Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: proper scientific reporting
Tsjerk
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 551
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Germany
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 12:08
proper scientific reporting


Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to work in a (amateur) chemistry lab for a long time now. However, I have had the chance to learn about scientific reading and writing.

Although a lot of nice write-ups find their way into the pre-publicaton section, I have the feeling a lot of work gets buried under a heap of sense and nonsense.

The reason I'm telling this is because I see a lot of knowledge getting lost in long treads. May I quote T.S. Eliot?;

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in infomation".

I believe proper documentation is key in both informing fellow scientists, as in leaving a legacy in science.

I know most people here work with a very limited set of resources. However, in the setting of amateur experimentalism a limited set of resources does not have to be a limitation when it comes to reporting the science done.

In amateur science proper documentation of preformed work is a benefit for other amateur scientists, especially because work was preformed with a limited set of resources.

Documenting your work can and will help fellow scientists. Especially when work is done in an amateur setting, details can be given about how to solve "amateur setting" problems. I therefore want to start this topic about how to report science.

As far as I know there is no description of how to properly describe your work within this board(there are some really nice descriptions though!).

My question to you is; is there need for an out-line (possibly a thread?), explaining how to write up work done, in order to publish on this board? I would be more than happy to put my two cents on paper.

[Edited on 13-4-2016 by Tsjerk]

[Edited on 13-4-2016 by Tsjerk]

[Edited on 13-4-2016 by Tsjerk]




View user's profile View All Posts By User
aga
Forum Drunkard
*****




Posts: 6050
Registered: 25-3-2014
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 13:32


Yes. Most certainly Yes.

So, a Template is required.

Begin by proposing a hypothetical synthesis/procedure/experiment and write it up.




Madness is thinking i'm not drunk.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
blogfast25
Thought-provoking Teacher
*****




Posts: 10337
Registered: 3-2-2008
Location: Old Blighty
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 14:13


@Tsjerk:

I agree that the way experiments are written up on this site often leaves much to be desired to.

Some recommendations would not go amiss (if they don't already exist) in that area.

But this is a free forum and unless moderators are willing (and have time) to try and enforce higher write-up standards, individual members will always report the way they see fit, not the way the forum rules suggest.




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
aga
Forum Drunkard
*****




Posts: 6050
Registered: 25-3-2014
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 14:17


If a Template were available it would useful for new writer-uppers to refer to ...



Madness is thinking i'm not drunk.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Oscilllator
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 660
Registered: 8-10-2012
Location: The aqueous layer
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 15:10


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
If a Template were available it would useful for new writer-uppers to refer to ...

I remember in high school when we did experiments we always filled out a sheet with 5 basic steps on it:
Aim, hypothesis, method, results, conclusion
If members could follow these basic steps when doing a writeup, I'm sure the quality could be improved. The "hypothesis" step could perhaps be omitted in the more well-known syntheses, though.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
j_sum1
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3170
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Oz
Member Is Offline

Mood: inert even with vigorous stirring.

[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 15:36


I get my students to do abstract, theory, method, discussion, conclusion.
Part of the reasoning is that it enables students to display and me to assess the criteria that are required in education circles.

Although it is part of the scientific method I am not sure that a hypothesis really applies for much of the work we do round here. Take len1's excellent piece on making sodium. There is an aim. There is some chemical theory behind it. There is definitely an experimental procedure. There are plenty of things that require some discussion. But there is no hypothesis in the classical sense. Nor is there for most of the experimentation that I do.




View user's profile View All Posts By User
JJay
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 2320
Registered: 15-10-2015
Location: the cloud fortress
Member Is Online

Mood: candy apples :)

[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 16:10


The experiment should be reproducible. There is always a hypothesis of some sort (e.g.: I can make sodium.), but often there is little reason to actually formulate it as a Neyman-Pearson lemma.

Edit: Corrected typo.

[Edited on 14-4-2016 by JJay]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Deathunter88
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 247
Registered: 20-2-2015
Location: Beijing, China
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 16:23


Yeah, I've always learned in my school that there needs to be a hypothesis in every experiment. Furthermore, a hypothesis should be composed of If, Then, Because. So for the sodium example it would be: If a current of xV yA is passed through molten sodium hydroxide, then sodium would be liberated at the cathode because the electrical current is able to reduce the sodium ions to sodium metal.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5437
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: pumped

[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 16:29


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
... but often there is little reason to actually formulate it as a Leyman-Pearson lemma.


