Tag Archives: clarity

What is your anxiety telling you?

Megan Duffy had a thoughtful post on not inducing anxiety in others. She mentioned the specific case of reducing anxiety in others by being really clear. Instead of saying something like meet me Thursday, say why. I agree that getting … Continue reading

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First identify your jargon, then avoid it

Jargon has a use. We do certain things over and over in our lab that need shorthand names. The trick is to remember that these words mean something only inside the lab group. I’m sure you have some family words … Continue reading

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You can’t be too careful with documenting your science

Once upon a time we simply kept graphs and tables in our lab notebooks. We kept videos of behavior and the transcripts from those videos. For decades I kept huge binders of printed computer output. I kept those long hole-punched … Continue reading

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Great figures in your paper are worth the time

If you don’t think figures are crucial to effective scientific communication, think about how much easier it is to remember what a bird looks like than to remember its song. We all know about the special stomach just for desserts. … Continue reading

Posted in Publishing your work, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why you shouldn’t say “data not shown” or “personal communication”

What makes something science is not so much the subject matter as the process. Scientific information is obtained by clear methods that others should be able to repeat. It is above all based on evidence. There are lots of different … Continue reading

Posted in Data and analysis, Ethics, Publishing your work, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How many significant digits?

Just because your statistical package spits out values that look like this: 0.243444128999 or 984112.6868688670 or even a modest 23.3421 does not mean that they have a place in your life, your paper, or even your analysis. Round them off … Continue reading

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