Guidelines for Authors on the preparation of a manuscript 2016

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The Stuart Rossiter Trust (‘the Trust’) is a Charitable Trust supporting research and publication relating to the history of communication through postal systems of the world. Authors of previously unpublished study on any aspect of postal history are welcome to approach the Trustees with a view to publication of the results of their original research.

The following Guidelines for Authors set the standard to which the Trust expects works produced under its imprimatur. These Guidelines may be revised from time to time and are referred to as ‘Guidelines’. The term ‘Work’ includes book, paper, pamphlet and article. The term ‘Author’ includes authors and contributors

The author of each individual book or article retains the copyright. If the author, or indeed others, propose to reprint a significant portion or all text or illustrations, diagrams, tables, graphs or maps from a work published by the Trust, prior permission must be obtained from the Trustees. Normally, permission would not be unreasonably withheld once stocks of the work have been sold by the Trust, or after three years have elapsed following the date of publication.

It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that they have obtained permission to include in their work any material, for example, illustrations, diagrams, text, maps, charts, lithographs, prints, auction catalogue illustrations that are subject to an earlier copyright and any excerpts of other copyrighted material or subject to Crown copyright, and that appropriate acknowledgement of the sources is included in the work. Accordingly, please ensure that you have obtained permission from Museums, Institutions, publishers, or from previously published work etc. for the use of any illustrative or textual material to be used in the book.  This is most important as the use of non-authorised material can become a matter of dispute. 

Acknowledgement must be made for each item, either under the relevant item or in the ‘Acknowledgements’ in the preliminary pages. If using other collector's items, please obtain their permission and ascertain whether they want their names specifically mentioned as being the owner of the item, or just in the general Acknowledgements, or maybe not at all.

Where efforts to identify the copyright holder resulting in failure to obtain consent to use the material have failed, an appropriate disclaimer must be included. In such a case the Trust should be consulted. An example of disclaimer might be expressed as follows: 

Although every effort has been made to trace and contact copyright holders this has not been possible in some cases. If notified, the publisher will be pleased to rectify any errors or omissions at the earliest opportunity.

 Where it is agreed with the Trustees that the author retains the copyright in the work to be published by the Trust, a statement along the following lines should be included on the verso of the title page to the work. 

Copyright © [insert author’s names] who is identified as the author of this work [insert year of publication]

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study or criticism or review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers and copyright holder.

Preparatory steps
An author is encouraged at an early stage to supply to the Trustees excerpts from the proposed work including the contents page indicating the likely pagination extent of each chapter or section, a specimen chapter of text and samples of illustrations, tables or other non-textual content. The Trustees will consider such proposal and indicate to the author whether it is a suitable subject for publication by the Trust.

Preparation of Manuscript and Style Notes
Manuscripts must be written in English, unless the Trustees received prior notice and have given their assent. Typesetting and style for any work should conform to the specific standards as set out in these Guidelines.

The text of articles can be produced in any form, however the following is preferred:
Preparatory excerpts from the proposed work may be submitted: 

  • in a Microsoft Word document attached to an email or
  • in any other Windows compatible format, saved as a pdf file or .txt file and attached to an email or
  • as a typewritten text printed in black ink on white unfolded A4 paper 

The near final and final texts shall be submitted in digital form: 

  • as a Microsoft Word document on a CD  or
  • any other Windows compatible format, saved as a .txt file.

 For typewritten text the font used by contributors does not matter for the purposes of the excerpts supplied to the Trustees at the preparatory stage. The proposal will be considered having in mind, inter alia, the most appropriate page format and font to be used. 

The use of CAPITAL LETTERS, or italic fonts throughout should be avoided. 

Tables should be included within the text as part of a normal word-processing document, or provided as a separate spreadsheet file. The preferred spreadsheet format is Microsoft Excel, although most IBM PC compatible formats can be handled.

Ideally, illustrations should be scanned in CMYK colour at 300 dpi and saved as tif files. These should be put on a CD. If illustrations cannot be scanned, photographs or high quality photocopies may be sent.

