Frontiers for Young Minds

Frontiers for Young Minds


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.

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
  • 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: 8-12 or 13-15.

New discoveries

New Discovery articles take a 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 based on an academic article that has been peer-reviewed and published (or accepted) in an academic journal and should be written by researchers involved in the original publication.

The original publication will be featured prominently at the top 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 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 terms within the text and clearly identifying areas where people could be interested to find out more.

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 (see Cover Letter section, below).

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.

How to register?

Please note that the 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 approach translating your research for a younger audience – including many recommendations from our Young Reviewers during past FYM reviews.

How to write your manuscript?

Manuscript lengths

Young Minds articles have a maximum word count of 2,000 and should include no more than 3 figures and approximately 5 references. Should you feel that additional figures will significantly increase the understandability of your manuscript for the intended audience, these may be accommodated upon request. 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.

Language Style

Authors are requested to follow American English spelling. For any questions regarding style Frontiers recommends authors to consult the Chicago Manual of Style.

We have a guide on how to adjust your language and writing style for a younger audience. Click here to download.


The title is centered, and in 16 point bold Times New Roman font at the top of page. Except for special names (e.g., GABAergic), capitalize only the first letter of the title.

The title should be concise, omitting terms that are implicit and, where possible, be a statement of the main result or conclusion presented in the manuscript. Abbreviations should be avoided within the title.

Authors should try to avoid, if possible:
Unambitious titles, for example starting with “Towards”, “A description of”, “A characterization of”, “Preliminary study on”.
Vague titles, for example starting with “Role of...”, “Link between...”, “Effect of...” that do not specify the role, link, or effect

Include terms that are out of place, for example the taxonomic affiliation apart from species name.

The running title should be a maximum of 5 words in length.

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 (USA, Canada, Australia), and Country (without detailed address information such as city zip codes or street names).

Example: Max Maximus, Department of Excellence, International University of Science, New York, NY, USA.

Dr. Max Maximus
International University of Science
Department of Excellence
Laboratory of High Impact
Street 2460,
New York, NY, 59066, USA

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.

Headings and Sub-headings

Except for special names (e.g. GABAergic), capitalize only the first letter of headings and subheadings. Headings and subheadings need to be defined in Times New Roman, 12, bold. You may insert up to 5 heading levels into your manuscript (not more than for example: Heading title).


As a primary goal, 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. In the abstract, minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references. The text of the abstract section should be in 12 point normal Times New Roman. The abstract should be no longer than 150 words. 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.


Keywords are used by kids, parents and teachers to search for articles on the Young Minds website. They should be relevant, simple and jargon-free. Keywords should be provided in the manuscript submission (See Mandatory Sections below).


The body text is in 12 point normal Times New Roman. New paragraphs will be separated with a single empty line. The entire document should be single-spaced and written using either LaTeX or MS-Word.


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 (no more than 5 terms, no more than 30 words per explanation). With this in mind:

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.

What are the essentials?

The following sections are mandatory for Young Minds article:

An author biography for each author

This short biography has a maximum of 600 characters, including spaces

An author profile picture for each author

This can be included in the body of the manuscript or uploaded later as a figure per the figure specifications in these guidelines.



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.

Age of intended audience

please state the age group that best describes your intended readership (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-15)


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

Cover Letter

When you submit your article to the Frontiers system you will be required to submit a cover letter. In your cover letter please indicate the title of the manuscript, the article type (Core Concept or New Discovery), the intended age range of your readers (8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-15), and whether it is part of a Young Minds Collection. If your submission is a New Discovery article, please include the citation information of the original article.

Please also take a minute to introduce yourself to the Chief Editor in your cover letter. It is important that all authors of Frontier for Young Minds articles have an established scientific expertise and publication record, or that they work closely with a senior researcher who does. To this end, please describe your field of expertise, and include a link to your professional profile in this letter.

Supplementary Material

The Supplementary Material should be uploaded separately from the main manuscript files. It can be uploaded as a Data Sheet (word, excel, csv, fasta, pdf or zip files), Presentation (power point, pdf or zip files), Audio (mp3, wav or wma) or Movie (avi, divx, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg or wmv).

Rich media such as videos and flash can be embedded in the HTML version of your article. External media such as YouTube videos can be embedded, but we advise providing the original files to ensure the media will always be available. Any media that does not match the above allowed filetypes should be compressed into a zip archive.

Figure and Table Guidelines

Frontiers requires figures to be submitted individually, in the same order as they are referred to in the manuscript. Figures will then be automatically embedded at the bottom of the submitted manuscript. Kindly ensure that each table and figure is mentioned in the text and in numerical order. Permission must be obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the web). Please note that it is compulsory to follow figure instructions. Figures which do not follow the guidelines will cause substantial delay during the production process. No more than 3 figures are allowed. There must be a self-explanatory labels (including units) along each axis within graphs.

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.

Figure and Table Legends

Figure and table legends are required to have the same font as the main text (12 point normal Times New Roman, single spaced). Legends should be preceded by the appropriate label, for example “Figure 1” or “Table 4”. Figure legends should be placed at the end of the manuscript (for supplementary images you must include the caption with the figure, uploaded as a separate file). Table legends must be placed immediately before the table. Please use only a single paragraph for the legend. Figure panels are referred to by bold capital letters in brackets: (A), (B), (C), (D), etc.


The following formats are accepted:
TIFF (.tif) TIFF files should be saved using LZW compression or any other non-lossy compression method.
JPEG (.jpg)

Color Image Mode

Images must be submitted in the color mode RGB.

Resolution Requirements

Images should have a resolution of 300 dpi (minimum). If the resolution is too low, the image will appear blurry, jagged or have a stair-stepped effect. Figures must be legible. Check the following:

The smallest visible text is no less than 8 points in height, when viewed at actual size.
Solid lines are not broken up.
Image areas are not pixilated or stair stepped.
Text is legible and of high quality.
Any lines in the graphic are no smaller than 2 points width.