IBM developerWorks Author Achievement Recognition Program

How do I sign up for the dW author program?

To participate in the program, simply complete and submit the very brief registration form. You will receive a tracking tool (a spreadsheet that you can use with Microsoft® Excel®, OpenOffice Calc, or IBM Lotus® Symphony) with which you can record your progress. If you are a current or past developerWorks author, your tracking tool will be pre-filled with your eligible publishing history, based on our records.

If I participate in the dW author program, will I be paid for writing articles?

The dW author program recognizes publishing achievement and does not offer monetary awards, and is not affiliated with any compensation program. Your participation in the dW author program has no bearing on whether or not you are compensated for your published work, and vice versa.

Can articles I have written for other publications count toward fulfilling the dW author program requirements?

Sorry, no. The dW author program is intended to recognize contributions to developerWorks, so only original contributions that are published first in developerWorks are applicable. Content initially published elsewhere (including book excerpts), podcasts on other sites, your personal blog, and so on, are not applicable. Similarly, IBM-based content that is not published on developerWorks, including Redbooks, Technotes, Information Center entries, IBM Press books, and so on, cannot be applied to the program.

Does it matter which developerWorks zone my articles are published in?

No. All eligible content published in any technology zone (such as Java™, XML, Web development) or brand zone (such as Lotus®, Rational®, WebSphere®) will count for the program.

My article is featured in more than one zone. Does that mean I get more points?

Sorry, no. Because many articles cover several topics and products, we often spotlight an article in multiple areas of the site to make it accessible to the widest audience, but the article is still only published once.

After I sign up, how long before I can publish an article?

You don't have to wait to sign up for the program before you submit article proposals to developerWorks. In fact, your past publications back to 2004 also apply for the program, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

How do I get my publishing history?

After you register, you will receive a tracking tool that will be pre-filled with your eligible past contributions, based on our records. You can add your future publications to the tracking tool in the same format.

What if the publishing history you send me is incomplete?

Due to changes that have occurred over time to our content management systems, it is possible that an item might not be included on your history. If you believe the information we generate about your past developerWorks contributions is incomplete, simply add the missing information to the tracking tool, and we will verify it along with all your other entries during the confirmation process. Remember that a content item must be an original developerWorks item, actively online, and you must be an author or reviewer to receive publication points for the article. Also, remember that articles published prior to 2004 are not eligible.

Do I automatically get a designation if I have enough points in my baseline history?

If you have accumulated the minimum number of publication points and fulfilled all the scope requirements needed to achieve a dW author program designation, you will be awarded the designation, provided you have published a content item on developerWorks within the past 12 months. If you haven't contributed to developerWorks in more than one year, then you will be awarded the designation with your next published item. This is an opportunity for past authors to re-establish their presence on developerWorks.

How will you know if I really reviewed an article or mentored an author?

Our records often include the names of technical reviewers, and sometimes authors acknowledge their reviewers in an article. For others, we will use the reference information you provide in the tracking tool to verify these entries during the confirmation process. The program instructions you receive after you register will explain how to enter all items into the tracking tool.

Do I get credit for answering questions from readers who contact me through an article?

Responding to questions that result from your article goes along with the territory of being a developerWorks author. All authors should expect this to some degree, and so this effort is included and reflected in the points that are awarded for publishing content. Assistance that you provide through developerWorks forums can count toward community activity.

Can I be an author and a technical reviewer?

Yes, but not for the same article.

Should I enter an article on the tracking tool as soon as I submit the article proposal to developerWorks?

No. Because we are unable to accept every article or proposal we receive for publication, you should only add an item to the tracking tool after it has been published on developerWorks. Unpublished or otherwise ineligible items that you enter on your tracking tool will be deleted during the confirmation process.

I published an item on developerWorks that doesn't fit in the categories defined in the tracking tool. What do I do?

Contact your editor or the program administrator. If your content is eligible to be included in the program, we will instruct you on how to enter it in the tracking tool.

Is there a place I can go to online to see my status in the program?

Because you track your own status, you will always know what you need to do to reach the next achievement level by checking the dashboard section of the tracking tool.

I have enough points, why don’t I have the designation?

