Information for authors

Introduction

We have a defined acceptance and review procedure for technical articles for RadCom, described below. The requirements for feature articles are broadly similar, except that they are not subject to Technical Panel review. Regular columns also follow a different process.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, articles are only accepted on the strict understanding that the material is previously unpublished (including, but not limited to, on the internet) and is not currently on offer to any other publication.

If you’re thinking about writing an article please contact us at the earliest stage so we can give you any advice or support you need, and also so we get an idea of what you’re planning. This helps everyone avoid duplicating anything too similar to something we may already have in the pipeline, and can avoid hours of futile effort.

Overview

When a proposed technical article arrives, the Technical Editor checks it for any obvious major problems, then invites a volunteer from the RSGB Technical Panel to review in detail the article’s suitability for RadCom, its safety, reproducibility and the various other criteria that may apply to different types of article. Assuming a positive outcome, the article can then be accepted for publication in RadCom. It is then placed in a pool to await a suitable slot in RadCom. We will let you know as soon as it is selected for a particular edition and then send you a typeset proof for your approval / comments prior to publication.

Feature articles are assessed on merit by the Managing Editor.

Formats and quality

Although initial draft and discussion material can be accepted in most common formats, we will need to receive the final material in a suitable form for reproduction. Usually this means text in Word format with the minimum possible amount of formatting (any clever stuff like bullets and – especially – automatic referencing breaks down when we import the text for typesetting).

We need:

  • good quality photographs as high resolution JPG or RAW  (unedited – straight off the camera is best, and NOT embedded in the Word document or similar)
  • line drawings as high resolution TIFF or an agreed vector format if they’re intended for publication as-is (or TIFF/JPGs of sketches; we re-draw many diagrams for RadCom)
  • screendumps – if you use these as part of the article, please make them at the highest possible resolution and only ever save them using a lossless format such as PNG – do NOT use JPG, ever, because this seriously compromises screendump image quality
  • if you have generated graphs etc using Excel or similar, we appreciate the original spreadsheet files (so we can regenerate the graphics in the most suitable format for our needs)

When you take photos, please make sure the background is uncluttered (a piece of white paper, or a bed sheet behind the item works wonders at hiding backgrounds). Please make sure the item is well lit, ideally without shadows, and that your photos are in sharp focus. It is very useful if you can keep a clear margin around the subject, ie don’t have it running right up to the edge of the photograph. A 10-20% margin means we get a lot of flexibility in how we crop the image for publication. Don’t be afraid of sending us lots of photos – more than are needed for the article – we can select the best and it’s always useful for us to have some spares for things like the contents page, the website, social media etc. More details on taking photos and making other images for publication – both technical and non-technical – are here. Please read that page especially if your photos include images of minors.

Copyright

It is essential that you are either the originator, copyright owner, or have the written permission of the copyright owner for all images, text and other matter  included in the submission. (An exception is that you can freely re-use material that has been previously published in any RSGB publication, but please let us know where you got it from). Images downloaded from the web generally cannot be used, with very few exceptions such images from Wikimedia Commons that are explicitly tagged as Public Domain. If in doubt, ask us.

RadCom Plus

Some technical articles may be selected for publication in RadCom Plus, the more-technical supplement to RadCom. In that case a slightly different – but comparable – review process applies. Unlike RadCom, RadCom Plus can republish material that has previously appeared on the web but prefers new material.

Payment

We pay for standalone articles published in RadCom and RadCom Plus (but not contributions such as club news items). Payments are made around a month after publication, so at that time we will need you to let us know how you want to receive payment (eg cheque or electronic transfer to your bank account, in which case we will require the relevant details around publication time).

The RSGB always purchases all rights (that means complete World copyright) for articles and this would normally include ownership of any actual materials used to convey the information, eg film, CDs, artboard, memory cards etc if appropriate, and any software that is not otherwise released under a public licence, but not the project hardware itself (unless we specifically pay for the components, which would be by separate arrangement). The author shall not, without prior permission of RadCom and the RSGB, supply the material to any other person for publication or transmission in any media within the area covered by this right.

You must agree that you are liable for all tax liabilities and national insurance or similar contributions is respect of these fees and that you agree to indemnify RadCom and the RSGB in respect of any claims that may be made against the publisher in respect of income tax, national insurance contributions or similar in relation to payment for the article.

RadCom and RadCom Plus contacts

Managing Editor, Elaine Richards, G4LFM – elaine.richards@rsgb.org.uk
Technical Editor, Giles Read, G1MFG – giles@rsgb.org.uk

Please send all information for Around Your Region, Club Calendar and GB2RS News to radcom@rsgb.org.uk. Please do NOT send (or CC) it to any other email addresses associated with RadCom or GB2RS, because this leads to us duplicating effort.

Send Members Ads to memads@rsgb.org.uk and please also read the MemAds terms and conditions.

RSGB books

Separate, but broadly comparable terms and conditions are in place for potential authors of RSGB books. For details, email authors@rsgb.org.uk.