Quick question - Scientific writing

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Chickerdoodle13, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    6,820
    324
    331
    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm writing a scientific paper for my internship about the research I have done this summer. However, I can't quite remember what format I should be using for my citations. Does any one know? Usually I use MLA for everything, but this paper needs to be set up as if I was going to publish it.
     
  2. SallyF

    SallyF Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    The proper format for citations is extremely important when submitting scientific papers for consideration of publication. An incorrect format can cause the submission to be rejected or at least to be significantly delayed while the format is corrected.

    The format differs from one set of journals to another, though. Each journal owner normally provides or at least names a style guide or authors' guide that must be followed. Those have many formatting requirements, including the formatting of citations. The American Institute of Physics has such a style guide but the American Chemical Society has a different style guide. You should determine what field your paper falls into and obtain (usually for free via the internet) the style guide applicable to the journal you would be submitting your paper to.

    One thing that is nearly universal is that you should use the metric system and you should make sure that you are using it correctly, which includes formatting issues. The easiest way to find a good, free, downloadable guide to proper use of the metric system is to use the guide our federal government provides for its authors of scientific and technical papers. To find a link to that so that you can download it (in PDF format) google "NIST SP 811" (without the quotation marks). But I can provide you with that link and some other neat ones for free information on the metric system:
    http://www.nist.gov/pml/pubs/sp811/index.cfm
    http://www.bipm.org/en/si/si_brochure/general.html
    http://lamar.colostate.edu/~hillger/
    http://metricmethods.com/

    BTW, I am now retired but I have published in the fields of chemistry, engineering, physical meteorology, and metrological standards. (Note those two "m" words are different on purpose!) So, I've got a wee bit of experience on this.

    Jim
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    6,820
    324
    331
    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks so much!

    The hard part is that at the moment this paper is not going to be submitted to any journals and it is just for the summer program's (and my mentor's) records. I have never written anything for publication before, but I have written scientific papers for other research I have done, so I'm learning as I go. One place my college is a bit weak is scientific writing. We do it, but none of it is overly formal and every teacher prefers a different citation format it seems!

    Right now I am in a microbiology program and I found this link, which seems to be the relative format I should use. It seems to be the same one that our sample paper uses. It doesn't specify what style it is though.

    http://library.sacredheart.edu/BioDeptWriting Guide- citationGuide.html
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by