Scientific writing 2.0: a reader and writer's guide

Scientific writing 2.0: a reader and writer’s guide
Jean-Luc Lebrun
World Scientific Publishing
2011 | 250pp | ?23 (PB)
ISBN 9789814350600
Reviewed by Sarah Farley


This guide aims to help all scientists to improve their scientific writing skills. There is a real focus on writing for the reader, explaining how to improve your work by addressing the needs of the audience. 

The book consists of two parts. The first, The reading toolkit, explains ways to make your work more reader friendly, and describes how to increase the interest and understanding of the audience to deliver your message more effectively. Organised into several short chapters, with examples to illustrate the concepts and suggested exercises to evaluate your own writing, this section is easy to follow and informative. 

The second part deals with paper structure. Chapters on each main section of a paper consider the contribution of the section to the work overall, as well as aspects to take into account during the writing process. The end of each chapter includes commonly asked questions and a checklist of good and bad practices regarding the construction of each section. 

The final chapter of the book lists many additional resources, both online and in print, on several aspects of scientific writing and the preparation of papers. 

Also included is a Writing diagnosis tool on DVD for both Mac and PC. Whole articles or individual sections can be uploaded and subjected to analysis, including fluidity checking and full evaluation. The output includes statistics on sentence length and the impact of the words in your article, and short video tutorials explain the effective use of each feature. 

This guide will be of use to many scientists, both new and familiar to the art of scientific writing. Consideration of the advice provided further develops the analytical reading skills required to critically review the work of others, as well as helping with the preparation of your own future articles.