A QUESTION OF SCIENCE STYLE, CSE STYLE
Getting Started ....
First of all you need to check that your English and Grammar is acceptable (yes I know mine is not always on the Weblog, we are not all perfect!) the best overall guide to Grammar and Guide on the Internet is Guide to Grammar and Style by Jack Lynch (revised 6 February 2006) and can be found at
Now we come to Science writing...
You will note that we have put up a Lecture on Scientific Writing Chapter prepared by Vanessa - this will help you with the overall picture but you will need a little more assistance when it comes to actually getting your assignment prepared. This is because scientists need to conform to their own Scientific Style that has its own style and rules and most Science Journals require that these are adhered to when preparing research papers for publication. Up to now we have not been strict on this issue since we want to let you in to doing science as gently as possible. Well, we now need to start re-programming ourselves to using the CBE (Council of Biology Editors) or as it is now known as CSE (Council of Science Editors) style of writing. The CBE/CSE style imposes conventions that are a little foreign to us since it is an International standard. To access this Style Manual you normally will need to purchase their book that is available at...
Council of Biology Editors. 2006. Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 7th ed. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retail $59.95
Since this is some 650 pages, from the students point of view, its is, well a little overwhelming! Basically it is so detailed, and it really is focused on research publication, and therefore would be rather difficult to use for your course report. It is best used as a reference and we will get a departmental copy for that purpose, possibly CSIR will purchase one for their library.
Now we come to a really nifty way to have some help with CSE writing right on your desktop, it is with the help of Dr. Able Scribe Student's Guide to Biostyle and is a quick reference for drafting papers in the biological sciences. The Guide covers reference formats, text citations, page layouts, and basic writing conventions. It is Freeware, so can be freely distributed for non-profit purposes and was revised in January 2003. Since every Journal while adhering in principle to the CBE/CSE will have their own particular (trademark) style it makes writing for a scientific publication a little chaotic. Consequently this particular resource uses the Journal BioScience as a standard for drafting papers in the biological sciences.
The Student's Guide to Biostyle is an electronic style guide that navigates much like a web site, but with added indexing and search capabilities. Scientific Methods Courseware Server under the folder "Applications" and the file is cbestyle.zip (649 Kb). As and additional guide that you can download and print I have put up Writing Research Styles: A Primer also written by Dr. Able Scribe and can be downloaded from http://planet.uwc.ac.za/nisl/Scientific_methods/attachments/primer.pdf
Student's Guide to Biostyle is actually a Windows Help file and when installed is accessible like any other Window program that you have installed on your computer. So you go Start, Programs, DOC Style, CBE Style Guide to launch it. To install it you can download it from www.docstyles.com , unzip it and run the setup file. So this Writing Document Resource is always available for you to refer to, so please take the time to install and use it - it will help you in the long term to get better marks.
Well all the best on a lovely Easter Sunday.
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