This page contains curated links to various web resources about science publishing and writing style. It will be updated over time.

For resources produced by JAWWS, head to the blog. A longer, less curated list of resources is also available here.

Reading

Literature on science publishing and communication

Style guides

  • Nonfiction Writing Advice by Scott Alexander. Not intended for science necessarily, but very useful in any case.
  • Formatting guide for the journal Nature, useful as an example of what is seen as the best guidelines for a top journal.
  • Write Like You Talk, an essay by Paul Graham. It makes a simple point: your written sentences should sound the same as if you were saying them to a friend. Scientific writing would be in much better shape if scientists did that.
  • Mathematical Writing by Donald E. Knuth and others. A PDF whose first few pages contain excellent advice on how to write math in a clear way.

Examples of well-written papers

Crypto and web3

  • Magna Carta Scientiae, a detailed description of the current problems in science and how Ethereum smart contracts could help.

Books

  • The Sense of Style, by Steven Pinker. An excellent style guide for (among other things) academic writing in English. Read my review.
  • Making Nature, by Melinda Baldwin, on the history of the top journal Nature. (My review coming soon!)

Twitter

Organizations

Journals

  • Distill is a journal for machine learning that shares a lot of JAWWS’s values. Since July 2021, they are on hiatus. The post explaining their reasons for suspending their work contains several insights on the present and future of science publishing.
  • Seeds of Science is a new peer-reviewed journal that publishes short articles that have the potential to advance science, with more freedom than traditional scientific papers.
  • microPublication “publishes brief, novel findings, negative and/or reproduced results, and results which may lack a broader scientific narrative” and is peer-reviewed.
  • JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, a rare example of a video-based scientific journal.

Workshop

  • Rethinking ML papers, a 2021 workshop on improving the readability and accessibility of machine learning papers

Organizations that try to improve science publishing

  • ResearchHub, the Reddit of science, is a place where scientists can share, rank, and discuss papers.
  • OADAO or OpenAccessDAO is a new decentralized autonomous organization trying to figure out a way to reform science publishing from a web3 and community angle.

Other science improvement

  • New Science, founded by Alexey Guzey, seeks to establish new models of funding and organizing the institutions of science. They have generously funded me to work on JAWWS for a few months.


Last updated: 14 March 2022