Getting Published in the Life Sciences by Richard Gladon, William Graves & Michael Kelly - Book review

Getting Published in the Life Sciences

By: Richard J. Gladon, William R. Graves, J. Michael Kelly

Published: August 30, 2011
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1118017161
ISBN-13: 978-1118017166
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

"This book focuses on the steps in the process of preparing a manuscript for subsequent submission to a refereed journal in the life sciences", write Richard J. Gladon of Iowa State Univerisy, William R. Graves of Iowa State University, and J. Michael Kelly of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in their comprehensive and revolutionary book Getting Published in the Life Sciences . The authors describe a fresh approach for preparing, writing and submitting scientific papers to peer reviewed journal to increase dramatically the opportunity for achieving publication status.

Richard J. Gladon (photo left), William R. Graves, and J. Michael Kelly recognize the critical importance of disseminating new and groundbreaking ideas and discoveries for the advancement of scientific knowledge. This sharing of information requires the new discoveries to be published in the appropriate journals and other related publications.

The authors point out that the publishing process is one where many scientists fail to achieve success. Many practicing scientists lack the proper skills to write a convincing and technically sound paper; or they dislike the process of writing entirely. The authors provide the appropriate skills for preparing, writing, and publishing a scientific paper that will increase the chances of acceptance in peer reviewed publications.

William R. Graves (photo left), J. Michael Kelly, and Richard J. Gladon provide an alternative approach to writing scientific manuscripts. The authors recommend a backwards technique to ensure that the final manuscript contains valuable take away points and information. Through this focus on the back end of the paper, the scientist begins with the conclusion first, and ends the writing with the paper's abstract. For the authors, this back to front writing technique ensures a more focused and concise paper that will enjoy a greater chance of acceptance for publication.

The authors divide the book into three distinct sections that break up the process into three discrete steps.:

* Addressing the issues the scientist must consider before thinking about and organizaing the the paper
* The new method for developing and actually writing the paper
* Actual submission, peer review, paper revision and other aspects of the process

For me, the power of the book is how J. Michael Kelly (photo left), Richard J. Gladon, and William R. Graves combine the overall process of writing a paper, from planning to submission, with clear advice for achieving publication of the manuscript. The authors present a unique reversal writing method, focusing on the end result and overall impact of the paper, to ensure clarity on the part of the writer.

The book is filled with tips and advice for writing manuscripts for biological, natural, and life sciences that can be modified for different audiences and disciplines. The writing techniques ensure that the scientist writes well and with clarity, provides a strong conclusion, and understands completely what peer reviewers seek in a publishable manuscript. To help guide the scientist in their writing practice, the authors include sample and practice outlines for the writer to hone individual skills that lead to a stronger manuscript.

I highly recommend the very practical and results oriented book Getting Published in the Life Sciences by Richard J. Gladon, William R. Graves, and J. Michael Kelly to anyone in any life, natural, or biological science who seeks to write a clear and concise manuscript for publication in any peer reviewed journal. This book takes the guesswork out of the planning, writing, and publishing process and is certain to boost the publication success rate of any practicing scientist.

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