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Contribution Guidelines

iSGTW needs your help!

There are so many interesting stories out there, we couldn't possibly cover them all on our own. That's why we're always looking for contributions from readers like you.

Why contribute?

When you write for iSGTW, your writing goes out to over 8000 fellow researchers and scientific computing specialists, as well as a number of funders, communicators, journalists, and science and technology enthusiasts. It's a great way to raise your profile and the profile of your research or institution, while simultaneously doing a service to the community. There are many ways to contribute to iSGTW.

Contribute a story idea

Do you have a great story idea that you haven't seen covered anywhere, but no time to look into it yourself? We'd love to hear about it! Send it to us at editors@isgtw.org.

Contribute a story

We also love it when people write stories for us to run. Bear in mind, though, that not all stories are suited to iSGTW. To save you some time, we recommend that you send us a story pitch before you write up the whole story.

An ideal story pitch will tell us:

  1. What the story is about, in as few words as possible.
  2. Why this story is important.
  3. Why this story is right for iSGTW (Hint: the General guidelines below may be helpful in answering this question, as would the What is iSGTW? page).
  4. What type of story you think this should be (see story types below).
  5. Any special qualifications you have related to the story topic.

Send your story pitches to us at editors@isgtw.org.

General guidelines

  • Our stories cover distributed computing and research applications of distributed computing (for example, scientific experiments that store, process, analyze or visualize their data using distributed computing resources).
  • Generally speaking, we do not cover corporate news. For example, we might run a story about medical research conducted on Azure or Amazon, and use it as an opportunity to touch upon the fact that scientific use of commercial HPC cloud services is growing. Or we might write about the results from a peer-reviewed paper comparing performance of different infrastructures. But we would not publish an article purely about Azure or Amazon.
  • Some of our readers are researchers new to computational methods, while others are computing experts. When using jargon specific to a field of research or science, please remember to define your terms in as simple a fashion as possible. Computing terms such as grid computing, cloud computing, and other topics frequently discussed in iSGTW, you do not need to define them.
  • All stories should come with at least one picture, caption, and copyright information.
  • With the exception of opinion and interview articles, we strive to maintain an unbiased, journalistic tone and perspective.

Features

Our contributed features typically range in size from 400 to 700 words in length, although in unusual cases we have run stories as long as 1500 words.

There are several types of features we run in iSGTW. Not all features fit into the categories outlined below, but these should give you a start.

Opinion, Interview, and Letter to the Editor

Our unique audience makes iSGTW a great place to share your opinions with your colleagues. In fact, many of our most popular articles are interviews or opinion articles.

An opinion article, which is written in the first person, is a way for you to offer your considered perspective on topics that have a broad impact. A Letter to the Editor is an opinion article written in response to a story which already run in iSGTW. Interviews are more likely to touch on a variety of topics, teach readers new concepts, and perhaps discuss your research.

Back to Basics

Our Back to Basics articles are aimed at researchers who are new to scientific computing or familiar with one form of computing but not another. We use these articles to explain concepts that will help researchers make educated decisions about computational resources. Eventually, these articles will be incorporated into our Learn pages to serve the research computing community.

Research Reports

A Research Report is an article in which a researcher describes, in first person, one of two types of published research results.

  1. Sociological reports about the research computing community, user experiences, etc. Some of these are reports published by cyberinfrastructure organizations; others have appeared in peer-reviewed journals.
  2. Papers published in a peer-reviewed journals that compare different computing paradigms in order to assess performance, or provide a broad perspective on some aspect of the fields of scientific and distributed computing.

These articles aim to give computing experts and researchers the information they need to make evidence-based decisions about user experiences and computing resources.

Research Applications

These stories use journalistic style to describe interesting scientific or academic research enabled by distributed computing. A good Research Applications article will explain the science at a level appropriate for general audiences, and contain information about the computational resources and software that supported the science. An excellent Research Applications article will cover interesting or important science that was enabled by innovative computing solutions.

Technology Research

Technology Research articles are written in a journalistic style, and describe computing research relevant to computational science.

Project Profile

Sometimes it is worth profiling a large-scale research project before it even has any results, or when it is not yet complete. These stories discuss the science or technology the project will explore, as well as the design decisions made thus far regarding software, data management, compute power, etc.

Spotlight

Spotlight is the section where, each week, we put a link, blog post, statistic, glossary word, or other item in the spotlight. These articles are particularly short, ranging from 100 to 300 words.

Visual

Visual is the section where, each week, we feature a visually attractive item such as an image, video, or slideshow related to distributed scientific computing. Visual articles are sometimes as short as a caption, explaining the featured item and its copyright information.

Announcements, jobs, and calendar items

Readers who have registered for an iSGTW account can submit and manage announcements, jobs, events, and deadlines, by following these steps:

  1. Log in if you haven't already
  2. Hover your mouse over "Contribute" in the horizontal blue menu
  3. Select "Submit Job," "Submit Announcement," or "Add Calendar item."

There are two kinds of calendar items: Events and Deadlines. The former is intended for events such as conferences and symposiums. The latter is intended for  major deadlines, such as call for papers or registration deadlines.

The items you submit will become visible on the site once they have been approved by iSGTW staff.

Although you can edit the announcements, jobs, and calendar items you submit, please be aware that doing so takes the item off the site until it is re-approved by iSGTW staff.

 

Finally, further contribution guidelines can be found online, here. Also, please feel free to access our online style guide.