Scientific writing

Dr. S. S. VERMA; Department of Physics, S.L.I.E.T., Longowal; Distt.-Sangrur (Punjab)-148 106

2020-08-07 07:54:18

Credit:  Judit Peter from Pexels

Credit: Judit Peter from Pexels

Science is valued by society because the application of scientific knowledge helps to satisfy many basic human needs and improve living standards.  Education promoting scientific temper (as one of the core component of New Education Policy-2020) could become the most important application of science in the next decades.

The discipline imposed by scientific study, research and writing increases the depth of knowledge in the subject being investigated. This knowledge sharpens clinical skills and facilitates teaching of students and postgraduates. Scientific writing is not just writing about science; it is the technical writing that scientists do to communicate their research to others. Communicating facts, figures, and methods used in research-as well as the description of the results-has to be precise and exact. Purpose or aim of a piece of writing is to express oneself, to provide information, to persuade, or to create a literary work. In other words, science is one of the most important channels of knowledge. It has a specific role, as well as a variety of functions for the benefit of our society: creating new knowledge, improving education, and increasing the quality of our lives. Science must respond to societal needs and global challenges, therefore, Science writing is writing about science and technology for the popular media.

It is a general misconception that science writing is restricted to academic writing to produce theses or research papers where as science writing can be communicating scientific and technological concepts in plain language to a wide audience. Science writing takes different forms, according to the topic, the purpose of the author and who the document is designed for. Science writing can create a thesis, a research paper, a report, an email, a conference talk, client criteria, project deliverables, a proposal, a funding application, a blogpost, a magazine article, a brochure, a fact sheet or a video script. Although this question appears straightforward but there are common misconceptions about what constitutes science writing. Science writing is writing about science and technology for a popular science and technology magazine means to write for people who are fascinated by science and technology, communicating scientific concepts in plain English to a wide audience at its simplest and broadest definition. The aim of science is to generate new and reliable knowledge. Due to the aim of science, good writing is not a luxury, but an essential skill. It is essential not only for the dissemination of knowledge, but also for creating knowledge. If one only applies science, perhaps without doing own research, one should gather and apply state-of-the-art knowledge rather than outdated knowledge. The characteristics of good science writing are summarized as:

Clear - it avoids unnecessary detail

Simple - it uses direct language, avoiding vague or complicated sentences. Technical terms and jargon are used only when they are necessary for accuracy

Impartial - it avoids making assumptions  and unproven statements. It presents how and where data were collected and supports its conclusions with evidence

Structured logically - ideas and processes are expressed in a logical order. The text is divided into sections with clear headings

Accurate - it avoids vague and ambiguous language such as about, approximately, almost

Objective - statements and ideas are supported by appropriate evidence that demonstrates how conclusions have been drawn as well as acknowledging the work of others

During the writing process one is forced to be precise in all details and it is only during the writing process that gaps in the reasoning or lack of clarity become apparent. Any science and technology article written should contain factors like: describe, inform, persuade, narrate, entertain, brainstorm and outline. Science and technology writing as a career path is totally different than writing by anyone who likes it for personal satisfaction by bringing the latest in science and technology to a wider horizon of readership which may be rewarding and useful for the readers. But science and technology writing for fun and enjoyment still needs some basic steps to be followed along the available portals (online and offline) on which the writer can submit his writing. Out of many steps necessary to make the writing more readable and acceptable can be given as:

  • Reading resources to find the catching topic
  • Presenting the topic in an approach suitable to the taste and level of a common reader.
  • Making efforts to acknowledge all resources of contents.
  • Presenting the contents in personal format and language to avoid plagiarism.
  • Select the magazine cautiously which is suitable to the contents of the article.
  • Try to incorporate all the requirements of the magazine’s “guidelines to authors” before submitting the article.
  • Read the article yourself many a times before submitting it.
  •  You can also ask for expert comments from you colleagues on the topic.
  • Remain passionate for writing and do not be desperate after even a number of unsuccessful attempts for getting being published.

