Reader expectations Language requirements Journals are clear regarding their English requirements “Articles submitted to the journal must be written with a solid basis of English language.” “Manuscripts which do not meet acceptable language standards will be returned to authors.”
Reader expectations Japanese scientific writing style • Passive voice • Cause/reason comes first • Followed by the conclusion 採用率を高める科学英語の書き方：日 本人の論文に特徴的な問題点とは. 2011. International Nursing Review, Supplement 151, 34(3), 94−102
Reader expectations English scientific writing style • Active voice • Conclusion stated first • Then reasoning or explanation
Reader expectations Increase readability• Information is easier to understand when placed where most readers expect to find it• Good writers are aware of these expectations
Reader expectations Verb placement• Readers become confused when subject and verb are separated by too much contentThe smallest of the URFs (URFA6L), a 207-nucleotide (nt)reading frame overlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminalportion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6gene, has been identified as the animal equivalent of therecently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene.
Reader expectations Avoid reader confusionThe smallest of the URFs is URFA6L, a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frame overlapping out of phasethe [NH2]-terminal portion of the adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene, has beenidentified as the animal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8 gene.The smallest of the URFs (URFA6L) has been identified as theanimal equivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPasesubunit 8 gene; URFA6L is a 207-nucleotide (nt) reading frameoverlapping out of phase the [NH2]-terminal portion of theadenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) subunit 6 gene.We identified the smallest of the URFs (URFA6L) as the animalequivalent of the recently discovered yeast H-ATPase subunit 8gene. URFA6L is a … .
Reader expectations Which voice?• Active or passive voice? – Blood samples were collected from 256 patients. – We collected blood from 256 patients.
Reader expectations 2. Active voice Subject Verb Active • Sentences written in the active voice are: simple direct clear easy to read
Reader expectations 3. Stress position • Readers focus on information at the end of a sentence. Subject Verb take-home information
Reader expectations Stress position• Patient recovery improved with a two-month drug treatment.• A two-month drug treatment improved patient recovery.• Patient recovery improved when drug treatment was given for two months.• Readers, without thinking, concentrate on the end of a sentence.
Reader expectations 4. Topic position• Readers expect a sentence/phrase to be a story about whoever shows up first Subject Topic position Verb Stress position
Reader expectations Topic position sentence idea idea idea idea Topic link• Linkage and contextThe patient went to the hospital to see agastroenterologist. The doctor performed severaldiagnostic tests. The results indicated the patient sufferedfrom a mild infection. The patient was then prescribed atwo-week course of antibiotics.
Reader expectations 5. Topic sentences• Indicates the main idea of a paragraph• Provides the writer with a focus• First sentence of a paragraph• Then discuss/explain the topic• Summarize with a concluding sentence Beginning → Middle → End
Reader expectations ExampleIn his studies of the conditioned reflex, Pavlov workedalmost entirely with dogs and with the salivary reflex.Implicit in all of his work is the notion that everythingthe dog learns from puppyhood on is a result of theassociation of certain events (which happen to occur atthe same time) with the biologically adequate stimulusto some native response such as withdrawing,struggling, eating, sex behavior, or the like. What the dogcan learn… Henry Garrett, “Great Experiments in Psychology”
Simple language Readability Reading once… 4% of readers can understand a 27-word sentence 75% of readers can understand a 17-word sentence Pinner and Pinner (1998) Communication Skills• Your reader should – Only need to read once – Not have to read slowly – Understand your logic immediately
Simple language Sentence length • We examined numerous peer-reviewed journals • Easy to read articles had an average sentence length of 17 words
Simple language Goals to aim for …• Maximum 25–30 words per sentence• Not more than four 30-word sentences in the whole manuscript• Think about ‘reader expectation’ and match the expectation with the contents
Simple language Make it easy for your reader • Simple language is best • Makes your work more relevant • Maximizes understanding • Science is complex
Simple language Simple wordsAvoid Preferredadditional moreadequate enoughapparent clearattempt trydemonstrate showendeavor tryexceedingly very
Simple language More simple wordsAvoid PreferredMagnitude SizeObjective AimPerformed DoneRequested AskedRetain KeepSubsequently LaterSufficient EnoughTerminate EndUtilization Use
Simple language Unnecessary wordsIn order to determine the fractalkine expression in the aorta ofApoE−/− mice and the effect of high-dose aspirin intervention onfractalkine expression and atherosclerotic lesion formation, westudied …To determine the fractalkine expression in the aorta of ApoE−/−mice and the effect of high-dose aspirin intervention onfractalkine expression and atherosclerotic lesion formation, westudied …
Simple language Examples of unnecessary wordsAvoid PreferredFor the reason that BecauseIn the first place FirstIn the not too distant future SoonFour in number FourGreen color GreenSubsequent to AfterPrior to BeforeExcept in a very few instances Usually
Common mistakes Comparisons • Needed in Results and Discussion sections • Compare ‘like’ with ‘like’ • Use ‘with’, not ‘to’ The tumor excised from the pancreas was compared to the liver.The tumor excised from the pancreas was compared with thatThe tumor excised from the pancreas was compared with the liver.from the liver.
Common mistakes ExampleExpression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with non-smokers.Expression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with p53levels in non-smokersExpression levels of p53 in smokers were compared with thosein non-smokers
Common mistakes Comparisons • Relative terms, such as more, higher and greater, require a reference for comparison • Use than or compared with Reactions with the new thermal cycler were faster.Reactions with the new thermal cycler were faster compared withthose in the old cycler.
