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Publishing with Objective Charisma: Breaking Science’s Paradox

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Publishing with Objective Charisma: Breaking Science’s Paradox

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Abstract

Good writing takes time, but in a research environment where speed is master, is it a superfluous pursuit? Scientists spend most of their working life writing, yet our writing style obstructs its key purpose: communication. We advocate more accessible prose that boosts the influence of our publications. For those who change, the proof of their success will be science that is read, understood, and remembered.

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... Today's scientific writers are caught between the use of orthodox writing for objectivity and sensational writing for provoking the interest of readers. Even though sensationalism was defined as 'the antithesis of good science' [12], superlative writing may come about when a researcher is short on scientific content. In other words, it may be perceived as an easy route to sell scientific publications to a broader readership by publishing in journals of greater impact factor. ...
... A study such as that of Trontelj et al. [4] teaches us that we must abandon the habit of over-selling our results. At the same time, it is increasingly recognized that the orthodox style of scientific writing ('The Official Style' [12]) is an uninspiring means of communication because it is dry, dense, impersonal, and not widely accessible [12][13][14][15]. Scientists who advocate a paradigm shift in scientific writing suggest that we should increase our efforts to write with our readers in mind [3,[12][13][14]. ...
... A study such as that of Trontelj et al. [4] teaches us that we must abandon the habit of over-selling our results. At the same time, it is increasingly recognized that the orthodox style of scientific writing ('The Official Style' [12]) is an uninspiring means of communication because it is dry, dense, impersonal, and not widely accessible [12][13][14][15]. Scientists who advocate a paradigm shift in scientific writing suggest that we should increase our efforts to write with our readers in mind [3,[12][13][14]. ...
Article
In an environment where the impact of research is central, scientists face the dilemma of choosing between orthodox writing for objectivity and sensational writing to provoke interest. The use of superlatives in high-ranking ecology journals has increased significantly in recent years, a writing behavior that works against scientific objectivity.
... This proposed need for creativity in inter- disciplinary communication brings us back to the piece by Doubleday and Con- nell. While Doubleday and Connell suggest that accessible writing can pro- mote interdisciplinary communication by increasing the accessibility of both neigh- boring and distant research [1], we have highlighted here collaboration that aims to overcome the barriers between disci- plines can itself drive the development of accessible writing styles. Although we have presented the communication approaches used in individual disciplines as being largely homogeneous, increas- ingly there is room within disciplines for inventiveness and opportunities to diverge from the dominant linguistic and cultural features such that writing becomes undisciplined [7,9]. ...
... Doubleday and Connell [1] highlighted the use of Ingredient X, the undervalued X factor, that turns dry, convoluted scientific writing into something that is read, under- stood, and remembered. Ingredient X brings together clarity and creativity, but does not compromise objectivity. ...
... Creativity makes the difference between writing well and writing very well. It can breakdown interdisciplinary boundaries, tantalize readers, and boost the influence of what is written [1,6,7]. It is the more powerful, more complex twin to clarity, but it faces the greatest opposition. ...
... Doubleday and Connell [1] highlighted the use of Ingredient X, the undervalued X factor, that turns dry, convoluted scientific writing into something that is read, understood, and remembered. Ingredient X brings together clarity and creativity, but does not compromise objectivity. ...
... Creativity makes the difference between writing well and writing very well. It can breakdown interdisciplinary boundaries, tantalize readers, and boost the influence of what is written [1,6,7]. It is the more powerful, more complex twin to clarity, but it faces the greatest opposition. ...
... Eso incluye el estilo tradicional de escribirlo (Figueroa 2021). Demasiados autores creen que un artículo científico debe transmitir únicamente conocimiento entre especialistas (Doubleday & Connell 2017). Quizá, por esa razón, esos autores escriben textos cargados de tecnicismos y neologismos (i.e., términos nuevos dentro de una lengua), olvidando incluso que sus colegas en otros campos de investigación desconocen su jerga técnica (Sage 2003). ...
... En términos concretos, los artículos científicos son el medio por el cual los científicos comunican sus hallazgos al mundo (Gopen & Swan 1990). Por lo tanto, un artículo científico no sólo debe transmitir conocimiento sólido, sino contener un relato comprensible para un amplio espectro de lectores (Sage 2003, Doubleday & Connell 2017Fig. 1). ...
... As the number of scientific papers published every year continues to grow, individual papers are also becoming increasingly specialised and complex (Delanty, 1998;Bornmann and Mutz, 2015;Doubleday and Connell, 2017;Cordero et al., 2016;Plavén-Sigray et al., 2017). This information overload is driving a 'knowledge-ignorance paradox' whereby information increases but knowledge that can be put to good use does not (Jeschke et al., 2019). ...
... However, the trends we report suggest that many scientists either ignore these guidelines or simply emulate what has come before. Entrenched writing styles in science are difficult to shift (Doubleday and Connell, 2017), and the creation of new acronyms has become Year Time to 10% re−use (years) Figure 2. Estimated time to re-use of acronyms over time. ...
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Some acronyms are useful and are widely understood, but many of the acronyms used in scientific papers hinder understanding and contribute to the increasing fragmentation of science. Here we report the results of an analysis of more than 24 million article titles and 18 million article abstracts published between 1950 and 2019. There was at least one acronym in 19% of the titles and 73% of the abstracts. Acronym use has also increased over time, but the re-use of acronyms has declined. We found that from more than one million unique acronyms in our data, just over 2,000 (0.2%) were used regularly, and most acronyms (79%) appeared fewer than 10 times. Acronyms are not the biggest current problem in science communication, but reducing their use is a simple change that would help readers and potentially increase the value of science.
... But somehow the "wall-of-text" poster became the generally accepted norm, just like it became the norm to write our research papers in a stale and impenetrable way. 1 The fundamental problem is that we are not designing posters with the reader in mind. We are preparing posters to show-off all of the data and text because they give the presenter a sense of comfort and security. ...
