Send us a condensed description of the project as you want to propose it. If available, a circuit diagram, PCB layout or a photograph of the project should be included to enable us to get an idea of size and complexity. Please state if the project employs software, and tell us which programming language was used. The user interface should be in English. Send us your documents by normal mail or email. We prefer e-mail because of its speed. The preferred format for texts is MS Word or ASCII. Circuit diagrams and PCB artwork should be supplied in a format that can be read under Windows, for example, BMP, PCX or TIF.
Your proposal is discussed in the first available editorial meeting. This is normally held at two-weekly intervals, but more time should be allowed for during busy periods or holiday periods. In some cases, it may be necessary to examine technical details of your proposal before it can be proposed in the editorial meeting, this may also take some weeks.
In most cases, you receive a message from us after about 3 weeks, informing you if your proposal has been accepted for publication, or if we find it unsuitable. Rejected manuscripts are returned to the author (not in the case of email). In nearly all cases when a proposal is accepted for publication, you receive a payment proposal, plus a proposal outlining ways of co-operating with our technical and editorial staff to obtain the best possible publication value of your article.
The payment proposal will be accompanied with a list of documentation and/or materials which we feel are required. In most cases, we will propose (roughly) the following.
You supply a complete schematic. 'Complete' means no missing parts! If the schematic is to serve as the basis for the PCB design, it should include everything, right up to PCB solder pins. Furthermore, we expect you to tell us the source (supplier, manufacturer) of less than usual parts in the project. The drawing quality of your schematic is of no great concern because we re-draw everything in our house style. You also supply directions for the PCB design, including information on critical parts and your suggestion for an enclosure (if applicable) to fit the PCB in.
As soon as the above information is available, we re-draw the schematic in our house style. Most authors will want to see this schematic before we:
Design a PCB for it. If you have designed your own PCB, we will attempt to follow your layout. We produce a test PCB and send it to you. This PCB will comply with our house style and comes with a component overlay (except with double sided boards) which allows it to be photographed later for use in the article.
Meanwhile you have obtained the necessary components. You populate and test the PCB. You make notes about the construction process and make sure corrections are not forgotten. If you are satisfied with the prototype, you return it to us. If applicable, the board should be fitted the enclosure of your choice.
If necessary, but to be avoided, the above process is repeated with a new PCB until the circuit works as requires.
We check the correct operation of your construction. At this point, any software for the project should be ready and fully debugged. We add measurement points to the circuit and make photographs.
In many cases, your description of the project is sufficient for our editors to write the article. However, this article may become much more interesting if you supply some extra information. In particular, readers will like to know what the circuit is actually used for, what it requires in terms of additional circuitry or software. Also mention some technically salient details. The 'raw' material you supply is used by an editor to build the article. You are, however, welcome to write the article yourself (which we actually prefer).
Finally we would appreciate it if you read the article with a critical eye, and notify us of any mistakes.
As you can see, the road from initial proposal to article in print is quite long. This is caused by the step-by-step procedures we need to follow to ensure the best possible quality and exposure of your article. If you are satisfied with the results, we will send you the definitive contract and start the implementation.
What's in it for me?
1. Your work does not go to waste. Most authors have articles published because they can not live with the thought of their work just gathering dust or remaining in a drawer forever. They are often proud of their writings, which took many hours to finish.
2. An author's fee (remuneration) which will be too small to cover the hours you put into developing your project, and (hopefully) large enough not to offend you. Our standard remuneration is between £40 and £85 per published page, depending on the publication value and the work distribution between you and our staff. If you have a really sensational project, a higher author fee is open to discussion.
3. Your article will provide a link to peers in your field and other interested readers. It will also not fail to boost your reputation as an author.
4. Although by contract you transfer worldwide exclusive publication rights to us, the circuit (design) and associated software remains your intellectual property which you may use as you like, sell it to another party or even market as a product. We encourage the later process an may help you to promote your product via our website. We do not approve of your publishing a similar article about the same product in another magazine, or on the Internet, or publish our article. As a matter of course, you are free to draw attention to your design on your own website, but only using a text written by yourself and with a reference and a hyperlink to the article as we published it.
We encourage authors to make their software freely available. In practice this boosts the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and so provides a stimulus to the development of electronics in general. Source code files in particular should be freeware.
As early as possible in the article production process, you should consider if you ant to make your software freeware or keep the copyrights. Freeware is usually made available via our website (Free Downloads area), or via floppy disks sold at a (non-profit) cost of £5. Ready-programmed ICs are sold through our Readers Services to readers unable their own ICs. If you do not want to relinquish your rights on the software, we can offer you royalty payment (approx. £1 - £2) per software item sold. Note, however, that your publication fee is then reduced, while readers pay a higher the price for the software item(s) and in general your article will have less impact.
Finally, source code files and user interfaces should be in English. If necessary, we can assist you with producing proper English.
Elektor Electronics (Publishing)
1000, Great West Road
Brentford TW8 9HH