coverInsulation Outlook, the official publication of the National Insulation Association, provides substantive articles on issues of interest to the mechanical insulation industry. We welcome the submission of objective articles on appropriate technologies as well as product releases.

Insulation Outlook accepts, but assumes no responsibility for, unsolicited manuscripts; authors of unsolicited manuscripts are required to sign an Author Agreement if the article is accepted. Please see our writer's guidelines below for submission information.

2016 Editorial Topics

  • January: Industrial and Refractory Systems (editorial deadline: November 2, 2015)
  • February: A Spotlight on Metal Building Insulation (editorial deadline: December 15, 2015)
  • March: Engineering Insulation Systems (editorial deadline: January 15, 2016)
  • April/May: Double Issue: The State of the Industry (editorial deadline: February 10, 2016)
  • June: Cryogenic and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Systems (editorial deadline: April 1, 2016)
  • July: Business, Legal, and Safety Issues (editorial deadline: May 2, 2016)
  • August: Power and Energy Issues (editorial deadline: June 1, 2016)
  • September: Product Supply Chain and Inventory Management (editorial deadline: July 1, 2016)
  • October: How to Prevent Scary Systems (editorial deadline: August 1, 2016)
  • November: Voices of Future Workers (editorial deadline: September 1, 2016)
  • December: A Look at HVAC Ducts with a Special Focus on Acoustics (editorial deadline: October 3, 2016)

Check out the 2016 Editorial Calendar for more details. If there is a topic you would like to cover but don't see listed, please let us know. We prefer a brief article abstract to help determine possible article placement. Send any questions or comments to Julie McLaughlin at

Writer's Guidelines

Before you submit an article for consideration, please read the Insulation Outlook writer's guidelines below (you can also download them as a PDF).


Our audience is made up of more than 11,500 subscribers in the industrial and commercial insulation industries. Almost 80% of them are insulation end users: mechanical engineers, plant managers and owners, insulation contractors, architects, specifiers, and facility and maintenance engineers. They are likely familiar with insulation concepts but want more hands-on information; some readers may be experts on your topic. We strongly recommend that writers review the circulation data in the media kit for a better understanding of our audience.

Article Content

NIA has a multi-tiered review process, which can include member(s) of the NIA Board of Directors and Technical Information Committee, staff, and independent technical experts. Reviewers will contest what they consider misleading or incorrect information. Be sure to thoroughly research your topic and provide documentation within the article for any claims or assertions, especially those that may differ from commonly accepted principles within the mechanical insulation industry. Articles are reviewed for technical and factual accuracy, marketing language, commercial bias, safety issues, and liabilities.

Articles with a marketing bias will be rewritten or rejected. Use generic terms and don’t promote one product or brand and/or denigrate another. Avoid sales pitches; those are allowed only in advertisements that are paid for and clearly labeled as ads.


For features, the preferred range is 2,000 to 3,000 words. Shorter pieces are about 1,500 words. Sidebars, charts, and photos are counted separately from the primary article.


  • Begin with a general overview of the subject (two to three paragraphs) and lead into a step-by-step review of the issue.
  • Include a suggested headline and subheadings to highlight significant sections.
  • Present details as bulleted lists.
  • Use resource lists and sidebars for more information, models, and samples.


  • Write in the active voice, putting your subjects before your objects. (Instead of writing "The plan was approved by our department," write "Our department approved the plan.") Avoid wordy phrases. (Instead of writing "The uses of insulation are many," write "Insulation has many uses.") Active voice reduces excess words and gives writing momentum.
  • Interviewing others is encouraged. For example, in an article about corrosion or firestopping, you may want to talk to plant managers or facility engineers to find out how they handled those situations.
  • Spell out acronyms (ASTM, ASHRAE, etc.) on first reference.
  • If you have quoted or paraphrased information from other sources, include footnotes or a list of references, including the publication title, author, publisher, and publication date.Material from other sources must be clearly identified to protect the original author’s copyright. By allowing your article to be published in Insulation Outlook, you agree to accept legal responsibility for any copyright violations you commit in your article text.
  • Be evocative and descriptive. Consider "When I walked outside, it was humid and the air was thick." and "When I walked outside, I started breathing soup." The first example states a fact; the second paints a picture.


  • Illustrations, such as charts, tables, graphs, or photos, are encouraged. If an illustration must run close to a particular part of the text, indicate this.
  • Photos should be clear, in focus, and have good contrast.
  • Each illustration should be accompanied by a caption and credit/source information.
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use any graphics to which they do not hold the copyright. This includes graphics found on the Internet. (Graphics owned by the federal government are not copyrighted; anything else probably is, whether it is marked as such or not.) By allowing your article to be published in Insulation Outlook, you agree to accept legal responsibility for any copyright violations of illustrations you submit.


  • Articles should be in Microsoft Word or a universal format such as RTF (rich text format).
  • With the exception of Word tables, provide each graphic as a separate file. TIFF files are preferred (JPEG files are also accepted); a minimum resolution of 300 ppi is required.
  • Inserting graphics into your Word document, while useful for showing placement, does not provide sufficient quality for a printing press. Also, manually increasing the resolution in a photo editing program without reducing the physical dimensions proportionally will not result in a quality image on press.


Insulation Outlook uses a house style based on the Chicago Manual of Style. We make minor editing changes such as such as correcting grammar, eliminating bias, or rewording some sentences. Sometimes we need to rearrange paragraphs or delete sections that don’t apply to our readers. We occasionally may edit for length, even if your article was within our guidelines.

Technical editing is done by members of NIA’s Technical Information Committee. They may make comments, suggest changes, or ask for verification on technical items. At your request, we’ll fax you a copy of the edited version.


E-mail word and image files to If your files are too large to e-mail, you can try a You-Send-It link or mail a CD/DVD with the list of files clearly marked on the disk to:
Director of Publications
National Insulation Association
12100 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 330
Reston, VA 20190

If you have questions, contact or call 703-464-6422.