Science and Technology Magazines

There are a number of science and technology journals all over the nations offered by different publishers which are the platforms for publishing scientific and technological research and development results.  A science and technology magazine is a periodical publication with news, opinions and reports about science and technology, generally written for a non-expert audience. There are many popular science and technology magazines published by world reputed science and technology organizations like: Science, Science Daily, IEEE spectrum, Technology review, Popular Mechanics, Discover, BBC science news, Quanta, Wired, National Geographic, Physics world, Physics Today, Scientific American, Popular Science, American Scientists, New Scientist, Cosmos and many more.  

Some always fear and complain that science and technology magazines in Indian are not enough and they cannot get their articles ideas published. However, there a number of science and technology magazines published by many academies, institutes as well as organizations that publishes articles in almost all streams of science and technology: physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, biology, etc. The best thing about these magazines is that top researchers in the country publish articles on topics within the latest research outcomes to undergraduate curriculum, and even publish articles on specific topics that students consider difficult to understand, including new classroom experiments, emerging techniques and ideas, and innovative procedures for teaching specific concepts.  Science and technology magazines provide with everything a reader needs to know about what's new and what's next in Science and Technology.

In the era of internet “the whole world under your palm”, anyone who is interested in science and technology magazines, can search on internet and get latest information on Science Magazines, suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, traders, aim/scope of magazine, editors, author’s guidelines, E-mails and many more and can submit the article for consideration. Some of science and technology magazines and news papers are listed here for the reader’s information in which science and technology articles are being regularly published. This list of magazines and papers is just a symbolic and anyone who is interested can get more information from internet on any magazine.

Indian magazines

  1. Agri Business & Food Industry
  2. Agriculture Today
  3. Agro & Food Processing
  4. Akshay Urja
  5. Biospectrum
  6. BIZ LED
  7. Chemical Engineering World
  8.  Chemical Industry Digest
  9. Chemical Product Finder
  10. Chemical Today
  11. Chemical weekly
  12. Clean India Journal
  13. Communications Today
  14. Cooling India
  15. Current Science
  16. Dataquest
  17. Digit
  18. Down to Earth
  19. Dream 2047
  20. Easy Shiksha
  21.  Education India
  22. Education World
  23. ELE Times
  24. Electrical India
  25. Electrical Mirror
  26. Electronics For You
  27. Electronics Maker
  28. Employment News
  29. Energetic India
  30. Energy Future
  31. Energy Next
  32. ENFUSE journal
  33. Engineering Era
  34. Engineering Review
  35. Express Health Care
  36. Fibre2Fashion
  37. Fire Engineer
  38. Forbes India
  39. Higher Education Digest
  40. Indian Chemical Engineer
  41. Indian Science Journal
  42. Indian Transport & Logistics News
  43. Industrial India
  44. Industry Outlook
  45. IPA Physics News
  46. IPR News Letter
  47. Light Express
  48. Lighting & solar world
  49. Lighting India
  50. Manufacturing Today
  51. Nandini chemical journal
  52. OEM Update
  53. Physics Education
  54. Physics for You
  55. Physics Spectrum
  56. Process & Plant Engineering
  57. Processed Food industry
  58. Resonance
  60.  Science and Culture
  61.  Science India
  62. Science Reporter
  63. Science Research Reporter
  64. Science Today
  65. Science Wire
  66. Scientific India
  67. Spirituality & Health
  68. Technology For You
  69. Technology Times
  70. Terragreen
  71. The Indian Practitioner
  72. The Indian Textile Journal
  73. The Machinist
  74. The Progressive Teacher
  75. The Textile technology
  76. Timestech
  77. Water digest
  78. Water Today

Other Asian nations

  1. Asian Scientist
  2. Global Science Pakistan
  3. Scientific Bangladesh
  4.  Scientific Malaysian
  5. Scientific Mind
  6. World scientific news

Indian news papers

  1. Bright Punjab Express
  2. Daily Excelsior
  3. Decan Chronicle
  4. Decan Herald
  5. Greater Kashmir
  6. Hindustan Times
  7. Indian Express
  8. Kashmir Times
  9. Punjab Today
  10.  The Hindu
  11. The Sikh Times
  12. The Tribune
  13. Times of India
  14. Yes Punjab