Monday, November 24, 2014

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Use your middle initial. Appear smarter.

October 31, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

A coauthor on a paper and I ended up discussing whether scientists should use their middle initial on a paper. An article entitled “The impact of middle names: Middle name initials enhance evaluations of intellectual performance” in the European Journal of Social Psychology addresses this issue. The abstract reads: Middle name initials often appear in […]

How to respond to reviewers: When two reviewers say the same thing

October 31, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing, Writing  

My coauthors and I were talking about the responses to the reviewers that we were writing for a paper that was in peer review. Because two of the reviewers raised issues about the same item, my coauthor wrote a thoughtful response to Reviewer #1, then, in response to Reviewer #2, said basically, “See our response […]

“Conclusions and Discussion”? What should you call the last section of your paper?

October 2, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Astute reader Colin Smith fired the following question my way: I find that many authors call their closing section “Conclusions and discussion”, rather than ‘Discussion and conclusions”. I prefer the latter because, to me, it is logical to first discuss your results in a wider context, and then draw conclusions. However, I also understand why […]

David Byrne: Inspiration for Good Science Writing

August 15, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Writing  

About a month ago, I had finished reading How Music Works by David Byrne (formerly of Talking Heads). I was always a big fan of the music of Talking Heads and Byrne, and I found his movie True Stories quirky. I am a huge musicophile, as well, and when I saw the book on the […]

BEST Journals demonstrate what it takes to be the best.

August 7, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

I wish I could say this was a joke, but it’s part of a real email from BEST Journals to me, asking me to submit my papers to them within the next four days. Gotcha. I wasn’t doing anything anyway. ————————- From: BEST Journals Subject: Calling for Origianl Papers Aug Edition Date: August 7, 2014 […]

The impact factor as a useful metric is becoming less useful.

August 5, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

With the release of the 2013 impact factors recently, I was reminded about a fascinating piece over at the London School of Economics and Political Science Impact Blog from a few years ago. The article argues that the relationship between impact factor and the citations by journal has been declining since 2012. The authors argue […]

How the Purpose of the Literature Review Affects How You Write It

July 20, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing  

Which is harder? Assembling the literature review for your dissertation or assembling the literature review for your journal article? Have you ever struggled with trying to assemble a literature review section? For your dissertation, you might be overwhelmed by the large number of papers in your discipline that you feel that you need to address. […]

Effective use of colors in meteorological visualizations

July 17, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Posters, Resources, Writing  

A new paper has appeared in the Early Online Releases at the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper is entitled,

Scientific integrity matters! Fabricated peer reviewers lead to 60 retractions.

July 11, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Reviewing  

Thanks to The Week‘s report, I was alerted to the 60 retracted articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control. The explanation and list of retracted papers is here. More saucy details can be found here. Kudos to the Editor-in-Chief Ali H. Nayfeh and SAGE for carrying out the investigation and retracting the papers. This […]

The importance of communication skills in the National Weather Service

June 20, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

As part of an online discussion forum, Wes Browning, Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in St. Louis, had this to say about the importance of communication skills. …as an NWS hiring official, I’d like to point out the critical importance of communications skills and training in operational emergency management (NIMS). […]

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