Language, style and accuracy 2


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Language, style and accuracy 2

  1. 1. Language, style and accuracy:help and advice from a language editor (2)- エディターからの英語論文に関するアドバイス - Oita University Warren Raye, PhD Senior Life Sciences Editor Edanz Group Japan 17 February 2012
  2. 2. Readability可読性“only 4% of readers understand a 27-word sentence first time” Reader objectives  Only need to read once  Do not have to read slowly  Can understand author logic immediately Edanz Group Japan | 2
  3. 3. Sentence length Keep it short & simple1文は短く簡潔に We examined numerous peer-reviewed journals Easy to read articles had an average sentence length of around 17 words Sentences that are 1520 words Long sentences and repetition One sentence: one idea 1文には1つのアイデア Edanz Group Japan | 3
  4. 4. Goals to aim for … Maximum 25–30 words per sentence Not more than four 30-word sentences in the whole manuscript Use punctuation to your advantage  periods (.) and commas (,) Think about ‘reader expectation’ and match the expectation with the contents Edanz Group Japan | 4
  5. 5. Reader expectation Example Match the expectation with the contentsAll samples were collected at the same time (10 AM)every day to prevent any effects of circadian variationand then stored after treatment at 5C until assayed.All samples were collected at the same time (10 AM) everyday to prevent any effects of circadian variation.They were then stored after treatment at 5C until assayed. Edanz Group Japan | 5
  6. 6. Simple is best簡潔に書くことが大事 Simple language IS best Makes YOUR science more relevant Minimizes confusion – maximizes understanding Science is often complex  Use simple language to help more people understand your work Edanz Group Japan | 6
  7. 7. Simple words Examples簡潔な単語 PREFERRED AVOID more additional enough adequate clear apparent try attempt show demonstrate try endeavor very exceedingly Edanz Group Japan | 7
  8. 8. Unnecessary words Write simply簡潔に書く In order to…In 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 … Edanz Group Japan | 8
  9. 9. Unnecessary words Further examples PREFERRED AVOID Because For the reason that First In the first place Soon In the not too distant future Four Four in number Green Green color After Subsequent to Before Prior to Usually Except in a very few instances Edanz Group Japan | 9
  10. 10. Common mistakes Comparisons Frequently made in the Results section Compare “like” with “like” Avoid ambiguity Use with, NOT toThe tumor excised from the pancreas was compared with theliver.The tumor excised from the pancreas was compared withthat from the liver. Edanz Group Japan | 10
  11. 11. Avoiding ambiguity 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. Faster than what? Reactions with the new thermal cycler were faster than those with the old cycler. Edanz Group Japan | 11
  12. 12. Consistency一貫性 Be consistent with terms, abbreviations and spelling throughout your manuscript Inconsistencies can be used as a reason for rejection Use the ‘Find (and replace)’ function in Word Edanz Group Japan | 12
  13. 13. Comparisons Between or among“Between”と“ among” Use between for comparisons of two groups… the only difference between the original molecule andthe new molecule is ... Use among for comparisons of more than twogroups… significant differences were observed in the H valuesamong bio-, fully- and semi-synthetic molecules … Edanz Group Japan | 13
  14. 14. Respectively“Respectively”は必要時のみ使用する ‘Respectively’ is often misused by non-native English speakers. Use ‘respectively’ only if your sentence would be unclear without it. Use to refer to two corresponding lists, but not more Edanz Group Japan | 14
  15. 15. Respectively“Respectively”の良い例、悪い例 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. 15 Edanz Group Japan | 15
  16. 16. Respectively Example“Respectively”の例Oxygen 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; thenitrogen detector flow was set at 7 mL/min; and, thehydrogen detector flow was set at 4 mL/min. 28 wordsOxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen detector flows were setat 85, 7 and 4 mL/min, respectively. 15 words Edanz Group Japan | 16
  17. 17. ‘Such as’ or ‘Namely’“Such as”と“namely“ such as: to give examples… there were other factors, such as nutrient status,primary production, microbial biomass, andcoagulation processes.namely: to define… we used certified reference materials, namely C36n-alkane and phenanthrene, obtained from … Edanz Group Japan | 17
  18. 18. Language Colon or semi-colonコロンとセミコロン The colon “:” is used to introduce a list or a clause that explains what precedes it. Semicolon “;” is used to separate the items in a list too long for commas or where commas could be ambiguous. Use ‘and’ before the last item in the list.There are a number of journals for surgery manuscripts:Surgery, produced by Elsevier; Journal of Surgery, producedby NMS; and the British Journal of Surgery, produced byWiley & Sons. Edanz Group Japan | 18
  19. 19. Language Colon or semi-colonコロンとセミコロン Use a semicolon to join two sentences that are not independentIn previous sediments of all salinities, MeHg production washighest at previous sediment depths just below the oxic/anoxictransition; that is, depths where microbial sulfate reduction waspresent, but where sulfide, which inhibits methylation, wasrelatively low.One sentence is too long; but the two sentencesmust be connected. Edanz Group Japan | 19
  20. 20. Language UK or US spelling UK英語かUS英語か?Be consistent 一貫させる Check the journal’s Guide for Authors Generally, American journals require US spelling and British journals require British spelling, but many accept either form as long as the spelling used is consistent fibre or fiber centre or center labelling or labeling colour or color Exceptions: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; your references Edanz Group Japan | 20
