Words @ Work: A Business Writing Handbook For The Internet Savvy

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With your editing and basic layout skills, a laser printer, and some high-quality stationery, you're set to start showing clients how to put their best foot forward in their resumes and cover letters--and how to get in the door of potential employers' businesses for an interview. Mystery Shopping Now, you can shop till you drop. Just put on your shopping shoes and put service personnel to the test as a "mystery" shopper. Rate local retail stores' employees on attitude, friendliness, and overall quality of service, then report back to your store-owner clients, helping them to ensure their service really is number one.

Tax-Form Preparer One thing is certain: There will always be a need for tax preparers. Come tax season, businesses and individuals alike need help preparing numerous tax forms and understanding the latest tax regulations. Equipped with some specialized computer software, start scheduling your career as a tax preparer this fiscal year-and get ready for some returns on your time and investment. Kohler Amazon eBooks.

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Wedding-Guide Publishing For photographers, bakers, caterers and florists, wedding bells mean big business. Help them get a piece of the action by publishing a wedding guide with space for local advertisers. Include some basic wedding-planning articles, and you'll find June brides aren't the only ones to benefit from your premarital publication. Mobile Car-Wash and Detailing Take your business on the road, and clean up on profits as a mobile car-wash and detailing pro.

Let a little soap and water do wonders Used-Car Inspection Sometimes, it takes a little more than a kick of the tires to evaluate a used car. With some basic diagnostic equipment and mechanical know-how, however, used-car inspectors can help steer clients away from "lemons.

Professional Organizer Neatniks need apply: If you're got a knack for neatness, why not help the organizationally challenged? Messy closets, home offices and commercial offices alike could benefit from a more efficient setup. Put some order into others' lives, and arrange yourself some pretty profits. Tutoring Thought your proficiency in high school algebra was all for naught? Think again: As a tutor, you could help others bone up on their studies. Whether it's reading, writing or arithmetic, help your students reach the top of their class with a little experienced guidance and support.

Power Washing Oily driveways, mud-caked semi trucks, or barnacle-ridden boats For spotless results, target commercial as well as residential customers. Windshield Repair To find potential clients for your windshield-repair business, simply canvas local parking and used-car lots for cars with cracked, chipped windshields.

A basic repair kit enables you to offer clients what is clearly a better alternative to costly glass replacement. Private Investigation Blaze your own entrepreneurial trail while following others' footsteps-literally. As a private investigator, make your mark in the industry by keeping a keen "eye" on other people's activities. Clients include attorneys gathering evidence for a case or to collect payment , or individuals seeking information about a significant other.

Business-Plan Consulting Not only is a business plan crucial in obtaining bank financing, but it's an invaluable tool for anticipating--and tackling--a business's inevitable ups and downs. With your writing skills, spreadsheet know-how, and general business savvy, show clients how to present their best-laid plans Packing and Unpacking Service Packing up to move to a new home or office--not to mention unpacking on the other end--is enough to leave one feeling upended.

Thank goodness for packing and unpacking entrepreneurs who, with their hassle- and time-saving services, make moving seem like magic. Business-Travel Management Make the skies even friendlier for business travelers--and less costly for business owners--as a business--travel manager. Help book low-price tickets, keep expense records, manage frequent-flier miles Carpet Dyeing For a fraction of the cost of replacing unsightly or stained carpeting, carpet-dyeing professionals provide hotels, community centers, nursing homes and other businesses an attractive alternative.

So go ahead, lay the options at your clients' feet Hospital-Bill Auditing There's nothing worse than being laid up in the hospital for a few days The remedy: hospital-bill auditors, who--thanks to their billing savvy and attention to detail--make way for their clients' smooth recovery. Specialized Staffing Helping clients meet their workforce needs is a matter of finding a niche and filling it--and keeping up with human resources trends. Work your way up in the industry by developing a roster of specially skilled workers, then use your "people skills" to build your business.

Bookkeeping Though today's software makes keeping your own books easier, it doesn't make it much less time-consuming. That's why, for business owners with little time to spare, a bookkeeping service is not only a time-saver, but an asset.

