Nature Research

Three tips for writing a Behind the Paper post

Behind the Paper is a popular channel where we invite authors to write about their recently published research article.

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Mar 10, 2017
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I often get asked what makes a good Behind the Paper post, so here are my three top tips. Feel free to add your own experiences and examples in the comments section!

  1. Make it personal – tell the story behind the study, what worked well and what didn’t. Include anecdotes about people you met at conferences, or in the bar, who you collaborated with and who helped the project.
  2. Use images – I can’t say this enough. Images really help elevate the attractiveness of the posts. Field or clinical work clearly lends itself to images, and schematics look good, but you can also post photos of the experiments or the experimenters. We can also host animations or other videos as well as video abstracts - either within the post or in a separate video post.
  3. Speculate – The conclusion of your research article must be supported by the data. Use the freedom of your community post to speculate on what the results might mean or what opportunities this opens up for the future.

Once you’ve written your post, make sure you wait until the day of publication to post it. We don’t want you to break your own embargo!

I would also encourage you to think about other relevant posts for the community – this could be a recent news story, a conference you have attended or other published research.

I’m always available to answer any general questions you have about our communities. Just comment on this post or send me an email!

Go to the profile of Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Head of Communities & Engagement, Springer Nature

I am Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature with a role to provide training, guidance and support on our online communities. I worked at BioMed Central for 5 years, where I launched and developed new open access journals, including Microbiome, Zoological Letters and Cancer & Metabolism. Before that, I spent 8 years in research with a PhD in influenza virus innate immunity from the University of Reading and Health Protection Agency and then as a postdoc at Imperial College London researching smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and apoptosis. Please get in touch with any training needs, technical questions or general comments!

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