ArmyCommunicator
THE OFFICIAL HOMEPAGE OF THE US ARMY SIGNAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
United States Army Signal Center of Excellence
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Signal Knowledge Network (CAC REQUIRED)
Signal 2010 Sharepoint (CAC REQUIRED)
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Signal Lessons Learned (CAC REQUIRED)
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Editorial Policy and Philosophy

This webpage provides information on editorial policy and philosophy for potential contributors to Army Communicator magazine.

Shortcuts to topics this page:

Mission and philosophy
Article subjects
Coordination with the editor

Related webpages/topics:

General writer's guidance:

How to submit an article
Notes on "department" updates
Book reviews
References

Manuscripts for AC:

Manuscript length
green square bullet General manuscript requirements and formatting

AC style manual:

green square bullet The Army writing standard
green square bullet Style (general guidance)
green square bullet Article sections
green square bullet Clarity index
green square bullet Writer's guide to style (specific guidance)

Mission and philosophy

AC also strives to be "forward-looking." We're at the dawn of a new century and the beginnings of Army and Signal Regiment transformation. Many exciting things are taking place in the Regiment. Article subjects should therefore be current and relevant. Writers may share "good ideas" and "lessons learned" with their fellow Signaleers, as exploring better ways of doing things remains a high emphasis with AC.

If an article subject is significant and pertains to the Signal Regiment and its diverse activities, as a rule of thumb we'll consider it appropriate for publication. We'll also consider subjects which are of interest to the broad spectrum of Regimental personnel. Our mission and philosophy, in fact, prescribe the scope of subjects which AC will address. Article subjects include (but aren’t limited to) technical developments; tactics, techniques and procedures; how-to pieces, practical exercises, training methods and historical perspectives (AR 25-30, Paragraph 2-3, b). However, we only occasionally publish historical-type articles; these aren’t the norm. Historic events tied with current events/trends/topics are appropriate, such as the Fall 2001 edition’s article on the Army Pictorial Service and its connection to today’s information operations.

We seek lessons-learned articles which will enhance understanding of current Signal operations. The magazine's heart is material dealing with doctrinal, technical or operational concepts. We especially solicit progressive, forward-thinking and challenging subject matter for publication. In addition to conceptual and doctrinal materials, we encourage manuscripts dealing with maintenance, training or operational techniques.

"Good ideas"/lessons-learned articles should have two closely related themes: one, what did you learn from what you did? The second theme is: what is most important for others to know, or what will you do differently in the future? Include only the pertinent information on how you did it so someone else can repeat what you did. Don't include a "blow-by-blow" of your whole deployment. The article's emphasis should be that your unit has a good idea or some lessons-learned to share.

If you have questions regarding the appropriateness or scope of a subject, query the editor.

Article subjects

Department updates are "Signals," "Doctrine update," training updates, book reviews and the Training and Doctrine Command systems manager updates provided by each TSM. Signal Center subject-matter experts provide all these except book reviews.

The aim here is a terse update -- there should be no information repeated from any previous AC. The combined word count for the entire department's submission should be about 500 words.

If a subject warrants more coverage and it hasn't been discussed in a previous AC -- a new program, procedure, or piece of equipment or system would be candidates for exception -- contact the editor for discussion about the update's submission as a regular AC article. Email ACeditor@conus.army.mil;  telephone (706) 791-7204 (DSN 780).

Coordination with the editor

So there will be no confusion about coordination and communication with the editor, the following information is provided.

Since AC comes out once a quarter, you should never write anything for it (or any similar publication) that will expire within a few months. There is some “lag time” for any quarterly to publish a manuscript. For some branch professional publications, there is a lag time of up to a year. Compared to most professional publications, AC’s lag time is very small.

We publish most of the manuscripts we receive. Therefore the editor does not respond when a manuscript is submitted unless specifically requested to do so. You will hear from the editor regarding your manuscript only if there are questions or problems (and remember the lag time; please don’t be impatient). Please update the editor on any changes to the information contained on your cover letter. Otherwise, we adhere to the “no news is good news” approach.

We do not send edited drafts back to the writers, as our masthead states that this publication reserves the right to edit. (This is true for most publications.) It is not the editor’s responsibility to coordinate the edited draft back to the writer. The writer may query with whatever concerns he/she has, and these will be taken into consideration.

When you submit a manuscript, submit it to only one publishing outlet at a time. If that outlet “releases” the manuscript (turns it down for publication), you are free to send it to another publishing outlet. This practice especially applies to AC and a publication such as Signal magazine, which belongs to a private organization (AFCEA), to avoid possible copyright issues. (Signal is copyrighted, whereas AC is not.)

Above all, if you’re not sure about a policy, criteria or guideline, ask the editor.

Having said all this, it’s not that difficult to be published in AC – unless you flagrantly disregard the “rules.” Remember that your reader will want to read a well-written article relevant to him or her, so write for him/her.

15th

POC

Commander, USASC&FG

ATTN: ATZH-POM (Army Communicator)

Bldg 29808A (Signal Towers), Room 713

Fort Gordon, GA 30905

(706) 791-7204 (DSN 780)


 Email Web Administrator

Last Modified: 08/23/2011