Book review: Writing for science journals



by Geoffrey Hart
Diaskeuasis Publishing
Quebec, Canada, 2014
Online bookstore:
Printed version of the book

Review by Stephen White (Editors WA)

In science publications as anywhere, it remains largely the case that early-career scientists are supposed to learn by osmosis what it means to write science well. Commonly, the skills needed to write good publications are gleaned to a greater or lesser degree from supervisors, who may or may not themselves be good writers.

Enter the editor, who is sometimes better placed to know what it means to write well for a successful publication. A 2014 book Writing for science journals: tips, tricks and a learning plan by Geoffrey Hart, Canadian science editor, addresses exactly this topic, and then some.

Bearing in mind that Geoff Hart has written this book mainly for writers of science publications, it is also true that understanding the principles of good writing is as essential for editors as it is for authors. As editors, our work must be informed by the requirements of the discipline, as well as by the standards of the intended publisher or publishing medium. Thus, editors in Australia—including thesis editors and especially, but not exclusively, editors of science writing—might find it useful to browse Writing for science journals as a supplement to other editing references.

But before you dive into the 600 page ebook, you can read a recent detailed review. At the author’s request, Stephen White (Editors WA) has written a review that may help other editors target chapters of Writing for science journals that best suit their needs.

Read the full review here.

Go directly to the internet to download the ebook here.

If you write it, but no one reads it, you still haven’t done it.

David Lindsay, 2011, Scientific writing = thinking in words:
CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, p. 3