Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

Editorial guidelines, assistance

Advancing the Science Guidelines

  • Topics may be niche, or may be of interest to a broad audience, but should all be linked to research or research education at Mayo Clinic.
  • All articles should be reviewed by project lead researcher and/or senior author of study being discussed.
  • Articles are ideally between 500-800 words, no longer than 1,500 words.
  • All organic stories should include social media posts for Mayo Clinic channels - these can be delivered with the post for the editors to facilitate, or managed individually by author.
  • Headlines should be short, snappy and attention-getting. Use approximately 6 words, 55 characters, emotion-building words.
  • Use subheads to break up longer stories and to help readers scan articles to see if they want to read the piece in its entirety. Subheads should function as a “cliffs notes” version of the article—ideally, a reader could scan just the title and subheads and have a good idea what the article is about.
  • Tone may be serious or lighthearted (if appropriate), and should be written with an eye toward shareability on social media platforms.
  • Stories are most often told in the third-person, but may also be told in the first- or second-person. More approachable content often uses the latter two persons, but must still be factual and approved by subject matter expert(s).
  • Opinion pieces are generally not accepted unless non-controversial and approved by medical expert. Ideas should be discussed with editor before proceeding.
  • Profile pieces/interviews are acceptable, but focus should be on current research or lifetime body of research, as opposed to recent funding or personal award.
  • If a story has been previously published, the original source should be listed at the end of the article in italics, with a link to the original source. Example: “This story originally appeared on Mayo Clinic’s In the Loop blog.”
  • In order to facilitate SEO and avoid competing headlines on the Discovery's Edge home page, DE articles and news releases are not reprinted on Advancing the Science. News releases are, however, summarized in the monthly Research News Roundup.

Editor Elizabeth Zimmermann

Assistant Editor Caitlin Doran

Helpful hints from Buzzfeed to get your story going

Consider these questions from the perspective of your reader, then read the rest of this article for more hints on how to make your content shine.

  • What is your biggest struggle with [topic/subject]?
  • What methods have you tried in order to overcome this struggle?
  • What issues did you have with these methods?
  • What is your biggest fear when it comes to [topic/subject}?
  • What is your goal when it comes to [topic/subject]?

Scheduling Posts

In order to keep topics fresh and the blog as multi-faceted as possible, as well as to practice some posting hygiene, please remember the following:

  • All posts should be scheduled to go live at 6 a.m. The exception to this is if timing is linked to an embargo. Note: the time on the blog is in the central time zone.
  • Please avoid more than one post every two weeks from a particular center or on a particular topic. (This applies to broad topical areas. For posts on a similar topic, i.e. breast cancer test and breast cancer treatment, leave at least 3 weeks between posts).
  • Post priority (use these days): T, Th, W, M, F; one post per day.
  • Do not post on top of someone else. If you 'must' have a particular day, contact the editor for assistance.
  • No posts Saturday or Sunday except for news embargo reasons.
  • Contact the editor for assistance before posting any other day or on any other schedule.


If updating the title of your article from a draft title or place-holder, please go to the Permalink dropdown and paste in the final title of your article in 'URL Slug'.

You may also use this box to customize or shorten the link name. For example, new posts of Alumni Magazine articles include "alumni" as the first word of the permalink.

Author Credits

If someone other than the individual posting the article has written the piece, author credit may be noted. In the 'Status & Visibility' section, you can change to the correct person, or if not available, use the author dropdown “Advancing the Science Contributor.” The author’s name may be identified in italicized text at the beginning of the post.

Author and organization are attributed for inter-institutional posts, example: “By Martha Coventry, Senior Editor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health.”

If a Mayo Clinic doctor authored the piece, format credit as shown here at the bottom of the article.


All articles must have at least one horizontal image assigned as a feature image, in order to correctly populate the index page and weekly digest emails.

The system will default to the first image in the article if you do not set a 'Featured Image'. The feature image must not have an embedded caption, so if your first image has a caption, please sent feature image separately (can be the same image). An embedded caption appears as errant code in the digest email.

