These policies apply to publications and other informational items published by Extension, as detailed below. When writing journal articles for other publications, authors should contact those entities for style guidelines and specifications. 


Publication policies are designed to enhance the credibility and professionalism of Extension publications, protect the authors’ work and strengthen scholarship credentials. University faculty and staff are responsible for the accuracy and overall integrity of educational materials they produce. These materials are referred to below as “publications.” It is the responsibility of authors to make sure their publications do not contain any instances of plagiarism or copyright infringement. Because many Extension publications are written to bring research-based information to citizens, most should be written to an average reading level of eighth grade.


  • Authors must use citations and receive written permission as appropriate to use materials, photos or creative expressions of others.
  • References and citations may follow the standards of the individual academic discipline, but must be consistent throughout the publication. 
  • Nonuse of references should be approved through the appropriate area director and justified. 


  • First authorship is restricted to University of Nevada, Reno employees unless otherwise authorized by the Extension director. 
  • Classified staff or students may be able to publish as a co-author if a University of Nevada, Reno faculty member is a co-author, or at the discretion of the area director. An individual must make a substantial, original contribution to the scholarly work, as determined by the area director, to be considered an author or co-author.

Collaborative Publications

Collaborative publications among more than one institution/University should be published by only one of the institutions. When Extension authors produce materials in collaboration with other entities, the Extension logo should be prominently placed and accurately reflect the role of Extension in the production of the publication. The lead Extension author, the area director and the communications specialist will discuss and determine the use and placement of the collaborating entities’ logos, as well as author names and titles. 


All Extension publications must be drafted in accordance with The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and the University’s Writer’s Style Guide, as well as follow the University and College branding guidelines. policies. 


Helpful design templates are available in the University's NevadaBox. NetID required!

Required Elements

All Extension publications must display the following elements:

  1. Extension logo on front page 
  2. Author’s name(s) 
  3. Author’s title(s) 
  4. Publication number
  5. EEO/AA Statement
  6. Copyright statement 
  7. A partnership of Nevada counties; University of Nevada, Reno; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  8. Peer-reviewed publications must also display the peer-reviewed icon


  • For titles/headlines and author, use something in the family of the sans-serif font Myriad Pro. 
  • For body copy and captions, use something in the family of the serif font Minion Pro. 
  • For those who cannot obtain these fonts, use a readable, accessible font, such as Arial for the sans-serif font and Times New Roman for the serif font. 
  • Font size should be appropriate to column width – the wider the column, the larger the font size required to meet readability standards, generally 12 points but not less than 10 points.

Please review the University branding guidelines on typography for additional recommendations. 

Additional Formatting Guidelines

  • Allow space between paragraphs for readability. 
  • Left justification only is preferred. Avoid left and right justification that makes for inconsistent spacing.
  • Include page numbers whenever possible. 



Publications fall under two main categories: 

  • Peer-reviewed publications are educational materials that are research-based, referenced and peer reviewed pursuant to the following guidelines.
  • Editorially reviewed publications are educational materials that are informational and do not include any scholarly application of research-based information. Although they are not peer reviewed, their content and presentation should be of high quality and consistent with University and Extension standards.

Peer Reviewed 

  1. Fact Sheets (FS)

    • Concise, peer-reviewed publications with a specific focus that generally result in the equivalent of six 8 ½-inch x 11-inch pages or fewer.
    • Stand-alone documents with a common theme that are more narrowly focused than special publications, but that nevertheless represent work and scholarship at a level one would expect of University faculty. 
    • Likely require several months of work, but are completed within one year or less. 
    • Fact sheets that use extensive tables, graphics, illustrations or pictures may exceed the recommended page limitations upon the approval of the area director. 
    • See below, “Fact Sheet or Special Publication?” for more information. (View template.) 
  2. Special Publications (SP)

    • Peer-reviewed educational materials that represent a major writing effort and contain multiple topics or in-depth coverage of a single, complex topic. 
    • Generally, more than six 8 ½-inch x 11-inch pages. 
    • Scholarly and either contain original research findings or provide a scholarly review and presentation of research-based information. 
    • Often the result of multiple years of research and scholarship. 
    • May contain information that would be presented as several separate fact sheets. 
    • See below, “Fact Sheet or Special Publication?” for more information. (View template.)

Fact Sheet or Special Publication?

