Submission Guidelines

The Skeptic Magazine was published quarterly in print, and has now gone online. We will still produce print media once yearly in the form of a digest.

We welcome well-written, interesting submissions, and we ask that authors try to align their submissions with the guidelines below. If you have any queries relating to submissions please email submissions [at] skeptic.org.uk.

The Skeptic’s readership includes academics, and researchers in addition to the general public, so authors should write clearly and simply to address a knowledgeable audience, avoiding unnecessary technical terms. The tone should be factual and professional. We reserve the right to edit submissions for space and clarity if necessary. Submissions with accurate Harvard/APA style references are always appreciated.

Four useful things to note:

1) As a cause organisation, The Skeptic does not offer paid commissions but you will be fully credited and will receive a hard copy of the digest edition, if your article makes it in. Other publications of this genre adopt a similar practice. If you are seeking payment, we wish you the best and suggest you research and approach a publication which does pay for content.

2) For reasons of originality and copyright, we do not typically accept content which has been published elsewhere. Exceptions are occasionally made on an individual basis, so do make contact if you can present a case for doing so. If we cannot republish your content, we will certainly consider publicising and linking to it instead.

3) Please ensure you hold the copyright or have appropriate permission for any content you submit (text, images, sound, etc).

4) Upon publication, copyright for submitted content is shared with The Skeptic. This is because republishing content can harm the magazine in some situations. Your content deserves to be seen and we do not wish to unreasonably prohibit republication, so we ask that you discuss ideas with the Editors if you wish to publish the content elsewhere. Republishing content on a personal website or blog is absolutely permitted, although we ask you not to do so until it is released in the magazine.

Submission Categories

Articles
Articles may be evaluative, investigative, or explanatory. They may examine specific claims or broader scientific, educational, or social issues. The Skeptic may also consider comment pieces, however such articles must be well informed.

We especially seek articles that provide new information from recent scientific studies or bring fresh perspective to familiar subjects. We especially welcome well-balanced articles that evaluate controversial issues and claims, or on topics where there is a large gap between scientific understanding and public understanding. Similarly, we value articles which examine natural and rational explanations of unusual phenomena or experiences.

There are no absolute restrictions on the length of articles however space is at a premium, so submissions need to be written concisely. Long-read articles are typically 1,200 to 3,000 words (about 5 to 11 double-spaced pages in a standard 12 pt. font), however the quality of each article matters more than its length. Short-read articles should be between 500 and 800 words as standard, though may extend to 1,200 words with prior agreement.

Research Reviews
We gladly receive research reviews which provide a perspective on a newly published journal articles. Research reviews are generally around 1,000 words in length.

Book Reviews
We publish reviews of new or recently published books. Most book reviews are 300 to 1,000 words. Reviews and questions should be sent to the Book Reviews Editors (jon [at] skeptic.org.uk or paul [at] skeptic.org.uk).

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor (letters [at] skeptic.org.uk) are for views on matters raised in previous issues or any other issue likely to be of interest a sceptical readership. Due to the volume of letters received, not all can be published. Those selected may be edited for space and clarity. Authors criticised in the letters column may be given the opportunity to respond.

Illustrations/Graphic Design
We welcome contributions from illustrators, photographers and graphic designers who would like to design original images or submit photographs to accompany our content. If you are interested having your work appear in The Skeptic please submit examples of your work, and when we have an article or contribution that requires an image we will contact you to request a design or photograph based on the subject matter.

Columnists and Regular Contributors

If you wish to become a regular online contributor, please contact [edit [at] skeptic.org.uk outlining your experience and topics of interest, attaching or providing a link to the content you feel best represents your style. We may ask to see additional pieces before accepting new contributors. Please also note the four guidelines at the top of this page.

If successful, you will be asked to submit sufficient four weeks’ worth of ‘buffer content’ (two articles or four blog posts). We request this for three reasons: first, it is a demonstration of commitment. Second, it allows us to review and make constructive suggestions regarding your work. Third, this content will be saved and published if you are unable to submit content for a period in the future. For this reason, buffer content should not address topical issues. If this content is used, we ask that you submit additional material to regain the four week buffer afterwards.

Requests for articles about a particular topic will occasionally be issued through a discussion list for contributors. You are not obliged to write about these topics but relevant contributions would be appreciated.

Quick Curiosities (launching soon)
Quick Curiosities is a ‘fact of the day’ style feature, arising from a philosophy of guerrilla education. The purpose of the feature is to introduce readers to interesting ideas and information which is outside their field of expertise and which they are consequently unlikely to consume. Submissions should be short (perhaps 12 words at most) and aimed at a generally educated audience. Importantly, submissions should be referenced and accurate. As various expert contributors are involved, daily submissions are encouraged but not required. Submitting 4-6 interesting facts, ideas, or thoughts every week is sufficient. Readers will be given the opportunity to respond publicly but engagement with readers is at your discretion. If you wish to become a regular contributor, please contact edit [at] skeptic.org.uk outlining your expertise and likely topics for your submissions.

News
Interesting news stories should be emailed to edit [at] skeptic.org.uk.

How to submit content

All submissions (unless otherwise noted) should be sent as email attachments (Word documents using Times New Roman font, 12 pt, double-spaced preferred) to edit [at] skeptic.org.uk unless otherwise stated. Please provide a short abstract of your piece in the body of the email, as well as a brief description of yourself and any expertise you may have on the subject. You must have copyright permission for your submissions. Photos and artwork should be sent in electronic form as well.

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