Introduction

About The Conversation US

The Conversation (http://theconversation.com/us) is an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. We publish short articles (800-1000 words) by academics on timely topics related to their research.

Our mission is “to promote truthful information and strengthen journalism by unlocking the rich diversity of academic research for audiences across America.”

Who Reads TCUS?

Our articles are free to read and free to republish on a Creative Commons license – anybody can republish our articles and we actively promote their republication. We publish ~8 articles per day and through publication and republication have 6-7 million reads per month.

We are regularly republished in large national outlets such as The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, CNN, Scientific American and many more. Through our partnerships with The Associated Press and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. our articles are picked up in local newspapers – providing analysis in communities hat would not otherwise been able to hear from these academics. By writing, academics can reach audiences in publications locally, nationally and internationally.

What is The Conversation US looking for in an article?

We react to the news with expert analysis and help set the news agenda with ideas originating in academia. Our editors consider four things in a pitch:

  • Is it of interest to a general audience? Our articles are read across the United States and internationally by non-academics. What does a lay person want or need to know?
  • Is the idea timely? Timeliness can mean many things: new research, analysis of something in the news, commentary pegged to historic anniversaries. Why should a reader care now?
  • Is the academic an expert in what they are writing about?
  • Can the academic cover the topic in 1,000 words or fewer? Our articles are not comprehensive, but rather make critical points that the public needs to be aware of.

We are looking for academics to pitch us articles. This means you write a 4-5 sentence description of the article and we give you feedback prior to your investing time in writing. The best way to do so is on our pitch form here: http://theconversation.com/us/pitches

We suggest that you read a few recent articles to get a better sense of our writing style.

Our Process

The editorial process is a collaborative one. Authors must be affiliated with an academic institution. Once a piece is commissioned, our editors work with authors to establish the angle and structure of the piece. Every piece is line edited for clarity and accuracy and is read by a second editor and copy editor before publication. Authors must fill out a disclosure form listing any conflicts of interest. Authors have control over the final copy: our editors cannot publish without author approval.

Benefits of Writing for The Conversation

Authors have access to an author dashboard and can see the number of reads the article has received, the geographic location of those readers and by what media outlets the article has been republished. Dashboards also monitor all engagement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well as comments on site. These metrics can be used to demonstrate public engagement and education.

Writing for The Conversation helps ensure the voices of researchers are front and center in the public square; improves academic communications skills; drives more readers to scholarly articles; and connects scholars in sometimes unexpected ways to both other academics and the general public.