Images should be uploaded as .jpg or .jpeg for best results. Add captions as necessary to images within the article, as well as alt text.

Images must be owned by Mayo Clinic, and released for use. Photos taken by Mayo Clinic staff other than photography/videography staff may be used if the images are in direct support of the story (e.g. pictures from an event) and do not include actual patients in the pictures (or waivers are on file).

Images from other institutions may be uploaded and used if individual publishing/submitting to the blog obtains written (email) permission from the other institution. Links to logos or other amplifying imagery may be appropriate if in direct support of article, and publicly available. Example:


Links help make the blog more findable by Google’s search spiders, and help readers learn more about topics or services at Mayo Clinic that may interest them. Please include links to Mayo Clinic in every post. In addition, please include links throughout the text to researcher profiles, center web pages, disease-specific pages from the Mayo Clinic website, and other relevant content.

Please limit use of links to any non-Mayo websites. If necessary for background information, defer to highly credible sources such as Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, etc.

Related Resources

At the end of the article, generally separated by a centered ###, additional notes, information, links or other resources can be added. This section can include links to labs or other research and education areas that are connected or similar to those in the article, but not previously linked. It can contain links to patient information related to the diseases or topics in the article, including links to clinical trials. Example: Cardiology clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.

Other possibilities include links to previous, related blog posts, news articles, Mayo Clinic Connect discussion pages, registration page for the blog, etc.

Two samples shown here:

Categories and Tagging

Each post should be classified using appropriate 'Categories'. The default category is News, but multiple categories may be selected.

Content originally published elsewhere should include the Category: 'republished'.

Each post should be tagged with the appropriate topic (e.g., breast cancer), researcher name (s), and transformative research center name(s) (e.g., Mayo Clinic Cancer Center). Other high priority topics should be tagged if relevant: neurology, orthopedics, cancer, transplant, clinical trials, and cardiology.  Before creating a new tag, search existing tags to see if a suitable tag already exists.

Do not tag esoteric diseases or treatments, departments, divisions, programs, etc. Instead, tag the broader topic area. All tags should be lower case unless they are a formal name. Note: Most disease names are lowercase, exceptions occur when disease is named after a person.

Please ensure correct spelling and capitalization.

Style Notes

As in other Mayo Clinic publications, only doctoral degrees are noted, and middle initials are not used except when similar names at Mayo Clinic might cause confusion. Example: John Baumgerter, M.D., Ph.D., or John M. Smith, M.D.

For tags, all researcher names mentioned in the article should be noted. First name and last name only, or with initial if necessary due to commonality of name. Example: John Baumgerter, John M. Smith. Do not use degrees or "Dr."

Individuals should be noted by type of work/assignment, for example, health services researcher, neurologist, cardiologist, and so forth. Avoid “Professor of Medicine” unless reference is in an educational context. Named professorships and other philanthropic naming should be included as necessary. This can be accomplished in the article, in a summary paragraph at the end, or even in an ‘Editor’s Note.’

Pullout Box

The code below produces the blue box displayed here : (some text removed in example below).

Notes: float: left will put the box on the left side of your article, accompany that with margin-right. Width can be adjusted by pixel count - preview page and see what looks best. Box color can be changed if necessary, look up a different html color code. Padding is the space around the text, inside the box.

<div style="width: 300px; float: right; background-color: #d4edfd; margin-left: 10px; padding: 12px;">

<h3>Wish list</h3>

Dr. Truty describes what’s still needed to more effectively identify and treat pancreatic cancer.

<h4>Diagnosis prior to development of metastatic disease:</h4>

Researchers at Mayo Clinic are working on a more effective, noninvasive screening tool, but it is probably five to 10 years away, he says.



The blue box below (article footer) should be added to ALL posts on Advancing the Science. With Gutenberg, you can use the 'reusable block': ATS Article footer to place this in at the end of your article.

Here's the code if you need to paste it in to a plain block as html:

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