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Topic: Tips and tools
Resource Database / Guide

SciComm Lexicon: A visual science communication glossary

The SciComm Lexicon is a glossary of more than 170 terms, many of them illustrated, that "will help scientists and communicators alike better understand, reflect on and apply the concepts or best practices of science communication." The creators will soon release a graphic novel called "The SciComm Letters" as well.
Resource Database / Guide

Know your research: Helping journalists understand academic research

This section from The Journalist's Resource features articles and tipsheets about reporting on scientific research. Topics covered include understanding research methods, finding and recognizing high-quality research, avoiding missteps when reporting on new studies, and more. New articles are added to the section every few weeks.

5 tips for using PubPeer to investigate scientific research errors and misconduct

"PubPeer, a website where researchers critique one another’s work, has played a key role in helping journalists uncover scientific misconduct in several prominent investigative stories in recent years — including the student newspaper series that led to Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s recent resignation." This story offers tips to help journalists use PubPeer for story ideas.

How to become a science journalist? A practical guide on science journalism basics in Arabic

This guide, written by science journalism and communication trainer Mohamed Elsonbaty Ramadan, explains science journalism basics for Arabic-langauge speakers. (The resource is written in Arabic.)

Science essentials for local reporters

SciLine, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

This free, one-hour “crash course” — designed specifically for local and general assignment reporters — teaches basic principles about how science works and ways it can be used to strengthen virtually any news story. Former longtime Washington Post science reporter Rick Weiss and Ph.D. neuroscientist Tori Espensen cover do’s, don’ts, and pitfalls to watch for when including science in your news reporting. This course is offered periodically throughout the year; check the link for the next offering.

Covering contaminated sites in your community


"Most of us have a contaminated site near us, but without reporters playing a watchdog role these sites often languish for decades, potentially impacting the health of community members. In this webinar, investigative journalist Jordan Gass-Pooré provides tips on the ways journalists can report on contaminated sites by incorporating local voices who have been personally impacted by the pollution that created the contaminated sites, and the knowledge of experts who lay out how future extreme weather events fueled by climate change may threaten to further spread that pollution if clean-up is not done quickly and thoroughly." Links to a video recording, chat log, and slides are available.
Resource Database / Guide

Pitch Publish Prosper: Online resources for The Science Writers’ Handbook


This collection of online resources on the NASW website accompanies The Science Writers Handbook, both produced by an online community of science writers called SciLance. "The Science Writers' Handbook was published in 2013, and for two years SciLancers also produced a blog — Pitch Publish Prosper — with nearly 300 posts. A collection of the 20 most popular posts is now archived here under four headings: Freelancing 101, Pitch, Publish, and Prosper."

Fancy Comma blog

The Fancy Comma blog includes insights on all things science writing: science communication, science writing, science journalism, science copywriting, and more, updated weekly. It accepts pitches; see Fancy Comma also offers a resource page with suggested links for anyone interested in getting into science writing:
Resource Database / Guide

De-Jargonizer: Analyze the amount of jargon in your writing

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

"The De-Jargonizer is an automated jargon identification program aimed at helping scientists and science communication trainers improve and adapt vocabulary use for a variety of audiences. The program determines the level of vocabulary and terms in a text, and divides the words into three levels: high frequency/common words; mid-frequency/normal words; and jargon – rare and technical words."

The Writers’ Co-op: Set yourself up well for freelancing when you’re full-time

The Writers' Co-op an audio business handbook for freelance creatives. In this episode, Wudan Yan talks with freelance journalist Karen Given about maintaining relationships, understanding the freelance market, building your own brand, and more. "If you consume media, are a media worker, or just happen to pay attention to what’s happening to the media landscape, you might have heard that the industry is having… a bad time, to say the least. Hundreds of reporters and media employees have been laid off this year as newsrooms are shutting down or downsizing. Some who are affected by these cuts try to move on to another full-time job, but other times, a layoff can lead to the freelance life."      
Resource Database / Guide

Resources related to science writing and communications

A collection of links on getting started in science writing, examples of exemplary writing, career advice, writing advice, and more resources from Rachel Coker at Binghamton University.
Resource Database / Guide

Writing op-eds – 500 Women Scientists

500 Women Scientists

A list of tips, advice, and ideas for writing science-focused opinion pieces, including a guide to pitching op-eds to publications. Assembled by 500 Women Scientists, the guide includes links to additional op-ed guides from other organizations.
Resource Database / Guide

A media guide for scientists

Sense About Science

Produced by Sense About Science, these guides offer information and advice to scientists about being interviewed by journalists. There are three guides that cover before, during and after an interview with a journalist. The guides are informed by interviews with scientists and science journalists.
Academic center

UC Berkeley: Advanced Media Institute

UC Berkeley

This UC Berkeley center offers workshops and custom training programs for working journalists and science communicators. Available training materials include data journalism, reporting tools and tips, photography and videography, podcasting, using public records, and much more. While the center's courses require paid registration, the site also offers many free resources.

Course in Science Journalism – World Federation of Science Journalists

World Federation of Science Journalists, SciDev.Net

This free online course in science journalism was developed by the World Federation of Science Journalists in close cooperation with the Science and Development Network (SciDev.Net). The course is ready for use by professional journalists, journalism students, and teachers. Each lesson consists of an e-lecture with examples, self-teaching questions, and assignments. Course materials are available in 10 languages. "The lessons cover major practical and conceptual issues in communicating science. They explain how to find and research a story, how to identify which expert is right, how to interview, how to write, and how to use social media."

COVID-19 Data Dispatch

The COVID-19 Data Dispatch is a weekly newsletter and blog focused on tracking the COVID-19 pandemic, written by Betsy Ladyzhets. It includes news updates, data sources, best practices, and more.

The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to write more easily and effectively throughout your scientific career

"The Scientist’s Guide to Writing explains the essential techniques that students, postdocs, and early-career scientists need to write more clearly, efficiently, and easily. Now fully updated and expanded, this incisive primer offers practical advice on such topics as generating and maintaining writing momentum, structuring a scientific paper, revising a first draft, handling citations, responding to peer reviews, managing coauthorships, and more."

Science Communication: A practical guide for scientists

"Designed to help the novice scientist get started with science communication, this unique guide begins with a short history of science communication before discussing the design and delivery of an effective engagement event. Along with numerous case studies written by highly regarded international contributors, the book discusses how to approach face-to-face science communication and engagement activities with the public while providing tips to avoid potential pitfalls. "This book has been written for scientists at all stages of their career, including undergraduates and postgraduates wishing to engage with effective science communication for the first time, or looking to develop their science communication portfolio."

A checklist for communicating science and health research to the public

This checklist from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers tips, advice, and strategies on how to make health information accessible to a broad range of people — from scientists and health professionals to health educators to patients and the general public.

The Craft of Science Writing

"Here, for the first time, is a collection of indispensable articles on the craft of science writing as told by some of the most skillful science journalists working today. These selections are a wealth of journalistic knowledge from The Open Notebook, the online community that has been a primary resource for science journalists and aspiring science writers for the last decade."

Organizing your research: A scientist’s tips for journalists

At the 2023 Association of Health Care Journalists conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Ph.D. candidate Maya Gosztyla provided an overview of literature mapping tools, RSS feeds, research management software and databases to help journalists organize their research. Here are her tips and tools.

Don’t say ‘prove’: How to report on the conclusiveness of research findings

"This tip sheet explains why it's rarely accurate for news stories to report that a new study proves anything — even when a press release says it does."