Extension publications (written, video or audio) educate stakeholders about identified community needs and are available as a resource. Topics of publications address issues with evidence-based information or original research.

Peer-reviewed publications are research-based educational materials or original research subjected to the scrutiny of other experts in the field according to the following policies. Peer review allows other experts to review the author's publication, verify information, and ensure high standards for publications. Publications that have undergone peer review are often of higher quality, are more respected, and add to a reliable body of knowledge. The area director serves as the content editor who makes final decisions to accept or reject publications based on peer review.

These policies apply to Extension peer-reviewed publications as detailed below. When writing journal articles for other publications, authors should contact those entities for style guidelines and specifications.

These policies enhance the credibility, professionalism and scientific rigor of Extension publications, to more effectively share knowledge, protect authors' work and strengthen scholarship credentials. University faculty and staff are responsible for the accuracy and overall integrity of educational resources they produce. These resources are referred to below as "publications."



Anonymous Review Process

  • Extension uses a double-blind peer-review process, which is the responsibility of the area director. In double-blind peer reviews, reviewers do not know who the authors are, and authors do not know who the reviewers are.
  • Authors may suggest some possible reviewers, but the area director chooses who to ask to review the document. 
  • The area director is responsible for ensuring that reviewers' suggestions are addressed and appropriately incorporated by the author. If the author wants to reject comments of substance, justification must be provided to and approved by the area director.

Required Reviewers

  • All peer-reviewed publications require a minimum of two quality reviews from subject matter experts (someone that possesses a deep understanding of a particular subject via education or experience) determined by the Area Director.
  • Web-based programs and apps must also include a review by one multimedia or internet-technology expert. 
  • When publications are translated from English into another language, an additional competent translator of that language shall review 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. 


  • Authorship requires at least one author to have a University of Nevada, Reno Extension academic or administrative faculty appointment. 
  • An individual must make a substantial, original contribution to the scholarly work to be considered a co-author. In cases where authorship is questioned, the area director can make a final determination.
  • It is the responsibility of authors to make sure their publications do not contain any instances of plagiarism or copyright infringement.
  • The publications should be written at a level of understanding and readability for the intended audience. 

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. Add logos of highly engaged funders and collaborators of the paper's work needing recognition according to the college marketing and communication guidelines or template. The lead Extension author and the communications team will discuss and determine alternate use and placement of the collaborating entities' logos, as well as author names and titles.

Supporting Literature

  • Authors must use documented research and receive written permission as appropriate to use materials, photos or creative expressions of others.
  • Supporting literature may follow the standards of the individual academic discipline but must be consistent throughout the publication. 
  • External information should be appropriately cited and referenced, and literature sources must be relevant to the area of expertise.
  • Nonuse of references should be approved by the appropriate area director and justified. This may occur in short fact sheets. If supporting literature is not documented in the paper, it must be listed in the paperwork for the peer reviewers.

Editorial Review

After the peer-review process is complete and the area director has approved the publication, all peer-reviewed publications are submitted to the communications specialists for a final editorial review. This step ensures adherence to Extension and University standards and style, and inclusion of required elements. This includes edits for consistency and professionalism, which may include formatting, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and wording for clarity, etc.



  • For any publication that will be printed at the cost of more than $50, the author must follow the print release process, and get approval prior to printing. 


Branding and Style

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 and policies. 


Helpful design templates are available in the University's NevadaBox

Required Elements

Publications must display the following elements:

  1. Extension logo on front page 
  2. Author's name(s) 
  3. Author's title(s) and institution(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 (near the University logo or name)
  8. 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 for printed publications – 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, if the publication is longer than two pages.



Extension peer-reviewed publications categories include:

  1. Fact Sheets (FS)
    • Concise 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. 
    • Fact sheets that use extensive tables, graphics, illustrations or photos may exceed the recommended page limitations. 
    • See below, "Fact Sheet or Special Publication?" for more information. (View FS template Link NEEDED) 
  1. Special Publications (SP)
    • 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.  
    • May contain information that would be presented as several separate fact sheets. 
    • See below, "Fact Sheet or Special Publication?" for more information. (View SP template – Link NEEDED.)

