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Extension Publications Manual

This manual addresses educational materials developed and published by faculty and staff of University of Tennessee Extension, the outreach unit of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Extension faculty also publish in many other venues, including books, textbooks, professional journals, etc. The guidelines for those materials are established by their respective publishers and should be followed. This Policies and Procedures Manual is intended as a guide for authors who are developing materials for publication by UT Extension. Such published materials may be print, electronic, or both. They are intended for primary distribution to the citizens of Tennessee, as an integral part of the educational programs of UT Extension.


Revised August 2012

All Tennessee Extension peer-reviewed materials are classified and issued in one of the following numbered series:

  • 1. Extension Publication (PB)—a booklet, manual or curriculum printed for general distribution or for specific audiences within the general public. Generally eight pages or longer.
    • Requires submission to reading committee for peer review (normally three content specialists). If the publication is intended for a youth audience, the peer review committee should include a state 4-H youth development staff member.
    • After peer review comments are sent to author, the department head must approve publishing of the material.
    • Normally developed as a fee-based item unless supported by grant, gift or departmental funds. If fee-based, the publication will be listed on the Extension e-Marketplace website for sale of printed material; e-Marketplace fees and sales tax should be included in the price.
    • Print version stored and distributed by the Ag Campus Publications & Services office.

For adult audiences:

  • Also posted on Extension publications website for no-charge online viewing/download.

For youth audiences:

  • Posted on the Extension 4-H website for no-charge online viewing/download. (For additional information, see pages 7-9.)

2. Special Publication (SP)—Smaller publications, charts, posters and other program materials for general distribution or for specific audiences within the general public. Generally shorter than eight pages.

  • Requires submission to reading committee for peer review (normally three content specialists). If the publication is intended for a youth audience, the peer review committee should include a state 4-H youth development staff member.
  • After peer review comments are sent to author, the department head must approve publishing of the material.
  • Print version stored and distributed by the Ag Campus Publications & Services office.

For adult audiences:

  • Also posted on Extension publications website for online viewing/download.

For youth audiences:

  • Posted on the Extension 4-H website for online viewing/download. (For additional information, see pages 7-9.)

3. Web Publication (W)—educational/informational materials that exist only in electronic format. For adult audiences:

  • Requires submission to reading committee for peer review (normally three content specialists).
  • After peer review comments are sent to author, the department head must approve.
  • Posted on Extension publications website.

For youth audiences, Web publications are developed and published differently:

  • Requires submission to reading committee for peer review (normally a subject-matter specialist and a member of the 4-H youth development staff).
  • After peer review comments are sent to author, requires approval by both the author’s department head and administrative approval by the 4-H youth development department.
  • Posted on 4-H youth development website, under Projects. (For additional information, see pages 7-9.)

4. Newsletter —material designed for targeted audiences, produced on a regular schedule (quarterly, semi-annually, etc.)

  • Does not require peer review.
  • Requires approval of department head for initial issue; handled routinely thereafter.
  • May be printed, electronic or both.
  • Normally numbered by volume (year), then issue number. (For additional information, see page 10.)

5. Extension Form (F)—administrative forms, record books, enrollment cards, certificates, report forms and all other forms for general or limited distribution.

  • Requires approval of department head.
  • Stored and distributed by department or Ag Campus Publications & Services office.

6. Departmental Publication (D)–small, online-only publications, fact sheets or other materials produced by departmental specialists. Usually one to three pages front and back.

  • Does not require peer review.
  • Author will use provided templates to flow in text, photo(s) and graphic elements. Completed template will be sent to Marketing & Communications editor.
  • The editor will proof the document and a graphic artist will perform an art check.
  • The editor will assign a D number and upload the publication to the Extension publications website.
  • The author will receive an electronic copy of the completed, numbered publication.

One of the publication editors in Marketing and Communications will assign all numbers for printed and electronic peer-reviewed materials. State printing numbers (based on account numbers) are also requested from the University Printing and Mail online system by the publication editor as part of the publishing production process. The state printing number must appear as a part of the indicia (EEO statement) on the outside cover of all printed Extension materials. UT Extension faculty and staff also produce a variety of non-numbered materials. These are developed by faculty and staff as needed to meet program needs. Some of these include:

Programs and Brochures—designed for limited distribution; may be tied to events.

