Instructions for Authors and Videographers

Instructions for Authors of Articles and Videos on eOrganic

About eOrganic

eOrganic, created by the eOrganic Community of Practice on eXtension.org, is for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. eOrganic produces articles, videos, and webinars on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production. The articles are collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of university researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture. All published eOrganic articles appear at http://eorganic.org.

General Requirements and Scope of eOrganic Articles

eOrganic supports the development of content that communicates research-, regulation-, and experience-based information about commercial organic farming, and publishes it to our public site at eXtension.org where it can be accessed by our stakeholders. Types of content include articles summarizing research-, regulation-, and experience-based information; recorded webinars; videos; annotated bibliographies to useful resources; case studies; and training modules.

eOrganic content is derived from:

  • Research conducted in organic systems
  • Information from farmers/ag professionals/other practitioners that demonstrate best practices on organic farms.
  • Research conducted in conventional ag systems relevant to organic systems
  • Regulation based information.

Content should be original, i.e. not previously published elsewhere; however, previously published studies can be adapted for a national audience, or summarized for application by our mixed audience of farmers, farm advisors and other researchers. Authors should provide references and links to additional resources.

eOrganic articles should add value, i.e. they should not simply be reproductions of conventional sources with the non-compliant information removed. They should contain information based on practical experience that organic producers and advisors can use, and should include practitioner experience and examples. They should also include current organic systems research information on the topic.

Articles must be well written, with correct grammar and usage, and formatting as described in these instructions must be completed by the author before the article is reviewed. They should be written in a style that is accessible to our diverse audience of farmers, Extension personnel, certifiers, inspectors, nonprofit staff, researchers, and others. In other words, they should not be too technical or assume that readers know what acronyms or scientific terms mean.

Articles that mention materials such as pest control products should be accompanied by a note that readers should check with their certifiers, and state or local government regulations before applying products--we don't want to recommend anything that would endanger the certification status of a reader! The following language can be pasted into the article:

IMPORTANT: Before using any pest control product in your organic farming system:

  • Read the label to be sure that the product is labeled for the crop and pest you intend to control, and make sure it is legal to use in the state, county, or other location where it will be applied
  • Read and understand the safety precautions and application restrictions

  • Make sure that the brand name product is listed in your Organic System Plan and approved by your USDA-approved certifier. If you are trying to deal with an unanticipated pest problem, get approval from your certifier before using a product that is not listed in your plan—doing otherwise may put your certification at risk.

Note that OMRI and WSDA lists are good places to identify potentially useful products, but all products that you use must be approved by your certifier. For more information on how to determine whether a pest control product can be used on your farm, see the article, Can I Use This Input On My Organic Farm?

Examples of eOrganic Articles

Choose one of these articles that is similar to the one you want to develop and use it as a model.

Terms of Use and Copyright

All authors must sign up for an account at http://eorganic.info.

How to Create a New Article

Before writing an article on a particular topic, it is important to know if there are already articles published on that topic so as to avoid duplication. To find out, go to eOrganic's public website and browse the articles on your topic.

Formatting Guidelines

Formatted Article Example: Organic Management of Late Blight of Potato and Tomato (Phytophthora infestans)

Titles

Names of eXtension articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists. It is important that your title contains the keywords that a person trying to find your article would use in a search. Be specific. Don't use "catchy" titles -- use real words that accurately describe its content. Include the word 'organic' or the words 'organic farming'.

Introduction and Conclusion

The article should contain an introduction which introduces the main points and the importance of the topic in a readable, engaging, and generally understandable way for a mixed audience of people who may not be familiar with scientific terms, acronyms, etc. In other words, this should be written in plainer language than the technical and dry language of many scientific journal articles. The article should also conclude in a way that does not leave off abruptly, and research findings should be summarized in a way that practitioners would find useful.

Headings

Capitalize all nouns and most words with four or more letters. Use headings at the start of each section. If composing the article on the eOrganic website the text editor under Format choose Heading 2, for additional subsections use Heading 3. An Introduction heading can be used if you have additional headings on the page.

Paragraphs

Paragraphs should not be indented. Press Return to insert paragraph breaks. To insert a line break rather than a paragraph break, press Shift-Return.

Lists

Use bulleted lists rather than numbered lists unless you are referring to a specific number of options or a specific sequence of items.

Tables

A simple table will often paste in reasonably well from Excel, but if you are submitting the article as a Word document, please also submit the tables in Excel separately in case they are needed. Please do not submit the tables as images or pdfs because often the resolution will not be high enough when they are pasted into the website.

Table of Contents with Links

This can be helpful for online articles that are long but are divided into topical sections or for an article series which can link to multiple pages. eOrganic staff can help you format this. If you are composing the article yourself using the eOrganic website, follow the directions on this Help article.

Images

Images must be reduced to a maximum width of 500 pixels (length can be larger) before being uploaded to eOrganic. Many software programs can resize images. You may already have the capablity to resize images using a Mac (open the image using Preview, click Tools, click Adjust Size, and then adjust the width to 500 pixels), or Microsoft Photo Editor or Paint on a PC. The image ideally should not be larger than 100 KB. They must be in an image format such as jpg, png, etc.

Permission must be obtained from the photographer in order to publish images on extension, and the photo credit must be below the image. The photographer’s name must also be included as a contributor in the metadata of the article, along with the permission obtained (see metadata.) If an image is yours and you would like to share it and allow others to use it in their eOrganic articles, upload your image to the group image gallery. If the photographer is not a member of eXtension and it doesn't make sense for him or her to join, use the Photograph/Figure License Form to obtain permission to use the photo, and send this to eOrganic staff. You can also get permission in an email and forward eOrganic staff the email.

