This article was prompted by three things. Firstly, the editorial board of SCONUL Focus was discussing one of our occasional series, ‘Skills for today’s information professional’, and thought that writing for the library and information science (LIS) press was something we should cover ... and that your editor would be well placed to write about it.\ud Secondly, I was thinking about some reflective pieces for this issue, what with it being our 50th and also marking my tenth year as editor. This is by no means a comprehensive overview of writing for the professional press but it does contain practical observations informed by my ten years at the helm.\ud Thirdly, I recently came across an e-mail on lis-link from someone making the following plea:\ud ‘I’m hoping to increase my professional profile by writing articles and presenting at conferences, but I’m a little out of the loop ... Any advice would be appreciated.’i\ud I am sure there are a lot of would-be writers out there who do not know where to turn. Around a third of all the articles you see in SCONUL Focus are unsolicited (the rest come from ideas the editorial board have come up with and pursued). Although we do provide general ‘Advice for authors’,ii sometimes I think more guidance is required.\ud Hence, after 30 issues in the editor’s chair, I am going to offer some things to consider before you press ‘send’ to fire off your article ... or even sit down to write in the first place
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