WORLD OIL'S EDITORIAL POLICIES
All articles, whether written by staff or non-staff personnel, must meet WORLD OIL's editorial policies. These policies, founded on sound experience in the publishing business, are designed to improve editorial content and, thereby, increase readership and promote reader confidence.
They also coincide with the policies used by many oil companies when their employees write for publication or when articles are written by others about their operations. Likewise, they coincide with the policies of many professional societies.
In practice, these editorial policies are designed to do the most for companies in oil and gas operations and companies in the manufacturing or supply business Ñ by maintaining high reader interest among a large and influential portion of the exploration-drilling-producing branch of the petroleum industry. They also are for the protection of the author as well as ourselves.
Cardinal principles of WORLD OIL's editorial policies
1. Proper clearance for use of data about the operations of a company must be obtained from that company by the author prior to publication.
A. Permission to publish data concerning the properties, installations, operations, or activities of any company (whether a producing, drilling, service, manufacturer or supply concern) must be obtained in advance from the proper authorities of that company.
WORLD OIL avoids publication of any data obtained in confidence or by an undercover route. A direct request to the company or companies involved for the release of data will usually clear up this matter. In many instances, companies will have good reasons for not wishing certain information to be published; and WORLD OIL follows their wishes in such instances.
Authors, whether staff or non-staff, are to obtain this clearance before submitting manuscripts to WORLD OIL for publication.
B. In addition to requiring proper clearance for the use of data from companies, it is a WORLD OIL policy to gladly and willingly submit finished manuscripts prior to publication to any company that may wish to see how the information will be used. C. As part of this policy, authors are expected to write articles for WORLD OIL only if they have received permission of the company which employs them.
2. Equipment trade names and names of equipment manufacturers, service, or supply companies may be used, within limitations, in feature articles.
A. The use of trade names is permissible if a description or definition in scientific or generic terminology would tend to obscure the meaning to the reader, or if the inclusion of the trade name is essential to a clear understanding of the subject matter. However, SM, TM, ©, are not used. Instead, we insert the word "proprietary" before the technology or tradename.
If the use of a trade name is warranted, a general description or definition should follow the trade name's initial introduction into the article and that general definition should be used in place of further mentions of the trade name.
For purposes of this discussion, a trade name is any name or number, whether copyrighted or not, which the maker uses to identify its product or service from those of its competitors.
B. The name of an equipment manufacturer, service or supply company may be used, within limitations, in feature articles to identify the company as the developer or co-developer of any new development, such as a new tool, technique, process, or application.
Once this identification is made, further mention can be made within the article only if its omission would tend to confuse the reader, or would create a possible misunderstanding about the role of the company (or companies) in the development.
Final decision on the use of trade names and/or names of equipment manufacturers, service or supply companies rests with the Editorial Director or Editor.
It is the duty of and responsibility of publications like WORLD OIL to apprise the readers of new developments. Therefore, articles discussing specific pieces of equipment or services are accepted for publication when they are deemed to be of sufficiently wide interest and value to readers to make them worthy of publication.
However, reader interest studies show that articles written to pacify the publicity desires of manufacturers and service and supply companies are greatly discounted by readers. Moreover, when such articles are published for one manufacturer, for example, the same treatment may be logically demanded by other manufacturers, particularly those offering competitive products. The result is an over-all deterioration of editorial content from its rightful responsibility of meeting the wants and needs of oil and gas company and contractor personnel. This causes a loss of benefits to the advertiser and the publication, as well as the reader.
C. We generally avoid pictures of field installations used in feature articles and logos that show manufacturers' nameplates.
However, photographs must add value to the article other than that of simply identifying the equipment discussed. Photographs that appear to have been posed so as to promote a manufacturer or its products or services may be rejected, as would those displaying unacceptable safety or environmental conditions.
D. The names of oil companies, drilling contractors, consulting engineers and geologists may be used in articles if they have agreed in advance to the use of their names.
E. It is permissible to publish the name of the author's company in the usual author's byline. This may be done regardless of the type of company with which the author is associated, including manufacturing, supply or service companies. Readers want to know who the author is, and company affiliation is an important part of this identification. In addition it is permissible to use the name of an equipment manufacturer, service or supply company in credit lines. Readers also want to know the source of material used in articles.
3. Operator/contractor bylines add credibility.
Whenever possible, manufacturer, service or supply firms are encouraged to arrange for co-authorship by lease operating company employees when submitting articles that describe new technology which may happen to include their products or services. Readers immediately take notice of the fact that the actual user of the product or service will present an unbiased view of the technology.
Another method for adding credibility is to arrange for the naming of operators or contractors that have applied the product or service.
4. Articles must not contain disparaging remarks about competitive equipment.
WORLD OIL refuses to publish articles containing disparaging remarks about any manufactured tool, piece of equipment, or commercial service. Likewise, articles must not make any comparisons on the performance of any competitive products, services or even types of equipment.
These things do not belong in editorial articles. Such data belong only in advertising and sales literature. It would be unfair to all competitors to publish information favoring the performance of one product, service or tool. To be fair, the same things would have to be done for all companies concerned. This would completely destroy the editorial responsibility of catering to the wants and needs of the readers, rather than those of advertisers.
It is permissible to tell about the performance of a tool or service discussed in the article, but this must be done in a factual manner, without superlatives, and without comparing it with competitive tools and services.
5. New Products.
An important editorial feature of WORLD OIL is its "New Products" section. News on equipment or services published in the "New Products" section always has an excellent reader interest survey rating. A large amount of detailed information is not required for "New Products" pages because provision is made for readers (through postage-paid postcards) to ask for complete information. However, we do want performance data, highlights, unique properties, etc.
Here are the main points for manufacturers and advertising agencies to keep in mind when submitting "New Equipment" items.
- The equipment must be new. A small replacement to a piece of equipment previously announced does not merit space.
- We must receive the item early -- as soon as the equipment is announced and ready for market. Only then is it real news, and the reason for this section's existence is newsworthiness.
- Submit a concise description, including , for example, the advantages of the new equipment, from which the reader may easily determine possible applications to the exploration-drilling-producing industry. How will the equipment improve or facilitate a company's operations.
- State the facts as simply as possible without using superlatives or comparisons. Language not too technical will likely gain wider readership.
- Keep the item brief. Besides attracting readers, brief items enable WORLD OIL to use more in each issue. This results in better service to the industry.
- Do not submit items on equipment not yet manufactured, and thus, not yet available.
- Photographs are preferred, but cut-away drawings may be submitted when they serve better.