The most important issues in scientific publishing

I’m in a bit of a pickle with a paper I’ve been writing for a while, and this post (which I had bookmarked because I thought it would have good writing tips — and it did, but not the kind I wanted) gave me a little bit of comic relief.

Actually, a lot of comic relief. If you’ve ever done research, applied for a grant, or tried to write a scientific paper, I’m 90+/-5% sure that you’ll get a kick out of this guy’s writeup.  I give an except below to give you some idea about how it reads:

Improbable Research

3. Scientific Writing
You have spent years on a project and have finally discovered that you cannot solve the problem you set out to solve. Nonetheless, you have a responsibility to present your research to the scientific community (Schulman et al. 1993d). Be aware that negative results can be just as important as positive results, and also that if you don’t publish enough you will never be able to stay in science. While writing a scientific paper, the most important thing to remember is that the word “which” should almost never be used. Be sure to spend at least 50% of your time (i.e. 12 hours a day) typesetting the paper so that all the tables look nice (Schulman & Bregman 1992).