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Despite the rise of social media, high-speed internet, and teleconference software, conferences seem to be here to stay. But what is their purpose? Networking. So why then do we design conference posters in a way that makes people run away from us? In this article you will learn why a scientific poster should be an eye-catcher and a conversation starter and how to design effective posters with the reader in mind. A poster should be a visual abstract of your research, not a wall-of-text. Beyond the conference, graphical abstracts can be effective tools for broadening the reach of research and are becoming more commonplace in scientific publishing. When it comes to effectively engaging with your audience, it is time to break the status quo. Let us bury the wall-of-text posters and embrace graphical abstracts. © 2020, European Medical Writers Association. All rights reserved.
... At this point it may be pertinent to point out that the public has probably never read many scientific papers due to esoteric subject matter and the unex-citing writing style. Doubleday & Connell (2017) justifiably ask why we can't write science in a style which actually communicates (rather than obscures) the message. Indeed, at least some scientific papers have likely been written more for career advancement than for communication (or, in the words of the Archchancellor of the Unseen University: 'Oh, I don't think it was for reading. ...
Article
The unintended negative consequences of the drive towards open access publishing are becoming increasingly apparent. This paper examines the nature of open access publishing from the perspectives of authors and readers, considering issues of payment and ownership, and the question of open access for data. It discusses the origins of open access, its costs and the extent to which delivers on its aims, and reviews its advantages and disadvantages, including economic restrictions on access to publishing, the rise in predatory journals and de gradation of quality control, and the consequent potential of open access to damage the standing of science in society. Given the recognised importance of 'crafting the message', i.e. communicating scientific results to each category of end-users in the most appropriate way, it should also be asked why the 'one size fits all' solution of publishing results in open access journal papers (which usually follow the standard format of scientific papers, which remains off-putting to the casual reader) is considered necessary. There is a need for greater rigour in choice of publication outlets, avoiding predatory journals and promoting benign open access options, and ensuring that funding bodies and policymakers are aware of the unexpected negative impacts of unregulated open access publishing.
... Doubleday and Connell coined the term 'Ingredient X' [4] because good writing can feel like alchemy, a mythological beast that seems impossible to capture, particularly for scientists. We advocate that writing needs greater value in science to not only help us understand the good from the bad but also to help us capture the beast. ...
... The language and style of scientific publications are at times challenging to digest for subject experts, let alone other readers (Doubleday and Connell 2017). Poetry can offer a way for scientists to play with language, to reframe concepts, and to engage with aesthetics to capture readers in ways that are not possible with scientific articles (Silverman 2016). ...
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Creativity is crucial to the capacity to do science well, to communicate it in compelling ways, and to enhance learning. Creativity can be both practiced and enhanced to strengthen conservation science professionals' efforts to address global environmental challenges. We explore how poetry is one creative approach that can further conservation scientists' engagement and learning. We draw on evidence from peer-reviewed literature to illustrate benefits of integrating science and poetry, and to ground our argument for the growth of a science-poetry community to help conservation scientists develop skills in creative practices as a component of professional development. We present examples from literature as well as two short poetry exercises for scientists to draw on when considering writing poetry, or deciding on forms of poetry to include, in their practice. Opportunity exists to grow science-poetry projects to further our understanding of what such initiatives can offer.
... Marine conservation scientists can create and adopt new languages and in some cases, let go of their familiar definitions and assumptions and work to accept ambiguity, if this can create positive engagement with science (Fleming and Howden, 2016). For instance, improving the accessibility of scientific writing, to a range of audiences with different needs, can boost the impact of academic publications in a practical and applied sphere outside of the lab (Doubleday and Connell, 2017). ...
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Marine environments are complex and dynamic social-ecological systems, where social perceptions of ocean stewardship are diverse, resource use is potentially unsustainable, and conservation efforts rely strongly on public support or acceptance. Decreasing trust in science in recent years has led to weakened social acceptance and approval of marine conservation science. Social licence is a concept that reflects informal, unwritten public expectations about the impacts and benefits of industry and government practises, including research, on natural resources, including the ocean. Working toward improving social licence may provide opportunity to bolster support for marine conservation, by allowing communities to engage with marine issues and marine science, and voice their concerns and views. Here, we argue that marine conservation requires social licence and we highlight science advocacy, accomplished through outreach, as a means to achieve this. We identify a role for marine conservation science to engage with the public through advocacy to improve understanding and perceptions of conservation. Drawing from the literature, we describe how science advocacy can enhance social licence for marine conservation research and outline four steps that can advise marine conservation scientists to achieve and promote social licence for their research and the wider marine conservation community.
... Writing in a way that is accessible to nonspecialists, can open the door for your article to be cited by researchers in other fields [10]. This concept is advocated by Doubleday and Connell (2017) who recommended accessible prose to boost the influence of publications so as to easily read, understood, and remembered [18]. Don't forget the fact that attractive title and abstract could make the reader not only to read them but to complete the whole article as well [19] (Fig. 1). ...
Article
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Publishing in scholarly journals is not an easy task. It needs patience and a huge effort in order to find your manuscript published in scholarly journals. From our point of view, this mini-review explains the most significant tips that may facilitate this difficult task. Although many researchers fail to find their studies published in impacted journals, others recorded considerable success in this process. This failure may be due to many factors belong to the lab's team, weakness of the research, inability to express their work, defect in the selection of the proper journal, inability to convince the journal's editors and reviewers, and or the negative response to reviewer's comments.
