As we gear up for the 8th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards -  the longest running as well as one of the most respected gadget awards in the UK - we thought we would give you a quick run down of how they work.

There are 10 categories this year and each category will have five nominations. 

Unlike some awards, where it’s either all public and no experts, all experts and no public, or just members of the editorial and advertising departments; we like to do things differently here at Pocket-lint.

This year, like previous years, we are asking leading industry experts and you, the public, to help us decide the must-have gadgets from 2011.

Yep, we need your help to work out what the best gadgets are, and what better way to do that than to ask the people that have laid down the cash to purchase them in the first place?

On 14 November we will ask you to start voting. The voting is short, easy, and allows you to vote for the products you want to win. We won’t ask you to vote for everything and we won’t ask you to vote for stuff you don’t know about.

Once your scores are in, we then tally those results up and the product with the highest score is voted through. We think this is the fairest way of doing it as that means you aren't rating the products against each other, but on their own merit instead.

Your vote will count towards 10 per cent of the overall scores for each gadget nominated.

Rather than just relying on what we think, we also ask our peers from the industry around the globe. In 2010 we got over 120 votes from experts who know what they're talking about.

While many want to get involved, many of their bosses don’t let them for fear of Pocket-lint being a better publication; and these journalists, if seen supporting us, could then lose their jobs (silly we know). Because of that, this list of judges is what we call Black Ops. Over 50 journalists helped us for our 2010 awards, knowing that they could get in trouble if they were found out.

Votes of journalists from around the world will count towards 40 per cent of the overall scores for each gadget nominated.

As a final piece to the puzzle we have an elite panel of judges in the UK that will get together and discuss the nominations over an evening, before rating them. They are rated in exactly the same way as the public and online votes, but we weight their opinions more heavily. These are the crème de la crème of the UK gadget press, tier zero if you will; trust us when we say they know what they are talking about.

This year’s judges so far include:

Mark Prigg - Technology editor, The Evening Standard

David Phelan - Freelancer for The Sunday Times, Independent, and Time Out

Chris Davies - Editor, Slashgear

Nate Lanxon - Editor,

Martin Standford - Presenter, Sky TV

Lucy Hedges - Stuff magazine and TV presenter

Stuart Miles - Pocket-lint

Chris Hall - Pocket-lint

Ian Morris - Pocket-lint

The elite judges' vote will count towards 50 per cent of the overall scores for each gadget nominated.

The nominations will be announced on the 14 November and the awards will be held on the 29 November in London. We will be publishing details of how you can come to the awards very shortly.