Published on March 31, 2013
By Kim Siow, ON Semiconductor, SCG Industries.
Writing a book or a paper is often associated with scholars’ activities. After all, scholars leave a legacy of literature to be read by later generations. This exchange of ideas is best served by the work being made available in the public domain. This mindset rules in academic circles, where a culture of “publish or perish” has taken hold. On the other hand, engineers working in profit-oriented companies often view publishing in journals as a free-time “nice-to-have”. Such engineers pride themselves on solving problems to save or earn money for their companies. Writing papers is “for academicians”. This mindset presents unique challenges to aspiring writers working in companies. This paper looks at five questions related to the activity of writing and publishing amongst engineers: “Why, Where, When, What and Who”. Answering these five questions will go a long way towards providing a framework for engineers to write in a company environment. The paper also cites an established protocol – the Vancouver Protocol – used to determine authorship for any publication.