Australian Model Engineering Magazine

The magazine for all model engineering enthusiasts

 Australian Model Engineering Magazine - Authors Guide

How we handle your item

Soon after your article or item is received, we will acknowledge it. The first step we take is to check it against others "in the pipeline" to see whether it has a related subject. If so, we may try to publish the two together (e.g. in a "theme" issue). We may contact you about any special requirements that you may have stipulated. Otherwise we will make assumptions described later in these notes.

The item is then sent, as appropriate, for typing and/or drafting. Artwork is sent away for redrafting into the style that ensures consistency from issue to issue. The article will be checked from a technical viewpoint. Sometimes we will contact an author at this stage - for example to discuss the possibility of expanding an aspect that we find particularly interesting.

Just before each issue of AME is laid out, articles receive a final copy editing to ensure they are easily readable and that grammar, punctuation, abbreviations and terms are consistent. When the article is ready, text and graphics are imported into page-layout software as the issue is laid out electronically. The issue is then sent to the printers for printing.

Normal time frames

Over all, we need to have enough high-quality articles in the pipeline to ensure we aren't caught short of material ready for publication, especially after a "bumper issue" has come out.

Please don't be perturbed if your article does not appear straight away. Although we sometimes accelerate publication if an article arrives just as we are preparing another with a similar theme, in the normal course of events it will be published after it goes through our proof readers and drafters with other articles. We are most likely to publish it when it complements other articles to give a nice "balance" (of length and subject) to an issue. This is very important, as we need to meet all the tastes of our readers. Quite often an article stimulates another idea to be developed, and we will hold it while a related item is written. Sometimes we will hold an article while we obtain manufacturer's drawings of a prototype. This may happen to an article that will appear next to yours, and may therefore hold yours up as well.

We know that delays can be frustrating, but they are inevitable if we are to have a professional, balanced magazine. AME must not only appeal to our regular readers but equally to the increasing numbers of new, casual readers who judge each issue at their news-stand. These casual readers also support our advertisers and help to keep our costs down.

Nevertheless, if you have a special reason for wanting to be published within a specific time frame, please let us know. We do appreciate that your efforts have been voluntary, and we will do our best to meet your wishes.

How you should write

We like to retain the distinctiveness of our authors' writing styles. Therefore, when writing an item for AME, all you need to bear in mind is to use a conversational style that you would use when writing a letter to two friends - one experienced and one inexperienced. Apart from that, please write in a reasonably informal style that you are happy with. Speaking of friends, it's always a good idea to have a friend check your article for ease of understanding; we all benefit from "second opinions".

How we will edit

AME does not have an imposed, "tight" house style. With most contributions, our editor makes only minor adjustments, such as: shortening some sentences; converting indirect to direct speech sometimes ("I made..." rather than "It was fabricated from...") and clarifying any ideas that aren't immediately clear; perhaps adding a snappy beginning, to stimulate curiosity; and assigning punctuation and abbreviations or terms that match those of other articles.

Some articles require no such editing; others require more "polishing". The AME team has the experience and resources, including professional editing skills, to make AME a "good read" for everyone.

Because AME has an "all-in-the-family" style, we would rather list you in the by-line (under the article's heading) by your preferred given name and surname, such as Ron Lucas, rather than as R. Lucas. Please provide your preferred name in your article. If you object to that (e.g. you want to be known by your initials and surname, or by an honorific such as The Reverend, Dr, General, Miss), please indicate your wishes on your draft. You are welcome to enclose brief biographical notes (up to 70 words), which we will publish at the end of the article. This is where we will refer to any special qualifications that you may prefer us to list. A biographical entry could be: Fred Moriarty OBE is a member of the Redheap Society of Model and Experimental Engineers. His 5-inch gauge compound 2-10-10-2 freelance Mallet is often seen at AALS conventions. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Member of the Institute of Pyrotechnic Engineers, has a Ph.D. in metallurgy from the University of Addis Ababa, and by profession is an international arms dealer.

If you want to be consulted after the final editing of your article, please say so on the draft that you send us. Otherwise we will only consult you if the meaning of something in your article is unclear, or if we would like you to expand on an idea.

