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Article Submission Guidelines


Are you a fish expert? Have you ever dreamed of writing for TFH? Submit an article idea today! Please follow these guidelines in preparing your submissions. Manuscripts should be submitted as email attachments to associateeditor@tfh.com.

Article Content
We are looking for good writing about interesting topics. It is important to be clear, precise, succinct, and organized. We do not pay by the word, so trim your prose as tight as possible.

Be accurate. Research your topic fully. Do not repeat hearsay or opinions; report facts. When drawing conclusions from personal experiences, be sure not to over generalize.

Proofread your material! Check spelling and punctuation. Watch out for homonyms. Use serial commas. Pay attention to restrictive versus non-restrictive subordinate clauses. Keep track of agreement and sequence of tenses.

CHECK SCIENTIFIC NAMES! We often get manuscripts with misspelled or incorrect scientific names. Do your homework and get it right. A good resource for scientific names of fish is www.fishbase.org. For invertebrates and other animals, a good resource is www.itis.gov/index.html.

Article Format
Please include a suggested article title on the first line of the manuscript and your name on the second line. You are responsible for the spelling of your own name.

Text should be left justified only.

The presentation of your material should be professional, indicating you understand the nature of publishable text. We often receive articles that are formatted to look nice on the screen, however, such formatting is applied during article design, and all of it must be stripped from the text before we can send it to the Art Department. Therefore we want plain text without formatting.

Most articles are between 10,000 and 20,000 characters-with-spaces long.

Please break up the text using subheads to categorize topics. Typically subheads appear at least every 2500 characters with spaces, but it depends on the nature of the text.

We prefer articles that are submitted with photos. Do not insert photos into the text. Photos must be submitted separately. For more information regarding photos, please visit our Photographer’s Guidelines page.

Use no formatting other than the italicization of scientific names. That is, do not use bold, underline, font changes, font size changes, font colors, all caps, centering, styles, page numbers, headers, margin adjustments, tabs, line spacing, paragraph indents, columns, or any other formatting.

Turn off widow/orphan control, margin changes, formatting, styling, bookmarks, and anything else that inserts codes into the text. These can create mayhem when the article is sent to design.

Use one space between sentences, not two as old-fashioned teachers will instruct.

Do not indent paragraphs. A single hard return <ENTER> will cue a paragraph break, even though it won’t necessarily show on the screen. Editors hate tabs! Do not use them, except in tables.

Italicize scientific names; it is a real pain to have to insert italics throughout an article. The genus name is italicized and has an initial capital, the species name is italicized and is all lowercase. Example: Poecilia reticulata.

Other taxa have the first initial capitalized but not italicized: Cichlidae, Mollusca, etc.

Common names of fishes are capitalized only if they contain proper names—albino tiger barb, Odessa barb, convict cichlid, Australian rainbow.

Be very sparing with tonal emphasis. Do not use bold or all caps to indicate emphasis. Use only italics, and very rarely.

Quotation marks are for direct quotes. They are rarely justified in other uses. If you are not quoting someone else’s words, it is very unlikely you need to use the marks.

Please only use references sparingly, if at all, and only if specific facts are cited internally in the form of (author, date).

Additional Guidelines
All articles must be submitted exclusively to TFH—if you have submitted the article elsewhere, or it is posted online, please do not submit it to us.

If we accept your article, you may not submit it to any other magazine, post it on a website, or otherwise reproduce it for public use. We purchase all English-language publishing rights to the article.

Please be patient. While we try to reply to everyone as quickly as possible, it may take some time to review your article. Emailing us once to check on its status is welcomed, but please do not email us constantly—we will get back to you.

While appreciated, submitting an article with photos does not guarantee that your photos will be used with your article. Sometimes we choose photos from other photographers to illustrate the topic.

Please note: Travel/collecting articles without photos will not be accepted.

For other questions, comments, or to submit an article please email the Associate Editor at associateeditor@tfh.com

We look forward to reviewing your submission!

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