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Errata from Eloquent Science

July 27, 2015   Filed under Blog, Excerpts, Featured, News, Resources  

Here is a list of typos identified by the compositor of the book. These changes were not implemented at the time.   p. 53, 1st graph: OK to change “formating” to “formatting”? p. 53, 3rd graph: OK to change “conciousness” to “consciousness”? p. 86, 3rd graph of section 9.8: OK to change “parenthethical” to “parenthetical”? […]

Why the first letter of your last name matters

July 21, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri, Writing  

Sent from frequent reader and commenter Jon Zeitler: When individuals make choices from lists, does the list ordering matter? There may be a ‘primacy effect’, where individuals are biased towards selecting items earlier in the list. Conversely, there may be a ‘recency effect’, i.e. a tendency to select items towards the end of the […]

Step by Step from Writing to Publishing

June 15, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, News  

I will be offering online training in scientific publishing through the Virtual Medical Academy. Called “Step by Step from Writing to Publishing”, the course will last for four two-hour sessions starting on 24 August. To sign up, visit the Virtual Medical Academy here. If you cannot make this session, I will likely conduct more in […]

How to Get Your PhD Published: Workshop for Saudi Students Club in Manchester

April 20, 2015   Filed under Featured, News  

Eloquent Science will be presenting a workshop at the Saudi Students Club of Manchester on Saturday 25 April 2015 at the Samuel Alexander Arts Theatre on “How to get your PhD published”. The workshop will last from 11 a.m. to about 4 p.m. (Image source:

New resource for teaching students how to find, read, and use the literature

April 15, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Writing  

The UK Higher Education Academy just published our second report in the series How to Succeed at University in GEES Disciplines: Enhancing your Information Literacy Skills. (GEES is Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences.) I wrote this with coauthor Rich Waller at Keele University. Contents include finding and assessing scientific literature, critical reading, citing sources and […]

The Importance of Thinking Before Writing

March 21, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing, Writing  

I was helping a student with a paper he was writing. He said a lot of interesting things, just not being very effective at what he was trying to convey. Here was my advice to him. If you can write down 1–3 bulleted sentences that convey your principal results or points that you want to […]

Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism Policy

March 5, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

Recently, I had the opportunity to help develop a policy for plagiarism and self-plagiarism for the journals of the American Meteorological Society. That policy was published in the February 2015 issues of the various journals. Although the policy for plagiarism was perhaps not too surprising, the policy on self-plagiarism is, as far as I can […]

Is the university seminar dying?

March 5, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations  

When I reminisce about the educational experiences that most prepared me for a career in academia, attending the weekly seminar series was one of the more important influences. I had the opportunity to be exposed to such seminars at a number of different universities and research laboratories throughout my career, and they served similar purposes. […]

Cleveland Abbe’s “The Teacher and the Student” (1909)

February 8, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri  

This short essay was published in Monthly Weather Review in January 1909, as part of the Summary of 1908 (p. 453). The text is copied verbatim, including what we would now recognize as non-gender-neutral language and grammatical errors. THE TEACHER AND THE STUDENT The good work that is done in meteorology is often accomplished by […]

Godwin’s Law for Emails to Journal Editors

January 30, 2015   Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing  

“…there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.” – Wikipedia entry for Godwin’s Law I am proposing a corollary: Godwin’s Law for Emails to Journal Editors. If […]

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