Scientific writing: strategies and tools for students and advisors

Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2014 Sep-Oct;42(5):405-13. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20815. Epub 2014 Jul 23.


Scientific writing is a demanding task and many students need more time than expected to finish their research articles. To speed up the process, we highlight some tools, strategies as well as writing guides. We recommend starting early in the research process with writing and to prepare research articles, not after but in parallel to the lab or field work. We suggest considering scientific writing as a team enterprise, which needs proper organization and regular feedback. In addition, it is helpful to select potential target journals early and to consider not only scope and reputation, but also decision times and rejection rates. Before submission, instructions to authors and writing guides should be considered, and drafts should be extensively revised. Later in the process editor's and reviewer's comments should be followed. Our tips and tools help students and advisors to structure the writing and publishing process, thereby stimulating them to develop their own strategies to success.

Keywords: journals; publishing; software tools; writing guides.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Science Disciplines / education*
  • Biological Science Disciplines / methods
  • Humans
  • Mentors
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Report*
  • Students
  • Writing*