Full Contributor Guidelines

Full Contributor Guidelines

CFE Media’s content strategy implements the exchange of specialized content to engage and increase interaction among the engineering community. Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering magazines and websites cover a wide range of topic areas. Please read the following guidelines for contributing content.

For items not described below, or for specific questions, please contact the following:

What we cover

Consulting-Specifying Engineer
Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers automation and controls, codes and standards, commissioning (at all levels), electrical, fire and life safety, green buildings and energy efficiency, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, and power systems. Consulting-Specifying Engineer serves management, engineering management and engineering personnel who perform mechanical and/or electrical engineering activities in consulting engineering firms; design/build firms; construction firms; contracting firms; engineering/architectural firms; architectural/engineering firms; and in-house engineering for government agencies, public utility companies, industrial firms, commercial firms, and institutions.

Control Engineering
Control Engineering covers automation, controls, and instrumentation used to help design, apply, use, upgrade, and decommission automated systems to improve efficiencies throughout the product lifecycle. Focus is on the control loop (sense, decide, and actuate) using the sensors, logic devices, and actuators that drive those improvements, along with the networks and software that helps integrate the controls with the enterprise and supply chain, in discrete, batch, process, and combined applications, across some 65 industries. Areas of coverage include:

    Control Engineering trends: Global manufacturing, sustainability, energy efficiency, business trends and analysis, news, standards and certifications, regulations, laws and compliance, education and training, and safety.
    System integration of control components, control panels, enclosures, safety, I/O modules, terminal blocks, and industrial network hardware and software including Ethernet and wireless.
    System integrators and integrator issues, automation project management and good business practices.
    Information control: automation software, control programming software, automation and control programming languages, human-machine interface (HMI), operator interface (OI), alarms, programmable logic controllers (PLC), programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial computers, control design software, PC-based control, data management, and artificial intelligence.
    Manufacturing IT: Manufacturing execution systems (MES), controls and MES integration, and manufacturing integration with ERP and the supply chain.
    Machine control: motors and drives, motion control, robotics, embedded control, CNC, machine vision, and discrete sensors.
    Process control: loop tuning, advanced control, PID, adaptive control, process instrumentation, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), fieldbus, process sensors, and transmitters.

Plant Engineering
Plant Engineering covers the world of manufacturing from a plant floor perspective. The major content areas include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, automation engineering, and maintenance and management. Plant Engineering serves plant engineers and maintenance professionals within manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.

Keywords

Consulting-Specifying Engineer:
Building construction engineering, systems engineering, industrial engineering, consulting engineer, construction engineering, building engineering, building engineer, control systems engineering, green building construction, commercial building systems, building engineer, commercial facility, consulting, specifying, HVAC, electrical, power, Pure Power, fire, life safety systems, industrial control systems, renewable energy

Control Engineering:
HMI software, SCADA software, batch software, MES software, embedded control, process and advanced control, process improvement, instrumentation, process sensors, machine control, discrete sensors, servo drives, motion control, fieldbus, industrial networks, terminal blocks, relays, distributed control, single and multi-loop controllers, safety system software, I/O products and systems, manufacturing efficiency, PLC programming software, data acquisition, signal conditioners, pressure sensors, pressure switches, limit switches, photoelectric sensors, proximity sensors, motion feedback devices, encoders, resolvers, torque sensors, motion feedback devices, vision systems, automation software, control software, control programming languages, PC based control software, process analysis and loop tuning software, data historian software, valve positioners, motor starters, adjustable speed Drives, brushless motors, automation system design, control system design, system integrators, system integration

Plant Engineering:
Manufacturing news, maintenance management, manufacturing, mechanical engineering, fluid handling, power transmission, HVAC, automation engineering, plant manufacturing, national manufacturing association, national manufacturing index, plant production, sustainable manufacturing, lean manufacturing, wireless communication, plant services, plant safety, OSHA, manufacturing technology, Applied Automation

CFE Media cannot accept content with requirements:

  1. To include a disclaimer or other legal notice from the company providing the content that must be included in the text, or,
  2. To secure separate permission to reuse or repurpose content after its initial use. Content cannot be restricted, and must be submitted with permission that is without such a limitation.