Fact Sheet or Special Publication? Authors should consult with their area director to determine whether a document is a fact sheet or a special publication. Here are some examples:

    • How to Control Tall Whitetop With Herbicides – Fairly narrow focus, likely six pages or fewer, so probably a fact sheet.
    • How to Control Nevada's Top 20 Noxious Weeds – A much more comprehensive work, likely more than 20 pages, so probably a special publication. 
    • Testing Your Well Water on Your Small Ranch – Fairly narrow topic, 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 above may be one chapter or part of a chapter in this much more comprehensive guide. This guide may include several authors and require more than 50 pages, so this topic would probably be a special publication.
  1. Curriculum Materials (CM) 
  • Publications developed primarily as teaching resources and lesson plans. 
  • The curriculum and all resource components (activities, scripts, handouts, etc.) must be in the submission.
  • Must be learner-centered and pilot-tested to demonstrate effectiveness before going through peer review. 
  • The category includes web-based interactive curricula using current technology.
  1. Audio-Visual/Electronic Materials (AV)
  • Includes videos and other types of audio-visual media for distribution via YouTube, websites or other means. 
  • Educational materials must use current technology and be research-based. A plan should be provided to reviewers that includes the goals, objectives and script.
  1. Apps (AP) 
  • Computer programs designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.
  • Must be pilot-tested to demonstrate effectiveness, use current technology and have clear objectives.
  1. Web-Based Programs (WB) 
  • Programs for use on the web.
  • Must meet accessibility requirements, be pilot-tested, use current technology, and have clear objectives.


Periodic Review

For all peer-reviewed publications, the author will establish a review cycle in consultation with the area director. This cycle will be no greater than five years but may be more frequent.


When a publication becomes outdated and needs revising (either during or before periodic review), it is the responsibility of the area director to decide if the peer-review process is again required.

Minor Changes

Generally, additional peer review would not be needed if the revisions involve minor changes (such as updating statistics). The publication retains the original publication number and author, with the updated date 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. In consultation with the author, the area director will determine if another peer-review process is needed. A new number will be given to the publication after the editorial review is complete. For the editorial 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.

Use/Modification of Extension Publications by other entities

When other entities request to use part of Extension publications, they must confirm that use is for educational purposes only and not for financial gain, and the authors and University of Nevada, Reno Extension must be cited. If an entity wants to use a substantial portion of a given publication, the entity should be advised that it should use our publication in conjunction with its materials. Authors of the publications handle these requests.

Wharton, C., Gatzke, H. 2024, Peer-Reviewed 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
Venomous Reptiles of Nevada (2020)
Venomous Reptiles of Nevada - This is an updated and expanded publication based on previous extension publications. It is intended to be used as reference material in the classroom, as well as in the field. Photographs and other materials have been upgraded to make identification...
Jones, J., Robinson, M. L., McKeever, B., and O'Callaghan, A. 2020, University of Nevada, Reno Extension, SP-20-13
Lavender Production, Markets, and Agritourism
This publication is intended for a beginner lavender grower with some horticultural experience. The publication discusses geographic and climatic considerations for lavender. From soil preparation, and cultivation techniques, to lavender propagation, and field production.
Katherine L. Adam and Thea Rittenhouse 2018, NCAT- ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture
Northwestern Nevada Two Row Malt Barley Production Costs and Returns, 2008
Sample costs and returns to establish and produce two row malt barley under center pivot irrigation in Northwestern Nevada are presented in this publication. This publication is intended to be a guide used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, and prepare bus...
Bishop, C. and Curtis, K. 2008, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-08-08
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Allergenic Plants in Southern Nevada (Landscaping for an allergy free yard)
Many people who move to the Southern Nevada area either come with allergies or develop them after moving here. This publication helps people understand what plants can be allergenic and how to deal with them in the yard or community. The major portion of the publication is a list...
Robinson, M. L. 2000, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno SP-00-28