Summary Guidelines

Headline

Create a funny, emotional, edgy, or surprising headline to capture readers’ attention, but be honest. Do not bait and switch your readers. Make sure it is descriptive of the article’s conclusion. Choose simple, accessible language. Think of someone in your life who doesn’t understand your research at all, and write the headline for them.

Photo

Find an image relevant to your research. Your image must be large, at least 600px in width. Please source an image from your published paper or from images under a Creative Commons license. You can search for the latter using the Creative Commons Image Search. Avoid overly complex figures and graphs. Many people struggle with understanding the simple XY coordinate plane, let alone something more involved. That said, any figures or graphs need to be thoroughly explained with all terms/axes defined.

Post

Make sure your science post has a minimum of 200 words but do not exceed 1000 words. The target length is 400-600 words. Include a one sentence statement that profoundly describes your article. Summarize the most important results and their significance. Clearly define discipline specific jargon, or avoid it all together. The best method is to build the definition right into the narrative. If it is effective, but not deceitful, make an emotional connection or employ the “wow” factor.

Grammar

Scientists have a tendency to write very long compound sentences. The purpose of this is to pack a lot of detail into the fewest words possible. While it is a useful strategy for scholarly journal articles, keep in mind that these kinds of sentences are likely to cause your reader to lose focus. If the reader has to go over the piece multiple times to understand what you are saying, it will not effectively communicate the science. You can still pack detail into your narrative, but stick to sentences that most closely resemble the “[Noun] did [verb]” form. Passive voice is acceptable if avoids awkward sentences with too many commas or the use of the word “one” to mean “a person.”

Who Can Post

Science Author – one who has contributed significantly to the published paper.

Science Writer – one who has the background to accurately summarize a published paper