Nice! :D




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
blogfast25
Thought-provoking Teacher
*****




Posts: 10337
Registered: 3-2-2008
Location: Old Blighty
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 16:31


Quote: Originally posted by Deathunter88  
Yeah, I've always learned in my school that there needs to be a hypothesis in every experiment. Furthermore, a hypothesis should be composed of If, Then, Because. So for the sodium example it would be: If a current of xV yA is passed through molten sodium hydroxide, then sodium would be liberated at the cathode because the electrical current is able to reduce the sodium ions to sodium metal.


Sure but when a hypothesis has been proved over and over again, there's no need to formulate it one more time. We KNOW that when current is passed through molten sodium hydroxide, then sodium will be liberated at the cathode. len1's wonderful experiments are corroborative and that's important too.

Do we have to, every time we see an apple hanging from a tree, formulate the hypothesis that it will fall to the ground at some time? ;)

[Edited on 14-4-2016 by blogfast25]




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
j_sum1
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3170
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Oz
Member Is Offline

Mood: inert even with vigorous stirring.

[*] posted on 13-4-2016 at 18:55


Quote: Originally posted by Magpie  
Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
... but often there is little reason to actually formulate it as a Leyman-Pearson lemma.


Nice! :D

I had to look it up.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neyman%E2%80%93Pearson_lemma
But agreed, nice. (Spelling error notwithstanding.)




View user's profile View All Posts By User
Tsjerk
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 551
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Germany
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 14-4-2016 at 08:30


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
@Tsjerk:

But this is a free forum and unless moderators are willing (and have time) to try and enforce higher write-up standards, individual members will always report the way they see fit, not the way the forum rules suggest.


Please don't get me wrong, I'm not in favor of enforcing anything. I hope that, after some discussion, a guideline could be written and this guideline turns out to be so good people will use it voluntarily.

I could write up a draft next Saturday and post it here, putting the topic up for debat. I would be more than happy with any feedback as I'm not the expert on the field either.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
arkoma
Forum Redneck
*****




Posts: 976
Registered: 3-2-2014
Location: Ar-Kin-Saw
Member Is Offline

Mood: Pretty damn good these days.

[*] posted on 14-4-2016 at 11:44


I'm sloppy as hell; I could see how some sort of template could darn sure be of use to me.



Why did i wait so long to by a hotplate stirrer?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
j_sum1
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 3170
Registered: 4-10-2014
Location: Oz
Member Is Offline

Mood: inert even with vigorous stirring.

[*] posted on 14-4-2016 at 14:29


I saw your lab journal notes for your ethanol distillation, arkoma. I thought that was rather good work actually. My notes are seldom that detailed.
[edit] at least for a distillation.

[Edited on 14-4-2016 by j_sum1]




View user's profile View All Posts By User
Tsjerk
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 551
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Germany
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 16-4-2016 at 10:49


I made a draft for designing an experiment and the writing up of that. Although I introduce the writing up part I didn't get to the actual writing up part. I would appreciate any feedback on what I wrote till now though.

Attachment: Documenting your work .docx (16kB)
This file has been downloaded 130 times

[Edited on 16-4-2016 by Tsjerk]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
morganbw
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 198
Registered: 23-11-2014
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 16-4-2016 at 11:18


I think that for me.
Tell the audience what you are going to say.
Say it.
Tell them what you said.
The end.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Tsjerk
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 551
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Germany
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-4-2016 at 07:54


I some compounds in the write up described, namely nitrite to acetate and isopropyl to isoamyl. Although the experimental conditions are a bit less exiting; both introduction discussing and ethics are easier to write about for the final compound made in this write-up.

Could you guys have a look at it?


[Edited on 17-4-2016 by Tsjerk]

Attachment: Documenting your work (1).docx (21kB)
This file has been downloaded 136 times

View user's profile View All Posts By User
blogfast25
Thought-provoking Teacher
*****




Posts: 10337
Registered: 3-2-2008
Location: Old Blighty
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 17-4-2016 at 09:19


@Tsjerk:

As these guidelines are far more useful to beginners than seasoned experimenters/veteran scientists, what to me is lacking in your document are explanations of:

Quote:
1-Abstract
2-Introduction
3-Results
4-Discussion
5-References


What's an abstract? What should it contain? How to write an effective one?

Ditto for the other points.




View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Tsjerk
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 551
Registered: 20-4-2005
Location: Germany
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 18-4-2016 at 02:25


Thanks for the feedback,

You are right, I could write an extra paragraph on how the write the sub-sections.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top