Word Count Limits
For written work, the word count must be between 2,500-5,000 words, with the exception of the following categories, which can be up to 12,000 words long:
- Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Computer Science
- Earth & Environmental Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Mathematics & Physics
- Medical Sciences
The submission criteria allows for a 10% leeway over the maximum word count of your chosen category. For example, if the word count of your category is 5,000 words, then a paper of 5,500 words will be accepted. If the paper is over 5,500 words, however, it will be counted as over the maximum word count, and will be disqualified. Papers with a word count below the minimum of 2,500 words will be disqualified. There is no leeway under the minimum word count.
The word count requirements for our portfolio-based categories, Visual Arts and Architecture & Design, are a bit different. For more information on these categories, please see our website FAQs.
Word Count Guidelines
The following elements DO contribute to the word count:
- In-text citations
- Image/figure captions
The following elements DO NOT contribute to the word count:
- Bibliography or works cited pages
- Submission title
- Table of contents
- List of abbreviations
- Tables of figures
Abstract word count
Abstracts must be between 100-300 words in length. There is a 10% leeway on the upper word limit.
If you have a small additional piece of information that is pushing your paper over the word count, you are allowed to place it in the appendix and refer to it in your paper.
It is important for entrants to note that the appendix should ONLY contain information or material supporting the body of the paper, as opposed to introducing any new information.