... Therefore, identifying your target audience clarifies the kinds of environmental messages likely to engage them, which is the first step in making the message stick (Nisbet 2009, Hine et al. 2016. Messages that rely on impersonal data and facts, a stalwart of science communication, are difficult for lay audiences to absorb (Schaffner et al. 2015, Doubleday andConnell 2017). Knowing your target audience and the values that drive their engagement with environmental issues (e.g., an emotional attachment to a place, as in Manzo and Devine-Wright 2013; improved social benevolence, as in Bain et al. 2016) will help science communicators design their messages for greater impact (Schultz 2011, Hine et al. 2016. ...
Article
In this era of unprecedented environmental change, optimism could help unite people to act. In the present article, we bring together insights from psychology, business, politics, and media to illustrate humanity's innate attraction to optimism and the influence it can yield in driving positive change. We advocate for greater use of optimism in the communication of conservation and provide practical steps to help conservation biologists use optimism more effectively. However, to avoid denialism and remain grounded in reality we also acknowledge the need for balance between optimism and pessimism. Such balance could not only enhance public engagement with pressing environmental issues but also encourage effective collaboration among science, government, public and industry sectors to address environmental issues.
... Improvement only comes from "an intelligent pursuit, fueled by reading and honed by practice." [6] A never-ending pursuit, we may add. ...
Article
What is in a good paper? First, a short abstract, capable of standing alone. No more than 300 words. We said 300? We meant 150. Actually, abstracts are too long. Highlights are the future. We also need nice-looking figures. And a succinct Results section. There you go, the paper for the age of information, capable of being consumed in 10 minutes or less. Because when thousands of papers are published every day and it is impossible to keep up, a good paper becomes the one we don’t have to read fully. But while the avalanche of papers published on every research topic makes the trend towards superficial reading of the scientific literature understandable (and we are certainly not throwing the first stone here), it does not make the practice any less prejudicial to science. But it gets worse. Recent years have seen a rise in the concern for improving the quality of writing in scientific papers. These efforts, however, have not escaped the trend towards superficial reading, which is strong enough to stimulate authors to write in such a way so as to enable it. But when we write papers so that others can just read the abstract and look at the figures, while completely ignoring the details of methods employed, we are walking right into the biggest problem of communication: the illusion that it has taken place. Science does need better writing, with more clarity, more transparency and less jargon. But it also needs better reading. And if our goal is better reading, the first step is to write papers to be read fully. https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.201900035
... Poetry is increasingly used to raise awareness, engage and capture the public's attention, and enhance their scientific knowledge (Illingworth, 2016;Januchowski-Hartley et al., 2018;Fernández-Giménez et al., 2019). This is particularly important, because scientific articles are complex, and often laden with discipline-specific language that puts it out of public's reach (Doubleday and Connell, 2017). Poetry may help to bridge the information gap between scientists and the public by making it more relatable and accessible. ...
Article
I greatly enjoyed reading the recent commentary by Smith and Border (2019) on the use of mnemonics and rhyme to teach anatomical concepts. As they eloquently highlight, when used effectively, they can encourage learning that goes beyond the superficial, and can be of great benefit to students.
... how should the problem be solved?). These narratives can evoke strong emotions because they are designed to capture the audience's imagination [22]. This brings knowledge brokers to a significant junction: should they aspire to be impartial honest brokers who remain neutral when presenting information, or issue advocates who purposely advance a desired policy outcome [23]. ...
Article
The international science-policy interface increasingly needs knowledge brokers to convey technical evidence to non-specialists in an engaging way. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has a long track-record of scientific knowledge on Africa’s developmental context, but this knowledge is often fragmented and difficult to access, limiting its uptake by policymakers and other stakeholders. To overcome this, the JRC developed the Africa Knowledge Platform (https://africa-knowledge-platform.ec.europa.eu/), a web-based entry-point to knowledge that evolves constantly to best support the European Union’s objective of deepening its partnership with Africa. This highly visual and easy-to-use platform brings together datasets, narratives, interactive tools, and partnerships across more than 60 disciplines and policy priorities. Here, we introduce the Africa Knowledge Platform, focusing specifically on using digital storytelling to communicate policy-relevant research on Africa’s raw materials. We present two geographically explicit narratives on (1) critical raw materials for low carbon and digital technologies and (2) monitoring gold mining in remote parts of central Africa using satellite technology. Each narrative uses interactive data and accessible language to communicate relevant research from the JRC and other sources within the context of policies including the EU-Africa Strategy, the European Green Deal and its Circular Economy Action Plan, the African Union’s Mining Vision and international development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals. Ultimately, we reflect on how the Africa Knowledge Platform can bridge the gap between scientists and policymakers, emphasising the opportunities and caveats for knowledge brokerage across complex science-policy contexts.
... Neither storytelling nor emotive communication are characteristics associated with the post-positive nature of scientific inquiry (Doubleday & Connell, 2017). In fact, there are strong criticisms against the use of storytelling in science, due to fears that it will lead to skewed views of information and promote the conception that science does not work towards objective explanations (Downs, 2014;Katz, 2013). ...
Article
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To broaden perspectives presented in undergraduate courses, instructors often invite guest speakers, yet there is limited research on students’ perceptions of guest speakers and the potential influence they may have on student learning. In this exploratory study, we describe how senior undergraduate students, in a natural resource management capstone course, perceived guest speakers, who were invited to lecture on environmental socio-scientific issues. Through qualitative content analysis (guided by frame theory) of student interviews, student artifacts, and transcripts of lectures, we determined that, compared to other speakers, ‘memorable’ speakers (1) told stories, (2) evoked emotion, and (3) either explained theory only after sharing cases studies or intermittently explained theory while sharing a case (rather than beginning with theoretical explanations followed by case studies). Because storytelling was a consistent theme across the ‘memorable’ speakers, we posit that this instructional strategy can be effective in engaging students. We make recommendations for how instructors can select or prepare guests in interacting with undergraduate students.
