Category Archives: Publications

One space or two?

People of a certain age — myself included — learned to type on a manual typewriter, and our typing teachers taught us to put two spaces between sentences and after colons.

Nowadays, the rule is one space between sentences and after colons. This is true in Virginia Tech’s style guide as well as in all major style guides, including Associated Press, Chicago, MLA, and others.

Why the difference? It has to do with the fact that manual typewriters used monospacing — every letter, no matter its width, took up the same amount of horizontal space. Thus, an “l” or “i” was allotted the same amount of space as a wider letter, like an “m” or “w.” This caused more white space between some letters and made the space between sentences more difficult to locate. So, two spaces were inserted between sentences to make it easier for the reader to visually separate them. Continue reading

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Is anyone reading your publication?

There are more than 3,000 publications and other resources on the Virginia Cooperative Extension publications website. In 2013 the site received nearly 3.3 million page views —an average of 272,000 per month! Sounds pretty impressive, right? But how can you ensure that your publication is actually being seen?

Let people know about it

When a publication is posted online, it will be listed in the “recent publications and resources” list that appears on the Virginia Cooperative Extension homepage and publications page, but its presence there is short-lived. On a typical day, up to 20 different publications get posted to the site. The more publications that are posted, the less time your publication will remain on this list. In some cases, a publication may only show up on this list for a few hours. Once it moves off the list, the only way someone will know the publication exists is if they search for the publication’s topic or they already know it is there.

You have spent a considerable amount of time and effort creating your publication, so take a few minutes to make sure it gets into the hands of those who can use it.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help your clients and other Extension professionals find your publication: Continue reading

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Tips for submitting peer-reviewed publications

One of the many roles of the Office of Communications and Marketing is to edit and design peer-reviewed Extension publications.

We know it can be frustrating when your publication is delayed. Here are some tips to help speed up the process:

  • Make sure your publication is in final form and has been approved. No drafts, please. Publications must have gone through the peer-review process, and the approval form must be completed, signed, and uploaded into the job system.
  • Have all parts of your publication ready before you open a new job, and upload them at the same time. Please don’t tell us that you’ll add the needed approval form or figures later. We can no longer accept jobs that are incomplete because it’s not fair for an incomplete project to be placed ahead of other jobs that are ready to go.
  • Provide a clean Word document that follows the standards provided on our website. Some specific guidelines include:
    • Set up your document with a 1-inch margin on all sides (please don’t change the margins within the publication), use one column only, and double space and left justify your text.
    • Use normal text rather than assigning one of Word’s style options. Styles must be removed, which takes valuable time.
    • No text boxes, figures, tables, or photos in the Word document, please. Instead, put them in separate files and name the files so that what they contain is obvious.
  • Don’t design the publication. That’s what our designers are good at. Feel free to give us your ideas, but designing the publication adds to your time and delays your project’s completion because we have to remove all formatting as part of the editing process.
  • When you open a new job, be specific about your deadlines and the intended use(s) for the publication.
  • Please respond to questions from our editor and proofs from our designers as quickly as you can to avoid delays.

Check out other suggestions and instructions that will make your publishing process go faster and smoother. If you have any questions, contact Bobbi Hoffman, editor, or Lori Greiner, communications manager.

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