The 10 best books on writing a scientific paper
As a postdoc and along all your scientific career, you are expected to share your research work with the scientific community in various forms: scientific papers, oral communications or poster presentations in conferences.
The most important of these forms is certainly to write a paper for peer-reviewed publication, which is a crucial part of the careers of all scientists in order to have their work recognised and possibly progress in their scientific career. Indeed, the number of papers you publish and their importance (as suggested by their impact factor) are often viewed as a reflection of your scientific achievements.
Thus, it is of high importance for early career scientists, and especially postdocs, to become effective writers as early as possible in their scientific career.
How can postdocs write a good scientific paper?
We have a good news for you: you do not have to be a good writer to write a good scientific paper, but you do have to know the standard structure and rules in order to carefully write a paper that fits with the expectations of the reviewers, the journal editors and of course, your future readers.
Thus, we have selected for you 10 books that will teach you how to become more effective in writing high-quality scientific papers!
|Top||Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, (Chicago Style for Students and Researchers)||When Kate L. Turabian first put her famous guidelines to paper, she could hardly have imagined the world in which today’s students would be conducting research. Yet while the ways in which we research and compose papers may have changed, the fundamentals remain the same: writers need to have a strong research question, construct an evidence-based argument, cite their sources, and structure their work in a logical way. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations—also known as “Turabian”—remains one of the most popular books for writers because of its timeless focus on achieving these goals. This new edition filters decades of expertise into modern standards. While previous editions incorporated digital forms of research and writing, this edition goes even further to build information literacy, recognizing that most students will be doing their work largely or entirely online and on screens. Chapters include updated advice on finding, evaluating, and citing a wide range of digital sources and also recognize the evolving use of software for citation management, graphics, and paper format and submission. The ninth edition is fully aligned with the recently released Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, as well as with the latest edition of The Craft of Research. Teachers and users of the previous editions will recognize the familiar three-part structure. Part 1 covers every step of the research and writing process, including drafting and revising. Part 2 offers a comprehensive guide to Chicago’s two methods of source citation: notes-bibliography and author-date. Part 3 gets into matters of editorial style and the correct way to present quotations and visual material. A Manual for Writers also covers an issue familiar to writers of all levels: how to conquer the fear of tackling a major writing project. Through eight decades and millions of copies, A Manual for Writers has helped generations shape their ideas into compelling research papers. This new edition will continue to be the gold standard for college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines.||464||2018||Buy Now|
|Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited and Proposals That Get Funded||As a scientist, you are a professional writer: your career is built on successful proposals and papers. Success isn't defined by getting papers into print, but by getting them into the reader's consciousness. Writing Science is built upon the idea that successful science writing tells a story. It uses that insight to discuss how to write more effectively. Integrating lessons from other genres of writing with those from the author's years of experience as author, reviewer, and editor, the book shows scientists and students how to present their research in a way that is clear and that will maximize reader comprehension. The book takes an integrated approach, using the principles of story structure to discuss every aspect of successful science writing, from the overall structure of a paper or proposal to individual sections, paragraphs, sentences, and words. It begins by building core arguments, analyzing why some stories are engaging and memorable while others are quickly forgotten, and proceeds to the elements of story structure, showing how the structures scientists and researchers use in papers and proposals fit into classical models. The book targets the internal structure of a paper, explaining how to write clear and professional sections, paragraphs, and sentences in a way that is clear and compelling. The ideas within a paper should flow seamlessly, drawing readers along. The final section of the book deals with special challenges, such as how to discuss research limitations and how to write for the public. Writing Science is a much-needed guide to succeeding in modern science. Its insights and strategies will equip science students, scientists, and professionals across a wide range of scientific and technical fields with the tools needed to communicate effectively.||221||2011||Buy Now|
|Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, Second Edition: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)||“Wow. No one ever told me this!” Wendy Laura Belcher has heard this countless times throughout her years of teaching and advising academics on how to write journal articles. Scholars know they must publish, but few have been told how to do so. So Belcher made it her mission to demystify the writing process. The result was Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, which takes this overwhelming task and breaks it into small, manageable steps. For the past decade, this guide has been the go-to source for those creating articles for peer-reviewed journals. It has enabled thousands to overcome their anxieties and produce the publications that are essential to succeeding in their fields. With this new edition, Belcher expands her advice to reach beginning scholars in even more disciplines. She builds on feedback from professors and graduate students who have successfully used the workbook to complete their articles. A new chapter addresses scholars who are writing from scratch. This edition also includes more targeted exercises and checklists, as well as the latest research on productivity and scholarly writing. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks is the only reference to combine expert guidance with a step-by-step workbook. Each week, readers learn a feature of strong articles and work on revising theirs accordingly. Every day is mapped out, taking the guesswork and worry out of writing. There are tasks, templates, and reminders. At the end of twelve weeks, graduate students, recent PhDs, postdoctoral fellows, adjunct instructors, junior faculty, and international faculty will feel confident they know that the rules of academic publishing and have the tools they need to succeed.||427||2019||Buy Now|
|The Scientist's Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career||The ability to write clearly is critical to any scientific career. The Scientist's Guide to Writing provides practical advice to help scientists become more effective writers so that their ideas have the greatest possible impact. Drawing on his own experience as a scientist, graduate adviser, and editor, Stephen Heard emphasizes that the goal of all scientific writing should be absolute clarity; that good writing takes deliberate practice; and that what many scientists need are not long lists of prescriptive rules but rather direct engagement with their behaviors and attitudes when they write. He combines advice on such topics as how to generate and maintain writing momentum with practical tips on structuring a scientific paper, revising a first draft, handling citations, responding to peer reviews, managing coauthorships, and more. In an accessible, informal tone, The Scientist's Guide to Writing explains essential techniques that students, postdoctoral researchers, and early-career scientists need to write more clearly, efficiently, and easily. 1) Emphasizes writing as a process, not just a product. 2) Encourages habits that improve motivation and productivity. 3) Explains the structure of the scientific paper and the function of each part. 4) Provides detailed guidance on submission, review, revision, and publication. 5) Addresses issues related to coauthorship, English as a second language, and more.||320||2016||Buy Now|
|How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for PhD Students||What if writing scientific papers was faster, easier, and a bit less painful? This book provides a step-by-step, top-down approach that makes it easier to turn your hard-won results into research papers that are focused, exciting, and readable. The book's systematic approach builds on what I've learned through coauthoring close to 100 research papers with students. You'll learn how to outline your paper from top to down, how to develop your story, and how to think about what to write before you write it. You'll also learn how to deal with many issues that writers of science commonly face, from the fear of the blank page to dealing with critical reviews. Here's what you get: A complete step-by-step plan for writing a scientific paper, from choosing which results to include to wrapping up the paper in the Discussion section Concrete, actionable, and practical advice, from a paragraph-level template for the Introduction to guidance on preparing plots and figures Lots of writing tips, from placing signposts in your text to shortening and straightening your sentences This book has been written for the PhD student who is aiming to write a journal article on her research results, but it should also be useful to any scientist who has ever found writing difficult. Whatever the stage of your career, if you'd like to learn how to write research papers systematically and efficiently, this is the book for you!||120||2018||Buy Now|
|How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper||Now thoroughly updated and expanded, this new edition of a classic guide offers practical advice on preparing and publishing journal articles as well as succeeding in other communication-related aspects of a scientific career. Writing and publishing journal articles are essential aspects of a successful scientific career. Unfortunately, many scientists find the process of communicating about their work intimidating and confusing. Now in its eighth edition, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper teaches how to apply clear focus, good organization, and simple, straightforward language to write papers as well as communicate effectively in many other scientifically related applications. By providing practical, readable, and sometimes humorous guidance, this book enables researchers to gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in communicating about their work. The authors not only guide readers in the craft of scientific writing―broken down into the separate tasks of writing the respective sections of a scientific paper and then publishing the paper―but also address important related psychological, ethical, logistical, and cultural considerations in communicating about science. Chapter topics include composing (and requesting) recommendation letters, writing grant proposals, providing peer review, editing one's own work, preparing oral presentations and poster presentations, and working with the popular media. This is an essential resource for researchers―both native and non-native users of English―with limited experience writing scientific papers, such as graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career faculty members. • Provides practical, easy-to-read, and immediately applicable guidance on preparing each part of a scientific paper: from the title and abstract, through each section of the main text, to the acknowledgments and references • Explains step by step how to decide to which journal to submit a paper, what happens to a paper after submission, and how to work effectively with a journal throughout the publication process • Includes key advice on other communication important to success in scientific careers, such as giving presentations and writing proposals • Presents an insightful insider's view of how journals actually work―and describes how best to work with them||352||2016||Buy Now|
