Guidelines for Authors | AIChE

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Guidelines for Authors

What is CEP?

Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) is the flagship publication of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the world's leading organization for chemical engineers. More than 38,000 professionals receive the magazine each month. According to CEP’s latest demographic statistics, nearly 85% of these influential readers work in industry, with the rest employed in academia and government. More than 23,000 students worldwide have online access to every issue. CEP's mandate is to provide essential technical and professional information to this key audience.

Writing Your Manuscript

CEP welcomes submissions of technical articles written by experts on a wide variety of subjects. See the Editorial Calendar to get an idea of some of the topics we are currenlty working on. Articles should provide some type of generic “how-to” problem-solving guidance or an overview of some type of technology. Keep in mind that CEP does not publish case histories or journal-type papers that report the results of experimental research.

CEP's articles are typically 4 to 6 magazine pages long, which translates to roughly 2,500 to 4,500 words, plus tables and artwork. We prefer authors to submit a detailed outline first, so we can advise you if length is likely to be a problem and how to deal with it.

Submit a detailed, annotated outline that includes not just the main section headings but also what will be covered in each section, how long each section will be, what graphics (tables, figures, charts, photos, etc.) will be included, etc. That way, we can provide much better and more valuable feedback and make the best use of your time. 

CEP Example Outline

If you have already written a paper that has not been published that you think might be suitable for publication in CEP, feel free to submit that for review.

If you are developing a manuscript, be sure to:

  • Alert readers in the first few paragraphs of your draft to the key points that you will be making and the value they will get from reading your article.
  • Provide all background details that are necessary to support your points, but avoid extraneous background details -- for example, on the prior state of the art, experimental methodology, or derivations of equations. Instead, as appropriate, give citations for such information.
  • Use active, not passive voice. Construct sentences that use action verbs — it's better to tell the reader what happens than to describe a state of being.
  • Define all variables, including units (AIChE prefers SI units), immediately after the first equation that uses the variables as well as in a listing of nomenclature.
  • Clearly explain any limitations and tradeoffs.
  • Limit your reference citations to a moderate number, and cite only publications that are apt to be generally available to readers.

CEP Reference Style

Illustrations can help you make your points effectively, while enhancing the appearance of your article. So, keep good graphics, such as clear drawings and graphs, sharp photographs, tables and charts, in mind right from the start. Include a clear, descriptive explanatory caption for each graphic. Captions should be complete sentences that tell readers what they are looking at or what is happening in the figure.

CEP Caption Examples

What to Send

Submit your manuscript electronically to For review purposes, you may send either a Microsoft Word document or a PDF file.

If the article is accepted for publication, the editors will need it in Word format. The Word document should not have any automatic formatting. As you prepare the manuscript, type everything as plain text in the same font size (we prefer Times New Roman, 12 point, double-spaced), and manually format bold, italics, bullets, paragraph indents, etc. Do not use automatic footnoting or endnoting for references; rather, list all references at the end of the article.

Do not embed graphics at the point where they are mentioned in the text. If there are only a few graphics, they can be included at the end of the file; if they are numerous, put them in separate files. If you are submitting photos, low-resolution images can be sent for review purposes, but for publication we require high resolution of at least 300 dpi and be in jpg or tif format. Illustrations (e.g., flow diagrams and equipment drawings) are typically redrawn to conform to CEP style, and may be submitted as either Word or PDF files; Excel files should be submitted for charts and graphs where available.

Copyright Law

AIChE will require a copyright assignment for any articles to be published in CEP. To avoid any problems regarding copyright infringement, submit your draft to only one publication at a time. If the paper has been published or presented previously, let us know so that we can proceed accordingly.