Audio Guidelines

Information for Volunteers

We would like to post audio versions of our articles, and in search of volunteers narrators. Those interested in doing this, and who have the technical capability and ability to submit good quality MP3 readings of articles, should contact us. To avoid duplicating effort, we suggest you contact us first for scheduling purposes.

Once you are slotted to narrate an article, please follow the instructions below. If your submission meets our standards for audio quality, you will be asked to sign a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licensing agreement, and then it will be posted with attribution to you. Thank you for helping to promote libertarian scholarship.

Introductory Script

Please begin as follows:

“Welcome to Libertarian Papers Audio, where volunteers read articles appearing in the journal Libertarian Papers, on the web at This is [name of reader] from [reader’s location], and I will be reading [Article 1, from Vol. 1 (2009), “Present Payments, Past Wrongs: Correcting Loose Talk about Nozick and Rectification” by Jan Narveson]. The underlying article, as well as this recording, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

…body of article…

“This has been Libertarians Papers Audio, Volume 1, Article 1. I’m [name of reader]. Thank you for listening.”

Footnotes, Bibliography

For substantive footnotes (footnotes that are more than just a reference to another work), use this script fragment:

“footnote X: [full footnote text; details of citations may be omitted] end of footnote X”

Do not read the bibliography or footnotes that are only references to other works.


Please abide by quality standards and tips, such as those here (also here), to provide as professional a recording as possible. Excerpted tips:

Statement of Audio Quality Standards

We accept only fully-edited (less than 3 sec silence before beginning, and less than 3 sec of silence at end) MP3 files, with minimal background noise, hiss, and pops. We expect the reader to clearly articulate all words with voice modulation that is appropriate to the tone and content of the article. We expect the reader’s voice to be audible at all times: dynamic volume is expected to some degree, but since these are scholarly works, we expect the reader’s volume will stay within a range such that the typical listener will not have to adjust his volume knob during the course of listening to the article.

Tips to Achieve Audio Quality Standards

Keep your mouth close to the microphone. By close, we mean right up there on the microphone, with lips within an inch or two of the microphone head if possible.

Minimize pop

You might get a few audible, airy popping sounds when you speak the letters P or T directly into the microphone or some windy noises from S sounds. To remedy these plosives and sibilants, you can use a pop filter, a circular piece of thin fabric suspended between the microphone and the talent’s mouth. Professional pop filters aren’t terribly expensive, but if you need to improvise one, you can bend a wire coat hanger into a rough circular shape and stretch a pair of women’s nylon stockings over it.

Articulate and Emphasize

We hardly notice it anymore because we’ve grown up with television in our lives, but more often than not, the speaking voices you hear on TV and radio are more emphatic and dramatically charged than those we use in everyday life, and they over-articulate their words. Actors and news anchors are trained to take their words a little “over the top” and what sounds like corny over-emphasis is in fact just right for most audio applications.

Wet your whistle

Prepare your voice for recording by sipping on a cup of hot water with a twist of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. It’s best to avoid most other kinds of beverages, especially carbonated sodas, coffee and tea. If you must drink something other than water, try lemonade, a sports drink, or something else sugary but non-carbonated. The sugar and citrus can help calm a tickle in your throat.


Pick a place with good acoustics and minimal background noise. Sometimes a portable MP3 player/recorder will give you the freedom to pick the right place that a PC does not.

Pronunciation of Foreign Terms

Narrators may find the site Forvo to be helpful for pronunciation of foreign words and phrases.

Cleanup of Audio Files

Any suitable application, such as the free Audacity software, may be (and should be, where necessary) used to combine separate MP3 files together or trim out conspicuous or significant gaps, mistakes, interruptions, etc. We will add bumper music.

Audio Files

To upload your files, contact the editor to obtain a dropbox URL.