... The number of witty etymologies we documented is a reminder that even the writing (and reading) of taxonomic papers can be simultaneously rigorous and enjoyable (Heard, 2014). Also, the recent dramatic increase in non-traditional etymologies is symptomatic of an ongoing transition toward a modern writing style that retreats to some extent from the dense, impersonal, and difficult-toaccess orthodox style of scientific writing (Sword, 2012;Greene, 2013;Doubleday & Connell, 2017;Freeling, Doubleday, & Connell, 2019;Mammola, 2020)-otherwise known as "academese" (Pinker, 2015). To us, the creativity of taxonomists in devising new species names is inspirational and can foster reflection about the way we communicate science. ...
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There's a secret pleasure in naming new species. Besides traditional etymologies recalling the sampling locality, habitat, or morphology of the species, etymologies may be tributes to some meaningful person (for example, the species' collector, the author's husband or wife, or a celebrity), pop culture references, and even exercises of enigmatography. The possibility of choosing witty or even playful names for new species departs from the otherwise impersonal and old-fashioned writing style that's common in taxonomic papers; but, how has the descriptor's choice for specific etymologies changed over the 300+ years since the introduction of the Linnaean binomial system of nomenclature? Using an unprecedented dataset of 48,464 etymologies (all valid species and subspecies of spiders described between 1757 and May 2020), we tested the hypothesis that species names given by taxonomists are deeply influenced by their cultural background. In particular, we asked whether naming practices change through space (continent in which the species was found) or have changed through time (year of description). We observed spatial and temporal differences in the way taxonomists name new species. In absolute terms, etymologies referring to morphology were the most frequently used. In relative terms, however, references to morphology peaked in 1850–1900 and then began to decline, with a parallel increase in etymologies dedicated to people and geography. Currently, these are the most widely used, with ~38% of all etymologies of spider species described in the last ten years referring to geography, ~25% to people, and ~25% to morphology. Interestingly, there has been a dramatic increase in etymologies referring to pop culture and other cultural aspects in the last two decades, especially in Europe and the Americas. While such fashionable names often carry little or no biological information regarding the species itself, they help give visibility to the science of taxonomy, a discipline currently facing a profound crisis within academia. Taxonomy is among the most unchanged disciplines across the last centuries in terms of background, tools, rules, and writing style; but our analysis suggests that taxonomists remain deeply influenced by their living time and space.
... D. Roberts & Seaman, 2018;Wiener et al., 2018). Asimismo, existen trabajos en torno al análisis lingüístico de textos considerados de alto impacto para identificar elementos propios de la estructura y aconsejar sobre diversas estrategias textuales a fin de que estos tengan la posibilidad de generar un mayor impacto (P De Doubleday & Connell, 2017;Fried et al., 2019;Gregory & Denniss, 2018;Guillaume et al., 2017;McDowell & Liardét, 2020;Steffens et al., 2020;Westgate & Lindenmayer, 2017). ...
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La innovación educativa se genera a partir de procesos de investigación que se dirigen al mejoramiento de las condiciones para la educación. Entre la generación de la innovación y la adopción e impacto de esta, hay un elemento sin el cual la conexión no sería posible: la comunicación científica. Esta se da cuando los investigadores entregan los hallazgos a través de distintas formas, entre las que destaca el texto escrito. En las últimas décadas, las dinámicas en torno a la escritura, publicación y difusión de la producción científica se han transformado. En primer lugar, las instituciones generan políticas, lineamientos o normas en torno a la producción académica, acordes con las necesidades de reconocimiento e impacto. En segundo lugar, la llegada de la ciencia abierta que propone nuevas formas de difusión y de medición del impacto. El presente estudio tiene por objetivo examinar los procesos de escritura, publicación y difusión del texto científico en comunidades de práctica de investigadores educativos y su relación con las nuevas dinámicas que estos procesos adoptan por las exigencias de las instituciones de investigación y la llegada de la ciencia abierta. Desde esta exploración se busca identificar aspectos para fortalecer la producción científica. A partir de un enfoque cualitativo etnográfico se aplican entrevistas y se realiza análisis documental, así como de políticas y/o lineamientos sobre producción académica de la institución a la que pertenecen. Los resultados del estudio piloto y del estudio principal revelan distintos elementos notables en el proceso de producción académica. Se encuentra que los procesos de escritura, publicación y difusión del conocimiento científico están influidos por factores institucionales como valores y normas que los dirigen. Se identifica que las comunidades de investigadores educativos están institucionalizadas, y es en función de esta institucionalización que ellos producen los textos científicos. De igual manera, los factores institucionales también son manifiestos en el reconocimiento a la trayectoria y la identidad de los investigadores. Finalmente, se analizan distintas formas en la que las instituciones pueden aportar para cultivar las comunidades de práctica de investigadores educativos. Por último, se concluye el trabajo identificando los aportes, las limitaciones y potenciales líneas para futuros estudios.
... Over the last two decades, there has been an exponential increase in the number of English-language peer-reviewed scientific articles, with approximately three million published in 2018. 1 Despite this large increase in published content, the readability of science is declining. 2 As a result, researchers are encouraged to improve the way they communicate their findings, from writing differently, 3 improving how they produce scientific posters, 4 or by embracing graphical abstracts (GA) or video abstracts (VA). 5 2 Like a movie poster or trailer, GAs and VAs provide a summary of a study's key findings and aim to direct more viewers to the published paper, in an attempt to increase the paper's reach and further disseminate the findings. ...
