Before you start drafting your course script, please take time to read these guidelines below. They are intended to provide you with the practical guidance you will require to supply your script in a way that will make production a straightforward process. If you have any queries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Layout and formatting of text for Premium courses
Where we are producing a course for you text should be supplied electronically, in word-processed form, preferably using MS Word.
The course script should comprise the following elements:
- Title page, showing contributors’ names and affiliations (company, country)
- Learning objectives
- Main text (split into chapters and sub-headings; including insertion points for all figures/tables; including References/Bibliography at the end of each chapter (see References))
- 2 recap exercises
- 10 Multiple choice exam questions
- About the contributors (short biographies ~ 300-500 words each) *
- Acknowledgements/List of contributors*
Layout and formatting of text for Short courses
Before building the course, we must have an MS Word script saved in Dropbox comprising of the following elements:
- Title of the course
- A short description of the course
- At least two learning objectives
- Main text between 400- 1500 words with headings highlighting the different lessons
- 2 Multiple choice exam questions
- Acknowledgements/List of contributors
Each course must include an 'About this course' lesson that includes the author of the course/article and a full reference to the copyright license of the article used to produce the course.
Any styling of page layouts (e.g. fonts, margin styles, heading styles) will be removed prior to producing a draft of the works. For this reason, contributors are encouraged to apply a minimum of styling to their script however it is important to use a consistent style throughout your text: For emphasizing text, use bold or italic, not capitals or underlining. Avoid hyphenating words at the end of lines. Be careful to use one space only between words and sentences. Leave a single-line space between paragraphs so that each paragraph can be easily identified; there is no need to indent the first line of a paragraph. When using the tab key, use it only once and adjust the tab positions to suit your purpose.
Avoid the use of automatic text formatting options, such as heading numbering – these can cause problems when converting text for our production team. Do not use footnotes or endnotes.
Use a consistent system – hierarchy in which levels of headings are clearly discernible; for example A-head, B-head, C-head and D-head. All headings should be on a separate line and first words of each heading only should be capitalized. You may use heading numbering but please qote this may be removed.
Use British English spelling (Oxford) throughout, although 'ize' endings will be used rather than 'ise' and ‘sulfur’ will be used rather than ‘sulphur’.
Spell out in full in first mention in the text followed by abbreviation or acronym in brackets. Use lower case when spelling out in full except where it is a noun.
For general use in the text please spell out units, abbreviate when preceded by a definite quantity. Use SI units correctly. No full points after abbreviations and there should be a space between numerals and units.
Take care when referring to job titles to impose consistent and correct use of initial capital letters. When referring to an engineer in general, the title does not require a capital letter, whereas if the reference is to the specific role of Engineer as defined in a contract it is usual to capitalize the term. Different contracts refer to specified roles in different terms so please take care. (Also applies to: a client/the Client, a contractor/the Contractor, etc.
Simple, single line equations and mathematical formulae can be set directly in Word. Each equation should be on a separate line. An equation editor programme should be used for more complex equations (LaTeX files can be accepted). If contributors wish to set mathematics to a higher level they should use the following conventions: Scalars in italic, Vectors in bold italic, Matrices in bold roman and Letters attached to scalars which do not themselves have values (e.g. subscripts) should be roman
Ideally, all special characters (Greek, mathematical symbols, etc.) should be set using an equation editor, even where single characters appear in the text. If you have problems producing equations or special characters you should identify the required symbol within the document or on a hard copy of print out of the page.
Unless otherwise agreed, your tables and illustrations will be produced in black and white and this should be considered when preparing your tables and illustrations. Tables and illustrations should be numbered in two separate series, each using a consistent system and ideally sub-divided by chapter: e.g. Figure 2.3, Table 3.4, etc. All illustrations and tables must be referred to (cited) in the text. Please clearly indicate in the text where each table and illustration should be inserted.
Consider the size of the screen resolution for digital products when preparing large tables and selecting which illustrations to include – it may not be practical to fit a large table onto a single screen, large-format plans or diagrams may become illegible when reduced to fit a smaller screen.
Provide captions for all tables and illustrations at the end of each chapter or as separate text files (this is preferred to the inclusion of captions within the text), indicating the number and content. Captions for tables and illustrations that are not original to the contributors must include a reference to the original source (see Copyright/Permissions).
