Should paper titles in ecology be more specific?

Yesterday, a PhD student asked me for advice on how to chose the title of his paper. He works on cicadas, but he noted that many papers that deal with a specific family / group don’t use the name of this group in the title, but rather phrase the problem more broadly. To give a…

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Writing clearly, thinking clearly

Two weeks ago, for the second time in this semester, I taught a block course on “research skills” for students in our international master programs here at the faculty. Topics were how to develop a hypothesis, design experiments, do analysis, write it down, do graphs etc. It believe these courses have been a quite a…

Darwin quote of the day

“I have long discovered that geologists never read each other’s works, and that the only object in writing a book is a proof of earnestness, …” CHARLES DARWIN TO J.M. HERBERT. Down [1844 or 1845], Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (Project Gutenberg ebook), p.347

PeerJ – first impressions are positive

Staying with the topic of publishing: when PeerJ was announced last year (see e.g. a Nature News feature), I was a bit skeptical about how this would go, but I have to admit that my impression about the first articles that have been put online this week is quite positive. Not only are there catchy…

Advice to a young scientist

If you want to get published, then heed this advice: Cite your friends at least once and your enemies twice, The editor three times, yourself at least four, And write in a style that’s intended to bore. If you want to get published, here’s what you must do Above all: don’t come up with anything…