Author guidelines and submission process
By Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief Posted on 15 August 2013
What is Elsevier Connect?
Elsevier Connect is an online platform with daily stories for the global science, health and technology communities, shared via a broad social media community. Contributors are experts in the field as well as Elsevier colleagues.
Our style is journalistic, like the feature stories and op-eds in newspapers, magazines or blogs. The writing should be clear, straightforward and easy to understand for people outside your area of expertise. Do include examples and quotes to illustrate your points. Avoid using marketing and PR language, and if technical jargon is necessary, explain what it means. Quotes should sound human, not like written statements.
Articles range in length from 800 to 1,800 words.
Do not use end notes as in academic papers. If information comes from a specific source, attribute that source per news story. For example, after the statement, you can use the phrase "according to" and then name the source, embedding the link when available. Do not include citations for general knowledge. In a breakout box, you can list the source at the end and include the link.
Once you've consulted with the Editor-in-Chief about your story, you can download a template for the type of article you will be writing. Please type directly onto the template, filling out all the fields.
The first step is to email the Editor-in-Chief, Alison Bert (firstname.lastname@example.org), with your story idea. She will contact you to schedule a brief phone call to discuss the best way to present the article for our audience and word limit. Then the two of you will select a tentative publication date and deadline for the first draft, which will be entered onto the editorial calendar.
You can then download an article template to use for your text (see box at right).
Once you submit the article, the editor will send it back to you with tracked edits and questions. You can then review the copy for accuracy and suggest your own edits and additions, tracking all changes with the tracking function in Word.
Responding to reader comments
Because Elsevier Connect is meant to encourage conversation, it's our policy to respond to comments within 24 hours on a weekday. The editor will forward comments on the article as well as social media. Authors should be prepared to respond to comments or refer us to someone who can comment in their place.
Any material submitted to Elsevier Connect is done so on the understanding that it may be edited to ensure that it conforms to our house style. Spellings are American and not British English. Any material is included at the discretion of the editor.[divider]
Elsevier Connect uses American English and modified AP style. Our usage is similar to the guidelines in the Associate Press Stylebook, which is used by news organizations around the world.
Abbreviations and acronyms. Put in parentheses after using the full name or title, making exceptions for a few universally-known organizations, such the United Nations.
Healthcare is one word.
Quotes. Introduce with a colon if longer than a sentence, comma if less.
Professional titles. Capitalize titles. Shorten titles to abbreviations, e.g., Vice President (VP), Senior Vice President (SVP). For professional titles, in the text, we use Dr. before names for people with a doctoral degrees. For bylines and photo captions, we follow their names with PhD, MD, etc. Occasionally, professional titles are listed, such as RN or MPH. However, as a rule, we don't list master's degrees in people's titles. If their degree is important to their work, we can point it out in the text.
website or web.
Grammar and punctuation
No serial commas unless needed for clarity. (Serial commas are the final comma in a series before the word 'and.' (In the following sentence, the serial comma would come after 'St. Louis.' Employees from Amsterdam, St. Louis and Beijing attended the event.)
One space only after periods, colons and question marks.
Quotation marks outside of end punctuation, except with colons. ("This wiki is really helpful," said the author.)
Hyphens. Use for clarity to connect modifying phrases, but make exceptions for common industry terms, such as 'peer review process' and 'medical terminology product'
Dashes. Use long dashes (known as em dashes) to set off non-essential clauses you want to draw attention to, and put a space on both sides of the dash. (One customer – a chemist with 40 years of experience in drug development – said the product could save him three hours a day with his research.) Leave a space before and after the dash. You can create em dashes by typing two consecutive hyphens.
Numerals Spell out numerals from one to nine; use numerals for 10 and above. Use commas to separate thousands. (1,000)
Age (He's 3 years old. The 3-year-old child.)
At the beginning of sentences, spell out numbers except for a year. (2008 was a challenging year. Thirteen people received awards.) If it's awkward to spell out, rewrite the sentence.
Currency. Use symbols to denote currency. Use $ for US dollars. If it's another dollar currency, indicate country ($ AUS – Australian Dollars). Write out amounts starting with a million. (She earns $1.2 million a year.)
Percent, not %, unless part of a list or chart. (Profits increased 15 percent this quarter.)
Show, don't tell. Instead of saying that a presentation was "eye-opening," quote a few participants talking about what they learned or how it changed the way they work. Don't say the audience was "enthusiastic"; describe the scene in the room. (Dozens of people raised their hands to ask questions. Afterwards, audience members crowded around the presenter, and 75 signed up to be beta testers.)
Use action verbs; go easy on the adjectives.
Choose active voice over passive. (Passive: Winners were presented with gold medals. Active: The CEO presented gold medals to the winners.)
Quotes should sound human. Sources should sound as though they are speaking, not reading a written statement. Keep sentences short and avoid "corporate speak."
Avoid clichés. Instead of calling a deal "a win-win,'" you could say, 'Both groups will benefit," and explain why.
Say it simply. To get to work today, did you leverage the transport infrastructure or did you take the train? When possible, avoid jargon or use over-complicated sentence construction and words. When you have a choice of words, choose the simplest: use rather than utilize, spending rather than expenditure, need rather than necessity. A feature should let you do something, not "accomplish a desirable outcome."
Define technical terms. Not everyone knows what semantic indexing is. Likewise for order sets and bibliometrics. Include a simple explanation or include a definition for a breakout box.
Eliminate words that don't add meaning. Your writing will have more impact.