Submissions

Table of Contents

1. General

           a. Author Copyright and Licensing Agreement

           b. Length

           c. Article’s Purpose

2. Content

          a. Tagging Content

           b. Level of Sophistication

           c. Opening Summary

           d. Structure of Articles on People

           e. Structure of Articles on Topics

3. Style

           a. Formal Style

           b. Simple Style

          c. Minimize Use of Quotations and References

          d. Stylistic Conventions

4. Format

          a. Table of Contents and Section Headings

          b. References and Bibliographies

          c. Hyperlinks

         d. Graphics, Photos, and Charts

         e. Description of Author

         f. Acknowledgments

5. Miscellaneous

         a. Sending Articles and Pictures

         b. Authors Who Are Non-Native English Speakers

         c. Editing After Acceptance

        d. Atypical Review and Publication Delays

1. General

a. Author Copyright and Licensing Agreement

The author of an article enters into an agreement with the Encyclopaedia on Family and The Law (the EFL), such that:

  1. The author grants exclusive and perpetual license to the EFL to use and distribute the article through Internet media.
  2. This license covers the present version/edition of the EFL, all future versions/editions of the EFL, and all derivations of the EFL in the present media format as well as other possible formats such as new EFL sites, printed works, DVD, and CD ROM.
  3. The author receives no financial payment for his/her article from the EFL.
  4. Authors retain copyright to their article and the right to publish the article in a format that does not compete with the EFL in nature and scope. Authors must inform the EFL editor-in-chief of any secondary publishing opportunity and also inform the secondary publisher about the author’s prior agreement with the EFL.  You, as the author, can use all or any part of your EFL article elsewhere. However, you need to be careful that you do not accidentally sign over the copyrights of that material to your publisher whose standard contract may say that none of your material be published elsewhere. If this happens, then the EFL could have to remove your article. The best way to avoid that is by including an acknowledgement somewhere in your new article or book that says that the passages in question are revised versions of articles in the EFL and appear in your book by permission of the EFL.
  5. The EFL reserves the right to grant permission to reprint articles at the request of third-parties (such as universities or book publishers), and will prioritise third-party publications which are in keeping with the non-profit and educational mission of the EFL; for-profit requests will be deferred to the author.
  6. The EFL reserves the right to discontinue using an article. This might be required for various reasons, such as if the author is not able to revise the article and the editors determine that a revision is needed.

b. Length

Articles should be between 750 – 8,000 words.

c. Article’s Purpose

The purpose of your article is to present information relating to UK family law (and the laws of other jurisdictions where appropriate). Opinion pieces and critique of the system are welcome, but must be, as is required of all articles, factually and legally accurate. Your article will explain the topic in clear, accessible and simple language that the average reader can understand, and it will present the important distinctions, the main results, and the main points of view on controversial issues. Your article should call attention to related topics and should provide some references in case the reader wishes to read further on your topic.

2. Content

a. Tagging Content

All articles should be presented with a heading or title, followed by a list of topics, or tags that the article touches upon. For example, if your article is on contact in divorce cases in the family courts, you might place the following tags under the heading: TAGS – Divorce, contact, children, UK courts. If your article is an opinion piece, please include ‘Opinion’ as one of the tags so that the article is clearly identifiable as critique rather than a general encyclopaedic article. If your article is research-based, please add the tag ‘Research’ and so on. Please also add the word ‘TAGS’ in capital letters before adding the tags themselves, as above. This will greatly help readers wishing to search for content or who are just looking to browse through the encyclopaedia.

b. Level of Sophistication

The Encyclopedia’s articles should be written with the intention that the article can be understood by members of the general public as well as professionals working inside the family justice system. The EFL articles are written by experts but not exclusively for experts. For topics that are unavoidably technical, the goal should be to make the early parts easy-going so that the layman reader will still profit from reading much of the article.

c. Opening Summary

Preceding the table of contents, the beginning of each article should contain a summary of the article in 200 to 500 words. The purpose of the summary is to give readers a quick overview of your topic. You have three goals to achieve simultaneously: (1) to convey some understanding of your topic to those readers who will read the summary with no intention of reading the entire article, (2) to say something intriguing that will make readers want to continue reading beyond the summary, and (3) to give readers who do intend to read the full article some idea of the territory ahead.

