Author guidelines

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.

Some general advice:

  • We welcome submissions and provide full editorial support. However, we strongly advise you to contact us before you start writing so that we can make sure your article is suitable for our format and audience.
  • 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 our articles in lessons, perhaps even giving them to their students to read.
  • Science in School is a colourful, visual publication. Aim to submit at least 3-4 good photographs or diagrams¬†to accompany your article: see image details.¬†
  • Please use the article templates for Understand/Inspire or Teach articles if possible.
  • Note that we do not publish science education research.

Articles must be submitted in English, accompanied by the completed copyright form, and should not exceed the relevant word limit (see the different categories of articles). If we publish your article, we may also include translated versions on our website.

Categories of article

Articles submitted to Science in School should fit into one of the following categories. Please first submit an article proposal, outlining the content and structure. The editorial office will then let you know whether the proposed article fits the scope of the journal and/or provide feedback on changes that would improve its suitability for our audience.

Understand

These articles aim to give students an understanding of a specific scientific concept and illustrate how it relates to everyday life. They should inform but also give a sense of the relevance of science in our lives. Ideally, they should be relevant both to topics likely to be found in a high-school science curriculum and to real-world applications or topical issues (e.g., medicine, sustainability). They may be written by scientists or teachers.

  • Explain why the topic is important and interesting for a general audience. Highlight implications for everyday life, societal challenges, future technology, etc.
  • Avoid unnecessary technical detail: remember that these articles are for a young audience with a limited general science background.
  • Explain any unavoidable technical terms/acronyms
  • Avoid large blocks of text. Use graphics (photographs/drawings/cartoons/computer-generated models) or video clips/animations to illustrate concepts wherever appropriate, and break up blocks of text with bullet points/text boxes.
  • Maximum length: 1000 words.
  • Youtube-style video pieces will also be considered; length should generally not exceed 10 mins. See here for some guidelines on video content.

Some examples: 

Teach

These articles describe how to construct innovative teaching materials, run novel experiments, or carry out inspiring projects at school. We are particularly interested in classroom activities to introduce modern science into the classroom. These may include classroom experiments or lesson plans with group tasks, guided discussions, or role-playing activities. These articles are often written by teachers.

  • Provide step-by-step instructions for carrying out the activity.
  • Include details of the context or value of the activity but keep this brief.
  • 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.
  • Include photographs of experimental setups/results where possible.
  • Provide worksheets (ideally editable) if appropriate.
  • Indicate which age(s) of students the activity is suitable for, what they will learn, and how long the activity takes.
  • If it is not possible to replicate the whole project (or to describe it in 1500 words), focus on one or more of the activities and briefly list the others or include them separately as extension activities (which can be attached as supplementary information).
  • Maximum length: 1500 words.

Some examples:

Inspire

These articles are not necessarily directly usable in the classroom but should spark our readers’ interest and give them food for thought. They include teaching ideas, scientist or teacher profiles, and resource reviews. Generally, Inspire articles should not exceed 1000 words. They are often commissioned by the editorial team, but we welcome your suggestions.

Publication process

Submission

We recommend to first submit an article proposal outlining the key content points and basic structure. We will then get back to you regarding whether it could be/become suitable for Science in School. Make sure that you include your name and current role in the email.

Review and publication

Submissions are initially reviewed by the editorial team. If your article is promising but not quite suitable for Science in School, we may provide feedback for reworking it. In the next stage, articles are reviewed by teachers for usefulness, interest and applicability, after which we may request or make further changes to your article. Articles with more advanced scientific content may also be sent for scientific review, and some article may additionally be discussed with the editorial oversight board. Once we have all the reviewer comments, we will inform you of our decision. No fees are charged to the authors or readers of our journal.

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

Format and structure

Articles should be submitted as Word (.doc or .docx), plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf) files, preferably using the Science in School templates for Understand/Inspire or Teach articles.

If applicable, list all 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, for example informative websites or materials that can be downloaded. These resources do not have to be cited in the text of the article.

At the end of the article, you may include 2-3 sentences of author information. For articles written by scientists, we encourage you to also submit an author photo (which can also include other scientists from your lab with their permission) since it is nice to be able to show students different pictures of „what a scientist looks like“.

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

Images and Videos

When providing graphical/video material that shows or depicts people, please bear in mind that Science in School supports diversity and inclusion in science education; science is for everyone! Avoid gender/racial stereotypes and try to include diverse groups when showing/depicting students or scientists.

Please additionally provide the images as separate files. For each image, we need a caption and the exact credit; these can be listed in a table at the end of the article. If you are not the copyright owner of all images submitted, note that it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright owner. 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 for us 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. Until issue 35, most articles were published under either CC BY-NC-ND or CC BY-NC-SA licences. Starting with issue 36, Science in School articles should carry CC BY licences.

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.

Translations

To ensure that Science in School is read as widely as possible, many of the articles are translated into other European languages. 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 offer it to our volunteer translators. Guidelines for translators are available here.