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Instructions for authors

Guidance for authors of Institution publications.

1. General information

The Structural Engineer welcomes the submission of complete articles (or initial synopses) for consideration. Contributions should be supplied to: [email protected] in the first instance.

Articles are always considered for suitability – initially by the Institution's publishing department, followed by at least one Editorial Advisory Group member (all of whom are Chartered structural engineers). Some articles will also undergo expert peer review. Authors will then be notified of the decision, together with any required revisions.

Upon request, published authors will receive a final PDF of their article for personal use, along with up to five print copies of the issue in which their article appears.

2. Copyright

All authors who are not members of the Institution are required to sign a Licence to publish form as soon as their article is accepted for publication.

According to copyright law and the Institution's Regulation 10.2, Institution member authors do not need to sign a Licence to publish form.

Copyright for the text and imagery remains with the authors.

Copyright for the design and layout of the article resides with the Institution.

3. The magazine's sections

The Structural Engineer seeks articles for consideration across all five of its primary sections:

Articles with a broad scope, often accompanying a significant Institution award or event.
Article length: 5000 words (max.) plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Project focus
Peer-reviewed papers focusing on the structural engineering challenges faced during the design and build stages of a construction project.
Article length: 5000 words (max.) plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Shorter papers/case studies on smaller-scale projects (or particularly challenging aspects of a project) are also welcomed.
Article length: around 2000 words plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Professional guidance
Articles that provide information and advice on everyday matters affecting the practising structural engineer.
Article length: 2000 words (max.) plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Articles that are technical in nature, focusing on methods of analysis, material properties and aspects of design of structures.
Article length: 3000 words (max.) plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Letters, book reviews, personal profiles or longer 'Viewpoint' articles – on topics of current interest that offer personal insight or opinion and encourage further discussion/debate.
Article length: dependent on article type. 2000 words (max.) plus accompanying diagrams/imagery.

Research (2014)
With the launch of Structures (a new research journal published in collaboration with Elsevier) in early 2015, The Structural Engineer no longer accepts research-based articles.
To submit to Structures, visit:

4. House style

Once an article has been accepted for publication it will be copy edited by the Publishing department in accordance with the magazine's house style. After the article has been designed and proofread by the team, contributors are supplied with an article 'proof' which provides an opportunity for authors to submit minor suggestions for change, before the article is finalised for publication.

However, some basic stylistic guidelines should be observed by authors, prior to initial submission:

UK English 
Articles should be written using UK English. If English is not the author's first language, they are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of a native English speaker as part of the article preparation process.

File format
Initially, both text and images should be supplied as a single PDF or Word document (with low-resolution image files inserted in the document).
Following peer review and acceptance, separate, high-resolution image files should be supplied, together with the final text as a Word document.
Authors may need to use a file-sharing service (e.g. WeTransfer) if the image files are particularly large.

Author attribution and post-nominals 
Authors can be attributed to an article using either *Christian name, Surname* or *Christian name, Initial, Surname* formats. Where no preference is specified, the magazine adopts the *Christian name, Surname* format.
Inclusion of author post-nominals (e.g. MIStructE, FIStructE) is at the author's discretion. Authors are responsible for supplying this information.

Avoid the use of double spacing at the end of a sentence.

Feature, Project focus and Technical articles should contain a synopsis (150 words max.) positioned before the introduction.

Subheadings and structure
Authors are encouraged to structure their article clearly, using subheadings to 'signpost' the reader through the text. It is recommended that authors include a short introduction setting out the scope of the article and making clear what level of prior knowledge is assumed of readers, as well as a brief conclusion.

Figures, equations and tables 
Figures, equations and tables should be referred to sequentially in the text. The abbreviations 'Fig.' and 'Eq.' should be used for subsequent mentions of a particular Figure/Equation.
A list of concise Figure captions (10 words max. and avoiding the use of words like 'the' and 'a' where possible) should be provided at the end of the article.
For line drawings, a line weight of at least 0.06mm should be used to ensure clear reproduction in print.
Authors should have sought permission from the copyright owners of any Figures/Tables that are not their own. If these need to be credited, please supply the name/s of the copyright owner/s in a list at the end of the article.
Equations should be clearly separated from the body text through the use of line breaks and denoted by a parenthesised numeral e.g. '(1)'. Equations should be set using either the Word equation editor or MathType.