Computer Repair In today's computer-based society, computer "downtime" can be both costly and aggravating. As a repair professional--equipped with some basic diagnostic equipment and technological savvy--you can get clients' computers back up and humming again.

Referral Service For referral-service entrepreneurs--who act as a "welcome wagon" to newcomers--getting to know new as well as existing businesses pays off in more ways than one. Local companies pay to get their services introduced to newcomers, while these new customers pay for a little friendly advice.

Freight Brokerage One sack of flour for a dozen eggs Gone are the days of such no-frills, local trade. In their place: a sophisticated global commerce system requiring a thorough knowledge of land, sea, air and rail shipping rates and regulations. Knowledgeable freight brokers are indispensable to this burgeoning scene.

Video Brochure Make record profits taping corporate video brochures. Just get your video recorder handy, and zoom in on the action. Video-editing skills and special-effects techniques help you pull together the big picture--and reel in the profits. Executive Search Take your business to a "hire" level: As an executive-search specialist, help busy clients find the right man--or woman--for the job. Your job involves placing ads and conducting interviews to screen potential employees for clients.

Put on your best interviewing suit, and get down to business. Computer Consulting Tap into a surging market as a computer consultant. Whether you're an expert at Linux, putting together hardware components, or networking, a growing number of computer "newbies" will surely benefit from your services. Long-Distance Reselling By buying time in bulk from wholesalers, long-distance resellers ring up sales by servicing long-distance consumers--often at significant savings. You make the call: Either purchase the telecommunications equipment you'll need now, or rent it and simply focus on the marketing of your service.

Limousine Service With a limo and some insurance, you could be the driving force behind a new business venture. Stretch your market by adding more drivers and cars to your fleet.

Writing in the Digital Age

Then, once you've established a reliable reputation, start driving home your limousine-service sales. Office-Relocation Service Helping businesses get plugged in to a new neighborhood comes easy for office-relocation-service entrepreneurs who, as "locals," know who's who in providing such services as printing, restaurant delivery and equipment repair. Language Translation Falling foreign-trade barriers and improved communication technology translate into success for language translators and interpreters.

An ear for multiple languages puts you at the forefront of this global movement. Office Plant Maintenance Set your roots in a growing business as an office-plant-maintenance entrepreneur. Regular watering, light pruning, and fertilizing are all in a day's work. Though a green thumb is helpful, some clients may also request maintenance of their silk plants. Either way, your business is sure to grow. Professional Office Consultant It's one thing to spend a day at the office, and another altogether to run the office. As a professional office consultant, you'll oversee such responsibilities as marketing, insurance and daily operations for professional lawyers, doctors or other specialists--while leaving the rest to the "pros.

Office-Support Service Typing, filing, sorting mail, entering data, and answering phones are just a few tasks an office-support service can perform to help out harried business owners. Hand out business cards to every businessperson you know--and get ready to spend a productive day at the office! Miniblind Cleaning Put an end to dusty miniblinds in offices, homes and other buildings with your miniblind-cleaning service.

Immerse blinds in tanks of gentle, yet effective, cleansing solution Apartment-Prepping Move in on the housing market with some basic plumbing, painting, caulking and scrubbing skills.


Busy landlords and leasing offices can both benefit from your handyman skills, while you, in turn, make some handy profits repairing vacated units for clients' new tenants. Debt-Collection Service Money makes the world go 'round: You get paid when your clients get paid by the people who you get to pay them. Sound complicated? It doesn't have to be: As a debt collector, it pays in more ways than one to have some persistence in tracking down clients' delinquent debtors. Catering A caterer's place is in the kitchen.

So long as your kitchen is commercially approved--and you've got a knack for stirring up some "dough"--you've got the makings for savory success. Service weddings, holiday parties, and other festive gatherings; if you're lucky, clients will have your cake and eat it, too! Restaurant Delivery Service When "Let's do lunch" means eating at the office, an ordinary sack lunch doesn't have to suffice. Thanks to restaurant deliverers, busy professionals can order their meals from local restaurants.

By collecting a delivery charge and tip, operators get a good taste of entrepreneurial success. Seminar Promotion If there's one thing consumers can never seem to get enough of, it's information. Give 'em an earful by planning and promoting informational seminars. You don't need to be an expert yourself; just schedule the speakers, reserve a location, promote the event, and get ready to collect the profits at the door.

