Writing guidelines

Interested in writing a blog post?

There are various ways to communicate your research or relevant topic area through The Applied Ecologist through research summaries, topical posts and community posts.

All blog posts are relatively short, written to a wider ‘popular science’ audience (i.e. not to much jargon or heavy statistics) and have plenty of room for creativity! Our research summaries in particular have been published in a range of different styles, for example:

Freeform summary: a standard overview of the published article.

Author Q&A: answering a set of questions that explores the author, the background to the published article and future plans.

Research stories: an author’s narrative describing the research process as well as the study itself and its wider implications.

Behind the cover/Cover stories: any of the above as with reference to the photo that made the cover of one of the journal’s issues

3bOnce invited to write a blog post, please follow these guidelines:

1. Think about your audience. Posts should be relevant and accessible to those involved in the management of biological resources. If writing about your research, make sure you focus on the management implications.

2. Write in plain language. Try to avoid academic jargon. Remember to define acronyms and initialisms at their first use, unless they are commonly known, for example ‘UK’ or ‘DNA’.

3. Be personable. Use the first person (I/we) and a friendly tone of voice. Your post should be less formal than a research article. Try to use the active voice instead of the passive (‘we did’ rather than ‘this was done’).

4. Remember the evidence. Back up what you say by embedding links in the text instead of using citations and references. Make a clear distinction between fact and your own opinion.

5. Visuals are key. Please remember to send photos, videos, illustrations or infographics with your text. Make sure you have permission from the image/video owner and anyone who appears in the photo/video.

6. Headings and titles help. Remember to include a title with your text. Consider adding subheadings to break up the post and make it easier to read.

7. Keep it simple. Try to stick to 500-750 words for your blog. Split your text into shorter sentences and paragraphs, again so it is easier to read.

8. Use British English (-ise, -re, -our, ll, double vowels, -ence, -ogue) for English language posts.

9. Translated blog posts. We are able to publish translated blog posts alongside an English version. If you’re interested in providing a copy in another language, please let us know when getting in touch with us about writing a post.

10. Social media handles. Please provide any relevant Twitter handles we can tag when promoting your post on social media.

Questions? If you have any questions or would like to discuss your potential blog post in more detail, please visit our Contact Us page. All posts will be edited in-house to ensure they read well, fit the blog’s scope and is accessible to a general audience before it is published.