Figures

To paste a figure, like a graph or diagram, into the body text, you first need to make the figure into an image.  The best way to do this is to select the figure, copy it, then paste it into Paint (on a  PC).  From Paint you then Save it as a PNG or JPG, usually after cropping out any additional white space (either in Paint or a photo editor) or with a screen capture tool like the Snipping Tool. Make sure the figure is large enough so people can read it. Often, saving the image as a PNG is best, to reduce blurriness.

Captions

When referring to content figures in the text, use the abbreviation (i.e., "Fig. 1"); use the unabbreviated form (i.e., "Figure 1.") in figure captions. All photos do not need to be labeled as figures, unless they are specifically referred to as such in the text.  In that case, the caption needs to contain the figure number.

When crediting images used, list the name and institution of the photographer in italics, as in the following example.

Figure 2. Low cost, movable high tunnel. Photo credit: Tim Coolong, University of Kentucky

Links to other articles, websites, documents or tables

The preferred format for links on eOrganic, and the web, are phrase links. These are formatted as turning a certain string of words into a hyperlink.

For example, "Therefore, production of tomatoes in high tunnels with drip irrigation should dramatically reduce late blight risk by eliminating the contribution of rain and overhead irrigation to leaf wetness."

References and Citations/Additional Resources

eOrganic strongly encourages including references and citations in all articles. Please include a full citation for all cited studies, references to research findings, relevant regulations, etc. as well as a link to an online full text version or abstract, preferably the doi.

Authors are responsible for formatting references and citations correctly. eOrganic has adopted the conventions outlined in the ASA–CSSA–SSSA publications handbook and style manual (2004), with the exception that (1) full journal titles, rather than abbreviations, will be used, and (2) URLs for Internet versions of print resources will be included, if available (HTML in preference to other formats).

Format the headings for References and Citations, and Additional Resources using heading 2.

Use bulleted lists for formatting both References and Citations, and Additional Resources.

References and Citations - this is reserved for documents that you cite in your article text or have used to help write your article

Additional Resources - any additional resources that you want to list can go here, this is also where you create the full citation for any outside links you have created in your text.

Citation format Examples: for additional examples, please log into eOrganic and see http://eorganic.info/node/3348

Note that titles of electronic-only resources are followed by [Online] and they are listed as being “available at” a specific address. Print resources which are also available online are referred to as being “available online at:” as specific address.

Incude and verify all links and update the verified date if you have pasted this information from another source.

• Brainard, D. C., R. R. Bellinder, R. R. Hahn, and D. A. Shah. 2008. Crop rotation, cover crop, and weed management effects on weed seedbanks and yields in snap bean, sweet corn and cabbage. Weed Science 56: 434–441. (Available online at: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1614/WS-07-107.1) (verified 17 March 2010).

• Sullivan, P. 2003. Principles of sustainable weed management for croplands [Online]. ATTRA Publication #PO39. National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Available at: http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/weed.html (verified 21 Nov 2008)

Essential Resources for Copy Editing eOrganic Content

Resources to use for guidance, in order of preference:

Submitting Articles for Review

Please submit the article in Word to Alice Formiga: formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu, and send tables as Excel files and images as png or jpg files (see above). The article needs to meet the above formatting guidelines, and be well written with clear and concise prose, and correct spelling and grammar. Revisions can be requested at this time if the article is not deemed ready for review. Optional: If you would like to format the article yourself on the eOrganic website, log into eOrganic and view the instructions at https://eorganic.info/node/455.

You will be notified when your article is in review, during which time it will not be possible to make changes to it. After 2 anonymous reviews are completed, the status of the article will be switched to Author Revisions, at which point you will receive the reviewer comments, and you can make additional changes. Following Author Revisions, the article will be checked for compliance with NOP regulations. During Certification Check, small portions of the article may be rewritten to bring it into compliance. If substantial changes are made the authors will be contacted for review. After Certification Check, the article will undergo copy editing and then be published.

Video

eOrganic maintains a YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/eorganic, and videos are also embedded in articles at http://www.extension.org/organic_production. We also have a free online class in video production at http://eorganic.info/video.  For the video to be published by eOrganic, the storyboard of the video should be reviewed by 2 anonymous reviewers and checked for organic certification compliance. It is much easier to review a storyboard before the video production has taken place! In some cases, we may accept finished videos. All videos must meet the following minimum technical standards before being accepted:

  • Speakers voices are clear and audible with no background noise.
  • Good audio quality
  • Image not shaky or over- or underexposured
  • Audio should match what is being shown in the video
  • People must be properly identified in the video
  • Include Identifying slides (title slide, credits, sponsors) 
  • The title shouldn't be too long and should simply describe what is in the video
  • Authors must have permission to use images and footage in the video.
  • The video should clearly demonstrate something useful--not just show people talking.
  • Video content must be in compliance with National Organic Program regulations.

Create an article page for the video (see instructions for how to create an article above)  which will house the storyboard (first) and then the transcript and this page will eventually contain the embedded video.

Please include a transcript or caption file for hearing-impaired viewers, and also to improve the discoverability of the video. Please also sign up for an eXtension ID at https://people.extension.org/signup if you want the video to be published on eXtension in addition to the eOrganic YouTube channel.

If you have not started filming your video and you need help planning, producing, or editing your movie for publication on eOrganic, please contact Alice Formiga at formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu. She can help you plan the video and will have the storyboard reviewed to reduce the amount of editing after production.

Contact Information

For help, please contact your group coordinator, or Alice Formiga formigaa@hort.oregonstate.edu.