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Author Guidelines

This page explains how to write and submit content for the British Pharmacological Society’s blog and digital magazine, Pharmacology Matters. Whether you regularly write articles, or this is your first time, our team will support you to clearly express your ideas. Please contact us if you have questions.

1. What is the blog?

The Society’s blog is a place for members and people we work with to share their views and tell us about their work and interests. It is managed by the Society staff team.

2. What is Pharmacology Matters?

Pharmacology Matters is the Society’s digital magazine. It is free to access and available to read on our website. Articles for Pharmacology Matters are collected into three issues each year and each issue is promoted through an email newsletter to Society members. The Editorial Board - made up of members of the Society - select and edit the content.

3.What are the differences between the blog and Pharmacology Matters?

  Blog Pharmacology Matters
Length Ideally 500 words, maximum of 800 words Ideally 750 words, maximum of 1000 words
Speed of publication Blog articles can be published at any time and so the blog is well-suited to topics which have a specific timing. For example, topics related to upcoming awareness days or events.
 
Review is managed by the Society staff.
Articles are published in issues three times per year in Spring, Summer and Winter. Exact dates vary year on year.
 
The Editorial Board review all articles and so review can take longer than for the blog. This means that Pharmacology Matters is usually more suited to articles which are not time sensitive.
Writing style The tone is informal, conversational and uses commonly used language and terminology. There is usually a call to action. We encourage authors to write in plain English to ensure articles are accessible for the digital magazine’s broad readership.
 
The tone of articles can be more formal than for the blog and articles can include more complex scientific terms, though these should be clearly described at first use.
Topics
  • Topics of interest to members (e.g. Society news and activities)
  • Current affairs related to pharmacology
  • Topics with specific timings (e.g. supporting awareness days and Society events)
  • Topics of interest to members and the public
  • Deeper dive into topics that align with the Society’s aims, for example equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Interesting and unusual pharmacology
Some good examples Student life during a pandemic
 
PharmacoLGBT+
 
To Australia and back, via New Zealand
The Pain Divide (p.13)
 
Removing awarding gaps: The Kingston University Pharmaceutical Science experience
 
Of Fangs and Pharmacology: A Deadly Cure for Heart Disease
 

If you are not sure which channel your piece is best suited to, contact us with your pitch. See section 6 for what to include in your pitch.

4. Who reads the Society’s blog and digital magazine?

The audiences of the blog and Pharmacology Matters are similar. They are primarily Society members based in the UK, though the channels do have some international reach. Readers span career stages but are mainly students or in their early careers. Both channels are open to be read and shared by anyone. 

5. How do I write a good article?

  • If you are not sure how to start writing, consider beginning with the article ‘pitch’ bullet points in section 6.
  • Put yourself in the user’s shoes. What do they want to know? How quickly and simply can you tell them?
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs. Break up your content using clear and meaningful sub-headings.
  • Write in an active, rather than a passive, voice, for example:
    • Active: the pharmacologists attended the meeting
    • Passive: the meeting was attended by the pharmacologists
  • Be concise and to-the-point – get to the heart of the matter quickly.
  • Treat serious subjects seriously but remember that there is sometimes room for humour and light-heartedness.
  • Include interesting/relevant/news-worthy points at the start and expand on them later.
  • Include hyperlinks to facts, reports and recent media, rather than explain at length.
  • Make it a conversation – ask questions and encourage comments.
  • Write in plain English e.g. replace ‘accordingly’ with ‘so’, replace ‘constitutes’ with ‘makes up’ or ‘forms’.
  • Avoid scientific jargon and abbreviations.
  • Avoid acronyms where possible, if you do need to use them, explain them at first use

6. What is the process of publishing in the blog or Pharmacology Matters?

If someone from the Society has contacted you directly and/or you have already discussed the scope of the article with someone from the Society: simply read these guidelines and submit your first draft by the deadline agreed with your contact.
 
If you want to propose an article idea: send us a brief ‘pitch’, which includes:

  • Draft title

  • Summary of what the article will be about

  • Outline of the article – headings and a sentence summary of each section

  • Target audience

  • Purpose of the article - what do you want the audience to think, feel or do after reading your piece?

Editing

Once you have submitted your article, it will go through a process of review, either by staff at the Society for the blog, or with the Pharmacology Matters editorial team for the digital magazine. You will receive feedback on your article and a deadline to address any suggestions before a final edit, followed by publication.

7. How to submit:

Please submit the following as email attachments to your Society contact.

An unformatted Word document, which includes:

 
  1. Title: Use sentence case, 50 characters or less.

  2. Summary: Please provide a summary of your article of no more than 40 words. This will be visible on the blog or digital magazine homepage, so consider how you can encourage the audience to click through to your article.

  3. Article text: See section 3 for ideal article length for your channel and section 5 for writing tips. To reference, please hyperlink webpages to the appropriate words within your article text. We cannot use references that cannot be hyperlinked to. Please do not provide a list of references or footnotes. If referencing a journal article, please link to the original publication source (instead of the PubMed version, for example). Please indicate within the article text where figures should be located and provide appropriate captions.

  4. Author biography: Please submit a brief author biography of no more than 70 words, written in third person, as if someone else was writing it about you. Please note that you need a Society website account to make your author biography visible. If you are a Society member, you already have an account. If you are not a member, go to https://www.bps.ac.uk/, click ‘login’ in the top right-hand corner and then ‘register now’ and fill in your details.

  5. Social media accounts/handles: If you choose, you can provide the details of your social media accounts - and any other accounts which might be relevant to the article - so that we can tag you in posts promoting your article.

Images

Images must be provided as separate, original files – please do not copy them into the article Word file. Images should be large, high resolution and preferably landscape.
 
Please consider accessibility when selecting images. Images can be used to enhance the story, but your article should be understandable without images. Please ask your Society contact for help if you cannot find a suitable image. For each image you select, please provide a sentence summary for use as alt text.
 
Please ensure that you have the right to use the image and if needed, provide due credit to the image source. For creative commons images, please cite using the following format (replacing underlined): “Title” by Author is licensed under CC license.

Author photo

Please submit a high-resolution photo of yourself as a separate image file. The best author photos have plain backgrounds and only include the author's head (face-on) and shoulders.

8. How can I help to promote my article once it is published?

Your Society contact will inform you when your article has been published. If you use social media, please share your article and tag @BritPharmSoc on Twitter and Facebook. You can also share your article on the Society’s online Community.
 
You can also share the link with your institution, organisation or other networks.

9. Copyright

By submitting an article, the author(s) agree(s) that the copyright for their article is transferred to the British Pharmacological Society when the article is accepted for publication. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints, photographic reproductions of a similar nature and translations.
 
Alternatively, authors may wish to retain copyright and to grant the Society permission to publish. The author(s) must assert this right before publication through their Society contact.