Month: November 2011

Few tips how to write a good paper

There are tons of guides published on journals how to write a good paper, so these are some quick tips which could be added on top of these. I’m trying to be general, but I’m writing this mostly for my use and they reflect my view.

I’m using the second person, so it’s more direct and motivational.

Feel free to leave comments/integrate these.

First of all, state the problem.

If you are working on something, most probably you are trying to solve a problem. Well, you’re not alone. People are working on something that is close to your research topic (if not the same) and you have to review their work. In big depth and with a big breath.  It means you have to address the problem from all (at least the majority) of the points that comes to your mind.

Dont’ talk about your solution, yet.

Then you have to talk about the different solution people provided so far. Go into the details, pick up if have been re-used somewhere else and follow that lead. On and On. Be exhaustive.

Basically put the readers in the position where she will be able to say exactly what are the already proposed solutions so far, their strength and their weakness.

When you are finished with that, then you can start to present your solution, and what exactly it is the matter.

Describe the key points and be very careful to be as objective as possible.

It works it may be good enough in a non-academic environment. But not in academic environment. You have to motivate why it works with hard data, numbers, and logic arguments. Anything that can back up what you are saying is paramount. Possibly comparison or exact pros and contros. If you don’t do that then, it’s not good enough. Even if it works. You will be asked for more.

The assumption that you have made, or reason why you have used some solutions instead of others need to be explained. It’s difficult to pick these up, because you are very familiar with these choices. Most of the time this will look like self-explanatory. But it’s only for you.

Scientific methods described plainly

Why you are doing something and what is your thinking process is very important. A reader expect to follow you in the journey. That’s why you need rational hypothesis to drive your research.

You state your hypothesis, then you run experiments and simulations to disprove them. Try everything you have to bring them down. If you can’t, well then maybe you have something that you can put under more scrutiny, but you are on something.

Good luck.

Neuronvisio ModelDb plugged in released into the wild

We have just released Neuronvisio 0.7.0.

With this release it is possible to browse the models present on the ModelDb database, and have a look at the readme and at the properties of the Model.

Model Information and properties are presented in a quick way to the user

The Load Model button permits to download, extract, compile and load the model in one click. Sweet.

The other big things is that I didn’t write all this code, but actually 0.7.0 it’s the first release that features a contribution from another person (before was one man band!). Uri wrote the scraper for ModelDb and I’ve hooked it together in the GUI. We developed using the pull-request framework, which github makes very nice and clean.

If you’re interested in computational Neuroscience, and you are using NEURON, give Neuronvisio a go.