Tables should be supplied electronically in an editable format, preferably using MS Word or MS Excel. Tables can be included at the end of each chapter, or as separate files. Avoid the use of complex layout instructions.
Do ‘embed’ illustrations within text (MS Word) files, so that we can understand where it sits withn the course, but we require a separate copy of the image as the embedded image will reduce the reproduction quality in the final course. All illustrations should be supplied separately; either as electronic files or as hardcopy (see section on Preparation of illustrations).
Line illustrations are those that contain only lines and text, with some areas of solid colour or tint, e.g. graphs, pie charts, flow charts, plans, diagrams. BI can accept figures as either electronic figures format files or hardcopy sketches (see below).
The preferred format is EPS (encapsulated postscript) at 600 dpi. This format allows for illustration correction/alteration and re-sizing by us without any loss of quality. TIFF format is suitable for figures that are to be re-lettered, though resolution should be at least 600 dpi at final size – TIFF format files may lose quality when enlarged, so please aim to supply TIFF format figures at final size (or larger). The principal advantage of EPS over TIFF is that the annotation in EPS files can be edited, whereas in TIFF files the annotation is part of the graphic and cannot be directly edited. The following should be considered when preparing artwork:
- Lettering should be prepared in a consistent font (ideally Arial); where necessary we can re-letter.
- Type size should be consistent, and allow for reduction/enlargement of the figure (type size after re-sizing should be 7pt)
- Spelling, punctuation, etc. must be accurate and consistent (with other illustrations and the text)
- Supply individual figures and individual parts of multi-part figures in separate files.
- Do not use tints of less than 20% or more than 80%.
- Use a consistent and obvious file naming system.
- Avoid supplying AutoCAD and CorelDraw files.
If contributors do not have access to illustration facilities, or the illustrations are very simple in format, contributors may provide rough illustrations for us to work into publishable quality images. Contributors should supply a clearly drawn sketch of each figure on white paper, ensuring that any lettering is legible and that any important features are clearly identified. The sketch will then interpret be interpreted into a form consistent with our house style and suitable for printing.
‘Halftone’ is the term used to describe illustrations that are made up of continuous tones, but which are broken down into small dots to produce the illusion of continuous tone. In practice this term applies to reproduction of photographs, but may also be relevant for maps, engravings, X-rays, or diagrams that include continuous tones or tints.
If halftones are available to you as electronic files (e.g. photographs, screen shots, computer-generated images), please note the following guidance: TIFF format is preferred. Digital camera images should be taken at a minimum of 1.5 megapixels (approx 1400x1100 pixels). Provide images at a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots or pixels per inch) at the final published size. (Enlargement or reduction of images will affect the final resolution – 300 dpi is required for a good quality of reproduction.) If images require large areas to be cropped this should be taken into account when setting resolution. Greyscale images are preferred to colour for black and white reproduction.
If you do not have the images in electronic format, contributors are requested to supply original hard copies of such items, with an indication of how the images should be cropped and orientated (if not clear). Ensure originals are of good quality and contain good definition and contrast. Avoid supplying images that are already printed halftones (e.g. newspaper cuttings or pictures taken from other books, journals, brochures etc). Black and white (b/w) originals are preferred for b/w reproduction. Transparencies are preferred for colour reproduction. Label photographs clearly with the figure number and indicate on a photocopy or overlay sheet any annotations that are to be added to the image.
A full reference list, listed alphabetically by first contributor, should be set at the end of each chapter using the Harvard conventions. For multi-contributor references, list all contributors up to five. If six or more contributors, list first three and add ‘et al’.
All references must be cited in the text by citing contributor surname and year in parenthesis e.g. (Dempsey and Jones, 1999). For references with more than two contributors use ‘et al.’, e.g. (Dempsey et al., 1999). When citing more than one reference, list references chronologically and separate with a semi-colon, e.g. (Dempsey, 1996; Jones, 2001; Dempsey et al., 2007). For organisations, use the common abbreviation if available in the text, with the abbreviation and the full name in the reference list: ‘(WHO, 1986)’; WHO (Word Health Organisation) (1986).