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Article Guidelines

This guide is divided into the following sections:

  1. Purpose and aims 

  2. General writing requirements

  3. Language and tone of voice

 1. Purpose and aims

Primer is designed to be STEMside’s main collection of knowledge. Carefully curated and thoughtfully written, it is an open resource journal for anyone to read and digest scientific information easily, as well as form links between different STEM subjects. Above all, the aim is to help anyone with an interest, regardless of knowledge level, learn about the subject and easily navigate through the topics without the jargon to better understand both core knowledge and recent scientific developments.


Target audience: Anyone interested in STEM - Lay writing

 2. General writing requirements


  • Writing platform: Please use Google Docs as this format is most accurately transferable to our website for publication.

  • Word count: For SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes, aim for a minimum of 2000 words in your article. However, should this be extremely difficult for you, 1800 words would be fine.


  • References

    • Please use hyperlinks AND include a bibliography.

      • The reason we use hyperlinks is because pre-university students may not know how to read a bibliography.

      • That being said, including a bibliography starts exposing prospective and current university students to proper scientific writing. Additionally, if the reference webpage changes, the link will be broken, so references may be lost. To avoid this, bibliographies are important. 

      • Please use Vancouver referencing with superscript.

      • Reference manager resources:

    • Always ensure that the information comes from reliable sources such as recognised subject journals. 

      • Primary literature is preferred 

      • Literature reviews on the topic from recognised journals are also a great source. When possible try to reference the original articles (i.e., the one the review references)

    • None of the hyperlinks should be bringing readers to company blogs or shops (unless you are writing about a company’s specific technology).


  • Figures

    • Given that we are striving to be an original journal, you can choose to either create your own figures, or check out websites that explicitly offer free/non-copyrighted images.

      • Unsplash ( or Pexels ( are decent places to start when searching for such images. Bear in mind that technical content such as protein structures will be extremely limited or non-existent. 

    • Important: For now, please do not use BioRender to make any figures (unless you own a Premium account yourself). This is to comply with licensing rules from BioRender.

    • In terms of the figure legends, aim to make them as detailed as possible. “Detailed”, in this case, will be defined as – if someone were to be given the figure and its figure legend without the full-length article, they should be able to decipher what is going on in that figure using the figure legend alone.

    • In your document, please add a cover image for your article/page.


 3. Language and tone of voice


We strive to be:

  • Simple – We want to create a journal where readers can learn more about science, whilst not having to bully their brains too much in order to decipher all the technical jargon that actual research papers are packed with. We also want to keep people engaged with the article without having to look up terms every sentence. Wherever possible try to give short explanations of technical terms within the text. 

  • Insightful – We want this journal to engage with our readers in a meaningful and open way, and to get them to think about how science plays a positive influence in shaping our society and its future.

  • Inspiring – We hope that the resources offered by Primer may encourage the readers to consider learning more about science at a tertiary-level or even simply during their leisure time.

  • Resourceful – We strive to ensure that every article effectively explores the breadth and depth of a certain scientific field, so that the readers can gain a holistic understanding of its technical details as well as its significance of the knowledge and/or research to our world.

  • Approachable – We are strong believers that science can be taught in a fun and engaging manner. Hence, we want to create a community where readers can gain knowledge and confidence, as well as publish articles that ignite the reader’s curiosity and cultivate an inquisitive mindset.

  • Enthusiastic – We are absolutely fascinated by the wonders and marvels of science, and we are not afraid to embrace our “nerdy” personality. In essence, we want to share this excitement with our audience too.


“Simple”: Defined as something for a pre-university/college student (e.g. studying A Levels) to be able to read without getting confused. Therefore, be careful with the use of any scientific jargon, or make sure that it is well-defined and explained at the very least.


Voice: You are free to use a first- or third-person style of writing, depending on which version you are most comfortable with and/or which approach you feel is more suitable to explain a certain topic in a more engaging way

Final thoughts

That should be all for now. The key element is that we would encourage you to write about something that you are passionate about!


In the meantime, we sincerely hope that you enjoy the writing process and thank you for taking the time to write in!

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