Chemical Engineering is published monthly by Access Intelligence, primarily for chemical engineers and related technical people in the chemical process industries (CPI), as well as at engineering, design and construction companies that serve the CPI.
The CPI consist of: chemicals, including petrochemicals; drugs and cosmetics; explosives and ammunition; fats and oils; fertilizers and agricultural chemicals; foods and beverages; leather tanning and finishing; lime and cement; synthetic fibers; metallurgical and metal products; paints and coatings; petroleum refining and coal products; plastics; rubber; soap and detergents; stone, clay, glass and ceramics; wood, pulp, paper and board; other chemically processed products. It is not uncommon for our readers to also get involved in other fields that employ chemical engineering technology.
The magazine is edited for the “technical decision-maker,” an individual who applies engineering training to the making of technical and business decisions. This person most often is a chemical engineer, chemist or mechanical engineer, working in research and development, design, construction, production or technical management. Whether a recent technical graduate or someone with years of experience, this individual is applying technology for profit in the CPI.
Such a person looks to Chemical Engineering for practical information that can be used directly on the job, plus the latest about what’s happening in, or will be affecting, the CPI.
Serving these needs is the primary function of Chemical Engineering. The reader comes first! This means that we seek out and select only those manuscripts and press releases that will serve the reader. Our reputation and credibility have been built on this policy — it guarantees that material we publish will attract serious reader attention.
Chemical Engineering is not subsidized by any professional society or organization. We solicit subscriptions from engineers and other technical persons in the CPI according to carefully drawn up standards related to education and job function. In this way, we reach the influential decision makers in the CPI.
Our worldwide audience, including those readers who see routed copies of the magazine, surpasses a quarter of a million people. This is a readership unrivaled by any other CPI publication. So, material published in Chemical Engineering gets unmatched exposure.
The value of writing for publication
Perhaps you have been thinking of writing a manuscript about some aspect of chemical engineering or related technology. You realize that publication of articles in technical journals enhances your professional reputation. (Our authors frequently report that appearance of an article in Chemical Engineering has led to their increased recognition.) This booklet will show you how to go about preparing and submitting your material.
You don’t have to be a professional writer to have an article published in Chemical Engineering. You need only present some information, based on experience or know-how, that will be of value to our readers. Our engineering-trained editorial staff will help you to produce an article that will reflect credit on yourself and your employer.
But how can you tell whether you have enough expertise to write a manuscript, and whether it is worth publishing? Ask yourself these questions: Are certain types of assignments regularly handled by you rather than by others in your organization? Do your coworkers usually come to you when they have questions on some particular topic? Are you routinely consulted whenever something has to do with a specific topic? If so, that may be an indication that you have above-average expertise on that topic.
If you feel that the subject that you would like to write about would interest our “technical decision-makers,” contact us. Just write, call or visit, and we’ll tell you whether your idea seems promising to us. You may contact either our main office in New York City, or our field office nearest you (see below for contact information). Then we will guide you in producing a manuscript with a minimum of wasted time and effort.
What Chemical Engineering readers want
The interest of the typical Chemical Engineering reader can be summed up in two words: practical information. This individual wants concise factual information that aids in solving real problems. Such a person does not look to CE for abstract theoretical treatises, vague general discussions or reviews of previously published material.
If you have something that seems appropriate, send us your proposal on an exclusive basis. In other words, submit your idea (or manuscript) to only one magazine at a time!
When evaluating a proposed topic for publication, our editors ask themselves the following questions:
• Will the topic appeal to a significant fraction of our readers?
• Will an article on the topic provide useful, impartial information about chemical processes, equipment, design procedures, plant operations, economic evaluations, or general engineering techniques?
• Is the idea or manuscript timely or interpretive, rather than just a rehash of old material?
• Is the idea or manuscript aimed at helping the non-specialist become conversant with the subject, rather than being written for another expert?
• Does the material help readers in decision-making, in technical administration, or in policy formulation?
• Will it enable readers to accelerate their professional development?
Where your article may fit
The most-comprehensive articles in each issue fall under a heading that Chemical Engineering calls Engineering Practice articles. These can be on a wide range of topics of interest to our readers. The underlying purpose of these articles is to give the reader practical, proven technical information that can be directly useful in his or her work. Examples: how to prepare well-written specifications for a centrifuge, how to apply a new method for design of an absorption column, the practical basics of inert-gas blanketing, how to choose between methods for removing particulate solids from gases.