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Objective: Graphical (GA) and Video (VA) abstracts provide a summary of a study’s key findings to direct more viewers to the published paper. The present aim was to determine if papers published with a GA or VA in the field of sport science are likely to receive higher Altmetric attention scores and more citations than papers published without. Methods: A multivariate Poisson regression analysis was used to determine whether Altmetric attention scores and citation counts were different between articles published with or without a GA or VA. Included articles were published between January 2019 and December 2020 from three journals ranked within the top quartile of the category of “Sport Science”. Results: Of 562 articles, 101 were published with a graphical abstract (n = 96) or video abstract (n = 5). Articles with GA or VA received a lower Altmetric attention score than those without (Incidence rate ratio = 0.76 (0.73 – 0.80) [95% CI = 0.73 – 0.80]; p=<0.001; small effect) and were cited less often (incidence rate ratio = 0.64 [95% CI = 0.60 – 0.69]; p=<0.001; small effect). Conclusion: This study found no apparent benefit to publication with a GA or VA with respect to Altmetric attention scores and citations. Further research should consider investigating how factors such as design quality, distribution, and research importance influence these outcomes in similar studies.
... El uso innecesario de acrónimos y tecnicismos, la falta de estructura narrativa, el formalismo y la excesiva atención al detalle, entre otras plagas, se conjuran para producir textos densos, impersonales y áridos, que son difíciles de leer y fáciles de olvidar (Doubleday y Connell 2017). Ciertamente, el ingrediente para escribir textos que capturen la imaginación del lector no ha de ser el sensacionalismo, pues la exactitud debe mantenerse siempre. ...
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En este este capítulo se revisan algunos elementos de psicología cognitiva relevantes para el aprendizaje, se hace una revisión crítica de la pedagogía constructivista y se identifican prácticas que han demostrado ser eficaces para mejorar los resultados de la enseñanza. Se discuten también diferentes sesgos cognitivos que tienen profundas implicaciones en el aprendizaje y la práctica de la ciencia, y en nuestra visión del mundo.
... The science literature where we share our "exciting" research with the world is unfortunately often boring and difficult to read even by scientists (Sand-Jensen, 2007;Doubleday and Connell, 2017b). In other words, this literature is often "bloated, dense and so dry that no amount of chewing can make it tasty" (Doubleday and Connell, 2017a). ...
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In this Research Topic we are interested in the impact of online video-sharing on the public communication of science and the environment, but also on intra-scientific communication and practice. The online video format has great potential for science and environmental communication, but there are also potential problems and pitfalls that need to be reflected. We are interested in the role of online video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo and others, for the public communication of science and research. Production We are looking for various perspectives on the production of online videos, i.e. who creates and uploads videos with scientific and environmental contents and what are the intentions and purposes of these videos? What are the differences and similarities between professional, amateur, institutional and other actors who produce online videos? How do the different creators of videos about science and the environment legitimize themselves and what audiences do they want to reach and for what reasons? What are the differences in practices and intentions of journalists, YouTubers, scientists, scientific institutions and others when it comes to online video-sharing? Content Which scientific and environmental topics and what kinds of research and knowledge are represented in publicly available online videos and which are not? Are there certain scientific disciplines that use online videos for public and/ or intra-scientific communication more often than others? What kind of video formats, genres, videographic styles etc. are most successful, widespread and adequate for science and environmental communication? How can the quality of scientific online videos be assessed? What role do misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories play in online videos about scientific and environmental topics and what could be done to successfully counteract erroneous and problematic video content? Can differences concerning topics, frames or aesthetic aspects be found and analyzed, and if so how? What are the differences between the online videos of professional, amateur, institutional and other user/ producer cultures? Are there differences in the online videos from diverse geographical locations, languages and disciplinary communities? Audiences, reception and communities How are online videos on science and the environment perceived by various audiences? Do scientists and researchers also make use of the online-video format, and if so, how and why? How do different audiences make sense of the online videos they are watching and how do they affect perceptions, knowledge and attitudes? How do different users seek and find online videos about science and the environment and how do they assess the credibility of the videos? What communities emerge around specific video channels featuring science and environmental online videos and how do various audiences/ communities and video creators interact? What is the role of specific online video-sharing platforms for the dissemination, recommendation and practices of environmental and science communication via online video? Methodological innovations What quantitative, qualitative, computational and other methods could be used to study scientific and environmental online-videos and practices of online video-sharing? Practical perspectives We are also interested in perspectives of online video practitioners or researchers and others who experimented with online videos for science and environmental communication. We also welcome case studies and the experiences of science YouTubers and experience reports of exchanges with scientists, scientific institutions, journalists, filmmakers and others who use online videos for environmental and science communication. Keywords: Science Communication, Environmental Communication, Online Video, Video Platforms, YouTube, Vimeo, Public Understanding of Science, Science of Science Communication, Social Sciences, Media, Communications, Interdisciplinarity See also: https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/11604/new-directions-in-science-and-environmental-communication-understanding-the-role-of-online-video-sha
... In general, both these features are a direct product of the changes in academic publishing behaviors of the "publish or perish" era. More and more authors are now exploring new ways to maximize the impact of their publications 25,26 . Citing papers with higher impact factor and a lower proportion non-journal articles may be perceived as an effective way to achieve such goal. ...
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It is said that the quality of a scientific publication is as good as the science it cites, but the properties of high-quality reference lists have never been numerically quantified. We examined seven numerical characteristics of reference lists of 50,878 primary research articles published in 17 ecological journals between 1997 and 2017. Over this 20-years period, there have been significant changes in reference lists properties. On average, more recent ecological papers have longer reference lists, cite more high Impact Factor papers, and fewer non-journal publications. Furthermore, we show that highly cited papers across the ecology literature have longer reference lists, cite more recent and impactful papers, and account for more self-citations. Conversely, the proportion of classic papers and non-journal publications cited, as well as the temporal range of the reference list, have no significant influence on articles citations. From this analysis, we distill a recipe for crafting impactful reference lists.
