March 2010 Volume 7

KC Times.Org’s Publication Policies and Guidelines, Updated

Derrick R Wright
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Every well-meaning organization that solicits articles or papers for publication to a discriminating readership needs to have an effective set of publication policies and guidelines. As such, when KCTimes.Org Managing Editor Glen Laman asked me to help develop a policy for the KCOBA online newsletter, I drew from my years of experience as the long-time managing editor for Foresight, a technical journal published by BellSouth's forecasting organization. That I did as I drafted the initial set of policies and guidelines for our very own organization. In addition, I consulted with a number of publishing houses, and after considering a few of the policies that they had adopted, I found that the related policies and guidelines were fairly well in line with what we were proposing.

That was then. We released the initial set of guidelines, and the process worked well, as was expected. Since that time, however, I was drafted to share Webmaster duties along with the highly skilled and esteemed KCTimes.Org Webmasters, Earl Adams, and, of course, Glen Laman, who doubles as the publication's managing editor. That experience gave me additional insight into how we could update the guidelines and policies even further, to enhance our ability to get the job done even more effectively and efficiently than before.

That being the case, I now welcome this opportunity to publish the latest update of the publication policy and guidelines. Among the changes you will see, is a new section on the topic of photography.

I do recognize that many of you are great, even professional, photographers. However, every now and then we still struggle to work with accompanying photos that do not necessarily reflect very positively on the brilliantly written articles that you submit.
Along those lines, I fully agree that the vast majority of those who submit articles are excellent writers. To a large extent, then, the published policies and guidelines serve as an important resource or refresher to budding student writers, or to those who may not have submitted articles to KCTimes.Org previously, or to those, like me, who may need a gentle reminder every now and then.
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Publication Guidelines and Policies

Editorial Review:
All submissions will be subject to editorial review. Articles will be reviewed by the editor and an assistant editor, and may even be revised. At times, an article may also be returned to the author for revisions.

Articles and artwork accepted for publication will be formatted to fit the publication's site layout, styles, and, where appropriate, an ad-supported interface. Submit your articles early enough to allow extra time for this mandatory review.

Deadline for Submitting Articles: Articles should be submitted to the editor in its final, publication-ready format as an e-mail attachment. Articles must reach the editor at the designated e-mail address by the end of one month, for publication the following month. As an example, articles to be published in June, must be submitted in its final publication-ready format by the end of May. If the related deadline or destination e-mail address is changed for any reason, such changes will be announced in advance, time permitting.

Document Format:
All articles must be submitted in Microsoft Office Word format, Version 2003 or later. We prefer 12-point Times New Roman font, typed single-spaced. If you do not have Microsoft Office Word, a simple plain-text file will work. As appropriate, include relevant links to online reference materials.

Articles must be publication-ready. To be publication-ready the article, at a minimum, should be fully checked for grammar, spelling, usage, etc. In addition, all references must be validated and properly cited, etc.

Although authors may mention their names and the article's title in e-mails that they submit, the article, itself, should also contain the title as well as the author's name. This is important considering the fact that articles are eventually separated from their corresponding e-mails.

Further, images should be submitted along with the article, but as separate attachments; they should not be embedded within the body of the article.

Image Formats:
Send related images in jpg (preferably) or gif format. Images should accompany the article in the very same e-mail. Limit the number of images to two, unless there is a prevailing reason to submit a sequence of shots. In most cases, only one image will be used with a particular article.

Be sure to list credits for all images. In addition, carefully identify each image, and list a caption for each, making sure that names (person/place/thing) are spelled correctly.

More about Pictures: Pictures taken by a prosumer (mid-grade) class digital camera or better work best. For optimum results, use a camera equipped with superior optics, adjustable exposure settings, and rated at 5 megapixels or more. Use a capable, high output flash as necessary. For those who need it, we suggest your completing a basic tutorial on lighting techniques and framing. Be especially mindful of the background as you take your prized photos.

Writing Style Guidelines (Mere suggestions for student writers, mainly):

Angle and focus:
Ensure that you have an angle that will interest our readers. Typically, your first paragraph, often referred to as the lead, should entice the reader. The article should contain a strong lead, an article body that develops and delivers on the lead, and a definitive conclusion. Quotes, facts, statistics, and anecdotes that illustrate the point should be included and presented in an interesting way.

In a nutshell, your submission must have a focus -- a central point or a clear message. Without a focus, your readers will be confused and may abandon your article if they do not have a clear understanding of what they are reading.

Generally speaking, use the active voice; avoid the passive voice. Further, articles should be written in a clear and concise manner without jargons (overly obscure, technical or bureaucratic words). Spell out abbreviations if they are used in your article, followed by the acronym in parentheses. Example: Union of Jamaican Organizations in Atlanta (UJOIA). KCOBA is an exception, of course.

Writing style: Keep paragraphs short, generally speaking. You can use quotes, of course, and be sure to attribute (give the name of the person who is being quoted). Do not overuse quotes, however. Use just the interesting or unusual quotes that add meaning to your article. If you can say it better, paraphrase the original quotes.

In Conclusion:

1.These guidelines are subject to change at any time.
2.The editor has full authority for determining the editorial content of the publication. An editorial advisory board will assist the editor in the establishment and maintenance of the editorial policy.

Derrick R. Wright,
November 2009.

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