Writing boring papers

From SubSurfWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Advice from Kai Sand-Jensen[1]:

  1. Avoid focus: introduce a multitude of questions and ideas
  2. Avoid originality and personality: use no enthusiasm or excitement
  3. Write l o n g contributions: respect the 16 page minimum
  4. Remove most implications and every speculation: stick to the facts
  5. Leave out illustrations, particularly good ones: do not use them
  6. Omit necessary steps of reasoning: prevent communication with ordinary people
  7. Use many abbreviations and technical terms: jargon is your friend
  8. Suppress humour and flowery language: science is puritanical, serious, reputable
  9. Degrade nature to statistical elements: ignore process, systems, and causality
  10. Quote numerous papers for self-evident statements: they take up valuable space

“we desperately need more accessible and readable scientific contributions to attract bright new scientists and produce integrated understanding”


  1. Kaj Sand-Jensen 2007, Oikos 116, p 723–727, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.15674.x