... Wir berichten hier von unserem Aufbruch. Zum Anlass der Jubiläumsschrift tun wir dies in Teilen anekdotisch und eher locker im Ton, aber mit ungebremst wissenschaftlichem Anspruch (Doubleday & Connell, 2017). Im Fokus steht dabei die Nichtlineare Pädagogik, die nach unserem Verständnis ihrer Grundlagen und Wirkungen sehr gut zu den Anforderungen des Polizeilichen Einsatztrainings passt. ...
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Nichtlineare Pädagogik argumentiert mit Fakten. Das Leben, die Menschen, das Lehren und das Lernen – das alles folgt einer nichtlinearen Organisation. In diesem Beitrag berichten wir von unserem Aufbruch, als Forscher und Trainer im Doppelpack den „Geist“ der Nichtlinearen Pädagogik in das Einsatztraining der Polizeien von Bund und Ländern zu bringen. Wir berichten von den Gründen, warum die Nichtlineare Pädagogik ausgezeichnet zu den Anforderungen eines Trainings passt, das Polizist*innen auf den Einsatz vorbereiten möchte. Und wir berichten von den Gründen, warum es gegenwärtig noch nicht passt und was zu tun wäre, um dies zu ändern. Eine Nichtlineare Pädagogik des Einsatztrainings, so unsere Prognose, bedarf eines reflexiven Reformstils innerhalb der Polizei, der die Bereitschaft zur Veränderung der Bedingungen zur Veränderung einschließt. Systematischem Einsatzwissen kommt dabei eine Schlüsselrolle zu.
... The science literature where we share our "exciting" research with the world is unfortunately often boring and difficult to read even by scientists (Sand-Jensen, 2007;Doubleday and Connell, 2017b). In other words, this literature is often "bloated, dense and so dry that no amount of chewing can make it tasty" (Doubleday and Connell, 2017a). ...
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Scientific information is a key ingredient needed to tackle global challenges like climate change, but to do this it must be communicated in ways that are accessible to diverse groups, and that go beyond traditional methods (peer-reviewed publications). For decades there have been calls for scientists to improve their communication skills—with each other and the public—but, this problem persists. During this time there have been astonishing changes in the visual communication tools available to scientists. I see video as the next step in this evolution. In this paper I highlight three major changes in the visual communication tools over the past 100 years, and use three memorable items—bamboo, oil and ice cream—and analogies and metaphors to explain why and how Do-it-Yourself (DIY) videos made by scientists, and shared on YouTube, can radically improve science communication and engagement. I also address practical questions for scientists to consider as they learn to make videos, and organize and manage them on YouTube. DIY videos are not a silver bullet that will automatically improve science communication, but they can help scientists to 1) reflect on and improve their communications skills, 2) tell stories about their research with interesting visuals that augment their peer-reviewed papers, 3) efficiently connect with and inspire broad audiences including future scientists, 4) increase scientific literacy, and 5) reduce misinformation. Becoming a scientist videographer or scientist DIY YouTuber can be an enjoyable, creative, worthwhile and fulfilling activity that can enhance many aspects of a scientist’s career.
... In general, both these features are a direct product of the changes in academic publishing behaviors of the "publish or perish" era. More and more authors are now exploring new ways to maximize the impact of their publications (Doubleday and Connell 2017;França and Monserrat 2019;Freeling et al. 2019). Citing papers with higher Impact Factors and a lower proportion of non-journal items may be perceived as an effective way to achieve such a goal. ...
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Many believe that the quality of a scientific publication is as good as the science it cites. However, quantifications of how features of reference lists affect citations remain sparse. We examined seven numerical characteristics of reference lists of 50,878 research articles published in 17 ecological journals between 1997 and 2017. Over this period, significant changes occurred in reference lists' features. On average, more recent papers have longer reference lists and cite more high Impact Factor papers and fewer non-journal publications. We also show that highly cited articles across the ecological literature have longer reference lists, cite more recent and impactful references, and include more self-citations. Conversely , the proportion of 'classic' papers and non-journal publications cited, as well as the temporal span of the reference list, have no significant influence on articles' citations. From this analysis, we distill a recipe for crafting impactful reference lists, at least in ecology.
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Citations play an essential role in creating a knowledge network and recognizing relevant contributions during the process of scientific production. Despite the citations establishing the links between new evidence and the preceding ideas, classic articles may not be cited adequately. Our aim is to identify if classic studies are cited over time and if the recent studies are producing new knowledge or just “giving a new look” to pre-existing ideas. We evaluated whether the theory proposed by Brooks and Dodson (Science 150(3692): 28–35, 1965)-Size-efficiency Hypothesis was referenced in studies on the subject since its publication. Through the analysis of 1480 scientific papers, we quantified—from 1965 to 2018—the citation index (CI) of the original article considering the number of articles produced on the topic per year and the number of citations to other authors (intermediaries). We observed that 60% of the papers and 59% of the intermediaries do not refer to the original article. The CI was low and negatively affected by the age of the original article, showing that the frequency of citation was lower than the rate by which articles on the topic were published. There is a tendency to cite more recent articles and articles that corroborate their own findings. Our data illustrated the microwave effect, in which pre-existing ideas and theories are “reheated” by more recent articles where little of the original idea is modified. The microwave effect can create the impression of scientific advancement when there is little being added to the knowledge already produced.
