Guidelines for Contributions
Updated May 1, 2019
Important note and update: please be advised that once an article is submitted, through the editing process, and approved for publication, it will be published. After an article topic is approved and the article submitted, we will only go back to the author for major revisions. Minor wording changes that affect only readability/SEO are at the discretion of the Editor. We cannot pull your article once it has been scheduled.
Although IPWatchdog.com is most often referred to as a “Blog,” which are generally written in an informal, opinion based, first-person, 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. All topic proposals should be sent to email@example.com to be vetted and approved prior to writing.
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.
If your topic proposal is approved, please make sure your finalized article meets the following requirements/rules prior to submitting:
- Articles should be sent to us in a Microsoft Word document format.
- Be a minimum of 600 words in length. Although we prefer articles that are at least 800 to 1,000 words. Articles should generally not exceed 2,000 words. With longer works, we can split them up into segments and publish them as a “series” more suitable for Internet reading, if appropriate.
- Must not be commercial or solely promotional in nature. Commercial or promotional articles will not even be considered.
- Be coherent, 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 should have a clear storyline that can be followed with a start, a middle and an end that are cohesive, rather than random thoughts that are thrown together. We publish articles, not outlines.
- 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.
- Articles MUST be correct. While we do not filter based on opinion or viewpoints, articles must be legally accurate.
- 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.
- Exclusivity and Copyrights. While the author will retain the copyright, we require exclusivity online. If you wish to publish the article elsewhere online, we ask that you please publish only the first paragraph or two with a “Read More” link hyperlinked to the full article on IPWatchdog.com.
- Footnotes and Endnotes are not accepted. 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 within the text.
- 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. We will need copyright authorization for any graphics to be included.
- 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.
- 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 URLs as well) and a professional headshot photo of the author (At least 300 pixels square with your face centered in the image).
- Revisions. Once submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, our Editor may be in touch with any substantive content changes. Please do not submit subsequent, revised versions once an article has been forwarded. If you have crucial changes to a previously-submitted article, please indicate via tracked changes that are 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).
- 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. IPWatchdog cannot guarantee publication of any article, even if the topic has been previously approved. We also cannot guarantee publication within a certain timeline.