The Loon Style Sheet
Style Sheet for Contributing Authors
The editors of The Loon - journal of The Minnesota Ornithologists' Union - welcome submissions of articles, Notes of Interest, and color or black-and-white photographs for publication consideration. Since The Loon’s page formats, font styles, and column layouts are already set specifically to our design, here are some things to keep in mind when submitting manuscripts for publication:
- FORMATTING: Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, and single-sided. Notes of Interest should be less than two pages. Although a hard copy version of any submission is no longer required, it is still preferable, but whenever possible, please include a digital copy of your submission, either on computer disk or via e-mail (email@example.com). Disks can be either Macintosh or PC. Most of the standard file formats are acceptable, though we prefer MS Word or RTF. PDF files are not acceptable.
- MARGINS AND INDENTS:
- Do not indent paragraphs in any way with tabs or spaces.
- Define paragraph breaks by inserting an extra carriage return (i.e., have a completely blank line between all paragraphs).
- Do not define margins, page setups, tabs, justifications, or columns for our benefit, though there is no need to delete these if it helps improve readability of your submission.
- Do not use double spaces between words or sentences.
- BIRD NAMES: When referring to a specific species, use the complete English name the first time any species is mentioned: “American Tree Sparrow” not “Tree Sparrow”. When speaking generically, none of the words should begin with a capital letter: “crow”. When pluralizing an “affectionate” name for a non-generic species, do not change the spelling of the bird’s name. Two examples: “Snowys” (not “Snowies”) for Snowy Owl; “Yellow-rumpeds (not “Yellow-rumps”) for Yellow-rumped Warbler.
- SCIENTIFIC NAMES: Scientific names for birds and bird families are always in italics and should always follow the first usage of the species' common name.
- NUMBERS: Numbers less than 11 are typed out: “nine”. However, round numbers such as “one hundred” are also acceptable. Plural numbers are written with an s and no apostrophe: “Counts in the 20s.”
- DATES / TIMES: Dates are written as Day Month Year: “18 September 2004” with no abbreviations, commas, dashes, or hyphens. Times are given using standard format, “3:00 P.M.” not “1500 hours”. If A.M. and P.M. are included, put them in uppercase with periods and no separating spaces.
- CAPITALIZATION: The titles, subtitles, and authors have only the first letter of each main word capitalized: “The House Finch in Minnesota”. “County” is capitalized only when it follows the name of a single county: “Polk County” but note also “Polk and Pope counties”.
- ABBREVIATIONS: Abbreviate words, such as “Southeast”, without periods, commas, or spaces only when used in an address: “SE,” not “So. E.” Abbreviated names, such as “Thomas Sadler Roberts”, have periods and spaces: “T. S. Roberts”. Do not abbreviate if it is not necessary.
- HYPHENS / DASHES: Know when to use hyphens (-) and when to use dashes ( & ). Hyphens are generally used only to hyphenate words or to indicate a minus, such as -10°. A short dash is used as a mark between pages: “The Loon 64:151153” or to mark the difference between dates: “May 13”. Long dashes are used to separate breaks in sentences. When in doubt, use a short dash.
- REFERENCES: All referenced periodicals are put in italics: Iowa Bird Life.
Graphics and Tables
- DIGITAL GRAPHICS: With the exception of digital photpgraphs, all digital graphics are always best generated as EPS. Please avoid using JPG file formats for any image. All non-EPS files should be generated at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
- PHOTOGRAPHS: Submitted images should accompanied by information on the photographer’s name, the date of the photograph, and the location including the county. Prints should be 4"x6". We can also take slides, film negatives, and digital files. Digital photos are best created as TIF but BMP, RAW, and EPS formats are also acceptable. Do not embed scanned photographs in the digital version of your manuscript, but rather include them as separate files.
- GRAPHS: All graphs must be submitted as hard copies, but please also include a computer version in the form of raw data or a digital image. Do not embed graphs in the digital version of your manuscript, but rather include them as separate files.
- TABLES AND OTHER GRAPHICS: All fields in tables should be separated with tabs. Avoid the use of multiple spaces to distinguish table columns from one another. Do not embed tables or other graphics in the digital version of your manuscript, but rather include them as separate files.
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