Window Washing Business has never been clearer for window washers. Grab your bucket, squeegee, and glass-cleaning solution, and rap at the dirty windows of local businesses and residences alike. Add repeat customers, and you'll soon be on a winning streak. Valet Parking Drive right up to entrepreneurship as the owner of a valet-parking service.

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  7. Trello is not the only project management system that is available, but it is the one with which we are the most familiar and have used the most. Since there is no financial investment to use Trello, we suggest you go online, create an account, and begin exploring. Many groups and organizations have adopted the convention of telephone conference calls to help overcome some of the disadvantages of electronic communication, but conference calls can be frustrating and confusing, and still lack many of the benefits of face-to-face interactions.

    Enter the video conference—a digital service that is improving rapidly and growing in popularity! Even though these services require an Internet connection, they quickly became very popular because they require only a flat fee that covers not only local, but long-distance calling for no additional charge. Then when computers and mobile devices began to integrate camera and video capabilities as well as the audio capability required for telephone communication, the science-fiction images of video calling began to become a reality.

    Apple introduced video chats one-to-one with their FaceTime application for the iPhone, then the popular VoIP service Skype began to offer the capability for video chat one-to-one calls, but for a fee. Now Skype offers video calls for single and group calls as part of their basic service for no additional fee. With both Skype and Google hangouts you can video conference with up to nine other people at a time. The free accounts allow hosting a meeting of up to 40 minutes in length; the basic fee-based service provides unlimited time for video conference. Skype and Zoom require downloading a dedicated application; you can use Google Hangouts directly from your web browser although a mobile application is also available for tablets and smart phones.

    Find a friend who is willing also set up all three services, then try each one! Then try bringing in a third person as well. Once you have tried all three, you will be able to decide which service works the best for you! Anyone on a call using most video chat services can share their screen, which is a great feature when you are sharing information that you want everyone to see at one time. Zoom, in our experience, provides a more stable connection than other services, plus it provides the capability to record both the audio and video conference. This is particularly helpful if someone in the group cannot be on the call, or when you are presenting screen-shared information that you want to archive.

    The advantages of video conferencing approach the many advantages of face-to-face interactions, including the obvious ability to see at least some of the body language that is conveyed in an interaction. But in addition, video conferencing makes it much easier to share talk time and to pass the conversation from one person to another. In addition, when you are on a video conference you tend to maintain focus and attention on the group interactions, overcoming the temptation to multitask and become distracted that is common with phone conferencing. This chapter has introduced some basic concepts and resources to help you begin a successful digital writing journey.

    We suggest that you visit some of the web sites we have identified in this chapter and get started with organizing your work and strategizing how you will collaborate with others. It is only through hands-on trial and error that you will learn what works for you! Allen, D. Revised Kindle ed. New York: Penguin Books. Barroga, E. Journal of Korean Medical Science, 29 12 , — Comparison of Reference Management Software. Dotto, S. Everything you need to know about Dropbox.

    Foreman, M.

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    Accuracy of references in nursing journals. Lefebvre, D. Getting Things Done with Evernote. On typewriters. Rosnoff, M. Organize anything, together. This chapter focuses on the values that shape your practices as you develop a manuscript for publication. A big part of success in publishing can be attributed to investing in a solid ethical foundation right from the start.

    This foundation is built on long-standing values, but the modern digital environment presents a number of opportunities and challenges that never before existed. Every author grapples with issues involving who contributes to your manuscript, either as an author, a person who you acknowledge for their assistance, or as another scholar whose work you cite. We begin this chapter with a discussion of guidelines for establishing a clear understanding, right from the start, concerning who is a legitimate author of a manuscript and how to properly acknowledge anyone else who might have contributed to your work in some way.

    Each and every writing project involves a host of people who participate in some manner. Even if you are a sole author who writes something that you alone conceive, write, submit for publication, and oversee the final page proofs, you inevitably have people who have encouraged, supported and inspired your ideas—people who have contributed to making your work possible.

