How to Reduce Word Count

How to Reduce Word Count

In the Instructions to Authors, most peer-reviewed journals specify the maximum length of a submitted manuscript. Word limits typically range from 3,000 to 4,000 or even 6,000 words, depending on the type of study – original article versus technical report versus...
Is Passive Voice Passé?

Is Passive Voice Passé?

Historically, passive voice has been strongly recommended for scientific writing, particularly for manuscripts prepared for peer-reviewed journals. Many of us were taught that passive voice should be used almost exclusively to make the writing more objective, and that...
Asking for an Extension

Asking for an Extension

You’ve submitted your manuscript to a medical journal and you’re anxiously awaiting a decision. The editor emails you with a request to “Revise and Resubmit” (yaaay!), with what they consider “major” revisions (not so great, but still good!). And the journal’s...
When to Use Present or Past Tense

When to Use Present or Past Tense

One of the most common problems with the manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals that I receive for copy-editing is the improper use of verb tenses. It seems most researchers struggle with the correct tense to use to describe what was done in their study. They’ve been...
How to Get Started Writing Your Paper

How to Get Started Writing Your Paper

All right, you’ve researched and reviewed the literature, you’ve gathered and analyzed your data, and you’ve determined you have enough results to write up and submit your research to a peer-reviewed journal. But how on earth do you start writing the paper? Staring at...
Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

What is the difference between inclusion and exclusion criteria? How do you know whether something should be an inclusion or exclusion criterion for your study? In a prospective study, you define the study population and enrol eligible subjects before applying the...