Scientific Research, Writing, and Dissemination (Part 3/4): Scientific Writing

Diana Starovoytova


This is the-third-paper, in-tetrology on the Scientific Research, Writing and Dissemination. Writing is a-universal-type of formal-scientific-communication, and yet, academics/researchers/scientists have a-rather dreadful-reputation, for being un-interesting, monotonous and, even, pathetically ‘dry’ writers. One-reason, behind-that, could-be, that majority of scientists are not, really, trained-writers. Moreover, pressure to-publish, poorly-prepared-manuscripts, and multiple-rejections, by-various-journals, dampen the-spirits of untrained-academic-writers, resulting in their-reduced-productivity. Scientific-style-writing may be ‘thorny’, in the-beginning, for ‘greenhorn’-writers, but clear-communication and concise-writing, can-be-trained. The-main-objective of this-paper is to-offer early-stage-researchers (beginner researchers and scientific writing-apprentices) easy-applicable, yet, theoretically-insightful-introduction, to-the structural-components of-a-scientific-paper and basic-writing-guidelines. The-seasoned-writers will-also find few-interesting revelations and ‘food-for-taught’. This-paper focuses on-scientific-writing (mainly for peer-reviewed publication) and largely presumes no explicit-disciplinary perspective, however, some-emphasis on-engineering-research, is given. The-main-instruments applied in this-study were: a-survey and a document-analysis. The-respondents identified, that almost-every-section of a-scientific-paper, is challenging, for them, although to a-different-extent. Majority (64%) indicated that they have-experienced rejections, in-their-publishing-endeavors, while the-rest said, that all-their-submissions, for-review, were successful. Out of those, experienced rejection, 57% stated, that, they usually re-submit, their-manuscript, to a-different-journal, after improving or correcting it, while 43 % preferred to-do nothing, after the rejection. 55% also confessed that they: (1) are not very-confident, in their-ability, to-write (for scientific- publication) in-English, and (2) do-not-know exactly what constitutes a-good-research-paper and fine scientific-writing. 36% stated that they are not so-sure about the-proper-structure of a-scientific-paper. The-study also-revealed some-signs of Dunning-Kruger Effect, in-writing, particularly, among-younger faculty. To-address the-findings of the-research, and to-give a-multifaceted-perspective, on-the scientific-writing, the-paper, in-addition, presents a-fusion of guiding-principles, found in-literature, and supplemented by the-author’ input, about structuring and writing a-scientific-paper. In-particular, the-following was elaborated on: Misconceptions about scientific-writing; Expanded ‘Hourglass-Model’, based on the-IMRaD-format; Micro-issues of writing (grammar and punctuations); How to-deal with-rejection of a-manuscript; English as de facto language of scientific-communication; Characteristics of good-scientific-paper and writing-style; and Establishing one’s unique-voice, in-scientific-writing, among-others. The-study is important; in making a-contribution (in-its-small-way) to-the-body of knowledge, on-the-subject-matter, and it-is-potentially-beneficial, to-scientific-writers, at any-stage, of their-research and scientific-writing- career.

Keywords: scholarly article, paper structure; journal publications, English, rejection, hyphen.

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