In addition, we accept manuscripts for a number of regular editorial departments. If your idea seems appropriate for an Engineering Practice article or any of the following departments, let us know. The best procedure is for you to draw up an outline or abstract, and either send it to email@example.com or the appropriate email address below. We will quickly acknowledge your submission, and get back with specific comments as soon as possible after we have reviewed it.
Operation & Maintenance looks for submissions that focus specifically on successfully running and maintaining a process plant. Typical topics include minimizing centrifugal-pump downtime, plant safety, troublefree operation of belt conveyors, and proper usage of mechanical seals or gaskets. To submit an article specifically for consideration in this department, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You & Your Job focuses on the individual engineer as a person. It presents job-related articles on, for instance, how to deliver a talk, how to make the most of a performance review, how to obtain a professional engineer license, how to make most efficient use of your business-travel budget. To submit an article specifically for this department, please email email@example.com.
Environmental Manager solicits manuscripts addressing the technological, administrative, legal and regulatory demands that are put on CPI plant managers by environmental law. Examples: meeting regulations concerning waste disposal, and obtaining proper permits and licenses for pollution-control systems. To submit an article specifically for this department, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solids Processing solicits manuscripts on the storage, handling and transport of bulk solids. Typical subject matter includes monitoring solids flow, blending and segregation, feeding and conveying, assessing particle characteristics, and handling fine powders. To submit an article specifically for this department, please email email@example.com.
Pristine Processing focuses on process technology, materials, equipment and services for manufacturing high-purity chemicals and gases, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology-derived products; foods and beverages; and electronic materials and components. To submit an article specifically for this department, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to develop your manuscript
Let’s assume that the editors have expressed an interest in your article idea and you’re ready to begin writing. A helpful device in planning an article is to put yourself in the reader’s place. While making a final outline, ask yourself the questions that another engineer unfamiliar with your specialty would ask. The answers to these questions should guide the development of your manuscript.
The manuscript should begin with a statement defining its scope, and the benefits that the reader may expect to get from it. The bulk of the manuscript should then be devoted to answering the questions of “how” and “why.”
Write in a simple, conversational style, as though you were telling a friend about your work. Short sentences are always best; short paragraphs, too. In general, three characteristics of good expository writing are: accuracy, relevance for the reader, and clarity. For a more thorough breakdown of the nuances of technical writing, please download Assets/File/Twelve Tips.pdf.
Remember that your main job is to inform, and that this is best done via simple, direct statements. Your readers are busy people, so make your point with the fewest words possible. Difficult or abstract points often can be brought home effectively and concisely by giving some “for instances”.
As you write, keep in mind that you are trying to communicate information to a broad spectrum of readers. So make your conclusions as generally applicable as you reasonably can, avoid the jargon of the specialist, and indicate where the principles described might be used other than in your own special area. Do not mention nor promote proprietary equipment, technology or services; our outside-authored articles are instead generic.
After you have written your draft, go over it thoroughly for accuracy. And reevaluate every sentence that repeats information presented earlier in the manuscript. Make sure that the information in your text is fully consistent with the information in your diagrams, tables, graphs or other display materials.
What not to worry about
There are several points with which you needn’t overly concern yourself when developing your manuscript:
• The Opening — The best way for you to start is just to begin writing about the subject, again remembering to write as if you were discussing it with another engineer. If a more general introduction is needed, our editors will provide one.
• The Ending — If you have emphasized the important points in the development of your theme, there is no need to repeat them at the end. Let the nature of your material determine what type of summary, if any, is needed.
• Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation — Write as simply and clearly as you can. Our editors will take care of grammar, spelling and punctuation, and will make any other style changes necessary to conform to our format.
• Length — Go into as much detail as you feel is necessary for a full understanding of what you are describing. If condensation is needed, the editors can handle that in consultation with you. (We are flexible about length, but Engineering Practice articles typically run about four to six printed pages, and other departments two to three. Both contain about one-third illustrations and two-thirds text. As a rough guideline, four double-spaced keyboarded pages translate into 1,000 words or about one printed page of solid text.)
There are a few simple things that you can do to help us expedite the handling of your manuscript:
• Clearance — If your company requires that manuscripts be cleared before publication (e.g., by the company’s Legal Dept.), send us your submission only after it has been cleared. However, we are, of course, happy to discuss manuscript ideas, or to review outlines of proposed articles, before you have initiated any company-clearance procedures.
