How to write a research report or article in Science style
The following information is excerpted from Science magazine’s information for authors found at: http://0-www.sciencemag.org.luna.wellesley.edu/about/authors/prep/gen_info.dtl
General guidelines may be accessed at: http://0-www.sciencemag.org.luna.wellesley.edu/about/authors/prep/prep_init.dtl
You should consider your paper a Report:
Reports (up to ~2500 words or ~3 journal pages) present important new research results of broad significance. Reports should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, up to four figures or tables, and a maximum of 30 references. Materials and Methods should usually be included in supporting online material, which may also include information needed to support the paper's conclusions.
Science reference format is a modified citation sequence style. You can find more instructions and examples at the instructions to authors pages: http://0-www.sciencemag.org.luna.wellesley.edu/about/authors/prep/res/refs.dtl
Style guidelines for Science style can be accessed at: http://0-www.sciencemag.org.luna.wellesley.edu/about/authors/prep/res/style.dtl
Note that this journal has a strong preference for active voice. See the example in the cited style page above.
Manuscript Preparation for Science
Information excerpted below available in the Feb. 6, 2009 issue of Science Vol. 323 p 807 or in pdf form at:
See Information for Authors at www.sciencemag.org/about/authors for more detailed information. Some pertinent excerpts are found below:
One page in the journal contains approximately 1000 words and one small figure. Use doubles-pacing throughout the text, tables, figure legends, and references and notes. Electronic files should be formatted for U.S. letter paper. Titles should be no more than 96 characters (including spaces) for Reports.
One-sentence summaries capturing the most important point should be submitted for all papers on a separate title page. Abstracts explain to the general reader why the research was done and why the results are important. The abstract should present background information to convey the context of the research, describe the results, and draw general conclusions.
Text starts with a brief introduction describing the paper’s significance, which should be intelligible to readers in other disciplines. Technical terms should be defined. Symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms should be defined the first time they are used. All tables and figures should be cited in numerical order. References and notes are numbered in the order in which they are cited, first through the text, then through the text of the references, and then through the figure and table legends. Each reference should have a unique number; do not combine references or embed references in notes. Do not use op. cit. or ibid.
Acknowledgments, including complete funding information, and any information related to authorship conflict of interest, should be gathered into the last numbered reference.
Tables should be included at the end of the references and should supplement, not duplicate the text. The first sentence of the table legend should be a brief descriptive title. Every vertical column should have a heading, consisting of a title with the unit of measure in parentheses. Units should not change within a column.
Figure legends should be double-spaced in numerical order. The figure title should be given as the first line of the legend. No single legend should be longer than ~200 words. Nomenclature, abbreviations, symbols, and units used in a figure should match those used in the text. Units should be metric and follow SI conventions.
No part of a figure may be selectively manipulated. When figures are assembled from multiple gels or micrographs, a line or space should indicate the border between two original images.
Graphs should be labeled on the ordinate and abscissa with the parameter or variable being measured, the units of measure, and the scale. Scales with large or small numbers should be presented as powers of 10. Simple solid or open symbols reduce well. Avoid the use of light lines and screen shading. Instead, use black-andwhite, hatched, and cross-hatched designs for emphasis. Use scale bars in place of, or in addition to, magnifications.
(Note from 219 instructors: Although Science requests that Materials and Methods and other supporting evidence be submitted as SOM (supporting material on line), your Science style submission for BISC219 will not include any SOM; therefore, please so include an important M&M information in the References and Notes section. See older issues of Science such as the 1999 Science paper we read on salt tolerance for a good model.)
Grading Rubric for Plant Genetic Engineering Paper in Science Style
|| At or Above Standard
|| Below Standard
|| 2-2.5 pt. Gives accurate & appropriate content information to reader as to the topic & main message(s) of investigation. Lists your lab partner(s) as second author(s).
|| 0-1.5 pts. Emphasizes tools or techniques over main message(s) or gives inaccurate information.
Does not include full authorship.
|| 4-5 pts. Concisely summarizes in appropriate format, topic, general methods, major findings (including strongest evidence leading to conclusions), conclusions & significance & implications of study.
|| 0-3.5 pts. Omits key information; includes tangential information; misinterprets information and/or implications; uses incorrect format
| Body of Paper:
| 17.5-20 pts. Identifies topic & central experimental questions, includes appropriate background information and level of detail. Includes a brief outline of methods. Results analysis and discussion focus on experimental data & refer to it directly by fig. or table number. Major findings are evaluated appropriately for importance, broader significance & context. Connections are made among experimental findings, background information & relevant research from outside sources. Appropriate conclusions are related to larger context. Writing style uses correct vocabulary, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and is clear and concise. Source citations in proper Science style format for all information not common knowledge
|| 0-17 pts. Does not correctly id topic or experimental questions. Missing appropriate background information, an outline of methods, or reference citations for information not common knowledge. Reference style not Science style. Not all major findings evaluated for meaning & importance, or are incorrectly interpreted. Connections among experimental findings missing or incorrectly applied. Relationship between experimental findings, background information & relevant research missing or incorrectly interpreted. Conclusions incorrectly drawn, and/or not related to larger significance. Writing style is not clear or concise and/or uses incorrect vocabulary, grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
| 12.5-15 pts. Figure and table titles give the main point of the data display. Fig. and tables designed and formatted for maximum clarity and interpretable without additional information other than that found in the legend. All figures & tables are numbered & have appropriate legends describing accurately, clearly, and succinctly how the data were generated and analyzed; all data is labeled for visual clarity & includes correct units or appropriate statistical test information.
||0-12 pts. Figure and table titles missing or do not reflect main points shown in data. Not all key figures and/or tables included. Figures &/or tables are difficult to read or to interpret due to missing information and/or poor design. Figure and table legends missing necessary information or such information is incorrect. Numbering, labeling, or statistical analyses info missing, ambiguous, or incorrect.
| 5.5-7.5 pt. Includes complete, properly formatted citation in Science style for each work cited in body of report. Cites all material used that is not commons knowledge. Uses an adequate number of reliable, appropriate sources. Where methods are not adequately explained in figure legends, enough information is provided in sequentially appropriate notes for future investigators to replicate these experiments.
|| 0-5 pts. Does not include complete, properly formatted citations for all references, lists works not cited in report, or fails to give reference citation for information not common knowledge. Does not use reliable or appropriate sources. Does not supply methods notes so that future investigators might replicate this work.