Book
Cambridge Core - Life Science Professional Development - Broader Impacts of Science on Society - by Bruce J. MacFadden
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Humans engage in 2 modes of thinking: an associative mode and a reasoning mode. Institutions and scientific education primarily have focused on reasoning, even though the associative mode is linked to creativity and has been actively nurtured and used by influential scientists. The inattentiveness by scientific institutions toward associative thinking is such that it has been called the forgotten half of scientific thinking, and few opportunities exist for its professional exercising. I was fortunate to have been granted such an opportunity through an invitation to speak at a symposium honoring the retirement of a noted quail scientist. The symposium directive was simple: complete intellectual freedom to explore any quail topic as long as it was grounded in science. These were ideal and welcomed conditions for engaging in associative thought and nurturing dual thinking—that is, thinking engaging both association and reasoning. Here I provide my scientific reflections. The general themes range from psychology to chaos to dialectical philosophy. Although the topics may seem far removed from quail, I highlight their potential relevancy. I offer these reflections in the spirit of stimulating scientific curiosity in the natural world, as an encouragement to push the boundaries of quail science, and, ultimately, with the hope of encouraging further opportunities for dual thinking in science. © 2021 The Wildlife Society. Humans engage in 2 modes of thought: association and reasoning. Dual thinking, or the use of both modes, is integral for creativity and has been used by some of the most influential scientists. Unfortunately, scientific institutions have focused on reasoning and shunned association leaving scientists with little opportunity to engage in creative, dual thought. Here I illustrate the value of dual thinking and present 3 case studies linking quail ecology to unconventional themes (psychology, chaos, and dialectical philosophy) with the goal of stimulating scientific curiosity in the natural world and encouraging dual thinking in science.
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With increasing rates of habitat destruction and species loss, ex situ conservation is gaining global momentum and reluctance in relying on ex situ conservation is rapidly giving way to a more optimistic, strategic view. Target 8 of the Global Strategy of Plant Conservation calls for at least 75 percent of threatened plant species in accessible ex situ collections, preferably in the country of origin, and 20 percent of them included in recovery and restoration programs. Here, we provide updated information on Brazil's progress towards Target 8 through a nationwide examination of how many threatened species were conserved in ex situ collections in Brazil. Our data comprised whole plants (living collections), seed (seed banks) and tissue cultures (in vitro). Of the 2,113 threatened species, at least 452 (21.4%) species were conserved in ex situ collections, an increase in 4% of living organisms and 96% of seed when compared to a previous assessment. Since it is unlikely Brazil will achieve Target 8 by 32 2020, we also discuss public policies and strategies to help overcome key bottlenecks preventing its achievement and propose revised goals for the GSPC 2020-2030.
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Scientific publications are the building blocks of discovery and collaboration, but their impact is limited by the style in which they are traditionally written. Recently, many authors have called for a switch to an engaging, accessible writing style. Here, we experimentally test how readers respond to such a style. We hypothesized that scientific abstracts written in a more accessible style would improve readers' reported readability and confidence as well as their understanding, assessed using multiple-choice questions on the content. We created a series of scientific abstracts, corresponding to real publications on three scientific topics at four levels of difficulty-varying from the difficult, traditional style to an engaging, accessible style. We gave these abstracts to a team of readers consisting of 170 third-year undergraduate students. Then, we posed questions to measure the readers' readability, confidence, and understanding with the content. The scientific abstracts written in a more accessible style resulted in higher readability, understanding, and confidence. These findings demonstrate that rethinking the way we communicate our science may empower a more collaborative and diverse industry.
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Peer-reviewed publications focusing on climate change are growing exponentially with the consequence that the uptake and influence of individual papers varies greatly. Here, we derive metrics of narrativity from psychology and literary theory, and use these metrics to test the hypothesis that more narrative climate change writing is more likely to be influential, using citation frequency as a proxy for influence. From a sample of 732 scientific abstracts drawn from the climate change literature, we find that articles with more narrative abstracts are cited more often. This effect is closely associated with journal identity: higher-impact journals tend to feature more narrative articles, and these articles tend to be cited more often. These results suggest that writing in a more narrative style increases the uptake and influence of articles in climate literature, and perhaps in scientific literature more broadly.
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Recent studies provide compelling evidence for the idea that creative thinking draws upon two kinds of processes linked to distinct physiological features, and stimulated under different conditions. In short, the fast system-I produces intuition whereas the slow and deliberate system-II produces reasoning. System-I can help see novel solutions and associations instantaneously, but is prone to error. System-II has other biases, but can help checking and modifying the system-I results. Although thinking is the core business of science, the accepted ways of doing our work focus almost entirely on facilitating system-II. We discuss the role of system-I thinking in past scientific breakthroughs, and argue that scientific progress may be catalyzed by creating conditions for such associative intuitive thinking in our academic lives and in education. Unstructured socializing time, education for daring exploration, and cooperation with the arts are among the potential elements. Because such activities may be looked upon as procrastination rather than work, deliberate effort is needed to counteract our systematic bias.
