So you want to become a published author and document your theory, research, technology developments, and expertise in an SAE International technical paper? Good decision.
Tech papers are an ideal format for presenting professional work in the public domain, with the benefit of SAE’s rigorous peer review process. SAE publishes tech papers in conjunction with the annual World Congress, which offers authors excellent exposure to, and networking with, the industry at large. Some 1250 papers are being published in 2011.
Papers are also called for SAE’s Journal of Engines, Journal of Fuels and Lubricants, and the SAE AeroTech Congress & Exhibition, as well as for the International Conference on Engines & Vehicles.
The published material becomes part of SAE’s Global Mobility Database of more than 73,000 technical papers dating back to 1906. Papers are also aggregated into the SAE Journals—the year’s “best of” covering a range of topics. Available in print and online, the Journals increase the published material’s eligibility for inclusion in global scientific indices.
“We’re getting more and more exposure and recognition for our authors in scholarly journals and databases around the world,” said Erin Moore, SAE’s Product Manager, Technical Papers.
Moore noted that SAE collaborates with Elsevier's Scopus and Compendex, two of the world’s largest databases for technical research literature. Compendex is the computerized version of the Engineering Index, a comprehensive engineering bibliographic database founded in 1884. Updated weekly, it currently contains more than 9 million records and references more than 5000 international sources.
Additionally, publishing a paper provides the opportunity for further recognition via various tech-paper award opportunities.
Tips for first-time authors
Getting started as an SAE tech-paper author, or team of authors, requires some basic introspection. Does the paper contribute to the state of the art? Is it a constructive review of the technology? SAE tech papers must not carry commercial overtones or promote research funding sources to any degree. All conclusions stated in the paper must be supported by test data or verifiable simulation, with methodologies clearly noted.
Moore strongly suggests that authors be fully aware of their organizations’ internal legal review processes related to approving technical manuscripts. “This requirement is particularly common within the OEMs. Authors need to make sure this is done prior to SAE’s manuscript review,” she noted. Another caveat: Work, even in brief abstract form, must not be previously published, including on the Internet.
Moore’s team often fields questions about paper length. She noted while there is no length requirement, SAE recommends 8-10 pages total, with enough supporting material to prove stated conclusions.
Author instructions can be found on the SAE International website; go to http://volunteers.sae.org/. Click on “Authors” in the box. At the bottom of the page there are links to FAQs, templates, paper checklists and formatting tips, a style guide, and other information (including the editing process and peer review) that’s essential for authors.