Frontiers for Young Minds

Frontiers for Young Minds

Author Guidelines

Frontiers for Young Minds is committed to providing high-quality, plain-language articles about cutting-edge science. Researchers have a chance to reframe their own recent research and publications into language that can be understood by a younger audience. Authors need to respond to and integrate the feedback provided by their Young Reviewers.

Please note from the outset, the principle of Frontiers for Young Minds is to place kids and teens in the role of the reviewer in the peer review process, empowering them to ask critical questions and give constructive feedback to the authors. For that reason, the journal does not accept kids or teens to be listed as co-authors. This includes high-school students. Instead, they are free to provide feedback for the author(s) during any drafting stages or to become involved as young reviewers.

Finally, please be aware that if the author guidelines below are not followed this will delay the processing time of your submitted manuscript.

For questions on submitting or required author criteria, please contact

Would you like to publish with us?

For researchers who would like to submit a Frontiers for Young Minds version of their work, please consult our author guidelines below and check that you have all the essentials included before submitting.

Guidelines for submission

Subject Areas

We are currently accepting submissions in the following subject areas:

  • Astronomy and Space Science
  • Biodiversity
  • Health
  • Mathematics
  • Neuroscience and Psychology
  • Earth and its Resources

How to choose your article type?

Frontiers for Young Minds was developed to provide two distinct types of resources to general audiences: focused highlights of new scientific findings and broader summaries to provide context and foundational knowledge about a given field. Authors can recommend the ideal age of the audience for their article: 8-11 or 12-15.

Articles are copy-edited, receive a DOI and are published in PDF and HTML format. Authors are not required to pay a fee to publish a Young Minds Article.

New discoveries

New Discovery articles take a recent (or not so recent!) finding, technology, or discovery and explain the content and importance of the discovery in language that can be understood by kids (ages 8-15). It is important that the authors provide enough context for the discovery, but should focus more on the recent development.

These articles should be specifically based on a research article that has already been peer-reviewed and published (or accepted) in an academic journal. At least one of the original authors must be listed as an author on the new submission.

Think this article type of it as an 'adaptation' of the original research article. (Please note: Sole authorship is highly discouraged as our journal is all about collaboration!).

The original publication will be featured prominently at the bottom of the article in the form of a banner hyperlinked back to it. Please indicate this article within your references as the source article and ensure that we are provided with a DOI.

Core concepts

Core Concept articles explain fundamental ideas from a given scientific field and synthesize them in language that can be understood by kids (ages 8-15). Each article should have a clear scope and not attempt to address an entire discipline. The article should be primarily self-contained, explaining major scientific terms within the text and clearly identifying areas where people could be interested to find out more. (Please note: Sole authorship is highly discouraged as our journal is all about collaboration!).

Too broad: "Earth Science", "The Heart", "Renewable Energy", or "The Brain"

Clear scope: "Types of plate margins", "Why do you have a heart beat?", "How do wind turbines create energy?" or "Why does your brain need sleep?"

The authors of Core Concept articles should have an established expertise in the field, including a relevant publication record. Each Core Concept must also have a senior expert listed as an author or co-author (Professor/Associate Professor level or equivalent).

How to register?

Corresponding and all submitting authors MUST register with Frontiers before submitting an article. You must be logged in to your personal Frontiers Account to submit a manuscript.

For any co-author who would like his/her name on the article abstract page and PDF to be linked to a Frontiers profile on the Loop Network, please ensure to register before the final publication of the paper.

How to Write a Young Minds Article?

This guide provides a starting point for how to adapt your research for a younger audience – including many recommendations from our Young Reviewers during past FYM reviews.

What MUST BE includeD in your manuscript?

Manuscript lengths

Articles have a maximum word count of 1,500 and should include no more than 3 figures and approximately 5 references. Please note, at least one figure is mandatory. Should authors require assistance specifically with figures, please contact the editorial office at

The manuscript length includes only the main body of the text and all citations within it, and excludes abstract, section titles, figure and table captions, and references at the bottom of the manuscript. Please indicate the number of words and the number of figures included in your manuscript on the first page.

