Heather Darata

Heather Darata

Story Vault

By Heather Darata

We love hearing from you. That’s right, your feedback lets us know that not only do you read the Journal, but that you care what we publish. At times, we feel like we write, edit, and lay out the Journal in a vacuum. Without hearing from you, our readers, it can be hard to know what we’re doing right, and conversely, what we could do better.

Sometimes, you might not have a lot to convey except that you had a favorite or least favorite article in the issue that you just finished reading. Other times, you might notice something that needs to be brought to our attention.

We can’t do this without your help. Column submissions give your fellow readers a chance to hear it from you—what you’ve found that can make your job (and theirs) easier or an issue that affects the dispatch community. We welcome guest columnists and also Your Space articles.

With that said, we do have guidelines for submissions that we’d like you to keep in mind. Please be sure that your work is original. If you do take ideas or information (such as statistics) from another source and incorporate them in your article, please ensure that you include source citation (we can help you with how to cite your source).

We take plagiarism seriously. We’ve added new steps to our existing editorial guidelines, specifically regarding plagiarism. Going forward, if we believe that something published in the Journal has been plagiarized, we will investigate it. If we find that it has been plagiarized, we will contact the author and his or her agency. Then we will include a statement in the following issue of the Journal.

Please keep that information in mind when preparing your submissions and be sure to read the guidelines in their entirety. I have covered only part of what our guidelines outline. Columns and Your Space articles should range from 600–625 words, including attribution. We ask that you submit a high quality head and shoulders photo and a short bio (about 50–75 words) to run in our Contributors section. Also, if you’re submitting a Your Space article, please send us a high quality photo of the dispatcher featured in the article.

Be aware that all stories—whether written by Journal staff or contributors—are sent through the editing process. We reserve the right to edit for length, content, and clarity. After your article has been edited, we will email you the final draft for your review. Please check it for accuracy only. If there are any issues or questions, we ask that you let us know within three days.

Again, we strongly encourage and welcome your feedback and submissions going forward. We work hard to keep the Journal relevant, useful, and interesting, but we’re open to a helping hand.