EOLSS Contributions are written at different levels of hierarchy:
Theme Level Writings
Topic Level Writings
Article Level Writings

Theme-level Writings

These contributions establish the scope of the Topics that will follow. Theme-level contributions are not intended to offer in-depth analysis of the micro-level details of a particular subject, but rather to integrate all aspects of the Topics that fit within a particular Theme. Theme-level contributions may include broad historical perspectives, foundations of science, technology, and policy; and professional practice and future-oriented (towards sustainable world development) coverage in the respective Topics and Articles within the Theme as they relate to sustainable development. Surveys of the state of the art form part of the contributions at this level, exposing the reader to current and future trends. The length of these contributions is in the region of 15 000 to 20 000 words.

Topic-level Writings

Topic-level contributions provide a broad summary and evaluation of the subjects to be covered by a group of Articles. Contributions at the Topic level include detailed historical perspectives, foundations of science, technology, and policy; and professional practice and related discussions. Topic-level contributions provide in-depth summaries and indicate where progress is being made in the field. Where appropriate, future- and policy- oriented coverage (towards sustainable world development) are highlighted in the form of a concluding section to the Topic level contributions. The contributions are accessible to advanced students who want to begin or advance their knowledge in a particular subject. The length of Topic-level contributions is in the region of 10 000 to 15 000 words.

Article-level Writings

Most of the contributions in the EOLSS are at the Article level. Articles cover a subject in depth and contain relevant and necessary details of the established knowledge associated with it. Although Articles present an increased depth of knowledge not found in the higher-level contributions, to be of value to the various target audiences they are structured so as to appeal to both the non-specialist and the expert in related fields who seek a comprehensive understanding of efforts in the subject of the article. To achieve this objective, Articles have a self-contained introduction that presents background information allowing the reader - whether student, practitioner or researcher,  - to gain a relatively complete picture without the need to delve further into the Article for detailed discussions. The main part of the Article then describes the state of the art of the subject treated, in an increasing degree of detail, and tells an expert in a related field what they need to know about the subject of the Article. Because the EOLSS is forward looking, into the far future, authors have been encouraged to include their thoughts on future trends and perspectives that relate to their subject. Such material will be of interest to all types of readership, not least to policy makers and forecasters of science and technology trends. In-depth presentation of historical aspects, foundations of science, technology, and policy; and professional practice aspects are desired in Article level contributions. Future directions for further in depth studies are highlighted in the form of a concluding section to the Article. Articles contain the latest advances and results in the subject. Relevant examples, such as brief case studies, are also included, as well as appropriate economic estimates. Articles do not generally contain detailed derivations of well-established fundamentals when these can be found in appropriate portions of Knowledge Foundations. The length of Articles is generally in the region of 5,000 - 10,000 words.

A Theme has therefore three distinctive levels of writings; Theme Level, Topic level and Article Level, with an increasing depth of specialization. Each Theme with its Topics and Articles may be regarded as a collection of about thirty chapters.

See also: The EOLSS Body of Knowledge.

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