Tips for Writing and Submitting Papers to Be Published in Scientific Journals

One of the biggest rewards for scientific researchers is to have their work published in a scientific journal. It allows them to share their success on a project, plus it helps gain exposure for their work. Before you sit down and start hammering out a piece of content you would like to have published, you will want to review these tips and suggestions.

Writing and Submitting Tips

Writing Tips

Writing the piece of content is one of the most important aspects to having it accepted for publication. You do not want to rush through the processes; otherwise, the piece will probably be rejected. The best place to start is to consider the target audience and adjust your writing to fit with their knowledge and educational levels. For instance, if you want to write a piece for teenagers and have it published in a scientific journal that is appropriate for their age group, you need to make sure the content can be easily understood and avoid using jargon that they might not be aware of or know.

Once you have identified your target audience, your next steps should include:

•  Find the Right Journal
• Review the Journal’s Author Guidelines and Scope
• Draft an Outline
• Review, Edit, and Modify the Outline
• Compose the Content
• Verify the Title Reflects the Theme
• Confirm the Abstract Captures the Main Points of the Paper
• Have Your Peers Read the Paper and Provide Feedback
• Revise the Paper as Needed
• Have the Contend Edited/Reviewed by a Professional

 

During the early stages, while you are creating the outline and preparing to write the paper, it is beneficial to review your research notebook and other reference notebooks where you documented your research to ensure you remain on topic.

Review your Research Notebook

When you are ready to submit your paper to the journal, you will want to make sure to include a cover letter. Cover letters provide the opportunity to impress the editors or chief editors of various journal publications. Consider it like having a face-to-face meeting to explain and persuade the editor to publish your paper. Cover letters should include several key components, not just a copied title and abstract from the paper.

• An Outline of the Main Theme
• Persuasive Arguments for the Importance of the Paper
• Justification of the Relevance for the Target Audience
• Acknowledgment of Colleagues and Peers that Already Reviewed the Paper and Their Feedback
Keep in mind, a cover letter should be concise and direct. It is easy to try to fit too much into the cover letter so that it ends up being several pages long. Rather, a good rule of thumb is to limit the cover letter to about half a page, but no more than a single page. Last, remember to thank the editor for his or her time and consideration.
In the event your paper is rejected, review the feedback provided and make revisions to the content before resubmitting it. For all of your lab, research, and scientific notebook needs, please feel free to contact SNCO today at 800.537.3028.

How to Find and Read Scientific Journal Articles

Any scientist worth his or her salt should be reading the latest studies and advancements being released in their field. Of course, keeping up with current scientific writing isn’t always easy. Not only are there many journals which publish scientific writing, but these journals are often hard to acquire, both because of their obscurity and because many of them are kept behind expensive paywalls.

How should an enterprising and intellectually curious scientific researcher go about finding and reading the latest scientific journal articles? We’ve got a few tips on where to start.

Scientific Journal Articles

Take Advantage of University Libraries

Academic institutions play an incredibly important part in developing scientific research. Even when certain research isn’t being done on a campus, the results of that research and much of the important discussion around it will be taking place in universities.

As such, school libraries are one of the best sources for scientific journals. Not only are they likely to have a large collection of new and old scientific journals and articles, but they are a good resource for finding out which journals, in particular, are the most worth reading. If you’re not taking advantage of your local university library, you’re letting a wonderful resource go to waste.

Use Online Search Tools

While doing a regular Google search for academic articles will get you a lot of chaff to wade through before you find what you’re looking for, there are several online search tools made specifically for locating academic writing. These include Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, and IEEE Xplore. All of these tools are great resources for searching out articles on specific subjects or doing a general search to find articles that pique your interest.

Understand the Structure

Scientific journal articles all tend to follow the same structure. First is the abstract, or the summary, of the entire paper. This is followed by the introduction, a section on material and methods, the explanation of the results, a discussion of said results, and, last, a section for any references to other published work that was included. Understanding this structure will not only allow you to make better sense of articles but to find the information you’re most interested in more quickly.