    We cannot recommend strongly enough that early in the process you carefully consider who, if anyone, should be named as an author, and who should be acknowledged as supporting, inspiring or influencing your work. If you are a student or a junior member of a research team who is taking major responsibility for the work, it might be awkward for you to initiate a discussion of authorship with your supervisors or mentors, but unless you take this step very early, you will find yourself in even more awkward situations involving authorship later on.

    We recommend that you explore the issues around authorship with supervisors or mentors even before you embark on a particular project to determine how compatible you are with the views of those you are considering working with. You can use the guidelines we recommend in this chapter discussed below as a basis for a general discussion of authorship among groups of people you are working with or considering working with in order to establish a clear picture of the authorship environment you are dealing with.

    As you are sorting out authorship issues with your colleagues, you may want to do an assessment of the various skill-sets of each person involved in producing the substance of the article you are planning. Is there one person who is particularly knowledgeable about using a word processor? Who is the detail oriented person who will have an eagle eye for checking references?

    Is there a statistical whiz in the group? Many people assign authorship tasks in a linear fashion, that is, one person writes the introduction and literature review, another focuses on methods, and a third is given the responsibility for analysis and discussion. While this might be a workable approach, it does not take into account who has what expertise in terms of actually producing the paper. If, in your assessment, you realize that no one on your team is strong in an area related to producing your manuscript, then you might want to investigate other resources that are available to you.

    Is there administrative staff at your workplace who can support you to produce a professional manuscript? Is there financial support to hire a professional editor who can help you? The latter might be particularly important if you are writing in a language, such as English, that is not your native tongue. People who assist with production, but who are not involved in developing the substance of the manuscript, are typically not named as authors but they should be acknowledged in some way.

    If you decide to write a paper by yourself and you are the only one involved in conceiving the ideas, doing the background research, writing the paper, revising and editing subsequent drafts, submitting it for publication, and following through the entire production process with the publisher, then you can rightfully claim sole authorship of your paper! If, as is often the case, other people get involved in the process of developing the substance of the paper, or you start out with other people involved in even brainstorming the idea, then you will need to consider exactly who is to be named as an author, and in what order on the final publication.

    Not everyone who helps shape the content and substance of the paper needs to be named as an author, but you do need to be clear about authorship with each person who is involved along the way. Our admonition on this is two-fold: 1 establish your own clear definition of authorship and the guidelines you prefer for assigning the order of authors, and 2 do this at the very earliest moment possible when you embark on a publishing process. Even in the digital age, author relationships are the essential and all-important human element of publishing, and to be successful your relationship with your co-authors and others who influence your work must be built on a firm foundation of clear understanding about who contributes what, and how you will work together.

    Each research project typically results in the potential for more than one publication, so at the outset of a research project your discussions about authorship can be facilitated by exploring the various potential publications, with different people involved in the project taking primary responsibility for various publications that might result from the project.

    Once everyone is clear about how they might be involved with the project, as a group you can assign authorship for each publication, and the order in which each author will be listed. The primary author is typically the person who takes major responsibility and leadership for all aspects of the publication. There are fewer conventions or guidelines to determine the order of subsequent authors, so this is typically up to the group members—the important factor being that everyone needs to agree and be clear about the basis for determining the order.

    Each discipline has general conventions that they tend to follow in defining and assigning authorship. In some basic science fields, it is acceptable, even expected, that anyone who has anything to do at all with the research and the publication of a paper resulting from a research project should be listed as an author—a practice that results in a huge list of co-authors. In many biomedical sciences, the first author is the person who did most of the work involved in producing the manuscript and the last author is the most senior scientist involved in the project and may or may not have made a major contribution to this particular article.

    In the social sciences the number of co-authors tends to be about four or less, and it is generally expected that everyone who is listed as an author is an equal contributor to the work, including developing the manuscript, revisions, proof-reading, and approvals. Journals may specify, in their author guidelines, their own requirements for authorship and may require a declaration that describes the contributions of each person listed as an author. Student: Does my advisor have to be included as an author on publications from my dissertation?

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    After all, my advisor and committee did not write it—I did! After all I gave a huge amount of advice, and required her to change certain content based on my point of view! Our response to both questions: This depends on your mutual agreement about authorship. The ethical guidelines we discuss here clearly indicate that the student who authors publications derived the dissertation research should be the primary author, but whether or not faculty advisors are named as co-authors depends on a mutual agreement that you reach among yourselves. Ideally this agreement should be formed early in the process.

