Contributors Guidelines

Contributors’ Guidelines

Key Publishing Ltd

Terms and Conditions of Acceptance and Contributors’ Guidelines

Contact Points

Address material to the appropriate editor and magazine to: Key Publishing, PO Box 100, Stamford,
Lincs, UK, PE9 1XQ. Tel: +44 (0)1780 755131). Email: refer to individual magazine website, or see the
‘Contact’ page on the Key Publishing website:

Conditions of Acceptance

The editors are always happy to receive contributions. Please note that all material sent to an
editor/Key Publishing is forwarded at the contributor’s own risk. While every care is taken with
material, neither the editors nor the Publisher can be held responsible for any loss or damage incurred.
All material submitted (especially photographs and slides) must have the contributor’s name and
address clearly marked upon it, and a stamped addressed envelope should be enclosed. In the case of
both unsolicited and commissioned feature work, the contribution can only be deemed as being
accepted on receipt of a letter of confirmation from the editor – this will be a communication other than an acknowledgement of receipt.

Please note that Key Publishing cannot accept any liability for damage/loss of equipment/belongings,
personal injury/loss of life incurred, or Third Party claims, whilst undertaking either unsolicited or
commissioned work for any of its titles. Applications for press facilities at events can only be made after consultation with an Editor and in that case invariably arrangements will be made by Key Publishing on behalf of a writer/contributor.

The editors reserve the right to cut copy (reduce the length of an article) and rewrite or otherwise
modify it if they deem it necessary. We draw your attention to the need for all contributed work to be
original and subject to proper research and presentation. ‘Cutting and pasting’ material from websites
or printed media and reproducing it within text is wholly unacceptable, and potentially illegal. The
contributor may be liable for any expense incurred by Key Publishing as a result of incorrect information or plagiarism in their submitted work. Contributors must adhere to the magazine ‘style sheet’ (see below) – failure to do so may result in extra editorial work and those costs incurred may be deducted from payment.

Key Publishing’s titles are published in the UK but distributed worldwide – an article will therefore
appear in all those countries in which the magazine is sold. By submitting an article to Key Publishing
you are granting to Key Publishing an exclusive irrevocable license to publish the article in any of Key
Publishing’s titles anywhere in the world and for any purpose associated with the publication of the
titles anywhere in the world. The rights granted in the above paragraph include, but are not limited to,
the right for Key Publishing to license articles, or any parts of articles that appear in its magazines to other journals around the world. Such licensing may include making or procuring a translation by a third party of the article into a foreign language.

The rights granted in the above paragraph also include, but are not limited to, the right for Key
Publishing to publish any articles published in its magazines, on its websites, ‘apps’ or in any other of its digital product and social media, including Twitter and Facebook. The above paragraph also includes, but is not limited to videos used online on our websites, YouTube and similar video channels used by Key Publishing and apps/digital platforms. By submitting material to Key Publishing, you agree for the use to store your material in any database or archive in any present or future media or format.
In sending us your contribution, you confirm to us that you are the owner of the content, warrant an additional fee. Please note that images/videos published on the Air Forces Daily and Air Forces Intelligence websites will be credited appropriately but will not attract a fee. If those same images are used in our printed titles they will be paid at the usual rate set by the editor.

Should an editor decide to use either colour transparencies or colour prints for reproduction in black
and white, payment will be made at the black and white rate.

In the case of rare photographs and/or where the negative is not available to the sender, we will waive
our usual requirement for half-plate or postcard photographs. If it is necessary to print or reprint
photographs from negatives or transparencies, the cost of this work may be deducted from the
contributor’s payment.

Where a photograph is submitted that has originated from another source (e.g. museum archive, private
archive) it is the contributor’s responsibility to gain permission to publish, and any fees payable from
such publication will be settled by the contributor from his/her payment, unless otherwise arranged
with the editor.

The editor reserves the right to substitute illustrations from other sources to be used with submitted

Key Publishing welcomes the donation of illustrations (photos, artwork, videos, Cine film and drawings)
to its archive. Any donations must be accompanied by a letter signing over copyright to Key Publishing.
Contact the Group Editor for details.

Submitting an article and illustrations

Computer file formats: PC users must save their text articles in a Microsoft Word-compatible format, as
plain text or in Rich Text Format. If other applications are used, contributors are asked to state clearly what files have been sent and what software has been used.

Work can be submitted as an email attachment, but this should only be done with small file sizes,
generally less than 2MB. Editors may also insist that a print-out of the text is supplied to accompany an emailed submission, because text formatting and accents can be lost when converting to a Word

Larger files, such as images and/or video, can be sent via Dropbox or a similar internet storage system.
Contact the relevant editor in the first instance for details if you wish to do this. Please do not mix text and illustrations in the same file – keep them separate. We also require that specification tables are simply tabulated into columns and not formulated into panels or boxes.

Captioning information for photographs must also be included and photo captions should give a clear
credit for the origin of the shot. Illustrations should be numbered or otherwise identified, so that they can be matched to the captions.

We do not accept photocopied manuscripts, only originals. Please note that hand-written manuscripts
will not normally be accepted as these have to be typed by Editorial staff and a charge for this service
will be deducted from the contributor’s payment. Manuscripts, once used, will not normally be
returned to contributors.

