Sunday, January 11, 2009

Editorial guidelines for contributors.

Editorial policy, guidelines for contributors:

We want to make sure that World Streets is a good read, and a fast one, for our overloaded colleagues working on these issues in cities and countries around the world, as well for others trying to follow the full range of issues involved. And while the exact organizational mix is still being played with in these early months to determine what combination is going to work best, we start out by providing each day one longer thinkpiece on a specific project, policy, program, or person working to break the old mobility stasis somewhere in the world, and add to that one or two other items or leads that our readers may find of interest. Quality, not quantity is our mission.

Posting routine: All entries to the journal are made by the Editor-in-chief, who will review each piece with the contributing editors and the copy editor before posting.

Before taking the trouble to prepare your piece for publication, kindly contact first, with a short note outlining your intentions. We can then discuss so as to make best use of your time and contribution. If we have any questions, we will get in touch first to iron them out. If we find the piece out of our main focus, we will let you know immediately with a short note of explanation.

Article length: Relatively compact – say enough for a good read in 5/10 minute max. 300-2000 words looks good. Anything longer should be handled as clickable URL; but that readable engaging summary is critical.

Languages: World Streets takes the challenge of a polyglot world seriously. Click the Languages/Translations link on the top menu to see how we are trying to be useful to our non-English language colleagues. Have an idea for a good piece but need to write in another language. Let's talk about it, may not be a problem.

Language: Not quite the same thing, and this refers specifically to presentation, phrasing and word choice with an eye to your reader. We have to bear in mind here that more than half of the people who come into World Streets do not have English as their first language. This means that to get your idea across shorter sentences are generally going to be more effective than longer ones, slang expressions, insider jokes and jargon are to be set aside, and the emphasis should be placed on the reader and not the writer. Let us not lose sight of the fact that many of our readers are coming more than halfway as far as language is concerned. Even within these constraints, it will be possible to be creative and effective, and your editor is confident that this is exactly what you are going to do.

Spell-check: Please, very carefully, and thank you. Also, for the record, we tend to favour US spelling, not for reasons of preference per se, but because uniform spelling facilitates key word searches. However as you wish.

Fair use: Our policy on this important point is spelled out here.

Photograph/image credits: We try to make sure we cite the name/source of all photographs or images that appear in our pages.

: Critical. Reader wants more? All s/he has to do is click to that URL link you remembered to insert in a prominent place in order to access the full piece which has been placed on line.

Author identification: Please identify yourself as a courtesy to the reader: A good signature block would show: your full name, email; Organization (if any, with URL); City, Country.

Comments: Can be easily made on any given item. Find the piece you wish to comment, click the Contact link at the bottom of the item, and file your comment. If you do not have Gmail address or blog, it is easiest to send as "other"; but in that case we would ask you to identify yourself. Please close your Comment identifying yourself as follows:

• Name, email
• Organization (if any), URL
• City, country
Reading the comments: If you do end up publishing a piece, you are invited to have a look every once in a while to see if comments or questions have come in from our readers. If so, you may wish to respond. We favor collegial dialogue. (Comments are reviewed by the editor before publication, just to make sure that we keep to the topic and tone of this cordial collaborative effort.)

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