Here is what not to do in the opening summary. Do not focus primarily on saying your topic or the featured individual is influential and important. Instead add more information about what family law contributions have been made and how. Put yourself in the shoes of a reader who may not read your article in full but only its opening summary and who wants to learn something about what issues are covered and in what manner. For articles on individuals, focus on what theses individuals defended, or cultivated and what style was used when approaching the task or ares represented. It would be preferable not to include quotations and citations but to make your points in your own words. The more detailed quotations and citations can be included later in your article.

d. Structure of Articles on People

The body of the article should begin with a biography of the individual in question, for example a biography on a judge or policy maker. The bulk of the article will consist of a discussion of the individual’s main contributions in the field; in most cases a topical presentation of this material is preferred over a strictly chronological presentation. The discussion might include influences on the individual, traditional criticisms of that individual, and this indiviual’s impact on others. You are encouraged to include a copyright-free picture with your own article.

e. Structure of Articles on Topics

The opening sentence of the summary paragraph should be a general definition of the term being used, such as, “The term ‘adoption’ means to take a child into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child.” The opening of the article body should say something about the origin of the term, the context in which the term is used, or alternative definitions of the term. Where appropriate, include traditional criticisms of the terms in question.

3. Style

a. Formal Style

All articles should be written in a formal, yet simple style, such as that used in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Please avoid slang.  Avoid reference to yourself, as in “I find this argument to be unconvincing,” or “As I’ve shown in the previous paragraph….”

b. Simple Style

Articles should be written in a straightforward style that is accessible to the general reader. Although the EFL may be visited by legal professionals, users of the EFL may also be families currently engaged with the family courts or members of the public who have a general interest in family law. To best serve these latter users, authors should minimize unnecessary technical vocabulary.

c. Minimize Use of Quotations and References

The expectation is that authors will paraphrase and interpret and not primarily excerpt or quote. Do not adopt the attitude that every claim needs to be supported by a reference (that is, a citation). Encyclopedia articles are different from journal articles in the sense that they aren’t expected to defend all their remarks, but rather are expected simply to lay out the accepted wisdom on the topic. If an article has a decent annotated bibliography, then the EFL would publish the article even if it were to have no in-line citations. On the other hand, sometimes it can be helpful to readers of an encyclopedia article to offer citations or references for key points; the editors won’t remove any of these if they are included.

d. Stylistic Conventions

Spelling and punctuation using U.K. English conventions (rather than U.S. English conventions) are preferred. Footnotes and end notes are not allowed. Convert any footnotes into in-line citations to the bibliography. Avoid using underlining or bold face, and restrict special font formatting to italics. Be sparing in your use of italics for emphasis. Minimize the use of in-text references such as “…as we shall see in section (4) second paragraph below and also in section (6).”

4. Format

a. Table of Contents and Section Headings

When your article is formatted, the sections headings in the body of the article will be generated automatically from the table of contents. So, if you’ve changed your article by adding a section since you composed your table of contents, that section might be missed during the formatting process. Ditto for a change in the heading (headline, or title) of a section. For typical articles, those between 4,000 and 10,000 words, please use between 5 and 15 section headings. Less than five will make the article difficult to follow. More than 15 will make the contents list too complex and, in most cases, make some of the sections too short and thus appear visually awkward.  Use capitals and small case, not all capitals.  Use of subheadings is optional. The final heading of the article must be called “References and Further Reading.”

b. References and Bibliographies

Bibliographies should be brief and, preferably, annotated. The heading for the bibliography must be “References and Further Reading,” but it may contain subheadings.  Typical subheadings are “Primary Sources” and “Secondary Sources.”  Italicize all names of books and journals; do not use underlining.  Do not use dashes in place of author names, although this is commonly done in journals. Do not include references that are forthcoming.

c. Hyperlinks

When appropriate, include hyperlinks in your article to other EFL articles. You may simply indicate where hyperlinks are inserted; you do not need to include the actual html coding. However, do not include any hyperlinks to non-EFL web sites. The EFL aims at being a self-contained resource, rather than a link list. Also, because external links require continual updating, we hope to avoid this time-consuming task.

d. Graphics, Photos, and Charts

Authors are encouraged to include graphics in their articles, provided they do not infringe on copyrights. The graphics (including photos, charts and tables) need to be in either .jpg or .gif format.

e. Description of Author

Your name will appear at the end of the article along with your email address and your organisation’s, firm’s or charity’s name.  Do not include your title (for example, “associate professor”), your department name (for example “Department of Law”), your organisation’s street address, or your personal webpage address.

f. Acknowledgments

Do not include acknowledgements to colleagues who provided input on your article, nor to institutions that provided you with funding.

5. Miscellaneous

a. Sending Articles and Pictures

If possible, please send your article in MS Word as an e-mail attachment, and add attachments for all the graphics, photos, and charts. The editors will then reformat the article to fit the standard EFL graphic design and layout.

