How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper

How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper

How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper

How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper

Synopsis

This witty and practical guide to organizing, writing, and submitting scientific research for publication in a scholarly scientific journal is designed to help good scientists become good writers. Each edition of this popular work has quickly become an Oryx bestseller, and the new fifth edition has been extensively revised to reflect the significant impact of the Internet and other electronic resources on the writing and publishing of scientific papers.This new edition presents seven new chapters that cover the topics of equipment and software; electronic publishing formats; the Internet and the World Wide Web; publishing on the World Wide Web; electronic journals; e-mail and newsgroups; and searching for information on the Web. Many chapters from the previous edition have also been revised and updated.

Excerpt

Criticism and testing are of the essence of our work. This means that science is a fundamentally social activity, which implies that it depends on good communication. In the practice of science we are aware of this, and that is why it is right for our journals to insist on clarity and intelligibility. . . .

--Hermann Bondi

Good scientific writing is not a matter of life and death; it is much more serious than that.

The goal of scientific research is publication. Scientists, starting as graduate students, are measured primarily not by their dexterity in laboratory manipulations, not by their innate knowledge of either broad or narrow scientific subjects, and certainly not by their wit or charm; they are measured, and become known (or remain unknown) by their publications.

A scientific experiment, no matter how spectacular the results, is not completed until the results are published. In fact, the cornerstone of the philosophy of science is based on the fundamental assumption that original research must be published; only thus can new scientific knowledge be authenticated and then added to the existing database that we call scientific knowledge.

It is not necessary for the plumber to write about pipes, nor is it necessary for the lawyer to write about cases (except brief writing), but the research scientist, perhaps uniquely among the trades and professions, must provide a written document showing what he or she did, why it was done, how it was done, and what was learned from it. The key word is reproducibility. That is what makes science and scientific writing unique.

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