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» Guidelines for authors

Guidelines for authors

Science in School is read by teachers of all science subjects, as well as others involved in science education. Articles therefore need to be accessible and interesting to an audience with a general science background, rather than targeting specialists in individual science subjects.

Aim for an engaging, journalistic style. Remember that most of our readers are secondary-school science teachers, and that they should be able to use many of our articles in lessons, perhaps giving them to their students.

Articles must be submitted in English, accompanied by the completed copyright form, and may not exceed the relevant word limit (see Types of articles).

If we publish your article, we may also include translated versions on our website.

Below are details of:

Types of article

Articles submitted to Science in School should fit into one of the following categories. If you are not sure whether your planned article is suitable, please ask us before writing it.

  • Scientific reports: either cutting-edge science stories or reviews of important science topics (maximum 1000 words). Remember that these articles are for an audience with a general science background rather than specialists working on your topic. Avoid unnecessary technical detail and remember to explain why the topic is important and interesting for a general audience. For example, does it raise ethical issues or have implications for everyday life, future technology - or even school lessons?

    These articles are normally written by research or industrial scientists. Here are the articles we have already published in the cutting-edge science and science topics categories.

  • Teaching activities: instructions for constructing and using innovative teaching materials or running novel experiments at school (maximum 1500 words). We are particularly interested in activities to introduce modern science into the classroom.

    If your activity involves a great deal of work (many teachers do not have the necessary time or freedom), include some ideas that can be done in less time. If applicable, make sure you include safety notes. And don't forget to mention what age(s) of students the activity is suitable for, what they will learn, and how long the activity takes.

    These articles are often written by teachers. Here are the articles we have already published in this category.

  • Projects in science education: inspiring projects that can be carried out at school (maximum 1500 words). However brilliant your project is, the article needs to offer practical value for our readers: how can school teachers run your project themselves? If it's not possible to replicate the whole project (or describe it in 1500 words), focus on one or more of the activities from the project, detailing how they can be done in the classroom. Make sure you include safety notes if applicable, and do mention what age(s) of students the project is suitable for, what they will learn, and how long the project takes.

    Here are the articles we have already published in this category.

    Note that we receive many more articles in this category than we can possibly publish. Before you submit an article, therefore, please consider carefully whether it meets our criteria.

  • Book/resource reviews: if you are interested in reviewing English-language resources (e.g. books, websites and DVDs), please let us know and we will send you a list of resources to choose from. Guidelines for book reviewers are available here. Here are the previously published reviews.

  • Back in the staffroom: brief, informative and entertaining articles (maximum 500 words). Here are the articles we have already published in this category.

In exceptional circumstances, we publish articles in the following categories.

  • Science and society: the influence of science on society or vice versa (maximum 1000 words). Here are the articles we have already published in this category.

  • Spotlight on education: Comparisons of education systems at a European level or fundamental changes to science curricula (maximum 1500 words), e.g. here and here.

Note that while we also publish articles in further categories (see here for a full list), we normally source these articles ourselves. However, we welcome suggestions for future articles in any category. For example, you might like us to cover a particular scientific topic (see above), interview a specific young scientist, highlight a recent comparison of education systems (see above), or review a particular type of online resource. Feel free to send us your ideas.

Submission process

Articles should be submitted via email (editor@scienceinschool.org); in the subject field of the email, please include the text 'Submission' followed by your full name. Make sure that you include your name, address and telephone number in the email. Do not forget to include your name in the article.

Submissions are initially reviewed by the editorial team; if your article is promising but not quite suitable for Science in School, we may rework it or suggest how you should adapt it. In the next stage of selection, articles are refereed by teachers for usefulness, interest and applicability, after which we may request or make further changes to your article. If your article passes this stage, the editorial board decides whether or not to publish it, and we will inform you once the decision has been made.

The Science in School editorial team retains the right to edit the final article to conform to the house style of the journal.

While we make every effort to respond promptly to submissions, it will take some time before we can confirm that we intend to publish an article.

Format and structure

Articles should be submitted as a Word (.doc), plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) files. While you are welcome to use simple formatting such as headings and tables, please avoid text boxes, embedded images and footnotes.

If applicable, list all references and web references (e.g. books, articles or websites) mentioned in your article. If possible, these should be resources that are easily (and preferably freely) available to teachers, rather than articles in specialist journals.

You can add extra value to your article by listing further resources about the topic. These might be informative websites or materials than can be downloaded or ordered. These resources do not have to be cited in the text of the article.

At the end of the article, include 2-3 sentences of author information: your science background, involvement in education and current job.

References, web references, resources, author information and captions are not included in the word count.

Images

Images must be of print quality (minimum 300 dpi at a size of around 10 x 10 cm) and submitted as separate files (e.g. tif or jpg), not embedded in a Word document. In the text of the article (not at the end), please include captions which clearly correspond to the images.

If you are not the copyright owner of all images submitted, note that it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Please include the name and affiliation of the copyright owner of all images in the corresponding captions.

Note that if your article is translated (see below), we may also need to translate the labels of any diagrams in the article. Please ensure you have the copyright owner's permission for us to do this.

If the images include children, please confirm that you have their parents' permission to use the photographs.

Copyright

Please complete our copyright form and submit it together with your article. We use Creative Commons copyright licences, under which the author retains the copyright and allows others to re-use the material. See here for more details.

If you have submitted the article simultaneously to another journal, or if you are submitting something that has already been published elsewhere, make sure you let us know. In general, we can accept such submissions, providing you own the copyright and that you have permission from the other publisher.

If you regularly submit articles to Science in School, you may prefer to agree for the Creative Commons copyright licences to be used for all your articles, rather than filling in the form each time. To do that, use the text 'All articles submitted to Science in School' in the title field of the form.

Translations

To ensure that Science in School is read as widely as possible, many of the articles are translated into other European languages and put online. If you would be willing to translate your article into your mother tongue after publication, please let us know. Otherwise, if we publish your article, we will try to find volunteer translators to translate it. Guidelines for translators are available here.

Submission deadlines

The forthcoming submission deadlines are published on the Science in School home page.


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