|The Craft of Scientific Writing||The Craft of Scientific Writing is designed to help scientists and engineers - both professionals already active in the disciplines as well as students preparing to enter the professions - write about their work clearly and effectively. Written for use as a text in courses on scientific writing, the book includes many useful suggestions about approaching a wide variety of writing tasks from journal papers to grant proposals and from emails to formal reports, as well as a concise guide to style and usage appropriate for scientific writing. Also useful for self-study, the book will be an important reference for all scientists and engineers who need to write about their work. With this new and updated fourth edition, while most technical writing texts have gotten larger over the years, this one has streamlined, to provide busy readers with the essence of what distinguishes the style of the best scientific documents. With this new edition, readers will learn not just how to organize information, but how to emphasize the key details of that information. Also, readers will not just learn how to cast their ideas into precise and clear sentences, but how to connect these sentences in an energetic fashion. In the section on language, the new edition goes into much depth about how to make connections between ideas: an important issue that few technical writing texts address. Moreover, the new edition integrates the discussion of illustrations with language because those two aspects of style are so intertwined. Finally, the new edition does a better job of explaining how to make the process of writing more efficient.||318||2018||Buy Now|
|How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper||This newly updated version of the classic guide to writing and publishing scientific papers provides the tools needed to succeed in the communication aspects of a scientific career. Writing and publishing journal articles are crucial to scientific careers. Unfortunately, many young scientists find the process of communicating scientific information effectively a complete mystery. By providing practical, readable, and sometimes humorous guidance, this book helps researchers gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in communicating about their work. This seventh edition of How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper contains 41 chapters focused upon two separate tasks: how to write the respective sections of a scientific paper and how to publish the paper. Other related topics include approaching a writing project, following ethical principles in scientific publishing, preparing oral presentations and poster presentations, writing grant proposals, and working with the popular media. The authors provide considerable guidance on appropriate scientific writing style as well as an extensive list of words and expressions to avoid―and supply the language to substitute for them. • Includes scientific graphs and photographs as well as cartoons by Sidney Harris, Charles Schulz, Jorge Cham, and others • Provides a glossary of nearly 100 key terms in writing, publishing, and related realms • Includes a thorough topic index||300||2011||Buy Now|
|Science Research Writing: For Native And Non-native Speakers Of English (second Edition)||This book enables STEMM researchers to write effective papers for publication as well as other research-related texts such as a doctoral thesis, technical report, or conference abstract. Science Research Writing uses a reverse-engineering approach to writing developed from extensive work with STEMM researchers at Imperial College London. This approach unpacks current models of STEMM research writing and helps writers to generate the writing tools needed to operate those models effectively in their own field. The reverse-engineering approach also ensures that writers develop future-proof strategies that will evolve alongside the coming changes in research communication platforms. The Second Edition has been extensively revised and updated to represent current practice and focuses on the writing needs of both early-stage doctoral STEMM researchers and experienced professional researchers at the highest level, whether or not they are native speakers of English. The book retains the practical, user-friendly format of the First Edition, and now contains seven units that deal separately with the components of written STEMM research communication: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Abstract and Title, as well as extensive FAQ responses and a new Checklist and Tips section. Each unit analyses extracts from recent published STEMM journal papers to enable researchers to discover not only what to write, but, crucially, how to write it. The global nature of science research requires fast, accurate communication of highly complex information that can be understood by all participants. Like the First Edition, the Second Edition is intended as a fast, do-it-yourself guide to make both the process and the product of STEMM research writing more effective.||384||2020||Buy Now|
|Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps - 2nd Edition||This book shows scientists how to apply their analysis and synthesis skills to overcome the challenge of how to write, as well as what to write, to maximise their chances of publishing in international scientific journals. The book uses analysis of the scientific article genre to provide clear processes for writing each section of a manuscript, starting with clear 'story' construction and packaging of results. Each learning step uses practical exercises to develop writing and data presentation skills based on reader analysis of well-written example papers. Strategies are presented for responding to referee comments, and for developing discipline-specific English language skills for manuscript writing and polishing. The book is designed for scientists who use English as a first or an additional language, and for use by individual scientists or mentors or in a class setting. In response to reader requests, the new edition includes review articles and the full range of research article formats, as well as applying the book's principles to writing funding applications.||236||2013||Buy Now|