Electronic images: Contributors are urged to contact us before sending, particularly if sending large files via the Internet. We use Dropbox and also an FTP server – details of use will be supplied via the editor concerned. As a rough guide, we are looking for jpegs or tiffs of at least 300 dpi to a width of 21cms (or 1600 pixels), as this will enable images to be used across the full width of the page if necessary. Please note that all electronic images should be clearly linked to their caption sheets with consistent numbering, etc. A ‘thumbnail’ print-out of images can help considerably and some editors may insist on this. With major features that are not time-critical, the preferred method of submitting a large number of images or video is via a CD or via Dropbox having agreed the process with the relevant editor beforehand. Where used, colour transparencies either 35mm or 2.5in square, are normally required, or colour prints can be utilised depending on quality.

Please note that we do not accept glass mounts because they could damage transparencies if they
break. Editors are always happy to discuss any of the above with contributors should they care to contact the office, or via email Style requirements for contributors. It is important that contributors make themselves aware of the particular editorial style of the magazine they are submitting an article to. The following are the main elements of Key Publishing’s house style and we ask contributors to adopt the following:

Text style

ACCENTS Include accents on foreign names/titles. A missing/incorrect accent can change the meaning of a word in a particular language. ACRONYMS In general, put in brackets after a full explanation/definition, but only use the acronym if it is repeated, eg the Central Flying School (CFS) becomes ‘CFS’ after the first mention. Exceptions can be made when the acronym is better known than the definition. AVOID starting a sentence with an acronym or an abbreviation.

AGES In brackets, Bill Smith (32).

AMPERSAND Should never appear in copy unless in a proper title, eg Pratt & Whitney.

BRACKETS ( ) and [ ] Use round brackets for accepted punctuation purposes. In quotes use square brackets to indicate that words or figures have been added by the writer/editor for clarification. “This [style guide] is great bedtime reading,” he declared. Use square brackets within round brackets, ie (they had to walk for 12 miles [19km]).

BUSINESS TITLES Upper case when using a title in its formal sense, ie Chief Executive Officer Fred Bloggs (however, lower case when making a general reference, ie Fred Blogs will be taking up the post of chief executive officer).

COMPANY NAMES Don’t use Ltd, Plc, Pty or Co after the name of a company.

CAPITALS Use sparingly. For trade name/brands, but not a description of its function, such as night-vision goggles. All general references to an air force/army/navy/special forces should be in lower case. For a full title eg Imperial War Museum London. Compass points: north, south, east, west (all lower case). Note no hyphens in the four basic compounds: northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast. Official regions/names of countries are capped up eg North Korea, aircraft from manufacturers in the West/Western manufacturers.

COMPUTING Gb (gigabyte) Mb (megabyte) Kb (kilobyte) etc.

CONVERSIONS Imperial first – metric conversion in brackets afterwards

DATES Dates should be in order of month, date number and year, ie January 1, 2014. Do not use the suffixes ’st, ’nd, ’rd, ’th. Please note there is no second comma after the year when the date appears in the middle of a sentence.

FULL STOPS Should not appear in acronyms (eg RAF not R.A.F), after courtesy titles (Mr/Mrs/Dr) or between initials (Mrs S U B Editor).

HEADS OF STATE The Queen, the Prince, the Prince of Wales, the US President always capped (with or without name).

ITALICS In body text, italicise the name only of an aircraft or ship, not the ‘HMS’, eg HMS Key Publishing. Italicise titles of magazines, newspapers, books and films. NB NATO reporting names are italicised, eg SA-6 Gainful.

MEASUREMENTS No space after the last digit and before the abbreviation, except for: ‘miles’, ‘imp/US gal’ and ‘lit’ which have a space between the digits and the letters. These are the most common abbreviations: in cm/mm miles km lb kg ft m mph km/h imp/US gal lit sq ft sq m nm kt kN kW dB (decibels). Add spaces between the numbers and ‘times symbol’ eg 4 x 20mm. (3,000lb st) the ‘st’ refers to static thrust. Gravitational force = G, a unit of acceleration = g. Any tables/lists should be supplied in a tabulated format, with a single tab between each column, and not enclosed in borders or frames.

MONEY Abbreviations: billion – bn and million – m. In tables and headlines £2 million is £2m and £2 billion is £2bn, but there is no abbreviation for ‘trillion’. Spell out in full (eg £2 million, £2 billion) in body copy. NB: euros, dollars, baht or any other currency (lower case). Please use the dollar sign where appropriate, ie US$3.36bn not USD3.36bn and the euro symbol €.

NUMBERS One to ten is written out – then digits from 11 onwards. This does not apply to lists, panels or sums of money (eg £5, not five pounds). Spell out numbers at the start of sentences, eg Fifteen not 15. Don’t start a sentence with a year, eg ‘2014 was the …’

QUOTE MARKS Double “quote” marks for direct speech (or when quoting from a document/letter/website etc) in complete sentences, eg Brown said: “The F119’s a great aircraft.” Single ‘quote’ marks (inverted commas) are used in a ‘loose’ sense, not literally, eg the cockpit was ‘out of this world’. Full quotes are introduced with a colon. Partial quotes within a sentence are introduced by a comma. An editor said: “I think we should have more meetings.”… BUT An editor said, “more meetings” were needed.

SINGULAR vs PLURAL Refer to a company, air force, squadron, country, museum, airfield, military force etc, in the singular, eg the aeroclub is …, easyJet has…, BAE Systems does not….

SPACING Two spaces between sentences (and between the end of a caption and its credit).


TIME 8hrs 15mins. 1min 6secs. 1000hrs in military speak/commercial aviation etc, and 10am for general narrative where a less formal style is appropriate.

Key Publishing reserves the right to update these guidelines from time to time with no prior consultation nor notification given. Copies are freely available directly from Key Publishing or downloadable from The guidelines which are current on the date of publication will be the binding version.

Last updated: May 2017

Scroll Up