• Keyboarding — The draft should be typed doublespaced. Double-space everything, including tables, captions, footnotes, nomenclature, and literature references. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself. Besides being double-spaced, each table should be on a separate sheet. Once we accept a manuscript, we prefer that the author send us a copy of it via email attachment, if this is convenient. The manuscript should be in a text file or the word processor that you originally used to write the manuscript.
• Illustrations — Your use of appropriate, carefully planned illustrative material can make a big difference in the usefulness and attractiveness of your article. Please include all relevant tables, photographs, diagrams and drawings with your draft. Group them after the text. Illustrations not of your own creation may require copyright clearance from their sources. Please obtain such clearance whenever it is required, and tell us what, if any, credit must be given to the source. Submit only sharp photographs, slides, negatives or high-resolution digital images (>300 dpi). Be sure to include a caption for each. Don’t write captions directly on the back of photographs; they may show through and make the photographs unsuitable for reproduction. Instead, type each caption separately, and tape or paste each one to the back of the appropriate photograph. When mailing photographs, pack them between sheets of heavy cardboard to prevent damage.
• Literature references — As indicated above, make sure to double-space these items, as we almost always must edit them to conform to our style. Bear in mind that our readers are not interested in an exhaustive listing, but rather in a useful one. So list only those sources that would be of particular value to a reader, and that can be fairly readily obtained. Be sure that each listing provides complete bibliographical details, including place of publication.
• Mathematics — Mathematical equations, formulas, and operations should be presented clearly. And they should be double-checked! Indicate in the margins all symbols that might be ambiguous, such as the letter “L,” which can be mistaken for the number “one.” Avoid using complicated notation, such as bars over letters, and lengthy exponents that may be easy to write but hard to set into print. We find more errors in mathematics than in anything else — so please double-check. If you are describing a calculation methodology, provide a sample calculation.
• Units — We prefer the use of SI metric units, but the most important thing is consistency.
• Nomenclature — Whenever a manuscript uses a number of symbols representing various physical and chemical properties or other phenomena, please supply a table of nomenclature. Be sure to define every symbol used, including its units — even if the meaning is generally known or appears obvious to you.
• Byline and biography — Indicate on the first page of your manuscript how you would like your name and affiliation to appear. Please indicate any preferred mailing address, email address, and your telephone number and/or fax number if you would like them included. Also, once we accept the article, we need a short biography (about 100 words) that details your present position or title, past work experience, degrees held, and society memberships. In addition, please send a sharp, high-resolution digital image (300 dpi or greater) of yourself.
What happens to your manuscript
As soon as we receive your submission, we will acknowledge its arrival. Then we will circulate it among our editors and, perhaps, to an outside expert for review. Once all the reviews are in, we’ll advise you of our consensus — whether your manuscript is acceptable as is, requires some modification (this may mean a change of focus, or the need to include additional information), or is not suitable for CE. In any event, we will give you a clear statement of our decision, and whatever guidance we feel is appropriate.
When we are satisfied with a manuscript, either as submitted or as subsequently revised, we will write to you, formally accepting it for publication. At that time, we will ask you to sign our standard copyright-assignment form.
Finally, your manuscript will be tentatively scheduled for a specific issue and given to a particular editor to handle. Chances are that the editor will make some changes. This may involve no more than some sharpening up here and there; on the other hand, the editor may make substantial revisions, condensing some portions and rewriting or reorganizing others. In either case, we will strive to send you a copy of the edited version of your manuscript well before publication so you can check it for accuracy.
Shortly after your article is published we will send you a small supply of tearsheets (unbound copies of the article). If you need additional copies, we can reprint them for you at a special author’s discount rate. Our Client Services department (Email: email@example.com; tel: 800-777-5006 [toll-free within the U.S.] or 301-354-2101; fax: 301-309-3847) can quote prices.
What we seek
We welcome receiving press releases. If we cannot use a release directly, it may provide helpful leads for future news items or good background information. In your news release, be sure to include the date of the news release and the company headquarters of all parties mentioned.
The editors of Chemical Engineering are always looking for news about:
• New processes, improvements in ways to manufacture CPI products, or process licensing agreements.
• Developments in engineering technology, e.g. improved control systems, trends in ways of using equipment, techniques for improving plant operations.
• Industry economics, such as surveys that project the markets for CPI products during coming years, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships.
• Availability of new types of process equipment, new materials, chemicals and services.
• Plant expansions and announcements of new facilities.
• Speeches by company executives commenting on important issues facing the CPI and the chemical engineering profession.
• Actions or statements by government agencies, universities, trade associations and professional societies affecting the CPI or the profession.
