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Scientific Writing (2)

Thank you for the story "What's right about scientific writing" by Gross and Harmon.1 They've done a great job. The story presented in a conventional scientific paper does not follow the historical sequence of how ideas developed while the experimental work proceeded. But that does not matter; it is more important that the paper aids the reader in understanding the ideas being presented. However, I regret that these authors did not deal with some associated problems of the science paper. I

Peter Meredith

Thank you for the story "What's right about scientific writing" by Gross and Harmon.1 They've done a great job. The story presented in a conventional scientific paper does not follow the historical sequence of how ideas developed while the experimental work proceeded. But that does not matter; it is more important that the paper aids the reader in understanding the ideas being presented.

However, I regret that these authors did not deal with some associated problems of the science paper. Its production can be such a wasteful process, running the gauntlet of semicompetent editing (in poorer quality publications, of course), dangerous peer-reviewing, and, in many organizations, very time-consuming internal reviewing that all too often turns out to be at odds with the external reviewers.

I have written on this subject,2 but it aroused little publicity. I suspect that many scientists are not in a position to criticize the...

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