  21. 21. Help your readers understand“If you can’t explain something simply,you don’t understand it well.” – Albert Einstein Write to express NOT impress Consider your audience – their native language may not be English Edanz Group Japan | 21
  22. 22. Online resources Paradigm Online Writing Assistant Springer Exemplar Google Scholar Purdue Online Writing Lab Edanz Group Japan | 22
  23. 23. Why are journal guidelines important?ジャーナルガイドラインはなぜ重要か? A major difference between acceptance and rejection Saves your time Time to publication is quicker Demonstrates respect for the journal and editors Edanz Group Japan | 23
  24. 24. Journal guidelinesジャーナルガイドライン Edanz Group Japan | 24
  25. 25. What to look for?注視する点は? Check journal website and sample papers Types of papers published Word counts  Total  Each section Order of sections  IMRaD  Variation of IMRaD Edanz Group Japan | 25
  26. 26. References文献一覧Pay attention to the referencing style in text:Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior (Suzuki et al., 2005).Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior (Tanaka and Honda).Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior [1].Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior (1).Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior. [1,2]Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior [1–3].Insect hunting is an ideal way to study predatory behavior.¹Tanaka reported that insect hunting was an ideal way to study predatorybehavior (2005). Edanz Group Japan | 26
  27. 27. References文献一覧If you need to abbreviate, use the following resources: BIOSIS (BIOSIS Serial Sources) CASSI (Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index) Index MedicusTitle: Advances in drug research Title: Medicine and science in sportsAbbreviation: Adv. Drug Res. Abbreviation: Med. Sci. Sports Some journals limit the number of references Check a sample paper if you are not sure of the style Referencing styles: APA, Chicago, MLA, ACS, IEEE, Vancouver Use reference managers such as EndNote or BibTeX Edanz Group Japan | 27
  28. 28. Cover letters Competition for editors’ attention is very high It may not be enough to send a cover letter to a journal editor like this:Dear Editor-in-Chief,I am sending you our manuscript entitled “Techniques to detect circoviruses in Japanesebird species” by Raye et al. We would like to have the manuscript considered forpublication in Archives of Virology.Please let me know of your decision at your earliest convenience.Sincerely yours,Warren Raye, PhD Edanz Group Japan | 28
  29. 29. Your cover letter General rules Address to the editor personally Provide manuscript title and publication type Background, rationale, description of results Explain importance of your findings  Why would they be of interest to the journal’s target audience? Provide corresponding author details Edanz Group Japan | 29
  30. 30. Cover letter ExampleDear Dr Lisberger,Please find enclosed our manuscript entitled “Amyloid-like inclusions in the brains of Huntington’s disease patients”, byMcGowan et al., which we would like to submit for publication as a Research Paper in Neuroscience.Recent immunohistochemical studies have revealed the presence of neuronal inclusions containing an N-terminal portion of Give thethe mutant huntingtin protein and ubiquitin in the brain tissues of Huntington’s disease (HD) patients; however, the role of background tothese inclusions in the disease process has remained unclear. One suspected disease-causing mechanism in Huntington’sdisease and other polyglutamine disorders is the potential for the mutant protein to undergo a conformational change to a the researchmore stable anti-parallel β-sheet structure…To confirm if the immunohistochemically observed huntingtin- and ubiquitin-containing inclusions display amyloid features, we What was doneperformed Congo red staining and both polarizing and confocal microscopy on post-mortem human brain tissues obtainedfrom five HD patients, two AD patients, and two normal controls. Congo red staining revealed a small number of amyloid-like and what wasinclusions showing green birefringence by polarized microscopy, in a variety of cortical regions.... ….detected inclusions foundobserved in parallel sections, suggesting that only a relatively small proportion of inclusions in HD adopt an amyloid-likestructure.We believe our findings would appeal to a broad audience, such as the readership of Neuroscience. As a wide-reaching journal Interest topublishing original research on all aspects of neuroscience… journal’s readersWe confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal. All Conforms toauthors have approved the manuscript and agree with submission to Neuroscience. We have read and have abided by the journalstatement of ethical standards for manuscripts submitted to Neuroscience. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. requirementsPlease address all correspondence to…. Edanz Group Japan | 30
  31. 31. Communication Journals Polite and professional Query manuscript status  Address to the appropriate person  Quote the manuscript ID number  Officially withdraw your manuscript if response is inadequate – VERY IMPORTANT  Submit elsewhere AVOID harassing journal editors Edanz Group Japan | 31
  32. 32. Recommending reviewers“… the contact details (including email addresses) of at least four potential peerreviewers for your paper. These should be experts in your field of study, who will be ableto provide an objective assessment of the manuscripts quality. Any peer reviewers yousuggest should not have recently published with any of the authors of your manuscriptand should not be members of the same research institution.” Who ARE these experts? Read as much as possible! Know your competitors Provide a reason for recommending/excluding a reviewer Editors have the final decision on reviewer choice Edanz Group Japan | 32
