There are several ways to get involved as a writer for the BSR:
- Write for our magazine—We look for new magazine writers in June and December of each year. Choose your own story, or one from our idea list, and send a pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org (see below for more information on submitting a pitch).
- All proposed topics for the magazine must have a Berkeley connection and are typically focused on the science itself (though not always). Please also check our archive of previous issues to make sure we haven’t published a similar story already in the past several years.
- Write for our blog—We are almost always accepting pitches for the blog. Choose your own story, or one from our idea list, and send a pitch to email@example.com (see below for more information on submitting a pitch).
- Proposed topics for the blog do not necessarily have to have a Berkeley connection and often tackle topics related to how science is done and science policy. Please also check previous blog stories to make sure we haven’t published something similar in the past several years.
- Suggest a story for somebody else to write. We’re happy to hear your ideas!
Authors should be UC Berkeley graduate students, postdocs, or affiliates. We encourage writers to pick topics outside of their own research scope! Sign up for our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss calls or deadlines for pitch submission.
At this time the BSR does not accept undergraduate students, but instead refer interested undergraduates to the Berkeley Scientific Journal.
If you would like to write for the Berkeley Science Review, the first step is to send us a short query letter (a pitch). The pitch should be about one page long and should sell your article. Tell us why your story is interesting and timely, the Berkeley angle, and whom you plan on interviewing. Be specific about what you plan to do and let your personality come through in your writing style. Click here to see a sample proposal. We like to see queries that are well thought-out and compelling, but if you have a more vague idea you can send that in as well. If you are pitching to write for the magazine, please be sure to submit pitches by the deadline for the current issue.
We will let you know within a couple weeks of submission whether your story has been selected. If your story is selected, you’ll be assigned an editor who will discuss possible directions for the piece, recommend resources, and generally act as a helpful guide and vigilant proofreader. You, along with your editor, will work on re-writes and drafts of the article.
Magazine Article Styles and Formats
Submissions should be accessible to the intelligent and motivated non-expert. When writing your article, consider whether your readers will find it comprehensible, informative, and fun to read. If you have a great idea that doesn’t fall into one of the categories below, feel free to get in touch with us as well. We’re always looking for new, innovative writers and content.
Features cover progress in a field or other broader aspect of science at Berkeley beyond the scope of a single finding or organization. Features should be 2000-4000 words.
Briefs should be 550-750 words and cover a recent exciting scientific advance at Berkeley or some other aspect of science policy or education associated with the university.
Labscopes are short pieces (200-250 words) covering a new finding at Berkeley and are often accompanied by a particularly striking image, which can be the main focus of the piece. Writing a labscope is a great way for an author with limited time to commit to get involved.
From the Field
From the Field articles feature exciting work going on “in the field” (loosely interpreted) and are meant to illuminate experiences from the author’s own perspective. In the past topics have ranged from field research to exciting conference experiences to working the beat as a science writer. We encourage you to be creative!
Interview your favorite Berkeley professor and write up a profile of the faculty member and their research. Depending on the issue, we may be highlighting one faculty member or several. The length will of the piece will vary accordingly (anywhere from 250-1000 words).
These may be about a book written by a Cal faculty or student in the last two years. We prefer that you do not review textbooks or collections of edited papers. Length should be about 750-800 words.
What we don’t want submitted
Essays about the trials, tribulations, and joys of graduate student life. Gossip about your advisor or labmates. Poetry.
The blog is open to research highlights from UC Berkeley and beyond, including general trends in STEM fields. In addition, we are also looking for perspectives on the graduate student experience, science policy, outreach/education, and current events as they affect STEM fields. The blog is flexible in timing and content, both for single stand-alone pieces or multiple pieces that may form a cohesive series. Not everything fits into the magazine issues, so we are open to expanding on topics featured in the latest issues of the magazine in the blog. Check out our Bloggers page for more details and information.
The Berkeley Science Review, a non-profit publication, is granted one-time print rights, perpetual electronic publishing rights, and the right to unlimited promotional use of all material (text, photography, or art) submitted for publication. These materials will not be used in any other way, or reprinted elsewhere, without the express permission of the author.
By submitting material to the Berkeley Science Review, you affirm that you are the author, creator or copyright owner of this material, and that you have the legal authority to give the Berkeley Science Review the rights and permissions described above. The Berkeley Science Review will not be held responsible for fraudulently submitted or plagiarised material.