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This compact and easy-to-read book contains essential advice on how to take a manuscript from planning right through to publication. It will help both first-time writers and more experienced authors to present their results more effectively. While retaining the easy-to-read and well-structured approach of previous editions, the third edition of this essential guide has been expanded to include comprehensive advice on drawing graphs, and information about Open Access publishing. Illustrations are discussed in detail, with examples of poor illustrations taken from real papers in top-ranked journals, redrawn for comparison. Such before-and-after examples are also provided to demonstrate good and bad writing styles. The reader is offered practical advice – from how to present a paper and where to submit the manuscript, through to responding to reviewers' comments and correcting the proofs – all developed through the author's extensive teaching experience and his many years spent working as a journal editor.
Preface to the third edition
1. Basic rules of writing
2. Comments on scientific writing
3. Drafting the manuscript
4. Choosing a journal
5. How to begin
6. Figure captions (legends)
7. Preparing a graph
8. Graph combination
10. How to design a table
20. PhD and other doctoral theses
21. Letters and case reports
24. How to present statistical results
26. Dealing with editors and referees
27. Correcting proofs
28. Authors' responsibility
Literature needed on your desk
Björn Gustavii has been teaching courses in scientific writing for doctoral (PhD) students in medicine for twenty-five years. He brings his personal experience to this book, both from writing more than a hundred of his own research papers and from his work as a journal editor.
Review of the second edition:
"This book ranks with the best in the field. It is brief, to the point and easy to follow [...] useful to the author and editor [...] and so recommended."
– Research Communications in Molecular Pathology and Pharmacology
"[...] short and straightforward [...] complete and user-friendly [...] for those to make their first public steps in science, Gustavii´s book is certainly very useful."
– Annals of Human Biology
"[...] enjoyable and well written [...] an ideal reference book to have at hand when writing and organizing many types of scientific literature."
– The British Society for Cell Biology
"This compact and very easy to read book contains valuable advice on how to take a manuscript from planning right through to publication. The chapters cover everything from writing in scientific language, through preparation of figures and the sections of a manuscript, to advice on the final stage of responding to reviewers' comments."
– Ian Stansfield, University of Aberdeen
"[...] a very welcome learning resource [...] clear and concise [...] well structured, easy to read and well illustrated. The 2nd edition [...] now incorporates guidance for writing doctoral theses and case reports. [...] Overall a highly useful resource indeed and would highly recommend it."
– The Biologist
"[...] an excellent textbook, a very suitable reference [...] enjoyable reading!"
– Zentralblatt fur Geologie und Palaeontologie
"Every aspiring writer should read and follow the advice in How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper. Even accomplished scientific authors will add to their proficiency by going through this enjoyable volume. It is an added advantage that Björn Gustavii's mother tongue is Swedish, not English. He recounts his own difficulties in writing his first manuscripts in English and puts down simple rules to avoid pitfalls."
– Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica