Submission Guide

Submitting an original article for the SciComm ‘Ohana Blog is a great way to share your stories. We welcome submissions from all UH Science Department-affiliated people, but we do have a few guidelines we ask you to follow. Adherence to these guideline will determine whether your piece is published.


Choosing a topic

We welcome topics relating to being an undergrad or graduate student, postdoc, or staff in a science department at UH. These topics can range from describing your research for a general audience, work-life balance, or advice about grad school. You can also interview someone with the aim of providing advice to our readers. The articles should be positive in nature, and should not partake in ridiculing or being overly negative or controversial about a situation. Need help thinking of ideas? We encourage you to browse the blog to see what our contributors have written. Or, contact us to pitch us your ideas and we can help focus your topic for our readership.

Note: Articles must be your original work and not published elsewhere on the web.


Writing your article

  • Write to an audience of prospective students, peers, and the general public. Use your article to share your knowledge, but also feel free to showcase your personality!
  • We have a diverse reader base, and so we will be looking specifically for pieces that explain ideas and concepts clearly to non-specialists in the field.
  • Keep your article between 500-1000 words.
  • Keep your paragraphs short and break the article into easily-digestible sections (with clear subheadings), so it’s easy to scan and identify your main points or tips.
  • Have a few main ideas, but don’t try to cram too much into your article. For more writing content tips, check out our links.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative. 
  • All posts must have scientific backing. Though we will consider commentaries and opinion pieces, the content must be backed up with evidence.
  • No self-promotion. While we appreciate that people will post about issues they are passionate about, we will not accept posts promoting your business, fundraising, or publicizing an event you’re organizing. However, if you have organized or participated an event that has to do with Professional Development and want to discuss or reflect on it, that is okay.
  • Please avoid sensationalist language and fear-mongering. Try to be aware of sensitive information for an institution, protect people’s privacy, and potentially people’s research.
  • Sources: Give credit to where you found your information with links, or mention names and institutions. You can also use footnotes. Whatever you decide, make sure it is consistent.
  • Peer review: When you have an article written, consider asking a lab-mate for readability or your advisor to screen your article for sensitive content (we don’t want anyone talking about their exciting findings and getting scooped by a blog follower).


Submitting your article

Email to submit your article, along with any links, keywords, and pictures you want to include.

  • PHOTOS: We would gladly publish any or all photos/videos you would like to submit with your article. No offensive images. Be sure to credit any images or logos taken from the web. Important: Please fill out a photo release form for any photos you use and get permission from the photographer.  If there are any faces of people other than yours, they each need to fill out a photo release form.
  • Contributor Bio: Along with your article, please provide a brief description (1-3 sentences) of your work in a nutshell, and a face-shot photo so people can connect stories with faces at UH.
  • Expect a response from us within 7 days of submission – we’ll let you know if your article has been accepted, if it requires additional edits from you, or if we won’t be publishing it at this time. All editor decisions are final.
  • Our Editorial Team will review your article, and reserves the right to edit for stylistic purposes, including grammar, spelling, and formatting. Your article will also be screened by one of our volunteer faculty reviewers for any red flags that can be potentially sensitive for SOEST. The article will be returned to you if there are discrepancies and edits to be made.
  • After we get the final approval, and if we still think it’s a good fit, your piece will be queued into the blog every few weeks depending on how many submissions are received. Published posts will appear on the blog, tagged with relevant categories and keywords. Quality articles may also be included in promotional emails.
  • When we’ve published your article, we’ll give you the link for where to find it. We encourage you to promote your post on your social channels, and add it to your CV or personal website!


Main Tip:  Have fun with it! More people will read a whole article if they find the content entertaining or interesting.  What would you like other people to know about your work as a student-scientist?  What do you think is cool about your work?  Maybe start with these questions and build a story out of them.

Thank you!

Blog managers

[Thank you to PLOS blogs and TakeLessons for ideas on this submission guideline]

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