Our mission at ZME Science is to communicate scientific knowledge to the entire global community. We aspire to be reliable, accurate, and engaging, maintaining the highest editorial standards, comparable to the best publishers in the world. This involves meticulous research, rigorous fact-checking, and adherence to a stringent code of ethics. We also strive to be transparent and open with our readers.
We take great pride in our editorial independence. We maintain a clear separation between our editorial team and any external influence, be it advertisers, sponsors, partners, or any other collaborators. Anything that gets published on the website is decided by the writers and editors — nothing else. Our journalistic choices are not influenced by personal financial considerations, relationships, political affiliations, or anything else. Our primary loyalty is to the audience and to science.
We prioritize the trust and respect of our readers above all. In order to be faithful to our readers’ expectations, we do our best to uphold the value of editorial independence and abide by industry-wide standards of ethics and journalism.
Our editorial guidelines are inspired by the best practices of leading global publishers. Our articles aim to be fair, accurate, clear, and engaging. We also try to avoid any jargon or unnecessary complications and make our content easily available to anyone. We encourage a diversity of voices while maintaining consistency in quality and style. We also respect copyright laws and the intellectual property rights of others.
In our writing, we emphasize curiosity and attempt to communicate with clarity, trust, purpose, and sincerity. Our team emphasizes the diversity of opinion and we pride ourselves on being adaptable and efficient. We attempt to put people at the center of our stories and are proactive in communicating with our audience.
Code of Ethics and Conduct
Our code of ethics is founded on honesty, integrity, and respect. We are committed to:
- Honesty and Fairness: We present all information honestly and treat all subjects of our reporting fairly, without any bias or favoritism.
- Respect for Privacy: We respect individuals’ right to privacy and only intrude when necessary for the public interest.
- Accountability: We take responsibility for our work and promptly correct any inaccuracies.
- Independence: We avoid conflicts of interest and clearly disclose any potential conflicts to our readers.
Amongst our writing and editing team, we focus on values that are important to our work.
- Commitment and Passion: We embrace our work with fervor, always trying to go the extra mile. We know we’re a small team and we know we’re not perfect, but we’re relentless in our pursuit of improvement and consistently aim to make a difference. We strive to inspire and energize others toward shared goals.
- Audience and Team-Oriented: We try to serve both our readers and colleagues with equal importance. We help each other to the best of our ability and practice responsible journalism in service to our readers and users. We finesse our inter-team relationships and tailor work specifically for each of our individual preferences.
- Curiosity and Courage: We always take pride in doing things our way. We nurture an open mindset that seeks to understand diverse perspectives without judgment, and while we always look at what the industry is doing, we try to develop our own path. We embrace the thrill of exploration and the lessons in failure. We are not afraid to call things as they are. When we can’t expand our team as much as we’d like, we try to expand our expertise.
- Agility and Dynamism: We are swift, effective, and efficient in our approach. We do our best to develop a flat company and use the fact that we are a small team to our advantage. Our adaptability allows us to think creatively, respond to feedback, and find innovative solutions. We try to foresee future trends and act proactively, encouraging our team to embrace agility and dynamism.
- Transparency and Trustworthiness: We foster a culture of open and sincere communication, amongst ourselves, and with our audience. We uphold trustworthiness, refraining from leveraging knowledge or information unfairly. We willingly offer assistance and accept help, recognizing that we grow stronger as a team.
- Unity and Respect: We prioritize team cohesion, lead by example, and communicate with purpose and trust. We respect differing opinions and support leadership decisions, nurturing an environment of unity and mutual respect.
- Diversity and Positivity: We value and celebrate the diversity of thoughts, opinions, and experiences within our organization. We foster a respectful and inclusive environment, radiating positivity, and joy in our workplace. We applaud the achievements of others, showing consistent appreciation for their contributions, and strive to balance hard work with community building.
Every piece of content on our site goes through a fact-checking process. We verify the accuracy of the information from primary sources or recognized, trusted secondary sources. Statements are cross-checked for consistency and accuracy. Any ambiguous information is clarified or omitted.
As we are a small team without a dedicated fact-checker, fact-checking duty is split among the writing and editing teams. Fact-checking is commonly done in several stages:
- firstly, the article author(s) double-check themselves and perform a preliminary verification. We carry out regular fact-checking workshops with all writers.
- then, the editor(s) performs fact-checking, focusing specifically on scientific accuracy and ensuring that the article is precise.
- ultimately, the copy editor will highlight any additional aspects that may require additional checking.
Our articles include a note for who edited the articles. However, while this is a relatively new technical feature, our old articles may not have this snippet — this does not mean that they were not fact-checked, but rather that we did not have the display tool active when the articles were published.
We admit we are not perfect and invariably, mistakes or errors slip in from time to time. While we do our best to minimize this, we have a process in place for corrections.
In case of inaccuracies or errors, we will make corrections promptly and transparently, ensuring that the corrections are visible and clear to our readers. We encourage our readers to bring any potential mistakes to our attention.
If the correction is straightforward (i.e. a mistaken year or name) we mark it accordingly and add a small note to the article. If the correction is more substantial (ie there was a factual error, a mis-explained concept, or something that requires thorough editing), we mark it differently on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that what we have changed is explained clearly. Edits for simple typos may not be marked as corrections unless they can lead to misunderstandings or confusion (aka “millions” instead of “billions”).
We may review specific products or services from time to time. Our reviews are independent, unbiased, and based on a fair assessment of the resource. We may receive review copies in order to review products. This does not affect our review at all.
The reviews on our website work to inform our readers about products or services we believe may be of interest. We don’t receive payment to perform reviews, unless clearly mentioned otherwise. For more information about this, visit our product review guidelines and affiliate disclaimer.
We maintain a clear separation between advertising and editorial content. Advertisements are clearly labeled as such and will not influence our editorial decisions. Advertisers do not have any role in or influence over our editorial process.
Additionally, we display advertising through programmatic systems. Programmatic advertising uses algorithmic software to buy and sell online display space. This means we don’t pre-control all the advertising that is displayed.
Our partnerships are formed based on mutual respect for editorial independence and commitment to disseminating accurate scientific knowledge. Any partnership agreements will not compromise our editorial autonomy, and any content created as part of such partnerships will be clearly disclosed to our readers.
We value the input of our readers and the wider scientific community. We encourage feedback and constructive criticism to help us improve. We have an open communication policy, and we aim to respond to our readers’ queries and suggestions in a timely and respectful manner. We pride ourselves on replying to every single reasonable email.
This policy serves as a living document. As we grow and learn, we will continue to update and improve these guidelines to ensure we remain at the forefront of scientific journalism, maintaining the trust and respect of our audience.