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Information Management and Communication in the Sciences

Information Management

This research guide lists print and web resources that provide guidance in 1) organizing and citing references and 2) preparing scholarly papers, oral presentations, and posters.

A critical part of the research process is keeping track of relevant literature—journal papers, books, web pages, images, quotations, etc.—so that they can be utilized and properly cited in the writing process of research.Reference Management Tools for Research and Writing lists recommended "reference management programs" available to HSU students, faculty and staff.

Citation Style Guides

Listed below are guides to correct citation format in various scientific disciplines. In addition many scientific journals publish style guidelines periodically within the journal or post them on their website.

  • General
  • Biology--Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style (formerly Council of Biology Editors (CBE))

    CSE style requires that journal titles be abbreviated using ISO4 standards. Rules are complex and the correct abbreviation is not always obvious. The following database journal lists include journal abbreviations that follow ISO4 standards.

    Reference management programs handle journal abbreviations in various ways. Endnote includes "term lists" as part of its software package that automatically connects journal titles with approved abbreviations in biology and other subject areas. Zotero includes a "journal abbreviation" field for each record which you must individually edit.

  • Chemistry

Scientific Writing

Scientific Papers

The HSU Library has many books on scientific writing in general and in specific disciplines. Search the subjectTechnical Writing in the HSU Library Catalog or a discipline followed by the subheading "authorship", e.g., biology authorship. Listed below are recommended resources:

  • Craft of Scientific Writing (Alley) 1996 (T 11 A37)
  • Geowriting: a Guide to Writing, Editing and Printing in Earth Science (Bates, Adkins-Heljeson and Buchanan) 1995 (QE 48.85 G44 1995)
  • How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper (Day) 1998 (T 11 D33 1998)
  • How to Write Reports and Proposals for People Who Work in Environmental Fields (Lutovich & Chan) 1998 (T 11 L87 1998)
  • MIT Guide to Science and Engineering Communication (Paradis) 2002 (Q 223 P33 2002)
  • Planning, Proposing, and Presenting Science Effectively: A Guide for Graduate Students and Researchers in the Behavioral Sciences and Biology (Hailman & Strier) 1997 (QH 315 H25 1997)
  • Review Paper for the Biological Sciences (Colorado State University--Writing Center) Although much of the information is geared directly to the biological sciences, it is generally applicable to review papers in all fields.
  • Scientific Papers and Presentations (Davis) 1997 (T 11 D324 1997)
  • Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (Council of Biology Editors) 1994 (ref T 11 S386 1994) The standard reference for preparing scientific manuscripts for publication, including the two methods for citing and documenting sources: the citation-sequence system and the name-year system.
  • Scientific Writing for Graduate Students: A Manual on the Teaching of Scientific Writing (Woodford and Council of Biology Editors) 1986 (Q 179 C6)
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Biology (Pechenik) 1987 (QH 304 P43 1987)
  • Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Writing for Fishery Journals (Hunter) 1990 (SH 223 W74 1990) Contains practical advice on improving written communication and publishing success. 
  • Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences (McMillan) 1996 (QH 304 M36 1996) Aimed primarily for the undergraduate who needs an introduction to the various forms of biological writing.
  • Writing the Scientific-Format Paper (Colorado State University Writing Center)

Oral Presentations

Poster Presentations

  • Better Posters: a Resource for Improving Poster Presentations ( Faulkes) Blog on " making posters informative and beautiful."
  • Creating Effective Poster Presentations (Hess, Tosney and Liegel)
  • Poster Presentations: Designing Effective Posters (Stoss--University of Buffalor Science & Engineering Library) Guide to print and Internet resources on creating poster presentations, along with links to sample posters.
  • Designing Conference Posters (Purrington) Practical and somewhat humorous "...advice on how to prepare posters for scientific meetings, research conferences, and similar gatherings of nerds...." Includes list of recommended books, articles and Internet sites.
  • Displaying Your Findings: a Practical Guide for Creating Figures, Posters, and Presentations (Nicol and Pexman) 2003 (BF 76.8 N53 2003) Published by the American Psychological Association.
  • Do's and Don'ts of Poster Presentations (Block) Provides a helpful list of do's and don'ts covering poster layout, format, content, and presentation. (From Biophysical Journal, Vol 71, December 1996)
  • Expanded Guidelines for Giving a Poster Presentation (Miller--American Society of Primatologists) Discusses when to do a poster vs. an oral presentation; developing the content of your presentation; and putting it on paper. Describes proper use of text and graphic images. Covers putting it all together and what to do when at the meeting.
  • How to Make a Great Poster (Mandoli--American Society of Plant Biologists) Describes the characteristics of a great poster, ways to create a poster, how to begin, layout, font, and colors, and traditional paste-up poster assembly.
  • Poster Sessions (Colorado State University Writing Center) Detailed tutorial on how to create good professional posters. Topics include: Definition of a Poster Session; Purposes for Poster Sessions; Audiences for Poster Sessions; Writing Strategies for Poster Sessions; The Transport Problem; What to Include; Putting It All Together; Example Poster Sessions; and Additional Resources.
  • Preparing Scientific Illustrations: a Guide to better Posters, Presentations, and Publications(Briscoe) 1996 (Q 222 .B75 1996)
  • Preparing Professional Scientific Posters (Kirkeby--University of Minnesota) Covers poster pre-planning and preparation. Provides guidelines on the use of photos, visuals, and text and describes layout considerations and the assembly process for a traditional paste-up type poster.
  • Scientist's Guide to Poster Presentations (Gosling) 1999 (Q 179.94 G67 1999)

Collaborative Writing

Content Attribution

Some of the content of this guide was created in another format by Robert Sathrum, HSU Librarian, retired 06/2013.