How to Write a Scientific Thesis/Report
These pages provide general information about how to author a scientifc thesis/report and the accompanying supervision process at the chair for HCI. You are always requested to cross-check your respective official documents (FSB, ASPO) for details. In case of doubts ask your supervisor. Comments are welcome.
- A central source for required literature is the university library.
- Many scientific organizations provide digital libraries, e.g.:
- Most services let you research for free.
- Content might be available for free from the library or inside the JMU VPN net.
- Meta services like, e.g., Google scholar index multiple sources.
- To find relevant articles starting from a matching article look out for
- the literature this article cites or
- functions of the search engine like "cited by".
- Beware of filter bubbles. Always search alternative communities to open new result branches.
- There are controversial discussions regarding open access movements, including endeavors of the European Commission, and lawsuits against Sci-Hub, just to name a view.
How to value a scientific article or conference is an ongoing discussion. Here are some indications:
- Number of citations a publications has received so far.
- Metrics (beware, all are questionable), e.g.,:
- the H-Index/I-Index (available for authors, conferences, journals)
- Impact Factor (only journals)
- Impact and relevance is specific to scientific field, e.g.:
- (Good) conferences:
- High relevance in computer science and HCI.
- Less important for psychology.
- Journals and periodicals:
- High relevance in psychology.
- Also relevant for computer science and HCI.
- See Michael Ernst: Choosing a venue: conference or journal
- (Good) conferences:
- The institute of computer science provides several services for organizing digital workflows, see this wiki.
- Manage literature (sort, annotate, save ...) using dedicated tools, e.g.:
- Mendeley (good annotation and highlighting)
- Use of LaTeX for scientific writing is advised. Good editors are
- Atom (with plugins, all OS)
- TeXnicCenter (Windows)
- TeXShop (OSX)
- Editors with LaTeX support (emacs, vi(m), textmate, ...)
- Michael Ernst: Writing a technical paper
- Norman Ramsey: Teach Technical Writing in Two Hours per Week
- Purdue Online Writing Lab
- Search for "DGPs Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung" in the net.
- Gerry Carter: Academic incentives and science
- Elizabeth Zwaaf: 8 reasons I accepted your article
- American Psychological Association. (1994). Publication manual of the American psychological association. Washington: American Psychological Association. (extracts can be found online)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs). (2007). Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung. Hogrefe. (Adaption of the APA guidelines to the german language)
- Bern, D. J. (1987). Writing the Empirical Journal Article. The complete academic: A practical guide for the beginning social scientist, page 171.
- Field, A. (2012). Writing Up Research.
- Field, A. and Hole, G. (2002). How to Design and Report Experiments. Sage.
- Hofmann, A. H. (2014). Scientific Writing and Communication. Oxford Univ. Press.
- Schlager, P. and Thibud, M. (2007). Wissenschaftlich mit LaTeX arbeiten. Pearson Studium.
- Wallwork, A. (2011). English for Writing Research Papers. Springer US, Boston, MA.
- Zobel, J. (2004). Writing for Computer Science. Taylor & Francis. (accessible via Springerlink)
Style Guides of Colleagues in Academia
- Funke, J. (2010). Richtlinien zur Manuskriptgestaltung. (Psychologie)