Most of the editorial content in PCD&F is in the form of technical articles. Every article must address or conform to the following items:
Articles should be submitted electronically via email.
Articles must contain complete contact and author information, author biographies, and reference information, and should adhere to the general format requirements. Reference materials should be noted in a separate section and provide the following:
Complete artwork information including captions and figure references must also be provided.
Finally, authors must document any relationship they or their employers have to equipment, materials or patented processes named in the article.
PCEA retains the copyright for all published material unless otherwise agreed upon by the author and a designated representative of PCEA. If your article is originally published in PCD&F, reprinting it elsewhere is permissible. However, the following credit line must be published with the article:
"This article was originally published in the (month/year) issue of PCD&F and is reprinted with permission."
See the Author’s Agreement for more information. Contact PCD&F for a copy.
The deadline for editorial falls approximately six weeks prior to the printing of the issue. For example, the deadline for the July issue is May 15.
Competition for publication is fierce. While PCD&F generally follows a first-in, first out publication process, we do on occasion assign deadlines. If you cannot meet the deadline for your article or any of the accompanying artwork, contact the editors promptly. Failure to notify the editors may result in your article getting rescheduled.
Detailed information for each month's editorial emphasis is included in the Editorial Calendar.
In general, articles should be as long as necessary to fully explain the author’s thesis, study or commentary. That said, the length of the article should depend on the breadth and depth of the topic. Every technical article should detail the methodology and results, including specific equipment, materials and software used.
Articles should be between 1800 and 3500 words. Articles that are extremely long – more than 5000 words – may be serialized in successive issues.
Digital illustrations and photographs are required. They must be originals, high resolution (300 dpi or higher) and in Photoshop EPS, TIF, or JPEG format. Email these with the article submission. Preprinted material is not acceptable.
All figures referenced in the article should be clearly marked on the artwork (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.)
Compose an Outline: Composing a brief outline before writing the article will help to organize your thoughts. It will also help keep the flow of information smooth and organized.
Use Short Sentences: Cramming too much information into one sentence is a common mistake. Use two or more sentences, if needed, for clarity.
Sidebar: Background information needed to fully explain your article may take the form of a "sidebar." This is a supplement to your article and might contain definitions, addresses, or a lengthy explanation.
Introduction: An abstract of the article is not required.
Avoid Cliches: Nothing can sap reader interest faster than these exhausted, overworked phrases. (You know what they are. You’ve heard them before!)
Skip the Commercial: Readers and editors will see through veiled product pitches. Save time; omit the endorsement.
Keep It Simple: A technical article should not be used as a showcase for an extensive vocabulary. Don't use four or five words when you can use one. Don't use large words when simple ones will do the job.
There are many other suggestions concerning grammar, spelling, structure, and so on that could be offered here, but then what are editors for? Your local library or bookstore offers many reference sources. One of our favorites is The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. It is informative, funny, inexpensive, and it will help you compose a better article.