point of View and Perspective submissions are exceptions) using active voice. Authors should follow The New York Public Library Writer’s Guide to Style and Usage and should study several issues of the magazine to ensure that their writing style meets the Bulletin’s requirements.

Authors also should contact the Bulletin staff or access for the expanded author guidelines, which contain additional specifications, detailed examples, and effective writing techniques.


A photograph of the author(s) should accompany the manuscript. Authors can submit photos and illustrations that visually enhance and support the text. The Bulletin does not accept responsibility for lost or damaged photos or illustrations.


Judging Manuscripts: The Bulletin judges articles on relevance to the audience, factual accuracy, analysis of the information, structure and logical flow, style and ease of reading, and length. The Bulletin generally does not publish articles on similar topics within a 12-month period or accept articles previously published or currently under consideration by other magazines. Because it is
a government publication, the Bulletin cannot accept articles that advertise a product or service.

Query Letters: Authors may submit a query letter along with a one- to two-page outline before writing an article. Although designed to help authors, this process does not guarantee acceptance of any article.

Author Notification: The Bulletin staff will review queries and articles and advise the authors of acceptance or rejection. The magazine cannot guarantee a publication date for accepted articles.

Editing: The Bulletin staff edits all manuscripts for length, clarity, format, and style.


Authors should mail their submissions to: Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy, Hall of Honor, Quantico, VA 22135; telephone: 703-632-1460; fax: 703-632-1968; e-mail:


June 2009 | FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin