BITSS Blog – Guidance for Authors

The BITSS blog is an interdisciplinary venue for discussing issues surrounding meta-science including transparency, reproducibility, methodology, ethics, and access. Posts are authored by BITSS staff, as well as affiliated partners and those broadly interested in open science and meta-science.

Our audience is comprised primarily of:

  • Researchers, instructors, students, and librarians from social science disciplines;
  • Open science and open source tool developers and users; and
  • Donors to researchers and non-profits focused on improving science and policy to benefit society at large.

Formatting Guidelines: Please provide the following information when you send a draft.

  • Title: Please suggest a title that captures your main point clearly and succinctly
  • Length: Anywhere from 300-1,500 words. Write until you’re done!
  • Bio and headshot: A short bio, written in third person, including your full name, position, affiliation, and website if you have one. You may also include a specific project or interest if relevant to the post. Please also include a small headshot.
  • A short summary: 2-3 sentences; includes the major point(s) you want to communicate.
  • Citations: Please use in-text citations or footnotes.
  • Links: We want to link our readers to as many relevant resources as possible in our posts. All posts should include at least one external link.
  • Style: Flexible (see past posts for examples). Feel free to ask questions to the audience. Open discussion is welcome and encouraged!
  • Quotes: 1-3 quotes from your post that we can block out. These help to visually break up posts.
  • Images: Images, figures, or suggested image subjects are welcome!

Questions to consider when writing:

  • Who is your intended audience? Note: you don’t necessarily need to speak directly to everyone; some of our posts are directed at specific disciplines and communities.
  • Do you use any terms that those in other disciplines might not recognize? If so, try to define them so that they are accessible to researchers from across social science disciplines.
  • What do you hope readers will do once they have read your post? Or what do you hope they will have gained?
  • Are there any questions you foresee readers asking? If these aren’t answered in your post, why not? Note: you don’t need to explain absolutely everything about your topic, but it can be helpful to predict where readers may ask for clarification.

Sample topics (not exhaustive):

  • Review of a paper or project
  • Interviews or Q&As with interesting figures
  • Discussion of a methodology
  • Conference or event summaries
  • Personal experiences that illustrate the challenges or successes of teaching or practicing open science
  • Announcements about upcoming events, competitions, partnerships, projects, etc.

Review Process:

Posts are generally circulated to BITSS staff for high-level review before posting to ensure accessibility across disciplines and experiences.