Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dear authors,

We have recently changed our policies regarding documentation for nature and historical stories. Because factual accuracy is so important in these topics, our copy editors verify the facts for each story. (For instance, they double-check the date a person was born, the weight of a particular animal, or the spelling of place names.) However, they will do this for us only if they have the sources to refer to. This means copies of the book or magazine pages where the information is found, or web links to pages where it appears--not just a list of sources used. If documentation is not provided by the author, we editors have to do the fact-checking ourselves, which requires a great deal of time and frustration searching reference books and the web.

As a result, we have decided that we can no longer accept nature and historical stories without documentation. We hope you will help us in our quest for accuracy.

For future stories on nature or historical topics, we recommend that you make photocopies of book/magazine source pages when you do your research, and mail them to us if the story is accepted. (Or you could scan them and send them electronically.) Web links are OK for online sources, although we would prefer for you to print the relevant pages where the info is found, since web sites do change over time.

As always, it is wise to query us on these topics to make sure we have not covered them recently.

Thanks for your understanding. As always, we appreciate your contributions to Guide.

Rachel Whitaker
Associate Editor, Guide Magazine

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