About Us - September 2005

Unsolicited Manuscripts

We occasionally get unsolicited manuscripts for the newsletter. Sometimes we print them. Hereís what you need to know if you want to submit an article for the newsletter.

Although it isnít apparent to those who read the newsletter on-line, Disclosure is a ďsix-page newsletter.Ē That may not be apparent to those who get the printed newsletter, either, because it is often eight pages, sometimes 10, and once it was even 12 pages. But we try really, really hard to keep it down to six pages.

Since it is a NEWSletter, it is current event driven. If something significant pops up in the popular press, or in the scientific literature, we will address it immediately. That means that sometimes a good, planned article gets bumped at the last minute because there isnít room for it. There is one article that has been delayed almost a year because every time it is scheduled for publication, something more urgent comes along.

So, if your essay isnít printed promptly, it doesnít mean it isnít good. It might mean it isnít timely. We keep good articles waiting in the wings in case it is a slow evolutionary news month (fat chance), or in case the article happens to be relative to something in the news.

Editors generally think they can improve any authorís submission. I am no exception. But, after I rewrite your article, I will send it back to you for your approval before publishing it. After all, it is your name on the article, so we want you to be comfortable with it.

We donít open Microsoft Word documents, because they might have nasty macros in them. Send us the article in plain text. If we decide to use it, and if it needs pictures or diagrams that canít be sent via plain text, we will tell you how to send them to us later.

Of course, we donít publish everything we receive. We know you donít want to get a letter saying that your article ďdoes not meet our editorial needs at this time,Ē but that might happen. Thatís the chance authors take.

Some people send us emails telling us about articles in newspapers or on the web. Often we get duplicate notices about a particular story. Thatís fine. We would rather have five people send us the same link than take the chance of missing something important. You can expect a short note of thanks from us, but we donít usually have time to write a detailed response to the article. The link might be referenced in a future essay, and we really do appreciate you taking the time to send it to us.

We get more email asking for advice than we can handle. If your email is of general interest, we answer it in detail in the newsletter. More often than not, you will just get a two or three sentence reply acknowledging your question, and perhaps a very brief answer.

So, keep sending us all that good stuff, but realize that every month we get more good stuff than we can use.

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