Category Archives: Scientific writing

General information and advice about writing scientific texts.

APA Style: Abbreviations

A recent article summarizing previous data from 110 manuscripts submitted to the Research in the Schools journal (Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010) shows that APA style deviations related to the use of abbreviations and acronyms were found in 41.82% of the manuscripts. Perhaps because using abbreviations in writing comes so intuitively to us, a lot of people don’t give much thought to the fact that the publication manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2009) has some specific requirements when it comes to abbreviations. And while the rules governing the use of abbreviations may seem like just another bunch of the innumerable guidelines in the manual, it doesn’t take long to realize that they are actually logical and easy to follow.

Continue reading

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev is a final year undergraduate student of Psychology at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the author of some of the most popular posts on JEPS Bulletin (see for example, his post on the most common mistakes in APA style was the most read in the JEPS Bulletin in 2013 and his post on writing literature reviews, which was reprinted in the MBA Edge, a magazine for prospective postgraduate students in Malaysia)

More Posts

Facebooktwitterrss

Perfect references in no time: An introduction to free referencing software

A recent JEPS bulletin post revealed that the largest percent (37%) of APA style mistakes in the manuscripts submitted for the 4th issue of the Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) are related to reference formatting. This is consistent with the analysis of APA style mistakes from 2010 where the largest proportion of APA style mistakes in the past JEPS submissions were related to references as well, although in a significantly larger percent (51%).

As described in a previous post, writing proper references may involve several issues–correctly listing references cited in text, as well as having all references in the list cited in text. Problems also occur in correct spelling of the references, formatting in-text citations according to APA guidelines, formatting the reference list according to the specific APA rules applying to each type of publication and ordering the references alphabetically by the authors’ surnames.
Even though the APA manual is the guide no.1 in resolving these issues–doing it manually by the book requires a lot of time and attention. The good news is that there is a number of electronic tools that can also help to avoid these mistakes. This post offers you a brief introduction to two solutions–Zotero and Mendeley Desktop.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss

Lessons from a published fake study

There are so many obstacles you have to face when doing your own research: After finding a suitable field, conducting your research and writing it down on paper, your supervisor might end up tearing it into pieces should they find shortcomings in your methodology or results section. In contrast to the widespread procedure, the authors of the study presented below have failed not only to discuss methodological issues, but they have made up a complete study that got published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. Has the entire review process failed for this study? What does this case teach you?

Continue reading

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer, studying at University of Münster, Germany, and University of Padova, Italy. I have previously worked as JEPS Bulletin Editor and am active in a NMUN project simulating the political work of the United Nations as voluntary work. I am interested in cognitive neuroscience and intercultural psychology, anthropology and organizational psychology (aspects of work-life balance, expatriation).

More Posts

Facebooktwitterrss

Written by the hands of a ghost

The honour of being a renowned researcher is linked to a mass of publications. Publish or perish they say. Yet publishing is a very time-consuming work and perhaps the topic of ghost-writing should be discussed in this context.

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, reports, or texts that are officially credited to another person. Mozart for instance is a well-known example of a musical ghostwriter for his patrons. In Academia, ghost-writing threatens the academic world and its honour.

What are types of academic ghost-writing? How do universities try to prevent it? How do agencies exploit the pressure on academics to publish by offering ghost-writing services in a twilighted zone of legacy? Let’s examine.

Continue reading

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer

Sina Scherer, studying at University of Münster, Germany, and University of Padova, Italy. I have previously worked as JEPS Bulletin Editor and am active in a NMUN project simulating the political work of the United Nations as voluntary work. I am interested in cognitive neuroscience and intercultural psychology, anthropology and organizational psychology (aspects of work-life balance, expatriation).

More Posts

Facebooktwitterrss

Tomatoes against procrastination

When it comes to writing your paper, procrastination is your friend, right? … I mean your foe… Sometimes it’s so horribly hard to get concentrated on what you should really be doing. Instead you find yourself checking Facebook yet another time (I bet this is how you ended up reading this!). Your work doesn’t seem any more appealing even this after you have washed your dishes, replied e-mails from month ago, made an umpteenth cup of coffee, cleaned your room, swiped your windows shiny-clean and perhaps even your doors and walls? How about starting working on that assignment now? Well, actually, before you do, check out the Pomodoro Technique®.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss

Lost in translating?

Science exists mainly in English and for many this fact entails a bunch of translation between their mother tongue and the lingua franca. It often happens that as a student you write your papers in your native language whereas the articles you read are in English. Or, say you want to submit your thesis you wrote for your university to Journal of European Psychology Students and now need to translate the whole thing to English. How to ensure the best translation to or from English?

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss

How to write a good literature review article?

When writing research articles, most students feel confident enough to make a good paper out of the research they have conducted. But when it comes to writing literature review articles, this confidence may quickly evaporate if one doesn’t have much experience with them. So, what exactly is a literature review article, and how to avoid the most common pitfall on the road to writing one?

Continue reading

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev

Martin Vasilev is a final year undergraduate student of Psychology at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the author of some of the most popular posts on JEPS Bulletin (see for example, his post on the most common mistakes in APA style was the most read in the JEPS Bulletin in 2013 and his post on writing literature reviews, which was reprinted in the MBA Edge, a magazine for prospective postgraduate students in Malaysia)

More Posts

Facebooktwitterrss

How to make (scientific) texts sound professional?

Whether we like it or not, science mainly exists in English. Sadly, scientists whose mother tongue it happens to be, have a distinct advantage to get their work published. There are many reasons why this may be, but thats not the topic of this post. One thing for sure, the better you’re able to express yourself in English, the more likely is your manuscript read through when you submit it, regardless if it’s to be published or to be evaluated by your prof. How to beat the language barrier and write outstanding professional texts? Here are some tips and sites to help you.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss

The core features of the scientific writing style II

In the previous article, I focused on the basic characteristics by which a good scientific paper is defined. Another important aspect of a high-quality coherent text, is its agreement to basic linguistic rules. Here’s what you should pay attention to when selecting words, expressions and using abbreviations.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss

The core features of the scientific writing style

As stressed throughout The JEPS Bulletin, an important part of research is writing the report to acquaint the public with your findings. Such publications serve as a platform for academic communication and exchange of opinions. It is very important to follow certain standards and writing style if you intend to cultivate further research based on your results. Here’s what you should keep in mind when forming your message to the scientific community.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterrss