Submitting a Manuscript for an Extension Numbered Publication for Web or Print
The following information covers the options and process for publishing a peer-reviewed, numbered Extension publication. Extension numbered publications are current, research-based, peer-reviewed, and approved for publication by unit and extension administrators. All extension numbered publications are edited and designed through a collaborative process with the author.
Publication FormatsExtension numbered publications come in several formats, all of which can include photos, tables, and illustrations. Printing is available in most cases. Online versions may be developed as enhanced PDFs with video, audio, slide shows, and links to larger embedded figures.
- NebGuides (“G” series) are 1-4 pages, formatted, and available on the Web at extension.unl.edu/publications. Generally, a 13-16 page, double-spaced manuscript in 12 point type will fit this format.
- Extension Circulars (“EC” series) vary in format, page size, and page number and typically cover topics that require more depth, photos, or illustrations than NebGuides. Extension Circulars (ECs) can be “for sale” items. Formats range from pocket cards and slide rulers to online spreadsheets to 200+ page annual guides. Most are 4- to 72-page publications.
- ZMags is a new Web publication format being used by extension to develop enhanced online publications.
- Extension Books (“EB” series) are of substantive size and content and contain information likely to remain current for at least five years.Extension books often are available for retail sales to help recover production costs.
- Miscellaneous Publications (“MP” series) are special publications that might include project completion reports, workshop proceedings, and home-study courses.
Publications should be well organized and written to be easily understood by your target audience. Usually, at least one of the authors has an extension appointment. Photographs, illustrations, charts, and graphs can be used to further communicate and enhance the message and are referenced in the text. Footnotes are not used within the text, and materials used from other sources should be fully cited in the text. (For example: As Thomas L. Friedman said in his book The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, “ ….”) References usually are not included at the end of the publication, but a list of three to five resources for further exploration of subject matter can be included. Today’s readers, particularly those on the Web, are less apt to read a publication linearly, from start to finish. They may be more likely to scan it and read the sections that most pertain to the information they’re seeking. Consider incorporating subheads and vertical lists to break up and organize content and pull-out boxes that can be easily scanned or used to reinforce your educational message.
Word contains a readability assessment tool to help you gauge the reading level of your publication. Extension aims for an 8th to 9th grade reading level for most general publications, but the reading level may need to be lower or higher, depending on the audience. To engage this tool, search for readability assessment in the Help section of Word. Similar tools are also available online; search for Flesch- Kincaid readability level.
All Extension numbered publications are peer-reviewed. All major revisions and new publications need a minimum of three reviewers, including at least one extension educator and one extension specialist or department faculty member with expertise in the subject matter. Reviewers from other universities or industry also may be included when necessary to address the subject matter and may serve as substitutes for the Nebraska Extension educator or specialist requirement. With minor revisions or no-revision repostings to the Web, the author is responsible for reviewing the material and ensuring the information is still current and accurate. The author is responsible for appropriately addressing comments from the reviewers before submitting the publication for approval.
Submitting the Manuscript for Publication
Manuscripts can be submitted for publication electronically via online submission via the Movement of Media (MOM), which has key information about the publication. The approval process is managed via email after submission.
The publication package (combined into a Box folder) needs to include:
- A digital file with the publication text (Word File in .docx format).
- Make sure major elements (title, author, epigraphs, headings, block quotes, notes) stand out visually from one another—especially first-level headings from any subheadings.
- All like elements within files should be styled the same (e.g. all first-level headings receive the same typographic treatment, all block quotes show the same).
- Do not use hard returns or tabs to format the margins of block quotes or works cited entries; instead use Word's ruler feature.
- For material that has notes, please leave the notes embedded (or linked).
- If both italics and true underlining are to be used in a piece, please make that known to us in the file (e.g., before the title of the piece you could include the following: <UNP: Both italics and underlining are used in this file>).
- Tables should be created using Word and placed directly in the Word files where they are to appear.
- Separate files for all photos, charts, and illustrations;
- Photos should be high resolution (300 dpi when possible) and in a tif, eps, jpg, or png format
- Signed release forms for 1) the use of someone’s personal image (other than the author), and 2) the use of copyrighted material such as photos taken by anyone other than an author.
- Art should not be placed directly in Word files but saved separately in a .tif or .jpg format.
- Name Artwork files in a clear and consistent manner (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2...)
- Include captions in the Word files where the art is to be placed, or if a piece of art has no caption use a generic call-out in its stead (e.g., Fig. 1 Here).
- Art files should be no less than 300 dpi with the smallest dimension measuring at least four inches. Exception: Line art should be no less than 1200 dpi.
The completed publication package is submitted to the unit or department head for review and approval and forwarded to extension administration for review and approval. Extension forwards the publication package to the publishing group. It will be assigned to a production team that will work with the author through the editing and design stages and publication to the Web and/or print.
Publications are edited for grammar, readability, and style and are designed to enhance communication and ensure they conform to university identification guidelines and design standards. All extension publications need to include the proper identification with extension and UNL. Non-extension publications need to include proper UNL identification. The production timeline for each publication varies according to its complexity. Unless the Movement of Media indicates otherwise, the lead author will be the main contact for questions and for publication proofs. While the lead author may ask co-authors to review a proof, all changes should be communicated by the lead author only.
Printing & Distribution
All publications are published to the Web. Print copies also may be ordered for use by departments.
Publication Review Process
All extension publications are reviewed every five years by the authors to determine whether:
- The information is still current and accurate and should be reposted to the Web; if so, the author should submit a new Movement of Media to the unit administrator and extension;
- The information needs to be revised; if so, the revised publication package should be submitted through the normal publication process by December 31 to ensure continued availability;
- The information is inaccurate or out-of-date; if so, it will be removed from the extension publications website and eventually posted to UNL’s digital archive at digitalcommons.unl.edu.
Publications are automatically removed from publication in January if the author doesn’t respond with a Movement of Media by December 31.
Nebraska Extension Publications on the Web
All current publications are published to this public website, which serves as a central resource of Nebraska Extension, peer-reviewed materials.
Many “out-of-print,” historical extension publications are available in this public archive. These publications were removed from publication, possibly due to out-of-date information, and should not be referenced to the public for current recommendations or practices.
Cost of Publishing
Extension administration will cover costs associated with publications that align with current extension administration priorities. All other projects can be paid for with departmental, center, or project resources. Request to use administration funds is included in the Movement of Media.
Reference the Associated Press Style Guide for style, Webster’s Dictionary for spelling, and the Extension Publications Style Guide (http://edmedia.unl.edu/styleguide) for information specific to IANR. For research or non-numbered extension publications, the style may be specific to a professional journal.
Consider all work to be copyrighted, regardless of whether it contains a copyright symbol. See the U.S. Copyright website for guidance on when older publications will fall out of copyright. To use a table from a published journal or a photo from a website or other publication, you need to get written permission from the owner of the intellectual property. (Often, this would be the publisher and may not necessarily be the author.)
The Movement of Media requires authors to include release forms for any images or copyrighted material in their publications. UNL image release forms are available in the UNL Toolbox.
IANR and Extension Required Identification
All publications should include:
- Extension Logo
- UNL Wordmark
- EEO Statements
- Copyright and year