If you submit your article along with a photograph to be used in your article, then you should send the general editors a note asserting that the photo is in the public domain and so no longer under copyright or that you are the photographer and that you and the person photographed agree that the copyright for the photograph will belong with the author and the Encyclopaedia on Family and The Law. The version of the photograph that would appear in the EFL might be resized or altered in some other way, to fit with our formatting style.

b. Authors Who Are Non-Native English Speakers

Authors who do not speak English as their primary language or joint primary language must have their articles revised by a native English speaker, or equivalent, prior to submission.

c. Editing After Acceptance

The acceptance process for articles is described in the Submissions section, below. After acceptance, the EFL staff copy edits the article before publication, but the author is not sent proofs, as is the case in journal articles. Instead, the changes are made, and the article is provisionally posted in the Encyclopaedia; then in the early days of the publication (before Google and other search engines re-index the EFL site to include new articles) the author is notified and encouraged to read the article and request changes.

After the article is submitted and accepted by the area editor, who is the editor responsible for a particular field of family law, he or she may make minor stylistic changes that are intended not to affect the article’s content. The area editor has the right of final acceptance on all articles they review. In carrying out a unified plan for the entire EFL, area editors may solicit additional peer reviews of submitted articles, and request that authors make additional changes. At any time the area editors may also alter article titles and revise the opening summary of articles. After your article is published, feel free to come back in later weeks or years and request further changes, including changes of content. You may make any minor content changes you wish. Major changes in content should be approved by the area editor. Examples of major changes would be the elimination of several paragraphs covering a particular topic, the addition of a lengthy discussion of a new topic, or a reorganization that requires addition or deletion of a heading or subheading in the table of contents. A minor change is one that improves the presentation of a point and that does not involve the alteration or removal of a heading or subheading. To keep our staff from reformatting [re-HTML-izing] the entire article from a word processor document, we request that authors make minor changes by sending the area editor a list of desired changes in an email or an attached Word document. For more major changes or extensive minor changes, authors are encouraged to make changes directly to the HTML source code after saving the posted document. You may access the HTML source code through various web browsers; with Internet Explorer, this is done by going to “Page | View Source” in the pull down menu. We request that you revise the HTML source in either Wordpad or Notepad; doing so in Word, WordPerfect, or an HTML conversion tool often will introduce stray HTML codes upon saving.

d. Atypical Review and Publication Delays

Authors should contact their editor in chief if, after submission, there is an unusually long delay at a particular juncture in the process from the article’s initial submission to its final appearance on the EFL website. While we strive to maintain an efficient production process, occasionally there are unexpected delays as a result of scheduling issues with our all-volunteer staff. In the rare event that this occurs, the author should send a follow-up email if there is a delay of more than one month at any given stage.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Submissions

Submitting an Article for Publication

Contributors are kindly asked to email the editor-in-chief with requests for submissions to The Encyclopaedia on Family and The Law. Most articles should be 750 – 10,000 words. Prospective authors may submit articles which correspond to the topics present in our index and may also propose articles on family law subjects which have not yet been included in our index. Please search for the articles already published to avoid duplicating a topic (use the search box or browse the alphabetical index).

When contacting the editor-in-chief, please indicate:

  1. Your professional, academic or other credentials and your full name and title, including the name of the organisation, firm, charity or acedemic institution you currently work for
  2. The provisional title of the proposed article, and
  3. A tentative (and realistic) date of completion; 4 weeks is typical, if the article has not yet been completed but this can be extended

If you are asked by the editors to write an article, please read our terms above, for information on article format, style, and the licensing agreement. Authors should submit their documents in Word format. If there is a special need, such as with articles written in special word processors that facilitate logical and mathematical equations, we will accept HTML file submissions, but those HTML files should contain minimal HTML tags and should not be generated simply by using the “save as HTML” command within MS Word. Graphics and photos should be separate attachments in jpg or gif format.

How Publication Decisions Are Made

After your article is received, the initial acceptance decision will be made by the area editor, with advice from referees, and will be based on the quality of the article, with special attention given to the accuracy of the coverage of the topic, fairness to alternative positions, and clarity for the intended audience of legal professionals and academics as well as those who are not specialists in the field.  Submitted articles are blind reviewed by academic specialists and are subject to four possible decisions:

  1. acceptance in its current form with no revisions;
  2. acceptance contingent on some revisions;
  3. rejection with an invitation to revise and resubmit;
  4. rejection with no invitation to resubmit.

Most submitted articles require at least some revision in form or substance before acceptance. Initial acceptance decisions by the area editors are subject to final approval by the editor in chief. This includes both the article content and the title.

Revising Your Article after It Is Published

The best routes to indicating what you want changed is to send the editor-in-chief a list in Word of what should be changed, indicating the section and paragraph number. You can contact the editor-in-chief via email at Sobk13@gmail.com.

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