Entomology Today is an opportunity for entomologists to communicate about their work and their science in a more narrative-based, less academic format than in research journals and presentations. Below are guidelines and suggestions for volunteer contributors to Entomology Today:
Got an Idea for a Blog Post?
Writing for Entomology Today can be a great opportunity to show off your entomology expertise, hone your general-audience communication skills, and earn a little public recognition. Consider raising your hand as a volunteer guest contributor. Blog post topics can range from covering new research to answering a common question about an insect to interviewing an entomologist about their career. You could also write about your own research to earn some exposure for your work.
Email a brief summary of your idea to Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications, Entomological Society of America, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fully written posts that are blindly submitted often need revision. Discussing an article idea with ESA communications staff before you write will help you make the post more effective, increase the likelihood that it will be published, and save you time in the end.
Then, once you get writing …
Tell a good story.
- Answer the question: Why should the reader care about this?
- Write (talk) to the seasoned entomologist, but write informally.
- Keep sentences short and simple. Use active verbs.
- Be brief and to the point. Stick with the basics of what readers need to know.
Share your science.
A blog post is not an academic article, but readers do want a peek into the science behind your subject. Consider addressing the following questions:
- What sparked you (and your colleagues, if applicable) to study this particular subject?
- What are the key findings readers should know about your research?
- How did you conduct the study? What was that work like?
- Were there any surprises in the findings or in the course the study?
- What further research would you suggest?
Leverage the online format.
- Provide links to further information, simply as in-text links or as a list of related information at the end of your post.
- If appropriate, include images, charts, or other embeddable media—such as YouTube videos, tweets, etc.—that will enhance your message for the reader. (See additional notes on visuals below.)
- Use subheads to break text and highlight topics. Use bulleted or numbered lists when appropriate. (These all aid in readability on the web, where people skim rather than reading word for word.)
Mind these style points.
- Length is flexible, depending on the scope of the post, but circa 750 words is a good target to start with.
- Give complete information for all those quoted in your article: full name, degree if applicable, title, affiliation.
- Include complete biographical information for yourself at the end of the article: full name, degree if applicable, title, affiliation, city, state, social media contact, and email address.
Make your visuals effective.
- Provide images, charts, or media in high-resolution format, as separate files.
- Provide captions for photos and charts. Try make them informative; don’t just label the obvious. (Readers often skim to images and read the captions before reading body text, so they are an important entrance point into your post. Use the caption to entice readers to take a longer look at the main body of your text.)
- Request permission from owners of images or confirm that they are available for re-use (such as via a Creative Commons license).
- Include “(Photo/image credit: name)” in captions when applicable, including for photos or images you created yourself.
- Contact Joe Rominiecki, Manager of Communications, Entomological Society of America, at email@example.com or 301-731-4535 x3009