An author biography and photo for each author

This short biography has a maximum of 100 words. Please include both the biography and the photo of each author at the end of the manuscript.

Title and headings

The title should be as concise as possible, and abbreviations should be avoided.

Authors and Affiliations

All names are listed together and separated by commas. Provide exact and correct author names as these will be indexed in official archives. Any change requests after publication will incur additional costs and will be solely at the author’s charge. Affiliations should be keyed to the author’s name with superscript numbers and be listed as follows: Laboratory, Institute, Department, Organization, City, State abbreviation, and Country (without detailed address information such as city zip codes or street names).

If one of the authors has a change of address, list the new address below the correspondence details using a superscript symbol and use the same symbol to indicate the author in the author list.

Source Article - (only for New Discoveries articles)

New Discovery articles should have an original research source article. This will be featured prominently at the top of the article. Please indicate this article within your references as the source article and ensure that we are provided with a DOI.


Abstracts are visible on the home page of the Young Minds website, and your abstract should clearly and simply define what your article is about for any kids, parents or teachers browsing the site.

The abstract should clearly present the context and general significance of the concept or advance in a way that is accessible to a young readership. Minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references. The abstract should be no longer than 150 words.


Kids, parents and teachers use keywords to search for articles on the website. They should be relevant, simple and jargon-free.


The body text is in 12 point normal Times New Roman. The entire document should be single-spaced and written using either LaTeX or MS-Word.


Please note, a Glossary section within your manuscript is compulsory. When using any technical terms within the text, keep in mind the age of your intended readership. As much as possible, any complex or field-specific vocabulary should be made clear within the context of the article itself. If there are a few terms that you feel would benefit from additional explanation, they can be included in a brief glossary section (no more than 5 terms, no more than 30 words per explanation).

The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum. Non-standard abbreviations should be avoided unless they appear at least four times, and defined upon first use in the main text. Consider also giving a list of non-standard abbreviations at the end, immediately before the Acknowledgments. Equations should be inserted in editable format from the equation editor. Gene symbols should be italicized; protein products are not italicized. Chemical compounds and biomolecules should be referred to using systematic nomenclature, preferably using the recommendations by IUPAC. We encourage the use of Standard International Units in all manuscripts.


All citations in the text, figures or tables must be in the reference list and vice-versa. The references should only include articles that are published or accepted. For accepted but unpublished works use "in press" instead of page numbers. Website URLs should be included as footnotes. Any inclusion of verbatim text must be contained in quotation marks and clearly reference the original source. Articles should use the Vancouver system for in-text citations.

Reference list: provide the names of the first six authors followed by et al and DOI when available.

In-text citations should be numbered consecutively in order of appearance in the text – identified by Arabic numerals in parentheses.

For examples of citing other documents and general questions regarding reference style, please refer to Citing Medicine.

Download Frontiers Health Endnote Style

Download Frontiers Health and Physics Bibstyle

Contribution to the field

When you submit your manuscript, please provide a brief summary of 200 words maximum on how your contribution is positioned in the existing literature of your field and the intended age range of your readers (8-11 or 12-15). This statement will be accessible for the science mentor and young reviewer team(s) and it should be written avoiding any technical language where possible, for a younger audience to understand. The aim is to convey the meaning and importance of this research to a younger audience; this will assist the editorial office in determining whether your manuscript fits within the scope of the journal.

Figure and Table Guidelines

No more than 3 figures are allowed and figure legends should be a maximum of 100 words. If possible, it is much better for our young reviewers if you include your figures/tables within the text of your manuscript and not in the appendix.

Permissions need to be obtained for re-published/adapted/modified/partial figures, and it is the responsibility of the authors to acquire the licenses, to follow any citation instructions requested by third-party rights holders, and cover any supplementary charges.