Each illustration must be clearly identified by an appropriate file title which includes the Figure number, or have "Fig x" written on the back in pencil if on paper. A short caption must be included with each illustration, map, diagram, etc. ideally no more than one line of text.

No illustrations should be saved as jpeg files, or otherwise be compressed, or re-scaled from a compressed file. Under no circumstance must original material be sent to the Trustees. 

Typesetting / Style Instructions
The Trustees adopt the following standards, based on The Oxford Guide to Style – The style bible for all writers, editors and publishers, Oxford University Press being a revision of Hart's Rules for Compositors & Readers at the University Press Oxford and Philatelic Literature Compilation Techniques and Reference Sources by James Negus and published by James Bendon. Authors are strongly urged to follow these standards to minimise subsequent changes.

English language
The preferred dictionary for the English language is The Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors (Second edition, 2000) for reference. Care must be taken to check spelling, grammar and punctuation and to ensure conformity to the style instructions in these Guidelines. This is primarily the author’s responsibility.

Variant spellings
Use -ise spellings, not -ize spellings: for example, decimalise, specialise, etc., not decimalize, specialize, etc. Avoid combined words that have been shortened, such as couldn't, don't, wasn't, weren't, etc. These words, if used, should be spelt out in full. 

Specific spellings:xxxxxxxx

Right Wrong
air mail airmail
bluing blueing
canceller cancellor
centring centering, centreingzzzzzzz
checklist check list
collectables collectibles
datestamp date stamp, date-stamp
De La Rue De la Rue
dispatch despatch
gram gramme
handstruck hand struck, hand-struck
Luxembourg Luxemburg
post office postoffice, post-office
prepaid pre-paid
selvage selvedge
spelled spelt

Cite book and magazine titles in italics with no quotes, thus:
Maritime Disaster Mail or The London Philatelist.

Cite names of ships, trains and aircraft as books, thus: the Colombo, the Royal Scot, the Concorde

When an acronym appears before a ship name, HMS RMS SS MV, it will be in upright capitals without full stops, thus: HMS Tennant, RMS Queen Mary. 

In normal text, dates must always be written in day month year format, with the month being spelled in letters rather than numbers. Using 2 February 1955 as an example 

months not abbreviated not 2 Feb 1955

no -st, -nd, -rd, -th        not 2nd February 1955, not 2nd February 1955
no preceding 'the'          not the 2 February 1955
no leading zero             not 02 February 1955
century always given    not 2 February 55

Date ranges should be expressed using the words 'from' and 'to'.
from 2 to 8 February  Not from 2 - 8 February, and not held 6 - 8 February.

An exception to this is in tables where the month name can be shortened to the first three letters. A further exception is when quoting, for example "the postmark reads 6.2.40".

When quoting dates the Trust would expect the English style of dates to be used, i.e. day/month/year. The US style of month/day/year can be confusing in publications in Britain.

Where quoting a datestamp, it should always be quoted as it appears struck, i.e. JY 20, not 20 JY if it is struck month/day.  If month is in roman numerals, i.e. XII, quote in roman numerals, do not transcribe to arabic or letters, because that would not be a ‘quotation’ from the datestamp.

Centuries are given in numerals with no capitals, thus:
19th century  not nineteenth century, not 19th Century.

Decades are either given in numerals with a plural s without an apostrophe or in words with an initial capital, thus:

1890s  not 1890's,  Twenties  not twenties.

Numbers & Currencies
Numbers are spelled out completely if less than 11, thus:
one, two, three, ... ten  not 1, 2, 3, ... 10

Numbers greater than ten are always expressed in digits. Commas are to be used to separate thousands from 10,000 upwards, thus:
12  not twelve,  1234  not 1,234,  12,345         not 12345.

A million is 1,000,000; a billion in present day use is 1,000,000,000.

Currency amounts are treated as ordinary numbers with respect to the use of commas for thousands.

