Category Archives: Writing

Hints and tips about how to write papers that conform with our expectations

Complete and unambiguous complementarity

In writing research papers, should we be more careful in how we cite literature that supports our own findings? All too often, the nuances and tensions are overlooked. But they are the most important aspects Continue reading

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Secondary referencing

Secondary referencing is considered to be poor academic practice. It is important┬áto find the original papers and cite them, or explain in a footnote why the original papers are no longer available or accessible. Merely mentioning that someone else has … Continue reading

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Why do journals insist that data ‘are’?

Why do journals insist that data 'are'?.

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How to decide on active or passive voice

A common problem in writing is deciding on whether to use active or passive voice. There is a general tradition in scientific writing of writing in the third person, and avoid writing in the first person. But that is not … Continue reading

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How to compose an introduction

The introduction should provide the setting for the paper, introduce the reader to the topic under investigation and provide at least a partial description of what is to come. It can be useful to also explain how you have structured … Continue reading

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Salami-slicing

Salami-slicing is the practice of reporting one piece of research many times in different papers, each time with a slightly different spin, often to different journals. I came across this today (again), when the editor of another journal invited me … Continue reading

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How to avoid desk-rejection

Before papers are sent for refereeing, editors check newly-submitted papers for a range of features. Authors can check these things themselves, and increase the likelihood that their papers will proceed from the editor’s desk and into the refereeing process. This … Continue reading

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How to write informative abstracts

Abstracts are frequently the least informative part of a paper. They should be the most informative part. Continue reading

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How to write editorial notes

Each issue of the journal contains an introductory editorial column. One of the purposes of this is to make the papers accessible to a wider audience, and to suggest the practical or academic relevance of the work. On acceptance of … Continue reading

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How to write an informative and helpful covering letter

The primary purpose of the covering letter is to explain what the paper is about, why it is important and how the research was done, with particular reference to the aims and scope of the journal. The Editor’s first decision … Continue reading

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