Advice for editors


Taking an article

To “take” an article for editing/proofing, select it via the Editorial Assistant, as with SPIE Newsroom, etc. However, instead of downloading a zip file to work on, clicking takes you to ENGins website, where editing is carried out through a web interface based on WordPress.

Working on article

Once you have taken an article, you do not need to go through the Editorial Assistant each time you go online to work on it further. Just go straight to the login page of the ENGins content management system (CMS).

The CMS will show a list of all articles. To edit an article, click on its title. This opens up the “Edit Article” view.

Most of the article is displayed for editing in the main panel. This panel has two modes, selected by tabs at the upper right: Visual and Text. Visual mode displays the formatted text. Text mode shows the raw html code. Most editing tasks can be done in Visual mode, so we recommend you use it.

((Also, there used to be a bug with Text mode. As of Feb 2013 it looks like the bug has been fixed, but just in case, here are the old notes on it: Using Text mode can trigger a bug that causes Visual mode to be blank when you switch back to it. In particular, the bug occurs if you click on Save while in Text mode. To get the display back, click on Save in Visual mode, choosing the “leave this page” option of the warning that pops up.))

The buttons along the top of the main panel in Visual mode let you apply various formats (bold, italic, superscript, etc). Use the Omega button to insert special characters, including no-breaking spaces, em-dashes, greek letters, and mathematical symbols.

Article status

This small panel is usually at the upper right (but could be anywhere as you can move the various editing modules around the page). Note it also has Save and Preview buttons.

When you start work on editing an article, the article will usually have a status of Submitted. Your first task is to decide if the article is acceptable (this should usually be the case). If it is acceptable, change the status to Accepted. In the rare case that article has to be sent back to an author for revision, change the status to Author Revision.

After you have finished editing an article, change the status to Edited. This will make the article available for a proofer to take. (The options available on the Article Status selector change depending on what the current status is. The Edited option only appears for an Accepted article. Similarly, the proofer can advance the status from Edited to Proofed.)


The Preview button opens a new browser tab with the article displayed as it would appear when published. To refresh the Preview after doing some editing, click Preview again (merely refreshing the browser’s display in the preview tab does not load the newer version).

To produce a pdf to send to an author for checking, print/save-to-pdf the preview version.

Editing references

References are handled in the Article Attributes panel (you’ll probably have to scroll down to find it). This panel contains an editing area where BibTex code goes. The code is processed by a custom plug-in, not a full-blown BibTex system, so not everything that works in BibTex/Latex will work here.

The citations in the text are done with special coding, like this example,\cite{bib} which get converted to superscripted numbers with hyperlinks in the preview and published version.

Please read the full details about how to submit references here.

Rearranging the workspace

You can move the Article Attributes panel to the left (eg, underneath the main article editing panel) to make it more convenient to work with. Just click on the panel’s title bar and drag. The same thing works for moving around any other panels.

Also useful are the “Screen Options” (tab at upper right of browser window) for selecting which panels are displayed at all.

Inserting figures

[Updated to describe new interface, 11 Feb 2013]

To insert a figure, make sure your cursor is at the position in the text where you want the figure to be inserted, then click on the “Add media” icon (just above the row of formatting buttons). This opens the Insert Media window.

Images previously uploaded for the article are available under the Media Library tab. Select “Uploaded to this post” instead of “All media items.” Use the “Upload Files” tab to upload images from your own computer (eg, something sent to you by the author). There is also a link at the left to insert an image form a URL.

To add one from the “Media Library/Uploaded to this post,” click on the image thumbnail to select it. In the “attachment details” panel that appears, enter an appropriate title (this appears as a pop-up when the reader mouses over the image in the published article), caption, and alt text. It’s OK to just put some dummy text for the caption, because it can be edited later in Visual mode. If necessary, the rest can be edited in Text mode.

Select an alignment (usually: right) and a size (usually: large, 300 pixels wide). Leave “Link to” as “Media File” (that way, when a reader clicks on the figure in the article, it will open the full-size image in a new tab). Finally, click “insert into post.”

Once the figure is inserted in the article, you can also cut and paste it from one location to another. It is probably easier to do this in Text mode. Note also that it does not seem to work to paste text or special characters into the caption in Visual mode; again, use Text mode.

Article format

The headline should be in sentence case, like this. (Not in Title Case Like This.)

We do not include a byline for the author at the top. We just have the “About the Author” box at the end, which draws on the entry in the Post Authors panel.

The article starts with the Summary for Idiots. Format this summary as a single paragraph in italics.

Delete the “Summary for idiots”  and any other subheads carried over from the guidelines: Introduction. Main review. etc.: two or three subheads may be permissible, but they should intrinsic to the article

The guidelines specify 100 words for this summary. Try to keep it under 100 words, but don’t worry if it has to go somewhat longer to avoid being telegraphic or cryptic. Don’t go over 120 words.

The preferred position for the first figure is at the top of the main text, right aligned (so the text begins alongside the image, to its left, both immediately below the summary). In the published article, clicking on the displayed image brings up the full size image.


US English.

Unless noted here, follow SPIE style, within reason. (When something in SPIE style seems unreasonable for ENGins, and it is not noted here, bring it up for inclusion here.)

Acronyms: spell out, except for the following (we might add many more to this list):

From the SPIE list: 2D, 3D, DNA, NASA, PC, TV.

Also: GPS, RNA.

(I haven’t immediately included these SPIE exceptions on the list here: CCD, CMOS, DC, IR, LCD, LED, rms, UV. So those ought to be spelled out.)

i.e., e.g., — OK to use these in parenthetical remarks (i.e., like this). Use words elsewhere.

Sources of figures:

Include at the end of the caption, in parentheses, in italics. eg:

Figure 1. Numerical simulation of blah blah electronic interconnects. (Source: A. Krasavin and R. McCarron, King’s College London.)

Include even when the author is the source, but in that case omit the affiliation. eg:

Figure 2. When oranges are stacked in their densest arrangement, blah blah. (Source: Ho-Kei Chan.) 

Another variant:

Figure 3. Blah blah. (Adapted from Holmgaard et al.[11])

which becomes:

Figure 3. Blah blah. (Adapted from Holmgaard et al.\cite{HolmgaardAPL09})