In-text mentions of a particular reference should be denoted using a superscript numeral. It is often unnecessary to identify the reference more than once.
References should be numbered sequentially, in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
A reference list, corresponding to the superscript numerals used in the text (and including all the necessary details described below), must be provided at the end of the article.

The following examples illustrate how authors should format different types of reference:

British Standards Institution (2008) NA to BS EN 1993-1-8:2005 UK National Annex to Eurocode 3. Design of steel structures. Design of joints, London: BSI

Journal article:
Baldwin L.W., Jones R. and Farmer I.A. (2014) ‘Instructions for authors’, The Structural Engineer, 17 (8), pp. 1–5

Jones R. (2014) Instructions for authors (2nd ed.), London: The Institution of Structural Engineers

Conference proceedings:
Farmer I.A., Jones R. and Baldwin L.W. et al. (2014) ‘Instructions for authors’, 1st Institution Conference on House Style, Berlin, Germany, 16–18 July, London: Institution of Structural Engineers, pp. 759–764  

Any publication that is freely available online:
EEFIT (2010) The Haiti earthquake of 12 January 2010 [Online] Available at: (Accessed: August 2014)

The Institution of Structural Engineers (2014) The Structural Engineer [Online] Available at: (Accessed: August 2014) 

Can I pay by Direct Debit?

If you have a UK bank account, you can pay your annual Institution and Engineering Council fees by Direct Debit.  Direct Debit is the most convenient, secure and efficient way to pay your subscription on time each year. The deadline for setting up a Direct Debit is 1 January. Payment is then taken on, or within 3 working days after, 1 February each year. If you have missed the 1 January deadline, you can pay this year’s subscription online by debit/credit card. We can still set up your Direct Debit to pay next year’s subscription.

To set up a Direct Debit, follow the payment link above.

How do I amend my Direct Debit?

If you need to make any changes to your Direct Debit account details, or you wish to cancel your Direct Debit, please contact the Subscriptions Team.

I am retiring from structural engineering - what membership options are available for me?

If you will be retired on or before 1 January, and expect your income from structural engineering to be less than the equivalent of £5,000 per annum, you can transfer to the Institution's retired rate. 

To let us know that you would like to transfer please contact the Records Team, stating your preference regarding receiving The Structural Engineer.

In 2019, the fees for continuing to receive the print edition of The Structural Engineer in retirement are:

  • Fellows: £88
  • Associates, Associate-Members, Chartered Members, Graduates, Students: £73

If you no longer with to receive the print edition, the 2019 annual fee is £39.  Alternatively you may make a one-off lifetime subscription payment of £482. 


How do I make changes to my Engineering Council Registration?

If you are currently registered with the Engineering Council and either wish to stop paying via IStructE or withdraw from registration all together, please contact the Records Team.

If you are not currently registered, but would like more information about the registration process, please contact the Membership Team.

Am I eligible for a reduction on my membership fees?

If you expect to earn less than £15,000 in the coming year, you could be eligible for a 60% reduction on your subscription fee.

To apply for the reduction, please email evidence (for example a payslip, P60, benefits statement, letter from your employer or similar) to the Records Team. If your application is successful you will also be entitled to receive the Engineering Council's reduced fee rate, if you are registered with them.

Are there any membership discounts available for members of other engineering institutions?

We have a number of discounts available to members of other engineering institutions.  If you are a member of any of the following institutions, please contact the Records Team with evidence that your membership is current (e.g. a scan of your membership card) to receive the discount.

  • Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)*
  • South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)*
  • Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand (SESOC)*
  • Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES)
  • Structural Engineers Association of British Columbia (SEABC)
  • Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE)
  • Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago (APETT)

*To qualify for a reduction, you must be resident in the relevant country.

How do I resign from membership?

If you wish to resign your membership, please contact the Membership Team to explore the options available to you. The Institution wishes to support you in retaining your membership and may be able to offer reductions or other support.