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Writing Scientific Papers for Publication

Written Communication

You've done incredible research and know your content but your reputation and success relies on how you write it down.

It's time to tell the world about your research, methods, findings or innovation and writing it down is still the best way to communicate your information. Your audience may be others in your field (technical) or those that might fund future endeavors (non-technical). The way that you write will reflect not only on you but also the validity of your work.

Make sure you are creating a confident image so your audience believes you.

Instructor Led

Course Outline

This course provides participants with hands-on experience in preparing a research or technical paper for publication in a scientific or trades journal.  It is particularly geared to postgraduate course scientists and researchers working in a business or government environment.  

The two-day session will be divided into approximately 35% lecture and 65% practical exercises and individual writing. 

Each participant is asked to bring a topic he or she can develop into a scientific paper and a list of journals that might publish it. During the course the participants prepare an outline for their papers and write the opening paragraphs of the Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and the Abstract. 

 This course covers:

1.  Choosing the Journal and Identifying the Audience

  • Determining whether the paper will report research findings or deliver scientific news
  • Developing an annotated bibliography of potential publications
  • Identifying the most appropriate publication and its audience
  • Identifying the publishers manuscript and submission requirements
  • Identifying the standard of peer review

2.  Writing the Introduction

  • Determining readers' level of scientific knowledge (in the writer's area of expertise)
  • Writing for the scientific yet "lay" reader
  • Organizing information into topic groups
  • Focusing readers' attention on key issues
  • Stating the problem or research objective right up front
  •  Following immediately with the results and their effect or impact
  • Describing briefly and succinctly what was done and the difficulties that were encountered
  • Inserting a topic sentence at the start of each paragraph
  • Differentiating between "need to know" and "nice to know" details
  • Writing a literature review
  • Inserting recommendations for future research

3.  Tone and Style

  • Considering tone and style
  • Deciding whether to use active or passive voice
  • Avoiding jargon
  • Avoiding low-information-content expressions
  • Inserting tables and illustrations into the paper 

4.  Writing the Methods and the Results

  • Writing the Method:
  • -  Keeping the purpose constantly in mind (to validate the observations)
  • -  Avoiding overkill (to keep the section brief)
  • -  Using charts and diagrams to support the narrative
  • Writing the Results:
  • -  Ensuring they contain facts (not comments)
  • -  Achieving coherence and clarity
  • -  Using charts and tables to demonstrate the results
  • -  Avoiding reporting information already contained in The Method section

4.  Writing the Discussion and the Abstract

  • Writing the Discussion:
  • -  Allowing subjectivity to intrude
  • -  Ensuring logical presentation of points: stating each point and then proving it
  • -  Avoiding repeating information stated in the Introduction and Abstract
  • -  Inserting literature citations   
  • Writing the Abstract:
  • -  Keeping the Abstract short and cogent
  • -  Answering the reader's immediate questions: What did you do, and why?  What did you find out?
  • -  Remembering the reader is a lay person
  • -  Inserting a recommendation
  • -  Using technical abbreviations correctly

5.  Editing and Revising Techniques

  • Preparing a bibliography or list of references
  • Identifying the referencing method used by the target journal
  • Selecting key words
  • Working with the journal editor
  • Recognizing and using editorial notations/symbol               









Course Testimonials

I would like to commend the Instructors for keeping the course moving. This is not an easy topic to teach, and interest could have faded quickly.

I wish it was longer! (I can’t believe I said that about a writing course!)

The instructors made a dry topic very interesting.

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