Guidelines for articles published on Science Borealis

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The following parameters are what we require for articles intended for publication on Science Borealis:

  1. Word count: Articles are up to 1,000 words long – and ideally no more than 750 words long.
  2. Originality: Articles must be original work, not previously published material. If you are drawing from your own research, you may use small portions of your original work if you have permission to share it publicly and you disclose your involvement in the research.
  3. Style: Our regular articles require a narrative article format. Our style guide is Canadian Press Style, the industry standard for news media and public relations in Canada. If you don’t have access to the CP Style Guide, apply Writing Tips Plus (formerly The Canadian Style).
  4. Language: All articles must be primarily in English. Please check with the managing editor if you want to write a bilingual article.
  5. Topics: Your article can be about anything related to your assigned beat or can focus on a key science-related event in your beat. In general, an article tells a story; it doesn’t explain a topic.
  6. Canadian content: A Canadian angle is essential – whether you cover specifically Canadian science or put the issue you’re discussing into a Canadian context. If you can’t deliver Cancon, your article is not a good fit, and we will not accept it.
  7. Audience: You are writing for scientifically literate adults who may not be familiar with your field and may not be academics. Avoid jargon and explain unfamiliar terms. Your readers are experts but not necessarily in the field you are writing about.
  8. Images: Every article must include at least two images – ideally 3–4 – including something eye-catching to use as the post’s header (banner) image (landscape format preferred). Please include with your article the image captions, permissions, and the URL from the site you obtained the images.
  9. Seeking sources: If you want to issue a call to our bloggers or Twitter followers for information or sources, contact our Outreach team. We’re happy to work with you to get the word out.
  10. Social media posts supporting your blog post: At the end of your article’s copy (in your second draft), provide succinct copy for a Facebook post (1–2 sentences) and tweet (< 280 characters; shorter is better) that the Outreach team can use to promote your article. Be sure to include key social media hashtags and handles relevant to your article’s content.

Formatting and finalizing your post

  1. Please submit your articles typed in MicroSoft Word or a compatible format. The senior editors will use tracked changes and comments on your piece.
  2. Do not use footnotes or citations. Embed hyperlinks.
  3. If you share responsibility for an assigned beat with another contributing editor, indicate who authored the article (one or both), and what your beat (subject-area affiliation) is.
  4. Break articles up into short web-friendly paragraphs; add subheads (bold, not style sheet) to break up the text onscreen and make it easier for readers to scan your article.
  5. You may include basic text formatting – italics, bold – but not style sheet formatting (e.g., subheads) or text blocks.
  6. You may embed images in the document to show placement, but attach originals to your email (separate jpeg or png files, at least 900 dpi horizontal @ 72 dpi).
  7. Clearly indicate photo credits, permissions, and captions, and provide each image’s source URL.
  8. Please obtain permission to post Tweets or lengthy quoted material.
  9. Be responsive to feedback from the senior editors so that final edits can be completed on time – we prefer to not have to hound you on weekends for copy that was due on Wednesday or Friday.
  10. After you article goes up, help us promote it via social media.
  11. If you spot an error in your article after it goes up, alert the managing editor immediately.

Submitting your material

Please use the following protocol for the subject of your submission email:

author name, subject area (in abbreviated form), working title, intended publication date, editorial step (pitch, version 1, etc.)

For example, the subject line for Cannabis is NOT a dog’s best friend by Ainslie Butler – Health, Medicine and Veterinary Sciences editor, and scheduled for publication on December 17, 2018, would be:


Please note: only senior editors can assign the ‘final’ marker as an editorial step.

When submitting pitches, drafts and final copies, please send to all of the following:

We will provide the addresses via email to you directly. It is important to include all e-mails so that we can track the progress of your article, send reminders only when necessary, and manage the editorial calendar.


Other resources in this series

The role of a Science Borealis subject/contributing editor

Writing for Science Borealis: Our writing practicum for editorial candidates

The Science Borealis editorial cycle

Pitching an article for Science Borealis

Working with the senior editors

Using and crediting images in Science Borealis articles

Promoting your articles


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