A. Do not require peer review.

B. Stored and distributed by the department. (For additional information, see page 10.)

All numbered Extension educational publications (PBs, SPs,Ws and Ds) should have an author’s name listed prominently in the publication, either on the inside cover or within the first pages of text. If more than one person authored the material, the senior author should be listed first, others following, grouped by departments if possible.

For new publications, the current author(s) should be listed.

For reprints, the following categories apply:

  • If the author is still on staff, no changes.
  • If the author has recently left or retired, the author’s name will continue to be used until the material is revised. A current contact person may be added to the publication if needed.

For revisions, the following categories apply:

  • If the previous author has left or retired, the new author may review the existing material and revise it.
  • If the revision is minor, both the new author revising the material and the previous author will be listed as authors. The previous author’s credit will be listed after the current author and may include either “former” or “Emeritus” if applicable, and may also include “Originally written by” if applicable.
  • If the changes are major, the new author(s) who are revising the material will be listed as author(s) (not the original author). The original author will be acknowledged separately on the inside front cover or other appropriate position as the original author of the material. A major revision also requires review by a new reading committee.

A determination of whether revisions are major or minor will be made collectively by the author(s) and the senior author’s department head. A corresponding author may be identified for a publication if one or more of the authors are not connected with the University of Tennessee, or if they are students who may have left the university.

The use of word processing and desktop publishing software has allowed each Extension author to create documents that look quite professional, including a variety of photographs, graphic elements and images. However, this creates a problem when the material is submitted to a committee for peer review.

It is very difficult, and in some cases impossible, to make editorial changes and suggestions on a document that has already been formatted — often single-spaced, in columns and with graphics inserted into the copy. The reviewers have no room to write comments and questions.

An additional problem: In some cases, documents submitted for peer review have already had design/layout and illustrations added. When peer review is completed, and authors make changes based on reviewers’ comments, the layout and perhaps the images must also be revised, creating additional work (and expense) for the author, the editor and the designer. Accordingly, all authors submitting materials for peer review should prepare their manuscripts in the following manner:

  1. Text should be double-spaced.
  2. Text should not be set in columns, unless required by tables included in the manuscript.
  3. Indicate in the text where photos and illustrations should be placed in relation to text, but do not insert and wrap text around them. Images should be sent either separately or at the end of the document, with figure numbers/captions noted for each.
  4. Prepare tables as you wish them to look, but please use no smaller than 8-point type.
  5. Place only one space after a period.
  6. Do not type text in all caps. Use caps and lowercase instead.
  7. The preferred style used by UTIA is Associated Press. Authors may purchase the current AP Stylebook at the UT bookstore to use as a reference.

  1. The senior author submits a master copy to his/her department head for peer review. (See procedure on previous page.) The author may submit recommendations for reading committee members (usually three persons) to review the material. If a proposed manuscript is for a 4-H audience, the reading committee should include one 4-H Youth Development staff member and/or one regional program leader.
  2. The department head reviews the manuscript and the suggested reading committee members. If approved, a copy of the manuscript is forwarded (hard-copy or electronically) to each member of the reading committee, with a letter requesting each member to review the manuscript for appropriateness and content. Normal time for peer review is one month. After their review, reading committee members reply with a letter outlining their comments and suggestions to the department head and author, and send the revised (marked) manuscript to the author.
  3. After all comments by the peer reviewers have been received, the author decides which changes he/she wishes to incorporate into the manuscript. Author and department head discuss the manuscript. If the department head approves publication of the material, decisions are made regarding format (print, electronic or both). The author then initiates a printing authorization form (ADMF-76). The author completes the top third of the form; the department head signs the middle portion of the form, authorizing the publication and, if necessary, the expenditure of printing funds. The department head may request estimated printing costs prior to his/her approval. (A publication editor from Marketing and Communications may assist in obtaining cost estimates.)
  4. The manuscript, any accompanying images and the completed printing authorization form (ADMF-76) are sent to a publication editor in Marketing and Communications.
  5. The author(s)meet with a publication editor to discuss printing/production needs. Both hard copy and electronic copy of the material are provided to the editor, along with photos, suggestions for illustrations, etc. The editor completes the final section of the printing authorization form and signs it. A copy of the signed form is returned to the senior author for his/her records.
  6. The publication editor assigns a PB/SP/W number if the manuscript is new, and performs a final edit. The editor applies for a state printing authorization number from the UT Graphic Arts online system, based on the account number and account name provided by the department. (This number will appear on the finished publication, immediately above the EEO statement on the back cover.) The project is assigned to a graphic artist for layout, design and illustration. The artist works directly with the senior author to design the material.
  7. When the designer completes a publication design, the senior author receives a PDF first proof copy, usually by email. It is the responsibility of the author to proof the material for typos and other necessary changes.Changes should be noted in red. After proofing, the author returns the hard copy proof to the graphic designer handling the job.
  8. After the author’s corrections have been made, the senior author receives another final proof copy to verify that all needed changes and corrections have been made. This is the author’s last chance to make corrections prior to publication. The final proof is merely verification that the corrections have been made; no revisions or additions should be made to the final proof.
  9. After final author approval, the designer sends the approved electronic file to Graphic Arts. The publication editor completes the Graphic Arts paperwork and sends it, along with a hard copy of the material, to Graphic Arts for publishing. A copy of the Graphic Arts job order is sent to the author so he or she is aware the publication production has been completed and the job is being printed. The publication editor also places the electronic version of the pub on the Extension publications website.
  10. When printing is completed and copies are delivered to the Publications and Services office, the publication editor will email the author, department head, administrators and all county and regional Extension offices, notifying them of the publication’s availability,both online and in print,including any limits on copies or if a publication is for sale. (Reprints do not require notification — they are for re-stocking purposes only.)
  11. Note:When revising or reprinting an existing publication (PB, W or SP), authors should check with a publication editor to determine if the Marketing and Communications office has an electronic copy of the material. Many publications are several years old and may not exist in electronic format. The material will then have to be scanned or retyped by the author.

