Guidelines for Writers

Thank you in advance for contributing your insights to the ERS Blog. In general, please follow these guidelines when crafting your post. Feel free to email ers.mailer.blog@gmail.com with any questions.

Length

200-600 words per post.

Tone

Posts can be thoughtful, casual, personal, practical, theoretical, serious, or funny. The ERS Blog aims to showcase a variety of viewpoints, content types, and perspectives.

Audience

Anyone who stewards, studies, or has an interest in digital archives and electronic records, both within and beyond SAA. Make sure that readers with a wide range of technical skill level and expertise will be able to understand the main points of your post.

Content

The ERS Blog publishes posts in the following categories (posts may fit in more than one category). Your post will be tagged with at least one of the following category names:

  • Case Study: an in-depth look at a practice, project, workflow, institution, etc.
  • Dialogue: a post or series of posts written in response to an external publication, such as a journal issue.
  • Getting to Know You: a spotlight on an archivist that combines images and text.
  • How-To: step-by-step instructions for a project, tip, or tool.
  • Issue of Interest: a single post or series of posts about a particular issue.
  • Just for Fun: interactive or entertaining explorations of digital archives and electronic records, such as quizzes and matching games.
  • Q&A: an interview with one or more interviewees.
  • Roundup: a curated list of interesting links to blog posts, articles, books, projects, and other resources, with contextualizing editorial information.
  • Survey: an invitation to readers to participate in a poll with one or more questions, often showing averaged responses.
  • Tool and Technique: a post that highlights tools or techniques used in the profession, often focusing on practical solutions to common challenges.
  • Top 10: a countdown list for digital and electronic records archivists, on any theme.
  • Wish List: a list of wishes, hopes, and dreams that relate to digital and electronic records archiving.

Images

Make sure you have the right to use the images you would like to include in your post: use your own images or use images with Creative Commons licenses and credit the creators. Please follow these guidelines for any images you might want to include in your post:

  • Provide us with the highest possible resolution version of the image(s), in either JPG, PNG, or GIF format.
  • Send us the following information about your image(s):
    • Suggested caption text:
    • Title of image:
    • Creator:
    • If applicable, Creative Commons license type:
    • Source URL:

Author Bio

All posts should be accompanied by an author bio and photo. Author bios should be 40 to 50 words long and may include links.

File Format

Submit your post as a .DOCX or .TXT. Email it as an attachment to ers.mailer.blog@gmail.com.

Copyright and Licensing

You retain copyright for your post. By submitting it to the ERS Blog, you agree to license the content to ERS under a CC-BY-3.0 US license.

Corrections

Mistakes are sometimes inevitable. If an error is identified in your post, we will work with your to correct it quickly and strike through any modified text.

Style and Grammar

In general, the ERS Blog follows The Chicago Manual of Style. A few specific tips:

Capitalization of Titles

Follow the headline-style capitalization rules from The Chicago Manual of Style:

“1) Capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles…and capitalize all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions—but see rule 4).
2) Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
3) Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are used adverbially or adjectivally (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in The On Button, to in Come To, etc.) or when they compose part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (De Facto, In Vitro, etc.).
4) Lowercase the conjunctions and, but, for, or, and nor.
5) Lowercase to not only as a preposition (rule 3) but also as part of an infinitive (to Run, to Hide, etc.), and lowercase as in any grammatical function.
6) Lowercase the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text, such as de or von.”

Citations

Be sure to cite sources, projects, or quotations you reference. But don’t worry about using formal academic citation styles. Parenthetical citations: to cite a source within your text, include the author in the text itself and hyperlink the title to the source. Endnotes: simply list the following information for your source: title, creator, date created, date accessed, and URL.

Commas

When a conjunction joins the last two elements in a series of three or more items, use a comma before the conjunction.

Dashes

Do not leave a space on either side of the em dash (—). Use the en dash (–) for enumerated date ranges.

Hyphens

Hyphenate compound noun phrases used as adjectives unless the noun phrase is so popularly used that hyphenation appears awkward.

Links

Hyperlink external resources (websites, projects, other posts, etc.) that are highly relevant to your post. Hyperlink words that describe the resource rather than pasting the link within the text. Use permalinks to content wherever possible.

Lists

If any item in a list (ordered or not) forms a complete sentence, all items must begin with a capital letter and end with a terminal punctuation mark.

Quotation Marks

In general, periods and other punctuation should go inside the quotation marks.

Credits

These Blog Guidelines are based on the following excellent resources:

A List Apart. “Style Guide.” Accessed 2014-10-05. http://alistapart.com/about/style-guide

Toda, Mitch and Effie Kapsalis. “The Bigger Picture: Exploring Archives and Smithsonian History Blog Guidelines.” 2013.

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