The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


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Contribution Guidelines

The Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine investigate controversial claims in all fields. The question Skeptic asks about all claims investigated is: How well do they hold up under scientific scrutiny?

Topics of Interest

Skeptic publishes articles, essays, original research, and film and book reviews. Each issue of the magazine has a particular theme and is like a collection of essays in a book as much as it is a magazine.

Topics covered in past issues include, but are not limited to:

  • the scope and limitations of science and technology
  • gender and race issues in science, society, and history
  • scientific and academic fraud and hoaxes
  • the use and abuse of theory and statistics
  • the difference between science and pseudoscience
  • conspiracy theories
  • mass hysterias
  • evolution and creationism
  • cults and religion
  • alternative medicine
  • magic and the paranormal
  • and any other scientific controversy that is news and newsworthy.

Skeptic is open to exploring subjects not previously discussed in back issues. We are always in search of cutting-edge controversies and ideas worthy of further exploration.

We ask that writers subscribe to Skeptic and read recent issues of the magazine in order to get a feel for the subjects we cover and the style of writing we prefer.

Science, Not Politics

Skeptic is primarily a science magazine, and as such we are not looking for commentaries and philosophical diatribes. We are evidence driven, not position driven.

For example, we are not interested in publishing editorials about and against religion. We are only interested in religion when testable claims are made, such as effects of prayer on health and healing, or that the anthropic fine-tuned nature of the cosmos proves it was intelligently designed. Similar principle applies to matters of public policy.

In dealing with controversial claims the author should be extremely cautious not to attack the personal motives or the character of the claimant. Background on an author or scientist might be useful in understanding something about the claimant, but ad hominem attacks are not constructive.

Editorial Process

Major articles are either invited or submitted and refereed by the editor, members of the editorial advisory board, or an appropriate expert in the field.

Unsolicited submissions are welcome.

All submissions will be evaluated and assigned to one of three categories:

  • accepted for publication
  • accepted for publication with major revisions
  • rejected.

You will be informed of the status of your article within 1 month of submitting it.

Submissions accepted for publication may be edited for clarity or conciseness and retitled at the discretion of the publisher.

All major revisions will be consulted with the author. As an expert in your field, you may disagree with changes proposed by our editors. Often, a well-argued refutation will make your article stronger if included as an additional paragraph.

Once accepted, your submission will be published by Skeptic within a max. of 1 calendar year. You will be informed of the publication date as soon as it has been established.

Intellectual Property Rights

Unless otherwise agreed, copyright will be transferred to the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine when your article is accepted for publication.

The article or essay may be used by the Skeptics Society and Skeptic for publication in Skeptic magazine, and/or on skeptic.com, and/or as part of a collection of essays to be published either by Millennium Press (part of the Skeptics Society) or by another publisher in conjunction with the Skeptics Society, Skeptic, and Millennium Press.

Contents of the magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without written permission.

After your article is published, you may post it on your personal website, and/or social media, and/or reproduce it in a collection of essays in your own or someone else’s edited volume.

Compensation

Like most scientific and scholarly publications, Skeptic does not pay for articles. However, we do have a high-quality readership and broad public distribution in bookstore chains, newsstands, and online. Your article will be widely read by the public as well as movers and shakers in science and academia.

Authors are provided with half a dozen copies of the magazine.

Submission Requirements

Length


Typical length of published articles is between 1,000 and 5,000 words. The shorter the article the more likely it is to be accepted and read.

Choose your sources


Any facts, statements, and ideas presented in your writing (other than your own conclusions) need to be properly credited. If our editors and readers cannot verify works you referenced in your writing, or you cited information misleadingly or selectively, you will be demonstrating poor judgment at best, and unethical conduct at worst.

Internet has become the go-to means of locating original and secondary sources. Use it with caution. Be skeptical and careful about what information you choose to use.



We strongly advise to search online research directories before you use conventional search engines. These are, for example, Google Scholar, PsycINFO and other academic publication databases. They will allow you to conduct intentional searches, using specific terms, author names or publications compared to the algorithm-driven results presented by Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

References

References in the text should be in the form of numbered endnotes. For example:

Politicians issued dire warnings such as President Woodrow Wilson’s Flag Day address to Congress in 1917 when he claimed that the country was infested with German conspirators and spies.19

The bibliography should be formatted in APA style. You will find examples at apastyle.apa.org. For your convenience, use a reference editor (e.g., the free tool Mendeley available at www.mendeley.com). It will automatically put all your references in the right format and insert them into your article.

Spelling and formatting

Please use the following in your submission:

  • U.S. (with periods, otherwise reads as “us”)
  • UN (no periods)
  • UK (no periods)
  • COVID-19, COVID, and SARS-CoV-2
  • AM and PM
  • QAnon
  • mRNA
  • RNA
  • CDC
  • FDA
  • EPA
  • IQ (no periods)
  • BC
  • PETA
  • PLoS One (italicized exactly like this)
  • PhD (mixed case, no periods, no small caps)
  • data are (not data is); data = plural, datum = singular.
  • Chapter 5 (capital C and digit)
  • percent (long form except in charts and graphs)
  • 9/11 (not 9-11)
  • No space either side of an M-Dash or ellipsis
  • “Fashion in the 1970s” (no apostrophe, not possessive)
  • “Like 1970’s fashion” (with apostrophe, possessive)
  • Oxford commas (bananas, apples, and mangoes rather than bananas, apples and mangoes)
  • exposé (with accent)
  • resumé (with accent)
  • online (not on-line)
  • email (not e-mail)
  • website (not web site)
  • New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times (italicized, no “the” before New, LA, or Washington).
Supplementary materials


Photographs, graphs, charts, and illustrations where appropriate to enhance the text are encouraged. Do not send links to Googled internet photographs, as these are almost always low resolution, and are likely subject to copyright.

Please send as separate files from your written submission. Any submitted graphics or charts may be redesigned by our illustrators to fit the design of the issue.

How to Submit

Manuscripts in Microsoft Word format should be submitted to articles@skeptic.com.

Include:

  • a one-paragraph abstract (summary)
  • a short author bio, between 50 and 100 words
  • full contact information incl. your name, mailing address, email, and phone number.
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