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We all know that feeling…writing a manuscript and using the same words over and over again. Sometimes it’s really difficult to think of alternatives, especially when you’re trying to describe complex scientific protocols in the...

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Use of apostrophes in scientific writing

 

Generally, apostrophes indicate either two words that have been shortened into one word (e.g. isn’t) or indicate the relationship between two words (e.g. the boy’s ball). 

Words containing apostrophes are very common in...

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Using adverbs such as “additionally” and “however” as the building blocks of good scientific writing

 

Most students and researchers find it easy to collect information from the literature for the introduction or discussion section of their manuscript.

However, linking different facts together to produce logical,...

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Creating tables in scientific papers: row and column titles, units, error values and sample sizes

 
This is the second post in our series about creating and editing scientific tables. In the first post, we saw how basic table formatting and effective table titles could be used to improve an example of a poorly constructed table.

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Creating tables in scientific papers: basic formatting and titles

 

Tables are a very important part of scientific papers. A good table should present the data simply, clearly and neatly, and allow the reader to understand the results without having to look at other sections of the paper. A bad...

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How to avoid “claims of first discovery” but still tell readers your research is novel

 

Every researcher wants to tell the world they are the first to find out something new

Unfortunately, many journals’ instructions to authors specifically ask that you avoid using phrases like “we provide the first...

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One simple way make your scientific writing more professional

 

There is one phrase that you should leave out of your manuscripts:

 The results showed that……

 

This phrase repeatedly comes up in the papers we edit and our editors always delete it or change it....

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New tool makes it easy to find appropriate keywords for your manuscript

 

Selecting keywords for a scientific paper is often difficult, and it’s important to get the keywords right so readers can find your work. Your keywords must come from the list of approved keywords (MeSH library) maintained by the...

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Why are double negatives so confusing in scientific writing?

 

Recently, I was editing a manuscript and found a sentence that reminded me of the importance of avoiding “double negatives” in scientific writing.

The patient had no abnormal blood glucose or insulin levels.

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How to avoid 12 common scientific writing errors that annoy journal reviewers

 

In this post, I’m going to provide a quick overview of the most common basic errors our editors see in scientific manuscripts.

 

1. Check for spelling mistakes

This is obvious, yet it is surprising how many spelling mistakes our...

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