Instructions for Authors

Welcome to the OLA Quarterly (OLAQ), the flagship publication of the Oregon Library Association. Each issue has a theme developed by Guest Editor(s). If you are interested in contributing an article, you can submit an article proposal to the appropriate Guest Editor listed in the Publication Schedule, or directly to the OLAQ Coordinator.

One of the defining characteristics of a profession is its unique knowledge base. This is a chance to share your wisdom and experience! As a contributor to OLAQ, you are helping those associated with Oregon's library profession keep current.

 Background on OLAQ

 OLAQ is a benefit to our members (around 1,000), and most copies are circulated within members' libraries, so the readership is larger than the subscriber base.

OLAQ is indexed by Library Literature & Information Science and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. Full text of the OLAQ is also available through HW Wilson's Library Literature and Information Science Full Text and EBSCO Publishing's Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA) with Full Text.

OLA retains nonexclusive electronic representation and distribution rights to OLAQ contents. OLA reserves the right to re-use text, photos and artwork in subsequent OLAQ issues, with notification to the submitters, if possible. Otherwise, all rights revert to the authors.

Submissions are edited. The OLAQ Coordinator and Guest Editor(s) make the final decision on any submitted material.

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 Writing 099

These are some tips to help you develop your ideas and transfer them into an OLAQ article. These tips might repeat what you already know and practice, but hang in there: some OLAQ authors are publishing for the first time, and we want to be sure everyone is starting from the same baseline. Also, take a look at the OLAQ Archive to get a sense of the tone and style of articles.

  1. Always remember, you have something important to say, which is why the Guest Editor accepted your article proposal or invited you to contribute an article. Your program or service or project is something that you are doing well, and libraries throughout Oregon will benefit from knowing your insights. Don't be bashful, but don't be boastful. Baseball great "Dizzy" Dean said, "It ain't bragging if you done it." Keep that in mind.

  2. Write in the active voice, not the passive. Say, "The Brothers Public Library doubled its registration through an aggressive advertising campaign." Don't say, "Registration of borrowers was doubled at the Brothers Public Library, perhaps influenced by a campaign of advertising." Remember: Ernest Hemingway was a Nobel Laureate in Literature for his mastery of straightforward writing, while Edward George Bulwer-Lyton is the namesake of an annual "Worst Fiction Writing" award for originating the phrase, "It was a dark and stormy night."

  3. Write for your audience, not down to them. Your readers are your peers; most are fellow workers in Oregon libraries. Cite your sources, provide valid information, but do it in your voice as though you were talking to your reader across a table.

  4. Every article is a story, and every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Organize the flow of your article: Begin with a thesis statement that explains what you are going to write about, then tell the story in a logical manner. We like to make liberal use of sidebars in OLAQ,so all sorts of lists ("Ten Things to Remember About", "The Essentials of", "Best Web Sites On", etc.) can and should be pulled out of the story flow and boxed in special sidebars. Sidebars have a double benefit: they keep your story going, and they are easy reference sources for readers going back to your article for information.

  5. Pictures are stories, too, so make liberal use of images wherever possible. Make the picture tell the story, not illustrate it. The usual photograph of a librarian leaning over a student's computer tells nothing - it's a visual form of passive voice. Use screen shots from the computer, or a graphical flow chart, or photographs of people doing something actively in the course of making your story happen.

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 Deadlines, Layout, and Article Lengths

The Guest Editor is your resource for questions as you go through the process of crafting an article. Refer to the Publication Schedule to see deadlines for article submission. If you cannot meet the deadline for your issue, please contact the Guest Editor as soon as possible. 

Layout tips:

  • Don't worry about the fonts you use. They will be changed to standard OLAQ fonts.
  • Use a single column only.
  • When creating tabular material, use tabs, not spaces, to align items.
  • If you have information to be placed in sidebars, create a separate file for each sidebar. Use a descriptive filename such as sidebar1_articlexyz, sidebar2_articlexyz, etc.
  • Don't incorporate graphics into your documents; these should be provided separately (refer to Artwork and Graphics).
  • Please do not submit Microsoft Publisher files.

Article lengths:

Articles should fall into the 1000-2500 word range (2-4 OLAQ pages). Often OLAQ issues have five to ten articles of varying lengths.

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 Style Guides

For article content, use the punctuation and grammar rules in the Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2009), published by the Associated Press. The one exception is that we use a comma before the last item in a series to insure clarity (e.g., red, white, and blue).

For formatting references check with the Guest Editor to see which of the main styles (APA, Chicago, or MLA) they have chosen for their issue. For Chicago style, please use the author-date system (in-text citations), rather than using footnotes/endnotes. This system is described in Chapter 16.4 of the Chicago Manual of Style.

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 Artwork and Graphics

Somewhere between total use of all images in any publication and total prohibition against using any images lies, well, Calvin Klein and other registered trademarks. A good copyright source is at Stanford University, where you can find links to discussions of major copyright issues and information on appropriate documentation.

Do not incorporate graphics directly into your word processor documents. The Designer will integrate the text and images using their own software. If you want to associate an image with a particular passage in your article, add the sentence "Insert Image N about here" (where N is a specific number). Set that sentence off by itself, as in:

Insert Image 1 about here

The Designer will place the image based on the text flow and page layout, so only an approximate location is needed.

Please do not submit Microsoft Publisher files.

If you have any questions regarding the graphic formats, please contact the Guest Editor. 

If you would like artwork or CDs/flash drives returned to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (see address in Submitting Files section). Your materials will be returned upon publication.

Photographic material:
Please send original black & white or color photographs if possible. Include a detailed caption that clearly indicates what is going on and who is in the picture. Write your caption(s) on separate paper, not on the back of the photographs. 

If digital photos are submitted, please submit them at a minimum of 300 dpi at full size (3 inches wide at minimum). Please include a caption in the email and indicate which article the photo goes with and the area in the article where you would like it to be placed.

Line art:
Supply a clean copy of the artwork (preferably an original). Remember, the better quality illustration you supply, the better it will appear in the publication. Include a detailed caption that clearly indicates the purpose of the illustration.

The Designer can scan images for you, however if digital art is submitted, please submit line art at 1200 dpi in grayscale. Please include a caption in the email and indicate which article the image goes with and the area in the article where you would like it to be placed.

Computer art:
Please state the application that created the image (e.g., FreeHand, Photoshop) and indicate the file type (e.g., TIFF, EPS). If your computer-generated art includes any text, please convert the type to paths in the original illustration. Also include the phone number of the person to contact with any questions regarding the image provided. Please include a caption in the email and indicate which article the image goes with and the area in the article where you would like it to be placed.

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 Submitting Articles

Email files to the Guest Editor(s). Attach Word documents and graphics files to a brief email describing the attachments. You can also send the text in the body of the email message, if there are compatibility problems or attachment size limits. Contact the Guest Editor if you have any questions or if you are planning to mail artwork materials directly to the Designer.

Designer Mailing Address:

Tobias Weiss Design
7345 SW Deerhaven Drive
Corvallis, OR 97333

Phone: 541.738.1897

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Last revised July 10, 2009