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Style and Format

Writing a manuscript is not just about getting the language and grammar right. It is also about the way in which you format your research paper, prepare various sections in your paper, follow subject-specific conventions with regard to using words, symbols, or terminology, cite your sources, follow the relevant style guide, etc. This section will help you with useful tips on various aspects of manuscript preparation.
Getting the references right: citing books as a source of information
The most commonly cited sources in research papers are other papers, published in journals. However, especially in the humanities, books come a close second. 
Using “et al.” for in-text citations in research papers
It is rare for a single researcher to publish a paper all by herself or himself; most research papers have several or many authors, and the average number of authors for a paper keeps rising
Italicizing Latin phrases in scientific writing
Scientific writing often uses a few Latin phrases, either abbreviated (etc. for et cetera and et al. for et alii) or spelt out (in vitro, in vivo, in situ). Should they be set in italics?
The references section requires adequate details of the documents cited. Similarly, for any item of laboratory equipment or supplies that you mention in the materials and methods section, you should supply appropriate details
Using the correct symbols: the degree sign and the multiplication sign
With modern word processors, we no longer have to make do with the same key for lowercase ‘l’ and numeral ‘1’ (as those who have used old portable typewriters may recall). 
Tips for abbreviating journal names in references
Among the many ways in which journals differ in the way they expect authors to format references is the way names of journals are given: whether spelt out in full or abbreviated
Reporting p-values in scientific writing
In general, p values tell readers only whether any difference between groups, relationship, etc., is likely to be due to chance or to the variable(s) you are studying. According to most statistical guidelines, including