The goal of Foundations is to inform the readership about the rapidly-evolving world of Data Management. We do so through a lively and engaging mix of features, editorials, technical papers and activity summaries. We work in partnership with knowledgeable people like you to create content. This guideline outlines the process.
Abstract Review & Story Ideas: Well in advance of each issue, the Foundations Editorial Committee (FEC) reviews abstracts submitted by potential authors for interest and submission. Ideas for new articles are also generated for articles that would be of interest to the readership. We welcome story ideas from the readership (please submit a one or two paragraph abstract by the deadline listed on this page, rather than completing a full article).
Approval/Commissioning: Following the review of abstracts submitted, the Editor will alert authors if their abstract was approved or not and any comments or suggestions the FEC has. The FEC will authors to story ideas who can discuss a given topic in an informed manner. This can be an SME, or someone with working experience of the topic, or the person who has proposed the topic.
Article Due: Approximately a month after the abstract is approved, the final article will be due from the author. The deadlines will be posted to this page. Once the article is submitted, it will be reviewed by the FEC for several elements including flow, grammar, content, etc. Any articles that are found to have major changes required will be sent back for more work, along with suggestions and comments from the FEC. Articles that are deemed approved by the FEC will move on for editing.
Images: Articles that are not submitted with images (300dpi) will have images created by the Foundations team. If authors have ideas for images they prefer, they are welcome to make suggestions but unless the author provides the image, it will be up to the FEC.
Editing: During the time prior to publication, the FEC edits the first draft. The FEC may also seek feedback from subject matter experts, if warranted. Any changes or questions are then returned to the author for confirmation or clarification. Publication proceeds when the FEC and the author are satisfied with the content. Edits will continue through-out the process until it is sent for final printing.
Biography, Picture and Country: Each author should provide a one sentence biography and high resolution (300 dpi) head shot photograph for the biography section after each article. Authors are also asked to provide which country they would like to be identified with for the article (ie: Canadian, American, Australian), as flags are included next to each author to show the international nature of the Journal.
Final Review: Once the articles are approved, they’ll be sent to the printer for lay out. The author will be shown a copy of the article laid out by the designer, but it may still receive minor edits after that point as they are discovered. Once the Editorial team is satisfied with the edition, it will go to print.
Final Versions: Final versions of Foundations will be mailed out to all authors for their files. Additional copies can be requested. Copies will also be available for free online at www.ppdm.org/publications. Announcements about the new editions will be made online both on the PPDM website, by email and on Social Media. Authors are encouraged to post to their accounts that the stories are available and link to PPDM to get copies.
Both the FEC and the author work in partnership to ensure that the creative process is free of complications. We are available for consultation during every stage of the procedure in order to offer advice, encouragement and guidance. We hope you enjoy the experience!
For more information, feel free to contact us at Foundations@ppdm.org.
Content within Foundations is governed by general journalistic principles. The Foundations Editorial Committee (FEC) has created the following guideline governing features, guest editorials and letters-to-the-editor in order to aid author compliance with these principles.
Focus: Every article needs a focus in order to deliver clear value to the readers. If the article is too vague or far-ranging, the message may be obscure. The FEC and the author discuss and agree on the essential message, as well as the format (feature article, guest editorial, etc.).
Length: Each page laid out in Foundations is approximately 700 words including illustrations. Generally, articles range from 700 to 2,100 words (1 to 3 pages), though 2 pages is generally the best length. If the topic needs more words, it can be split into two or three parts for subsequent issues.
Commercial Articles: Any article deemed to be too sales-oriented in nature will be returned to the Author for either a re-write or as a potential advertorial (please see the advertising rates in the Sponsorship Kit). Articles should not promote one organization over another. If you are unsure if your article is too sales oriented in nature, feel free to send it to the FEC to review in advance.
Feature Articles: Feature articles (length of 1,200-1,500 words), cover topics of general interest and are designed to inform the readership. They include major points of interest relevant to the topic. As such, they must;
- Stick to the facts, and not offer un-documented conjecture or personal point-of-view.
- Be objective.
Guest Editorials: Foundations guest editorials (length around 1,000 words) are essentially the point-of-view of an informed individual. Topics can be controversial, but are presented in a way to engage valuable dialogue within the community. As such, they must;
- Offer informed opinion based upon a specific point-of-view.
Letters-to-the-Editor: The FEC welcomes letters (length up to 200 words) offering feedback. The FEC reserves the right to decline publication of letters that do not offer a new perspective or add depth to the discussion of an issue. As such, they must;
- Offer a specific point-of-view or comment pertinent to an article published in the Foundations Journal, or a topic relevant to Foundations readers.
- Include the writer’s full name and a contact phone number or email.
