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Guides

Welcome to the ABSW's Guides to...

To help our members grow and build their careers, we've compiled a handy set of practical guides on different aspects of science writing and science journalism. This content is exclusively available for members of the ABSW.

To access the content, please log in.

Previously all this content was held as a Wiki, which meant that any member could get stuck in to share their wisdom. However, we found that the interface was tricky to use. So, we've pulled all the content out and it is now here for you to enjoy. If you have ideas for new guides or suggestions on currently available guides, just get in contact with us and we'll see what we can do.

Here's a list of currently available guides. Enjoy!

A Guide to Style

Our guide to style will give you an introduction to what style is, why it is important and some starting points to watch out for when writing an article or longer pieces of work. We have also provided some links to resources where you can learn more about style.

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Access to journals - services for journalists

Journals are an essential part of the science writer's toolbox. But they can be expensive to get at. Here is the beginning of a list of services provided by publishers for journalists, to give access to journals.

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Books about journalism

Here's our selection of books about journalism. Have you got a suggestion that you think should be included here? Get in contact and let us know.

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Contacts abroad

These contacts may be useful for members needing local information about visiting or reporting from their countries.

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Correspondence Courses

Thinking of enrolling on one of those long distance correspondence courses on writing? Read this first before hitting the send button.

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Courses in Science Communications

There are many courses available in the UK (and beyond) on Science Journalism, Communications, Journalism and Broadcasting. Here is our list.

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Embargoes

An embargo is a request by a source of non-public information that the news provided is not published until a certain time or date. Embargoes are used widely in the media, and are particularly frequently used by major scientific journals. Here's our short guide.

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Freelance Pay

What do freelancers get paid? Find out here from our ever growing contributions from members.

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How to read company accounts

Company accounts can say a lot about the state of a company. Here is a short guide to deciphering the numbers and where to find out more information.

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Investigations: a beginner's guide

To a certain extent, all journalistic work ought to be “investigative”. Guardian journalist Nick Davies once remarked that the phrase “investigative journalism” is like “wet rain”.

Nonetheless, the investigative journalist is different to the extent that they are often seeking hidden information about people, places or things. Here is our introductory guide.

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Job hunting and training

Looking for a job in journalism can be daunting, even for the experienced. Many opportunities come from who you know, rather than what you know. That said, plenty of jobs are advertised and there are oppportunities out there. Remember also that even if you don't get a job you apply for, having made contact with a media outlet you can offer freelance work–which may become the source of a permanent job offer some time in the future. In a similar vein, even short-term freelance work taken now can develop into something more stable and longer term.

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Liability insurance

Here is a short guide about liability insurance and some links to further resources to find out more.

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Libel and privacy

High profile libel cases involving science writers and journalists has shown how an understanding of libel laws is essential to avoid lengthy court battles. Here is our guide to libel laws and privacy.

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Narrative Journalism

A collection of 75 of the best articles from Nieman Foundation's narrative writing programme.

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Places for writers to work in London

Most of these places are either free to join or charge a small fee for annual membership. The exception is the London Library which is very expensive to join but a very popular place for writers of all kinds (NB it is an humanities library). Some are ideal for ad hoc events, while others are better for a planned period of work or research.

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Conferences

The 3rd UK Conference of Science Journalists will take place in London on Wed 18 June 2014. See what's in store by taking a look back at the 2nd UK Conference of Science Journalists

ABSW Awards

The winners of the 2012 ABSW Science Writers’ Awards were announced on Monday 25th June 2012.

Find a Science Writer

Looking for an expert science writer? Search our directory of members and get in contact with them directly. It couldn't be easier!

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