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Writing, Publishing and Presenting

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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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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15 Top Tips to Giving a Great Talk

I still remember the first time I stood in front of a crowd of about 35 people, including my brand new lab mates and professors, in my first ever lab meeting. My feet were as wobbly as ever and all I wanted was a big boulder to hide behind, so my crazy shaky legs would…

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Five Easy Ways to Reduce Word Count

The NIH grant that you are working on only gives you five pages to describe your research strategy. You’re wrestling with a research report for Science that has a maximum word limit of 2500. And the abstract for the conference you’d like to speak at this spring only allows you 300 words to summarize the…

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