Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

By Overload

Overload, 15(80):, August 2007

Thinking of writing for us? Follow these guidelines to help smooth the way.

These guidelines provide general instructions on the submission of articles for publication. For more detailed information, please contact the editor of the relevant publication ( or

For examples of the elements described, please see recent issues of the journals.

With your article, you need to send:

  • A short personal profile (see 'Profile')
  • Any images used in your article as separate files (see 'Illustrations')
  • An introductory line or sentence (see 'Structure')


Articles can be accepted as Word or Open Office documents; alternatively, save your file as RTF. If your article is in any other format, please check with the production team that it can be opened and the text extracted.

If you are using a text editor, devise and explain a convention for your document. For example, 'Heading 1 in block capitals, heading 2 underlined, code snippets in text surrounded by <<c>>'. You can use a numbered system for headings to help with this - the numbers will be removed from the finished article. Clearly separate any such instructions from the body of the document.

Text for sidebars or panels can either be inserted in the approximate position in the text or provided at the end if its location is unimportant. Clearly mark the beginning and end of the text forming the sidebar.

Please do not apply complex formatting to your articles - this will almost certainly be changed during the typesetting process to comply with the journal standards. The formatting you apply is, however, used as a guide by the production editor when determining how to format particular elements.

A fixed width font is used to display code fragments and filenames (bold for code and non-bold for comments and filenames) - if possible, use a suitable font in your article to indicate this (Courier, for example).

The formatting of listings will almost certainly be changed due to space constraints. Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, code is placed in a single column, giving a maximum number of characters per line of 48. If the formatting of your code is important to you, you are welcome to ensure your listings fit within this number of characters and every attempt will be made to retain your personal style, although this cannot be guaranteed. If the formatting of the code is particularly relevant to a point you are making (for example, contrasting two different styles of writing), please say.

A Word template is available containing a Code paragraph style set to the correct width.


A short profile of the author is required for all articles. This should be brief - approximately 50 words - and may need to be shortened if space is short.

Please ensure your name is as you would wish it to appear in the journal and include an email address or another means of contact (for example, via a website).

For C Vu only, a photograph of the author (head and shoulders) is also required. This should be high-contrast and at a minimum resolution of 200 dpi (ideally 300 dpi).


Try to keep titles short and relevant - they should ideally fit on a single line and definitely require no more than two lines. A short strapline (C Vu) or introductory sentence (Overload) is required - if these are not provided by the author, they will be created as part of the editorial process.

Both publications have provision for three levels of heading within the body of the article, although the third should be used rarely. Headings are not numbered, so please do not reference other sections by heading number in your article, even if you use them to indicate levels.


You must supply images as separate files, as well as placing them in your article to show approximate location. The journals are printed in black and white, so please make sure that your images do not rely on colour alone to differentiate between the components. Also check that any lettering can be seen when the image is converted to greyscale and it has been scaled to fit on a page. (Note: Colour images are still useful, as a PDF version is produced in colour).

  • Supply images in common formats such as JPG, TIFF, or PNG.
  • Photographs and similar images must be a minimum of 200 dpi, ideally 300 dpi, at the size to be printed.
  • Save diagrams and line drawings in vector format if possilbe. Do not attempt to convert raster images to vector format.
  • Screenshots should be saved in a non-lossy format. TIFF and PNG have been used successfully. GIF is also a suitable format, but check that the colour depth supported by your application has not adversely affected the image.

References and Notes

CVu and Overload treat references and footnotes differently. Please ensure that references are as complete as possible.

  • CVU: References and notes are marked by placing numbers in brackets in the text; for example: [1]. References and notes are both numbered in the same sequence and the corresponding information provided in a Notes and References section at the end of the article.
  • Overload: Notes are treated as footnotes - number these and supply the text either as footnotes or at the end of the article. References are marked in the text using the author's name and final two digits of the year of publication (for example, [Griffiths06]). The full reference is placed at the end of the article. If you cannot specify an author or year, choose a suitable word. For example, if you are referencing the Boost libraries, use [Boost] as the reference marker.

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