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Writing scientific papers, with special reference to Evolutionary Ecology

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The advancement of science, as well as scientific careers, depends upon good and clear scientific writing. Science is the most democratic of human endeavours because, in principle, anyone can replicate a scientific discovery. In order for this to continue, writing must be clear enough to be understood well enough to allow replication, either in principle or in fact. In this paper I will present data on the publication process in Evolutionary Ecology, use it to illustrate some of the problems in scientific papers, make some general remarks about writing scientific papers, summarise two new paper categories in the journal which will fill gaps that appear to be expanding in the literature, and summarise new journal policies to help mitigate existing problems. Most of the suggestions about writing would apply to any scientific journal.

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