These guides are the result of a joint effort of the [email protected] project and the Colorado State University Writing Center. Development of these guides began in 1993, when the original Online Writing Center was developed for campus use at Colorado State University. Several guides were developed in Asymmetrix Multimedia Toolbook and then migrated to the web in 1996. Over the years, additional guides were developed and revised, reflecting the efforts of many writers and writing teachers. We thank them for their generosity. You can learn who developed a particular guide by clicking on the “contributors” link in that guide.
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Many young researchers find it extremely difficult to write scientific articles, and few receive specific training in the art of presenting their research work in written format. Yet, publication is often vital for career advancement, to obtain funding, to obtain academic qualifications, or for all these reasons. We describe here the basic steps to follow in writing a scientific article. We outline the main sections that an average article should contain; the elements that should appear in these sections, and some pointers for making the overall result attractive and acceptable for publication.
Guide to Grammar and Writing Choose help on a word and sentence level, a paragraph level, or an essay or research paper level.
Journals have professional copy editors to prepare the final text of papers for publication, but if you want your paper to receive at least a first read, make sure it doesn’t contain significant grammar, spelling, style, or typographical errors.
“Smith (1983) found that N-fixing plants could be infected by several different species of Rhizobium.”
It is important to cite sources in the introduction section of your paper as evidence of the claims you are making. There are ways of citing sources in the text so that the reader can find the full reference in the literature cited section at the end of the paper, yet the flow of the reading is not badly interrupted. Below are some example of how this can be done:
The Scientific Papers of the Future (SPF) is an initiative to encourage geoscientists to publish papers together with the associated digital products of their research. This means that a paper would include: 1) Documentation of datasets, including descriptions, unique identifiers, and availability in public repositories; 2) Documentation of software, including pre-processing of data and visualization steps, described with metadata and with unique identifiers and pointers to public code repositories; 3) Documentation of the provenance and workflow for each figure or result.
In the near future, scientists will routinely use new tools to develop research papers that will document all the associated digital objects (data, software, workflows, etc.). This will make science more open, promote fair credit of scientific contributions, and facilitate reproducibility.