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Tomislav Hengl ¢ Michael Gould ¢ Wouter Gerritsma The Unofficial Guide for Authors From Research Design to Publication August 19, 2011 wiw. Wageningen Amhem Legal Notice: The information presented herein is for informative purposes only and not to receive any com: ‘mercial benefits. Under no circumstances shall the authors ofthis Guide be liable for any loss, damage, liability ‘or expense incurred or suffered which is claimed to resulted from use of this Guide, including without limita tion, any faut, error, omission, interruption or delay with respect thereto (reliance at User's own risk). This is a sel published document that presents opinions ofthe authors only and not ofthe associated organizations and/or ‘user communities, Neither Wageningen University nor any person acting on behalf of Wageningen University is responsible forthe use which may be made ofthis publication, ‘This isthe second, extended edition of the EUR 22191 EN (ISEN: 92-79-01703-9) Scientific and Technical Research series report published by the Office for Official Publications of the Buropean Communities, Luxem: bbourg. This book will he periodically updated. To obtain the most recent version please visit nvtp://stores Contact Addresses ‘Tomislav Hengl, ISRIC — World Soil Information, P.O. Box 353, 6700 AJ Wageningen Tels 431-(0)317-484199 snail: tomhengl@wural http://w Michael Gould Associates BV, Apeldoornseweg 21 Tel. +31-(0)26 3516750 E-mail: mike@ gouldassocistes eu Wouter Gerritsma, Wageningen UR Library Tel. +31-(0)317 483052 E-mail: wouter genttsma@ wurl beep://Library Josip Vranjkovié, Zagreb, Croatia sail: josip @zanimacije-net http://zanimaci jesnet ‘This document was prepared using ISX software. The layout is an adaptation of the Springer Verlag's svmono document class ured for monographs, Printed copies ofthis book can be ordered via Illustrations by Josip Vranjkovié (zaninaci;je net), Zagreb, Croatia, ISBN 978 90-817741-0-9 © 2011 Tomsav Heng, Mchae Goud & Wouter Gerr tsma OER "The content inthis book is licensed under a Creative Commons Ataibution-Noncommercial-No Derivative ‘Works 3.0 license. This means that you are free to copy, distribute and transmit the work, as ong as you attribute the work in the manner specified by the author. You may not use this work for commercial pur- poses, alter, transform, or build upon this work without an agreement with the auluors of this book. For ‘moze information see http: //creativecommons .org/Licenses /by-ne~ne/3.0/ Foreword When many books offer advice on writing science papers, one could question the need for another. Similarly, when some members of the European Associa- tion of Science Editors (EASE), led by Sylwia Ufnalska, suggested that EASE publish some simple guidelines for authors, I queried whether more guidelines were required by the scientific community. But as the worlds of science and publishing move forward, textbooks on writing become dated, or perceived as such by today’s new authors, or simply fade from general awareness. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised by the success of the EASE Guidelines for Authors and Translators of Scientific Articles to be Published in English. In the same vein, I welcome this initiative from Tomislav Hengl, Mike Gould and Wouter Gerritsma, The exciting feature shared by both projects is that the material is freely available via the Internet. The Unofficial Guide has made additional use of the Internet during the writing process, using a wiki-type system that enables multiple authors to read and comment on text at the same time. Such technology will transform the way that students and junior scientists write papers in the future. But, the novice author still has to put finger to keyboard and type those first paragraphs. A daunting prospect, particularly for those who are not used to writing in English Which is where The Unofficial Guide comes in. This book offers insight into the world of science publishing that those in large labs, who are producing papers every month may take for granted. It starts with a brief overview of the world of science: again, many will have learned some of this ‘by osmosis’ during their science training. Those lucky enough to attend a science conference carly in their PhD career will hear new work pre- sented and challenged, but may also hear talk in the bar about rejected papers, the burden of peer review or just the demands of the reviewers for ‘one more experiment’ to flesh out the results in what the author thought was a perfectly good paper. For those who haven't, the Guide looks at the reasons for writing research papers, the types of paper and the process of peer review. There is also information on impact factors and Bibliometric services, which is of less direct use to novice authors, but could be useful in their future careers.