Monthly Science Writing Competition

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Monthly Science Writing Competition

#1  Postby Mr.Samsa » Feb 26, 2010 3:22 am

I'm inserting this post at the beginning of this thread so the rules can easily be found. Thanks to Mazille for digging out the rules and editing them for us here at RatSkep!

Mazille wrote:The Monthly RS Science Writing Award

We have a lot of professional scientists and very well-versed laymen on the forum and so we decided to make use of those formidable intellectual resources. We challenge you to write an article about a specific topic - which will be revealed later on - and enter it into a competition for "The Monthly RS Science Writing Award"!

Now, to give you an idea of how this competition is going to work:
Every month we will give you the opportunity to take part in this competition. The goal is to write the best article covering a scientific topic of your choice - although with certain restraints. For each round of the competition we will set a general topic (e.g. "Our Solar System", or "The Subatomic World"), from which you can choose any field of interest to write about. After we have announced the general topic of a new round, competitors will have three weeks time to write their articles and enter them in the competition (see below for formal criteria) and after those three weeks users will have another week to vote for the best scientific article.

How is entering the competition and voting going to work?
    1. We will have one thread where people can post their articles and enter them in the competition. This thread will be moved from public view after each round of the competition and a new one will be opened for the next round. Only competitors may post there, and the articles will have to be approved by the staff, just like in the Formal Discussion forum.
    2. We will have another thread, where users can argue about the merits of each article that entered the competition and where they will be able to vote for their favourite article in the last week of the round via a poll.
    3. There will be a third thread, where we collect all the articles that ever entered the competition. This way you will have access to a whole thread full of scientific goodness.
    4. After the general topic of a round has been announced, participants will be given three weeks to write and submit their works. Within this time the commentary-thread will be open for relevant discussions, but voting will still be disabled. After these three weeks users will be given one week to submit their votes. At the end of this period the winners will be announced and the submitted articles will enter the "Hall of Fame"-thread. Shortly after that a new round of the competition with an entirely different general topic will start.
    5. Each participant may only enter one article per round into the competition.


What are the formal criteria for the articles?

    1. Every article you enter into the competition has to be your own original work. Here on RS we do not look kindly on plagiarism. It is, however, allowed to enter the competition with an article you have already posted earlier here on RS, provided it meets the rest of the following criteria.
    2. Articles have to be at least 500 words long and mustn't exceed a limit of 3000 words. The maximum number of pictures and graphics is one picture per 500 words of text.
    3. Articles have to include an index of their sources, if you used any, and direct quotes have to be credited to the original author. We don't want to impose a specific quotation system on the competitors, but keep it clear, easily readable and stick to one system per article. (See here or here for help on different styles, if you need it.)
    4. Articles must cover either the general topic, or an appropriate sub-topic to ensure comparability of your efforts.
    5. Of course, the articles will have to be in the limits of the FUA, as usual.


Any article that does not meet all of the above criteria will be disqualified and cannot be entered in the competition.

Why should I enter the competition?

First of all, this is the perfect opportunity to boast with your superior knowledge. Furthermore the winners will get some shiny stuff:

    1. The authors of the Top 3 articles will get a nice banner for their signatures, in gold, silver and bronze respectively. The authors of those three articles can keep these banners as long as they want since there are going to be new banners for each new round of the competition.
    2. The winner gets a special avatar (if she or he wants it, of course ) so that everyone can see who's the smartest of them all. This avatar, however, will go to someone else as soon as the next round has ended. So, if you want to keep that avatar, you'll have to win again.
    3. And last, but not least, we might have a few surprises in store for you...


The competition will go into its first round in the near future, which is when the required threads will be opened by the staff and the topic will be announced.
Good luck and have fun! May the best articles win. :toast: We are looking forward to your contributions.
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Monthly Science Writing Competition

#2  Postby Oliver » Mar 01, 2010 12:38 am

That was fun. Does someone want to try and find Mazille so we can start that up again? And out of this months' posters, who's now on this web site?
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#3  Postby virphen » Mar 01, 2010 12:56 am

Mazille is here and has been at least talking about what's needed to get it going again.
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#4  Postby Oliver » Mar 01, 2010 1:05 am

Oh yeah, I've just noticed that he's a moderator. What's up, Mazille?
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#5  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 01, 2010 3:29 am

I think Mazille is still attempting to contact all the participants to see if he can get them to post their work again. I see no reason why it won't start up again once we find our feet. Perhaps it might even be smart to pick a new topic for March, then hopefully by the following month we will have contacted all the participants from RDF round 2 (the Earth round) and post that as round 3 here?
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#6  Postby Mazille » Mar 01, 2010 9:35 am

I was a bit busy over the weekend, so nothing much happened in that regard. I promise, however, that I'll get the competition going again. :plot:
We just need to find a few people first.
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#7  Postby Oliver » Mar 01, 2010 9:45 am

Slick. Who's on here from last month's competition, and who's still to get?
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#8  Postby OgreMkV » Mar 01, 2010 1:52 pm

