How to Write a Good Scientific Paper

In January of 2012 I became the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, known as JM3 (sometimes pronounced "JM cubed"), published by SPIE. One of the privileges of the job is to write an editorial for each quarterly issue. Beginnng with my second editorial I began a series on the topic of how to write a good scientific paper. While there are several topics still to be explored, here is what I have written so far.

The 350 Year History of the Scientific Journal

Title, Abstract, and Keywords


The Problem (?) with Self-citations



Cover Letter

Figures, part 1

Figures, part 2

Paper Significance

Null Results

Structure and Organization

Checklist for Editors, Reviewers, and Authors

The Peer Review Process

Picking the Right Journal

Review Articles



Double Publication

Editorial Ethics

Why Write a Paper?


Here is a link to a webinar I gave on April 24, 2015 for CIAN-ERC on the topic:
(59 min) Getting Published: How to write a good science paper

Here is a link to a talk I gave at the SPIE Optics+Photonics conference on August 28, 2016:
(77 min) Getting Published: How to write a good science paper


For a different perspective on how to write a scientific paper, check out this article from the journal Improbable Research.


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