#MySciComm Contributor Guidelines

What is the #MySciComm Series?

Drawing inspiration from the #MySci hashtag, in spring 2017 the ESA Communication & Engagement Section launched a blog series called #MySciComm.

We explore the personal and professional journeys of science communicators, including the joys, struggles, and helpful resources that surfaced along their way.

Through MySciComm, we showcase the wide range of types of SciComm that people can do, from photography and illustration to serving as an institutional press officer and public engagement research, and so much more.

This is an emerging profession, and there are not only a lot of ways of doing SciComm, but a lot of ways of getting into it. Our #MySciComm series highlights some of the possibilities, and we invite contributors to be candid about the (rarely linear) ways they got into SciComm. The #MySciComm series demystifies careers and opportunities by actually explaining how SciComm opportunities arise and how series contributors capitalized on them. We “go beyond the CV” in telling these scicomm backstories. 

For more about the motives and objectives of the series, read this op-ed, published by ESA’s EcoTone blog. In the op-ed, #MySciComm series founding editors’ explain what makes the series special and important, within and beyond the realms of science communication.

Questions contributors answer

Contributors write a 1,000-3,000-word blog post that responds to the following two questions:

  1. How did you get into your type of science communication? Think of this as your career trajectory, your scicomm ‘origin story,’ or even just one anecdote that epitomizes how you came to the work you do now. After all, the path to a scicomm career is rarely linear! (500+ words)
  2. What are 1-3 tips/resources you use in your current scicomm work that you would recommend to new or experienced scicomm professionals? (200-220 words)

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Context

ESA Communication & Engagement Section members are hungry for resources, advice, networking opportunities, and ideas regarding the wide range of professional activities conducted by science communicators. We host the #MySciComm blog series in order to address some of these member interests.

The path to SciComm isn’t linear.

With that in mind, we specifically feature diverse contributors, in terms of experience, path to SciComm, nationality, identity, and other factors. 

Contributor Checklist

  • A complete template for contributors is available here.
  • The audience of the ESA Communication & Engagement Section blog is fellow scientists and SciComm practitioners (including scientists considering becoming communicators, those in transition, and those who are experienced communicators already).
  • Contributors provide at least one high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi at 5″ on shortest dimension) image of themselves to accompany their post. This could be a photo, scan of a hand-written or drawn image, etc. Ideally, this image is a landscape/horizontal image. This must be submitted when they submit their draft. 
  • We also ask for a bio and a title suggestion. Contributors should submit these when submitting their first draft. Bio examples are available here.
  • All pitches and drafts are subject to editorial approval and editing at all stages of the publishing process. Contributors can anticipate between one to several rounds of editing for their piece. Contributors will likely work with one or more of our editors – a commissioning editor and a handling editor, possibly along with . a reviewing editor. So, please anticipate there is potential for a bit of a time investment as we hone each piece together.
  • Contributors can feel free to start with a rough idea, if that feels most feasible. We’re happy to read rough drafts and help hone them. 
  • We invest in editing this way, because we ascribe to the philosophy that writing is thinking, and thus, iteration and revision are essential aspects of compelling and engaging writing.

Deadlines

  • Please plan to submit a first draft no later than a month prior to your scheduled publication. This allows time for editing, confirming/finalizing draft with you, formatting, and scheduling.
  • Please specify an anticipated draft submission date. If the contributor does not have a preference, we will propose a couple of dates.
  • Please let us know well in advance if you will need to postpone your anticipated submission date.

General Pitches

If you have ideas for other sorts of blog posts, please click here to view complete details on pitching blog posts for the ESA SciComm blog. The Communication & Engagement Section blog posts feature multimedia scicomm projects, book reviews, ESA conference reflections, and lots more. We welcome pitches year-round.

Submit your #MySciComm Pitch/Draft

  • Please contact us directly to submit your pitch.
  • If you have already been in touch with an editor, please communicate with them directly.
  • Thank you in advance for your contribution(s)!

Image credit: #MySciComm gif by Impact Media Lab; cursive writing image by Andrys, CC0 license