Editorial Guidelines

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These notes are intended to give our authors some guidance and direction for articles submitted to Cutter IT Journal (CITJ) for publication.

  • Length: The average article in CITJ is about 2,500-3,500 words. We are flexible and can accommodate longer articles with some warning. If you think you are going to be more than 50 percent longer or shorter, please alert us!
  • Audience: Typical readers of CITJ range from CIOs and vice presidents of software organizations to IT managers, directors, project leaders, and very senior technical staff. Most work in fairly large organizations: Fortune 500 IT shops, large computer vendors, and government agencies. 48% of our readership is outside of the US (15% from Canada, 14% Europe, 5% Australia/NZ, 14% elsewhere).
  • Editorial advice: Introductory-level, tutorial coverage of a topic is not very popular with our readership because they're fairly senior people. Delete the introductory "fluff" and get to the meat of the topic. Assume you're writing for someone who has been in the industry for 10 to 20 years, is very busy, and very impatient. Assume he or she is mentally asking, while reading your article, "What's the point? What do I do with this information?" Apply the "So what?" test to everything you write.
  • General comments: We enjoy controversy and strong opinion; we like the fact that we can provide an alternative to standard "refereed" journals that sanitize articles. Because we don't carry any advertising, we can publish critical or negative comments about specific vendors or products. However, we obviously don't want to publish anything libelous or slanderous. Conversely, we don't publish self-serving commercial messages praising one's own product or service.
  • Style, grammar, and mechanics: For advice on good writing style, we recommend Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., The Chicago Manual of Style, and The Elements of Style (Strunk and White). We are fanatics about the editorial quality of Cutter IT Journal; anything you can do to help us in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
  • Graphics: If you have created graphics or line drawings, please let us know what format they are in and/or the package you used to create them. We can work with a number of formats, but please check with CITJ's production editor, Linda Dias (ldias@cutter.com), before sending us numerous graphics files.
    • View the graphics guidelines for Cutter IT Journal Authors (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
    • If the file type you use is not listed here, please contact Linda Dias for a workable solution that meets our criteria.
  • Deadlines: The deadline you agree to when you commit to writing an article is a "hard" deadline; if you're going to be late, let us know and we'll negotiate a mutually agreeable delivery date. If the deadline passes without our having heard from you, we will assume that you have vanished and are unable to provide the article.
  • Editorial process: Once we get your article, we commence two parallel editorial passes: one for content (by the guest editor) and one for substance, grammar, and style (by our managing editor, Karen Pasley). Either or both of these editorial reviews may result in some questions or feedback from us. In any case, we will send you a first draft "page proof" of your article for your review and approval. Articles published in the journal must meet certain criteria relating to audience, technical content, and presentation. In the unlikely occurrence that, upon editorial review, your completed article does not meet with these requirements, Cutter Consortium reserves the right to decline the publishing of your article in the journal.
  • Biographical sketch: At the end of each CITJ article, we like to print a brief (200 words or less) biographical sketch of each author. We also like to provide the author's e-mail address so that interested readers can contact you. If you don't have a bio written up and would like to see a sample, please contact Karen.
  • Copyrights: When you submit an article to us, you warrant that you (or your employer) are the sole owner of the article, that you have full power and authority to copyright it and publish it, and that it has not been previously published elsewhere. You also warrant that it does not infringe on any copyright, violate any property rights, or contain scandalous, libelous, or unlawful matter. If you request, we will grant you, or your designee, copyright of the article providing you extend first-time publishing privileges, in print and electronic formats to Cutter Information LLC; otherwise, the article will be copyrighted by Cutter Information LLC.
  • Promotion: We will, at your request, provide you with a link to share with your colleagues and contacts where they can register and receive a complimentary PDF download of your complete article. You can post this link on your website, blog, tweet it, promote on social networks, etc. It is only acceptable for your final, Cutter-edited article to be downloaded from the Cutter site, and it may not be posted anywhere else without express permission from Cutter*. You may also excerpt a passage or section from your article with attribution to CITJ, and link it back to the full article on the Cutter website.
  • Compensation: CITJ authors are not paid for their articles, however, you will be given a one-year, complimentary electronic subscription to CITJ, a US $495 value upon the signing of the online access agreement.
  • Reprints: If you would like an authorized reprint of your article for promotional purposes or to post on your website, contact Customer Service (Tel: +1 781 648 8700; E-mail: service@cutter.com) for more information. We can arrange for a reprint with the CITJ cover, logo, and other details.
  • * CITJ accepts no advertising, has no outside sponsorship, and is completely subscriber-supported. In order for us to continue providing this venue for debate to our authors, and your valuable insights to our subscribers, we thank you in advance for your respect of our copyright.
  • Endnotes While CITJ doesn't aspire to be an academic literature review, we do want to give credit where credit is due. When you draw on the work of other authors and researchers, please cite your sources. These should be noted in the relevant part of the text, listed in sequential order (i.e., in the order of appearance, not alphabetical order) at the end, and use the following citation formats:
    • Books:
      DeMarco, Tom, and Timothy Lister. Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects. Dorset House, 2003.
      Highsmith, Jim. Agile Project Management. Addison-Wesley, 2004.
    • Articles:
      Constantine, Larry. "Peer Reviews for Usability." Cutter IT Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1, January 2005, pp. 5-13.
      Lindstrom, Lowell, and Kent Beck. "It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better: Changing to XP." Cutter IT Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, February 2003, pp. 12-17.