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Workshop on Scientific Writing

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This 2-hours workshop explains the basics of manuscript writing, scientific communication, and how to avoid rejection by impact factor journals. Participants will make four hands-on exercises on identifying the forms of novelty, writing in English, structuring a powerful abstract and writing a Micro-Article. Dr. Eric Lichtfouse is Chief Editor of the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters. He is the author of the textbook Scientific Writing for Impact Factor Journals, Nova Publishers, and inventor of the Micro-Article, a new writing tool to identify novelty. He has been awarded the Highest Citation Increase for journal editing by the Essential Science Indicators. He has edited 3 journals and 50 books.

Publié dans : Sciences

Workshop on Scientific Writing

  1. 1. Workshop on Scientific Writing Eric LICHTFOUSE Aix-Marseille University Chief Editor, Environmental Chemistry Letters SIL2018 Nanjing Publications: https://cv.archives-ouvertes.fr/eric-lichtfouse
  2. 2. Types of publications It is possible to write several papers with one experiment… But writing is the most difficult part of research… Original article Data paper Method - Procedure Review article Book chapter Meta-Analysis Book - Monography Edited Book
  3. 3. The two pillars of the original article NOVELTY Clearly explained COMMUNICATIVE To a wide audience
  4. 4. Reviewer report 1. Overall decision Accept with minor changes/Accept with major changes/Reject 2. Rating and assessment of specific sections Novelty/originality versus current knowledge/methods: (0-10) Article clearly focussed on major point(s): (0-10) Sufficient experimentation: (0-10) Experimental quality: (0-10) Statistical analysis: (0-10) English: (0-10) Novelty is the most important
  5. 5. What is novelty? Novelty is what your result show versus actual knowledge It is a difference, an advance, an added value, a benefit, a progress Forms of novelty: - First observation - New object, species - New method - New concept, theory - Novel interpretation - Etc.
  6. 6. Practice 1: novelty What are the forms of novelty of these titles? 1. Method 2. Object, species 3. Trend 4. Concept, mechanism
  7. 7. Major writing errors Novelty unexplained or absent Unfocussed on one message, story or demonstration Non conform to instructions (strictly!) Societal issues not explained Undiscussed, irrelevant results Low quality figures Too many abbreviations A good paper is not a ‘sum’ of results, it is a single discovery evidenced by 2-3 converging results
  8. 8. Writing advices - Sentences should be short, monoverb, monomessage in the order subject-verb-object - Distinguish clearly your contribution from the rest: We… Here… In this study… - Distinguish your results from the rest: Our results… Our findings… - Write in paragraphs of 3-8 sentences. No sentence alone - A paragraph tells one story, message or demonstration - A paragraph is not a simple sum of sentences - Avoid references in paragraph last sentences, notably in discussions - Do not use empty words: affect, influence, important… - Avoid parentheses, replace by , ; : e.g. or split sentences - Avoid doubt in the abstract: could, should, may be… - Check reference match in the text versus list - Insert the digital object identifiers (DOI) in the reference list
  9. 9. Practice 2: writing Find the problem and try to rewrite
  10. 10. Abstract - Is a concentrate of other sections. - Shows clearly the contrast between existing knowledge and your discovery ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION RESULTS & DISCUSSION PROBLEM SOLUTION EXPERIMENTS
  11. 11. Abstract 33% - 3/4 Sentences BACKGROUND – ISSUES General, global, societal, economic Specific, scientific Knowledge limits, hypothesis EXPERIMENTAL Location, samples, methods Duration, parameters RESULTS - NOVELTY 1-3 Trends with data Interpretation Novelty Benefits 33% - 3/4 Sentences 33% - 3/4 Sentences
  12. 12. Practice 3: abstract structure We found that total investment for organic prawns was 17 % greater than for the non-organic prawn crop. In 2010 the pond dam of an aluminium manufacturing plant in Hungary broke and flooded many towns with toxic red mud. At least 10 people were dead and over 150 hospitalized. These findings demonstrate that the new nanocomposite is suitable for removal of Cs+ and Sr2+. We measured plant toxicity, trace metal availability and biomass production. This study represents the first report of HBI lipids in birds. Specifically, there is few knowledge on the extent and dynamics of farmer withdrawal. Our findings thus show that organic farming withdrawal in France is lower than 5 % of organic farms.
  13. 13. Practice 3: abstract structure We subjected aqueous nC60 suspensions to chlorination… Previous work reports the sorption of arsenite and arsenate on Fe-oxides in the presence of ligands. Whereas there is few knowledge… Results show a 25 % decrease in electrical conductivity of… However, operating the columns of these exchangers is very difficult. This issue may be overcome by the preparation and use of nanocomposites. Moreover, contrary to our hypothesis, manure amendment did not affect the stability of the microbial abundance. Our process-based method gives more insights than current methods based solely on motivations for opting out.
  14. 14. Practice 4: micro-article - Scientists get too many results - Identifying novelty is difficult, it can be unexpected, unpredicted This tool is made to select the new result AFTER experiments and BEFORE writing the full article 1. Select only one result 2. Fill the form 3. If you find novelty, write the full article 4. If not, FORGET the result and try another one If you get several problems, solve them one after the other… In other words, do not try to make a story with ALL your results, you will fail
  15. 15. Practice 4: micro-article 1. WRITING Fill the boxes with your result Report only one result Start by a simple figure showing a trend or a difference Write in small expressions (3-4 words) 2. SHARE WITH FRIEND BESIDE YOU Try understand friend article Ask questions, e.g. what is new?