Useful Resources

Here you can find books, journal articles, websites and videos about scientific writing and publishing.

Books

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association - 6th edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (APA).

An essential reference book that explains the formula and gives guidelines for writing scientific articles. Recommended for Ph.D. candidates at the beginning of their doctoral career. (Be sure to check for the newest edition).


Day, R.A., Gastel, B. (2011). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper - 7th edition. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.

A classic "how-to" manual for writing and publishing journal articles. Especially recommend parts V and VI (on writing a review paper, a book chapter or a poster for a conference).


Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (APA).

A brilliant guide on how to increase writing productivity by using motivational tools and overcoming typical writer's blocks.


Silvia, P. J. (2014). Write It Up: Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (APA).

Highly recommended for two main reasons: first, it shows how to deal with the process of publishing journal articles; and second, it teaches how to use the right tone and style to make a manuscript more convincing. Recommended specifically for Ph.D. candidates with intermediate experience.


Strunk, W., White, E. B. (2000). The Elements of Style - 4th edition. New York: Longman.

An excellent small book with tips for writing clear, concise and grammatically correct English. The authors present succinct sets of rules, such as "Elementary Rules of Usage" and "Elementary Rules of Composition" and provide explanations and clear examples. Chapter IV is particularly recommended an illuminating guide on "Words and expressions commonly misused".


Zinsser, W. (2006). On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction - 30th Anniversary edition. New York: HarperCollins.

A bestseller in the field of nonfiction writing. Zinsser covers many topics, including writing simplicity, cluttering non-useful words, personal writing style, writing tone, unity in writing, "The Lead and the Ending" of an article and confidence in writing.


Journal Articles

Adams, J. Collaborations: The Rise of Research Networks. Nature. 2012; 490:335-6. doi: 10.1038/490335a.

This article highlights the benefits of collaboration and networking in research (for example having access to more expertise and resources and improving the chances of getting cited).


Annesley, T. M. Top 10 Tips for Responding to Reviewer and Editor Comments. Clin Chem. 2011; 57:551-4. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2011.162388.

A small guide on how to communicate with editors and reviewers. The authors provide examples of decision letters from journals and acknowledge some of the great work done by editors and reviewers.


Benos, D.J., Kirk, K.L., Hall, J.E. How to Review a Paper. Adv Physiol Educ. 2003; 27:47-52.

A concise guide on how to analyse a journal article, including the importance and responsibility of reviewers. Table 1 provides useful criteria for reviewing a journal article.


Björk BC, Solomon D. Open Access Versus Subscription Journals: A Comparison of Scientific Impact. BMC Med. 2012; 10:73. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-73.

This article addresses the controversy over whether or not open access journals have the same scientific impact as subscription journals: the final answer is yes (almost).


Boice, R. The Neglected Third Factor in Writing: Productivity. Coll Compos Commun. 1985; 36:472-480.

A fundamental article presenting empirical evidence that shows that scheduling writing sessions and writing regularly enhances writing productivity.


Brown, T. Journal Quality Metrics: Options to Consider Other Than Impact Factors. Am J Occup Ther. 2011; 65:346-50.

A very useful article explaining quality metrics other than the impact factor, such as Eigenfactor Score, Article Influence Score, h-index, SCImago Journal Rank and Source Normalised Impact per Paper.


Brownell, S.E., Price, J.V., Steinman, L. Science Communication to the General Public: Why We Need to Teach Undergraduate and Graduate Students This Skill as Part of Their Formal Scientific Training. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2013; 12:E6-E10.

An article from the field of education that highlights the problem of scientists not receiving formal training in science communication. The authors provide recommendations on how to develop training courses in science communication.


Butler, D. Investigating Journals: The Dark Side of Publishing. Nature. 2013; 495:433-5. doi: 10.1038/495433a.

An article about the recent explosion of open access journals that provides a helpful checklist to assess the quality of publishers.


Figg, W.D., Dunn, L., Liewehr, D.J., Steinberg, S.M., Thurman, P.W., et al. Scientific Collaboration Results in Higher Citation Rates of Published Articles. Pharmacotherapy. 2006; 26:759-67.

This article encourages increased collaboration in journal articles.


Gardiner, M., Kearns, H. Turbocharge Your Writing Today. Nature. 2011; 475:129-130. doi: 10.1038/nj7354-129a.

An encouraging article on how to become a "snack" writer.


Glover, N.M., Antoniadi, I., George, G. M., Götzenberger, L., Gutzat, R., et al. A Pragmatic Approach to Getting Published: 35 Tips for Early Career Researchers. Front Plant Sci. 2016; 7:610. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00610.

A very useful article providing advice to increase the chances of acceptance of journal articles.


Harvey, H.B., Weinstein, D.F. Predatory Publishing: An Emerging Threat to the Medical Literature. Acad Med. 2017; 92:150-151. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001521.

An informative article that increases awareness of the emerging problem of predatory publishing and provides solutions to protect medical literature.


Hirsch, J. E. Does the H Index Have Predictive Power? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007; 104:19193-8.

This article presents evidence that the h-index is the best indicator to assess the individual scientific publication's impact.


Ioannidis, J.P. Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS Med. 2005; 2:e124.

Probably the most famous and provocative publication of Prof. Ioannidis, focusing on the critical issue of the reproducibility of scientific studies.


Liumbruno GM, Velati C, Pasqualetti P, Franchini M. How to Write a Scientific Manuscript for Publication. Blood Transfus. 2013; 11:217-26. doi: 10.2450/2012.0247-12.

A mini-guide about how to write each section of a manuscript.


