Here are some skimpy guidelines.
Send in an article you have written, or a spirited letter
We look forward to seeing your writing, photographs, X-rays, drawings, etc. (Please do not send biological samples without warning us first). We prefer reports about research results, modest or otherwise, rather than suggestions that "here's my brilliant theory; somebody should think it through, and write it up."
We want people to want to read your article! So here are three suggestions:
1. Keep it short, please. Articles are typically (though not always) 500-2000 words in length. Letters are typically much shorter.
2. Please write it in clear, engaging language. (Remember that readers are from many different professional (and non-professional) backgrounds, and many different countries. Maybe your article should include a ittle bit of good, pithy, context-giving, background info?)
3. If you have good images (300 dpi) that help tell the story, please include them.
Send in a good citation you have discovered
If sending a citation (for the magazine or mini-AIR or the blog or wherever), please include a complete citation, with the author's name(s), article title, and publication name, and date (including volume and issue number). Copies of the papers are ecstatically welcomed (PDF is more convenient than paper, all around, but a paper copy is welcome if that's what you've got!)
Submit an Ig Nobel Nomination
Please send enough info that we can evaluate the candidate. See the Ig Nobel submissions info page.
Submit an LFHCfS (Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists) Nomination
Where to Send Things
Send submissions (email is best, but snail mail is still okay) to:
- Email: marc AT improbable.com
- Snail mail: Improbable Research, 44-C Sacramento Street Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
- Phone: (+1) 617-491-4437
Should that info be insufficient, see our contacts page.
More Detail (for those who can never get enough)....
About submitting an article for publication in the magazine
Write it so people can understand it. Write clearly and simply, and keep it as short as possible. Please spend at least a moment thinking about whether ten million people have already written essentially the same article. Remind yourself that:
- readers who lack your particular background may need a bit of simple, clear context; and<
- the article ought to make sense to readers anywhere in the world, not just in your own country.
If you want to bounce an idea off the editor before you write it up, then please do.
You can either email or snail mail your submission. If you're agonizing about email vs, snail mail, please choose email. If you send it electronically, we'd prefer Word format -- but if that's not convenient, it's okay to send other formats. If you send it by snail mail, please include a self-addressed, adequately stamped envelope.
About alerting us to some improbable research
Know of something we ought to write up in mini-AIR or in the blog or in the newspaper column? We'd love to hear about it.
We are potentially interested in almost any kind of research, formal or informal, on almost any topic.
If there is a published study, please send as complete a citation as possible. If you can conveniently send a copy of the study, please do (PDF format is generally the most convenient). And if you have a URL pointing to the study and/or to one of its authors, please include it.
"How long does it take to hear back?" you ask.
We try to respond quickly. We try to decide about article submissions in a fairly short time. We try to decide about LFHCfS nominations very quickly. We decide on Ig Nobel nominations well in time for the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, which is generally held on a Thursday night in September; Ig winners are announced at the ceremony -- and not before.
We read (almost) everything that comes in. But....
- Sometimes our spam filters chew things up, so if you don't hear back from us fairly soon, please get in touch and ask whether we did receive it.
- Sometimes we travel for several weeks at a time. During these periods, communications can be sporadic. So please, if you don't hear back from us fairly soon, get in touch and ask whether we did receive it.
- Sometimes we make mistakes, or get behind in handling the flow, or make mistaks, or mke mistakes. So please, if you don't hear back from us fairly soon, get in touch and nudge us.