Science Magazine is an award-winning News department of Science, the flagship research journal from the world’s largest general science society. Are you a freelance journalist with a hot scoop or juicy scandal, a compelling profile of a scientist, or an original take on a science policy issue? If so, bring it to the Science Magazine. They are eager to break news and tell stories that no other science journalist has found.
Points To Note Before Pitching To Science Magazine
Here are some things you should know before pitching a story to them.
- The editors and writers of the News department are professional journalists and produce much of their news content. However, they still accept freelance contributions—everything from 140-word news briefs to 2500-word features to investigative projects. About half of their online-only stories and a quarter of the stories in the weekly print issue are either assigned to freelancers they like working with or are pitched by freelancers.
- They receive big press releases and embargoed information from major journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, etc). Therefore, you might have very little luck successfully pitching a study from these.
- They do not take stories from academic researchers, company representatives, or public information officers wishing to promote their institutions. Freelance writers should also disclose any potential conflicts of interest when they pitch a story.
- If you currently pen press releases for a university, you won’t be allowed to write about them. However, if you did a feature for a school magazine a year ago and nothing since, they likely will. Just be transparent with them.
- Science covers news in all areas of science, from geology to genetics, as well as science policy and issues important to the scientific community, such as science, technology, engineering, and math education and sexual harassment. They prioritise including women and people of color as quoted sources in their work to capture a range of perspectives. In print they publish news briefs, longer news analysis and trends stories, and features. Online, where they publish multiple daily stories, they focus on breaking news. They are also interested in stories not tied to press releases, such as explainers on trending news and Q&As with interesting researchers.
How To Pitch To Science Magazine
- If you come across news, don’t wait to pitch it. They want to publish as soon as possible after the event. For embargoed studies, please pitch at least 3 days in advance, so that they can approve the proposal and you can deliver a story a day or two before the embargo lifts.
- If you are pitching a news story about a research study, write a few sentences about what the study is about and why it’s a big deal. Include the press release and paper when possible.
- If you’re pitching a longer story, such as a feature, make sure your pitch also gives a sense of how you will tell it. What is its scope, will it focus on certain characters or places, what is the storyline? But keep the pitch tight, three or four paragraphs at most.
- If you’re new to them, please send them published clips (less than five) so they can judge your writing.
- If you’re not pitching embargoed news, please check Google News to see whether any other outlets have covered the story.
- You should note any video and audio possibilities in your pitch.
- Put “Pitch” in your subject line. Otherwise your email may be flagged as spam or ignored as a press release.
- You can spend some time reading Science’s news site before pitching them.
Where To Send Your Pitch
- If you’re pitching a news story based on embargoed research, contact their Online News Editor David Grimm.
- Other breaking news, from policy news to issues important to the scientific community, will be handled as so-called ScienceInsiders and you should pitch it to [email protected].
- If your story has potential as a longer piece for the magazine, send it to [email protected] and it will be matched up with the appropriate editor.
- You can also direct a pitch to a specific editor: Rachel Bernstein (careers and community), Elizabeth Culotta (anthropology/archaeology/paleontology), Shraddha Chakradhar (diversity in science, health inequities and biomedicine), Lila Guterman and John Travis (biology and biomedical news), Eric Hand (physical science news), and David Malakoff (international news, science policy, energy, and environment).
For most stories, pay is per word with rate depending on experience. Their rates begin at $0.75 per word for online-only stories and $1.25 per word for print-only stories.