News

News items with an industry impact or nationwide or international reach that would benefit all of our readers are best. News may be about trends that affect the industry, association information, analysis of such information, large achievements within a company, or other broad items. In the magazines, we typically do not run announcements on new hires or promotions, website launches, or other company-specific news, though we may run it online.

Please send all press releases and other news to the following:

 

Products

Product releases should include complete company contact information, a description of the product and its capabilities, and a color photo whenever possible. Products are selected based on their relevance to our readers, and may be included in a special product focus in a particular month. Create a profile and upload products to the New Products for Engineers database. 

 

Letters/reader feedback

This is where industry opinions are sought. We welcome letters to the editor, comments on stories you’ve seen in the magazines or on general industry issues, and other comments you’d like to share.
Send comments to:

 

Feature articles

This is the place where our industry experts and engineering leaders can best showcase their knowledge. Articles may range from 1,200 to 3,000 words and should include all appropriate graphics, tables, or art (anchor to image guidelines). Our editors will work with you on the development of your article and the details of submission. Feature articles are generally planned one year in advance in what is called an editorial calendar. When pitching an article, it is advised that the topic be tied to one that is on the editorial calendar at least three months in advance of the month the topic is listed.
Send feature story ideas to:

Bylined Departments/Thought Leadership

These are the one- to two-page sections of the magazine that have contributors writing about topics germane to a given department. For example, the Consulting-Specifying Engineer monthly department, Codes and Standards, will have a 600- to 900-word story on new specifications within a given code, standard, or guideline, or cover an interpretation issue. Some departments are planned in advance on the editorial calendar.

Send bylined department ideas to the following:

 

Product case studies

We welcome stories (600 to 1,500 words) of how a product or solution technique (not a specific product) helped improve one of your client’s efficiency, productivity, or operational effectiveness. What we’re looking for are unique solutions to a client’s problem. These articles can be suggested by a product manufacturer or the engineering team, but the focus of the article should be on how the product solved a difficult problem for the client. We will evaluate submissions to ensure they focus on the solution, not the product.
Please send case studies to:

E-newsletter feature stories

Each of our e-newsletters has one to two feature stories in each, which is both e-mailed to our readers and posted online. E-newsletters stories must meet the same strict requirements as our print magazine features, and should have multiple links to external sites for readers to acquire more information.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer e-newsletters include: Codes and Standards, Electrical Solutions, Fire and Life Safety Solutions, HVAC Solutions, News Watch, Pure Power

Control Engineering e-newsletters: Weekly News, Fieldbus Facts, Information Control Monthly, Safety and Security, Process and Advanced Control Monthly, Process Instrumentation and Sensors Monthly, Machine Control Monthly, Energy Automation Montly, System Integration Monthly

Plant Engineering e-newsletters: PlantMail, Hotwire, Safety and Security, Maintenance Connection, Energy Management

 

  • Send Consulting-Specifying Engineer e-newsletter feature story ideas with e-newsletter name in the subject line to Amara Rozgus, Editor in Chief/Content Manager, ARozgus(at)cfemedia.com.
  • Send Control Engineering e-newsletter feature story ideas with e-newsletter name in the subject line to controleng(at)cfemedia.com.
  • Send Plant Engineering e-newsletter feature story ideas to: Bob Vavra, Content Manager, BVavra(at)cfemedia.com.

 

 

How to submit feature story/case study information

  • It is critical to first e-mail an exclusive idea before writing a complete article. We can then see where it might fit in our editorial calendar, or when appropriate. We prefer that you contact us prior to writing your manuscript so that we can guide you in the content. We may ask for an abstract and outline and a commitment to a deadline before agreeing to a manuscript.
  • If you are suggesting a “how-to” article, please be sure to tell us what level of reader might be interested in this, the seasoned engineer or the novice.
  • For engineering case studies, be sure to include who, what, when, where, the timeline of the project, how much it cost and how it was paid for, why it was done.
    • For Consulting-Specifying Engineer, include post-occupancy performance data such as datalogger readings, meter readings, and utility bills.
  • Include information about the bylined author, such as their title and a three-sentence bio.
  • The availability of photos or other illustrative materials should be explained or samples provided (no high-resolution files via e-mail, please).
  • If you’re pitching online content (rich media, e.g. videos, podcasts, etc.), it must be noncommercial and instructional.