Read scientific journals

Read Both Research and Review Articles

Once you find a good source of scientific articles, it’s important to recognize what kind of article you’re reading. There are two basic types of article in scientific journals: the research article and the review article. The first type is what scientists write when they want to publicize the results of their experiments, and where they explain and defend their findings.

The second type, the review article, is where other scientists who have studied the data related to another group of scientists’ research articles go over the data and either confirm or question the findings. You probably recognize this as the peer review process, which is the heart of scientific research. To get the full range of what is happening in your field of study, it’s important to find not just the original research articles, but to read the responses to them as well.

Scientific Notebook Company is the best source for laboratory notebooks and other supplies for scientists and researchers. For more information, contact us today at 800-537-3028.

Standards for Keeping a Laboratory Notebook

In the scientific community, laboratory notebooks play an incredibly important role. More than being just a place to record random thoughts or observations, the purpose of a laboratory notebook is to exhaustively document experiments and observations to create a permanent, researchable record.

Properly maintaining a laboratory notebook allows for proper peer review, protects the integrity of experiments and tests, and allows scientists and labs to protect their intellectual property rights from unjust challenges.

In order to make sure your lab is doing everything it can to protect itself and its work, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the proper standards for keeping a scientific notebook.

Laboratory notebook standards

Record Everything

The scientific process is one of trial and error. Every step of the process should be documented in detail, so that every bit of information can be analyzed accurately. Even seemingly insignificant details should be recorded in a lab notebook, as controlling conditions exactly can often be the key to a successful experiment.

Make Clear Notes

It may seem obvious, but notes that no one can understand are essentially useless. In order to make sure that the records you keep are understandable, make sure to clearly note what you are talking about on any given page. Also be sure to include any sketches, diagrams, or other information that is necessary to understand the data.

Use Consecutive Pages

Using consecutive pages in your notebook (as opposed to skipping pages) allows lab scientists to create an accurate, chronological record of their work. This makes it easier to review the progress of an experiment and to protect the intellectual property of a lab if ownership of data is ever challenged.

While no scientist likes to think that they will have to contest the ownership of their data, the sad truth is that some unethical people will try to claim other people’s work as their own. When IP ownership is disputed, the party that is able to show records of the creative process – and their involvement in it – is the one that will win the case.

Lab notebook standards

Write in Ink

Laboratory notebooks should be written in ink so that everything recorded in them is permanent. By writing in ink, lab workers can be sure that no one can alter the data without leaving behind evidence. Also, since pencil writing can easily smear or become illegible, records made in permanent ink will last longer and are easier to read.

Have Coworkers Sign the Pages

In order to create an accurate record of the experiment process, lab scientists should have colleagues regularly review their pages, and then sign and date them to prove that they have performed a review. This step serves two purposes: It creates a system whereby laboratory work is regularly checked and reviewed for errors, and it also establishes a record of when data was recorded.

Need to stock up on laboratory notebooks? Contact Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028 for a full selection of notebooks and supplies for scientists and laboratories.

How to Protect Your Intellectual Property Using a Laboratory Notebook

It’s the worst nightmare of every laboratory scientist: After spending months or years working on an experiment, you find out that someone has stolen your ideas and tried to claim your discoveries as their own. Intellectual property theft is a very real threat to the livelihoods and reputations of scientists—one that should be guarded against at all times.

The good news is that there are steps scientists can take to protect themselves against intellectual property theft, and it all starts with their laboratory notebook.

Scientific intellectual property

Know Your Rights

The first step in protecting your intellectual property is understanding how IP laws work. The good news is that, unlike patent law, intellectual property and copyright law protect the party that first created an idea, not the party that first tried to register or market it. As long as you can prove that you were the one to come up with an idea, you can protect your intellectual property from anyone who might try to steal it.

Use a Bound Notebook with Numbered Pages

Since proving who came up with an idea or generated a data set is the heart of any intellectual property case, the first step to guarding your laboratory IP is to make sure you use the right notebook. Any notebook you use in the lab should be bound (so that pages can’t be added or taken out without leaving evidence) and should have numbered pages. If the pages don’t come numbered, add your own to every page.

