Guidelines for Authors – Science Victoria

Science Victoria exists for the discussion and promotion of scientific topics of relevance to the State of Victoria. We are particularly interested in new research, in-depth articles, or discussions of where scientific work and thinking can directly address or deepen our understanding of environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

We welcome your pitches and pieces for news, features, opinion, and analysis articles on current scientific research in Victoria, recent scientific discoveries, social and policy issues, technical innovations, and overviews of impactful research. We cover a broad range of topics around science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine/health (STEMM).

Science Victoria’s articles are written in plain, non-academic language. Our audience is intelligent and engaged but non-expert. This is not a platform for scientific journal articles or media pieces. For more information on what we’re looking for, read our article submission guidelines below.

Have an idea for an article? Pitch your idea to us!

Send your idea to [email protected], along with any questions you have regarding your pitch.

In your email, please outline:

  •       In one sentence, what is your key message? (No more than 50 words)
  •       Why should this key message be shared with the readers of Science Victoria? (No more than 100 words)
  •       Which style of article are you proposing to write? (See below for a guide to article types)

Note: We may accept your pitch, but suggest that it is more suitable for another style of article.

Article pitches can be submitted at any time, but please keep in mind the article submission deadlines for the next month’s issue.

Article Submission

Once your pitch has been accepted, you can submit completed pieces that fall within the style guide below. Completed articles to be published in the next issue of Science Victoria must typically be submitted 2 weeks prior to the next month.

All pieces will be reviewed prior to publishing, and may be edited for length and clarity (although we will be sure not to alter the message or context of your work).

All published pieces will be accompanied by a by-line, and a short (<50 word) biography of the author (title, institution, qualifications, current projects, contact email) to be submitted with your piece.

Images and figures to accompany your piece are strongly encouraged, however please ensure that you only provide original images produced by yourself or those that already exist in the Public Domain. Images must include details of the source and any relevant descriptions. If you do not provide any images, we may include Public Domain images that we deem suitable for your content.

If you have any questions regarding suitability of your article for a particular style, or regarding putting your piece together, please contact [email protected]

Style Guide

To successfully engage the largest audience, all pieces should bear readability in mind.

Readability can be determined using a Flesch-Kincaid readability test, aiming for a score between 50-60. This score means that your piece should be easily understood by an educated 16-year-old (a year 10 student).

If drafting your piece in Microsoft Word, you can easily view your document’s readability statistics at Home>Editor>Document Stats. Alternatively, you can use one of the many free online calculators.

Letters and Columns

Letters have minimal restrictions on style, structure, or subject matter. You are encouraged to submit your thoughts/questions/comments that broadly relate to STEMM in Victoria and/or the Royal Society of Victoria. Potential subject areas include responses to articles in previous editions of Science Victoria, seminars at scientific events, science-related issues and policies, or topics you’d like to see in future editions.

Where a specific question is asked, we will endeavour to have the appropriate person respond to your letter.

What I’ve Been Reading

This is a column for you to tell us about a book broadly relating to science that you’ve read. These pieces are typically between 400 – 1,000 words and include a summary of the book and its ideas, as well as your interpretations or conclusions. Possible questions to consider when writing this column: Do you think the author was correct in any assumptions? Was the author’s style of writing approachable? Did they do the subject matter justice? Who would you recommend this particular book to? What did it mean to you? What did you learn?

News Articles

News Articles are for the discussion of current or recent news relating to science, with an emphasis on science in Victoria or news that impacts Victoria’s scientific community.

These articles should be concise, avoid use of jargon and personal opinion, and be referenced as appropriate. News pieces should be between 400-1,000 words in length.

Reports could relate to funding announcements/grant outcomes, new STEMM-related projects, high-impact publications relevant to Victoria, successes of Victorian scientists, or relevant STEMM-related policy news.

Feature Articles

Feature articles are more in-depth pieces on a specific topic related to STEMM. A key aspect of feature articles is the narrative – this isn’t a journal article, so think about the story that your article is trying to tell.

Your audience is intelligent members of the general public, who share an enthusiasm for scientific topics, or who are members of the scientific community outside of your particular field.

Avoid using jargon, as it will quickly alienate anyone who isn’t an expert in that field. Explaining one or two otherwise irreplaceable terms is fine.

Please reference primary sources/journal articles for any non-trivial scientific claims, or for publications that prompted your writing of the article.

Feature articles typically run between 600 and 1,800 words (including references). Use of sub-headings and figures to break up longer pieces is strongly encouraged.

Not quite sure about the tone for your piece? Have a look at articles published in previous editions of Science Victoria, or in other scientific magazines for a general audience, like The Conversation, Cosmos, New Scientist or Scientific American.

A good litmus test is knowing that most of us have read a piece or been to a presentation that managed to make the most interesting topics incredibly boring. This is what you want to avoid.

Opinion Articles

In contrast to an unbiased news or feature article, an opinion piece conveys your informed opinion on, or experiences with a particular topic. This is where your expertise on a subject can shine. Clearly state your argument, outlining the details of the problem you are addressing, and build to a strong conclusion.

For greatest impact, your choice of topic should be one that is broadly relevant to STEMM-related fields in Victoria. Examples of possible topics include:

          how to address a climate-change related problem in Victoria,

          successes and failures common to STEMM engagement initiatives,

          changes in your particular field of expertise

          your experiences of a career in STEMM and thoughts on how to better support the next generation of researchers,

          existing STEMM-related studies or approaches that you believe could be applied in Victoria,

          ethical problems related to scientific projects or careers in STEMM.

Please reference primary sources/journal articles for any non-trivial scientific claims, or for publications that prompted your writing of the article.

Opinion pieces should aim to be 600-1000 words. For anything shorter, consider submitting it as a Letter instead.

We welcome well-informed opinion articles from all authors, particularly from those with significant expertise in a given area. Articles may reference your own work; however, these are not promotional fluff pieces.


References for all articles should use a modified APA 7th edition format: reference list in author-year format, with numbered in-text citations. Refer to articles in previous editions for examples, or contact [email protected].