Submission Guidelines

Alpine Karst welcomes unsolicited submissions. Preference is given to unpublished accounts of original exploration and survey, followed by stories of historic significance or discussions of cave-related science. Reprints of important articles are often considered, especially if the original article had limited distribution (such as in a grotto newsletter or regional publication), or if it is old enough the information has been generally forgotten.

Send submissions to

Alternatively, you can mail us material:
Alpine Karst
PO Box 5891
Missoula, MT 59806

Submission Guidelines:

Submissions not adhering to these guidelines will be returned for editing.

There are no deadlines for submissions, however, if your submission is received by October 31st it will appear in the Volume of the same year. Articles submitted after that date will appear the following year.

Material may be submitted in virtually every digital format, as the editor has a wide variety of applications available. Text may be submitted in the body of email, however attachments in the native word processor format are preferred. The best practice is to utilize a line space between paragraphs, not using indents or tab-indents, as these may not be preserved.
Do not embed photos into a Word or other document. Photos need to be submitted separately.
Do not add two spaces after periods. Use Find and Replace to eliminate these extra spaces before submitting.

Photos may be submitted by email or FTP client. If you are submitting more than 10 photos, please contact me for FTP information. Photos may also be submitted by the free and easy Dropbox application. Simply share your folder with me.
Photos must be submitted at full resolution, 300 ppi (pixels per inch) or higher. Set your digital camera to the largest size possible, as well as in Superfine resolution. This will assure the highest resolution possible.
Photo captions are required, either in the form of a separate email attachment, or by renaming the photo with desired caption and photographer. I must have explicit permission from each photographer to print the image, therefore photos gleaned from Flikr, Facebook, or other social media sites must be accompanied with a message or email from the photographer. The best practice is to rename each image with the desired caption. For example: Joe-Caver-rappels-dream-pit-in-awesome-cave-by-Jeff-Photobug.jpg

Maps and Line Art:
Maps should be submitted in PDF format whenever possible. Select “print optimized” or “high quality” when rendering the PDF, and make sure all fonts are embedded. JPEG, JPG, TIFF, TIF maps are acceptable only if they are rendered in high resolution. If you have questions, just ask!

Style Sheet

Please adhere to as much of this as you can, as it makes the editor’s job far easier! No double-spacing after periods!

a.m., p.m. (lower case only)
USA (no periods
TAG, NSS (no periods)
don’t abbreviate units of measure, whether English or metric, or use ‘ or ” for feet or inches; i.e., feet rather than ft.
don’t use apostrophes for feet or inches, write it out
don’t abbreviate state or country names

Use single, not double space, after periods.
Don’t use tabs or spaces to create indents – I just have to take them out! Use formatting in your word processor to create the indents, or space between paragraphs if you want.. In e-mailed articles, its best to put an extra space between paragraphs.
NSS organizations (e.g., the Digging Section) are capitalized
Compass directions, such as southern, northern, etc. , are not capitalized
Books, periodical titles, and other publications should be in italics. Example: NSS News. Article titles (in the body of an article) should be in quotes.
Words in foreign language are italicized, but not names of cities or people
Emphasis: use italics, not bold, capitals, or underlines
Use an Oxford comma before “and” in a series. Example: I explored the cave with Bob, Carol, Ted, and Alice.
it’s: only used for contraction (it is) and NOT for possesive (e.g., “the cave had lost its appeal to me…”)
don’t make possessives out of plurals, especially dates which is a common one: “the cave was explored in the 60s” is proper but not “the cave was explored in the 60’s”

use “email,” not E-mail or e-mail
website – one word
Web addresses don’t need the “http://” portion – or are both acceptable.
please don’t underline email or web addresses and please remove hyperlinks (those annoying blue, underlined things) from Word documents (it puts them in automatically unless you change preferences; you can remove them by right-clicking and choosing “remove hyperlink” from the menu).

one through nine should be written out when whole numbers, but if you have a fractional number under ten, use numerals: 6 1/2 or 6.5
exception to above: PLEASE USE NUMERALS FOR ALL DIMENSIONS (passage widths, heights, pit depths, etc.)
for numbers 10 or over in text, use numerals (e.g., there were 25 of us on the trip)
two-thirds of the supplies (spell out fractions in descriptions)
1/4-inch bolt (use numeric fractions for measurements)
1980s (no apostrophe!)
12 to 15 feet (not 12-15 feet)
350-foot pit (use hyphen when number is part of a compound adjective)
use consistent units! (not “we rappelled down the 20-meter pit and then traversed 1000 feet of cave”)

Preferred spelling for terms used a lot by cavers:
ridgewalk, borehole (one word, no hyphens)
Convention (capitalized)
grottos are cave clubs, grottoes are shelter caves
rappel, rappelled, rappelling (commonly mispelled)
led (past tense and past participle of the verb “lead”)
climb-up, climb-down, down-climb, pull-down trip, through-trip
handhold, foothold, handline (single words)
archaeology, note the “ae”
wetsuit: one word
underground, aboveground (single words)
downstream, upstream (single words)
freshwater, saltwater (single words as adjectives)
Prusik (capitalized, since a proper name; but prusiking as a verb is not capitalized)
helictite (not helectite)

Bibliographic Info should ideally include:
Title or What-it-is-if-it-isn’t-a-book,
number of pages,
type of binding (hard or soft, perfect-bound or stapled),
dimensions (e.g., 8.5″x11″),
Where-to-get-it, price.

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