PAS Memo Contributor Guidelines

PAS Memo is a bi-monthly, online publication of the Planning Advisory Service available to APA members and PAS subscribers. The primary audience for PAS Memo is planning practitioners.


PAS Memo focuses on cutting-edge planning issues as well as best-practice updates on nuts-and-bolts planning topics. It highlights trends in the field, notes research studies of interest to planners, and presents case examples from many aspects of planning practice, such as sustainability, growth management, economic development, environmental protection, and urban design, to name just a few.

Each issue is composed of one feature article with illustrations, such as photos or charts.

In-house staff review and edit articles. APA maintains copyright in all PAS Memo articles.

Manuscripts are submitted in Word format. Length of articles may range from 3,500 to 5,500 words.

Articles typically follow this structure:

  • an introductory section, providing an overview of the topic;
  • an extensive discussion of the topic, covering key issues;
  • sidebars such as case studies;
  • recommendations and action steps for planners;
  • a conclusion section;
  • a short bio for the author(s); and
  • references and resources (see below for citation format);

Because the publication is read by practitioners across the country, the articles need to present information that is transferable to various contexts, with the goal of answering the questions "Why is this important for planners to know?" and "How can planners apply this tool or concept in their communities?"

Embedded Links

Because PAS Memo is an online publication, we encourage authors to use embedded links in the text to direct readers to resources mentioned in the text, such as organizational websites or reports or studies discussed in the article. Please limit embedded links to these types of resources, however; do not add superfluous links to other articles or websites that are not specifically named in the text. If authors are uncertain as to whether an embedded link is appropriate, they should flag it for review by the editors.

All embedded links should also be included as bibliographic entries in the References section so that this information is not lost if the article is printed.


In addition to text, each article will include artwork, such as tables, charts, and photographs, as appropriate, to support the story. All artwork should be titled and numbered (e.g., Table 1. Types of Review). Authors should provide caption and credit information for each piece of artwork.

The author must either hold copyright to the images provided or obtain permission to use the images they provide from the copyright holder. APA requires that the author obtain full rights to use the art for the article. The copyright for the art will then be transferred to APA as a nonexclusive right for use in PAS Memo. APA will provide artwork copyright permissions forms for authors to use in obtaining appropriate use rights.

Artwork must be submitted electronically in graphic file format, at least 1,000 pixels wide, and in color, if possible. Avoid images with small embedded text, as text tends to be unreadable when images are resized for the web. All graphics must be submitted individually in a graphics file format (.pdf, .jpg, .gif, .png). Embedded images are not usable on the web.

References and Resources

Depending on the number of in-text citations used, authors may create separate References and Resources sections, or may combine the two.

PAS Memo does not employ footnotes to cite sources or references. Instead, use in-text citations, as in the author-date system of reference fully described in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), chapter 15. All in-text citations should have corresponding entries in the reference list. Any embedded links used in the text should also be included in the reference list.

PAS Memo's electronic format makes a list of links to online resources for planners especially useful. Authors should provide a list of additional resources beyond those referenced in the article, such as related websites or other documents or resources providing further information on the subject to the reader.

Reference Style

Alphabetize a list of references by author's last name. Include a URL if the resource is available online. Again, consult Chapters 14 and 15 of The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition. APA uses the humanities style. For example:

Bochner, Brian, Kevin Hooper, Benjamin Sperry, and Robert Dunphy. 2011. NCHRP Report 684: Enhancing Internal Trip Capture Estimation for Mixed-Use Developments. Washington, D.C.: National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board.

Duerksen, Christopher J. 1996. "Key Legal Issues in Performance Standards and Zoning." Chapter 7 in Performance Standards for Growth Management, edited by Douglas R. Porter. Planning Advisory Service Report No. 461. Chicago: American Planning Association.

Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP). 2012. "Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP)."

Kendig, Lane, et al. 1980. Performance Zoning. Chicago: APA Planners Press.

Submission Guidelines

The editors of PAS Memo welcome proposals. Once a proposal is accepted, the author will sign an agreement to prepare a manuscript for publication. The editors will notify the author of the article's anticipated publication date, as well as the outline and draft manuscript deadlines. Typically, an outline is due four months and the draft manuscript two months before the publication date. The author will also sign copyright forms for the article and any images. PAS Memo is released the first week of alternating months, beginning with January, six times a year.

APA is able to offer an author stipend of $500 for articles.

For more information on submitting an article for PAS Memo, please contact Ann Dillemuth, PAS Memo editor, at