Lab Notes are a fast and light alternative to our Articles. By publishing Lab Notes, we're able to publish faster and more frequently on interesting and timely subjects without overwhelming our readers or ourselves.
They're inspired by Robin Sloan's "Stock & Flow" and the format of blogs like Kottke.org, which readers follow for the interesting stories, links, quotes, images, and videos he highlights and shares from around the web.
Our goal is for Lab Notes to be the shared journal of the Massive community, providing you a place for you to share short thoughts, interesting links, meaningful quotes, or quick commentary on current events. You'll be credited on the Lab Notes you've shared; they'll be presented on your Massive Science author page; and, if you're Certified, we'll pay you for the submissions we publish.
Even though Lab Notes are short, they sometimes end up being some of our most popular pieces. Submit a lab note here.
What makes for a good Lab Note?
- Try to include a comment that's at least 50 words long, but no more than 350 words long. An ideal length is around 100 words.
- You should be qualified to discuss the Note in question, so similar guidelines to articles apply as well.
- If you are sharing a news article, it should have been published within the last week.
- Having a visual to accompany your lab note—either an image, GIF, or video—will help it share better. Using a note to share and comment on an interesting visual is even better!
- Every note should include some short commentary, analysis, or observation about what's being shared. It's ok to get a little opinion-based here. Our Lab Notes stand apart because they're coming from somebody with a unique perspective (that's you!).
- As with full-length articles, please include social posts, intended audience, and relevant people to tag.
- All notes should contain at least one source or relevant link. You can include a link in brackets (like this: Waffles are the best breakfast food [link].) at the end of a sentence or paragraph to show that it is the source for that information.
- If you are submitting a note based on research you are part of (or lead!), make sure you are clear about that in the note text, and write it in the first person.
- If you found the topic or link because somebody else found it first, give them some credit to by adding that you found it via @so-and-so.
The workflow for lab notes is different from full articles.
- You have an idea for a note (great!), so you fill out the There's a place for you to note whether this is a timely topic, so Massive staff will know if it is time sensitive.
- Massive staff will review your note. They will (a) lightly edit it and accept it, or (b) send it back to you for major edits or more sources and ask you to resubmit it, or (c) reject it because it isn't a good fit (or other concerns).
If note needs to go back to you (path b), you'll get an email or DM from the staff with the requested changes. When you're ready, resubmit the edited lab note with the normal If it looks good, you end up on path a, so you'll be tagged in.
If Massive rejects the note (path c), you'll get an email or DM from the staff letting you know that it has been rejected and why. You're free to publish it on a personal blog or submit it to another outlet.
As always, if you have questions about the status of your note, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.