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Writing in the Health Sciences: Welcome

A Resource for Faculty and Students


The Preston Smith Library provides a wide variety of services to assist students and faculty in their research efforts. This subject guide is a specific tool aimed at helping health sciences professionals successfully articulate and refine their ideas. It is intended as a guide for writing and deals with aspects of preparing research for publication rather than with the actual publishing process. A separate guide for Publishing in the Medial Sciences is available for this purpose.

Writing in the Health Sciences discusses the various components of composing a scientific research report. Most particularly this involves characterizing the systematic, formal approach to scientific writing and how to prepare a manuscript for publication. In addition to discussing the basics of selecting a topic and what questions to answer in your manuscript, this guide will identify the process of:

  • Research and Literature Reviews
  • Drafting with Appropriate Structure
  • Employing Visual Supports
  • Citation Management

Key Tools

The below links reference the preliminary guidelines for writing and presenting scholarly work in the sciences.

ICMJE Recommendations: Authors and Authorship - The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) provides some brief tools and recommendations for authors publishing in the biomedical sciences.

The Equator Network - Equator is an international collection of guidelines and policy documents related to health research. Its numerous toolkits and resources effectively apply the standards of writing to various EBM studies in order to enhance the reliability of medical research literature.

PLoS Reporting Guidelines - While PLoS deals mostly with open access publishing, its reporting guidelines allow writers of health science papers to keep up to date on the essential strategies and trends in review articles.

AACC Guide to Scientific Writing - The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) offers a very thorough and systematic guide to scientific writing, formatted as a series of educational articles on how to design and write scientific research papers for publication.

Guidelines on Style for Scientific Writing - A very generalized guide for creating and formatting your research report. It also acknowledges the guidelines from various institutional and open access resources.

Writing a Scientific Research Article - A brief overview and outline of the research report. This short summary also provides tips on tense and verbiage.

Scientific Reports - This is not only a helpful hints section for articulating your ideas, but offers a step-by-step, timed method by which writers can effectively communicate and evaluate their work.

Duke University Scientific Writing Resource - This is a separate research guide dedicated to writing for the sciences. It offers help with executing the research and drafting phase of your work. 

Scitable's English Communication for Scientists - Published by the Nature group, this resource is an interactive tool for young writers who need help navigating the preliminary steps of scientific writing.

On Scientific Writing

Scientific Writing Tips

Scientific Writing Process in Brief

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