Category Archives: Scientific Writing

Goodbye 2011 and Hello New Science Year 2012: JIDC Postcards 2011- a Wrap-up

Good Bye 2011.  Hello New Science Year! Its 2012!  I hope everyone had a fabulous 2011 and rang in 2012 with a (big) bang!

There is so much a new year brings, especially in science. A new year with many possibilities. New conferences to attend (yeah!). Papers to publish. Exciting projects to start.  And new posts to write for the JIDC Blog!

To move forward in a guided direction I often feel we need to review the past.  What conferences were attended?  Were they beneficial? What papers were we able to publish last year? Were they well received? What are the stages of the current projects? Are they close to a publication? Are they close to completion?

And here at the JIDC Blog, what were the posts on the Blog over the last year?  Were they helpful to readers and authors? Did they promote scientific discussion? Were the Blog and the Blog Posts a good resource for research information? – This was my main goal when starting the JIDC Blog.  My hope was that the Blog would be useful to JIDC readers and authors alike as an information resource as well as a point for discussions.  I also hoped that it would be a valuable tool for non-JIDC members and help educate new people about JIDC.

So shall we review?

There is a blog tradition that I have only just learned about.  The tradition is that the first post of the New Year should be a listing of all the first sentences from the first post of every month from the previous year.

Below is a listing of all of the first Posts of every month in 2011 and the first sentences from each.  I have also added my personal notes from each post.

Here we go…

June 2011 — JIDC Postcards: The JIDC Blog

Hi, and welcome to JIDC’s blog. 

I was sooo excited…and nervous to introduce the Blog to the JIDC community and the world.  Would anyone read it? Would anyone like it?  Would it be a Blog that we could be proud of? Only you can answer these questions for me. 

 

July 2011 – Olga:  From Mozambique to Brazil

A Challenge!! An Opportunity!!

My name is Olga André Chichava, and I’m a young biologist fromMozambique!

I absolutely loved this post from Olga. Her story gave an incredible view into the life of a research student who is also a mother.  I was inspired to see her courage to move to a foreign country and her drive to build her masters project.   She shared her passion for research as well as life with us. This post was featured on the headlines of Microbiology Daily, I was so proud. Also, this post is the most popular post on the Blog.

 

August 2011 – Milliedes in Kashmir,India

Insects have been found in Marrhama, a village in Blok Trehgam in the District of Kupwara Jammu and Kashmir, India. The main water source used for drinking purposes is badly affected by the insects.

This post from Dr. Kadri highlighted problems that affect regional areas which can easily go unnoticed to the rest of the world.  I am so glad that he shared this experience so that more people can be aware of such difficulties that face communities. This is the second most popular post of all time on the Blog and I am happy that it has reached so many people!

 

September 2011 – The First Annual Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

The Africa Health Research Organization, AHRO, presents the International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

What: First International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection
When: 6-7 January 2012
Where: Edinburgh Scotland
Who: Presented by AHRO,Africa Health Research Organization

It was great to post about this conference.  Since the conference was just completed, I hope that everything went well and it was a successful event.  Also, I would love to hear a roundup of the conference by anyone who attended.  Please contact me if you are interested in writing a Blog Post describing this meeting.

 

October 2011 – And the winner is…! JIDC Open Access Week#4

And the winner is….I just couldn’t help it.  I have enjoyed Open Access Week and the JIDC T-shirt give-away that I could not just draw only 1 name.  So I picked 6!

Ooooo this was an exciting one.  I was incredibly happy to share JIDC and the JIDC T-shirts with readers and authors! If you are a winner and you haven’t contacted me and would still like at T-shirt, please let me know.

 

November 2011 – Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC

How do I publish a scientific paper?…This question is asked by all young scientists. 

How do you write a scientific paper? There are so many directions one can take when putting their research together. I hope this helped authors organize themselves when preparing manuscripts for JIDC.  In addition to this Post, if you have other specific questions about writing a paper or you have a particular writing topic you would like to see a post about, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  I am currently preparing a post how I write a scientific paper to share with you.

 

December 2011 – ReR – MedToday!

Memento te hominem esse. – Remember that you are human.

What an important point that is! Remember you are human. We are all vulnerable and delicate aren’t we? I am so happy to have posted the special work of ReR-MedToday! The importance of support during times of ill health can’t be overstated. I am sure the families touched by this organization are forever grateful.

 

Thats a Wrap! 

So that’s the JIDC Blog for 2011.  I hope 2012 brings just as fabulous Posts and discussions as 2011 did.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Posts and Discussion of the 2011 JIDC Blog!  In no particular order, BIG THANKS to:

IRIN and Jane Summ

Olga Andre Chichava

Prof. Jorg Heukelbach

Anna Carolina Ritter

Laboratory of Food Microbiology of the ICTA/UFRGS

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Dr. Vinod Singh

USAID

David Dorherty

Joanne Wong

Dr. S.M. Kadri

Open Access and Open Access Week

SPARC

PLoS

Donna Okubo

Dr. Amber Farooqui

Jain et al., JIDC 2011

Dr. Abubaker Yaro

Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

1st International Conference on Drug Therapy in TB Infection

The Grandest Challenge

Dr. Abdallah S. Daar

Dr. Peter A. Singer

Sun et al., JIDC 2011

Amedei et al., JIDC 2011

Elios et al., JIDC 2011

Jeff Coombs

Tracy Zao

Ashish Chandra Shrestha

Sara Norris

Christopher Logue

Sunita Pareek

Marie Anne Chattaway

Chimwemwe Mandalasi

Jane-Francis Akoachere

University of Buea, Cameroon

Nikki Kelvin

Tribaldos et al., JIDC 2011

Dr. Lorelei Silverman

Dr. Rosalind Silverman

Models of Human Diseases

Loredana

University Hospital of Hue, Vietnam

University of Sassari

Dr. Le Van An

Dr. Tran

Prof. Piero Cappuccinelli

Remi Eryk Raitza

ReR-MedToday!

