EASE Toolkit for Authors
Guidelines and Resources for Scientific Writing & Publishing
for early career and less experienced researchers
This Toolkit is designed to help published and unpublished researchers become respected members of the international scientific community by improving their ability to publish articles in peer reviewed scientific journals. It was prepared particularly for junior researchers from non-English speaking, or developing countries and aims to increase authors’ confidence in writing and submitting articles.
It consists of modules, each phrased in terms of a key need (e.g., how to identify the most appropriate journal for a paper, how to prepare a publishable manuscript and how to negotiate the peer review process). Some modules also suggest resources from a variety of books, articles, websites and other sources.
The Toolkit is sponsored by a variety of organizations, including the European Association of Science Editors and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors.
Module 1. How to write
A brief presentation of key writing tips.
Module 2. How to prepare a micro-article
The micro-article is a template that scientists can use to identify their principal results.
Module 3. How to choose a journal
This module describes how to find the most appropriate publication outlet for a scientific article or review paper (pdf).
The Think. Check. Submit. website is another userful resource.
Module 4. How to get published if you are from a developing country or non-English language culture
This module identifies the challenges encountered by scientists whose first language is not English and/or who work in countries with few resources.
Module 5. How to tackle publishing if you are a young or novice researcher
This module describes how to overcome the challenges for authors who have minimal experience with the publication process.
The Library of Alexandria and the University of Pittsburgh have established a free website (the Science Supercourse), to help researchers develop publication and presentation skills.
The British Ecological Society have produced a guide for early career researchers which explains how to get published, with advice on selecting the right journal, writing effectively and dealing with decision letters. The guide is available to download for free here.
Module 6. How to write a scientific paper
This module describes the development of a typical data-based research article from the planning stage to the completion of the final draft. It emphasizes scientific writing techniques, the structure of a scientific article and effective methods of scientific communication.
See also the EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators and Writing academic English when English is not your first language: A bibliography, which is an extensive list of useful resources provided by James Hartley and Vera Sheridan (updated February 2014).
Module 7. How to write a good qualitative paper
An author who wishes to publish a qualitative article has to overcome special challenges. This module provides advice on the principles used by editors and referees to evaluate articles and practical advice on how to write and where to publish qualitative studies.
Module 8. How to use citations effectively, efficiently and appropriately
Citations enable verification of statements and acknowledgment of previous research. This module describes proper use and common abuses of citations. It discusses how to get cited. Finally, it analyses the limits of the Impact Factor.
Module 9. How to determine who should be an author of a paper
This module describes guidelines for determining authorship in scientific writing. It presents a procedure for determining authorship that authors can follow during the preparation and publication of an article. See also The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines on Authorship and EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators
Module 10. How to prepare a paper and respond to referees
This module provides practical guidance about what journal editors are looking for in a journal article (e.g., originality, sound methodology, good writing) and what to do when the editor asks for a revision. See also the following blog posts go.nature.com/yzwvmt, go.nature.com/hzp3bg, and go.nature.com/hchv3i.
Module 11. How to resolve ethical dilemmas
This module is devoted to ethical issues that arise in the context of scientific research and publishing, including carelessness in citing and reviewing the literature; redundant publication; failure to declare a conflict of interest; unfair authorship; plagiarism and scientific fraud. The resources in this module assist ethical decision-making. Case studies are used to illustrate seven ethical topics, with a commentary on each case provided to demonstrate a practical approach to making sound decisions.
Module 12. How to avoid conflict of interest
This module describes recent trends in industry sponsorship of scientific research and the ethical risks involved in accepting funding from funding sources such as the tobacco industry and pharmaceutical companies.
Module 13. How to be an effective referee
This module describes the peer review process, what journal editors expect from reviewers, and how to prepare a critical but constructive review.
Module 14. How to write an essay (a guide for college students)
This module helps students succeed with college-level writing assignments. It outlines how to brainstorm, draft, and revise papers, outlines common grammatical errors and offers a list of other valuable web resources.
Module 15. How to write a review article
A brief presentation about writing a review article in 7 steps.
Module 16. How to make your paper more accessible through self-archiving
A concise description of the benefits and principles of self-archiving in repositories or on personal servers.
Module 17: How to write and publish a study protocol
This free, online module is offered by the BMJ.
Module 18: How to prepare audioslides: sharing your research story for greater impact
AudioSlides are a great way to give readers your own perspective on the research you have done. Find out more on the Elsevier website.
Module 19: How to check if sex and gender are properly reported in a paper
Sex and Gender Questions was published by the EASE Gender Policy Committee to encourage authors of scientific articles to check whether sex and gender are properly reported in their manuscript.
Module 20: What to think about before you begin your research?
BioMed Central has published a useful series of ‘How to get published’ blog posts.
Cochrane reviews (systematic reviews of drug effects, medical interventions, etc.)
CONSORT statement (consolidated standards of reporting trials)
Doctor Fungus (mycology info)
Elsevier for authors (information for authors about publishing in an Elsevier book or journal.
Four steps for effective science communication (SciDev.Net)
Good Publication Practice for Communicating Company-Sponsored Medical Research (article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine)HUGO (human genetic nomenclature)
Medical Dictionary (check spelling is British)
Pharma-lexicon (medical abbreviations)
The Economist Style Guide (has useful tips on correct use of words and punctuation)
Who Named It (index of eponyms)
Wiley Exchanges (their ideas, research and discussion blog)