General Guidelines: These apply to all forms of communication.
- Be free of partisan or commercial content.
- Disclose personal or financial interest in the subject matter.
- Be devoid of derogatory, inflammatory, libelous or slanderous comments.
- Authors must include identifying information for citations in their article (author, publication and title, online link, etc.).
The FEC reserves the right to edit content for purposes of length, clarity and factual accuracy prior to publication.
Authors should be prepared to work in conjunction with the FEC.
For further information, please feel free to contact the FEC at Foundations@ppdm.org
The Foundations Editorial Committee (FEC) offers some helpful style hints.
Feature articles: Features are generally in the range of 1,200-1,500 words long, depending on the topic and supporting illustrations, graphs, etc. The first part introduces the reader to the article subject, the middle part supplies information to support and/or refute the article subject, and the final part concludes with a summary.
- Features are generally in the third person tense, i.e. He said, she said.
- Start your feature with an attention grabbing fact, statement or anecdote.
- Most paragraphs should begin with a sentence that conveys an idea in an active verb structure (i.e. ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat,’ vs ‘Ways to skin a cat are numerous.’) Subsequent sentences in each paragraph expand on the idea. A different idea should be introduced in the next paragraph.
- Quotes from experts and industry participants add weight and authority.
- Anecdotes and examples illustrate an idea or concept in concrete form (do not use more than three in a 1500-word length, however, as the narrative becomes too cluttered).
- Simple diagrams, charts, tables and illustrations present information in a much more digestible form than explaining them in a paragraph (once more, three is the limit).
- Avoid personal opinion. Stick to the facts as much as possible.
Editorials: Editorials are generally up to 1,000 words in length. They feature a premise based upon experience (I have rarely met two data managers with a common definition of Quality Control) or an intellectual argument (We need to establish standards for Quality Control).
- The premise is then expanded using arguments both for and against. Challenges or barriers to achieving the premise are often included.
- The conclusion of the editorial can be either an industry consensus, or a personal viewpoint, or speculation on the future as relates to the premise.
- Personal opinion (as it pertains to the premise), is allowed.
- Write the conclusion first. This helps focus the rest of the piece.
- When you are finished your first draft, put it aside for a day and then look at it again with fresh eyes.
- Peruse past issues of the Foundations Journal and see if there are features or editorials that you find informative and engaging. They can serve as inspirational templates when you write your own article.
- Consult our Author Publishing Guideline and Author Content Guideline.
Abbreviations: Our industry is full of abbreviations that change from organization to organization – especially across the globe. When using an abbreviation, ensure that the full version is written out previously in the article. For example: PPDM uses Subject Matter Experts (SME) to write articles. This includes industry standard abbreviations such as E&P, O&G.
Writing Style: As a Canadian organization, PPDM generally adheres to the Canadian Press Stylebook when writing and editing. The FEC will work to preserve the individual author’s styles when possible to keep the international flavour and feel to the articles. Articles may be edited to keep consistent flow between styles, and these are some items that have been determined to be inconsistent over various authors and will change to match consistency:
- "Fit for purpose" vs "Fit-for-Purpose" – the FEC will use the no-hyphen version "Fit for purpose".
- "What is a Well" – when referring to this publication, it will not include the "?" at the end. It will also be Italicized as a name.
- "Life cycle" vs "Lifecycle" – the FEC will use the two word version "Life cycle".
- "Oil & Gas" vs "Oil and Gas" – in a professional document such as Foundations, it is preferred to write out the full wording such as "Oil and Gas". This can be shortened in future paragraphs as needed – "Oil and Gas (O&G)".
- When using bulleted lists, sentences must end in a period and be consistent for all bullets.
- Numbers under 10 should be written out (eight, nine, 10….).
The FEC is here to offer encouragement and advice during the writing process, and feedback during the editing process. For more information, feel free to contact the FEC at Foundations@ppdm.org.
Variations on Foundations content:
Presents results of research or development, with citations.
How to Guide
Step-by-step that guides the reader through a process.
List of top ten things you should know about a relevant topic.
Highlights of recent conferences, exhibitions.
Outline of expected presentations, state how readership will benefit by attending.
Interview with a Subject Matter Expert (SME), list of questions pertaining to a relevant topic.
Show how members of the community achieved prominence. Professional development, focus of activities, personal philosophy, future aspirations.
Take a real life problem and discuss how it was solved.
Stories about training, defining categories of DM, advances in the process of DM professionalization.
A description of DM members participating in relevant activities, such as a volunteer program.
Details a new version of the data model, or a new process from either PPDM or a sister organization.
A variation on a guest editorial based upon personal musings or experience.
A chronology of an organization or process; tie it to current relevance.
New rules, regulatory adoption of a standard, etc.