Scientific Papers and Presentations - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780123847270, 9780123847287

Scientific Papers and Presentations

3rd Edition

Authors: Martha Davis Kaaron Joann Davis Marion Dunagan
Paperback ISBN: 9780123847270
eBook ISBN: 9780123847287
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 27th July 2012
Page Count: 368
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Electronic publishing and electronic means of text and data presentation have changed enormously since the first edition of this book was published in 1997. The third edition of Scientific Papers and Presentations applies traditional principles to today's modern techniques and the changing needs of up-and-coming academia. Topics include designing visual aids, writing first drafts, reviewing and revising, communicating clearly and concisely, adhering to stylistic principles, presenting data in tables and figures, dealing with ethical and legal issues, and relating science to the lay audience. This successful legacy title is an essential guide to professional communication, provides a wealth of information and detail and is a useful guide.

Key Features

  • Covers all aspects of communication for early scientists from research to thesis to presentations.
  • Discusses how to use multi-media effectively in presentations and communication
  • Includes an extensive appendices section with detailed examples for further guidance


Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers in every discipline

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the Third Edition

Chapter 1. The Semantic Environment of Science

1.1 The Semantic Environment

1.2 Basic Semantic Elements in Communication


Chapter 2. Before You Begin

2.1 Kinds of Scientific Communication

2.2 Sources of Help

2.3 Of Pencils, Mice, and Cyberspace


Chapter 3. Organizing and Writing a Rough Draft

3.1 Thinking and Writing

3.2 Prewriting Exercises

3.3 Organization and Development

3.4 Coordinating Organization and Development

3.5 Writing the Rough Draft

3.6 Examples


Chapter 4. Searching and Reviewing Scientific Literature

4.1 Planning the Literature Search

4.2 Finding the Literature

4.3 Selecting and Evaluating the Literature

4.4 Reviews


Chapter 5. The Proposal

5.1 The Graduate Proposal

5.2 The Grant Proposal

5.3 Other Considerations

5.4 Progress Reports


Chapter 6. Graduate Theses and Dissertations

6.1 The Thesis and your Graduate Program

6.2 Avoiding Problems

6.3 Planning the Thesis

6.4 Forms for Theses

6.5 The Thesis Defense


Chapter 7. Publishing in Scientific Journals

7.1 Planning and Writing the Paper

7.2 Journal Manuscript Contents

7.3 After the Paper is Written

7.4 The Editing and Reviewing Process


Chapter 8. Style and Accuracy in the Final Draft

8.1 Style

8.2 Styles in Headings

8.3 Accuracy and Style in Documentation

8.4 Proofreading


Chapter 9. Reviewing and Revising

9.1 Reviewing and Revising Your Own Paper

9.2 Requesting other Reviews

9.3 Reviewing Journal Manuscripts for Others


Chapter 10. Titles and Abstracts

10.1 Titles

10.2 Abstracts


Chapter 11. Publishing Data

11.1 Tables

11.2 Figures

11.3 Summary


Chapter 12. Professionalism, Ethics, and Legal Issues

12.1 Professionalism

12.2 Professional Ethics in Scientific Communication

12.3 Professional Respect for Others

12.4 The Legal Issues: Copyrights and Patents


Chapter 13. Scientific Presentations

13.1 Academic Seminars

13.2 The Professional Meeting

13.3 Speaking at the Job Interview

13.4 The Question and Answer Session

13.5 Role of the Moderator

13.6 Fit the Occasion


Chapter 14. Communication without Words

14.1 Symbols

14.2 Fonts

14.3 Color

14.4 Physical Communication

14.5 Listening


Chapter 15. Visual Aids for Presentations

15.1 Slide Composition

15.2 Slide Production


Chapter 16. The Oral Presentation

16.1 Conditioning Yourself

16.2 Timing

16.3 The Visual Aids

16.4 Coordinating the Visual Aids and the Speech

16.5 Transitions in an Oral Presentation

16.6 The Peer Review

16.7 Checklist for Professional Oral Presentation


Chapter 17. Poster Presentations

17.1 Audience

17.2 Content

17.3 Making it Fit

17.4 Text Size and Style

17.5 Color and Physical Quality

17.6 Spacing and Arrangement

17.7 Presentation of Data

17.8 The Presenter

17.9 Handouts

17.10 Time and Construction


Chapter 18. Group Communications

18.1 Group Communication with No Audience

18.2 Group Communication with an Audience


Chapter 19. Communicating with the Nonscientist

19.1 The Research Scientist

19.2 The Science Practitioner

19.3 The Science Writer

19.4 Audiences

19.5 Avenues

19.6 Subject

19.7 Techniques


Chapter 20. To the International Student

20.1 Becoming Adjusted to U.S. Cultures

20.2 General Cultural Differences

20.3 Scientific Writing in American English

20.4 Oral Presentations

20.5 Body Language


APPENDIX 1. Weaknesses in Scientific Writing

APPENDIX 2. The First Draft

APPENDIX 3. Sample Manuscript

APPENDIX 4. Sample Literature Review

APPENDIX 5. Sample Graduate Proposal

APPENDIX 6. Alternate Routes to the Thesis

APPENDIX 7. Sample Review of Manuscript Submitted for Publication

APPENDIX 8. Evolution of a Title

APPENDIX 9. Evolution of an Abstract

APPENDIX 10. Putting Data into Tables and Figures

APPENDIX 11. Sample Letter Requesting Copyright Permission

APPENDIX 12. Use of Color in Visual Aids

APPENDIX 13. Designing Slides and Slide Sets

APPENDIX 14. Oral Presentations at Meetings



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About the Author

Martha Davis

After teaching English composition and world literature, Martha Davis crossed the line between the humanities and the sciences. Always an aficionado of biology and gardening, her interests led her to the biological and agricultural sciences where she has worked for some 15 years mostly with graduate students relative to their communication skills in science. This handbook is the result of seeking answers to their questions and of recognizing that most other communication handbooks are limited to specific areas of writing or speaking. Scientific Papers and Presentations is her attempt to put under one cover the basic guidelines for the communication endeavors of the graduate student as well as the professional scientist.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, U.S.A.

Kaaron Joann Davis

Affiliations and Expertise

Curricular Affairs Coordinator, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Marion Dunagan

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs, Graduate School of Business, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA


"The book specifically lays out ideal techniques for scientific writing. It is easy to follow and has an excellent table of contents and appendix...This book will be beneficial not just to scientists, but anyone who struggles with their writing."--Technical Communication, August 2013