Monthly Archives: February 2017

Tips for Writing and Submitting Papers to Be Published in Scientific Journals

One of the biggest rewards for scientific researchers is to have their work published in a scientific journal. It allows them to share their success on a project, plus it helps gain exposure for their work. Before you sit down and start hammering out a piece of content you would like to have published, you will want to review these tips and suggestions.

Writing and Submitting Tips

Writing Tips

Writing the piece of content is one of the most important aspects to having it accepted for publication. You do not want to rush through the processes; otherwise, the piece will probably be rejected. The best place to start is to consider the target audience and adjust your writing to fit with their knowledge and educational levels. For instance, if you want to write a piece for teenagers and have it published in a scientific journal that is appropriate for their age group, you need to make sure the content can be easily understood and avoid using jargon that they might not be aware of or know.

Once you have identified your target audience, your next steps should include:

•  Find the Right Journal
• Review the Journal’s Author Guidelines and Scope
• Draft an Outline
• Review, Edit, and Modify the Outline
• Compose the Content
• Verify the Title Reflects the Theme
• Confirm the Abstract Captures the Main Points of the Paper
• Have Your Peers Read the Paper and Provide Feedback
• Revise the Paper as Needed
• Have the Contend Edited/Reviewed by a Professional

 

During the early stages, while you are creating the outline and preparing to write the paper, it is beneficial to review your research notebook and other reference notebooks where you documented your research to ensure you remain on topic.

Review your Research Notebook

When you are ready to submit your paper to the journal, you will want to make sure to include a cover letter. Cover letters provide the opportunity to impress the editors or chief editors of various journal publications. Consider it like having a face-to-face meeting to explain and persuade the editor to publish your paper. Cover letters should include several key components, not just a copied title and abstract from the paper.

• An Outline of the Main Theme
• Persuasive Arguments for the Importance of the Paper
• Justification of the Relevance for the Target Audience
• Acknowledgment of Colleagues and Peers that Already Reviewed the Paper and Their Feedback
Keep in mind, a cover letter should be concise and direct. It is easy to try to fit too much into the cover letter so that it ends up being several pages long. Rather, a good rule of thumb is to limit the cover letter to about half a page, but no more than a single page. Last, remember to thank the editor for his or her time and consideration.
In the event your paper is rejected, review the feedback provided and make revisions to the content before resubmitting it. For all of your lab, research, and scientific notebook needs, please feel free to contact SNCO today at 800.537.3028.

How to Find and Read Scientific Journal Articles

Any scientist worth his or her salt should be reading the latest studies and advancements being released in their field. Of course, keeping up with current scientific writing isn’t always easy. Not only are there many journals which publish scientific writing, but these journals are often hard to acquire, both because of their obscurity and because many of them are kept behind expensive paywalls.

How should an enterprising and intellectually curious scientific researcher go about finding and reading the latest scientific journal articles? We’ve got a few tips on where to start.

Scientific Journal Articles

Take Advantage of University Libraries

Academic institutions play an incredibly important part in developing scientific research. Even when certain research isn’t being done on a campus, the results of that research and much of the important discussion around it will be taking place in universities.

As such, school libraries are one of the best sources for scientific journals. Not only are they likely to have a large collection of new and old scientific journals and articles, but they are a good resource for finding out which journals, in particular, are the most worth reading. If you’re not taking advantage of your local university library, you’re letting a wonderful resource go to waste.

Use Online Search Tools

While doing a regular Google search for academic articles will get you a lot of chaff to wade through before you find what you’re looking for, there are several online search tools made specifically for locating academic writing. These include Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, and IEEE Xplore. All of these tools are great resources for searching out articles on specific subjects or doing a general search to find articles that pique your interest.

Understand the Structure

Scientific journal articles all tend to follow the same structure. First is the abstract, or the summary, of the entire paper. This is followed by the introduction, a section on material and methods, the explanation of the results, a discussion of said results, and, last, a section for any references to other published work that was included. Understanding this structure will not only allow you to make better sense of articles but to find the information you’re most interested in more quickly.

Read scientific journals

Read Both Research and Review Articles

Once you find a good source of scientific articles, it’s important to recognize what kind of article you’re reading. There are two basic types of article in scientific journals: the research article and the review article. The first type is what scientists write when they want to publicize the results of their experiments, and where they explain and defend their findings.

The second type, the review article, is where other scientists who have studied the data related to another group of scientists’ research articles go over the data and either confirm or question the findings. You probably recognize this as the peer review process, which is the heart of scientific research. To get the full range of what is happening in your field of study, it’s important to find not just the original research articles, but to read the responses to them as well.

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Standards for Keeping a Laboratory Notebook

In the scientific community, laboratory notebooks play an incredibly important role. More than being just a place to record random thoughts or observations, the purpose of a laboratory notebook is to exhaustively document experiments and observations to create a permanent, researchable record.

Properly maintaining a laboratory notebook allows for proper peer review, protects the integrity of experiments and tests, and allows scientists and labs to protect their intellectual property rights from unjust challenges.

In order to make sure your lab is doing everything it can to protect itself and its work, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the proper standards for keeping a scientific notebook.

Laboratory notebook standards

Record Everything

The scientific process is one of trial and error. Every step of the process should be documented in detail, so that every bit of information can be analyzed accurately. Even seemingly insignificant details should be recorded in a lab notebook, as controlling conditions exactly can often be the key to a successful experiment.

Make Clear Notes

It may seem obvious, but notes that no one can understand are essentially useless. In order to make sure that the records you keep are understandable, make sure to clearly note what you are talking about on any given page. Also be sure to include any sketches, diagrams, or other information that is necessary to understand the data.

Use Consecutive Pages

Using consecutive pages in your notebook (as opposed to skipping pages) allows lab scientists to create an accurate, chronological record of their work. This makes it easier to review the progress of an experiment and to protect the intellectual property of a lab if ownership of data is ever challenged.

While no scientist likes to think that they will have to contest the ownership of their data, the sad truth is that some unethical people will try to claim other people’s work as their own. When IP ownership is disputed, the party that is able to show records of the creative process – and their involvement in it – is the one that will win the case.

Lab notebook standards

Write in Ink

Laboratory notebooks should be written in ink so that everything recorded in them is permanent. By writing in ink, lab workers can be sure that no one can alter the data without leaving behind evidence. Also, since pencil writing can easily smear or become illegible, records made in permanent ink will last longer and are easier to read.

Have Coworkers Sign the Pages

In order to create an accurate record of the experiment process, lab scientists should have colleagues regularly review their pages, and then sign and date them to prove that they have performed a review. This step serves two purposes: It creates a system whereby laboratory work is regularly checked and reviewed for errors, and it also establishes a record of when data was recorded.

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