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CPSR Guest Editor Guidelines

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Guest Editor Guidelines

Note: These guidelines were for the traditional CPSR newsletter. Our future newsletters will be coming out on the web, and the writing style and other recommendations may change to suit the web environment.

THANKS for considering being a guest editor of an issue of the CPSR Newsletter. This page is intended to give you an idea of what is involved.

Each issue of the CPSR Newsletter has a theme that is approved by the Publications Committee. The theme area of the CPSR Newsletter is prepared by a volunteer guest editor, relying on (usually) non-professional writers for articles.


  • While the CPSR membership is relatively fluent in technical matters, articles should not be overly technical. Our focus is on the social dimensions of technologies, not the technologies themselves.
  • The CPSR Newsletter is a newsletter for members. It is not a technical journal, or a scholarly journal. Articles should be written in a clear, accessible style.
  • YOU are the quality control person when it comes to content.
  • Guest editors must make sure that proper clearances are obtained for any material printed in the newsletter. Material that is taken in total from Internet postings (as opposed to simply quoting, or what could fall into standard "fair use" guidelines) should be cleared with the original author, if such can be determined.
  • Reprints of material are acceptable in cases where the original material is unlikely to have been seen by CPSR members, but in general, original material is better.
  • CPSR is not in a position to pay for articles submitted to the newsletter.
  • If relevant, articles should include information on where the reader can go for information, or how a reader can follow up on any action called for in the article. This can be done as an editor's note at the end of the article.
  • Articles should be submitted to the newsletter on disk, or via e-mail, in a standard ASCII format.
  • Please be sure to get us full contact information on the authors: full name, affiliation, address, phone, email, and fax if available. We need this information to run with the article so that readers can correspond with authors directly, and for internal use to communicate with authors if the copy editor has questions.
  • Guest editors are responsible for notifying writers of these guidelines, and that they may be contacted by the executive editor or the professional copy editor for clarification. Their articles may also be shortened. The guest editor will send the copy to the executive editor, and provide contact information for the writers.
  • You select an overall title for the issue and a snappy epigram for the cover, about 25 to 50 words, such as a provocative quote.
  • If possible, we would like photos or graphics that illustrate the material in the articles.
  • Please write a 500-word introduction to the issue that ties the separate pieces together.
  • Out of the total newsletter pages, you have about five to seven articles of theme content. Set some of this space aside to be used for pullouts and contact info for the authors. Strive for 7500 - 8500 words total of main text. We will print transcripts for people on request.
  • Tell your potential authors how many words you want, what topics/slant, and the basic instructions about giving references to further info (print, web), obtaining permissions, and so on. Leave the copyediting to the national office, rather than burdening the authors with it. The office staff will check for style, punctuation, etc. Please work through the National Office
  • You should focus primarily on content, not format. Good writing that's understandable, engaging, thematic, and thought provoking is more important than following particular style guides. Use some editorial judgement in selecting which papers you accept
  • You may have more materials offered than you can use, and you may have to say "No, thank you" to some of them.
  • Try for a variety of viewpoints, some provocative pieces, and definitely keep in mind that the theme is always socially responsible use of technology.
Word processing

The National Office does all page design. Our input format is to get ASCII saved as HTML by email or on disk (we can read either Windows or Mac disks). If you upload them on the site, we can easily copy them from there.

Editing and Corrections

Editing is done by a professional hired by the National Office.

Final Formatting

We will have a template for newsletters and the copy will be placed in by our Newsletter Webmaster.

This page last updated: March, 1999, by Marsha Woodbury

E-mail with questions or comments.
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Created before October 2004

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