Article submission guidelines – Electro Optics

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Article submission guidelines – Electro Optics

Thank you for your interest in writing an article for Electro Optics. This document is intended to provide a guide on the approach used on the publication and advises on some common pitfalls to avoid. It is not an exhaustive list so please get in touch with the editor (Greg Blackman, if you have any additional questions or things you would like to discuss.

General editorial policy

  • The overall guiding principles of any article in Electro Optics, either in print or online are: it must be interesting and relevant to our readers and it must be accurate, verifiable and have appropriate attribution for any quotations or citations.

  • Electro Optics takes no position on issues of disagreement in the industry. However, we welcome contributions from people with a range of viewpoints. Publication of ‘opinion’ pieces or quotations is not an endorsement of a particular stance.

  • In submitting articles, you must ensure that there are no breaches of copyright or other legal infringements with the document you are submitting. In some situations we may accept versions of articles that have been published elsewhere, for example, on a company’s blog. All such situations are agreed in advance on a case-by-case basis and appropriate attribution must be included.

  • It is fine to mention products and companies but articles in Electro Optics are not intended to provide promotion for any businesses or services. Electro Optics has several attractive commercial opportunities for companies wishing to promote their activities.

Reporting on conferences

  • Focus on two or three interesting themes, rather than listing everything. Nobody wants to know that the coffee break was at 10.30 and was 20 minutes long!

  • Report what people said, rather than simply describing the talk. For example, instead of ‘Jones gave an interesting overview of the challenges of open access’, say ‘Jones said that the challenges for open access are x, y and z.’ Variants of the second give real information, insight or opinion to the reader.

  • Avoid personal, especially derogatory, comments about speakers’ appearance, speaking style or arguments. However, feel free to disagree with comments made, provided it is clear who is making which comments and the disagreements are constructive.

  • Include speakers’ names, affiliations and job titles. Indicate direct quotations with speech marks.

  • Include details of the location of the event and when it took place. Also include the event URL and any other relevant links.

Providing opinion

  • We welcome a range of opinions in Electro Optics. Opinions will be clearly attributed to the person who is making them.

  • Do include any constructive disagreements with stances taken by others but ensure that their opinions are fairly reflected and avoid personal attacks.

  • Back up your opinions with evidence and links.

Writing style

  • Articles in Electro Optics are written in English. However, our readers are from all over the world and not necessarily native English speakers so avoid overly complex sentences or illustrations that only make sense to people from a particular country or culture.

  • Similarly, try to avoid country-specific examples without explanation (for example, if you are an international publisher it makes no sense to only provide journal usage information for the UK unless those are the only figures you have, perhaps because of a pilot project in that country).

  • Articles are written in a journalistic, rather than scientific report, style. Analysis and opinion articles in particular can be written in close to a blog style.

  • Don’t worry too much about literary perfection. Our primary concerns are high-quality, relevant information and insight; we edit all articles.

  • Articles will be edited for house style and to, for example, tidy up sentence structure and grammar. However, we aim to retain the author’s ‘voice’. If there are queries or substantial changes we will check with the author.

  • Provide relevant links at the end of the article, ideally including the URLs (and/or DOIs) rather than embedding the links within the text.

Article length and deadlines

  • Articles intended for publication on the web first (analysis and opinion articles) are generally 500-1000 words, although these limits are not rigid.

  • Articles intended for publication in the magazine first (and later on the web) are generally 1000-2000 words in length. The length will be discussed during commissioning.

  • Deadlines are generally around a month after the commissioning date unless otherwise agreed. If something is tied to a particular event we may discuss a shorter deadline to ensure timeliness of coverage.


Greg Blackman, 26 August 2014