How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper - page 25

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the title of the work, e.g., ''Copyright 1998 by Magon Thompson (or Sundown Press)."
Publishers are obligated to protect a copyright not only on their own behalf but also on behalf of the author. Since the electronic version of a paper can take many forms, publishers themselves may not always be aware of possible problems and pitfalls. You will need to make sure that the publisher of your scientific paper guarantees, in writing, that it will accurately represent your words and intention if your paper is translated to a digital environment. For example, conference proceedings are frequently placed on a CD-ROM, with contents, keyword, and index access to the papers it contains. In addition, the material may include hypertext links to other information, including other papers, graphics, and additional information added by the journal publisher. You will need to ensure that the access the journal has provided to data on the CD or Web page from your paper, or to your paper from others, is consistent with the way you want your work to be represented. You may trust the hardcopy format of your journal implicitly, but once the journal goes into the electronic arena, the representation given to the paper you created may include features that conflict with your work and ideas.
Because of the huge changes taking place in the electronic world of copyright, both publisher and author organizations are banding together to identify and manage copyrighted documents through a database application devoted to this purpose. One such system is the PII (Publisher Item Identifier), a tagging system for both print and electronic formats that is used by the American Chemical Society and the American Mathematical Society, among others. The copyright owner of a published work can generate its PII tag. Because technology is changing so rapidly and providing so many new ways to publish and distribute data, the field of electronic copyright is also in flux. Whenever any work in which you hold copyright is to be published in an electronic format, be sure to learn and understand fully your rights under current copyright law.


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usually responsible. Sometimes, faulty syntax is simply funny and comprehension is not lost, as in these two items, culled from want ads: "For sale, fine German Shepherd dog, obedient, well trained, will eat anything, very fond of children." "For sale, fine grand piano, by a lady, with three legs."
But look at this sentence, which is similar to thousands that have appeared in the scientific literature: "Thymic humoral factor (THF) is a single heat-stable polypeptide isolated from calf thymus composed of 31 amino acids with molecular weight of 3,200." The double prepositional phrase "with molecular weight of 3,200" would logically modify the preceding noun "acids," meaning that the amino acids had a molecular weight of 3,200. Less logically, perhaps the calf thymus had a molecular weight of 3,200. Least logical of all (because of their distance apart in the sentence) would be for the THF to have a molecular weight of 3,200¡ªbut, indeed, that was what the author was trying to tell us.
If you have any interest whatsoever in learning to use English more effectively, you should read Strunk and White's (1979) The Elements of Style. The "elements" are given briefly (in 85 pages!) and clearly. Anyone writing anything should read and use this famous little book. After you have mastered Strunk and White, proceed immediately to Fowler (1965). Do not pass go; do not collect $200. Of course, if you really do want to get a Monopoly on good scientific English, buy three copies (one for the office, one for the lab, one for home) of that superbly quintessential book, Scientific English (Day, 1995).