July 20, 2021 / Ed Rutkowski

Now’s the Time to Send In Your Synergist Article Ideas

Every summer, Synergist staff spend a significant portion of their time building the editorial calendar for the following year. We are now in the thick of that exercise, and we need your help to identify the most useful and relevant topics for our readers in 2022. Whether you’d like to write an article yourself or just have an idea you want to share, the information below will help you understand what we’re looking for, what we already have on tap, and how to share your thoughts with us.

What to Write About

A recent research report based on surveys of representative segments of AIHA’s membership identified the following general topics as high-priority issues:

  1. exposure assessment
  2. chemical hazards
  3. health risk analysis and hazard communication
  4. communicating industrial hygiene concepts
  5. air sampling and instrumentation analysis
  6. serving the changing workforce

There was remarkable agreement among both experienced members and early-career professionals on the value of these six areas. Other important topics identified in the report include engineering controls and ventilation, noise and hearing loss prevention, ergonomics, Total Worker Health and Total Exposure Health, toxicology, and sensor technology and Big Data.

Within these general areas are myriad potential topics. Synergist feature articles are typically between 2,000 and 2,500 words, so authors need to narrow their focus. One way to do this is to prioritize material about the skills practitioners need to be successful. The Synergist’s mission is to provide information on practical applications of industrial hygiene and the occupational and environmental health and safety professions. We are a publication that highly values usefulness.

The following ideas are already under consideration for next year’s volume of The Synergist:

  • fatigue management systems
  • COVID-19 ultraviolet germicidal irradiation treatment on rare book collection material
  • empathy for industrial hygienists
  • safety in construction
  • hand tool safety
  • the future of IH and academia
  • hazards associated with renewable energy and lithium-ion batteries
  • protective clothing and heat stress
  • ventilation assessment and remediation in public schools
  • the role of sensors in the occupational environment

Writing Guidelines

Our authors’ guidelines have detailed information about what we’re looking for in an article, what we aren’t looking for, and how to prepare and submit your manuscript. The most important information in these guidelines is a plea for authors to send your ideas to the editors before you begin writing; this gives us the opportunity to ensure it meets our needs and refine the topic if necessary. The best ways to reach us are via email or by adding your ideas in the comments section below.

Once you submit your idea, one of the editors will acknowledge receipt and let you know when you can expect to hear back from us—likely within a few weeks. We use that time to flesh out the editorial calendar; this process may include grouping similar topics in a special issue, for example, or ensuring that a given issue has a range of material that appeals to certain segments of The Synergist’s audience. We may ask you to provide additional information about your proposed topic. Then we will send you a proposed deadline and ask you to confirm that you can meet it.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Ed Rutkowski

Ed Rutkowski is editor-in-chief of The Synergist.


Thanks, Michel! Very interesting ideas.

By Ed Rutkowski on July 26, 2021 11:24am
Two ideas

One important new challenge for occupational (industrial) hygienists is the "slashing" (several different jobs at the same time) where risk management is becoming extremely difficult. This is due to our poor knowledge about the interactions between hazards. Another topic of interest is the emergence of new modes of governance (holacracy for instance) that impact significantly on workers' well-being.

By Michel Guillemin on July 24, 2021 4:08am

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