Submission Instructions

How To Submit

  1. Sign up for a publishing date on the schedule.
  2. Log in to your blog account (or create one, if needed). We ask authors who are submitting posts to create or update their author profile.
  3. Write your post (using the template provided, if appropriate).
  4. Review the checklist below to ensure that your post conforms to what we’re looking for.
  5. Click “Submit for Review” when you believe your post is ready to be published (by the date that you chose on the sign-up sheet!).
  6. An editor will look over your post and either schedule it for publishing or give you feedback on what needs to be fixed.

A critical reason for structuring this website as a blog is to encourage discussion in the comments after posts are published. Authors are strongly encouraged to participate in this discussion.

Draft posts that appear to have been abandoned (say, still in draft status with no activity for one month and no notation about when activity will resume) will be deleted.

Style Guidelines for Authors

The mission of this blog is to make crowd and social computing research accessible to a wide audience, which means making it fun, engaging, and easy to read. Here, we provide some specific style guidelines for your posts:

  1. Posts should be short: We have found that 400 words is a good target for a bite-sized introduction to a topic. For authors discussing their papers, we think is plenty of space to explain your work and invite interested readers to check out your full paper. Posts longer than this may be appropriate in some cases, with approval from the editorial staff.
  2. Posts must include a featured image: All posts must include a high-quality illustration, which will appear at the top as a featured image. We encourage the use of additional graphics to explain your work, as these have been shown to be a great way of hooking in readers.
  3. Focus on high-level ideas and results: This blog isn’t an ideal place to get into detailed discussion of your methodological choices. If you are describing a recent paper, try and identify the key, novel ideas expressed in your paper, and use the blog as an opportunity to convey these. Think of the blog as the “elevator pitch” for your work.
  4. Highlight important points: It’s no secret that readers skim. Don’t assume that readers will hunt through your work to find the important points. Bring them to the surface using formatting and bullet points.

Our editorial staff will look over your post to proofread and identify major issues before it goes live. Bandwidth is limited, however, and the post will still represent you as a writer, so ensure that you have proofread carefully (we’ll all be sad if you discover problems after the post is published). We will occasionally edit posts for presentation issues or to help streamline content, but the editors are busy (we’re just like you!), so please get your post as close to final before submitting.

If you’re new to blogging or would like some more guidance, we present a more detailed style guide below with some examples based on our experience. If you have any questions, please feel free to email hcomp16@gmail.com.  Including the sentence “I read the submission instructions” in the first sentence will ensure that your email is prioritized.

Style

  • Follow the template. The new post box will contain a template. Please follow this formatting, especially if you are new to blogging. If you just replace the template text, you should be fine.
  • Write for a general audience. Ideally, your blog post will reach a diverse range of readers, not just researchers in your specific sub-field. Some readers may be researchers, but others may be tech journalists, system designers, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and other practitioners. It’s up to you to explain why your work is exciting! Tell them what’s new, what’s interesting, and what they should take away from the paper if they were to read it. If you’re still unsure about what to write: how might you describe your paper in person?
  • Make it skimmable.The post should be easy to skim and get the key ideas across. Here are some ways to improve skimmability:
    • Short paragraphs, short sentences.
    • Boldface key phrases.
    • Bulleted lists.
    • Focus on results, not methodology and procedure. If you get them interested, they’ll read the paper for the details.
    • Images. Lots of ideas can be communicated more clearly through images than text.
    • One example of a skimmable post is Butler Lies From Both Sides.
  • Keep it active. Write the the first person and in the active voice.
  • Keep it short. Posts must be 400 words or shorter, making one or two key points.
  • Use a catchy title. Catchy titles get more readers. Your paper title is an acceptable default, but we urge you to come up with a pithy, attention-grabbing title that gets at the essence of your post.
  • Categorize your post. If your post is about a paper appearing in a conference or journal, make sure it’s classified in the conference/journal’s category.
  • Link to your paper. If you followed the template, your post should end with a link to your paper (ideally, not pay-walled) or to a website where more details are available.
  • Add co-authors. If you followed the template, your post should end with a list of names and affiliations of all authors.
  • Update your author bio. The biography from your account profile will appear at the bottom of the post. Please fill out your biography with a short paragraph about who you are.
  • Delete the example text from the template. Example text from the post template should be either filled in or removed. Instructions in the example text should be removed. Links in templates should be given the correct URLs.

Is my work a good fit for a “Follow the Crowd” post?

Posts on Follow the Crowd should interest researchers in crowdsourcing and social media.  Traditionally, Follow the Crowd is composed of:

  1. Explanations of upcoming or recently published papers
  2. Conference, workshop, or other calls for participation
  3. Survey, opinion, or other breaking news pieces
  4. Summaries of events, hackathons, or other goings-on in the research community
  5. Descriptions of original work or ideas intended to solicit feedback or discussion amongst the community.

We maintain a high standard of quality, but this is not a peer-reviewed venue. We verify sanity and topicality, and we expect good writing. Our emphasis is on novelty, innovation, cool ideas, and rapid publishing.

We specifically encourage authors of accepted papers at conferences and journals to publish, but we are open to other publication models as well. Anyone can submit a post, even if you have not been invited. If you’re not sure if your post is on-topic, please don’t hesitate to e-mail the editors at hcomp16@gmail.com.