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Can (and should) scientists become great presenters?

September 11, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

“When people like you [scientists & PhD students] talk about their research, half of the time even your peers don’t understand what the hell you are talking about, and when they do understand they find it boring. That’s the sad truth.” – Dr. Jean-luc Doumont From Presentation Zen blog by Garr Reynolds, forwarded to me […]

How to read and understand a scientific paper

August 31, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing, Writing  

Brian Curran sends along this great blog post about how to read and understand a scientific paper. The subtitle is a guide for nonscientists, but Brian points out that even scientists could benefit from this information. In fact, I would say that many of the questions asked by the author are valuable in constructing a […]

Help readers find your article online: Search engine optimization

August 10, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing  

The point of writing a scientific article is to get it read. How do you ensure that your article will reach the largest possible audience? Search engine optimization. I found this web page from Wiley about how to optimize your article for search engines. Optimizing your article for search engines will greatly increase its chance […]

Speaking and writing so your audience understands you

August 10, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Brian Curran forwarded me this article about how to communicate with the public in active voice using straightforward, easy-to-understand language. Reading this article took me back to my time in Finland a few years ago. I loved to use colorful language and turns of phrases when I lived in the U.S. Then, in Finland, I […]

Every sentence in your scientific paper should meet these criteria.

July 25, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Each sentence should be clear Each sentence should make sense. Each sentence should be supported by evidence. If you can’t defend it, remove it.

Should peer reviewers be suggested by authors?

July 10, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Reviewing  

A recent editorial by Mounir Fawzi in Middle East Current Psychiatry asks the above question. The paper concludes: Traditionally, peer reviewers are designated by the editor. However, a recent trend, which is followed by the MECPsych, is to give authors an opportunity to suggest reviewers for their manuscripts. A few studies have compared author-suggested reviewers […]

Can you list acknowledgements in your CV?

July 2, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

From reader Ivan comes this question: “I would like to hear your comments about the practice of mentioning people in the Acknowledgement section of the reviewed papers. E.g. Can acknowledged person add this information in its CV? My impression is that this would motivate people to assist their peers more often and relax some of […]

Publishing companies recognize the benefits of open access when money is involved

July 1, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

When the open-access movement first started making progress against the publishing industry, the industry fought hard to claim that open access did not have the perceived benefit that some authors were claiming that it did: two to six times more citations for being open access (Harnad 2004). They published an article in the Journal of […]

An example of eloquent science (V. E. Suomi 1979)

July 1, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Writing  

The following text was written in 1979 by Verner E. Suomi from the Foreword of the report Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. Truly eloquent science! Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment. Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate to the Climate Research Board, Assembly of Mathematical and […]

More on using appropriate scientific terminology: “Super moon”

June 24, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Writing  

I’ve talked about the importance of choosing appropriate words when you need to introduce new scientific terminology here and here and (loosely) here. With the full moon in its orbit being closer to the Earth than normal, the media has been fixated on the “super moon” being 14% larger and 30% brighter than it normally […]

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