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Review in Progress in Physical Geography

October 27, 2010   Filed under Blog, News, Reviews  

I am wishing that more scientists would follow the advice given in David Schultz’s excellent new book. The chapters are short – around ten pages each, on average – and self-contained. Therefore, readers may dip into and out of particular chapters of interest, if they prefer not to read the whole book sequentially. One reason […]

“Unnecessary” Quotation Marks

October 27, 2010   Filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Writing  

I think people use quotation marks too often in scientific manuscripts. Be brave. Boldly define your term and use it sans quotation marks. It’s good to know that someone else thinks like me. Let me introduce you to The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks.

Check your reference list!

October 19, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

A recent paper published in Scientometrics by Robert Lopresti looks at the accuracy of citations in the five leading environmental science journals. Lopresti found that 24.4% of the references in the reference list had errors in them. Almost half of the errors were in the authors names. Almost 30% of the errors were in the […]

“Even referees were not infallible.” – L. F. Richardson

October 12, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing, Uncategorized  

Happy 129th birthday (11 October 1881) to Lewis Fry Richardson, who pioneered the first numerical weather prediction and for whom the Richardson number is named. Jim Matthew of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society lent me a copy of his biography Prophet or Professor? by Oliver Ashford. As I was reading it today, I came across the […]

Who wrote the first abstract in a scientific journal article?

October 6, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

I have often wondered how we came to the modern scientific article. One question that I had that I researched, but was unable to turn up anything on was who started the boldface and italics in the reference format for journal volume number and journal name (varies by discipline and by journal). One question that […]

Review in Progress in Physical Geography

October 6, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, News, Reviews  

Progress in Physical Geography has just published a review written by Dr. Paul Williams (Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading). In summary, I highly recommend this book. The author is well qualified, being both an expe- rienced leader of communications workshops and an award-winning journal editor. The writ- ing is clear (as you […]

History of the Scientific Article

September 26, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured  

I just finished reading a fascinating book, if you are interested in the history of how scientific literature came to be. It’s called Communicating Science: The Scientific Article from the 17th Century to the Present by Gross, Harmon, and Reidy. As the book describes, previous studies of the literature have focused on specific periods, regions, […]

Leonard Cohen on songwriting

September 25, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the similarities between being a musical performer and being a scientist. I was listening to Leonard Cohen on my way to work the other day, and I was reminded of an interview where he discussed his songwriting process in more depth than you normally hear from an […]

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? 10,000 Hours

September 25, 2010   Filed under Blog, Featured, Popular, Writing has had an interesting series of articles (two of them are here and here) about the creativity originating from working in pairs: think Lennon and McCartney, Joel and Ethan Cohen, Richards and Jagger. In the second installment, Joshua Wolf Shenk said about the two Beatles: The nature of John and Paul’s intimacy evolved over […]

Judging a book by its cover

September 16, 2010   Filed under Blog, News, Potpourri  

I was pleased to see that Eloquent Science was one of six books selected for review by CAPjournal (CAP=Communicating Astronomy with the Public) as part of an article entitled “Reading about Science Communication.” The review, however, was a mixed bag. Following up from a communication workshop organised by the American Meteorological Society, this book is […]

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