To determine whether a document is a Fact Sheet or Special Publication, authors should consult with their area director and the communications specialist. Here are some examples:

  • How to Control Tall Whitetop With Herbicides – Fairly narrow focus, likely six pages or fewer, completed within one year, so probably a fact sheet.
  • How to Control Nevada’s Top 20 Noxious Weeds – A much more comprehensive work, taking longer to complete, likely more than 20 pages, so probably a special publication. 
  • Testing Your Well Water on Your Small Ranch – Fairly narrow topic, likely completed in less than one year, requiring six pages or fewer, so probably a fact sheet.
  • Small Ranch Management: A Guide to Sustainable Living and Production on Your Small Ranch – The topic listed immediately above may be one chapter or part of a chapter in this much more comprehensive guide that would likely take multiple years to complete, perhaps include several authors, and require more than 50 pages, so this topic would probably be a special publication.
  1. Curriculum Materials (CM) 

  • Peer-reviewed educational publications developed primarily as teaching materials and lesson plans. 
  • Must be learner-centered, research-based and pilot-tested to demonstrate their effectiveness before going to peer review. 
  • Category includes web-based interactive curricula, which: 
  • Is developed primarily as teaching materials and lesson plans to be shared with other educators and students on the internet, and
  • Must be presented in a web-appropriate interactive format using current technology. 
  1. Audio-Visual/Electronic Materials (AV)

  • Includes videos and other types of audio-visual media for distribution via YouTube, websites, DVDs or other means. 
  • Peer-reviewed educational materials that must use current technology, be research-based and have clear objectives before the script is written. 
  1. Computer Software Programs (CP) 

  • Peer-reviewed programs that must be research-based and pilot-tested to demonstrate their effectiveness.
  • Can be aimed for individual, group or internet use. 
  • Must use current technology and have clear objectives. 
  1. Apps (AP) 

  • Peer-reviewed computer programs designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.
  • Must be research-based and pilot-tested to demonstrate their effectiveness, use current technology and have clear objectives.
  1. Web-Based Programs (WB) 

  • Peer-reviewed programs for use on the web.
  • Must meet accessibility requirements, be research-based and pilot-tested, use current technology, and have clear objectives.

Editorially Reviewed 

Although they are not peer reviewed, the content and presentation of editorially reviewed materials should be of high quality and consistent with University and Extension standards.

  1. Informational Publications (IP) 

  • Informational or promotional publications that are editorially reviewed. 
  • May also include reports that are informational and do not include any scholarly application of research-based information. 
  1. Newsletters (NL)

  • Not necessarily reviewed at the College level but may be reviewed pursuant to policies within the county or area. 
  • Use templates created by the communications team. If edits are made, the masthead and format must be approved by the area director and communications specialist. 
  1. Training Materials/Workbooks (TM) 

  • Educational materials that are not peer reviewed. 
  • Intended for specific trainings or audiences, sometimes over a limited time frame. 


  1. Identification and Format

All publications will be numbered and catalogued by the communications specialist. Standards for the format of all publications, compatible with federal and University policies, will be developed by the College’s communications team and approved by Extension administration.

  1. Initiation by Author

The author is responsible for determining the need for a publication and justifying the need for the publication with their area director. The author conducts a literature search and completes and submits the Peer Review Form and Worksheet, which includes suggested reviewers, to the area director, with the draft publication. (Include a copy of publication for each reviewer if not being transmitted electronically.) 

  1. Peer Review

Peer review allows other experts within the field to review the author’s publication and verify information. Publications that have undergone peer review are often of higher quality and are more respected, and add to a reliable body of knowledge. 

Required Reviewers

  • Fact sheets require a response from a minimum of three qualified reviewers, including at least one from outside the area or department and one intended audience member. 
  • Special publications and curriculum materials require at least five reviewer responses, including at least one from out of state, one from outside the Nevada System of Higher Education and one intended audience member. 
  • Audio-visual materials require a response from a minimum of three qualified reviewers, including at least one from outside the area or department and one intended audience member. These individuals will review the piece at the draft script stage before final video editing. Then, after reviewers’ recommendations have been addressed, the author submits to the area director for final approval of the script before beginning video production.
  • Computer software programs, web-based programs and apps shall be the same as special publications and curriculum materials. Reviewers, however, will include one multimedia or internet-technology expert. 
  • An appropriate state specialist in the given discipline should be included among the reviewers of any type of publication, when possible. 

Anonymous Review Process

  • Extension uses a anonymous peer-review process, which is the responsibility of the area director. 
  • Authors may suggest some possible reviewers, but it is the area director’s choice whom to ask to review the document. 
  • The reviewers shall not be given the author's name, and the authors shall not be given the reviewers’ names. 
  • The area director forwards the draft publication, Peer Review Form and Reviewer’s Form to reviewers.  
  • The area director is responsible for ensuring that reviewers’ suggestions are sufficiently noted and possibly incorporated by the author. 


When publications are translated into a language other than English, an additional reviewer shall be a competent translator of that language who can attest that the translation is appropriate for the reading level and culture of the intended audience. After this review and approval, the publication would receive a separate number. 

  1. Authorization

Following peer review, the area director has the responsibility for final approval of the content of the publication.


