Reading Strategies Reading improves manuscript writing Read often! Learn how native Learn manuscript Article and journal English speakers write structure and style quality Learn proper Get new ideas, argument structure identify knowledge gaps Discuss with colleagues
Reading Strategies Make time to read Most researchers read 60–90 min per day Spend 20–30 min every day reading abstracts Spend 60 min 2 or 3 days a week reading papers Join a journal club
Reading Strategies How to read an article From Section start to by finish? section? Not efficient! What do you Where can you want to know? find it?
Reading Strategies Strategies for reading Read Title and Abstract first Self-assess knowledge of topic Have you read similar papers? Familiar with the terminology? Do you understand the relevance of the hypothesis
Reading Strategies Strategies for reading Have you read similar papers? Read Title and Abstract first Familiar with the terminology? Self-assess knowledge of topic Do you understand the relevance of the hypothesis
Reading Strategies Strategies for reading Read Title and Abstract first Self-assess knowledge of topic Read last paragraph of introduction for hypothesis/objectives Read Figures and then Results Read Discussion for interpretation Refer to Introduction and Methods if necessary
Manuscript structure IMRaD Abstract Introduction The beginning Methods The middle Results and Discussion The end
Manuscript structure AbstractBackground Why the study was done (20%) Aims The hypothesis (10%) Methods General methodology (10%) Results Most important findings (40%)Conclusion Conclusion & implications (20%)
Manuscript structure Introduction Sufficient background information Current state of the field Identify knowledge gaps/problems Puts work into context General Aims Specific
Manuscript structure MethodsMultiple techniques = New methods Established methodsseparate subheadings described in detail should be cited What they did Materials/subjects General techniques Method order Specific techniques Statistics
Manuscript structure Results What they found Order of results is logical, key finding first Each subsection corresponds to one figure Factually describe the results
Manuscript structure Display itemsPresent large amount Usually the first thing of data quickly and readers will look at efficiently Figures, graphs & tables Use separate panels Stand alone to organize data figure legends
Manuscript structure Discussion Summarize key findingsBeginning State major conclusion Interpret results in context Middle of other studies Describe limitations Restate major conclusion End Applications/implications Suggest future work
Manuscript structure References In-text citations are numberedVancouver style in order of appearance1, 2 (1, 2) Reference list is numbered accordingly In-text citations written out (Author, year) Harvard style Reference list is alphabetical
Section 3Increasing Readability Readable English
Readability Japanese vs. English scientific writing style Japanese English Passive voice Active voice Cause/reason Conclusion comes first comes first Followed by Followed by conclusion explanation
Readability High readability You should… Only have to read once Not have to read slowly Understand the logic immediately
Readability Verb placement• Readers become confused when subject and verb are separated by too much contentThe smallest ORF, a 105-nucleotide reading frame foundin the third intron of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptorβ2 subunit gene, was found to be expressed in responseto long-term treatment with 1 μM cytochalasin D.
Readability Avoid reader confusionThe smallest ORF, a 105-nucleotide reading frame found in the third intron of the nicotinicacetylcholine receptor β2 subunit gene, was found to be expressed in response to long-termtreatment with 1 μM cytochalasin D.The smallest ORF was found to be expressed in response to long-term treatment with 1 μM cytochalasin D. This ORF is a 105-nucleotide reading frame found in the third intron of the nicotinicacetylcholine receptor β2 subunit gene.We found the smallest ORF was expressed in response to long-termtreatment with 1 μM cytochalasin D. This ORF…
Readability 2. Active voice Subject Verb Active• Sentences written in the active voice are: simple direct clear easy to read
Readability 3. Short sentences Reading once…4% of readers can understand a 27-word sentence75% of readers can understand a 17-word sentence Pinner and Pinner (1998) Communication Skills Goals to aim for: One idea per sentence 15–20 words per sentence
Readability 4. Stress position• Readers focus on information at the end of a sentence. Subject Verb take-home information
Readability Stress position• Cell attachment increased on UV-O3-treated silicone.• Cell attachment increased on silicone after UV-O3 treatment.• UV-O3 treatment of silicone increased cell attachment.• Readers, without thinking, concentrate on the end of a sentence.
Readability 5. Topic position• Readers expect a sentence to be a story about whoever/whatever shows up first Subject Topic position Verb Stress position
Readability Topic position sentence idea idea idea idea Topic linkThe patient went to the hospital to see agastroenterologist. The doctor then performed a seriesof diagnostic tests. The results showed the patientsuffered from a bacterial infection. The patient recoveredafter a 2-week course of antibiotics.
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 ‘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
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 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