How to write an engaging Behind the Paper post

Thank you for taking an interest in writing a Behind the Paper post in the Nature Portfolio & Springer Nature Communities. Here, the Communities team have gathered some ideas, guidelines and prompts for writing a post.
How to write an engaging Behind the Paper post

What are Nature Portfolio & Springer Nature Communities for?

The Nature Portfolio & Springer Nature Communities provide a space for authors, editors and all of the research community to share key findings, stories behind their research, and views on developments in their fields. 

The blog posts shared here can also act as a significant driver of readers to published papers, which can ultimately increase their impact. 

Who are the readers?

The Communities readers are primarily those involved in research, but with a wider scope than people who might otherwise find your paper. Communities posts are freely available online, and are shared widely on social media, so interested members of the public also make up a portion of their readership. 

What makes a good Behind the Paper post? 

Great Behind the Paper posts are written in a more accessible language than the research papers they describe, understanding that their readers come from diverse fields. Please avoid jargon and explain any acronyms. You can use a less formal and more personal tone: feel free to use the first person to describe your experiences and thoughts. 

Behind the Paper posts can include the personal stories behind the research: what led you to be interested in this study? What was the process of research like? Were you in the lab or doing fieldwork or doing computational or analytical work? Can you describe some of these experiences? What was the process of collaboration like in this study?

Behind the Paper posts also provide an opportunity for you to clearly lay out why you think your findings are important. This is sometimes hidden in the introduction or final sentences of a research paper, but here you can show this clearly to the Community: if you are working on a new material for solar cells, how might it impact the future of clean energy? If you have new images of a black hole, how does it build our wider understanding of astronomy? Please make sure to be clear about what your findings show in context of the wider literature — where do your results fit with your research field’s existing knowledge?

Great images and video clips can draw readers in, provide context, and deepen understanding of your findings. Behind the Paper posts are a great place to share any behind-the-scenes photographs, striking figures, or revealing videos that you may not have included in your paper or have not shared publicly at all before. We also use images and videos to share posts on our social media channels. Take a look at our Instagram feed to see what works well. Images should ideally be around 1MB in size. 

Writing and publishing a postThe instructions on how to use the website will have been sent to you via email. Once your post has been published, please do share it with your colleagues and/or on social media. If you have any questions about writing a Behind the Paper post, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team via email.

We look forward to reading about your work!

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