SmileKenya

Drake Current

Current Family

Dr. Myo Nyein Aung

School of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok

And a spceial thanks to Prof. Salvatore Rubino for his support of the Blog!

Reflecting on the 2011 Blog has shown me I have lots more science to cover! It has also spiked my curiosity.  What was your favorite Post of 2011?  What about your Favorite JIDC Postcard? Was there a topic that you enjoyed reading about or a Postcard that you could identify with? Let me know. I love to hear from you!

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Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC

Hi everyone!  This post comes from JIDC’s Technical Editor Nikki Kelvin and focuses on Academic Scientific Writing and Scientific Writing for publishing your research in JIDC.  Originally written for Open Access Week, this post is a great guide to Scientific Writing!   Please leave any questions on publishing that you would like answered.

Alyson

Publishing a Scientific Article in JIDC: How does the editing process work, and what can I do to expedite the process?

How do I publish a scientific paper?

This question is asked by all young scientists. For those living and working in developing countries the question is at times frightening, but at JIDC we see many young scientists eagerly launch into the task.

It is well-known that scientists from developing countries face barriers that are not problematic for scientists in developed countries in getting their research published. As noted on the JIDC web site, these barriers may include issues such as lack of interest by some international journals in regional problems, the inexperience of authors from developing nations in presenting their research in international forums, and language barriers.

Previous posts have discussed the philosophy behind JIDC’s mentoring system and how it helps our authors not only improve their experimental design and analysis and presentation of data, but how to discuss the results within the boundaries of reasonable argument and make them interesting to a wider audience in addition to their national colleagues. Here we would like to talk about how JIDC’s technical and scientific editors contribute to the mentoring system. We will also present some tips on what authors can do to ensure that the editorial process moves efficiently.

Language is one of the greatest barriers faced by scientists from developing countries whose first language is not English.  Many editors will immediately reject papers if the English is poor even though the articles may have scientific merit. At JIDC, we believe that the dissemination of scientific studies should not be impeded by language barriers; therefore, after articles have been reviewed and accepted for publication by a section editor, they are submitted to a double-editing process.

After being accepted for publication, articles are first sent to a technical editor for language editing. The editor will look for errors in sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, diction (i.e., correct choice and use of words), and punctuation and make the appropriate revisions. Occasionally, an author’s meaning will not be clear to the editor. In such cases, the editors will revise the sentence as they believe it should be written (and add a comment asking the author to verify the change) or ask the author to rewrite the sentence to make it clearer.

The technical editor also ensures that JIDC style is followed by checking that titles and abstracts do not exceed the required maximum length, that appropriate key words are present, and that abstracts and body text contain the appropriate section headings. Finally, the technical editors check that the references are set according to JIDC style.

When the technical editing has been completed, the article is sent to a scientific editor. Although this double-editing process takes time, it is an essential step to ensure that the scientific meaning was not altered in any way during the technical editing process. The scientific editor also checks the paper for scientific accuracy, ensures that terms are correctly italicized, checks that tables and figures match the text, and verifies equations and formulae.

While all the technical and scientific editors at JIDC take pride in helping our authors produce the best papers possible for publication, the process moves along more quickly and efficiently for articles that need few revisions. If possible, ask a colleague or friend who has good English skills to edit your paper for you before you submit it.

Here are some other tips to help move your article through the editorial process efficiently.

1. Write clearly and simply. This means that you should

  • write short sentences and use simple words
    • avoid using unnecessarily long sentences
    • avoid using uncommon words (for example, more people would understand the word “confuse” than “obfuscate” so “confuse” is a better word choice)
    • use fewer words (for example, “conducted” or “performed” are better choices than “carried out”,  and “per” and “whether” are less wordy than “as per” or “whether or not”)
    • use the spelling checker on your computer,
      • be aware that spelling checkers may not identify words that are incorrectly used even when they are spelled correctly
      • for example, a spelling checker will not alert you when you have written “might” when you mean “mite” or “for” when you mean “four” or “fore”

2. Review the following check list to ensure that your article follows the guidelines for authors as shown on the JIDC web site:

  • Both the title and the running title are the correct length
  • The abstract is the correct length and it contains the appropriate sections
    • It can take a long time for an editor to shorten a 390 word abstract to 250 words, and you may disagree with the editor on which information should be eliminated, so it is better to ensure that the abstract adheres to the requirements before it is submitted
    • The article text contains all the appropriate sections
    • The article mentions all tables and figures in the text, and that the number of tables and figures mentioned matches the number of tables and figures submitted with the publication
      • The editing process is slowed down considerably when the editors have to double-check whether an article should have four or five tables because the article mentions only four tables but five have been uploaded to the JIDC site
      • The tables and figures are submitted and formatted as instructed on the JIDC web site
        • The publication of many papers has been delayed because the figures and tables do not adhere to the proper specifications
        • The references are in numerical order and set in square brackets (e.g., [1] ) in the text
        • The reference list at the end of the article follows JIDC style as shown on the web site, paying attention to punctuation and spacing as well as the accuracy of the authors’ names, dates, and page numbers

While at JIDC we do all that we can to mentor our authors and help them produce the best papers possible, we must work with the raw material that is sent to us.  It is the responsibility of all authors to ensure that they send us their best work. Working together, we can have a positive and successful publishing experience.

Nikki Kelvin

Nikki in her OA T!

 

JIDC Technical Editor

 

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