American Biology Teacher
Free Articles Available Online
Each month, the editor of the ABT selects one article to post online. These articles are freely available to interested readers at ABT online.
The American Biology Teacher is an award-winning, peer-refereed professional journal designed to support the teaching of K-16 biology and life science. We solicit and feature articles relating to the content of biology, commentaries on the social and ethical implications of biology, biology teaching strategies appropriate to the classroom, laboratory and field sites, trends in biology teaching, and those that offer assistance in the professional development of biology and life science teachers. ABT is published nine times a year by the National Association of Biology Teachers. Each issue is prepared approximately four months in advance of the publication dates in August, September, October, November/December, January, February, March, April and May.
To prospective ABT authors, we invite your manuscripts in the following article categories:
Feature Article (up to 4000 words) are those of general interest to readers of ABT. Consider the following examples of content that falls into the feature article category:
a. Research on teaching alternatives, including evaluation of a new method, cooperative learning, concept maps, learning contracts, investigative experiences, educational technology, simulations and games and biology standards
b. Social and ethical implications of biology and how to teach such issues, genetic engineering, energy, pollution, agriculture, population, health care, nutrition, sexuality, and gender, and drugs
c. Reviews and updates of recent advances in the life sciences in the form of an “Instant Update” that bring readers up-to-date in a specific area
d. Imaginative views of the future of biology education and suggestions for coping with changes in schools, classrooms and students
e. Other timely and relevant and interesting content like discussions of the role of the Next Generation Science Standards in biology teaching, considerations of the history of biology with implications for the classroom, considerations of the continuum of biology instruction from K-12 to post-secondary teaching environments, contributions that consider the likely/ideal future of science and biology instruction.
Research on Learning (up to 4000 words) includes reports of original research on innovative teaching strategies, learning methods, or curriculum comparisons. Studies should be based on sound research questions, hypotheses, discussion of an appropriate design and procedures, data and analysis, discussion on study limitations, and recommendations for improved learning.
Inquiry and Investigations (up to 3000 words) is the section of ABT that features discussion of innovative and engaging laboratory and field-based strategies. Strategies in this section should be original, focused at a particular grade/age level of student, with all necessary instructions, materials list, worksheets and assessment tools, practical, related to either a particular program such as AP and/or linked to standards like NGSS. The most appropriate contributions in this category are laboratory experiences that engage students in inquiry.
Tips, Tricks and Techniques (up to 1500 words but may be much shorter) replaces the How-To-Do-It and Quick Fix articles. This section features a range of suggestions useful for teachers including laboratory, field and classroom activities, motivational strategies to assist students in learning specific concept, modifications of traditional activities, new ways to prepare some aspect of laboratory instruction, etc.
ABT Article Designations
Please note, each month three articles will be give further designation in the following matter. If you are submitting an article please let the editor know if you believe that your article might receive the BioClub or AP Biology designation.
BioClub Article: this highlighted article is of special interest to advisors to the NABT BioClub (high school and community college level). The articles can include easy to use protocols for BioClubs to do during their meetings, research on learning that can be used for student journal clubs, etc. The BioClub designation is designed to draw attention to an article that is or can easily be made accessible to students. In addition, BioClub articles are often used by middle school teachers because they can be easily altered for use at that level.
AP Biology Article: this article highlights relevant content for teachers implementing the new AP Biology curriculum framework. It can relate to the big ideas identified in the framework and / or science practices. The goal is to encourage AP Teachers to look at articles that will help them teach AP Biology in new and innovative ways.
ABT Online: each month, the editors choose one article to post online as a free article for the community of biology educators. There are no criteria for this article and is chosen at the discretion of the editor. These articles are freely available to interested readers at ABT online.
ABT Departments and Commentary Sections
In addition to the four formal article categories, we also publish occasional commentaries from invited guests, the NABT president, and from the ABT editor, along with reviews of books, curriculum projects and educational products in a single department called NABT Resource Reviews.
ABT has also featured long-running contributions like Biology Today authored for many years by Maura Flannery and the current Sacred Bovines by Douglas Allchin. If you have an interest in writing in any of these special categories, please contact the ABT editor. Of course we also publish letters to the editor from readers and other interested individuals. Such letters may be edited for length and must include the name of the author in order to be considered. Occasionally, if the letter writer is pointing out some issue or problem with an ABT article, the author of that article will be given an opportunity to respond. Any response offered by the author would be published along with the original letter.
Please send manuscripts using the ABT Submission Guidelines that are available for download at the bottom of this page. Questions regarding manuscript topics and content should be sent to Dr. William F. McComas, ABT Editor, at ABTEditor@nabt.org. All other inquiries should be directed to Mark Penrose at email@example.com.
ABT has maintained a series of “theme” or focus issues designed both to collect related articles together and to inspire contributions .
The upcoming series of theme issue for upcoming issues of ABT are:
February 2015: Darwin and Evolution (Manuscripts due August 2014)
May 2015: Microbiology (Manuscripts due November 2014)
Contributing Photographs to The American Biology Teacher
The cover image is one of the hallmarks of The American Biology Teacher and we encourage you to submit an image that you believe could grace the cover of our journal. Our full color covers are selected based on the quality, originality, and composition of the image along with the story that can be told about the organism or scene featured in the photograph. Instructions and image submission requirements can be found in the ABT Submission Guidelines.
We encourage authors to submit photographs with their articles, but these are best sent to us after the article has been accepted. These photographs will be used at the discretion of the designers and on a space-available basis. Please make sure that all subjects have submitted an agreement that their images may be published and ensure that all subjects are using applicable safety equipment (particularly goggles, etc.). Please be sure that all images submitted are properly labeled.
Photographers may also submit images for a new feature that will highlight “mystery images.” These pictures do not have to be of the same digital quality as those for the cover and will feature some organism or part of an organism that is generally unknown to our readers. We will use these images on a space available basis. The idea is that readers will be asked the question “What is It?” and the answer will appear elsewhere in the issue. So, please write a few sentences to accompany the picture and tell the story of what it is.
Please submit all photos and inquiries about photographs to the Kathleen Westrich, ABT Assistant Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org, who is responsible for this feature of the journal.
New Initiatives for The American Biology Teacher
In an attempt to broaden the appeal of ABT and encourage new authors, two new initiatives are available, both of which require the involvement of readers and authors.
The first plan is called “Biology is Elementary” and is designed to take one of the Inquiry and Investigation activities and “translate” it for use in the upper elementary or middle school environment. This translation will involve the addition of a page of additional material that helps teachers of younger students understand what it takes to use the basic strategy by changing some of the instructions, reducing the amount of measurement (in other words turning a quantitate lab into a qualitative one) and similar notions. This could be done by the original author(s) or could be done by other authors with interest and expertise in the area of elementary science instruction. If you are interested in being one of these Biology is Elementary authors, please contact the editor.
In a similar way, the ABT Writing Assistance Program is designed to couple members with great ideas with those who are ready to help turn these ideas into publishable manuscripts. At the NABT Professional Development Conference, there are countless good ideas shared with members but only rarely do these ideas end up in the pages of ABT. We would like to change that by providing a service whereby the developer of the idea is assigned a writing partner (who both share credit for the final article). If you are interested in being one of our ABT Writing Assistants, please contact the editor.
2014 ABT Manuscript Submission Guidelines
American Biology Teacher Subscription Information