You can count me in. I've still got my article on hurricanes.
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#9  Postby hackenslash » Mar 01, 2010 1:59 pm

I have all the articles archived offline in rich text format, ready to repost along with all images. There are still a few contributors that haven't made i there yet, and it would be better if everybody who entered was here,
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#10  Postby Mazille » Mar 01, 2010 2:05 pm

hackenslash wrote:I have all the articles archived offline in rich text format, ready to repost along with all images. There are still a few contributors that haven't made i there yet, and it would be better if everybody who entered was here,


I have all of them here as well. (Say, you didn't manage to get a hand on a copy of the rules, did you? I'd hate to have to write them again... :ill: )
And yes, I'm currently trying to get everyone back here, so the competition will have to wait a few more days. We shall see. :plot:
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#11  Postby hackenslash » Mar 01, 2010 10:11 pm

Mazille wrote:
hackenslash wrote:I have all the articles archived offline in rich text format, ready to repost along with all images. There are still a few contributors that haven't made i there yet, and it would be better if everybody who entered was here,


I have all of them here as well. (Say, you didn't manage to get a hand on a copy of the rules, did you? I'd hate to have to write them again... :ill: )
And yes, I'm currently trying to get everyone back here, so the competition will have to wait a few more days. We shall see. :plot:


I didn't. I had a trawl of the google cache as well, but to no avail. :(
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#12  Postby Mazille » Mar 01, 2010 11:12 pm

hackenslash wrote:
Mazille wrote:
hackenslash wrote:I have all the articles archived offline in rich text format, ready to repost along with all images. There are still a few contributors that haven't made i there yet, and it would be better if everybody who entered was here,


I have all of them here as well. (Say, you didn't manage to get a hand on a copy of the rules, did you? I'd hate to have to write them again... :ill: )
And yes, I'm currently trying to get everyone back here, so the competition will have to wait a few more days. We shall see. :plot:


I didn't. I had a trawl of the google cache as well, but to no avail. :(

Yeah, same here. I'll just have to sit down and write them again, it seems. :whine:
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#13  Postby theropod » Mar 02, 2010 1:46 am

Cool!

I think we should start with a completely new topic direction.

With a new direction we can put the past behind us even more and make this forum into what we want it to be.

Also this would allow me to refine my presentation and hopefully rise to the same level as my fellow contributors. Besides, reformatting my last entry would be a bitch, and I rather start over.

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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#14  Postby hackenslash » Mar 02, 2010 2:12 am

I see where you're coming from, but finishing what we started is always a good thing. Besides, I have your entry, properly formatted, and with images. I also think your entry was really strong. YMMV, of course.
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#15  Postby Mazille » Mar 02, 2010 7:41 am

Actually, I was thinking about starting over with a completely new topic to celebrate the new start on this site. "Earth - Our Home" was then planned to have a come-back in the next round, so that you folks can get the recognition you deserve for your work at the other place.

By the way, as it happens we might have a pretty cool surprise in store for you. :smoke:
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#16  Postby Mantisdreamz » Mar 02, 2010 8:10 am

I'm in too! Whether it be the last theme or not. I was a bit late on submitting... erm, just as the shut down was taking place actually. But, as it is I know far too much now about limestone than I would have liked.
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#17  Postby skintbuthappy » Mar 02, 2010 3:50 pm

Happy to resubmit my own entry, or to have it plonked down from wherever it's been saved. (Hack?)
Also happy to have a new topic instead, and resurrect Earth:Our Home later.

But there'd better not be anything in these new rules about PROSE ONLY, Mazille! :lay:

I expect you've already got a topic in mind, but would it be frivolous to suggest:

"There is something rotten in the Internet." Discuss.

Just a thought. :naughty2:
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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#18  Postby Mazille » Mar 02, 2010 4:47 pm

skintbuthappy wrote:Happy to resubmit my own entry, or to have it plonked down from wherever it's been saved. (Hack?)
Also happy to have a new topic instead, and resurrect Earth:Our Home later.

I have a copy as well, just so you know. THWOTH was kind enough to back all the competition-treads up for me.

skintbuthappy wrote:But there'd better not be anything in these new rules about PROSE ONLY, Mazille! :lay:

WTF? I loved that thing to pieces! Why would I do such a thing?

skintbuthappy wrote:I expect you've already got a topic in mind, but would it be frivolous to suggest:

"There is something rotten in the Internet." Discuss.

Just a thought. :naughty2:


Go away. Now. :lay:
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#19  Postby theropod » Mar 03, 2010 1:37 am

Well, whatever y'all wanna do count me in. Like I said before I'm not afraid to jump into subjects where I know little to nothing. Actually I really like to do that so I can expand my already GiNormous brain! :scratch:

Limestone, the rock that cures acid reflux and breaks teeth! :grin:

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Re: Monthly Science Writing Competition

#20  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 03, 2010 2:08 am

Might I suggest that this is exactly the sort of original content that would go down well on an all new front page? Either the winner gets published to the front page, or the whole competition is run on there. Obviously it requires a front page first, but that's just a technicality.
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