When to tell us your news
Many announcements are routine items that can be handled by a press release given general distribution. However, there may be certain types of announcements that you wish to direct specifically to technical decision-makers in the CPI — the heart of Chemical Engineering’s readership.
If your story does indeed represent news of genuine interest to a large number of our readers, we will be glad to work with you to develop a news coverage that can be timed to appear in CE at the same time that you make a general release. By working with you in advance, we are able to write a piece that is of more interest to our technical audience. This kind of coverage usually requires at least a few weeks of preparation and processing before it appears in print.
Tips on preparing news releases
A good press release makes it easier for us to assess the true worth of your news. Here are several ways to help us:
• Always date your release
• Always include the company headquarters of all parties that are mentioned
• Issue your release on U.S. standard 8 1/2 x 11-in. paper. Odd-size papers are more difficult to handle.
• In the opening paragraphs, tell exactly what is new and why it should be of interest.
• Include enough information to answer questions likely to be asked by sophisticated technical readers. Otherwise, there may be a delay in handling your release while we contact you for further details
• Indicate the name and contact information of someone who can supply additional information if necessary.
• Provide illustrations to support your text. Photographs should be sharp and unretouched. If submitting digital photgraphs, please make sure that they are at least 300 dpi and in .jpg, .tif or Photoshop .eps format.
How we handle your release
Each release that we receive is routed to the editor responsible for the department for which it is most suited. This person then evaluates the release for interest and completeness. Items selected for publication are chosen solely on the basis of merit. They are processed by the editor to meet departmental requirements. If additional information is needed, the editor will solicit it.
Because of space limitations, we obviously cannot use all the releases sent to us. And owing to the number of releases that we receive, it is impossible for us to acknowledge their receipt or report on their disposition.
Where to submit your release and where your news may appear
Our news material is staff-written. To accommodate the large number of press releases submitted each month, we offer dedicated email addresses depending on the type of news announcement and where it may appear. If submitting digital images, please make sure that they are at least 300 dpi and in jpg or tif format.
Formatting note: In every case, it is most useful for us to have the text of the release within the email body. Such formatting helps us make quick decisions regarding the most appropriate editorial section for the given piece of news. It is even more helpful to have a brief title of the news release within the subject line of the email.
News departments. For the convenience of our readers, Chemical Engineering presents news in several well-defined departments:
Chementator (firstname.lastname@example.org) concisely highlights the top news and interprets its significance. News can range from a novel chemical process to the latest engineering salary survey. Some stories that appear first in Chementator subsequently receive more extensive treatment in other departments.
Newsfront includes longer, up-to-several-page stories that provide in-depth descriptions and analysis of new developments in technology as they relate to design and operations, regulations, professional trends, and markets. For a schedule of upcoming news topics, please see page 10 of our Media Kit or our Upcoming Editorial Announcement, which runs approximately two months ahead of schedule.
Economic Indicators also covers latebreaking developments, but places a greater accent on plant construction and marketing news. Rounding out the department are brief items on a variety of timely topics, including new-plant announcements, plant expansions and similar corporate information. To submit a news release for consideration in this department or our online Business Newswire, please email email@example.com.
New Products & Services reports on equipment, chemicals, materials and services, as they become commercially available. The product or service must be truly new — we avoid “new” items that are merely slightly changed existing items, and new releases about old items. To help us in our evaluations, please include photographs or other illustrations that demonstrate the usefulness or operation of the item. Brochures and data sheets also are welcome. To submit a news release for New Products & Services, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if your release is fitting for a special editorial focus (such as for the Focus department below or the Newsfront department above), it will be filed appropriately.
Focuses are similar to the New Products & Services Dept., but each Focus deals with one particular category of equipment, chemicals, material or services. A Focus includes brief descriptions of products and services that represent up-to-date technology in the given category. If you know that your news fits one of our particular upcoming Focus topics, please send it to email@example.com, and in the subject line be sure to include the month and topic for which the release is intended. Otherwise, simply send your product news releases to firstname.lastname@example.org, where it will be filed appropriately for all upcoming product and service related coverage.
Bookshelf (email@example.com) provides brief reviews of significant new and revised works, and provides an extensive listing of books just published. For evaluation, we need a copy of the book itself, as well as price and ordering information.
Calendar (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides a concise listing of significant upcoming meetings and continuing-education courses.
Who’s Who (email@example.com) in the CPI summarizes the recent leadership changes at the executive level of CPI related companies. If you have a digital headshot, please include a high-res (>300 dpi) version.