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Author Guidelines


The following categories are proposed for Upstream blog posts as they best capture the scope intended for this blog series. Please contact us at if you have further ideas for categories.

Thought Pieces

These are to be considered viewpoints, backed up by research or a landscape analysis, not rants of unsubstantiated opinions.

Original Research / digests of important published research / Landscape Analysis

This would be the focus of a blog post, rather than used to back up a thought piece.


How current events might impact the future, understanding, or status quo of open science.


These will likely include information about interviewees’ projects, but no advertisements or product reviews - they will focus on the contributions the interviewee might have made to the project or how the project might have shaped the work/career path of the interviewee.

Basic Rules for writers

  • Stay on topic - open research, choosing one of the four categories
  • Original content only (cross-posting of content first published on Upstream is obviously possible)
  • No rants or advertorials (product reviews/demos)
  • Be respectful and courteous - no personal attacks
  • Abide by FORCE11’s Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct Statement

For transparency, the Upstream code of conduct statement will be linked to at the end of each blog post. The statement lists the rules and indicates the expectation that those who engage in public dialogue inspired by a post will behave in a scholarly manner; this includes blog writers and those who comment on the posted blog.

Submission Workflow

  1. Getting started. We want to ensure that all contributors to Upstream are aware of our scope and our approach. As a first step, please review the guidance listed above on the topics and formats Upstream is looking for. When you have a blog to contribute, please ensure that your post abides by the five Basic Rules for Writers list above.
  2. Contact Us. Email and an account will be set up for you as a contributor (and for any coauthors) on our blogging platform. Accounts can have different roles (contributor - author - editor); in the most basic role, contributor, you can start drafting blog posts immediately.
  3. Collaborate. Great ideas come from community input. If you are looking for input or are unsure if your content is right for Upstream - please get your post vetted by a colleague in the open research community. Also, please make sure to get a friend or colleague to proofread your post; as an Upstream writer, you will be responsible for your grammar and spelling :-)
  4. Ready to Post. Notify when you are ready to post. Team Upstream will check when your post can be scheduled. If you need special timing, just let us know.
  5. Comments. Community discussion is a feature not a bug. Make sure to check back regularly, especially within the first 48 hours after posting, to address comments from the community. We ask that all responses also follow the Basic Rules for Writers list above.
  6. Post-Publication Editing. If you need to go back in and edit a post, please be sure it really needs it. Remember that blog posts are static and the original is already out there via email subscribers and RSS. If a factual correction needs to be made, please mark it very clearly by adding to the end of the post `EDIT [date]: [details of the correction/update]`.

Contributor FAQs

Style guidelines

  • Are there any word count limitations or specific preferences for citations and referencing styles?

There are no style guidelines for the blog but some simple author guidelines here.

  • Can I use other formats in the blog posts eg cartoons?

Yes we’d love to experiment with other formats, please let us know what you have in mind by emailing

Contributor profile

  • What will happen on receiving a contributor profile?

As soon as your first blog post is published, you will be listed on the authors page on, listing all your blog posts. For this reason it would be nice (but not required) if you upload a picture to the contributor profile, and also add your Twitter account information.

Upstream registers DOIs for each blog post. If you give us your ORCID ID - by adding "….“ to the „website“ field in the profile, we will push each blog post to your ORCID record. This is of course voluntary and assumes you have given permission to Crossref to update your ORCID record (needs to happen only once for all Crossref DOIs).

  • Do I upload my picture and other metadata after the blog post is created?

You can do this anytime between getting access as a contributor and right up to when you are ready to publish the blog post.