Science X editorial process
Our publishing is operated by a completely in-house team. Science X does not publish sponsored content because we value our editorial independence. Out of respect for our readers, we provide access to the original research behind our articles whenever possible.
Science X stories originate from diverse information sources:
- Science X exclusive feature stories written by staff authors.
- Publications in highly ranked, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
- Editor-selected, licensed sci-tech news from all major news agencies.
- Editor-selected news articles and press releases submitted by leading universities and research institutions.
- Promising papers presented at conferences or published on preprint servers, such as arXiv, bioRxiv and medRxiv (extra care is taken here as this research has yet to undergo peer review).
The news never stops. Neither do we when it comes to bringing you breaking science stories. To match this need for speed with our commitment to accuracy, we make use of multiple rounds of fact-checking performed in parallel with the publication process.
- Peer review: Research papers, which provide the foundation for most of our coverage, are assessed by independent experts in the relevant field. Methods and findings must be evaluated for credibility, significance and validity before being accepted by a journal.
- Respected sources: We favor sources whose stories are vetted by the original researchers. This means that writers consult with one or more of the paper's authors to ensure they capture the significance of the findings without sensationalizing them.
- Double review: At least two of our editors independently review each article before publication. This involves checking both the source and related research paper(s). We know our sources, and we know our journals. When something seems awry, we take a deeper dive into the content.
For our own Science X exclusive feature stories, we follow this same process but tend to hold our writers to a higher standard. With any stories that originate from research currently published on preprint servers, we make extra considerations with respect to newsworthiness: For these articles, we always provide readers access to a full version of the paper under consideration (in our More Information section).
Not every story is the same. Some cover more controversial topics, and we also take this into account. For example, we will never present an experimental treatment as a cure-all; rather, we will specify which phase the clinical trial is in and how much work remains to be done. Whatever the topic, we deal in facts.
Most of the time we get it right, but we are human. Science X values the insights of its readers and researchers, and we have a robust correction policy. As a mark of our commitment, our editor-in-chief personally attends to higher-level accuracy concerns. Any necessary corrections are usually made within hours, if not minutes, of receiving a report.
Science X editors actively proofread and edit the content to clarify important points, eliminate typos, address inconsistencies and provide the best for our readers. Our headlines are sharp, descriptive and accurate because we steer clear of clickbait, misleading claims and inane details. In general, we adhere to AP style guidelines.
In addition to boosting the quality of the text, Science X editors also improve the layout of every article. Our articles are designed to be read comfortably on any device, and we pay a lot of attention to our visual content. We strive to include images from published papers and researchers. Whenever possible, we also add research-related videos (some of which may also find a home on our Science X YouTube channel).
To stay ahead of the curve, we keep daily track of newly published research papers across all major journals as well as breaking sci-tech news and emerging trends and choose the most interesting advances to be covered by our own Science X writers. Editors also handpick articles from the pool of incoming Science X features, news agency stories and press releases, and decide whether they cover important developments and meet our standards. Our goal here is to provide the best up-to-the-minute stories. While Science X publishes over 200 articles a day, many more do not make the cut.
Once we decide to publish a story, we also determine where it will have the most impact and how prominently we would like to see it featured. While many of our top stories tend to come from leading journals and institutions, we try to judge an article and its associated research based on its own merit. In this way, we also hope to shine a spotlight on innovative work done by early career scientists as well as newer journals. As with our fact-checking and proofreading/editing stages, at least two of our editors are involved in content selection.