Thrive Editorial Policy

Thrive Editorial Policy

Thrive, previously named the Agriculture and Ecosystems blog, was created in 2012 as a space for critical discussion, for controversial opinions to be expressed, and for dialogue to occur. Over the past two years, the blog has developed into a space where voices from a number of different sectors can be heard, where differing views are expressed and ideas challenged.

The editorial policy is in place to ensure the integrity of the facts and science cited in blog posts. In addition, the policy ensures the integrity of Thrive as a space where opinions may be expressed independently of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and its partners.


Review Process

All blog posts will be reviewed by an editor of Thrive prior to publication.  Opinion pieces will be reviewed for grammatical and factual accuracy. Experts from IWMI or WLE may be called upon to provide additional review on factual accuracy where applicable:

  1. All posts that review CGIAR research (if not written by the researcher him/herself) will be reviewed by one or more authors of the research before publication for factual accuracy only
  2. For posts that review non-CGIAR research, researchers from WLE may be called upon to factually review blog posts, when applicable, to maintain the scientific integrity of the blog
  3. For posts that are critical of the work of WLE and/or its partners, the partner will be notified prior to publication of the post so that they have the opportunity to prepare a response
  4. The THRIVE editing team will share any changes (aside from minor corrections) with the blog author before publication
  5. The THRIVE editing team reserves final editing rights. This includes the right to:
    1. refuse publication,
    2. enforce the removal of statements that are not sufficiently substantiated (with notification to the blog author),
    3. publish posts that express non-conventional or critical opinions

For any blog posts that address politically sensitive issues, the Director of WLE and the Director General of IWMI will be consulted for final approval before publication.


All blog posts fall under the following disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author of each post. They do not represent the opinions of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) nor of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) or any associated partners. This is not a promotional space but rather an open space for constructive scientific discussion. If you disagree with the opinions or information displayed, please let us know in the comment section or write to the editor at wle(at)


Style conventions

Acronyms: The first time you use an abbreviation or acronym, explain it in full (including WLE) unless it’s well known. Do not introduce an acronym if you are not going to refer to it again later in the text.

Active voice: Preferable to use the active rather than passive voice.

Ampersand: Use ‘and’ rather than an ‘&’, unless is it part of an organization/program/event title.

Brackets: Use (round brackets), not [square brackets]

Bullets and numbering: You can use bullet points to make text easier to read. Make sure that:

  • you always use a lead-in line
  • the bullets make sense running on from the lead-in line
  • you use lower case at the start of the bullet
  • you don’t use more than one sentence per bullet point – use commas, dashes or semicolons to expand on an item
  • you don’t put ‘or’, ‘and’ after the bullets
  • if you add links they appear within the text and not as the whole bullet
  • numbered lists (as opposed to bullets) are only used when items in the list must appear in a specific order
  • there is no full stop after the last bullet point

Capitalization: Lower case is preferable but use capitalization for:

  • place names
  • brand names
  • The Earth (i.e. our planet), Planet Earth and Earth sciences
  • names of groups, directorates and organizations, e.g. Communications and Knowledge Management, Gender Community of Practice
  • header cells in tables, e.g. Annual profits

Categories and Tags: Use the set list of categories and tags. If additional categories or tags need to be added, they should be approved by the web manager and added to the official list.

Dates: Dates should be written in the format Month Date, Year, e.g. January 5, 2015.

Email addresses: Write email addresses in full but replace ‘@’ with ‘(at)’ to avoid spam, e.g. m.victor(at)

Geography and regions:

  • Use lower case for: north, south, east and west, except when they’re part of a name or recognized region
  • Use lower case for: the north, the south of India, the south-west, north-east Thailand, south Ethiopia, the west, western Peru, the far east
  • Use upper case for: Middle East, Central America, South America, Latin America, Southeast Asia

Language: The blog uses British and American English spelling, grammar, and punctuation conventions in order to maintain the integrity of the blog author’s voice.


  • Linked text should be descriptive (and never, for example, ‘click here’)
  • Links to external sites should always open in a new tab
  • If the link directs to a PDF or Word document note in text as (PDF) or (doc)
  • Linked text should be only relevant words to the link (and never span more than 5 words)


  • Spell out measurements at first mention, e.g. hectares (ha)
  • If the measurement is more than one word, e.g. ‘kilometres per hour’, then spell it out the first time it is used with the abbreviation. From then on, abbreviate. If it is only mentioned once, don’t abbreviate.

Nominalization: Do not turn verbs into nouns, e.g. do not say ‘WLE helped with the establishment of a project…’ but instead use ‘WLE helped establish…’


  • Write numbers 1-9 as ‘one’, ‘two’, etc. Numbers higher than nine can be written as numerals.
  • If a number starts a sentence, write it out in full (‘Thirty-four hula-hoops found in researcher’s filing cupboard’) except where it starts a title or subheading.
  • Use ‘500 to 900’ and not ‘500–900’ (except in tables).


Use single quotes:

  • in headlines
  • for unusual terms
  • when referring to words or publications, for example: ‘Download the publication ‘Understanding Capital Gains Tax’.’

Use double quotes in body text for direct quotations.

References: For blog posts we only require references for facts stated. References should be made as links to relevant text. Do not use parenthetical citations, for example, ‘Researchers claim that 20% of the watershed will be compromised (Jones 2015).’ Instead link “researchers claim” or “20% of the watershed” directly to the online citation.

When referencing publications (books, journals, articles, chapters) in the body of a post, capitalize titles and use single quotes. When referencing a publication in a call-out box, use the title, in caps, and include the date in parentheses.

Sentence Length: Try to be succinct. Sentences should not be longer than 20 words. Break complex thoughts into a series of sentences.

Titles (people):

  • use full names on first mention and first or last name on subsequent mentions
  • It is acceptable to refer to someone as ‘Dr. John Doe’ or ‘Prof. John Doe’ although titles ‘Mr.’, ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Ms.’ should generally be avoided
  • Job titles are lowercase, unless they directly precede the name of the person, e.g., WLE Director Andrew Noble but Andrew Noble, WLE director
  • when referencing a person’s degree use ‘PhD’, ‘MA’, etc. (no periods)

Titles (posts): Titles should:

  • be 65 characters max
  • capitalize the title's initial letter but otherwise follow sentence case, not title case; e.g., Funding of UNESCO projects, not Funding of UNESCO Projects
  • be unique, clear and descriptive
  • be front-loaded and optimized for search
  • use a colon to break up longer titles; use lower-case after colon
  • not contain dashes or slashes
  • not have a full stop at the end
  • not use acronyms unless they are well-known

Voice: It is acceptable and often encouraged to use the first person voice.

Questions or comments

Please direct questions or comments about our editorial policy to wle(at) with THRIVE EDITOR in the subject line.