Write Science Blog / Oili Kiikkilä

I write this blog with the aim to help researchers to write and publish scientific articles. The issues arise mostly from my experience in reading articles that I have got to edit. Secondly, they arise from researchers' efforts to publish articles.

I use real cases as examples, but I change the text so that the authors cannot be recognized.

These are my personal opinions, and anyone is free to disagree. We can discuss all aspects related to scientific writing and publishing.

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Monday, January 22, 2018, 16:37

If your main aim is to give some information dealing with a certain ecosystem or a certain country, it is possible that the article will be rejected for that reason. This may be the case even if you yourself think that in your country, in this certain rare ecosystem, this information is lacking and these concentrations or species or factors are not known. Journals do not appreciate if your aim is to present some concentrations or identify some species somewhere, and least inside one country.

Think if a good aim is to find out something inside the borders of one country. In most cases, it is not. Most often, ecological scientific issues do not follow country borders. Instead of the country, use a climate or vegetation zone or something that describes your study area in general. Think where your results might hold true. If you can present any wider aspects, don’t mention the country at all in the aims. If it seems necessary, you can mention that the study sites were located in a certain country. However, many times even that is not necessary. How could you get rid of the country name?

Sometimes, the country may be useful in the title, so a reader knows where the study sites were. However, most often, the country should not be important enough to be mentioned in the title. By writing the country name in the title, you are highlighting the locality.

Even a more important point is that the country name may dominate and lead your thoughts too much. Why do you have the country name in the title? What would happen if you deleted it? How does it change your writing? Deleting the country name may force you to think some wider aspects, which is only a good thing.

I read hundred titles of Soil Biology & Biochemistry (2017) journal, the most prestigious soil science journal. Eight out of these hundred titles contained a country or a smaller place name inside a country – most of these had the climate or vegetation zone in addition.

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