Publication Approval Form

After the peer-review process has been completed, the author fills out the Publication Approval Form, consulting with the area director as needed. The author must include several key words needed for the publication to be found when searching online. The author and area director will decide, in consultation, how often the publication should be updated, revised or recertified by the author. The area director reviews and signs the form.


The area director forwards the completed publication draft and the Publication Approval Form electronically to the communications specialist. (Note: Area directors, at their discretion, may designate someone from their faculty/staff to assist with parts of this process.) The publication draft must be complete, with any charts, visuals or graphics that are to be part of the publication. If the publication is too large for email transmittal, it can be copied and mailed, copied to a thumb drive or CD for mailing, or put on a shared drive. Any requested approval of exceptions to format and style guidelines must be noted by the area director. 


Prior to printing, it is up to the author, in consultation with the area director, to make sure all rules regarding cost recovery, etc. are followed, as to whether a price is printed on a publication and whether the publication is sold within the system or to outside audiences. If the publication is paid for by an outside entity, a printed statement will indicate that funding has been provided by that agency.

Communications Review

The communications specialist will review the publication draft, no matter the publication classification (Fact Sheet, Curriculum, Audio-Visual, etc.), checking for inclusion of all the required elements and adherence to Extension guidelines, and will edit for format, spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, clarity, consistency and professionalism. The communications specialist then assigns a number for the publication and returns the publication draft that includes the communication specialist’s written edits and notes to the authors, copying the area director and the Extension director. The author then makes final corrections. 

Finalizing the Publication

The first author of the publication is responsible for making sure all final edits are made, making sure the publication is accessible for posting online, and then forwarding the electronic file for the document, both in the original file format (Word, InDesign, etc.) and as an accessible PDF (via email, thumb-drive, a shared drive or other methods) to the area director and to the communications specialist. 

Electronic Publishing

The first author is responsible for posting the accessible publication online on the statewide Extension website by logging into our College’s Web Asset Management System. Publications can be added as webpages or as accessible PDFs. Questions on loading the publication should be directed to the College’s web & social media communications specialist.


Remember, any publication that will be printed at a cost of more than $50 must be identified as such when submitted for a publication number. The author must follow the print release process, and get approval prior to printing. 

Archive Distribution

The first author is responsible for forwarding four hard copies of the publication to the communications specialist. The initiating area assumes the responsibility for funding, producing and forwarding these copies. The College’s communications team then distributes the four hard copies as follows: two to the USDA National Agriculture Library, one to University Archives and one to Extension master publication storage. The communications team also forwards the accessible PDF to the Nevada State Library and Archives, and stores the file in Extension’s digital master publication storage.

Periodic Review

When publications are finalized and numbered, the area director will establish a review cycle, in consultation with the author. This cycle will be no greater than five years but may be more frequent. 

  • A publication that contains specific information that is likely to change often, such as pesticide application rates, laws or public officials, might even appropriately be reviewed by the authors yearly. 
  • Authors, along with their area director and the communications specialist, will be automatically notified by an email generated by our database when a publication needs to be reviewed. 
  • Authors will be given 90 days to respond. If an author does not respond within 90 days, the author will receive an automatic email generated by the database that the publication will be removed from the website, and it will be removed until the author recertifies it. 
  • The author may recertify that the information is still current or may work with the area director to update or revise the publication. 
  • When an author of a publication is no longer employed by Extension, the area director is responsible to review, or designate someone to review, the publication.
  • When a publication has been recertified by the author, the year of recertification will be placed, in parentheses, below the publication number, and the cycle for the next certification will start. 


When a publication has become outdated and needs to be revised (either during or prior to periodic review), it is the responsibility of the area director to decide if the peer-review process is again required. 

Minor Changes

Generally, if the revisions involve minor changes (such as updating statistics), additional peer review would not be needed. The publication retains the original publication number and author, with the date of the update placed in parentheses below the number of the publication.

Substantive Changes

Another peer-review process is required if the revisions involve substantive content changes, particularly to reflect new information or research. The area director will determine if another peer-review process is needed, in consultation with the author. A new number will be given to the publication after the Communications Review is complete. For the Communication Review, the author should submit a copy of the publication with proposed changes noted/tracked

Author Changes

If the person making the substantive content changes and authoring the new publication is different from the original author, then that person will be listed as author of the new publication. However, the original publication’s author and number will be referenced.

Wharton, C., Lemieux, S. 2020, Extension Publications Policies, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno

Learn more about the author(s)


Also of Interest:

Conducting a Formal Needs Assessment: A Five-Step Survey Approach
This fact sheet contains five steps to approach a formal needs assessment. Learn through detailed descriptions and summaries to have a great understanding of each step and applying the information.
Singletary, L. and Powell, P. 2003, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-03-48