List-article of scientific tips: writing, speaking, social media, and code.04 Dec 2019
This page started out as a collection of articles I liked from around the web about writing. Later (July 2020), I added other topics that are relevant to the professional scientist.
I have not written – yet! – about how to structure and write papers, generally. But many others have, and I have collected some of the works I like here. I have also included some works that include practical matters, such as planning paper writing and responding to peer review.
General scientific writing.
- Paul Medvedev: Ten Simple Rules for writing algorithmic bioinformatics conference papers(but these could apply to other fields).
- Scott Hotaling: Simple rules for concise scientific writing.
- Cormac McCarthy’s thoughts on scientific writing are summarized in Nature.
- Amy Tabb: Basic submission checklist.
- Amy Tabb: One person’s approach to writing.
Structuring the paper.
- Pratap Tokekar: Thoughts on Writing a Good (Robotics) Paper.. I really like how this presentation breaks down a successful paper into five essential questions. It also covers different robotics conferences and journals, and the process of submitting to IEEE’s Robotics and Automation Letters journal concurrently with a conference.
Planning paper writing.
Getting a paper to completion starts with a plan. Whether you use someone else’s system or one of your own, I encourage starting multiple months before a deadline and frequent communication with co-authors.
Making everything fit within page limits.
This issue comes up a lot with conference papers!
Latex, for good or bad, is the de facto standard for typesetting computer science and engineering conference papers. The first entry is latex tips from Noah Snavely, to both shorten your paper and create the typesetting that is typical in computer vision conference papers. The second from Adam Gleave is a longer post on using latex efficiently.
Responding to peer review.
The CVPR 2020 workshop also contains many elements about writing papers that survive peer review. Aaron Hertzmann’s blog post discusses some of the unspoken realities of submitting papers to conferences.
- Seth Hutchinson: Surviving peer review.
- CVPR 2020 tutorial: How to write a good review?
- Aaron Hertzmann: Technical Paper Rebuttals Aren’t Just For “Factual Errors.”
Daniel Bolnick’s post summarizes some tips gleaned from many, many people taking their lectures, defenses, and conferences online as a result of covid-19 during early 2020. I have used the Nancy Duarte book to help create more engaging presentations.
- Daniel Bolnick: Zoom zoom zoom: Some do’s and don’ts of virtual lectures.
- Nancy Duarte: Slide:ology (book).
I started really using Twitter in February 2018. Jennifer Heemstra’s article is a how-to of using Twitter in particular.
Beronda Montgomery’s article examines how social media allows underrepresented groups to build communal spaces and networks.
I typically follow back people with similar interests – but I can’t do that if your bio is empty. You don’t need to list who you work for or where you live. Just list your academic interests.
- Jennifer M. Heemstra: A Scientist’s Guide to Social Media.
- Beronda L. Montgomery: Building and Sustaining Diverse Functioning Networks Using Social Media and Digital Platforms to Improve Diversity and Inclusivity.
I learn through reading others’ websites, and I document troublesome things I have figured out on mine. (I started this website in 2018.)
Providing code allows others to apply your research to their problems. There are various ways to help others get going, faster, with your code though, whether it be where you post your paper and code, or how you write the readme and provide scripts for use.
- Dmytro Mishkin: Machine learning research as a product. How easy is it to use your work?
- Robert Stojnic: ML Code Completeness Checklist.
- February 26, 2020. Added Noah Snavely’s short latex style guide.
- July 2020. Reframed the whole page to make it about general tips for scientists. Added Paul Medvedev’s article, Scott Hotaling’s article, Daniel Bolnick’s article, Nancy Duarte’s book, the CVPR 2020 workshop, Jennifer Heemstra’s article, and Beronda Montgomery’s article.
- July 2020. Added a code section, and Dmytro Mishkin’s and Robert Stojnic’s articles.
- August 2020. Added a blogging section, and Rachel Thomas’ blogging article and my writing article.
- August 2020. Added a latex section, Adam Gleave’s, and Aaron Hertzmann’s articles.
- November 2020. Added my website starter guide.