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Writing, Publishing and Presenting

Does Your h-index Measure Up?

How do you measure how good you are as a scientist? One way is the h-index. Discover what this is, and learn about the pros and cons of using it to assess your scientific career.

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10 Tips on Writing a Research Poster

A scientific research poster can be a great tool for drawing people into a conversation at a conference. We’ve pulled together our 10 top tips to help you prep perfect posters.

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How to Share Your Journal Articles Legally

Sharing research articles legally isn’t always straightforward, even when you are the author. Find out why sharing your article could put you in a sticky situation and learn how to avoid it!

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Tips for Choosing Your Lab Notebook Pen (and Why You Need to Choose Carefully)

Keeping a meticulous lab record of your experiments is a necessity. And it’s drilled into us to back up our computers, including backups stored in different locations to ensure vital records don’t get lost. But how do we protect the hard copy information in our lab books? You may not have given much thought previously…

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Scientific Illustrations Part II: Molecular Graphics and Animation

How do you explain to your friends and family what you have you’ve been working on all this time? Conveying the true wonder and intricacy of your work to the layperson can be tricky. They won’t be familiar with the lingo, and they might not immediately know how to interpret scientific graphs and figures. You…

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Scientific Illustrations Part I: Schematics and Cartoons

Biologists have a long tradition of drawing specimens as a form of data collection before the invention of the camera. The ability to present information in the form of illustrations is an important but often understated skill in a scientist’s toolkit. Scientific illustrations in publications run the gamut from schematics, 3D models, cartoons, and even…

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Grant Writing: Everything but the Science

Join Kate Christian as she walks you through the other aspects of grant writing. In this webinar you will learn how to handle tricky tasks like: Career disruption Reason for choosing the place of work Track record relative to opportunity Consumer involvement And more We all understand that grant applications provide challenges to the applicants.…

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How to Effectively Communicate Your Research

Join Kate Christian as she demystifies the process of effectively communicating your research. In this webinar, you will learn: Why you should value research communication (and how this will affect your career) The routine steps you can take to better your communication skills How to describe the impact of your research Unfortunately, most researchers do…

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How to Prepare a Winning Grant Proposal– Part 3: Resubmission

The grant reviews are in and you need to reconsider your approach.  This session will provide guidance on how to process a grant review and take the next steps. You will learn: How to read and interpret a summary statement How to address critiques When not to resubmit The webinar will include real-world examples from…

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How to Prepare a Winning Grant Proposal– Part 2: Nuts and Bolts

Are you wondering how to get the reviewers’ attention and respect for your grant proposal?  This session will give you the tools to present your ideas in the best possible light. You will learn important elements of writing the research plan section of your proposal, such as: Essential items to include in your research plan…

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How to Prepare a Winning Grant Proposal–Part 1: Getting Started

Are you thinking about writing a grant proposal and not sure where to begin?  This webinar will cover the key items to address before you even start writing the research plan of your proposal. You will learn the basics about: How to target your proposal How to bring people on board How to prepare the…

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Intellectual Property: How Not to Shoot Yourself in the Foot

So you’ve discovered the Holy Grail all life scientists in your field are searching for – congratulations! The dollar signs start appearing and you realize that there is a huge scope for commercializing your research. But before you can actually collect the rewards, you need to have been thinking tactically about how to protect your…

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Assertive Slide Titles to Guide Your Presentation

When I first learned how to design scientific presentations, I kept hearing the same advice from well-intentioned mentors: “Make sure your presentation tells a story!” they’d say. I understood what they meant in principle, but I had difficulty implementing this advice in my own presentations. In this article, I’m going to share a simple way…

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How to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism and Academic Fraud [BMA Podcast]

In the modern research environment we have all of the information we need to work with right at our fingertips – just a cut and paste away. And that makes it very easy for even the most well-meaning scientist to accidentally stumble into plagiarism. Most of us think of plagiarism as simply copying someone else’s…

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How to Stop Worrying and Love Your Q&A Session

It’s your first conference talk, and you’re as ready as ready gets. Your outfit is on point, you’ve practiced your talk to perfection, you’ve backed up your slides on two flash drives plus your laptop (just in case), and everything is under control. Well, except for one thing: the dreaded Q&A session. There’s no telling…

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How to Give an Incredible Scientific Talk

Committee meeting approaching? 10 minute department seminar? Lab meeting? Fear not! My adviser has insulted my presentations so regularly, that I’ve finally learned some things. Hopefully, I can head your adviser off at the pass, and give you some tips on crafting an incredible talk. What’s the Occasion? Who’s Your Audience? This is arguably the most important…

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Scientific Cyber Fraud: Nobody Move—We’re Taking Over This Journal!

