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Biology: Writing for and in Biology

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2019 1:45 PM


Students in the biological sciences need communication skills that transform their scientific knowledge and integration of ideas and data into cogent written (and oral) presentations. Communicating biological sciences research requires an understanding not only of the scientific data and information generated, but also requires excellent writing skills and competencies in computer skills. This is a compilation of resources that assist students in acquiring those skills and competencies. If you are looking for opportunities to put your skills to use for a UB-sponsored program try:

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EMERGE is a student-run STEM-themed bimonthly publication powered by a team of inquirers from all disciplines. We strive to artistically produced technical content by:

  • leveraging technical knowledge to report on emerging, unspoken, and controversial stories in STEM from the entire UB community and beyond.

  • facilitating a means for expressing scientifically-informed opinions.

  • illustrating unique data-driven content that is presented simply.

  • encouraging a creative environment for our team to curate inventive pieces through a wide variety of media.

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Books in UB Libraries

A Short Guide to Writing about Biology, 8th edition by Jan A. Pechenik. Publisher: Pearson, 2013. LC Subject Heading:  Biology > Authorship. Lockwood Library 3rd Floor:  QH304 .P43 2013.

A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology, 3rd edition by Karin Kinsely, Sunderland, MA and Gordonsville, VA. Publisher: Sinaurer, 2009, LC Subject Heading:  Biology > Authorship > Style Manuals. Lockwood Library, 3rd Floor: QH304 .G53 2011.

Getting Published in the Life Sciences, by Richard J. Gladon. Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. LC Subject Headings:  Biology > Authorship, Technical writing > Vocational guidance. Lockwood Library, 3rd Floor: QH304 .G53 2011.

How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, by Barbara Gastel and Robert A. Day. Publisher: Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2016. LC Subject Heading: Technical writing. Lockwood Library, 3rd Floor: T11 .D33 2016

How to Write, Publish, and Present in the Health Sciences: A Guide for Clinicians and Laboratory Researchers, by Thomas A Lang. Publisher: American College of Physicians, 2010. LC Subject Heading: Medical Writing. Full-text Online.

Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, by the Style Manual Subcommittee, Council of Science Editors. Publisher: Council of Science Editors with the University of Chicago Press, 2014. LC Subject Headings:  Writing > Standards, Publishing > Standards, Technical writing > Handbooks, manuals, etc. Lockwood Library, Science and Engineering Reference Collection (1st Floor Lockwood Library): T11 .S386 2014

The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively throughout Your Scientific Career, by Stephen B. Heard. Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2016. LC Subject Heading: Technical writing. Lockwood Library, 3rd Floor: T11 .H425

Journal Articles of Interest

"Careers in Science Journalism and Writing," Pearson, Helen. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, Volume: 9, Article Number: a032961, SEP 2017.

"Career Options for Scientists,” Sever, Richard; and Janssen, Kaaren. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, Volume: 9, Issue: 9, Article Number: a032755, SEP 2017.

"Careers in Virology: Science Writing and Journalism," Dove, Alan. Journal of Virology, Volume 89, Issue 17, Pages: SEP 2015.

"Science Communication: A Career Where PhDs Can Make a Difference," Irion, Robert. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Volume: 26, Issue: 4, Pages: 591-593. FEB 15, 2015.

"So You Want to be a Science Writer," Fleischman, John; and Szalinski, Christina. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Volume: 25, Issue: 13, Pages: 1938-1941.

Some Web Resources of Interest