1 minute survey on scientific writing

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Offline touchido

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1 minute survey on scientific writing
« on: 23/11/2014 03:51:28 »
Hello, we are a team of 2 ex-Cambridgian scientists (Nanotech and Neurosci), and we want your feedback about writing papers :)
The survey is 1 minute long and will help us make something useful for scientists...

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: 1 minute survey on scientific writing
« Reply #1 on: 23/11/2014 09:47:39 »
Overall, I am fed up with papers in my own field (radiation protection and clinical radiology) that regurgitate the known fact that photons travel in straight lines until they interact with electrons. This seems to account for 25 - 50% of all conference papers, and a significantly larger proportion of student "research". The worry is that I need to hear and read all this crap several times a year in order to maintain my professional registration, but nobody ever questions the quality of what I actually do.

How many really important papers have ever been published? Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Bragg, Crick & Watson, Gell-Mann, and perhaps the definitive yet-to-come paper on the Higgs Boson, all deserve(d) the full formal treatment. Practically everything else could be published as an abstract and an equation.

help us make something useful for scientists...

Here's a good example. Some years back I was interested in novel temperature sensors. The Department of Industry (as it then was) provided a superb translator. We sat in the library and he translated the titles, and the axis labels of the graphs, from about 30 Russian and Japanese papers. After a couple of hours we ended up with two papers whose abstracts were worth translating, and I placed an order with the Russian laboratory to make the thermocapacitors I needed. Whether the rest of the papers were vanity or brilliance, I shall never know, but the written word is no substitute for a clear diagram and some maths when it comes to passing on information.       

helping to stem the tide of ignorance