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At first blush, the notion of lay summaries seems a simple idea with admirable aims: Scientists write summaries of journal articles emphasizing the broad significance of research in accessible language. However, viewed from an ivory tower that has been besieged by an increasing amount of paperwork , scientists could easily regard lay summaries as just one more hurdle in peer-reviewed publishing, another administrative task to fit into an already busy agenda. But rather than an unrewarding burden, scientists (and journal publishers) should consider widespread adoption of lay summaries— accompanying online publications and made publicly available with traditional abstracts— as a way to increase the visibility, impact, and transparency of scientific research. This is a particularly important undertaking given the changing science media landscape. There are clear professional benefits to increasing visibility of one's own research through broad communication. Disparate studies show consistent connections between public communication, increased visibility of research, and greater numbers of citations (e.g., refs. 1 and 2). Concerns voiced by scientists that public communication is time-consuming, too difficult, and even professionally risky (3) contrast strongly with research documenting that scientists who engage in public communication enjoy an enhanced reputation among peers, and rate contacts with media as generally positive and beneficial to their careers (2, 4). Furthermore, scientists who engage in public communication tend to be more academically productive; few experience negative career impacts from these activities (5). Journalists also value and cultivate connections with scientists who can communicate clearly and accessibly (6). At best, scientists could view lay summaries as opportunities to contextualize their research and communicate with interested nonspecialists. But regardless, they could serve as building blocks for broad and transparent communication of research. The value of lay summaries increases when considered within the radically changing science media landscape. There is little debate that dissemination of research and scientific news is undergoing a sweeping change (7). Greater reliance on the Internet for scientific information is transforming communication pathways from a traditional top-down transfer of knowledge to one where readers play a much more active role in acquiring information and agenda setting (8). Within the general public, 87% of online users rely on the Internet for research activities like fact-checking or looking up scientific terms (9), and evidence suggests that the public are using increasingly diverse sources of information (e.g., blogs and social media) (7, 10). Meanwhile, science journalism is fundamentally changing. Along with traditional duties of investigative reporting and agenda setting, a plethora of information and more collaborative relationships with readers is emphasizing new roles, such as curator and convener (8). The number of content producers equates to availability of diverse perspectives on research findings, leading respected scholars in science communication to propose that a " media ecosystem " more accurately depicts the way scientific knowledge is transferred today (8). We have conceptualized the science media ecosystem (Fig. 1) to illustrate both the limitations of current communication pathways and the potential for lay summaries to increase access to and communication of research findings. The traditional pathway through legacy media (television, radio, and print) effectively reaches wide audiences, but is limited in scope with at most 3 of every 1,000 published articles gaining attention from mass media (11). This pathway is increasingly constrained by reductions in science media staffing , leading to more exclusive reliance on press releases from major scientific journals for story ideas and content (6). Not only is this an unlikely avenue to encourage comprehensive access to research findings, but it is actually trending toward loss of information diversity and homogenization of science news (6, 12). Blogging and social media have transformed the media ecosystem, and many scientists have adopted this route to make material directly available to interested audiences. The primary limitations of this pathway are its uncertain reach, the perceived and actual
Book
Everyone talks about style, but no one explains it. The authors of this book do; and in doing so, they provoke the reader to consider style, not as an elegant accessory of effective prose, but as its very heart. At a time when writing skills have virtually disappeared, what can be done? If only people learned the principles of verbal correctness, the essential rules, wouldn't good prose simply fall into place? Thomas and Turner say no. Attending to rules of grammar, sense, and sentence structure will no more lead to effective prose than knowing the mechanics of a golf swing will lead to a hole-in-one. Furthermore, ten-step programs to better writing exacerbate the problem by failing to recognize, as Thomas and Turner point out, that there are many styles with different standards. In the first half of Clear and Simple, the authors introduce a range of styles--reflexive, practical, plain, contemplative, romantic, prophetic, and others--contrasting them to classic style. Its principles are simple: The writer adopts the pose that the motive is truth, the purpose is presentation, the reader is an intellectual equal, and the occasion is informal. Classic style is at home in everything from business memos to personal letters, from magazine articles to university writing. The second half of the book is a tour of examples--the exquisite and the execrable--showing what has worked and what hasn't. Classic prose is found everywhere: from Thomas Jefferson to Junichiro Tanizaki, from Mark Twain to the observations of an undergraduate. Here are many fine performances in classic style, each clear and simple as the truth. Originally published in. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
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Interdisciplinarity has become all the rage as scientists tackle climate change and other intractable issues.
Scitation is the online home of leading journals and conference proceedings from AIP Publishing and AIP Member Societies
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Journal publication has long been relied on as the only required communication of results, tasking journalists with bringing news of scientific discoveries to the public. Output of science papers increased 15% between 1990 and 2001, with total output over 650,000. But, fewer than 0.013—0.34% of papers gained attention from mass media, with health/medicine papers taking the lion’s share of coverage. Fields outside of health/medicine had an appearance rate of only 0.001—0.005%. In light of findings that show scientific literacy declining despite growing public interest and scientific output, this study attempts to show that reliance on journal publication and subsequent coverage by the media as the sole form of communication en masse is failing to communicate science to the public.
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Whether you are a graduate student or a senior scientist, your reputation rests on the ability to communicate your ideas and data. In this straightforward and accessible guide, Scott L. Montgomery offers detailed, practical advice on crafting every sort of scientific communication, from research papers and conference talks to review articles, interviews with the media, e-mail messages, and more. Montgomery avoids the common pitfalls of other guides by focusing not on rules and warnings but instead on how skilled writers and speakers actually learn their trade-by imitating and adapting good models of expression. Moving step-by-step through samples from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, he shows precisely how to choose and employ such models, where and how to revise different texts, how to use visuals to enhance your presentation of ideas, why writing is really a form of experimentation, and more. He also traces the evolution of scientific expression over time, providing a context crucial for understanding the nature of technical communication today. Other chapters take up the topics of writing creatively in science; how to design and use graphics; and how to talk to the public about science. Written with humor and eloquence, this book provides a unique and realistic guide for anyone in the sciences wishing to improve his or her communication skills. Practical and concise, The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science covers: *Writing scientific papers, abstracts, grant proposals, technical reports, and articles for the general public *Using graphics effectively *Surviving and profiting from the review process *Preparing oral presentations *Dealing with the press and the public *Publishing and the Internet *Writing in English as a foreign language
The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
  • S Pinker
Pinker, S. (2015) The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, Penguin
Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose, Princeton University Press 13 Dancing with professors: the trouble with academic prose
  • F.-N Thomas
  • M Turner
  • P N Limerick
Thomas, F.-N. and Turner, M. (2011) Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose, Princeton University Press 13. Limerick, P.N. (1998) Dancing with professors: the trouble with academic prose. In Negotiating Academic Literacies: Teaching and Learning across Languages and Cultures (Zamel, V. and Spack, R., eds), pp. 207–215, Routledge
Dancing with professors: the trouble with academic prose
  • P N Limerick
Limerick, P.N. (1998) Dancing with professors: the trouble with academic prose. In Negotiating Academic Literacies: Teaching and Learning across Languages and Cultures (Zamel, V. and Spack, R., eds), pp. 207-215, Routledge