OUP Blog Posts


The curious popularity of “however” in research articles

There are many ways to signal a change of direction or mood in a piece of text, but the most common is by inserting a “but” — as I’ve just done here. Alternatives such as “although,” “though,” “however,” “yet,” and “nevertheless” generally run a poor second. In research articles, though, the prevalence of “however” increases — especially in some disciplines. Read more ...


How research abstracts succeed and fail

The abstract of a research article has a simple remit: to faithfully summarize the reported research. After the title, it's the most read section of the article. Crucially, it makes the case for reading the article in full. Although some abstracts succeed, others fail. Why? Read more ...


The problem with overqualified research

The abstract of a research article has a simple remit: to faithfully summarize the reported research. After the title, it's the most read section of the article. Crucially, it makes the case for reading the article in full. Although some abstracts succeed, others fail. Why? Read more ...


Why authors announce plans for research that might never happen

WIhy do researchers report their plans for further work at the end of their papers in journals? These announcements can present readers with a dilemma. Should they restrict their own research to avoid duplication or, more drastically, turn to a different area of study? Read more ...


Long, short, and efficient titles for research articles

The title of a research article has an almost impossible remit. As the freely available representative of the work, it needs to accurately capture what was achieved, differentiate it from other works, and, of course, attract the attention of the reader, who might be searching a journal's contents list or the return from a database query. Read more ...


First person pronouns and the passive voice in scientific writing

Imagine you're explaining your research to a friend. You might say “I tested this factor” or “We examined that effect”. But when you later prepare a written version for a scientific journal, you'd probably eliminate the “I” and “we” in favour of the passive voice. That, unfortunately, can sometimes present a challenge. Read more ...



(c) D. H. Foster 2022


d.h.foster@manchester.ac.uk | +44 (0)161 306 3888 | www.eee.manchester.ac.uk/d.h.foster 
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK