Welcome to Versus!

Versus is an online popular science publication. Our content focuses on popular articles drawing on regional studies, geography and environmental social science. We mainly publish articles in Finnish and English but we also welcome contributions in other languages!

Versus publishes science-based common sense articles in three different sections (check detailed instructions for each section below). You can offer a contribution to us by contacting our editors by mail: toimitus(a)versuslehti.fi or toimitusavustajat(a)versuslehti.fi. You can send as either a text draft or an idea for your text. In the latter case we ask you to fulfill this idea sheet which helps you in planning the viewpoint and the structure of your text.

Each of the Versus articles goes through an editing process before publishing. During the process Versus editors edit the style, grammar, structure and layout of the article together with the author. However, Versus editors keep the right to make slight changes in the text such as re-formulating the title to fit our standards.

As a popular science publication we aim for texts that are also accessible and understandable for a larger public. Therefore we ask you to avoid academic jargon and complex theoretical concepts. The ideal length of our texts is 5 000-10 000 characters depending on the text type. We kindly remind our authors that in general compact and sharp texts work better long and loose. Short sentences and paragraphs as well as sub-titles should be used for concise structuring of the text.

In Versus we do not use academic referencing. If you wish to highlight some scientific findings, please do it so that also a non-academic reader can follow your ideas. You can also use embedded links for further information. We also welcome a moderate reference or reading list at the end of the text.

Below you can find section specific writing instructions. If you are unsure in which section our text fits the best, do not hesitate to contact the editors. We are happy to help!

Write to Versus

Instructions for Versus authors

Research debate builds on research-based texts, accompanied by 1–4 short commentaries by representatives of potential audiences. The original research article is published as part of the debate in an open access format. The ideal length of the main text is 10 000 characters and 5 000 for the commentaries.

Critical space publishes scientific and research-related viewpoints and commentaries that can be presented in the form of text and images, podcast, or video. Various kinds of publications are accepted in this section, therefore the final form and content is agreed upon with the Versus editors. The ideal length for critical space texts is 6 000 characters.

Thesis corner introduces thought-provoking synopses from Master’s theses, be it the major results, a particular viewpoint, or a practical or theoretical claim. We encourage you to develop your text in a way that raises interest among a larger public. Commentaries may be invited for theses-based texts as well. The ideal length for thesis corner texts is 10 000 characters. For contributions in this section, we encourage you to first present your initial text ideas to our student editors: toimitusavustajat(a)versuslehti.fi.

General writing instructions of Versus

Versus is an online publication that popularizes science. We publish popular texts based on regional geography, geography and environmental social science on three different columns.

We are also willing to receive texts that are at an brainstorming phase. In that case please fill this idea sheet. It helps you to build and plan the viewpoint and the structure of the text.

Before publication, all texts go through an editing process according to the writing instructions below, so please read them carefully.

The recommendation for the length of the articles is 5000–10 000 characters, depending on the column. Please check the specific instructions for them above. A short and compact text usually works better than long and broad one.

Our main languages for publishing are usually Finnish and English, but you can offer us content also in other languages. At the moment the editorial team has linguistical skills for example in Spanish, French, Swedish, German and Russian.

An article consists of a headline, head-note and text with subheadings. The head-note is a paragraph that leads to the main text. A good head-note is short and compact, and it’s length is about two or three sentences. It’s purpose is to lead and attract the reader to read the text.

Prioritize using short sentences, if possible. Use subheadings after every few paragraphs. Normally there are 3–5 paragraphs with subheadings in an article. The recommended length of one subparagraph is about 3–5 paragraphs.

Avoid multi-partial, complex and list-like headlines. A good headline is short, compact and might involve a claim or fact that sparks interest. Also an interesting question can work as a headline.

In the Internet it’s recommended to write in a compact way. We prefer short sentences and paragraphs in our texts. The instruction for the length of one paragraph is from 1–4 sentences.

You can look at an example of style and design from the following articles in Science section in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.

When you are writing, please avoid academic jargon and ambiguous concepts. If it is necessary to use academic concepts or some other special vocabulary, the definitions should be clarified to the reader. A good rule with this is to consider if your grandparent would understand what the text is about.

All the proper nouns are to be made bold when mentioned in the text for the first time. For example: In his research the geographer Seppo Suominen describes environmental law issues related to immigration.

Content highlights
Content highlights promote interesting aspects of the article. In addition, their intention is to invite a flicking-through reader to fully read the text. Content highlights are in italics and with bigger font. You may propose 2–5 lifts from your text.

The editors will choose some suitable pictures for the article. The writer is also invited to offer suitable, high-quality pictures, graphs or charts. Please only offer pictures that you have a permission to publish.

As an online publication that popularizes science, we don’t use internal references or footnotes in our texts (for example: Mikkonen et al., 2018). If you wish to specially emphasize the thoughts of researcher, do it so that the reader, who isn’t familiar with the field, understands what it is about. You can put some clarifying links into the text.

To the end you are allowed to add a moderate reference list, further reading or links that clarify the topic.

If the text is based on your own scientific publication, it’s information is to be placed at the end of the text (including doi-link).

Author information
There will be a short bio and a picture of the author attached to the article. Your personality may be shown in the bio. Due to lack of space please keep it short, around 1-2 sentences.

Editing process
All the texts in Versus go through an editing process before publishing. During the process the linguistic style, structure and design of the text will be edited together with the author.

However, when the text is at the layout phase, the editorial board of Versus keeps the right to make slight changes to the text, such as re-formulating the title to fit our standards.

Social media
All the publications of Versus will be posted on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). You can suggest us a suitable social media content highlight from your article (in Twitter max. 2080 characters, in Instagram and Facebook a couple of short, attractive paragraphs from your text).

Please offer your text to Versus by contacting our editorial team through email toimitus(a)versuslehti.fi or toimitusavustajat(a)versuslehti.fi.