Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Writers' Guidelines

Australasian Science publishes world-class science from our most inspiring minds. Its Patrons are Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty and renowned science broadcaster Robyn Williams, representing excellence in science and its communication.

Prospective authors should first give a brief description of qualifications, institutional affiliations and expertise in the subject they are writing about.

Articles should be written in the style of a popular magazine. The articles should be specifically related to scientific endeavours in Australia and New Zealand with broad public interest.

As Australasian Science is read by a number of school students, teachers and the general public (through newsagencies), the style of writing needs to be pitched at a lay level and written in plain but engaging language emphasising the significance of the work to everyday life.

Include the thrust of your work and its significance in the introduction, and take your time to describe background concepts assuming no specialist knowledge on the part of the reader. Avoid jargon wherever possible.

Draw on the research of others to provide the context and background to your study, and only provide an overview of your methods rather than detailing your methodology – remember that our readers won't be trying to replicate your studies but only need a basic overview of the steps you took to advance your studies.

Remember that readers need to be persuaded to invest their time in an article. The usual way magazine articles do this is the exact opposite of a "whodunnit". Whereas the strategy of crime fiction is to build tension and only give the game away at the end, a magazine article does the exact opposite: it gives away the story up front so the reader becomes intrigued and will want to find out why or how it happened.

Feature articles should be 1200–1800 words in length. Opinion-based articles of strictly 650 words should be written for the conScience page.

Articles should include a brief headline, an abstract of only one sentence and a one-sentence biographical note detailing your institutional affiliation and position. Do not include reference lists, acknowledgments or footnotes.

Articles should be submitted by e-mail ( as an attachment saved in MS Word.

Images should be either provided as a high-resolution (1500-3000 pixels wide) JPG or PDF files. Note that graphics embedded in Word or Powerpoint documents are often unsuitable.

Australasian Science does not pay for articles published, and does not evaluate inventions or theoretical papers. These should be submitted to peer-reviewed journals instead.

As Australasian Science makes no obligation to publish unsolicited articles, please submit an outline as a proposal prior to submitting a completed manuscript. The outline should explain the significance of the work to everyday life.

By submitting to Australasian Science, contributors accept the terms and conditions outlined in the copyright assignment form that can be downloaded here. Contributors acknowledge that their submitted manuscript has not been previously published, either digitally or in print, or has been accepted for publication elsewhere, and that copyright of the article will become the property of Control Publications Pty Ltd if published in Australasian Science in print or digital format.

Authorship of articles should be limited to individuals directly responsible for writing the article, and not include others involved in the research or in authorship of the peer-reviewed research being reported in the article. There should be no more than two co-authors credited with the article.

Some tips for good scientific writing can be found here and here, and you can find out if your own writing is “flabby or fit” by running samples of your work through the Writer’s Diet test.

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