Twelve Tips for Terrific Texts: Tip #4 – Journal Origin (Planning stage)

Time for the fourth tip in my scicomm series: “journal origin.”

Do you organize events in your neighborhood? Or organise events in your neighbourhood? Or even organize events in your neighbourhood? Both spellings of these 2 words are correct, but it depends on where your readers are. Spelling and style choices, like the use of ‘single’ or “double” quotation marks, depend on geography. This includes journal style guides. You can save yourself a lot of time on editing if you start out with the right style guide! Journals in the US use American spelling and styles (“organize,” “neighborhood,” double quotation marks), while those in the UK use British spelling and styles (‘organise,’ ‘neighbourhood,’ single quotation marks). Canadian journals often have a mix (“organize,” “neighbourhood,” double quotation marks).

Google is helpful when deciding which version of English to use. Many journals also have a house style (for example, Nature requires use of the Oxford English Dictionary for spelling), which their editors use when they edit your paper.

Checking the origin of the journal you’re submitting to and matching your style choices to that region can help your piece look extra polished and save you time later when editing – and that way, you get published sooner!

Stay tuned for the next 8 tips!

Communicating your science: planning: journal origin. Are you submitting to a journal based in the US? Use American English and style choices. England? Go with British English. Canada? Well… both. (Google is your friend.)

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