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"Editorial Policy" 23 November 2011. http://www.pavementinteractive.org <http://www.pavementinteractive.org/editorial-policy-2/> 2 June 2015
Pavement Interactive Editorial Policy
Pavement Interactive is an encyclopedic resource site for the transportation industry. It is built by and for transportation professionals to provide accurate, unbiased information about important pavement-related topics.
Types of Content
Pavement Interactive combines permanent reference material with fresh news and information on current developments and industry trends. It can also host sponsored content that is relevant to the industry and takes an informational approach. Key characteristics for each type of content are outlined below.
- Encyclopedic, well-referenced information
- Balanced and objective presentation
- Resource for anyone in the transportation industry needing to research specialized topics
- Expert review for accuracy and thoroughness
News and Information
- Covers current or emerging trends
- Focus on specific topics
- May express opinions, but should do more than just editorialize
- Expedited editing and review so material remains fresh
- Clearly identifiable with the sponsor
- Distinct look and feel to distinguish it from regular Pavement Interactive content
- Handled separately from the site editorial process
- Focus on informing and educating rather than marketing
Pavement Interactive publishes content after it has been reviewed to make sure it meets the standards of the site. Each type of content has a separate publication process tailored to the needs of the material.
Reference articles are given an initial review by Pavia Systems to help the author create a polished version. This is then submitted to the Pavement Interactive content advisory board for approval. Based on feedback from the content advisory board, a final version is then developed for publication.
News and Information
The review of news and information articles is handled internally by Pavia Systems to ensure publication while the material is fresh. An external review can be added to the process if a particular reviewer’s expertise would be helpful and can be expeditiously arranged. The goal of the process is to ensure that readers are provided with timely and accurate content.
Sponsored content does not require a review process, other than verifying that the nature and scope of the content is suitable for Pavement Interactive. If any corrections are needed for issues such as spelling or grammar, the sponsor approves all edits prior to publication.
Pavement Interactive authors bring a wide range of knowledge to the content they create. For a given article, author qualifications may include:
- Recognized expertise in key subjects for the transportation industry
- A track record of relevant academic research
- In-depth work experience dealing with the article topic
Pavement Interactive coverage focuses on best practices, important developments related to current events, and emerging trends across the industry. Subjects of particular interest include:
- Topics that affect how the industry currently operates
- Implications for potential changes in the future
Additional guidance for authors of each content type is provided in the dedicated sections below.
The audience for Pavement Interactive crosses many different industry sectors, so an article should not expect the reader to have specific advance knowledge. Basic familiarity with the transportation industry can be assumed, but for any essential information that is not explained within the article, links to appropriate Pavement Interactive articles should be provided for background. Imagine that the reader is someone whose work is related to the industry, but deals with issues unrelated to the article topic.
Point of View
Topics should be presented in a neutral and balanced fashion. Stating things as fact is okay if the information is well-known or based on widespread industry consensus, such as conventional best practices. Otherwise, references to supporting information such as research studies need to be provided.
If possible, discuss principles and concepts, rather than recommending a particular approach if it is not a generally accepted standard. Describe different options instead of favoring a specific one if both are equally valid. Assume standard equipment will be used—if the topic is specialized enough that specific manufacturers or proprietary approaches are involved, cover them as necessary without endorsing them.
Article titles should use the name you would give to an encyclopedia article on the subject. A concise, direct statement of the main topic is normally sufficient.
Incorporate suitable topic headings into articles and follow an outline structure if appropriate.
Article length should allow for comprehensive coverage of the topic, and may vary from one article to the next. However, articles that exceed 2,000 words in length may need to be more concise, and consideration could also be given to whether the material can be divided into multiple articles.
When citing references within the text, include a basic citation in parentheses (author’s name, year) following the text for which it is a reference. Full bibliographic information for the reference should be provided at the end of the article.
Links to related topics in Pavement Interactive are encouraged. Incorporating links into the text directly is facilitated by using simple, straightforward titles as explained above. This is preferred over segregating links into a “See Also” section.
