Wednesday the 29th of October 2014
Tutor: Paolo Pareti
* Available from: http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/s1054760/tutorials/irr/2014/index.htm
* Adapted from the slides of Mark van Rossum, Andrew Stewart and Vincent Valton found on the IRR wiki:
1. (8/10) Introduction:
○ Todo: look for a topic
2. (15/10) Finding and reading papers
○ Todo: confirm topic, read at least 5 papers and prepare abstract
3. (22/10) Scientific style
○ Todo: create first bullet point draft
4. (29/10) Scientific writing
○ Todo: expand the draft, plus first peer review
5. (5/11) Discuss the drafts
○ Todo: finish draft
6. (12/11) Technical details for the submission and peer review
○ Todo: peer review drafts
7. (19/11) Feedback on the review.
○ Todo: finish and submit
4pm, 15th January 2015, no extensions
● The topic still needs to be defined better
● The abstract should NOT be just an overview of the general research
area but it should clearly state what you will review.
○ e.g. “I/We will review…” “This review will compare...”
● Think of where will the discussion be. Will you need a dedicated
● Can we cite an unpublished paper?
● For those of you who are not using LaTex yet:
○ if you are not using it because you don’t know how, and you don’t
think you have time now to learn it: then just email me, and next
week we will have a LaTex tutorial to help you start using it
○ if you don’t use it because you simply don’t want to, you are free to
do so, but probably you will end up wasting a lot of time
Typical structure of a review
Overall (3000 Words min. - 5000 max.)
● Intro/background (20%): Put field into context, recent history of the
field, Big picture. Why is it worthwhile (cool/interesting), motivations,
overview of what you are going to introduce, argument/question.
● Detailed Literature (60%): the literature that will support your argument.
Show opposing theories, can they merge, are they complementary?
What are the main findings / failures / limitations?
● Conclusion & discussion (20%): summary + own opinion and point of
view based on conclusions in detailed literature.
How to learn scientific writing
● Read good papers
● Have a look at the “good” reviews examples
Page for the first meeting on the wiki: https://www.wiki.ed.ac.uk/display/irrirpwiki/Meeting+1
● Check online resources, some of them contain useful hints on scientific
● Practice writing
● Have your writings reviewed
○ we will have peer-reviews as part of IRR
○ University proofreading service (for non native speakers)
● avoid "phrasal verbs" (e.g. get off, get away with, put in etc): instead, use
one word equivalents
● avoid overuse of brackets
● don’t use exclamation marks or dashes
● avoid direct questions
● avoid informal language
● avoid redundancy
● divide your writing up into paragraphs (not randomly; each paragraph
should be focused on a different concept)
● use connecting words and phrases to make your writing explicit and easy
Homework for next week
1. Expand and refine the draft, the better your draft is, the better feedback
you will receive.
2. Submit the draft as a PDF to another student by email (and add me in cc)
by Sunday the 2nd of November at 23:59
3. Receive the draft of the other student, and peer-review it by answering a
number of questions (on the next slide)
4. Email the review to the other student (and add me in cc) by Tuesday the
4th of November at 23:59
Homework for next week
- questions for the peer review -
The review of the draft should be a PDF document answering the following
questions (focusing on the abstract and the references):
1. What exactly will the author review?
2. Questions about the style:
a. Are there grammatical mistakes, is the structure of the sentences
b. Is the style scientific? Is it convincing?
3. Did the author forget about some important literature? Look on the Web
for papers which fall under the proposed topic. Can you find some
important papers which are not in the literature yet?