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Entry Guidelines

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The 2014 Awards closed to entries at midnight on Sun 23 March 2014. 

Rules

The Awards are for works of science journalism/science writing in print, broadcast or online published within the UK or Ireland and are intended for British and Irish journalists/writers working for audiences in these two countries.* You do NOT need to be an ABSW member to enter.

*Clarifications associated with the above rule: Work from publishers that are based abroad but which is read or broadcast in the UK or Ireland is acceptable. The awards are intended for British and Irish journalists/writers working for audiences in these countries.  British and Irish journalists/writers may be either nationals, permanent residents or with the right to live and work/study here, but must have been working/studying here for at least six months at the time of making their entry to the awards.

The Awards are for individual journalists/writers, or teams of up to four, rather than for the organisation, institution, employer or publisher. (Exceptions to this rule apply see specific guidance for each category below.)

The Awards are for science journalists/writers whose work is published or broadcast and is accessible to the general public (in the case of the IOP Student Science Publication Award it is accepted that the audience may be restricted to a particular institution rather than available to the general public).

Books (published or online) do not qualify for any of the award categories.

The Awards are for journalism/science writing in science and technology (excluding consumer technology) and do not cover items exclusively concerning health or medical treatment.

Entry is by online form only.  Those who need to submit entries by post (material larger than 10MB on DVD or Disc/Printed Student Science Publications) must still submit an online form.  For mailing arrangements please contact Sallie Robins on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Entries must have been first published or broadcast between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013 inclusive. The cover date on the issue in which an article appears will be considered the date of publication. The date/time of posting will be considered for online articles, podcasts, blogs. The date/time of first broadcast will be considered for radio or television. For a series, the item submitted for the Awards must fall within these dates.

Judges of the ABSW Awards 2014 may not enter the ABSW Awards 2014

The judges reserve the right to reallocate an entry to a category different from the one in which it has been entered, as well as the right to withhold an award in any category. The decision of the judges in all matters will be final. The judges will not provide individual advice or feedback to entrants.

Entries for the 2014 awards open on Wed 12 February 2014 and close at midnight on Sun 23 March 2014. 

The shortlist will be announced in May/June. Shortlisted entrants (all members of a team) will be invited to attend the awards ceremony to be held on the evening of Wednesday 18 June at the Royal Society, London. There is no shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement Award, the winner will be chosen by the ABSW Executive Board and they will be notified in advance in order to make arrangements to attend the Awards Ceremony.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony, winners will not be notified in advance.

Expenses are not available to cover accommodation and/or travel for shortlisted entrants/winners to attend the awards ceremony.   

Guidelines for filling out the online form:

The judges will focus on the quality of journalism/writing and will look for originality, style and flair in all categories. Entrants can summarise their entry and indicate the impact of their work on their entry form.

The awards are for individuals or a team (see specific category rules for exceptions to this rule). No more than four names should be included per entry and these should only be the names of those primarily responsible for the quality, clarity and originality of the content presented. The role of the entrant in the origination of the entry must be stated on the entry form and any collaborators must consent to the submission of the entry. Whoever completes the application form will be considered the corresponding (and lead) author and will take responsibility for the fair disbursement of prize money.

Individuals or teams can only enter ONCE in each award category, but individuals or teams may submit entries for a number of different award categories (entering one piece in news and one piece in features, for example).

Only one article, clip or programme PER CATEGORY may be submitted by an entrant or team. If the entry is part of a series, this can be indicated on the application form. (For xceptions to this rule see specific category rules below).

A separate entry form should be used for each entry.

Important Information on File Formats/Submission of Entries

TV Programmes/Online Video:

All entries that include TV Programmes/Online Video must be submitted on DVD (PAL) by post.   The postal arrangements can be obtained from Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  There is no option for online submission of files for TV programmes/online video.   However, you must still complete the online form.  When you receive your completed entry form by email print and collate 12 copies with 12 copies of your DVD entry for postage.  Please label each DVD with your surname.

Printed Student Science Publications:

All printed student science publication entries must be submitted by post. The postal arrangements can be obtained from Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   However, you must still complete the online form. On receiving your completed online form by email it should be printed and 12 copies collated with 12 copies of the printed publication for postage.  NB: for online only publications the entire entry may be made online through the entry form.