  1. All newsletters, programs and brochures, while not requiring peer review, must follow all other procedures outlined below. Current printed newsletters are quarterly issues, with material due approximately the first of December, March, June and September. For distribution and printing efficiency, any additional printed newsletters should follow this schedule. For new electronic-only newsletters, authors should check with an editor in Marketing and Communications to develop a specific schedule for production.
  2. Existing newsletters, programs and brochures are prepared by the author. If materials are to be printed, budget approval must be given by the department head. A hard copy and an electronic copy are sent directly to the publication editor for editing and production. The average time for production (including editing, layout, proofing and corrections) is two weeks. Printing requires additional time —at least two weeks for newsletters, usually a week for quick-copied items. Please allow adequate time for production and printing.
  3. All materials (except subsequent issues of an established newsletter) should be accompanied by a printing authorization form (ADMF-76), signed by the author and the department head. The publication editor will also sign the form, and return a copy to the author.
  4. If a program is a repeat from last year with minor changes (and was prepared in Marketing and Communications), please contact the appropriate publication editor to check if the information is on file. If so, you will be advised how to prepare the manuscript for production. If not, the material should be submitted (both hard copy and electronic copy) just as any other publication, including a printing authorization form.

Tennessee Extension is a non-profit organization. We do not sell publications to make a profit. Rather, the purpose is to enhance or expand our educational programming beyond what we can do with appropriations, grants, gifts and contracts.

The decision to sell a publication and the amount to charge for a publication are determined on a case-by-case basis by the author(s) and the senior author’s department head in consultation with a publications editor. These decisions should be guided by the following points.

  1. Printed publications more than eight pages long that are not intended for limited resource audiences and that are not supported with grants, gifts or revenues generated from fees will be sold at a price that recovers costs.
  2. A publication should be priced to recover printing, handling and shipping costs, sales tax and e-Marketplace fees. No overhead or development costs should be included.
  3. To determine a ballpark estimate for the unit price of a publication, calculate the following: (Cost of printing x 2) + shipping + 15% (includes sales tax & e-Marketplace fee)
  4. Publications paid for with grant, gift or contract funds can be sold if the purpose is to accumulate funds for future reprinting. Permission to sell publications should be included in the grant, gift or contract agreement.
  5. County Extension offices will pay 50 percent of the sale price of a publication for use in their educational programs. Cost should be recovered through user-fees for the programming.
  6. At their discretion, county Extension offices may recover costs of printing a for-sale publication using their equipment and supplies.
  7. Specialists and the author(s) of a publication will also receive a 50 percent discount. Money received from sales will be credited to the senior author(s) unit. Shipping costs, sales tax and e-Marketplace fees will be paid by the senior author(s)’ unit.
  8. Extension programs are open to all regardless of individual ability to pay. Provisions should be made for low-income individuals who may not be able to afford to buy for-sale publications.
  9. All for-sale publications will be available from the Extension publications website, where they may be downloaded and printed for free.