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About OVCOJP SealMessage From the DirectorOVC Publishing Guidelines for Print and Web MediaNCJ 205247 / August 2004
Submission DeadlinesSubmission RequirementsPublishing ProcessProduct TypesWriting for PrintWriting an E-Pub
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Formatting References/EndnotesCopyright & Policy RequirementsHome
Writing an E-Pub

Incorporate Links Into Content

Construct sentences in ways that allow you to link to related information. For example: Subheads help readers navigate a document quickly.

What To Make a Link

  • Background and explanatory information. Removing this information from a main page makes the page shorter and allows readers who are familiar with the material to move more quickly through the document. Readers who want more detail may read it at their discretion.

  • Related concepts. If you mention an idea that is featured in another part of your report, link to it.

  • Footnotes or endnotes. Linking notes should be done in two steps. First, link the note number or intext citation to the full citation (and vice versa). Then, in the full citation, link the title of the document to the actual document if it is available online.

  • Cross-references to other sections of the document (e.g., "See the Additional Reading list for more information.").

  • Partner agencies. Many authors acknowledge their partners by including their Web addresses (also called URLs) in copy. This is acceptable in online writing with one caveat: These URLs should be placed on a tertiary page such as Acknowledgments. Including a link to a Web site outside your e-pub invites readers to leave the publication—and once they're gone, they're unlikely to return.

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How To Label Links

Links are most effective when they are obvious and the user does not have to think about them. Offer easy-to-find text links instead of URL addresses by hyperlinking a word or phrase in a sentence.

Don't say—

For more information about OVC publications, visit the OVC Web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc.

Do say—

Visit the OVC Web site for more information about OVC publications.

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Avoid Overuse of Links

Don't overuse links. Too many links on a page will distract readers and make the page more difficult to understand. If you find yourself in this situation, rethink how you are chunking information onto individual pages.

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This document was last updated on September 10, 2004