There are restrictions on such submissions:

The article or online content must be exclusive to the three magazines that operate under CFE Media (Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering). Authors will be requested to sign an agreement with CFE Media to have their story published. Photos and other art elements remain the intellectual property of the originator, but anything used in the Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, or Plant Engineering article can be used by Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering or Plant Engineering in any spin-offs or re-publications of the article in print or electronic formats.

    The article is not product-specific or commercially biased. We encourage authors to include information about the engineering topic, a particular project or challenge, or a general technology issue. This allows us to maintain our editorial independence.

General policies and procedures

Rights
CFE Media and the publications it represents assumes the right to publish, perform, display, digitize, transmit, reproduce and, as reasonably required for layout purposes, modify and reformat, in all formats and media now known or hereafter developed throughout the universe in perpetuity for any submitted photography, illustrations, graphics, other images, and related text.

  • Length of articles: Articles may range anywhere from 1 to 4 published pages, depending on the topic and the author. Each page is about 600 words.
  • How to submit articles: Articles should be in Microsoft Word, and should be submitted via e-mail. CDs or flash drives are also accepted formats. Please DO NOT submit articles in PDF format.
  • How to submit images: All graphics should be provided in separate high-resolution 300 dpi, EPS, JPEG or TIFF files at 4×6 inches in size in either RGB or CMYK format. Typical image file sizes are 1 MB or larger. We may request larger image files be submitted via our cloud server site or on CD, DVD or flash drive. Our art department will redraw most graphs, charts, and line drawings, and format tables for publication quality.
    Image capture guidelines:
    • Capture images at the largest size resolution possible with highest pixel depth your equipment can produce.
    • Control image correction as much as possible during image capture, do not sharpen.
    • Previously scanned high resolution files are acceptable.
    • Files should be submitted uncompressed (TIFF format) RGB color mode with no embedded color profile.
    • EPS files are also acceptable in Photoshop or Illustrator programs.
    • JPEG files are compressed and therefore not preferred but will be acceptable only if they are high resolution.
    • Unless otherwise requested, any added type or logos, other than what would appear on a normal software screen shot, will be cropped out to ensure uniform publication style.
  • Deadlines for editorial material vary according to the type of material. A typical deadline for a feature story is at least two months prior to publication (so April stories are due about February 1). In the case of unsolicited features, we will contact you about when we plan to run a story. Because of production and magazine publishing issues, however, we cannot guarantee any story will run in a given issue.
  • We receive a high volume of submissions. We won’t use every article pitched, but we may decide to share them with our readers on the websites, or in one of the monthly e-newsletters.
  • Complementary copies: Feature article authors automatically receive three copies of the issue or issues in which their article appears.

Specifically for Consulting-Specifying Engineer

All technical articles will be anonymously reviewed, likely by a member of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer Advisory Board, or by another expert in the industry.

How to Submit Videos

Videos of interest for viewing on the CFE Media Websites will be considered for posting.
Specifications for video file to post: Video, 5 minutes or less, may include a 5-sec introduction screen featuring your company/project name and information and a 5-sec closing screen with your contact information (e-mail, URL, phone, etc). Use file names for the video that contains descriptive keywords identifying video content for SEO purposes.

  • File should be at least 320 px by 240 px and be proportioned to a 4:3 ratio.
  • Supported format is Flash Video (FLV). We cannot accept .swf or .fla files. (The ratio/pixel width can be larger but will be constrained within a player that accommodates a 4:3 Video. Videos are placed on the site at 320 px by 240 pix resolution.)

How Videos are Displayed

  • Videos will be embedded on pages with related content for SEO.
  • Videos can be loaded from YouTube and hosted on our pages.

Reprints

Reprints are available after publication in the three magazines. All reprints are custom made in hardcopy or electronic format, and prices vary. 

Helpful Hints for Search Engine Optimization

Titles and subtitles

  • Use identifying keywords that relate to the content in your article title as those keywords are integrated into URL.
  • Subtitles (deckhead) should be 2-4 sentences and refer to the content covered in the article.
  • If there is a company name, include it in the subtitle.
  • Include pertinent information referring to the full content in the subtitle.

Content

  • Include relevant deep links to content that is hosted on your source as well as content hosted on the publication’s site

File names for images

  • If using images, use the magazine acronym (CE, CSE, PE), the date and then an identifier description with hyphens or underscores.