Sign and Date All Pages

When you record information in your notebook, be sure to sign and date every page before the day is over. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the data on a page might seem – protecting your IP means being able to show every step of the process. For even more security, have at least two other people who understand the science behind what you are doing, and sign and date the pages so that there is additional corroboration.

Intellectual property protection

Date Any Changes

Laboratory notebook pages should be written in ink, and any changes should be made by crossing out the old information and adding a note when new information is added. Anytime a change is made, initial and date the changes so that there is a record of when the changes were made. Do not use whiteout, and make sure that the crossed-out information is still visible.

Cross Out Unused Page Space

If any part of a laboratory notebook doesn’t have any writing in it, cross it out by drawing a diagonal line through the entire unused portion. This includes both pages that are completely blank and any unused portions of a partially marked page. By crossing out the blank spaces, you can show that no additional information was added after the fact.

Scientific Notebook Company’s laboratory notebooks are the perfect tool for every hard-working laboratory scientist. View our inventory online today, or contact us at 800-537-3028 for more information.

How to Determine Cleanroom Classifications

A cleanroom is a controlled environment where the concentration of airborne particles is kept within specified limits according to the classification of the cleanroom. Contaminants are produced through the manufacture or other process performed there, and they are brought into the cleanroom by people and the equipment they use.

This is why using the appropriate equipment such as the cleanroom notebooks from Scientific Notebook Company is so important to maintaining the environment. Since it is impossible to prevent the release or introduction of airborne particles into the room, the air system must continually remove them according to the standards required for the classification.

Laboratory notebooks for cleanrooms

The classification of a cleanroom depends on a number of factors, including the type of industry in which it falls. Other questions that must be answered are what are the sources of contamination, the size of particles that need to be filtered out, and the amount of air needed in circulation to remove the contamination.

To control the contamination in the room, air flow rates, direction, temperature, pressure, humidity, and specialized filtering must all be considered in the air flow system and kept under control at all times.

The Significance of Particle Size on Classification

Different types of particles vary in size. To determine the classification, the engineer must determine if a specific size of particle, various sizes, or a specified range of particle sizes need to be filtered out. The standard classification for cleanrooms is assigned based on the number and size of airborne particles for every cubic meter of air in the room. The ISO cleanroom standards according to ISO 14644-1 are depicted in the table below.

CLASS                                                    MAXIMUM PARTICLES/M³                                                                 US FED STD EQUIV

≥0.1 µm

≥0.2 µm

≥0.3 µm

≥0.5 µm

≥1 µm

≥5 µm

ISO 1

10

2.37

1.02

0.35

0.083

0.0029

ISO 2

100

23.7

10.2

3.5

0.83

0.029

ISO 3

1,000

237

102

35

8.3

0.29

Class 1
ISO 4

10,000

2,370

1,020

352

83

2.9

Class 10
ISO 5

100,000

23,700

10,200

3,520

832

29

Class 100
ISO 6

1.0×106

237,000

102,000

35,200

8,320

293

Class 1,000
ISO 7

1.0×107

2.37×106

1,020,000

352,000

83.200

2,930

Class 10,000
ISO 8

1.0×108

2.37×107

1.02×107

3,520,000

832,000

29,300

Class 100,000
ISO 9

1.0×109

2.37×108

1.02×108

35,200,000

8,320,000

293,000

Room Air

Cleanroom Criteria

Cleanroom Criteria

A lot of standards are determined according to the cleanroom classification. The light fixture type, filter coverage percent, filter efficiency, types of wall system, flooring base and cover, and type of ceiling are determined according to the classification.

There are additional specifications that must be followed for any cleanroom in order to maintain the cleanliness of the environment. Clean room lab notebooks and other paper products, along with wipers, pencils, and other commodities must be screened. If specific cleanroom notebooks are introduced to the cleanroom, they should be removed from the wrapping inside the room and remain in the environment throughout their use.

Cosmetics may be banned from the cleanroom to prevent particles of sodium, silicon, or other particles from forming. Cleaning products and procedures should also be followed, specifically for Class 10,000 cleanrooms. Once the classification of the cleanroom is determined, the requirements should be followed to the letter to ensure optimal cleanliness and a controlled environment.

