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Pirate Times Team Style Guide for Guest Authors
A guest writer is absolutely welcome to present their point of view as long as it can be supported with valid and fact-based arguments. Before comencing writing, guest authors should contact the editoral team to ensure the topic is appropriate. You can contact Andrew <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Daniel <email@example.com> by email.
There are three important journalistic principles for writing articles. The articles should be interesting, new and relevant. The Pirate Times, as a journalistic medium, reports news impartially and in a neutral manner. Private opinions need to be kept out of articles as far as possible. Also we use polemic and sarcasm very sparingly. A neutral form of wording should be used. E.g. only "good" instead of "very good".
It is important that professionalism and the potential for new knowledge is offered to the reader. We will not accept insults or articles which represent ideas that contradict the "healthy human mind". The majority of our readers are Pirates, someone close to us or have at least an interest in us. A guest's article should be interesting for this readership. Every guest author should ask themselves, before they write an article, whether their idea fulfils these criteria and is relevant to an international audience.
The external Appearance: The basic format of the Pirate Times is that of the blog system WordPress, which uses the simple text format (txt). It is not worthwhile delivering an article in a specific word processing format; pure ASCII text is enough. Emphasising, such as bold or italics, are controlled with HTML tags. WordPress knows this markup language and you are welcome to use it in your text. Otherwise you can place comments in the text which point to the desired emphases. It is similar regarding links on web pages: here also you have the freedom of choice: insert either the link in the WordPress Markup Language or, for example, mark the link in the document with "“ and give the link below . The Pirate Times team will take note of this when producing the article.
Style Criteria: The Pirate Times offers a high standard of language to its readers. We expect the same from our guest authors. We created this guide to enable you to write articles that fulfil our quality criteria:
Length of Articles & Paragraphs: Articles should have at least 150 and a maximum of 3,000 words. Long articles should be broken up into several articles and discussed with the editorial leader. Paragraphs should be constructed to simplify the reading of the article. A paragraph should contain at least three sentences.
Jargon & Obscure Language These should be avoided but is acceptable if the term is explained in parentheses. Accronyms, that may not be familiar to the reader, should be written out in first usage at the beginning of an article e.g. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Spelling: UK or US English spelling can be used, as long as it is consistent within the article. Please stick to one of these two options and do not use other local spellings (NZ, Australian etc). When writing an article try to maintain original choice of UK or US English. Foreign words should be in italics with a translation behind inside "( )", unless they are commonly used.
Links: Links should be used to back up claims made in the article, to point to sources, for attribution of Creative Commons work used and to allow the reader to access information that cannot be included in the body of the article itself. Inline links are to be used for linkng to pages directly relevant to a specific point being discussed. For example an explanation for a concept that the general reader will not be familiar with (use sparingly) or the webpage of a person or institution being refered to. Footnote links are to be used for more general background information but can also be used to avoid too many links in the body of the text. For example the websites for Pirate Parties attending a conference.
Quotations: Quotations are marked by quotation marks “ ”. If whole paragraphs are quoted then the WordPress quote function is to be used. If quotes are edited for tense (future, present, past) or other reasons the edited words should be marked with "[ ]". If other texts are quoted, they should be linked to the source, if available, otherwise the source should be named in "( )".
Dates: The date format to be used is: 23 May 2011. Always include the year.
Number formatting: Numbers from zero to nine, as well as their enumerative forms (first, second, third, …) in continuous text are generally written out. Additionally those which can be easily read in words, like twenty, hundred or three thousand. All the other figures are written in groups of three characters to the left of the decimal point and separated with commas (30,000 members). However, numbers of the same kind are written consistently within a sentence. Example: “In the class 5C we have 12 boys and 13 girls“ (both figures can also be written out). The hybrid form “twelve boys and 13 girls “ is incorrect. Small fractions should be written out e.g one third instead of 1/3.
Prices and Currency: The currency is to be written out. That is Euro instead of €, dollars instead of $.
Weights and Measures All weights and measures should be in metrics. For US authors imperial measures may be used but metric amounts should be placed in () afterward. Degrees should be written in Celsius. Proof readers can help if needed.
Images and videos: A picture breaks up an article nicely. Submitted pictures should have a “free“ license and be available for non-commercial use (e.g. by a CC, CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license). We won't publish images if it isn't under a free license. In general an article should include: a bigger image as featured image on top of the article and one or several smaller images to use in the article. A size of 640px by 315px is optimal for displaying the featured image.
License: All articles in the Pirate Times are covered by the license CC (CC-BY-SA Pirate Times) and so can be adopted without any other information by the editorial staff as long as the regulations of the license remain in force. Of course the name of the guest author will be published with the article.
Decisions Concerning Publication: The decision whether a guest article is published or not is made by the editorial leaders. It may be that an editor has content remarks or formal remarks to sections of the article, in this case the text can be published when these are fixed.
Open Questions: We are happy to help with the production of guest articles. Please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org