Advertisement

Education Series Author Guidelines

The “Education Series” aims to take full advantage of Web-based open-access publishing to create an interactive, dynamic resource for educators, researchers, students, and the interested public to share and discuss key ideas, methods, tools, and activities to enhance understanding of fundamental questions in biology. Articles published in the series will highlight innovative educational initiatives or strategies. Articles may focus on a specific field (for example, evolutionary biology or biochemistry), draw on recent results published in open access journals, and feature only open education resources—that is, materials that have no copyright or re-use restrictions. Each article will appear with at least one resource (for example, videotaped seminars, animations, tutorials, PowerPoint slide sets, links to databases with associated experiments and analyses activities) to supplement the article.

(See the editorial announcing the launch of the series: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000508)

Length guidelines: A page accommodates approximately 1200 words and one image/table or box. Articles may be 2-3 pages, but we encourage you to focus on the resources rather than presenting a 2500 article.

Organization of the manuscript:

  • Concise title — fewer than 50 characters
  • The text should be written as a single narrative and be accessible to an educated layperson.

For an example of an educational lesson/resource, see: Charkoudian LK, Fitzgerald JT, Khosla C, Champlin A (2010) In Living Color: Bacterial Pigments as an Untapped Resource in the Classroom and Beyond. PLOS Biol 8(10): e1000510. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000510 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000510

For an example of an education initiative, see: Hingamp P, Brochier C, Talla E, Gautheret D, Thieffry D, et al. 2008 Metagenome Annotation Using a Distributed Grid of Undergraduate Students. PLOS Biol 6(11): e296. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060296 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0060296

Questions for Authors/Checklist:

  1. Which of the following disciplines is most closely related to the content of your article (if more than one, rank in order of relevance)
    • Plant Biology
    • Evolutionary biology
    • Ecology
    • Developmental biology
    • Bioinformatics/genomics
    • Genetics/molecular biology
    • Neurobiology
    • Microbiology
    • Cell biology
    • Biochemistry

  2. Which of the following best describes the format of your article?
    • A description of an education initiative (Annotathon-type; see Hingcamp et al., link above)
    • A set of teaching tools (e.g. PowerPoint or activity) related to an open access research article, with the education series article describing how to use them
    • A set of teaching tools related to a public database, with the article text describing how to use them

  3. What is the level of student targeted by the material presented in your article? If undergraduate, indicate major.

    • A. Please describe how your article and its associated resources have been tested, assessed and evaluated.
    • B. Are the results of the evaluation included in the article?

Article Checklist:

Teaching Tools Box

How might a teacher incorporate these activities into a classroom? What resources (material, online, etc) are required and where can they be found?

Concepts at a Glance Box

What disciplines (e.g., biochemistry, ecology, genetics) do the activities draw on and what concepts should students learn (e.g., stoichiometry, species-area relationships, Mendelian inheritance) during activities or lessons? You may include target age group, if appropriate.

Evaluation Tools

How do you recommend evaluating the effectiveness of the material, with, e.g., pre- and post-test examples. What would be some questions that you’d ask students before and after a particular lesson (or activity) to gauge the impact the lesson had on their understanding of relevant concepts, for example.

For examples of these boxes, see: Charkoudian LK, Fitzgerald JT, Khosla C, Champlin A (2010) In Living Color: Bacterial Pigments as an Untapped Resource in the Classroom and Beyond. PLOS Biol 8(10): e1000510. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000510