Keeping up to date with the scientific literature is a large part of the work-load of any researcher. Love it or loathe it, this means of sharing research findings with the larger scientific community is still the way in which most of us inform ourselves of the latest findings in our fields of research, or…

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Writing a Successful Graduate Fellowship Application

The most obvious benefit of a graduate fellowship is the generous monetary support that pays for your stipend, tuition, and/or travel expenses. The not-so-obvious benefits of writing a graduate fellowship application come from being forced to analyze your research project and set realistic goals. This activity alone will make you reflect about who you are…

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The Art of Scientific Authorship: Political Science

The elusive manuscript. It’s what we, as scientists, build our kingdoms on—throwing ourselves into our research, hoping to feel our time in the sun when it all comes to fruition in the form of that glorious body of work. But…what how do you determine who should share in that sunshine? Should you always put your…

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How to Make a Good Graphical Abstract

Presenting science concisely poses many challenges: How do you say enough without saying too much? Are you capturing the main points? Does this research paper abstract attract the reader’s attention and make them want to read your paper? That last question is the most important and the most overlooked one. And to address it, many…

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The Art of Bridging the Gap between Scientists and the Public

Communicating your science to a lay audience is different than giving a talk to other scientists. An urban legend says that when Michael Faraday verified the relationship between electricity and magnetism, he was asked to present his evidence to the prime minister of England. So, he had his coils arranged and he just moved a…

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Open Access: Facts, Myths, and Effects on Your Research Funding

The rise of open access is changing how research is communicated. In this webinar, we’ll celebrate Open Access Week 2016 by taking a closer look at how open access affects how researchers write and publish their results. Specifically, we will: Define open access and Creative Commons licensing and dive into the numbers  about open access…

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Making Sense of Creative Commons Licenses

As a scientist, you have many options when it comes to licensing your original, scholarly work. For every new paper, data set, video/audio recording, image collection, figure, or computer program (just to name a few), you must decide how far and wide the material will be distributed and what others are allowed to do with…

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What I Learned as a Grant Reviewer

A few years ago, when I was working for a biotechnology company, I got a special letter in the mail.  The NIH asked me to be an ad-hoc grant reviewer for small business grants. Although I drew these lessons from the NIH grant review process, they can probably be applied to many granting agencies.  If…

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How to be an Effective Corresponding Author

Writing manuscripts is an integral part of research. And being listed as an author on a published article is the most cherished dream of a research scholar/ graduate student. However, what about the corresponding author role? During your Ph.D tenure, you will be encouraged to compile your data and write manuscripts based on your results.…

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Top 5 Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity During Thesis Writing

For many scientists the most intimidating aspect of undertaking a PhD isn’t the long hours in the lab or the uncertain nature of the job length in academia that follows it. It’s the thought of attempting to write up 4+ years of work into a single cohesive thesis! The thesis writing process can vary greatly…

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How to Give a Great Scientific Talk and Engage Your Audience

We have all been to awful talks—hours of slides crammed with data, given by presenters who assume you know as much as they do. But hopefully you’ve also seen a great scientific talk. A talk in which you’re walked through a story, eagerly anticipating each question and data point, until you finally reach a conclusion…

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Making and Presenting a Scientific Poster

At a conference, a poster can be a great tool for drawing people into conversation. Not only do you have something to break the ice with, you can also get really useful feedback from a completely different perspective! To make sure you get the most out of your poster time it’s important to have a…

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What You Should Know About Intellectual Property Rights

Innovation is the essence of research and it is the fuel that keeps the research industry going. If it were not for inventions, the field of scientific research would have dropped dead long ago. However, simply innovating something is not sufficient. It is not the end of the road, but the beginning of it. Therefore,…

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How (not) to write a terrible scientific thesis

So it’s time to write up your thesis. By now, you probably consider yourself an expert on your topic or you hate the sight of it (or both!). Either way, hundreds of typewritten pages are all that stands between you and graduation/freedom. One of your first requirements will be to review the current knowledge on…

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Publishing Online? Consider a Graphical Abstract

There is a new way to present your paper, and some journals are even beginning to require it. Introducing… the Graphical Abstract. When submitting for online journals, not only do you have to write your normal abstract, you may also need to provide a graphical abstract. Various publishers, such as Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis,…

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A poster presentation at a conference: a to-do list

People go to conferences to get feedback on their work, to learn about recent findings, and to meet colleagues (both new and old). I advise not to concentrate only on your work, but also on on your goals. Here is my algorithm for attending conferences.

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