Weights and Measures
Weights and measures will be given in metric units unless quoting historical information. For example the size of a postmark will be given in millimetres. Units should be abbreviated as follows, always without full stops (apart from inches, where a full stop is exceptionally used to avoid confusion with the word "in"), thus:

gram g
ounce oz
pound (weight) lb
millimetre mm
inch in.
foot ft

Unlike ordinary numbers, figures up to ten will be given in digits, not spelled out. One space should be present between the number and the unit. No -s will be added for plurals, thus:

15 mm  not 15mm, 5 oz  not 5 ozs.


Figure Fig. with capital and full stop
Number No. with capital and full stop
Titles Use Mr Mrs Ms Miss Prof St (ie no full stops)
Honours Use VC FSIAD BSc no full stops, not separated from name by commaIn particular, fellows of the Royal Philatelic Society will be stated as Mr A.N. Other FRPSL
Latin ie eg etc viz  use lowercase without full stops
  BC AD  use capitals without full stops
  am pm in times of the day use lower case without full stops

Philatelic Abbreviations
Lowercase letters, with full stops, thus:
c.d.s.             circular datestamp
f.d.c.             first day cover
perf.              Perforation

Capital letters, no full stops, thus:

ABPS         Association of British Philatelic Societies
APS           American Philatelic Society
BPF           British Philatelic Federation
BPT           British Philatelic Trust
FIP           Fédération Internationale de Philatélie
FRPSL       Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London
GB            Great Britain
GPO          General Post Office
NPS           National Philatelic Society
NZ             New Zealand
PCGB         Philatelic Congress of Great Britain
PMG          Post Master General
PTS           Philatelic Traders' Society
RDP           Roll of Distinguished Philatelists: plural RDPs
RPSL         Royal Philatelic Society London
SG            Stanley Gibbons
UK            United Kingdom
UPU          Universal Postal Union
US            United States

Common Philatelic Misspellings
Colombia               Columbia (country in South America)
discoloration          discolouration
fluorescent flourescent
Gandhi                   Ghandi
Gibraltar                Gibralter
Gilbert & Ellice Gilbert & Ellis
Hanover Hannover
Jeffery Matthews Jeffrey Matthews
naphthadag            napthadag
Philippines             Phillipines
QE II  QE 11
Romania                Roumania
Romania                Rumania
Tristan da Cunha  Tristan da Cuhna
vermilion  vermillion
Waterlow               Waterloo (printer)
Wedgwood            Wedgewood
Zemstvo                 Zemstov

Use a single line of text for captions to illustrations, maps, diagrams or charts that are inserted close to relevant explanatory narrative. Where it is necessary to add a reference, then add at the opening of the line for the caption Figure [no.]. If this needs to be highlighted use bold font. Where reference numbers are stated, the author should take care to ensure that the same reference is given in the text that refers the reader to the illustration; likewise the references listed elsewhere in the work must also correspond accurately.

Preliminary pages (called ‘ Prelims’)
These are most important and are often printed in the wrong sequence. A sequence of prelims is set out below.

(see attached suggested layout of Half title and title page)
Left-hand page       Right-hand page
- i           Half-title
ii          blank 
(sometimes used for a Frontispiece illustration)  
iii         Title-page
iv         Reverse title-page  v          Dedication
vi         blank   vii        Contents
[NB: this is not an Index, but the Chapter headings with their pagination.]
viii       Contents [cont.]   ix         Foreword 
x         Foreword [cont.]   xi         Preface & Acknowledgements
xii        Preface & Acknowledgements [cont.]     

NB: That makes a total of 12 pages in multiples of four. These preliminary pages are subject to some condensing/expansion depending on what is needed for each specific book.

In addition there may be up to four pages of text supplied by the Trust about itself and its work.

The next following page may well be the first page of Chapter 1 or the first page of an Introduction. In either case that page would begin on the righthand side. If this means that a white blank page arises, it is a good idea to juggle with the prelims to avoid this, possibly inserting an illustration as a Frontispiece

Where a dedication is to be included, it is usually placed on a page after the verso of the title page, that is on the right side after the page behind the title page. The overall pagination of the prelims can be easily finalized once the work is nearing completion..

