Preparing an Article for Worcestershire Recorder

Harry Green & John Partridge

We need your contributions. Hopefully subscribers and readers will find something of interest in every issue. If you would like to modify the mix of articles please write something we can publish! Anything connected with biological records and recording will be welcome. Issues are produced in April and November, and articles should be sent to the Editor at least one month prior to the publication date. Ideally please send your article on disc (either floppy or CD) or via email Always send a good quality print-out with your disc. Providing the system works email gives me least work. Send your article as an attached file and pictures, diagrams etc as separate files. Similarly, if you send an article on CD always send pictures as separate files, not simply embedded in a document

PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR ARTICLE WITH COMPLEX LAYOUTS AND FORMATTING! PLEASE DO NOT CONVERT TO COLUMNS ETC. I need simple text! .txt, .rtf or .doc files readable by Microsoft Word are all satisfactory. Tables are fine in Excel. Also scanning for OCR is usually best from a simple text layout. My OCR system does not always like two-column lists for example and sometimes scrambles the lot. Please donít underline, centre, and use Microsoft standard layouts! If you do so I have endless work undoing it all!

It is best if you indicate the ideal position of tables, drawings, graphics maps etc in the text but send them on separate sheets of paper, or as separate files, or at the end of the article. This avoids formatting difficulties when converting to two columns etc, and I can more easily insert or scan and size the graphics for insertion if necessary.

If you do not have access to a PC or the correct software please send a clear typescript preferably in biggish typeface of around 12-point for easy scanning and OCR - smaller type size and less-than-good photocopies increase the OCR error rate!

I can cope with clear hand writing though it obviously takes longer as I have to key it in, but do not let this prevent you sending hand-written articles. I can probably bend a helpful arm if necessary.

Illustrations: The Worcestershire Record is produced by commercial fairly high-quality photocopying. This copes well with line drawings but only moderately well with photographs.

Photographs: If you send hard copy photos then prints are best, but my new equipment is now good at scanning transparencies. Or, better still, send jpeg files which are not too huge! Digital cameras save a lot of time! Pictures need to be simple and clear for the photocopying system to give reasonable results. Sorry, but we can rarely use colour in the printed version of Worcestershire Record but we can use it on the web site. It is best if you can send colour photos which I can then convert to grey-scale as necessary, and we can use them in colour on the web site. Pictures on the web site are usually 400 pixels wide jpeg, and under 50k in size, so you may wish to do your own conversion to see what looks good.

Line Drawings and Maps -  from John Partridge: Line drawings which are sent as high quality jpeg files may be useable on the web site, but often convert badly especially if they contain text. It is better to send these as one of the alternative compression methods, such as gif, tif or png, depending on what you can produce. Since I do not usually see the articles to be put on the web site until after publication in the Worcestershire Record, it could be helpful for you to consult me before you have deleted them from your computer! I do find it quite time consuming having to re-draw diagrams and maps to publish them on the web site. Most of the maps are drawn using DMap and saved using a width of 400 pixels. Some older versions of DMap do not support all of the formats, and it may be better for you to send in the .dis and associated files.

Send your articles to Harry Green, Windy Ridge, Pershore Road., Little Comberton, Pershore, Worcs., WR10 3EW. Or send them email to (If you have another email address for me please delete it as it no longer works!). Or you may send them, marked for Harry Greenís attention, to Worcestershire Biological Records Centre, Lower Smite Farm, Smite Hill, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SZ.

If you wish to discuss a possible article beforehand please give me a ring on 01386 710377 or send an email.

Although we do our best to ensure records and observations reported in Worcestershire Record are accurate it is not possible to verify everything. Similarly the views and opinions expressed by authors are of course their own and not necessarily those of the editor or the Worcestershire BRC.