In addition to accumulating a minimum number of publication points, you must also complete the scope requirements associated with the designation.

How do I find someone to review my article, or to let other authors know that I can review theirs?

One of the best ways to connect with other authors is through My developerWorks. Set up a My developerWorks profile that highlights your areas of interest and expertise so that other authors looking for assistance can find you. Likewise, you can search My developerWorks for other authors who might be able to technically review your article. My developerWorks is also a great way to find potential authors who might need a mentor, or to find established authors who might be willing to mentor a new author.

Can I check my publication history before I sign up to see if it's worth my while to participate?

We will generate your publishing history when you register for the program.

What counts for community activities?

Owning and maintaining a blog or space, and participating in podcasts, chats, forums, interviews, spaces, and videos are eligible community activities. Remember that all eligible activity must be contained within the developerWorks site. (If you wish to include forum and space activity, you will need Version 2.0.2 (V202) or later of the tracking tool.)

How are publication points awarded when there is more than one author?

All publication points are divided evenly between co-authors.

Are publication points for a group blog awarded based on the contributions of each individual in the group?

No. Points are not awarded for individual blog entries. For the purposes of the dW author program, a blog is considered a single content item that is continually updated. Therefore, publication points for owning and maintaining the blog are divided equally between all blog owners, as they are between co-authors of a technical article. Blog contributors who are not owners can receive credit for their entries by recording them as forum posts in their tracking tool.

Why do you distinguish between independent authoring and collaborative authoring?

The dW author program was developed to acknowledge the contributions of individuals, and so the program contains elements that require participants to demonstrate their individual strengths. Of course, teaming is critical for success in all aspects of our industry, and so the program also contains elements that require working with colleagues.

What do I get when I reach an achievement level?

When you reach an achievement level, you will receive an e-mail notification, an announcement on developerWorks, and a formal certificate of achievement that specifies your designation. You can use your new awarded title with your professional credentials as a way to exhibit your accomplishment, promote your expertise, and heighten your professional reputation. A graphic badge that corresponds to your author designation will be automatically appended to your author bio on future developerWorks publications. Your name and a link to your My developerWorks profile will be listed on the dW author program directory page. The names of Professional Authors and Master Authors will also display with a portfolio link that lists some of their developerWorks contributions.

What are the monetary awards for each level?

This is a recognition program and does not offer monetary awards.

How will I know that I have reached an achievement level?

The dashboard section of your tracking tool displays the number of publication points you have earned and the scope requirements you have completed, and also counts down the remaining items you have left to reach each achievement level. When all the indicators for an achievement level reach 0, the word “SUBMIT” will display. At that time, send your tracking tool to the program administrator at so we can verify your data and confirm your achievement.

What is the time limit to for fulfilling all the requirements for an achievement level?

Because much of the publishing process is beyond an author's control, there is no time limit during which you must complete all the requirements for a particular achievement level. The exception is that you must have published within the past 12 months to be awarded a designation.

Who do I notify when I need data added to my tracking tool?

You can enter updates into your tracking tool at any time. You do not need to notify us each time you publish a new article or if you wish to add items that were not included in the pre-filled data in your tracking tool. Send us your tracking tool when the dashboard indicates that you have completed the requirements for an achievement level.

What if I enter data incorrectly in the tracking tool?

The tracking tool is designed to make it easy for you to enter your publication information as accurately as possible. Still, mistakes can happen. If we find errors or discrepancies in your tracking tool during the confirmation process, we will notify you, correct the errors, and return the tracking tool to you so you can continue.

Do articles published on developerWorks sites in other geographies (like dW China, dW Russia, and so on) count in the program?

Yes. However, if your article was published on the developerWorks worldwide site in English and then translated for the dW China site, you can enter information for EITHER the English article OR the Chinese article into your tracking tool, but not both.

When does my designation expire?

It doesn't, unless we revoke your designation according to the terms and conditions of the program.

What happens after I finally achieve Master Author?

Please keep contributing! There are ongoing plateaus beyond Master Author. For every additional 100 publication points you accumulate, you achieve another Master Author level. For example, after you have earned a total of 300 publication points, you will have achieved Master Author, Level 2; after 400 points, Master Author, Level 3, and so on.

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