Dispatcher's Office Submission Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in submitting an article for inclusion in the Dispatcher's Office publication. We rely on the contributions of our members to make an interesting publication that everyone will enjoy. To make sure the production process goes as smoothly as possible, we ask that you review this document to help us better serve you.

The Dispatcher’s Office is created electronically using professional layout/publishing software. All written material must be sent electronically in any common text editor format, including Word, Open Office, or plain text. If you are using a Mac, please save your document as a Microsoft Word document, as the native Mac formats do not open on PCs. 

Please spell check and grammar check your article before submission, this saves us time and effort. You can either use the spell/grammar checkers within Word or use a third party service like Grammarly. 

Photos should be submitted as high resolution (at least 12 megapixels) JPG or PNG files. Do not crop the images – we'll take care of that. PDFs are also acceptable for documents, but be sure that you have written permission to reproduce the documents, if appropriate. 

When taking photos, use the highest resolution possible, preferably at least 12 megapixels. Most modern cell phone cameras and digital SLR cameras will shoot at least this resolution or higher. If you have a small photo, don't try to enlarge it as you can't add image quality by making the photo bigger. If you have questions about a particular photo, please contact the editor for assistance.

Every photo, diagram, or other image should have a caption included. If you're referring to images/diagrams within your article, please reference them as “figure 1”, “diagram 2”, etc. and we will do our best to include the image near the text. However, this can't be guaranteed. Please include a separate file with the image/diagram captions in this format:

Filename.jpg: Figure 1 - A picture of the thing at the place. 

This makes it easier to match up the individual files with their corresponding captions. 

DO NOT embed photos in your article document. The photos get mangled/cropped and lose significant resolution. Also, be aware that due to layout needs, a photo may not be in exactly the place you expect if you were creating a PDF, for instance. Please reference images in your text as Figure 1, etc. without an expectation that they will immediately follow the line of text. We do what we can to get photos/diagrams close to the text, but we cannot guarantee that. 

If you want to have a photo considered for the issue cover, please ensure that you are providing photos in portrait format, in addition to landscape format. Converting a landscape photo to portrait is problematic at best. 

If you are creating diagrams, Powerpoint works best for track plans, etc. Doing diagrams in Paint creates low resolution images that are unusable. 

If you have the files in a cloud-based location (Dropbox, OneDrive, Box.com, etc.) please send a link to the shared folder. If you don't have one of these, contact the editor and he can set one up for you to upload your files into. This is far more efficient than having to mail one file at a time. 


Attribution and Copyright

Finally, you cannot simply download photos/images/diagrams from the web and submit them as your own. As a paid publication, we have to ensure that every image is properly credited and that copyright law is followed. If you get an image from someone else, that person or company needs to provide permission to use that image. Images in the public domain are acceptable, but please note that if you're using an image that has been marked as such. Please contact editor@opsig.org if you have questions about a specific case.