Why do journals insist that data ‘are’?

31st May 2012

Given the controversy over this grammatical point, I argue that journal style guides should allow both 'data is' and 'data are'. I was recently directed (via @blefurgy and @deb_lavoy on Twitter) to an old blog post on something that frequently bugs me: the question of whether the word 'data' is singular or plural. The post, by Norman Gray, an astronomical data management researcher at Glasgow University, UK, dates from 2005 but I haven't seen a better one on the topic. Gray argues that: ...the... Read more

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Tips on scientific writing from European Science Editors

21st May 2012

The European Association of Science Editors guidelines for scientific writing are a great resource. I have recently joined the European Association of Science Editors (EASE). They have a valuable document on their website: EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English (pdf; published June 2011). These guidelines are full of useful tips for those who write or edit scientific articles in English or translate them into English. They will be especially... Read more

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New peer review platforms

25th Apr 2012

A quick post this week. I have been thinking of writing about the various companies that have sprung up offering peer review for scientific papers that are independent of journals. But I don't need to: Jason Priem (@jasonpriem) has done it already. He has posted a Google document with a list of these services, which anyone can edit. I have added two that I have come across: Sympoze and PaperRater, in addition to the ones already listed (PubUp, The Third Reviewer, Arxiliv, PaperCritic, Peerage of... Read more

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