Editorial Guidelines

Here we offer Networked Researcher’s suggested editorial guidelines for the attention of all existing contributors and interested parties. This is a working version of the guidelines and it is subject to change.

We want to achieve a mix of spontaneity and editorial quality. We want to debunk myths about the banality of blogging, but we do not want to discourage short (often very short) contributions (research/teaching work updates, calls for papers/contributors/help, job adverts, links to interesting content with brief commentary).

Having some guidelines is a way of establishing our mission statement. It is not meant to discourage you; on the contrary.

Networked Researcher is a multi-author blogging platform. All registered contributors are enabled to publish posts directly without any editorial intermediation. (Read how to become a contributor here. Read our Community Policy here.)

This model makes contributors responsible for the form and content of their articles. This system means that the editorial team cannot enforce editorial guidelines on individual articles or constantly monitor the site.

Ideally contributors will use the platform to blog about their research and adventures in academia or posting relevant information like calls for papers, reports from events and other academic announcements, book and tool reviews, etc.

Contributors have total thematic freedom as long as their contributions fit within the general scope of the platform: critical engagements with online/digital technologies within academia and related areas, research and teaching work, publishing, career advancement, communication, etc.

We encourage media-specific contributions (written to be read online) rather than online versions of written-for-print work.

We request all contributors get a Gravatar account. Those contributors who have a Gravatar account get a bio and profile picture box under their contributions. An updated Gravatar tells your readers more information about who you are and offers important context.

Contributions can be authored collaboratively by more than one registered contributor and these posts will list and link to each author individually in the byline. Currently the Gravatar bio and profile box will only display the first listed author.

The ideal length for each blog article is between 600 and 2000 words, but shorter contributions are also welcome.

The current digital attention economy dictates that the first paragraph of a blog post is the most important one. Try to summarise what your post is about in the first couple of sentences. After a couple of paragraphs that tease the reader into finding out more, we recommend you use the “Insert More Tag” (Alt + Shift + T).

1. Keep titles short and descriptive. Your post’s URL or permalink will be automatically formed from the title you give your draft. Long links are difficult to share and cite, tend to break and look ugly.

2. Keep all posts in-topic. Our focus is on online technologies and their impact on the communication of research and the ways that researchers work. Your posts are expressions of your academic work, so please be as careful and rigorous as you can be. Fun and academic rigour should not be opposed!

3. Please try to avoid copying and pasting directly from Word documents onto your draft space. This adds unwanted clunky code that creates problems. If you must, copy your text to a simple text editor and then add all the formatting on the blog. Use the visual editor of the site to format your posts. Emphasis is expressed with italics; please avoid using bold.

Networked Researcher strongly encourages contributors to write and edit their posts directly on Networked Researcher and to please keep back-ups of their own work. The editors cannot be held responsible for any data loss. We are committed to following and developing best practice in online publishing and we reserve the right, if needed in our editorial discretion, to subedit published articles in order to preserve readability, accessibility, sustainability and editorial guidelines.

4. Use hyperlinks. A hyperlink is the web’s equivalent of a bibliographical reference. The web is built on the premise of the reciprocal exchange of information in the form of hyperlinked content. If possible, all references made in articles should be hyperlinked to URLs and/or DOIs. To add hyperlinks to your text  simply select the word you want to link to an external URL (internet address) and click on the chain button in the visual editor. Please complete the Title field, so that people know where the link will take them before clicking on it.

5. Use one image maximum for each of your posts. Please only use images you are allowed to use (this means that you own them, you have permission, are free of copyright or are licensed with Creative Commons). To upload images to our media library and insert them onto your post, click on the appropriate button on the visual editor. Please avoid embedding external media such as Slideshare slides, online videos or Storifies, particularly if they are long. It’s better to simply link to them from your post.

6. For accessibility and attribution reasons, please always complete the Title and Alternate Text fields on uploaded/inserted images. If appropriate, also complete the Caption field. Always include authorship credits when you use third-party images; never assume they are “public domain”. If you are using digital images from online archives or libraries please check their specific attribution and citation guidelines before using them.

7. Categorise and tag your posts. Whereas categories are fixed and preset by the editorial team, tags are flexible and can be set by every contributor according to their contribution’s content. Categories organise where posts are displayed on the site;  tags are the keywords that describe the content of your post and that you want it to be found with. Tags can be a great way of disconvering related content. Please don’t forget to add them. You can edit your posts’ categories and tags from your  draft space (right-hand side).

8. Please do not use Networked Researcher to simply reblog verbatim what you have posted elsewhere. If you really must, do declare your article is a reblog at the beginning of your post and link back to the original version. We want to encourage original contributions that enrich our community collectively.

9. Please promote your posts on your social networks.

10. Be critical but positive. Let us use this platform to create a living example that blogging and social media can make positive contributions to all areas of academic work.

Some Useful Links:

Read how to become a contributor here. Read our Community Policy here.