Consistency is King - Top 5 Things to Keep Your Manuscript Consistent

Whether you are writing or editing a scientific manuscript, there is one thing that you should always try to do, and that is remain consistent. This is mainly because inconsistent writing usually suggests that the writer/editor is not paying attention and is somewhat sloppy. While this may not be true, it is not how you want to be thought of by your scientific peers.

So, what are the usual pitfalls when writing manuscripts or grants when it comes to consistency issues:

1) Units - This includes things like ensuring you use either a lower case 'l' or uppercase 'L' when talking about volumes; ensuring there is a space between the number and unit; using the same units for things that are going to be compared.

2) Reference format - Make sure to stick to a reference format (or the format indicated by the journal of interest). Mixing and matching reference formats can look sloppy and disjointed to the reader. This is true for both in-text and reference section citations.

3) Statistics - This can range from writing your p-values the same (P, p, p,, and P are all acceptable) to writing your n values the same (n or N are acceptable).

4) Figure designations - Refer to your figures with one format (e.g., Figure X or Fig. X).

5) Line spacing/font size/font type/indentations - These are more common than you think and really make a big difference with the overall look of your manuscript. Pick a nice looking font, a reasonable font size (10-12 seems typical), and ensure your line spacing and indentations are consistent.

Of course, if you do not want to bother with any of this and you want someone to do this for you, Excision Editing is your place for expert manuscript editing! Just click here to check out our plans and pricing.

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