Radio Programmes:

All entries that include radio programmes or podcasts must be submitted in mp3 format.   Only entries under 10MB may be uploaded via the entry form.   For larger files these may either be submitted by post or by dropbox or other large file transfer system. Those who wish to submit material larger than 10MB must still submit an online form.

For post, when you receive a copy of your entry form by email, print 12 copies of this form and collate it with 12 copies of your mp3 file on disc. (Please label each disc with your surname.) The postal arrangements can be obtained from Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

For submission of a file larger than 10MB by dropbox or other large file transfer systems - contact Sallie Robins This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

You are encouraged to submit your material in plenty of time, however, if you need to arrange to courier items please contact Sallie Robins on 07733 330344

Specific guidance relating to individual categories:

The best feature (words only: print or online)

The award is for a science or technology feature published in any print medium or online. Only one item may be submitted, although this feature may be part of a series. If this is the case this should be indicated on the entry form.   The judges will be looking for excellent writing and substantial science reporting.  Submit online by uploading a Word or PDF file.

The best news item (words only: print or online)

The award is for a science or technology news item published in any print medium or online. The award is for a single news item rather than a series of items. Entrants should explain on their entry form why it should be considered in this category eg: breaking news story, first in-depth report.   Judges will be looking for evidence that the story is new to the relevant audience.   Judges will also look for excellent writing and original reporting. Submit online by uploading a Word or PDF file.

The best scripted/edited TV programme or online video

The award will be judged on the quality of science reporting demonstrated through the script and programme content and will be made to the individual or team responsible for the content of the script/programme.  The award is for a programme where science or technology is the primary issue covered.  The award can be for a single programme or a series, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging.   Submission by post after completion of the online form.   DVD format.  (Please scroll back for 'important information on file formats') 

The Royal Society Radio Prize: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast.

The award will be judged on the quality of science reporting demonstrated through the script and programme content and will be made to the individual or team responsible for the content of the script/programme.  The award is for a programme (or podcast) where science or technology is the primary issue covered.  The award can be for a single programme or series, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging. Submit as mp3 format either online, by post, or dropbox or other large file transfer system, after completing online form, depending on file size. (Please scroll back for 'important information on file formats') 

The best investigative journalism (any format).

This category is for any form of journalism, print, online, broadcast, podcast, or blog on a scientific issue. Entrants are expected to have undertaken an in depth investigation into a topic of interest and produced a conclusion. The ABSW anticipates entries that may have involved lengthy or complicated evidence gathering, and entrants should indicate any difficulties involved in this work on their entry form. It is also anticipated that the entrant should have pursued an issue that others do not want the audience to know about.  The award can be for a single item or a series of items, although only one item in the series can be entered for judging. (Please scroll back for 'important information on file formats')  

The NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication and reporting of science in a non science context.

The award will recognise a journalist or team of journalists who have reported science on any platform in a way that when they are reporting science make complicated scientific ideas accessible to the non-specialist general public.  The Award will celebrate the achievements of science journalists who use their skills in covering science for a non-specialist audience.  Science publications and programmes, or science sections of publications are not eligible (eg: New Scientist, Eureka - The Times, Material World – BBC Radio, Bang Goes the Theory – BBC TV).  The entry can be in any format.   If the entry is part of a series then it will be judged on one submitted episode only.  The Award is made in memory of Stephen White a highly influential science communicator who sadly died in 2010.   The Award is possible due to a bequest by Stephen’s wife Elizabeth. (Please scroll back for 'important information on file formats')  

The Best Newcomer Award

This award is for individuals only and not for teams. There are no age restrictions for this award. But the entrant should have published their first piece of journalism within the last three years (so for 2014 Awards between Jan 1 2011 and Dec 31 2013). Entrants should be currently working in science and technology journalism, either freelance or staff, full-time or part-time.  Entrants should use the Summary of Entry area of the form to outline their relevant achievements, and why they deserve the award.  FOUR samples of work are required to support this statement (the general rules on time of publication/broadcast apply to ALL these samples ie: they must have been published or first broadcast between 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013 inclusive) . The judges will be looking for evidence of initiative and career progression. (Please scroll back for 'important information on file formats') 

New for 2014 - The IOP Student Science Publication Award

Sponsored by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics

The Award will recognise and reward student journalists who produce a regular popular science publication ie:  newspaper or magazine, either in print or online.

