Unformatted text preview: Scientific Writing
Dana J. Lawrence, DC Why do scientists write?
Why To win fame To get promotions To extend knowledge But… The primary reason is that communication
The is essential if science is to progress
is Three Sets of Preliminary
Questions First, are you studies designed to answer
First, the question you are asking?
the Second, do your experiments meet
accepted ethical standards?
accepted Third, have you arranged to record the
details of your work as it proceeds?
details Main Steps for Preparing Research
for Assess Work Choose journal (get Instructions and read
them) Write working title and main headings Construct outline Get necessary permissions Choose and design tables and figures Main Steps for Preparing Research
for Publication (Cont.)
for Write first draft and present preliminary
paper Bury draft for a short while Prepare reference list Revise structure Revise style Have colleagues review and revise again Prepare final version of paper Deciding Whether and When to
Write Is your work really worth writing about? A paper worth publishing records:
paper “significant experimental, theoretical or
observational extensions of knowledge, or
advances in the application of known
principles.” (O’Connor and Woodford
1975) Deciding Whether and When to
Write Ask if your tentative conclusions are
Ask clearly related to the question you set out
to answer. What Kind of Paper
What Long paper with detailed discussion? Short communication for rapid publication? Do not slice paper into several smaller
Do papers (“salami” publication)
papers Multiple papers from one research study
arises from large-scale studies taking
many years or which fall into discrete parts
many Who are the Readers
What is the Journal It is important to keep who the reader is in
mind Knowing the audience will help you
choose the correct journal
choose Question 1
Question Which journals do the people you hope to
Which reach prefer to read?
reach Question 2
Question Which journals print papers of the kind and
Which length you propose to write?
length Question 3
Question Which are the well established journals in
Which your field?
your Question 4
Question Which journals are of high scientific quality
Which but have moderately low rejection rates
(say 30% of submissions or less)?
(say Question 5
Question Which journals are covered by the main
Which abstracting and title-listing services, or
indexing Question 6
Question Which journals have editors who are
Which highly regarded in their fields of science
and provide prompt, fair and helpful
reviewing? Question 7
Question Which journals are published often enough
Which to give your paper a chance of appearing
within 6weeks to 9 months of acceptance
(depending on whether the journal is a
rapid results journals or one with a slower
publication Question 8
Question Which journals require authors to be
Which members of the society which owns or
sponsors the journal?
sponsors Question 9
Question Which journals have page charges or
Which submission charges?
submission Question 10
Question Which journals print high quality
Which photographs (ie, electron micrographs)
and which accept color photographs, if
these are essential to your work?
these Question 11
Question Which journals provide offprints or
Which reprints, which provide them free of
charge, how many do they provide, and
what do extra copies cost (if
offprints/reprints are important to you)?
offprints/reprints Question 12
Question Which journals use a standard reference
Which system that you can cope with easily?
system A Few Words on Instructions to
Authors Read them! They are designed to promote swift and
They accurate publication and to save money.
accurate Summary of Session 1
Summary Answer preliminary questions about the
Answer direction, content and organization of your
work Assess whether it is ripe for submission Decide whether to write a short or longer
paper Decide who your readers are Get the Instructions and read them ...
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- Fall '11