  33. 33. Potential reviewers From your reading and references  Groups doing similar work, producing similar results  Possible collaborators Networking  Meetings, conferences and congresses  People that comment positively Aim for younger and mid-level scientists Scientists new to a field Edanz Group Japan | 33
  34. 34. Peer review Exists to ensure that your paper is as scientifically robust and complete as possible before joining the ‘collective knowledge’ as part of the literature An opportunity to improve your contribution, not an inconvenience Open / Blind / Double blind Edanz Group Japan | 34
  35. 35. Peer Review What do reviewers look for?査読者が求めているもの Is the manuscript sufficiently novel? Is the manuscript of broad enough interest? Novelty Aims and Scope Significance Impact Factor Edanz Group Japan | 35
  36. 36. Peer review Very few papers are Rejection Acceptance Minor immediately accepted Major revision without need for any revision revisions Free, expert advice Complete rejection Journal editor Major revisions decision Minor revisions Acceptance Edanz Group Japan | 36
  37. 37. Reasons for rejection: the science Methods Validations Research question Statistics Data versus conclusions Edanz Group Japan | 37
  38. 38. Reasons for rejection: the manuscript Methods detail Citations Rationale and aims Results format Limitations Edanz Group Japan | 38
  39. 39. Reasons for rejection: otherInappropriate journal Inappropriate selected: scope, timing: too early or impact, audience late Edanz Group Japan | 39
  40. 40. Revision How to respond Politely respond to ALL the reviewers’ comments in a response letter Make it easy to see changes  Use specific line, page and/or paragraph numbers  Different color font  Highlight the text Edanz Group Japan | 40
  41. 41. Revision How to respond Conduct the additional experiments suggested  If this is impossible, you MUST explain why You can disagree with reviewers BUT provide evidence (cite references) Comply with deadlines Edanz Group Japan | 41
  42. 42. Your response letter The preambleDear Dr. _____________: [address the editor byname]Thank you for your consideration of our manuscriptentitled _____________ [insert manuscript titlehere]. We have reviewed the comments of thereviewers and have thoroughly revised themanuscript. We found the comments helpful, andbelieve our revised manuscript represents asignificant improvement over our initial submission.In response to the reviewers’ suggestions we have …[summarize the key changes here] Edanz Group Japan | 42
  43. 43. Point-by-point response AgreeingAfter the preamble, address every reviewer pointindividuallyReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosen touse a somewhat obscure fitting function (regression). In my opinion,a simple Gaussian function would have sufficed. Moreover, theresults would be more instructive and easier to compare to previousresults.Response: We agree with the reviewer’s assessment of the analysis.Our tailored function makes it impossible to fully interpret the datain terms of the prevailing theories. In addition, in its current form itwould be difficult to tell that this measurement constitutes asignificant improvement over previously reported values. We havereanalyzed our data using a Gaussian fitting function. Edanz Group Japan | 43
  44. 44. Point-by-point response DisagreementSometimes you will disagree with the reviewer. Keepyour response polite and professionalReviewer Comment: In your analysis of the data you have chosento use a somewhat obscure fitting function (regression). In myopinion, a simple Gaussian function would have sufficed. Moreover,the results would be more instructive and easier to compare toprevious results.Response: We agree with the reviewer that a simple Gaussian fitwould facilitate comparison with the results of other studies.However, our tailored function allows for the analysis of the data interms of the Smith model [Smith et al, 1998]. We have added twosentences to the manuscript (page 3, line 4) to justify the use ofthis function and Smith’s model. Edanz Group Japan | 44
  45. 45. Post-referee revisionsOften, a reviewer comment that you think is incorrectwill identify a part of the manuscript that requiresfurther explanation.Original: We then fit the data to a super-Gaussian. From this,we extracted the reaction time [Smith et al. 1998].Revised: We then fit the data to a super-Gaussian. Weelected to use this function to facilitate analysis using theSmith model [Smith et al. 1998]. According to the Smithmodel, the reaction time is dependent on the intensity andwidth of the fitted peak. Using this model, we extracted thereaction time. Edanz Group Japan | 45
  46. 46. Understanding reviewer comments “The English needs to be improved” “Your writing is difficult to understand” Grammar Long, complex sentences and paragraphs Non-native expressions Gaps in the logic Poor organization of the manuscript Flow Too much information Edanz Group Japan | 46
  47. 47. Understanding reviewer comments“The authors hypothesized to look for the pharmacokinetics ofthe insulin using this 4 mm needle; However they didnt dobioequivalence analyses for glucose pharmacodynamics. That isone of my concerns about this methodology.” Questions from reviewers may not always be apparent Cosmetic changes Edanz Group Japan | 47
  48. 48. Resources and links参考資料 This presentation Templates Guidelines Edanz Group Japan | 48
  49. 49. Thank you Good luck!ご清聴ありがとうございました 。 Edanz Group Japan | 49