Idiot things that we we do in our papers out of sheer habit

Posted: 16/04/2013 by arilab in General

Could not agree more…

Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Is there any justification for any of these practices other than tradition?

  • Choosing titles that deliberately omit new taxon names.
  • Slicing the manuscript to fit an arbitrary length limit.
  • Squeezing the narrative into a fixed set of sections (Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion).
  • Discarding or combining illustrations to avoid exceding an arbitrary count.
  • Flattening illustrations to monochrome.
  • Using passive instead of active voice (especially in singular: “we did this” may be acceptable but not “I did this” for some reason).
  • Giving the taxonomic authority after first use of each formal name.
  • Listing institutional abbreviations at end of the Introduction section, several pages into the paper.
  • Using initials for names in the acknowledgements.
  • Refusing to cite in-prep papers, dissertations and blogs (while accepting pers. comm.)
  • Using numbered citations instead of Author+Date.
  • Using journal abbreviations such as “J. Vertebr. Paleontol.” in the references.
  • Formatting references
  • Having references at all, rather…

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