Instruction for authors
Identify key steps in a reasoning, organize results in a relevant order and keep it as short as possible are crucial, yet complicated steps while writing a paper. As a guideline and a training for future publications, Emergent Scientist requires manuscript to obey strict rules, which are detailed in this section.
Context and purpose
All scientific work takes place in a precise context, and is supposed to deliver a precise contribution. As such, manuscripts are expected to provide their readers with a clear overview of the scientific background to the work being presented, notably through their introduction (see below). Authors should be explicit about the added value of their work by stating what contributions they have made to the field of study. Simply reporting data is not sufficient. Experimental results should be accompanied with a relevant interpretation or a comparison to a model. Alternatively, a valid contribution could include the presentation of a new experimental protocol accompanied by a rigorous analysis of its performance (advantages and disadvantages) in relation to other measurement techniques.
EmSci sectioning instructions
Manuscripts are required to include explicitly the following sections.
The manuscript should have a brief title that adequately reflects the content of the manuscript.
The manuscript should contain an abstract of no more than 100 words. This should provide a brief summary of the contents of the manuscript, the methods used and the main conclusions of the work.
Special care should be given to the first sentences of the introduction, as they constitute the first contact between the reader and the text.
The introduction should provide a short motivation for the work being presented, as well as describing the key physical mechanisms and theoretical arguments that underpin the study. Reference should be made to previous and relevant studies, so that the reader can obtain a more complete understanding of the field. This section may contain equations and figures providing that they assist in helping the reader to build an appropriate physical picture of the problem being presented.
Note that even if the work originates in a specific context such as a scientific competition, the publication should detach from it and rely on a motivation of its own.
A detailed step-by-step description of the methods and theoretical models used in the study and how each set of results was obtained. This section should include (where appropriate) diagrams and descriptions or reference of any apparatus or equipment used, as well as lists of materials and where they were obtained. This section should be written in such a way that a reader could easily repeat your work and should NOT consist of a bullet pointed list of actions.
This is where you will prevent your key results, either in tabular or graphical form and provide a brief description of what each item (e.g. table or figure) shows. Each notation must be properly introduced and defined.
This section is used to provide a detailed discussion of your results in the context of new and existing theories. These could be the theories that were mentioned in the method or modifications thereof. Each figure/table that is presented in the results section would be discussed in further detail and a detailed interpretation of the results provided. This could include (for example) discussing the quality of fits of key equations to the data. Where possible, a discussion of uncertainties and errors should be provided along with a critical discussion of the limitations of the chosen methods. Suggestions for improvements to the study are also encouraged.
The dead-end section is an original feature of Emergent Scientist. It is meant to describe avenues of inquiry that may have failed for one reason or another. A brief description of what was attempted should be provided along with a short discussion about why it did not work or why why results are considered as faulty.
The main motivations for this section is to acknowledge that failures are indivisible from research, and to prevent replication studies from trying leads doomed to fail.
The conclusion should provide a short summary of the key findings of the work and should be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs.
Figures and captions
Figures should be clear and legible. Notably, axes should be written in a font large enough to be easily read on a printed sheet of paper (11 pt). Data should be introduced and explained in the caption of the figure.You should not repeat what is already stated in the main body of the text.
All figures included in a paper should be useful for the understanding of the work and should hence be referenced and discussed within the main text.
Diagrams should be prepared using an appropriate drawing package. High quality plots and graphs should also be prepared using a professional looking plotting package. Acceptable figure formats are .jpg, .png, .eps, .pdf,…
References should be numbered and cited in numerical order (as , [2-5] etc.) in the main text of the article. All references should conform to the Chicago citing style and include if possible DOI for online articles and ISBN for books.
Remember that a reference is meant to be easily found by readers. If you are citing a book, provide the number of relevant pages.
Length and formatting
Emergent Scientist papers should be less than 8 pages long (reference and figures included) using the provided submission template.
Submitting an article is NOT equivalent to submitting a draft to your co-authors asking for leads. The referee’s job is to judge the paper as a full, consistent work, not to give you advices on how to complete a given section. Before submitting, make sure that you and all your co-authors all fully agree on the whole content of the paper.
Consult the submission page.
Science is always a collective work. We recommend that you have your manuscript reviewed by colleagues, native english speakers and supervisors where possible. They will be able to give you guidance on how to write and structure a clear scientific article. It is perfectly acceptable to have a supervisor co-author of the paper providing he/she did a significant amount of work for it.
Several manuals can easily be found to gather advices on how to write a paper. We recommend the following one : Ashby, M. (2000). How to write a paper. Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, 5th Edition, Cambridge: UK.
Always keep in mind that an article is meant to be read by someone who will not know what you mean.