Marusic A, Wager E, Utrobicic A, Rothstein HR, Sambunjak D. Interventions to Prevent Misconduct and Promote Integrity in Research and Publication. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 4:MR000038. doi: 10.1002/14651858.MR000038.pub2.

A classic Cochrane Review: focuses on plagiarism prevention and research ethics.


McDowell, G. S., Polka, J.K. Junior Researchers: Fewer Papers Would Scotch Early Careers. Nature. 2016; 534:621. doi: 10.1038/534621b.

An interesting point of view in the debate about what is the best publishing strategy for young scientists.


No authors listed. Science Publishing: How to Stop Plagiarism. Nature. 2012; 481:21-3. doi: 10.1038/481021a.

Ten experts give advice about how to avoid plagiarism.


O'Connor, T.R., Holmquist, G.P. Algorithm for Writing a Scientific Manuscript. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2009; 37:344-8. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20329.

Recommended because it provides an intriguing algorithm for writing a scientific article the authors suggest starting a manuscript by first designing the tables and the figures.


Sarewitz, D. The Pressure to Publish Pushes Down Quality. Nature. 2016; 533:147. doi: 10.1038/533147a.

This editorial proclaims that "Scientists should publish less" in order to preserve high quality research.


Seglen, P., O. Why the Impact Factor of Journals Should Not be Used for Evaluating Research. BMJ. 1997; 314:498-502.

This provocative article highlights the problem of considering only impact factor as the criterion for evaluating the quality of journals.


Singh, V., Mayer, P. Scientific Writing: Strategies and Tools for Students and Advisors. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2014; 42:405-13. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20815.

This pragmatic article is recommended for two reasons: first, it gives an extensive list of software-tools that are useful for writing; and second, it provides an extensive list of writing guides and their strengths.


Sullivan, G.M. So You Want to Write? Practices That Work. J Grad Med Educ. 2013; 5:357-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-13-00204.1.

A mini-guide that provides advice on how to become a more productive writer.


Walker, R., Rocha da Silva, P. Emerging Trends in Peer Review-A Survey. Front Neurosci. 2015; 9:169. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00169.

An extensive review about the flaws of the classical peer review system and the possible introduction of alternative systems for peer review.


Zhang W. Ten Simple Rules for Writing Research Papers. PLoS Comput Biol. 2014; 10:e1003453. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003453.

Ten pragmatic rules for writing research articles. Especially recommended is the rule number two: "Less is more".


Websites

"Becoming a productive academic writer"

Helpful advice to increase writing productivity, such as "avoid binge writing".


"The 5-Step Writing Process: From Brainstorming to Publishing"

How to organize the process of writing and publishing into five steps.


"Tips for Publishing in Scientific Journals"

From an editor of Science, pragmatic advice for publishing journal articles.


Website of the Academic Writing Club

Join the Academic Writing Club - working together, scientists become more productive.


Nature: Author Resources

Workflow on how to publish a paper in Nature.


"Writing the Empirical Journal Article"

A detailed guide with suggested Dos and Don'ts for writing empirical articles.


"How to write consistently boring scientific literature"

An interesting article that provides recommendations for writing boring scientific articles.


"How to get published in high-impact journals: Big research and better writing"

This blog in Naturejobs provides helpful tips about how to publish in high impact journals.


Top 20 best free online plagiarism checker tools and websites

A list of 20 free tools to detect plagiarisms.


Elsevier Author Workshop

From Elsevier, a mini-workshop on "How to write a scientific paper... and get it published".


Guidelines about research reporting

A list of the major guidelines for reporting different types of biomedical research.


"The top 100 papers"

From 2014, a list compiled by Nature of the 100 most cited papers of all time.


"How to Prepare a Manuscript for International Journals - part I"

An experienced editor shares the "six things to do before writing your manuscript".


"How to Prepare a Manuscript for International Journal - part II"

An experienced editor imparts the "11 steps to structuring a science paper editors will take seriously".


"Writing Clear and concise sentences"

A small, helpful guide that aims to improve sentences.


"Secret of good Science Writing"

A series of articles from The Guardian that focus on good scientific writing.


"EASE Toolkit for Authors"

From the European Association of Science Editors, a collection of guidelines and resources for Scientific Writing and Publishing.


Sherpa-Romeo

A resource to check general copyright conditions of journals.


"How to Publish? Step by Step"

A step-by-step guide for publishing, from Springer.


COPE Resources

Resources about publication ethics, from the Committee on Publication Ethics.


"What exactly does an editor do?"

From Elsevier, an article about the routine tasks of editors.


Elsevier Publishing Campus

Possibilities to attend online lectures on the topic: "What makes a great journal paper?"


Journal Guide

A tool that helps with choosing the appropriate target journal for a manuscript.


Scimago Journal & Country Rank

A tool that helps to rank journals.


"Choosing your words and improving your writing"

From the University of Nottingham, helpful resources about standard sentence structures in scientific writing.


Language-editing services

A list of language editing services that might be useful for publication.


Videos

TED Talk: "Talk Nerdy to me"

In this TED talk, Melissa Marshall speaks about the importance of communicating science to the general public.


"How to Publish a Lot and Still Have a Life"

Dr. Paul Silvia talks about his book "How to write a lot".


"Sainani SciWrite 1.1"

A series of lectures about writing in Sciences, from the Stanford University School of Medicine.


"15 Writing Apps to Help You Write Papers and Essays Faster - College Info Geek"

Helpful Apps and tools for removing writer´s block, and writing faster.


"Becoming a scientific journal editor"

From a senior editor at Nature, a few tips about how to become a journal editor and which skills are required for the job.