Using other published material

It is the author's duty to obtain permission for reproduction of somebody else's copyright material. Please consult AME if you have any doubts about this matter. If you want to obtain permission to reproduce something that appeared in AME, please contact the Managing Editor.

Copyright of your material

Please read these notes carefully, especially where they deal with AME's standard policy on copyright: it will be assumed that you agree with that policy unless you specify other conditions (which you are welcome to do). The following notes are general in nature; they must not be taken as an authoritative guide to any particular circumstances. For further information on copyright, please contact the Australian Copyright Council, Suite 3, 245 Chalmers Street, Redfern NSW 2016; telephone (02) 9318 1788. Copyright is the protection afforded to the creator of an original work under the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968 and through reciprocal arrangements in other countries that are parties to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, or the Universal Copyright Convention. A 1984 amendment to the Copyright Act specified that a table or compilation, expressed in words, figures or symbols, including those on magnetic medium, was included in the definition of a work.

Copyright is personal property that can be assigned (sold or given away) either as a whole or as a part interest. The owner can license someone to use it for a specified period or purpose.

Copyright in a literary work (which includes model engineering articles, tables, etc.) exists from the date of publication until fifty years after the creator's death, or fifty years after publication if the author has died before publication. Copyright in a photograph exists for fifty years after publication.

Copyright protects the original form of expression in a work, but does not protect the ideas or information the work contains. To qualify for copyright in Australia, the work does not have to display "original" ideas, be inventive or of any particular level of quality. Copyright in Australia applies automatically the moment a work is recorded in some way: the work does not have to be published, and there are no registration procedures. The first owner of a copyright in a work is its author. When the author's creation of a work is not carried out as an employee, and the publisher is not a government agency, ownership of copyright can be as agreed by the author and publisher. Works prepared for AME by non-employee authors, artists and draftsmen come into this category. In keeping with these provisions, and in the absence of an individual arrangement (which must be a written contract), AME's standard policy on its published works is that copyright is shared between Australian Model Engineering Pty Ltd and the following people, respectively:

  •  For an article or other item of text: the author.
  •  For a photograph: the photographer.
  •  For a graphic other than a photograph: both the person who prepares the original sketch and the drafter who prepares the finished artwork. Each person retains the copyright for the original elements of each drawing. AME's standard policy is to assume that the original artist, when submitting a rough sketch, agrees to the sketch being re-drawn without further reference.

    The policy on graphical items is based on the fact that copyright protects the form of expression in a work, but does not protect the ideas or information the work contains. If you want to negotiate a special arrangement on copyright that is different from the standard AME policy, or you have prepared artwork and want to retain or share copyright relating to its final form, please get in touch with the Managing Editor. Make sure you do this before we edit your article or process your artwork. Otherwise, we assume that you are happy with the standard arrangements described in these notes.

    Imperial or metric?

    Australia and New Zealand "went metric" over a quarter of a century ago. Metric conventions are well established in modern engineering practice. Stock such as tube and sheet is metric. Imperial drills, taps and other tools are becoming more difficult to obtain. Therefore, AME prefers authors to describe all new items in metric units. Of course, if the story is about full-size machinery that was built using imperial units, then you will probably want to use imperial units.

    Despite our clear preference for metrics, we do recognize that many of our contributors are using imperial tools and may not want to use metrics. To avoid errors, we do not convert articles to metric units at the editing stage. Please avoid mixing measurements: try to keep them all metric or (with the exception of metric tube and sheet sizes) all imperial.

    What we'd like you to send us

    Many people have a well-presented script style of hand-writing that is easy for them to read, but difficult for others to interpret. If you send us your article hand-written, please print clearly unless your normal cursive handwriting is very clear to other people. (If in doubt, ask a friend!) Some writing is so bad that our unpaid typists have been known to threaten stop work action! If you have access to a typewriter, we would greatly appreciate receiving your article in typewritten form - double-spaced between the lines. Text from a PC is even better, however, please refer to the Word-processed text and photographs section.

