Guidelines for Guest Contributions
Updated December 15, 2017.
Although IPWatchdog.com is most often referred to as a “Blog,” which are generally written in an informal, conversational style, we liken ourselves more to an Online Intellectual Property Journal. Unlike typical blogs, we strive to publish articles much like those one might find in the Wall Street Journal or that would be appropriate for the Wall Street Journal audience.
We are always happy to consider guest contributions for publication on IPWatchdog from those with expertise in areas of Intellectual Property. In fact, we have published several hundred guest articles and are increasingly publishing articles from distinguished guest authors. We do not dictate topics or viewpoint to guest contributors, although we are happy to suggest topics or areas of interest if you would like us to.
Articles will be considered so long as they are topically relevant to our professional audience within the intellectual property industry, which includes, but is not limited to attorneys at both small and large law firms, executive and corporate counsel, Federal Circuit, and Supreme Court Judges and political figures including Senators, Congress, and the White House.
In order for your publication to be considered it must fit within our requirements/rules as follows:
- Articles should be sent to us in a Microsoft Word document format.
- Be a minimum of 1,000 words in length, although we prefer articles that are at least 1,200 to 1,500 words. We do not have a word maximum, whereas we prefer that individual articles do not exceed 2,400 words. With longer works, we can split them up into segments and publish them as a “series” more suitable for Internet reading if necessary.
- Must not be commercial in nature. Commercial articles will not even be considered.
- Be interesting, informative and pertinent to the readers of IPWatchdog.com. In other words, topically relevant and aimed at the high-level readership we attract, including attorneys, corporate leaders, government officials, judges, Staffers, lobbyists, scientists and others. We view our blog as relating to all things IP (i.e.., patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret), as well as to topics related to the business of IP, innovation, and technology. Topically relevant can relate to current events, an upcoming anniversary of an important event, or questions driving debate.
- Articles MUST be factual, or if it is an opinion piece, it must be substantiated by fact, which must be referred to within the context of the piece.
- Be original works. We publish articles that have not been previously posted to the Internet and are intended exclusively for publication on IPWatchdog.com. This requirement is loosened when publishing executive summaries of longer pieces, such as a law review article, but even there we prefer the executive summary to be a derivative work rather than just publishing an abstract.
- Be exclusive. While the author will retain the copyright, we require exclusivity online. If you wish to publish the article elsewhere online please publish only the first paragraph or two with a “Read More” link hyperlinked to the full article on IPWatchdog.com.
- Has a storyline that can be followed with a start, a middle and an end that are cohesive rather than random thoughts that are thrown together.
- Footnotes and Endnotes are discouraged. In electronic form, footnotes are not aesthetically pleasing and are instead, rather tedious. We prefer articles with citations to have the citation included within the article and with links to reference materials already embedded in the article or in parentheses behind each highlighted word you would like linked. We like to highlight the people, cases, companies, and products we talk about in our posts but would prefer to do so with direct links. For Example:
“This recognition is yet another testament to the reputation that our faculty, students, and alumni have built over the years,” said John Broderick, Dean of UNH School of Law. “With the accolades that our IP faculty and students are earning for their achievements and innovations, our Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property continues to cement its place as a global leader in IP.”
- Graphics: If the article includes figures, the figures should be provided separately in either GIF, JPG or PNG format, and not embedded into a Word document.
- Title: In our experience, the title will dictate how many readers are attracted to an article. While authors are encouraged to suggest titles, the choice of the final title is up to the Editor. In the online world, a title should ordinarily be 60 characters or less. An unnecessarily long or non-descriptive title can and does negatively impact readership and search engine rankings.
- In the event that your article is a series, we no longer use the same title for each segment followed by “part X.” This minimizes, rather than maximizes, readers. For a series, each segment should have its own unique title. We then link each segment together as a part of the series, which is defined by the title of the first segment.
- We do not publish outlines, or articles that employ excessive use of outline numbering.
- We require a short bio, which includes your company or firm name and the website URL you would like us to link your profile to. We also like to include your LinkedIn URL (feel free to include any other social media URL’s as well) and a professional head shot photo of the author (At least 300 pixels square with your face centered in the image).
- Revisions. The issue of revisions has become rather cumbersome, unfortunately. Revisions are discouraged because with each new revision we must go through a new SEO process. If you need to make changes to the initial article they must be submitted prior to publication and in a Word document with tracked changes clearly visible. Once an article is published only very minor revisions will be made (i.e., no wholesale re-writes or substantial revisions will be made after publication).
- Timing. While we generally decide rather quickly, we need at least a several days to review and consider an article for publication. Please do not shop your article around after sending it to us and without telling us.
PUBLICATION TIME FRAME: Please note that because we receive many guest contributions in addition to the many article that our authors write on a daily basis, we will generally publish guest articles within 14 days of receiving them. However, publication times may vary depending upon the topic of your article, if there are issues or edits that need to be addressed or if we feel the article will do better on a specific day of the following week.
If you are interested in contributing to our blog, please Contact Renee and send us a message, including the topic of your article, the word count you are aiming for, and when you think you may have the article ready to send to us.