Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Women in Science

Back to the Topic

Video clip: Barbara thinks it is important to have a story, a narrative running through the paper, and that care should be taken to include enough but not too much in a single paper.

Again it, it is difficult. It is difficult to say it depends but I will say it is important to write a story. Write something that can captivate. You know to, to have a sort of narrative thread throughout the paper. That helps the reviewers reading it and it helps, enthuses them into your story. That’s where you, you need to be able to do that a little bit.

Then what I noticed is that young investigators tend to underplay their results. It’s strange but, and to sort of summarise everything they have done in two years into something that is very little and that is, you know, because they need to learn to tell a story. How this came about. I had this result. This result. We had this question. We did this and from that we went there. You know, in all, in all papers you can see a thread like that and I think that helps, you know, sort of getting the papers published.

The other problem sometimes is the desire to put everything in a paper. You know, one might have done a lot of little detours for curiosity. So other people, some people as I said, some summarise into very little. Some others might put everything in it. I remember my, one of my sponsors, mentors at the beginning when I started that, they used to say, “Barbara, people don’t want to know all of the problems that you’ve had to get to this point.” [laughs] And I think that was a very good advice, yeah, because some of the things you do for yourself and you might put it in your thesis, but is not really necessarily, you know, that type of information that you want to put in your very few words that you have allowed for your papers because they might dilute your message and take people to, too many threads. So I would say have a structure and have a narrative.