Why You Should Dedicate Time to Write Detailed Protocols

Why You Should Dedicate Time to Write Detailed Protocols

During my first year as a graduate student, one of the earliest pieces of advice that I received from a senior student in the lab was to keep detailed protocols. In fact, she had a folder of her own protocols, all of them extremely detailed and riddled with notes. When she showed me how to…

Writing a Successful Graduate Fellowship Application
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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…

Are you Guilty of P-Hacking?

Are you Guilty of P-Hacking?

P-value abuse directly contributes to one of the biggest problems facing the scientific community: the prominence of false-positive results in the published literature. Contrary to popular interpretation, the p-value doesn’t indicate the likelihood that the observed result was due to chance. There are important qualifications to p-value interpretation.  Moreover, the p-value cannot directly speak to…

The Art of Scientific Authorship: Political Science

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…

How to be an Effective Corresponding Author

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….

How to Become a Medical Writer

How to Become a Medical Writer

If there is one profession that benefited from globalization, it is the medical writer. While the university research groups shrink and global biomedical companies fire their research stuff, medical writing companies are expanding, providing stable jobs with good salaries. The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) reported in 2011 that the median salary of an experienced…

Publishing Online?  Consider a Graphical Abstract

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,…

Five Truths About Science Publishing or Why All Science Should be Free

Five Truths About Science Publishing or Why All Science Should be Free

After writing my last article, I have started illegally downloading hundreds of scientific publications from the pirate website, Sci-Hub. When I mentioned that at the last lab meeting, my labmates argued that using Sci-Hub was like stealing in a shop or downloading illegal music. So? Should I feel like Batman or the Joker? The Morality…

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

You’ve got an advisor, you’re done with classes, you’ve finally passed your qualifying exams and your dissertation project is underway. Life is looking good, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how to tackle your dissertation. Chances are this is the biggest writing project you have ever undertaken, so breaking it up into…

Avoiding Plagiarism in Science

Avoiding Plagiarism in Science

I remember when I first learned about plagiarism during my undergraduate course. The lecturers were so firm in telling us that if we got caught plagiarizing we would face serious repercussions and that all our work, especially our dissertations, would be vigorously checked by plagiarism detecting software. I was so panicked that I would inadvertently…