Physics & Astronomy

Scientific Writing

Scientific writing or science writing usually refers to research articles reporting original research in journals. Science writing also includes other kinds of writing such as review articles (which summarize and synthesize previous research articles on a specific topic), annotated bibliographies (which aid others in performing their research), abstracts or notes (which summarize experiments or studies), and grant proposals (which seek funding for research). The point of science writing is for a scientist to communicate with an audience of peers. Since the purpose is communication and not entertainment, scientific writing should be precise, clear and objective.

Here are some resources to help you write for academic science audiences:

AIP & APS Style Guides

AIP and APS styles are both commonly used citation formats in Physics & Astronomy. The preferred style to use depends on where you plan to publish, or what your particular class or professor requires.

AIP style was developed by the American Institutre of Physics for use with all scientific research and is the most commonly used citation style for Physics & Astronomy

AIP & APS Style Examples

AIP

Order Number. A.A. Author, B.B. Author, C.C. Author, Journal Name (using abbreviations) Volume Number (in Boldface), Starting page number, (year).

1. D. Voss, Science 282(5387), 221 (1998).

APS

Author AA, Author BB. Title. Publication Title Volume number: Pages Used, Year Published.

Voss, D. How matter can melt at absolute zero: Physics.(quatnum mechanics; crowd behavior of electrons). Science 282:221-223, 1998.
 

AIP

Order Number. A.A. Author (or corporate author), Title of web page, <URL> (Accessed date).
2. C. Cofield, Gravitational Waves: Ripples in Spacetime, https://www.space.com/25088-gravitational-waves.html (Accessed March 6, 2018)

APS

Author, AA, Author, BB. Title [Online]. Year Published. http://Website URL [Date Accessed].
Cofield, C. Gravitational Waves: Ripples in Spacetime [Online]. 2017. https://www.space.com/25088-gravitational-waves.html

AIP

Order Number. A.A. Author, B.B. Author, and C.C. Author, Title (Publisher, Location of Publisher, Year), Page number

3. Calmet, X., Carr, B., & Winstanley, E., Quantum black holes (Heidelberg, New York; 2014), p.85

APS

Author, AA. Title. City: Publisher, Year Published.
Calmet, X, Carr, B, & Winstanley, E. Quantum black holes. New York: Heidelberg, 2014.

AIP

Cite references in the order of appearance using superscript numbers

Near the horizon of an extreme Kerr black hole, dynamics are governed by infinite dimensional conformal symmetry1.

APS

Cite references in the order of appearance using numbers in parenthesis

Near the horizon of an extreme Kerr black hole, dynamics are governed by infinite dimensional conformal symmetry (1).

CSE Style Guide

CSE style was developed by Council of Science Editors for use with all scientific research and is the most commonly used citation format in the science disciplines.

CSE Style Examples

Author, A, Author, BB, Author, CC. Year. Article title. Abbreviated journal title. Volume(issue):pages.

Example:

Greer, E, Blanco, M, Gu, L, Sendinc, E, Liu, J, Aristizabal-Corrales, D, Shi, Y. 2015. DNA methylation on N-6-adenine in C-elegans. Cell. 161(4): p. 868-878.

Author, A, Author, BB, Author CC. Title of Web Page. [Internet] Title of Web Site; [cited date]. Available from URL

Example:

Edgley, M. 2015. What is C elegans? [Internet] University of Minnesota; [cited 2018 Mar 6]. Available from https://cbs.umn.edu/cgc/what-c-elegans

Last, AA, Last B, Last CC. Year. Book Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher. Number of Pages.

Example:

Olsen, A, Gill, MS. 2017. Ageing: Lessons from C. elegans. Cham: Springer International Publishing.433

Include the author's last name and publication year. For a direct quotation, include the page number.

An increase in global life expectancy has dramatically increased over previous decades (Olsen and Gil 2016).

As they age, the most tissues of nematodes go through major changes (Herndon et. al 1998).

Lažetić and Fay (2018) showed that many factors contribute to molting.