Editorial Policy

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The goal of the ENVIRO.wiki is to make scientific and engineering research results more accessible to the target audience, facilitating the permitting, design and implementation of environmental projects.  

Target Audience

Our primary target audience is entry to mid-level staff, who directly implement environmental projects. This includes site owner representatives, regulators, consultants, stakeholders, and contractors. To effectively communicate with this group, the wiki needs to:

  1. Provide results in an easy to access form. In general, articles should be a few pages long, providing a concise presentation of the State-of-Practice and relevant research results in an easy to read format with good visuals.
  2. Articles should be structured with sufficient headings and sub-headings so the user can quickly jump to the relevant section(s). Paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence to be easier to quickly skim.
  3. While some theory or background may be necessary, articles should focus on applied, usable results. Only provide readers with best, most recent references. Explicitly point out changes in practice and issues, and areas where older research results are no longer relevant.

The first group of articles prepared for the wiki were focused on soil and groundwater remediation. The wiki is now being expanded to cover a broader array of topics including environmental restoration, energy and water, resource conservation and resiliency, and munitions response. While the wiki will include a broad array of topics related to environmental management, articles that focus on current policy, regulations, and toxicology are discouraged.

Types of Articles

Most articles in the wiki are expected to follow an ‘encyclopedia’ format, providing a concise summary of current information. Articles should focus on areas where general scientific consensus has been reached. All information presented should be verifiable, through authoritative peer-reviewed sources. Whenever possible, authors should provide references that link to BOTH peer reviewed publications and public domain documents available for download. Shorter ‘technical note’ articles may focus on a specific tool, computer program or technique. These technical notes are intended to provide an easy to access portal for users to locate tools. In some cases, videos or gifs, or other tutorials will be included to train new users.

All articles should include the following sections:

  • Article title. Article titles should be very short and indicate the article content. The article title defines the page name, and as a result, no two articles can have the same title. The ideal article title precisely identifies the subject; it is short, natural, distinguishable and recognizable; and resembles titles for similar articles. Additional guidance on titles can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Article_titles.
  • Headline paragraph that concisely summarizes the article
  • List of related articles within ENVIRO.wiki (wiki staff will make final selections)
  • List of Contributors with contact information and a brief (2 to 3 sentences) biographical sketch for each contributor.
  • Key Resource(s). Authors should consider ‘Key Resources’ to be a recommendation of the one or two references that readers should consult for additional information.
  • Multiple technical sections presenting the body of information.
  • Summary
  • References. Authors are encouraged to cite both peer-reviewed journals and publicly available documents that can be downloaded.
  • See Also. This is a list of additional websites and resources for additional information. Only include websites that provide significant value.

Authors are also asked to provide one or more linking phrases that are used to identify when a link to this article should be in other articles. For example, whenever another article uses one of the phrases “chlorinated solvents”, “chlorinated volatile organic chemicals” or “CVOCs”, the wiki office will automatically insert a link to the article titled “chlorinated solvents”.

Review Process

Authors are asked to send all correspondence by email to the wiki editorial office (wiki office) at editor@enviro.wiki. When a new article is received, the wiki office will review the article to ensure completeness and then forward it to the appropriate editorial board member (editor) for review. For most articles, editors are encouraged to obtain one outside review of the article. For shorter technical notes, a single review by the editor may be appropriate. Once the reviews are complete, the editor will forward a single set of comments to the wiki office. The wiki office will then forward these comments to the author, along with any additional requests or questions regarding figures, tables, references, etc. All correspondence with the wiki office should be sent to editor@enviro.wiki.

The wiki office will correspond with the authors to assist them in completing the requested edits. Editors will be copied on all correspondence, so they remain aware of the status of their articles. The wiki office may send periodic reminders to authors, to ensure that articles stay on schedule. In some cases, the wiki office may request that editors contact authors to encourage them to finalize their submissions.

Once the article revisions are received, the wiki office will ensure requested revisions have been made, review for grammar and punctuation, format, add references, and upload the article to the website. Unless requested by the editor, articles will not be sent out for a second review cycle. Once uploaded to the website, authors and editors will be notified by email that the article is up and asked to complete a final review.

Future Updates

Each of the articles on the wiki will be assigned to one editor to monitor. Whenever possible, articles will be assigned to editors within their technical specialty. Editors will be encouraged to review their articles and update them as new, important research results become available. We anticipate that each article will be updated at least once every 2-3 years. Editors should submit their edits in a MS Word doc, and then office staff can make the changes to the wiki.

Occasionally, outside authors will conduct a major revision and update of an existing article. When this occurs, the revision will go through the normal article review process. In addition, the original article’s author will be asked to review the update or revision.

Authors of major reviews and updates will be added to the contributors list. Editors that make minor revisions will not necessarily be added to the contributor list.

ENVIRO.wiki Article Submission Checklist

Rule of Thumb: Please peruse existing articles on http://ENVIRO.wiki/ to get a sense for the layout, scope, length, and various components associated with each wiki article as listed here:

☐ DRAFT Article(s) title

  • Wiki staff will provide revised title consistent with wiki naming conventions

☐ Headline paragraph

  • 2-5 sentences – condensed abstract that quickly tells readers what article is about

☐ List of related articles within ENVIRO.wiki.

  • Wiki staff will provide in revision comments

☐ Complete contact information for every contributor

  • For each author; full name + any credentials you’d like after your name (e.g., P.E.), physical address, email, phone number, and personal/professional webpage url

☐ Key Resource(s)

  • This is your recommendation to reader of the 1 or 2 best references for more info.

☐ Figures / Tables

  • Provide Figures and Tables to compliment the article text. Make sure to refer to any Fig/Table at least once in the text. Figures are especially encouraged.

☐ Summary paragraph

  • Include a short, final paragraph that pulls everything together and expresses the main take-home points of the article

☐ References (confirm all references are included, same date as in body of article)

  • Can cite peer-reviewed literature / publically available documents; we encourage citations of ESTCP-SERDP-funded work where possible
  • Provide references in same format as they appear on the site’s existing articles

☐ See Also

  • List at least 2 additional / related resources available online

☐ Linking Phrase(s)

  • Identify one or two common phrase(s) that can be used to link to your article in existing articles; these phrases will be turned into a hyper-link to your article. E.g., “soil vapor extraction” or “SVE” will be hyper-linked to the article with the same name.