Insider’s view on science copywriting
42group is packed full of scientific experts with their pens (or rather, keyboards) at the ready to create amazing science content and copy. With over 15 years’ of experience, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.
Here are our 5 top tips for those commissioning science copywriting and content.
Writing about science isn’t the same as doing it.
Science copywriting and content creation is a job that demands its own set of skills. There are courses you can do, which are fantastic, but nothing beats experience. Some of our writers are content experts who have worked for some of Europe’s top magazines, publications, organisations and brands. You can see some of the clients we’ve worked with here.
Target journalists not journals
Scientists are experts at creating the kind of content that engages other scientists. We’re talking here about the established peer-to-peer reviewed journal route.
The skills needed to develop this kind of content is different to that needed by the science communicator.
One way to consider the challenge is to look at the sort of content produced by journalists, and compare it to that reproduced in journals. A good copywriter will help you to translate scientific concepts into (relatively) simple propositions that are understood by the lay-person.
Copywriters are experts in language. They understand how it can be used effectively to inform readers, shape opinions and inspire change.
What they will do is change your words. Don’t be afraid of this process – engage with it and embrace it.
As the commissioner, ultimately you are in charge but make the content creation process an exchange of ideas and views. Enjoy the opportunity to present your ideas in a different way.
Check out references (not the ones you think…)
Scientific knowledge is based on the sharing of ideas. It’s an iterative accretion of information, that’s searchable through correct references and referencing.
If you’re going to work with a science copywriter, check out their experience at referencing. Whether it’s Harvard, APA or another system, make sure they know what you’re using, and how to do it properly.
When we work with clients – often those in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors – we also deliver fully marked up reference packs. It’s part of the deal, and part of the quote.
Every writer needs a good sub editor on hand. They are the super-powered Robin to the copywriters’ Batman.
Science subediting is a tough job. You need a broad range of experience, and a head that can get inside any subject.
At 42group we have a selection of the best science subs on hand and ready to edit your content to ensure that it’s 100% correct.
This is a really short introduction to science copywriting, but if you’re looking for some more in-depth information and advice then contact us today.