The Award will be for a specific magazine/publication rather than for an individual and will be made to the editor of that publication, although the award will of course recognise and reward the skill of all those emerging science journalists and editors who contribute to the publication.

As with all other ABSW awards the judges will focus on the quality of journalism/science writing and will look for originality, style and flair.   The publication will be judged on its content (i.e. emerging skills in science writing and journalism; creativity in choice of content; and appropriate content for target audience) and the way the content is presented (i.e. the overall design, look and feel and layout)

Only one issue of the publication must be entered and the Award will be judged on this issue alone. This issue of the publication must have been published within the appropriate calendar year for the Awards (see main rules above).   If the publication exists in printed form then the online form needs to be completed and the publication submitted by post (see guidelines above on file formats).   Publications that only exist online will need to include a link to the appropriate issue in the entry form (see guidelines above on file formats).  If the online publication is not produced as distinct issues, then a month’s time frame should be selected and all content published within that time frame will form part of the judging process.

The Editor of the publication must make the entry on behalf of all contributors and will be the named entrant. In the event of winning; the Award will be made to the individual named on the entry form.  In the Summary of Entry part of the online entry form the Editor should provide the names and posts of the full editorial team of the publication, and details of the history and background to the publication (i.e. date of first ever issue, circulation figures, funding, intended audience).

New for 2014 - The Good Thinking Student Science Blog Award

The Award is for student science bloggers who produce a regular science blog. The Award will be judged based on a specific blog post rather than for the blog overall.  Only one article should be submitted via the online entry form for judging. Submission is by upload of a word or PDF file of the blog post. Students are classified as those studying full time or part time for an undergraduate, or postgraduate degree.

The Awards are for individuals only rather than teams.

With this particular award entrants will be asked to take part in the short listing phase. This is a different approach to judging from other categories in the ABSW Awards, and it has been introduced for this award partly as an experiment and partly to reflect the spirit of the blogging community.     Each individual entering will receive 5 other entries to judge.   They will be required to order by preference these five entries (1 to 5) and also to provide constructive feedback on each entry (one sentence of positive and one of negative comment).   Further details on scoring and providing constructive feedback will be provided at the short listing phase.   Entrants will receive their entries to score once the ABSW Awards close to entries (week commencing Mon 24 March 2014) and must then submit their scores by the deadline given (usually two weeks from receipt).  Those who do not score and return entries by the deadline given will be warned and then deemed to have removed their own entry from the Awards.  This short listing phase of the judging will be co-ordinated by Good Thinking.   The short list will then be judged by the ABSW Judges Panel as for all other categories. 

New for 2014 - The Best Science Blog Award

The Award is for a regularly produced science blog. The Award can be entered by an individual or a team (up to four named individuals – see main rules on teams) and is for the blog overall rather than for a specific post/article.  Up to five blog posts can be submitted via the online entry form for judging the overall quality of the blog (all must have been first posted in the relevant entry year – see main rules). Submission is by upload of a word or PDF file of the blog post (s). (Please see separate award for students if you are a student science blogger)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement awards are granted in some years by the ABSW Executive Board, the Award is not made by self entry (as for all other Awards) but by nomination of an individual to the ABSW Executive. There is no cash prize associated with this award.

The Lifetime achievement award is made to an individual nearing the end of their career, or who is retired (the Award may also be made posthumously). The award celebrates the work of a journalist or writer whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting excellence and creativity in science journalism/science writing.   The recipient is recognised for entertaining and informing audiences, and/or for inspiring new generations of journalists and writers, and/or for making a lasting impact in their main area of expertise (i.e. could be within broadcasting, popular science writing, blogging for example).  Nominations are requested from ABSW members and should include a statement outlining why the individual meets the criteria above.   The ABSW Executive Board receives nominations and makes a final decision on who should receive the Award.  It is entirely within the Executive Board’s discretion as to whether or not the Lifetime achievement award should be made in that year.  

Nominations may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by the closing date of midnight Sun 23 March 2014.

For queries related to entries email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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