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How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper and Scientific Ethics

ABC/J Scientific Writing Course

To publish a scientific paper, one needs both good science and good writing. This course will introduce the concepts of scientific writing and the procedures to publish a scientific paper. Participants can also bring their own writing, and good and bad writing will be discussed. The course does not focus on English per se, but rather emphasizes the scientific writing aspect. The course will also discuss authorship and ethical issues involved in the publication process.

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Course Audience

The course is targeted for graduate students, post-graduate scientists, and scientists involved in writing scientific manuscripts. Participation in the course is reserved for Geoverbund ABC/J members.

Course Format

The course is 1-credit (US system), offered as a 15-hour lecture series (5 blocks of 3 hours each) in short-course format.

Course Time and Place

  • Time: April 24 to 26, 2018
  • Place: University of Cologne, Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, Pohligstrasse 3, 50969
    How to get there
  • Room: lecture hall 4.001, 4th floor
    For the easiest way to the room you may enter the institute via Höninger Weg 100 (instead of using entrance Pohligstrasse). To enter the building, you might have to ring the bell signed 'Hörsaal Universität Köln'; after entering, take the elevator or use stairs to the 4 th floor.

Detailed Course Program



April 24


April 25


April 26


Block 2

4. Title, List of Authors, Abstract

Block 4

9. Scientific Style and English

10:30-12:005. Introduction, Materials and Methods, References10. Scientific Typesetting


1. Why Writing a Paper?

2. The Scientific Publication

Block 3

6. Results, Discussions, Conclusions

7. Acknowledgements

Block 5

11. Scientific Misconduct and Ethics (1)

15:30-16:303. Approach to Writing a Paper8. Tables, Figures, Photographs11. Scientific Misconduct and Ethics (2)
  • Each block consists of lectures including discussions. Active involvement of participants is required.
  • Participants are encouraged to bring examples of own writing, figures, and tables to the first class, so we can use them during the course.
  • Meals and drinks during the day and breaks: at your own expenses.

Application & fees

Only members of Geoverbund ABC/J are eligible to apply. To do so, please send an e-mail to the Geoverbund ABC/J Coordination Office via (subject: Scientific Writing) and provide the followoing information in the given order:

  • Salutation, surname, given name
  • Organisation, institute
  • Position at institute (e.g. PhD student, BSc/MSc student, postdoc), name of supervisor
  • phone number
  • e-mail adress
  • letter of motivation (please state why participating in the course at this time makes sense for your future work)

Participation is free of charge for members. The costs are borne by Geoverbund ABC/J. Application deadline: February 21, 2018. Final notifications and confirmation of participation will probably go out by the beginning of March 2018.

Recommended Textbooks

  • Gastel, B. and Day, R.A., 2016. How to Write and Publish a Scientic Paper, 8th edition, Greenwood Press, Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Day, R.A. and Sakaduski, N., 2011. Scientic English. A Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals, 3rd edition, Greenwood Press, Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Katz, M.J. , 2009. From Research to Manuscript. A Guide to ScienticWriting, 2nd edition Springer, Berlin.
  • Schimel, J, 2012. Writing Science. How to Write Papers that Get Cited and Proposals that Get Funded, Oxford University Press, New York.


© Markus Flury

Prof. Markus Flury

Professor of Soil Physics and Vadose Zone Hydrology
Washington State University, Puyallup, WA, 98371, USA


Dr. Flury is a Professor at Washington State University. He has extensive experience in the scientic publication process. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters in the field of soil physics, vadose zone hydrology, and colloid science. He has served as Associate Editor and Book Editor for the Vadose Zone Journal, as Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality and Water Resources Research. He is currently co-Editor of Vadose Zone Journal.

Note on image and sound recordings

We would like to point out that during the event image and sound recordings are created, which we also use as part of our public relations work. By participating in the event, you agree to the use of this material.