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GSS > Requesting to upload content on the website

Requesting to upload content on the website

What is the website for?

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) website is here to support the GSS community.

It is a place to publicise vacancies, events, blogs and news items that may be of interest to people who work with official statistics. It is also somewhere to publish statistical policies and guidance articles to help GSS staff looking for advice. Finally, it is here to help GSS staff looking for learning and development opportunities and careers advice.

How to make a request

If you would like your content to be put on the Government Statistical Service (GSS) website you must fill in a content request form (doc, 46KB) and send it to gssnet@statistics.gov.uk.

How long we need to deal with requests

  • We aim to deal with requests for blogs, vacancies, events, news items and training courses within five working days (although we are normally much faster than that).
  • We will need at least 10 working days for requests for new webpages or new policy or guidance documents.
  • Ideally, if you want a new webpage or policy or guidance document you should involve us when you start drafting your content so that we can give you guidance on best practice in online communication and writing for the web.

Style guide

  • We adhere to standards for best practice on the web.
  • We use style.ons (the style guide created for the Office for National Statistics’ website) and the Government Digital Service style guide.
  • If you send in content requests that do not adhere to these style guides, then it may result in a delay in publication.

Plain English

  • All content on the GSS website should be written in plain English.
  • If your content is not written in plain English we will have to make edits to the language used.

Find out more about plain English.

Take a look at this list of words to avoid from the Government Digital Service style guide.

Moving away from PDFs/documents/spreadsheets

Reasons to move away from these formats:

  • They are not best practice in terms of accessibility and we have a duty to make the GSS website meet accessibility standards by September 2020.
  • Search engines cannot look inside these formats meaning content is harder to find.
  • These formats are harder to keep up to date than webpages because the editing process takes longer and the editable copy of the PDF often gets lost.

We aim to translate all content currently in these formats into text on webpages (called “html”).

There will still be some occasions when we will allow these formats, but we will have to discuss this with you when you make a request.

Read more about why website content should be published in HTML and not PDF.

Beta and live

Please be aware that the website is still in “public beta”. Our aim is to have all website content follow the style guide, plain English guidance and new rules on document downloads when the website goes “live”. All new content should follow this guidance before being added to the site.

What does public beta mean?

Need help or want to give feedback?

If you have any issues or queries we are very happy to help, just email gssnet@statistics.gov.uk.

A summary of common edits we make to content

We must always make it clear to users when clicking a link will result in a document opening or downloading on their device. We should also make it clear how big that document will be.

Example of good practice:

If you want to publish content on the GSS website, send a content request form (doc, 46KB) to gssnet@statistics.gov.uk.

Too many capital letters make sentences hard to read.

We must only use capital letters for proper nouns and the first word in a sentence or heading.

We must not give every word in a heading a capital letter.

Example of bad practice:

Collaborating with Experts to Explore Advancements in Privacy and Data Confidentiality Methods

Example of good practice:

Collaborating with experts to explore advancements in privacy and data confidentiality methods

Common issues:

  • We don’t capitalise the word government on the GSS website.
  • If we refer to the Code of Practice for Statistics with its full name we give it capital letters and treat it as a proper noun.
  • If we refer to the Code of Practice as “the code” we don’t give the word “code” a capital letter.
  • The term “National Statistics” is a proper noun but the term “official statistics” is not (this is the convention across multiple government websites).

When it comes to bullet points we follow the advice on style.ons.

Bullet points in a list within text

You should use bullet points as a list within text when you have at least three bullet points. If you have fewer, rewrite your content as individual sentences or paragraphs.

Make sure that:

  • you always use a lead-in line
  • there is always a space between the lead-in line and the bullet points
  • the bullets make sense running on from the lead-in line
  • each bullet is short (no more than one sentence)
  • you use lower case at the start of the bullet, unless it starts with a proper noun
  • you don’t use full stops within bullet points – where possible start another bullet point or use commas, dashes or semicolons to expand
  • you don’t put “or”, “and” after the bullets
  • there is no punctuation at the end of bullet points
  • if you add links they appear within the text and not as the whole bullet
  • there is no full stop after the last bullet point

Bullet points following a heading

Make sure that there is no lead-in line and the bullet points follow on directly from a heading or subheading. Each bullet point should start with a capital letter, end with a full stop and be no more than one sentence long.

Example of good practice:

Main points

  • There were 240,854 marriages in 2013, a decrease of 8.6% compared with 2012 and the first decline since 2009.
  • Civil ceremonies accounted for 72% of all marriages in 2013.

Emails should be given in full and should be lowercase, even if they are names.

Example of good practice:

Need help? Contact gss.capability@statistics.gov.uk.

We must not use dashes to indicate a span of time or range of monetary amounts.  Dashes used in this way can be confusing for screen readers. Use “to” instead.

Examples of bad practice:

£36,00 – £40,000

January – December

Examples of good practice:

£36,000 to £40,000

January to December

We must avoid using symbols such as “&” and “/” as they do not meet accessibility standards.

Write out “and” at all times. Do not use “&”.

The slash symbol (/) is usually used to show “or”. Use “or” instead of the slash to avoid confusion. If a slash is needed, there should be no space either side of it.

We must expand acronyms when we first use them.

Example of bad practice:

This seminar is the latest in a series organised jointly by the RSS, the RES, ESCoE, ONS and the SPE.

Example of good practice:

This seminar is the latest in a series organised jointly by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), the Royal Economic Society (RES), the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Society of Professional Economists (SPE).

Common issues:

The only acronyms that do not always have to be expanded are:

  • BBC
  • NHS
  • MP
  • UK
  • EU

ONS must always be expanded to Office for National Statistics when it is first used. We must not assume that all people in the Government Statistical Service know what ONS stands for.

If a page is very long, we may have to expand acronyms on their first use within each section as we know users often skim read and skip to sections lower down.

We must not use bold, italics or different colours to draw words out of text as this does not meet accessibility standards.

We must not mix up different types of fonts on the website. It is best practice to consistently use one type of font across the whole website.

When it comes to quotation marks we follow the advice on style.ons:

We must use double quotation marks (“).

Single quotation marks (‘) are only for quotations within quotations, and titles of articles in books and journals.

We should not use “?!” or multiple “!” or “?” anywhere on the website as this is grammatically incorrect.

When writing numbers we follow the advice on style.ons.

Main points:

  • Write all numbers 10 and over as numerals, up to 999,999.
  • Write numbers one to nine as words unless they are dates.
  • In numbers of 4 digits or more use commas after every 3 decimal places e.g. 2,548.
  • Write out millions and billions and use lower case e.g. 2.5 million, 148 billion.
  • Write out and hyphenate fractions e.g. two-thirds, three-quarters.
  • Percentages: use the symbol with no space between it and the number e.g. 6%
  • For money, use the major currency unit before the amount e.g. £15, $76.56.
  • Write out rankings first to ninth, then use numerals e.g. 10th, 51st.
  • When using rankings don’t use superscript for “st”, “nd”, “rd” and “th”.

Write dates in this order: date, month, year.

Don’t use “st”, “nd”, “rd” and “th”.

If the day of the week is relevant, put it before the date.

Write out months in full.

Examples of good practice:

12 March 2014.

Monday 3 March 2014.