    Word-processed text

    If you have access to a computer or word processor and can provide us with a CD or e-mail, you'll be very popular! Alternatively you mail e-mail documents of text to us at (see separate notes for photographs). Preferred formats are: Microsoft® Word (any version). Prepare the article with your word processor, then save it as a ".DOC" file. If you can't save a file as Microsoft Word, then save in your own word processor file format. As a safeguard in text translation, we would appreciate it if you can save the file - in addition - as plain text (ASCII) without line breaks. Name the file with "TXT", such as MYLOCO.TXT. (This preference also applies to Macintosh® documents). In your word processor file, use single line spacing. On the CD label, please indicate the word processing software you used. In addition, if sending a disk, please provide a copy of your article printed on paper so that we can resort to it if we have a problem with your disk.

    When formatting a word processor file, please do not use any form of page style sheet or page layout: use normal text and left justified and only use the 'Return' or 'Enter' key for a new paragraph.

    Please do not attempt to present the page in column form or with large headings, bold, italics, etc. These make extra work for us because the page layout software generally strips out all formatting.

    If you have any doubts about the word processing procedures described, please don't hesitate to ask: we're only a phone call or e-mail away. Do not import or embed pictures or drawings into your text. Keep pictures and drawings as separate files and indicate their location in the text.

    Photographs - Digital Images

    We can use black and white or colour prints or digital images.

    Prints - The easiest and cheapest to use and process are colour prints. The normal 150 by 100 mm (6 x 4 inch) print size is satisfactory for most work - although an enlargement is usually required for the cover, or for a large body page image. If an enlargement is required, please supply the standard size photo with its negative and AME will arrange the enlargement.

    Captions - Please enclose captions with your photographs. Do not write on the back of the photo: the markings can show through and spoil it, or worse, the ink could bleed through to the surface of the photo. We prefer you to write the photo number and caption on a sticky label and attach the label to the back of the photo. Then separate each photo with a piece of plain paper.

    When mailing photographs, remember to sandwich them between stiff cardboard pieces, to protect them from damage.

    Digital images - these need to be sent in on disk, usually a CD or DVD or memory stick. If the image files are small enough to e-mail they are generally not suitable for publication to AME's standards. Take your images at the highest resolution and/or the largest dimensions possible and you will usually be OK. In short, we need to be able to import them into the magazine at the published size with a minimum resolution of around 350 dots per inch. (for e.g. 6 x 4 = 2100 x 1400 pixels). Preferred format is either TIFF or .JPG (.JPEG) files in low compression.

    If you are unsure, please e-mail the Editor one sample digital photo for a check to see if it is okay to use. Sometimes it is easier to set you up with a DropBox Folder to receive your files so the Editor can access them as well. It is a free service and it will save you postage. Please contact the Editor if you wish to use this option so a folder can be set up for you.


    Our graphic artists will prepare your illustrations and drawings in electronic form. You only need to provide sketches in sufficient detail and accuracy appropriate to the needs of your article - we do not ask that you provide highly finished, camera-ready artwork. If you prefer to produce your own drawings for publication, please talk to us first. For consistency our drafters follow the AME style guide, depending on whether the drawings will be produced by hand or using a CAD program.

    Your checklist

    Please remember to check through these questions before sending your item:

  •  If I want to be consulted after the final editing of my article, have I indicated this on the draft?
  •  If I want AME's standard policy on copyright to be varied, have I contacted the Managing Editor and agreed on that variation in writing?
  •  If applicable: have I obtained permission to use someone else's copyright material?
  •  If all ideas aren't my own, have I quoted all sources?
  •  Have I provided my first name as well as my surname? (and, if I prefer, other biographical information as mentioned in these notes).
  •  If the article is hand-written: is it legible to other people?
  •  If word-processed: have I provided hard copy and a disk, titled as requested in these notes?
  •  Have I enclosed photographs and draft artwork, protected by card, with captions as per these notes?
  •  Have I included my contact address and phone number (and a e-mail address if possible)?

    For any further information, please feel free to contact the Managing Editor at:

    Australian Model Engineering
    P.O. Box 267,
    Kippax, ACT, 2615

    Email: Telephone: (+612)/(02) 4884 1475, Mob: 0433 466 009

    Updated: August 2019

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