Select appropriate terms related to the article that can serve as tags or keywords. See existing Pavement Interactive categories for a sense of where the article will fit relative to other site content.
News and Information
Pavement Interactive articles are written for the transportation industry, but may also attract a general interest audience. For broader application, summarize any specialized knowledge needed to understand the topic, or link to appropriate Pavement Interactive reference material. Any concepts that cannot be covered by providing links need to be explained without assuming any particular knowledge on the part of the reader.
Point of View
Articles may include some degree of opinion, but cannot be pure editorials. Factual accuracy is essential, and the primary function should be to inform the reader about developments they may not be familiar with. Stating a view that advocates for the importance of the topic is fine, since it ties into the reasons for writing about the subject. Use greater caution in expressing opinions that would challenge mainstream attitudes or take sides within the industry.
News and information articles are intended to provide a snapshot of the state of affairs for a particular industry topic. To engage the reader with the subject, the article should create a narrative that puts current practices and potential changes in context. For example, an account of actual experiences on a specific project is one possible approach that could be used to explore a topic.
Keep the topic relatively narrow and focused, so it can be covered comprehensively without getting too elaborate. Since articles will be open for comments from the public, it may be appropriate to invite readers to share their experiences dealing with the topic.
The article should have a title that resembles a magazine or newspaper headline. Use a few words or a phrase that captures the essence of the subject and grabs the attention of the reader.
Incorporate suitable topic headings to break the material into sections. These can act as mini-headlines and advance the narrative created by the article title.
A typical news-style article will run about 500-1,000 words in length.
Identify sources being cited within the narrative of the article. If necessary, a bibliography can be provided at the end of the article.
To provide relevant background information, include links to reference material from Pavement Interactive as part of the article. This will allow the article to focus on its specific topic while maintaining an appropriate length.
Select appropriate terms related to the article that can serve as tags or keywords. Use topics rather than headlines as category terms, and see existing Pavement Interactive categories for ideas.
Sponsored content creates an opportunity to present a tailored message to a transportation industry audience. This material will be clearly labeled as “Sponsored Content” or “Special Advertising Section” at the top and bottom of the page.
Point of View
Content may be written to promote the sponsor’s perspective, but without making unjustifiable claims. Keep the following limitations in mind:
- The text should not refer to Pavia Systems or Pavement Interactive, or imply that it is endorsed by them.
- If explaining how a product or service fits in the competitive landscape, do so without disparaging competing products and services.
Sponsored content may not be misleading, discriminatory, or otherwise unlawful. Pavia Systems reserves the right to reject sponsored content submissions that are deemed inappropriate.
Examples of recommended approaches that could be used as a basis for sponsored content:
- Technical papers and research studies
- Safety instructions or other parts of a comprehensive user manual
- Thorough description of a problem and how a particular product or service helps address it
- Narrative covering the implementation of the product or service
- FAQ with detailed questions and answers
- Product diagram with explanations of parts and operational principles
The following materials are inadequate for sponsored content:
- Marketing brochures
- Testimonials, particularly when they merely endorse a product or service rather than providing substantive information about it
- Specs or price sheets
Avoid writing for search engine optimization. Consult Pavia Systems directly if you want particular SEO terms and headings used.
Select a title that identifies the main topic or can serve as a headline for the article.
Incorporating topic headings at suitable intervals is recommended. This will break the material into easily digestible chunks for the reader.
Sponsored article length is variable. Contact Pavia Systems for sponsored content rates.
Photos, charts, and graphs may be included with descriptive captions if they can serve as illustrations for the text. Advertising graphics should not be included, but a small sponsor logo may appear at the top of the page.
Content should use a standard writing format. Trade names may be capitalized as proper nouns if appropriate, but will not be bolded, written in all-caps, or designated with a “TM”.
Links will not be included in the text. A single link to the sponsor’s website may be provided in a byline or at the bottom of the post.
Select appropriate terms related to the article that can serve as tags or keywords. See existing Pavement Interactive categories for ideas of category terms to use.