To learn more about our clean room paper products, call us at 800-537-3028 and make sure you maintain the appropriate environment in your cleanroom.

Why Every Cleanroom Needs a Cleanroom Notebook

In order to perform their intended function, cleanrooms need to be specially cared for and maintained. Used in industries such as manufacturing, technology, and the sciences, cleanrooms are controlled environments where airborne particles, fumes, and other pollutants are kept at specific levels in order to avoid contamination.

Maintaining such an environment in a way that keeps it free of contamination requires the use of special clothes and equipment, including cleanroom notebooks and paper that are designed specifically for use in such sterile workspaces.

Cleanroom paper

What Makes Cleanroom Notebooks Special?

Cleanroom paper needs to meet two criteria: It needs to be usable in sterile environments without introducing contaminants into the air, while also able to be used functionally in a regular office environment. Notebooks that are being used tend not to stay in one place; they move around and get taken to different rooms, depending on where they are needed.

While most people don’t realize it, bringing regular paper into a cleanroom environment is one of the easiest ways to contaminate it and de-sterilize the area. Regular paper is made of cellulose, or wood pulp and fibers, which gives off a large number of particles into the air. Though these particles are invisible to the naked eye, they are more than enough to compromise a cleanroom. The more a piece of paper is used, the more particulates it gives off.

Despite the dangers of bringing paper into a cleanroom, most people who work in one need something to write on. Since cleanrooms are often the site of experiments, product tests, and experimental development, it is essential for cleanroom workers to be able to record their thoughts and the results of their work in a convenient, timely manner. As such, specially-formulated cleanroom paper is an essential part of every cleanroom environment.

Unlike regular paper, cleanroom paper is made from special low particulate filler and latex-coated fiber. Whereas paper made from cellulose particulates very heavily with use, this specially treated cleanroom paper is designed to give off as few particulates as possible, allowing it to be used safely in sterile spaces.

cleanroom environment

TexeWrite 22 from SNCO

Scientific Notebook Company’s TexeWrite 22 Cleanroom Laboratory Notebooks are the only notebooks on the market made from specially designed synthetic cleanroom bond stationery, making them a tool for taking notes in a sterile work environment. Additionally, each notebook page is sewn and bound with Mylar-sealed covers, and every notebook is cleaned and double packaged to ensure as few contaminants as possible are released through use.

If you work in a cleanroom environment and are concerned with maintaining the integrity of your workspace, then choosing the right writing tools is essential. Scientific Notebook Company understands the importance of cleanrooms and what it takes to keep them clean, functional, and uncontaminated by even the smallest particles.

Want to learn more about SNCO’s specially-created cleanroom notebooks? Contact us today at  800-537-3028 to speak with one of our representatives or to learn more about our special use products.

3 Ways to Make Your Notebook More Personal

If you’re a student, engineer, or scientist, then you probably spend a lot of time with your laboratory notebook. Since you and your notebook are going to be spending so much time in each other’s company, why not put a little effort into making your notebook into something a little more exciting and reflective of your personality?

For those of you out there who want their notebooks to stand out from the crowd, we’ve got three suggestions for how you can make your notebook more personal.

Personalize a notebook

Start a Chronology

If you’re going to be keeping a lot of notebooks, especially on related topics, then this is a simple and convenient way to personalize your notebook and help keep your notebooks straight. Once you start a new notebook, give it a title, volume number, and a start date. You can record this information on the first page, in the top or bottom corner, or as part of a larger design for the cover. It’s up to you!

Create a Cover

Most notebook covers look very similar, making them hard to distinguish from each other and, more importantly, kind of boring to look at. Adding a cover to your notebook is an easy and fun way to make yours stand out and give it a little more character.

If you ever created a cover for your textbooks in high school, you know the deal: Take some construction paper, newspaper, or other paper; arrange it into a large section slightly larger than the notebook when fully opened; fold and tape the ends to create sleeves that slip over the notebook cover and hold it in place.

Be sure to choose something that reflects your personality or to decorate it in a way that shows the world it’s yours. It can be anything from a simple title with your name and address to a showcase for your drawings.

