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Writing resources

Welcome to BMC’s writing resources, a guide on writing and publishing a scientific manuscript. You can use the links to the left or below to find advice on specific topics.


Why publish in English?
Because English is the language scientists in different countries use to communicate with each other, publishing in English allows you to reach the broadest possible audience. This will help you achieve the goal that led you to publish in the first place: To add to our understanding of the world by informing other scientists about your research.

Of course, if English is not your first language, having to use it may add to the challenges of writing and publishing.

Why is good writing important?
Good writing is writing that clearly communicates your research. Scientists are busy people, so if your manuscript is poorly written and difficult to understand, they may not take the time to read it (or cite it later). Not only does writing well help others understand what you've done, it will also help you to better understand your own work.

Science is complex, but the writing used to describe it need not be. Good writing is simple writing.

High-quality, simple writing:

  • Increases the chances of acceptance for publication
  • Increases the impact of a manuscript in the research community
  • Accelerates understanding and acceptance of the research
  • Increases the faith of readers in the quality of the research
  • Poorly written and complicated manuscripts annoy readers, peer reviewers, and journal editors, and hinder their understanding of complicated scientific concepts.

Professional language editing services
Consider using a professional language editing service where editors will improve the English to ensure that your meaning is clear and identify problems that require your review. Two such services are provided by our affiliates Nature Research Editing Service and American Journal Experts - BMC authors are entitled to a 10% discount on their first submission to either of these services. Claim 10% off English editing from Nature Research Editing Service or claim 10% off American Journal Experts.

What do journal Editors want?
Journal Editors evaluate submissions and consider peer reviewers' advice. It is the journal Editors who make the final decision about what gets published. Therefore, it is important to know how they make their decisions.

Journal Editors want to publish good quality science that is of interest to their readers. They often must decide between many high-quality manuscripts. Your submission is more likely to be accepted if it:

  • Describes research that advances the field
  • Is carefully prepared and formatted
  • Uses clear and concise language
  • Follows ethical standards