Common mistakes ‘Between’ or ‘among’?• Use between for comparisons of two groups… the only difference between the original moleculeand the new molecule is ...• Use among for comparisons of more than two groups … significant differences were observed in the H values among bio-, fully- and semi-synthetic molecules
Common mistakes Respectively• ‘Respectively’ is often misused• Used to refer to two corresponding lists – The two values were 143.2 and 21.6, respectively. – The two values were 143.2 and 21.6. – The two tubes were labeled B and S, respectively. – The tubes containing blood and saline were labeled B and S, respectively.
Common mistakes ExampleOxygen detector flow Nitrogen detector flow Hydrogen detector flow85 mL/min 7 mL/min 4 mL/minThe oxygen detector flow was set at 85 mL/min; the nitrogendetector flow was set at 7 mL/min; and, the hydrogen detectorflow was set at 4 mL/min. 28 wordsOxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen detector flows were set at 85, 7and 4 mL/min, respectively. 15 words
Common mistakes Colons and semi-colons• Colons (:) are used to introduce a list• Semicolons (;) are used to separate the items in a list too long for commas• Use ‘and’ before the last item in the list There are a number of journals for surgery manuscripts: General Surgery, published by Springer; the World Journal of Emergency Surgery, published by BioMed Central; and the British Journal of Surgery, produced by Wiley & Sons.
Common mistakes Numbers in the text• Use a space between numbers and units – 10 mL not 10mL• No space is needed before % – 56%• The word “of” should be used to describe amounts – 6 mg of caffeine was …• The word “of” is not needed for concentrations – rats were administered 6 mg/mL caffeine
Customer Service Case studies Unusual New or emerging presentation of disease disease What is publishable? New or unusual New treatment or adverse effect of diagnosis treatment
Customer Service Case studies Extensive database General online search for published Medical forums searches articles Is my finding novel? Be careful with your terminology during your searches Try to also use ICD codes from WHO for consistency Cases may be unpublished, but their treatments may be already clinically acceptedSo even if yours is the first case to be published, it now lacks educational/clinical value
Customer Service Case studies General considerations Tell a story! Timeline of events… Short, 500-1500 words Write simple and concisely Be careful with using “he” and “she”, be specific when referring to patient’s family members or other patients Needs to have educational value in addition to novelty Kukreja et al. BMJ Case Reports 2011.
Customer Service Case studies Title: A case report Should be short and specific to patient Informs the reader of the condition, unique presentation, and case report
Customer Service Case studies Abstract Short, but can vary with journal Structured or unstructured (story) Introduction Why does this case need to be reported? Patient Age, gender, ethnicity information Case Symptoms, diagnosis, management, follow-up presentation Conclusion Clinical impact, learning points
Customer Service Case studies Abstract Reports of epithelial ovarian carcinomas metastatic to the pancreas are very rare. We herein present a metastasis of high grade papillary Introduction serous ovarian cancer to mid portion of pancreas A 42-year old patient was admitted with a non-specified malignant Patient cystic lesion in midportion of pancreas. She had a history of surgical treatment for papillary serous ovarian adenocarcinoma. Information A cystic lesion was revealed by an abdominal CT performed in her follow up. It was considered as primary mid portion of pancreatic Case cancer and a distal pancreatectomy was performed. The final pathology showed high grade papillary serious adenocarcinoma Presentation morphologically similar to the previously… Pancreatic metastasis of ovarian papillary serous adenocarcinoma has to be kept in mind when a patient with pancreatic mass has a Conclusion history of ovarian malignancy. Gunay et al. (2012). Case Reports Med.
Customer Service Case studies Introduction: Why is this important? Short Background why case is worth reporting Disease-related: explain usual presentation and progression Treatment-related: explain previously reported side effects or complications Describe relevant cases in the literature Explain why this is important
Customer Service Case studies Introduction: Why is this important? We describe a case of a patient with Anton’s syndrome and its associated features. Not clear… Maddula et al. (2009). J Med Case Reports. To our best knowledge, pancreatic metastasis of ovarian cancer is uncommon and only a few cases have been reported in the literature. We here report a Clear rare metastasis of papillary serous ovarian adenocarcinoma mimicking primary pancreatic cancer. Gunay et al. (2012). Case Reports Med.
Customer Service Case studies Case presentation: The patient’s story Age, gender, ethnicity Why did they come to see you? Introduce the patient Previous diagnoses Family history Types of tests performed Diagnostic tests Factual description of results Maintain confidentiality
Customer Service Case studies Discussion Explain and interpret your findings Summary of report Express your opinions and hypotheses Other cases about the same disease Presentation seen in other diseases Context of relevant cases Other side effects for same treatment Side effects seen in other treatments
Customer Service Case studies Discussion Incomplete background/family history Limitations Diagnostic/technical Value case adds to the Although the incidence of kidney injury among literature patients receiving VEGF inhibitors is not known, our data suggests that it may be prudent to Direction of future monitor patients receiving VEGF inhibitors closely treatments or for possible kidney injury. The optimal way to investigation monitor such patients is not known… Eremina et al. (2008). New England Journal of Medicine.
Customer Service Case studies Other important items Consent: Always obtain informed consent from patient and/or family members References: Much less than research article (~15) Up-do-date research and treatments Relevant cases