Add Some Pockets

Tired of opening your notebook only to realize that you forgot your pen or pencil? Adding pockets to your notebook is a great way to make sure you always have the writing utensils you need. Just follow these steps:

  1. Measure your notebook’s inside cover; make sure you leave space on the sides of the pockets or else the notebook won’t close.
  2. Cut a piece of paper to meet your measurements, and then attach it to the inside cover with glue squares.
  3. Next, cut out the pockets, leaving about 1 inch of height difference between each one.
  4. Take 2-3 self-seal lamination pockets and tear away the backing; lay the lamination pocket down sticky side up and trim off any excess lamination, using the paper as a guide.
  5. After one side of all the pockets has been laminated, place more glue squares on the sides and bottom of each pocket.
  6. Use the glue squares to attach the pockets to the notebook, stacking them on top of each other.

Personal Notebook

Need more notebooks? Scientific Notebook Company has what you need. Contact us today at 800-537-3028.

Famous People and Their Notebooks

Think your laboratory notebook is just there for taking notes for class and doodling in the margins? Then you’re definitely underestimating the potential of the humble notebook, into which some of the important thoughts of creations throughout the last few hundred years of human history have been recorded.

Often, the person scribbling notes didn’t even realize how important their stray thoughts and idle observations would end up being. Still, that doesn’t stop the following notebooks of great people from being the sources of some of the most important developments in science and art in human history.

Famous notebooks

George Lucas and the Prophetic Sound Mix

Before he was the famous creator of the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas was a small-time filmmaker working on personal projects like American Graffiti. While working on post-production for that movie, Lucas was also writing the initial drafts of what would eventually become the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope.

As he was working on American Graffiti’s sound design with editor and sound designer Walter Murch, Murch asked him to hand him R2, D2 – industry terminology for “reel 2, dialogue 2.” Lucas liked the combination of words and letters so much, he scribbled them in the notebook he carried with him; within just a few years, “R2D2” would become the name of one of the most iconic characters in Lucas’ venerable franchise.

Charles Darwin

It’s no exaggeration to say that Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species changed biology, natural sciences, and many other disciplines of human knowledge forever. Before On the Origin of Species was a book, however, it was a series of carefully recorded observations in the notebooks that Darwin brought with him on his voyage to the Galapagos Islands and the coast of South America.

Darwin filled fifteen different notebooks with descriptions of samples, geological coordinates, and lots of other relevant data, all of which he would eventually combine together into his groundbreaking theory of natural selection.

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was the author of the classic children’s book A Tale of Peter Rabbit, as well as many other beloved stories starring precocious animals beloved by generations of children. In addition to being a published author, Potter was also a natural scientist, a conservationist, and an avid notebook keeper. She would fill many notebooks with drawings and writings on many topics, ranging from philosophy to politics and everything in between. In order to keep her teenage writings secret from her nosy mother, Potter often wrote in a code of her own creation.

Famous people’s notebooks

Leonardo Da Vinci

Perhaps the most famous notebooks of all are those of Leonardo Da Vinci, in which the iconic Renaissance man recorded many of his ideas for paintings, sculptures, architecture, and weapons of war. Some of Da Vinci’s ideas were so advanced, they wouldn’t be fully realized until hundreds of years after his death.

A fun note about Da Vinci: When writing in his notebooks, he would record his thoughts from right to left; scholars still debate whether this was a way to obscure his thoughts from prying eyes or simply a way for the left-handed Da Vinci to write without smearing ink as his hand moved across the paper.

Looking for notebooks to record your own brilliant thoughts? Contact the Scientific Notebook Company today at 800-537-3028.

3 Ways Teachers Are Using Scientific Notebooks in the Classroom

Even the youngest scientist knows that the smallest details can make a difference. One of the most difficult things for students to do is to store all of their questions, observations, and experiments in their memory and retrieve the accurate information when it is needed again.

A scientific notebook is a valuable tool for providing the visual reminders of all the information that a student has collected. Although there are numerous ways that teachers in classrooms and labs can use science notebooks to improve their students’ learning experience, below are three ways that teachers and their students are benefitting from keeping science notebooks.

