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Writing a scientific paper in the format of the journal Ecology. BOT 332 University of Alberta. OBSERVATIONS Patterns in space or time. MODELS Explanations or theories. HYPOTHESIS Predictions based on model. EXPERIMENT Critical test of null hypothesis. DATA COLLECTION. INTERPRETATION.

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writing a scientific paper in the format of the journal ecology

Writing a scientific paper in the format of the journal Ecology

BOT 332 University of Alberta

slide2

OBSERVATIONS

Patterns in space or time

MODELS

Explanations or theories

HYPOTHESISPredictions based on model

EXPERIMENT

Critical test of null hypothesis

DATA COLLECTION

INTERPRETATION

After Underwood (1997)

slide3

INTRODUCTION

METHODS

RESULTS

DISCUSSION

slide4

OBSERVATIONS

Patterns in space or time

INTRODUCTION

MODELS

Explanations or theories

HYPOTHESISPredictions based on model

EXPERIMENT

Critical test of null hypothesis

METHODS

DATA COLLECTION

RESULTS

INTERPRETATION

DISCUSSION

After Underwood (1997)

slide5

OBSERVATIONS

Patterns in space or time

INTRODUCTION

MODELS

Explanations or theories

HYPOTHESISPredictions based on model

EXPERIMENT

Critical test of null hypothesis

METHODS

DATA COLLECTION

RESULTS

INTERPRETATION

DISCUSSION

After Underwood (1997)

slide6

OBSERVATIONS

Patterns in space or time

INTRODUCTION

MODELS

Explanations or theories

HYPOTHESISPredictions based on model

slide7

OBSERVATIONS

Patterns in space or time

INTRODUCTION

MODELS

Explanations or theories

  • Reason for doing the research
  • Research questions/hypotheses/predictions
  • Citations for other major studies on same topic

HYPOTHESISPredictions based on model

slide8

INTRODUCTION

  • General to specific: e.g.

Plants compete. Some of the effects are…Vorhees and Myers (2001) found…

However, it is not clear why…; There is little evidence showing…;or A question still remains... [I am doing this study because…]

Density has been shown to…

Response X is also a function of relative abundance

To test the effect of density and relative abundance we grew oats and beans …

These species are useful because…

It was hypothesized that…

and/or It was predicted that…BECAUSE…

slide9

METHODS

  • Describe what was done…
    • e.g. “The seeds where sown…”
  • Give as much detail as necessary for someone else to repeat it
  • Not a list of instructions
  • Name the statistical analyses you used to test effects of treatments
  • Cite the program you used
slide10

RESULTS

  • A summary of the important data you collected
    • Provides evidence supporting/not supporting your hypothesis
  • Should include little/no interpretation
  • Includes tables that summarise, but do NOT duplicate text
  • Includes figures where these make things clearer
    • Point out main features in text
slide11

RESULTS

  • Figures and Tables must have a number and title
slide12

RESULTS

  • All figures and tables must be referred to in the text
  • Figures and tables should be numbered in the order they are cited in the text
slide13

RESULTS

  • The important statistical details should be given in the text…
    • ‘The overall mortality of transplanted gobies (mean = 1.04 ± 0.004) was slightly greater than that of residents (1.03 ± 0.001), and this difference was significant (paired t test, df = 17, t = 2.31, P = 0.041). ‘
slide14

RESULTS

  • The important statistical details should be given in the text…
    • ‘The rate of banana consumption differed significantly between monkeys, fish and members of the sewing circle (ANOVA, df = 2,36, F = 1.42, P = 0.023). ‘
slide15

DISCUSSION

  • MUST ADDRESS THE QUESTION(S) THE PAPER IS ABOUT
    • make reference to your hypothesis/predictions – where these supported?
  • …AND whether your findings are ecologically realistic
  • Should include references that support and/or challenge your results and ideas
  • Should talk up the good, as well as the bad
slide16

DISCUSSION

  • Evaluation of experimental methods used
  • Ways to find out more about the specific questions asked
  • End with a concluding paragraph that sums up:
    • what you did
    • what you found
    • your main conclusions
  • EXPAND ON WHAT WAS IN THE RESULTS – DON’T JUST REPEAT!
slide17

DISCUSSION

  • Before you put pen to paper:
    • Make a list of what you put in the results on scrap paper
    • Think about what these results tell you about your hypothesis
    • Plan a way to discuss them in a logical order
    • Consult your TAs
running head
RUNNING HEAD
  • Journal title, volume(issue), page numbers, publisher

Don’t worry about it!

title
TITLE
  • Captures the topic of the paper and possibly its findings
  • Not more than 13 words
  • Be specific
list of authors21
LIST OF AUTHORS
  • Give student #, NOT your name
  • Put your department and University address underneath
abstract23
ABSTRACT
  • A brief summary of the paper
    • The research question
    • What you did
    • Most important results
    • Major conclusions
  • Don’t give citations
  • Not greater than 200 words
  • Be concise!
keywords
KEYWORDS
  • Words that a search engine could pick up

e.g. interspecific competition, intraspecific competition

literature cited
LITERATURE CITED
  • Includes ALL the references cited in the text
  • Spelling and dates must correspond
  • List references in alphabetical order by first author
  • Format varies from journal to journal
literature cited the ecology way
LITERATURE CITED – the Ecology way

Name. Date. Title. Journal title. Volume #: page numbers

Frego, K.A. and T.J. Carleton. 1995. Microsite tolerance of four bryophytes in a mature black spruce stand: reciprocal transplants. The Bryologist 98: 452-458.

Only FIRST author’s surname comes first!

SPELLING!!

INDENT after first line!(hanging indent)

No issue number!

slide27

LITERATURE CITED – the Ecology way

Name. Date. Title. Publisher. City and country publisher is based in

Books are not generally considered to be primary references!

acknowledgements
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • Formal ‘Thank-you’s
slide29

ABSTRACT and KEYWORDS

INTRODUCTION

METHODS

RESULTS

with figures and tables

DISCUSSION

with concluding paragraph

LITERATURE CITED

After Underwood (1997)

  • And…
  • LIST OF AUTHORS
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
the assignment write a paper for submission to ecology
The assignment – Write a paper for submission to Ecology
  • We will provide the data
  • You must interpret graphical output and statistics
  • Read Steve’s handout for details on the topic of the paper
  • Read the lab manual – pages 19-24 for general information on manuscript format
  • Worth 13% of overall grade
the assignment write a paper for submission to ecology31
The assignment – Write a paper for submission to Ecology
  • 10-12 Pages of text (not including figures, tables and Literature Cited)
  • Give 5 references from the primary literature (journals)
  • 12-point font
  • EVERYTHING DOUBLE SPACED!
  • 1-inch margins
  • One side of paper only
slide32

Figure/Table numbers and titles listed on a separate sheet

Each Figure/Table on its own sheet and numbered but WITHOUT titles

the assignment write a paper for submission to ecology35
The assignment – Write a paper for submission to Ecology

FORMATTING SPECIFICS

  • In-text citations

>2 authors

the assignment write a paper for submission to ecology36
The assignment – Write a paper for submission to Ecology

FORMATTING SPECIFICS

  • In-text citations
  • Avoid direct quotes – PARAPHRASE!
general points
GENERAL POINTS
  • Past tense/active voice
general points38
GENERAL POINTS
  • Assume the reader is ignorant and stupid - be specific and explicit
  • Assume the reader has a short memory – repeat details if appropriate…
  • …but avoid repeating something if you are not expanding on what you said before
  • Data are plural!