It's a shame that most nonscientists probably would be bored silly by the fundamental unit of scientific communication: the paper describing original research. The content of such work is often anything but dull; yet even scientists have to admit that the quality of presentation can vary. That's why the standard format prevails of abstract, introduction, materials, methods, results, and discussion. This structure aims to ensure that the information will be organized in a rational and comprehensible manner. The format is helpful, and should not be discarded. Still, a rogue thought sometimes arises that the wonderfully engaging pursuit of science deserves better treatment.

Surely, most researchers would welcome an enhancement of their reading experience as they peruse the latest exploits of their peers. No one wants scientific papers to eschew the science, but this doesn't mean that they can't also aspire to stylistic excellence. They could use just a touch of...

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