ISBN (International Standard Book Number
An ISBN number (13 digits from 1.1.2007) will be allocated at the appropriate time by the Trust. This is almost the last thing to do as the books should be allocated numbers in sequential order of printing for the publisher, the Trust.

ISBN CIP (Catalogue in Publication) Form
Inclusion of ISBN CIP is an essential, as the book is then on Nielson Book Data (formerly Whitaker Information Services) who are the UK authority on books in print and issue the sequences of ISBN numbers. Neilson issue an extensive and comprehensive listing of all books in print, a listing of which booksellers generally have a copy. The Trust will complete the CIP form and this will be sent to the Author to fill in any blanks if necessary shortly after publication.

Quoted passages of text from other sources
If using more than a couple of lines of quoted material from other works, probably one of the most satisfactory ways of delineating the quote is to indent the left and right hand margins by about 2 spaces and start and finish with “.....”.

You can, if the quoted text needs highlighting or bringing especially to reader's attention - indent both margins and type in italic, but in that case do not use quotation marks at the beginning and end.

Use double quote-marks for quotations: He said “Be consistent."
If the quotation itself includes another quotation, use single quote-marks inside double ones. The paragraph above read "He said, 'Be consistent'."

The first word of the initial paragraph of a chapter is not indented.

The first word of a sentence is always spelled out, never abbreviated.

Wherever possible the use of foreign phrases in text stated in the English language is to be avoided.

Including footnotes on the page on which they appear can be intrusive and sometimes, if quite long, can take up more space than the text to which they refer. Where there are many footnotes or they are detailed notes, they should be set at the end of each chapter.  Should the footnotes be very extensive, it may be preferable to set a complete section at the end of the Work before the bibliography and index. There all footnotes can be included chapter by chapter and if the index is being prepared at the end of proof-reading, so page numbers can be included to indicate where in the text the footnotes relate. They can go at the end of the body of text chapter by chapter.

References and Bibliography
Other essential components are a list of references and a bibliography. It is usual to place the list of References followed by the Bibliography at the end of the text and before the Index.  References will be denoted in the text by number, thus:

Higlett when in his youth collected butterflies and was a member of the City of London Philatelic Society.2

References to books
1. Hoggarth, Norman, & Gwynn, Robin, Maritime Disaster Mail, Bristol, 2003, x + 352pp,
ISBN 0-9530004-4-3
2. Fryer, Gavin, Higlett Bijou Bibliography, Woodham: Gavin Fryer, 1997, page 7.
3. Rossiter, Stuart & Flower. John, The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, 336pp,    ISBN 0-356-10862-7.

References to periodicals
4. Fryer, Gavin, “Great Britain Definitive Forgeries 1993-2004”, Fakes, Forgeries Experts,
    number 11, Copenhagen: Postiljonen, 2008, page 49.
5. West, Roger, “Zululand Specimen with Detached Triangle”, The London Philatelist,     volume 117, page 172, 2008.

Bibliography listing books, articles and other sources of reference relevant to the content of the Work will usually be listed in alphabetical order for the author’s surname, stating:
    Author’s surname, forename or initials, title of source shown in italics, place of     publication,
    name of publisher, date of publication and ISBN number.

Index to the Work

The Trust considers a good Index to be an essential. The production of an index can be done using appropriate computer software, or manually. The latter is time-consuming if to be of any use.  It is the last task to do before final proof-reading of text.  Insertion of cross-references within the text referring a reader to another part of the book should be seldom used and only where it has significance. Otherwise if pages and text are altered after that reference has been inserted, and no adjustment is made a reader will be thoroughly confused.

Unless numerical references under a single entry in an index are very long, the Index to be set in two columns and be set in a smaller typeface than the body of the text.

First time Authors

Authors who have not prepared a book before may find the Notes for Inexperienced Authors available from the Trust’s website helpful.

The Stuart Rossiter Trust
Contact details Corresponding Trustee: email:
By E-mail: see this website and either complete the 'how to apply for funding' or the 'contact us' form.

Date September 2008




;       © Copyright Stuart Rossiter Trust 2008





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