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Resource Guide > Journalism > The Craft of Science Journalism

The Craft of Science Journalism

Last Updated July 29, 2022

On this page you'll find: digital resources about the craft of science journalism, publications for journalists, and books about science writing.

Digital Resources

The Open Notebook

Link: The Open Notebook

Creators: Siri Carpenter, Jeanne Erdmann

Summary: The Open Notebook (TON) is a go-to resource for science journalists. It has a pitch database, interviews with reporters breaking down how they reported and wrote ambitious stories, advice for science journalists, and features on topics relevant to the science journalism community. TON is both a resource and a central node for many in the science journalism community. TON also has early career fellowships that help newcomers get started in the field.

About:The Open Notebook is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to help science, environmental, and health journalists at all experience levels sharpen their skills. We are guided by two principles: that high-quality science journalism is essential to society, and that everyone, including science journalists, learns best by practicing the craft as part of a supportive, diverse community of people who are all striving to master their skills.”

Disclaimer: TON is a partner and financial grant recipient of the Science Literacy Foundation.

Knight Science Journalism Fact-Checking Project

Link: Knight Science Journalism

Creator: Knight Science Journalism at MIT

Summary: The KSJ Fact-Checking Project offers a database of fact-checkers, information about fact checking workshops, fact-checking templates, teaching modules for journalism schools, and recommended reading.

About: “Our focus is editorial fact-checking, which is a quality control applied inside a newsroom before a story publishes. (This is not to be confused with political fact-checking, a watchdog practice that checks claims from politicians and other public figures.) In its strictest sense, editorial fact-checking involves a dedicated person — that is, not the journalist or editor — who double-checks each fact and claim in an article. The fact-checker will also evaluate how the individual bits of information hang together to make a truthful story.”

The KSJ Science Editing Handbook

Link: The KSJ Science Editing Handbook

Creator: Knight Science Journalism at MIT

Summary: This book is free to download and distribute. It is a guide specifically for editing science journalism writing.

About: “The insights, knowledge, tips and resources all editors need to meet the highest standards for quality of science journalism.”

KSJ Journalism Resources

Link: KSJ Journalism Resources

Creator: Knight Science Journalism at MIT

Summary: This page has a compilation of all of KSJ’s resources, workshop information, downloadable guidebooks, and more.

About: “The Knight Science Journalism Program offers a range of journalism resources, including workshops and guides focused on science editing and fact-checking, compilations of web-based resources for budding journalists, and archival posts from the Program’s media analysis and criticism blog, “The Tracker.””


Link: SciLine

Creator: AAAS

Summary: SciLine helps connect reporters with science experts on a tight deadline. They also provide fact sheets on key topics and training events to help reporters stay on top of the latest science news.

About: “SciLine strives to be valuable to even the most experienced science journalists, but can be especially helpful to those writing or producing stories about health, medicine, or science who are not beat reporters, so don’t have deep science backgrounds or relationships with credible experts. SciLine’s ultimate mission is not only to make the best scientific evidence easily available to reporters and other communicators, but also to inform journalists and the public about how reliable evidence is rationally obtained, organized, and verified. In doing so it is hoped that the expertise it provides will be recognized as not merely another voice in the endless “he said/she said” of assertive discourse but rather as a documented body of derived knowledge, and that readers and viewers will, over time, better appreciate how to interpret and judge evidence for themselves.”

Solutions Journalism Network

Link: Solutions Journalism Network

Summary: Offers tools and training for journalists at all levels for critically covering solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society, including climate change and many other science-related issues.

About: “Our mission is to spread the practice of solutions journalism: rigorous reporting on responses to social problems. We seek to rebalance the news, so that every day people are exposed to stories that help them understand problems and challenges, and stories that show potential ways to respond.”

Neiman Lab

Link: Neiman Lab

About: “The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age…. We want to highlight attempts at innovation and figure out what makes them succeed or fail. We want to find good ideas for others to steal. We want to help reporters and editors adjust to their online labors; we want to help traditional news organizations find a way to survive; we want to help the new crop of startups that will complement — or supplant — them. We are fundamentally optimistic.”


Link: Poynter

Summary: Provides training webinars/events, helpful articles, and many more resources.

About: “Founded in 1975, Poynter is an inspirational place but also a practical one, connecting the varied crafts of journalism to its higher mission and purpose. From person-to-person coaching and intensive hands-on seminars to interactive online courses and media reporting, Poynter helps journalists sharpen skills and elevate storytelling throughout their careers.”

Columbia Journalism Review

Link: CJR

About: “CJR’s mission is to be the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism. It is the most respected voice on press criticism, and it shapes the ideas that make media leaders and journalists smarter about their work. Through its fast-turn analysis and deep reporting, CJR is an essential venue not just for journalists, but also for the thousands of professionals in communications, technology, academia, and other fields reliant on solid media industry knowledge.”


A Field Guide for Science Writers: The Official Guide of the National Association of Science Writers

Link: Goodreads

About: “Field Guide combines detailed and practical how-to advice with thoughtful discussions of the challenges of science journalism in the 21st century. It doesn't shy away from addressing such controversial matters as cloning, stem cell research, eugenics, medical over treatment, and questions of scientific honesty. Offering a comprehensive overview of the field of science writing, this book discusses a broad range of media and sources, from newspapers to broadcast journalism and from corporations to government agencies. It also provides a detailed analysis of some of the hottest fields in science writing - ranging from mental health to human genetics - and covers a diverse array of writing styles, from "gee-whiz" to investigative.”

The Science Writer’s Handbook

Link: Medium

About: “Written in 2013, the book is a timeless and indispensable tool, collating the collective advice of 35 award-winning science writers (the SciLance team) who have over 300 years of combined experience. It’s more than just a book, however. There’s also a website that hosts a blog and a FAQ page for those looking for additional insights and information.”

The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook

Link: Goodreads

About: “Though the essay form is more than four centuries old, it's perfectly suited to the digital age--and to science writing. The Science Writers' Essay Handbook will show you how to: *Recognize and develop essay ideas, *Research and report for the essay form, *Organize your material before you write, *Develop a distinctive authorial voice, *Revise and polish your essays for publication, *Apply your essay-writing skills to stories of all kinds, from magazine features to multimedia productions to social-media posts.”

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