Scientific notebooks for students

1. Thinking Tools

A research notebook provides students with a place to record their impressions or interpretations of what they have seen. Not only having students write down observations, but also include questions that might ask about the project will encourage them to think about answers throughout the entire process.

For example, children who are observing the stages of metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly can comment on the changes that occur every day and ask questions about details like when the wings start to appear and what they are made from. They may also pose potential theories about the answers to their questions that they can refer to once the process is complete.

Taking notes throughout the four stages of metamorphosis will help them think more about the various aspects of the process than simply glancing at them each day to see when the butterfly has emerged.

2. Reference for Teachers – Understanding and Growth

A well-kept journal will also benefit teachers by letting them see areas where children do not understand concepts so they can help them before advancing. It also provides an ongoing record of the student’s growth. Problems may be as simple to solve as helping the student with the organization of materials, or they may need additional information about a process or project to change a misconception.

Organizing scientific lab notebooks

3. Learning How Real Scientists Work

Most students will be exposed to science classes beyond elementary, both in high school and in college. Some percentage of them will choose science for their vocation. Keeping a scientific lab notebook in elementary will help students get a feel for what is expected from them throughout their education and in their profession later on. It isn’t just about the information they are recording but also about learning the correct method used to keep good scientific records.

Setting Up the Science Notebook

Organization of the notebook goes a long way toward making it an effective tool in the classroom. The teacher can determine what type of organizational system to use and make sure that each student follows the same layout. Some teachers find that numbering the pages before starting literally helps students stay on the same page.

Although some classrooms rely on basic wire bound notebooks to record their science findings, a notebook from the Scientific Notebook Company will provide you with a uniform grid layout and table of contents that help with organization. These notebooks are just as affordable as plain notebooks and much more practical. To learn more, or to place your order, call us at 800-537-3028.

How to Make Scientific Notebooks More Interactive!

Any teacher knows that telling students something isn’t enough to help them understand and retain it for future reference. The more they use their senses to experience different aspects of a theory or project, the more they will understand the related concepts and not just memorize the facts.

One way that teachers can accomplish this is by making scientific notebooks more interactive.  While a normal notebook may list facts and include the student’s observations, an interactive notebook makes learning more hands-on. Since all areas of science are based on observations, theory, principles, and experimentation, the interactive notebook is good for use in the classroom or laboratory of any type of science-related class.

Interactive scientific notebooks

Add Another Dimension

A flat page relies on written words and one-dimensional drawings to get attention, but a constructed panel of tabs or blocks of brightly colored paper with notes added gets noticed and obtains a higher level of importance. This is an especially useful strategy for adding vocabulary that students will build on as they go. Whatever color is used for the purpose from the start should be repeated so they can go to it whenever they need to review definitions.

Use a Color Guide

There are numerous ways to do this so that students know which principles or terms apply to which projects. For example, assign each of the four states of matter with a corresponding color. Start with a description of each state written on that color as a reference. When students begin doing problems or experiments with different types of matter, they can refer back to the descriptions to identify the behaviors they experience and determine which category certain things fit into.

Divide the Pages into Objective and Creative

Every student should start with the same layout and every page of the notebook numbered so that everyone can follow along to retrieve information and to share their findings. Instead of numbering each page, consider making the left page 1A and the right page 1B, followed by 2A and 2B, etc.

Always have the children enter objective information on the A page and leave the B page for their drawings, charts, notes, or even photos that they have taken to support the topic. In other words, they will have a side for the serious stuff, and one they can use as an artistic outlet that some children can better relate to.

Scientific Notebook Company offers student notebooks that include a table of contents to help keep students from continually asking which page has the information they need.

Interactive scientific lab notebook

Always Take Time to Share with the Class

One of the biggest benefits of science interactive notebooks is that they facilitate the opportunity for students to get in on the discussion and compare their observations. They can discuss what they observed and their reasons for what they believe happened. They always have the facts in their notebooks to back them up.

Interactive notebooks can be as simple or as complex as the teacher wants to make them. They should be highly organized, easy to grade, and a good resource for students to rely on when they need information about any of the concepts they have studied. If you are ready to get your students more excited about taking notes, give us a call at 800-537-3028.