Guidelines for Blog Contributors

Thanks for your interest in contributing to I&A’s blog! We ask that you follow the guidelines below when drafting your post. If you have any questions, please email

Length: 700-1,000 words.

Tone: We seek different perspectives and encourage you to write in your own voice. We ask that authors be respectful of others with posts and comments.

Author Bio: All posts should be accompanied by an author bio and, if you’d like, a photo. Author bios should be 40-50 words and may include links.

Images: We encourage images in posts! Please make sure you have the right to use the images you would like to include: use your own images or use images with Creative Commons licenses and credit the creators. Please follow these guidelines for any images you might want to include in your post:

  • Provide the highest possible resolution version of the image(s), in JPG, PNG, or GIF format.
  • Send us the following information with image(s):
    • Suggested caption text:
    • Title of image:
    • Creator:
    • If applicable, Creative Commons license type:
    • Source URL:

File Format: Please send all submissions as a Word document, Google doc, or in the email body to or the current blog coordinator.

Editing: A Steering Committee member will review your post and help you with any edits and questions prior to publication.

Copyright & Licensing: You retain copyright for your post. By submitting it to the I&A Blog, you agree to license the content to the Issues & Advocacy Section under a CC-BY-3.0 US license.

Corrections: Mistakes are sometimes inevitable. If an error is identified in your post, we will work with you to correct it quickly and strike through any modified text.

Style & Grammar: In general, the I&A Blog follows The Chicago Manual of Style. A few specific tips: Follow the headline-style capitalization rules from The Chicago Manual of Style:

Capitalization of Titles:

  1. “Capitalize the first and last words in titles and subtitles…and capitalize all other major words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions—but see rule 4)
  2. Lowercase the articles the, a, and an.
  3. Lowercase prepositions, regardless of length, except when they are used adverbially or adjectivally (up in Look Up, down in Turn Down, on in The On Button, to in Come To, etc.) or when they compose part of a Latin expression used adjectivally or adverbially (De Facto, In Vitro, etc.).
  4. Lowercase the conjunctions and, but, for, or, and nor.
  5. Lowercase to not only as a preposition (rule 3) but also as part of an infinitive (to Run, to Hide, etc.), and lowercase as in any grammatical function.
  6. Lowercase the part of a proper name that would be lowercased in text, such as de or von.”

Citations: Cite sources, projects, or quotations you reference, but don’t worry about using formal academic citation styles. We prefer endnotes: simply list the following information for your source: title, creator, date created, date accessed, and URL.

These guidelines are based on the following excellent resources:

  • A List Apart. “Style Guide.” Accessed 2014-10-05.
  • Toda, Mitch and Effie Kapsalis. “The Bigger Picture: Exploring Archives and Smithsonian History Blog Guidelines.” 2013.
  • Many thanks to the Electronic Records Section and Wendy Hagenmaier for allowing the I&A Blog to adapt their blog guidelines.

 Updated April 2017 by Stephanie Bennett