Publication Guidelines & Standards

Acquiring Publication Numbers

Request Publication Code

Download Logos

Non-discrimination Statement


By law, publications at TSU require a publication code!

To comply with state law, "publications" are defined as any printed material which is produced for general distribution either on- or off-campus or electronically. Just because the item is intended solely for an internal audience does not mean it automatically does not need a publication code. A simple rule of thumb is to contact the Office of University Publications to discuss any publication with you.

How do I get a publication code?

When considering a publication, contact the Office of University Publications and:

  1. Complete & submit the Publication Code Request Form.
  2. A code will be assigned and returned via e-mail (or other means if necessary).

The Office of University Publications will review your publication and mark any needed changes prior to assigning a publication number. The latest edition of The Associated Press Stylebook is used in the editing of publications. Additionally, the Office of University Publications has produced a TSU Publications Guide & Style Manual to assist the campus community in understanding appropriate logo use, colors, fonts, uniformity in style, content, etc. to improve the overall quality of publications and to assist in enhancing the image of our university.

How long does it take?

While all efforts are made to review your publication in a timely fashion, please allow up to two (2) weeks or 10 business days for review and issuance of publication codes. Also, please note that more time may be needed during peak business periods at the university (i.e. fall and spring registration, Homecoming, Commencement, etc.). However, if you have a problem or an emergency, the Office of University Publications will work with you, but please don’t wait until the last minute if you have a choice.

Who assigns the publication codes?

The duty of implementing and maintaining the publication numbering system lies with the Office of University Publications; however, it is each division/department/unit’s responsibility to adhere to the appropriate process of obtaining a publication code.

Why do we number publications?

As required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Tennessee state law (Tennessee Code Annotated, Sections 12-7-106-108) and rules of the Higher Education Publications Committee, every publication produced, whether hard copy or electronic, must be reviewed by the Office of University Publications to be assigned a required publication code to adhere to specific quality and cost-monitoring procedures for publications printed by state colleges, universities and technical schools. Additionally, the OCR requires that any publications related to recruitment materials made available to participants, students, applicants or employees must include a full nondiscrimination statement. You will find relevant information that outlines the requirement at All institutions are required to follow the guidelines on their respective campuses.

What exact text do we place on our publications?

The publication statement shown below. All publications must also have the official Tennessee State University logo and the nondiscrimination statement included (provided above in blue section).

Your publication code  – Tennessee State University does not discriminate against students, employees, or applicants for admission or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or any other legally protected class with respect to all employment, programs and activities sponsored by Tennessee State University. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Office of Equity and Inclusion, , 3500 John Merritt Blvd., General Services Building, Second Floor, Nashville, TN 37209, 615-963-7435. The Tennessee State University policy on nondiscrimination can be found at .

For the publication instances when the full statement will not pertain or fit (schedule cards, campus maps, etc.):

Your publication code  – Tennessee State University is an AA/EEO employer.

What needs a publication code?

To comply with state law, "publications" are defined as any printed matter which is produced for general distribution either on- or off-campus or electronically. Just because the item is intended solely for an internal audience does not mean it automatically does not need a publication code. A simple rule of thumb is to contact the Office of University Publications to discuss any publication with you. The OUP can help make the decision to waive use of a publication code.

Listed below are examples of the types of publications required by law to obtain publication codes:

  • Undergraduate and graduate catalogs
  • Student recruitment publications
  • Admissions applications (unless part of a catalog)
  • Housing applications
  • Financial aid applications
  • Brochures, posters, calendars, pamphlets, fliers, programs, etc. promoting cultural or athletic events
  • Alumni and development solicitation materials
  • Seminar and workshop registration forms, brochures, etc.
  • Research project reports (if generally distributed)
  • Agricultural brochures, pamphlets, etc.
  • Treasurer’s reports and other “outside” financial reports
  • Campus telephone directories
  • Employee benefits booklets, posters, etc.
  • Purchasing requests for bids
  • Purchase order forms
  • Employee applications
  • Placement forms
  • Athletic ticket applications
  • Campus, college and departmental newsletters
  • Faculty, staff and student handbooks
  • Employee training manuals

Certain printed materials which are intended solely for internal use may be excluded from the requirement that a publication code be affixed. Examples of such internal use publications are:

  • Work-processing forms for internal use
  • Research project reports generally not distributed
  • Research survey instruments and classroom test instruments
  • Personnel and fiscal policy manuals
  • Grade reports
  • Tickets for athletic and cultural events
  • Student newspapers
  • Traffic citations

What if it's the same thing I did last year?

Publications that are exact reprints, meaning absolutely no changes are made, can be printed without getting a new code. If a publication is not an exact reprint, each publication, regardless of if it’s an annual publication, quarterly, monthly or more frequent, MUST be issued a publication code each time a new edition is printed.