Frequently Asked Questions by Researchers

How do you choose which papers to adapt?
We look for peer-reviewed environmental or biomedical science research published in the past year in a high-impact academic journal. We try to cover all the topics in AP Environmental ScienceIB Biology, and other high school life sciences curricula.

How many readers do you have?
Our website has over 400,000 pageviews per year. Check our Impact page for the most up-to-date readers’ stats. 

What age group are your readers?
Our adaptations range in reading level from 3rd to 12th grade. After completion, each adaptation is classified by category: elementary school, middle school, lower high school or upper high school. We normally aim for a middle-school reading level. Some topics are very susceptible to adaptation for an even lower reading level. Others inevitably end up being for high-school students only. ​

Who are your readers?
Most of the site visitors are adults, not kids. Many of them are teachers – science or ESL/EFL – who print the adaptations for their students. Some site visitors are students, parents or other science enthusiasts. 

How do your readers find your site?
About a fifth are return visitors, i.e. they’ve used our science teaching resources in the past and follow the site for updates. Most others find us by googling “science lesson plan,” “science article,” or a specific topic, e.g. “climate change lesson” or “invasive species article for students.”

Who else has had their research adapted for Science Journal for Kids?
See past collaborations and read other researchers’ feedback on our Testimonials page

Who is on your board of academic advisors?
Our board of academic advisors includes researchers from University of California Berkeley and University of Texas in Austin. See the list on our Team page

How much time would the adaptation require from me?
The adaptation process requires minimal time commitment from the researcher(s). Our science writer comes up with a first full draft of the adapted text with suggestions for illustrations. Then the researcher offers edits/suggestions and works with one of our editors to arrive at an agreed version. Finally, our designer lays it out for publication.

What might my paper’s adaptation look like? 
Check our article specifications. 

What if I don’t like the first draft you send me?
Then we will rewrite it as many times as necessary until it’s good enough for in-line edits. 

How many rounds of editing will the draft undergo?
As many as needed until all co-authors are satisfied with the final text and layout.

What about the adapted paper’s authorship?
The researchers who wrote the original academic paper retain authorship of the adapted version. Our science writer and editor are listed as “associate editors.” If some of the co-authors on the original paper do not want to be listed on the adaptation, we can exclude their names. 

Should I worry about my original paper’s copyright?
If your paper appeared in an open-access academic journal (e.g. Nature Communications, PLOS), it is published under Creative Commons copyright, which means anyone can use it in any way they choose. (This is the same content license we apply.)
If you published in a subscription-based journal (e.g. Nature, PNAS), a kid’s adaptation of your research is legally considered “fair use” of the journal’s copyright (provided proper attribution) because it’s used for non-commercial educational purposes.
In either case, we include a full citation and a link to the original paper in the adaptation’s references.

What will be the copyright of the adapted paper?
Science Journal for Kids applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to all works we publish, as stated in our Content License Agreement

How long does the whole process take?
From agreement to publication, the process averages 2 to 4 months, depending on how quickly you return edits and comments. 

What can I do with the adapted paper?
Anything you want!

  • Upload it on your lab’s website.
  • Include it in your list of publications & outreach activities.
  • Send it to your research institution’s public outreach department.
  • Share it with funders in your next grant proposal.
  • Link to it on social media.
  • Print it as a handout for a science fair.
  • Share it with educators you know.
  • Use it to inform policy makers. ​
  • Read it with your own kids and family.

How much will the paper adaptation cost?
Our production fee is USD 1,100, due after publication. 

Where can I get this money from?
Most researchers do not pay out of pocket. Some possible sources are:

Do you offer translations in other languages?
Yes! We have translated some of our papers into Spanish, French, German, Greek and other languages. Many researchers like to have these non-English versions to reach local audiences. We offer translation into any written language for a small additional fee. If you provide the translated text yourself, the fee for the additional materials is even smaller. 

Do you offer any other science outreach content?
Yes! For an additional fee, we can produce a video trailer for your paper. Check out an example for the paper How much does it cost when cows burp? Essentially, it’s a custom-animated video of about 60 seconds, produced in the same visual style as the paper’s adaptation. Teachers can show this video before assigning your adapted paper for students to read. It piques their curiosity about it and gets them asking the right questions.

How do you measure your impact?
We use Google Analytics to track downloads for each adapted paper as well as traffic to the website. We are able to offer you quantitative stats on how your paper is doing after it’s published. This is useful for measuring its outreach.
We also solicit qualitative feedback from teachers who have downloaded and used the adaptations in class. 

What about a formal Impact Assessment Study?
In 2017, in collaboration with a UC Berkeley researcher, we conducted a quantitative controlled impact assessment study on 130 high school students in the U.S. The students who were taught the scientific methods using our resources showed 40% improvement on a standardized test measuring scientific reasoning, as compared with a control group taught the same content using other science outreach resources. Read all about the study on our Impact page.

How long have you been around?
Since the spring of 2015. Check out our Annual Impact reports on our Impact page

Where’s the catch?
There is no catch. Science Journal for Kids was founded by a AP Environmental Science teacher with a M.S. from UC Berkeley who was frustrated her students didn’t have access to the latest scientific research. Watch this crowdfunding video we recorded when we were just getting started or hear the full backstory in our founder’s TEDx Talk.