    We do not believe that the chair or committee members should be named as authors simply because they were advisors fulfilling their faculty duties in this role. Faculty who are named as co-authors on a publication from doctoral research and the subsequent dissertation, in our view, should be involved at every stage of development of a publishable manuscript. Further, keep in mind that the dissertation and journal article are two entirely separate documents, written for different purposes.

    The dissertation is the ultimate document, written according to university guidelines, that, if found meritorious, will meet partial requirements for the degree that is to be conferred. The chair and committee are acknowledged for their work by their attestation on the signature page. A journal article, on the other hand, is a totally separate document, written according to the journal guidelines. COPE regularly deals with cases involving disputes and challenges to legitimate authorship, resulting in extensive discussion of authorship issues in the digital and print environments.

    ICMJE provides recommendations for determining authorship and recommended procedures for assuring that all authors meet the requirements for authorship. In the following sections we address the guidelines of each of these groups, and illustrate how you can use them to 1 form your own personal preferences related to authorship, and 2 establish mutual understandings about authorship with your colleagues. They note that evaluating complex contributions and translating this to a simple metric formula is difficult.

    That said, they did provide the following guidelines:. Figure 3. At first glance these four recommendations may seem quite straightforward, but when you go to implement them in practice, they are not quite so clear! But if that person does nothing further, or very little, to contribute to the ongoing development of the manuscript, others might not see the person as substantially contributing to the work, particularly if that person does not contribute to revisions of the work and has not been involved in discussions that resulted in details that are essential to a comprehensive understanding of the content of the final manuscript.

    People who participate in one or two of the responsibilities listed by the ICMJE do not qualify as authors, but, as recommended by the ICMJE, they should be acknowledged for their contributions to the work. A common example of this kind of situation is the case of a student who writes a dissertation, or a post-doctoral fellow who prepares manuscripts for publication based on their doctoral or post-doctoral work. As the document points out, authorship is one of the most common issues that is presented to the Committee for consideration. The common authorship problems that arise in the COPE cases include someone claiming that they deserve to be an author but they were not included, someone is named as an author without their consent, someone initially agreed to be an author but then they backed out usually because of disputes about the content or integrity of the article , and disputes about how multiple authors are assigned.

    The COPE document emphasizes the common elements that are reflected in the authorship ethics guidelines published by a number of professional societies in the physical and behavioral sciences and the humanities—all of which generally conform to the recommendations of the ICMJE guidelines. In addition to understanding the ICMJE guidelines, authors need to refer to guidelines and ethical standards in their own discipline, the authorship guidelines and requirements of a journal in which they plan to publish.

    It is also helpful to have discussions about cases such as those reviewed by COPE where authorship issues arise, raising awareness about issues that you might not anticipate, but could encounter. This approach accommodates a large number of contributors with some fluidity in terms of who is involved at any one time. The challenge with this approach is providing a clear identification of the person or persons who are responsible for the integrity of the work. Hopefully you are not experiencing, and will not ever have to experience an authorship dispute, but this document will help you understand the pitfalls involved, and how to avoid them.

    The aim of this initiative is to develop a system that replaces the traditional bibliographic conventions for representing authorship, whereby the primary author is the only author who typically gets significant recognition for the work, with a digital system that uses the semantic and classification capabilities of the web. The taxonomy will be based on a consensually derived set of roles and descriptions of these roles that can be applied across all disciplines. Once such a taxonomy is in place, authors will be able to assign the terms of the taxonomy to all authors so that authorship will be acknowledged based on their roles, not on the order in which they are listed in a bibliographic notation.

    Plagiarism, in all types of writing, is an age-old problem. After all, as with most actions that are not ethical or legal, getting caught is the real source of fear. In the realm of publishing, when the pressure to get something written is great, the matter of simply borrowing something from another source seems like something that cannot hurt anyone, and the ease of simply copying and pasting from an existing digital source makes this crime very tempting! The problem is not the emphasis on plagiarism and its negative consequences, but rather on the fact that most anti-plagiarism programs fail to educate students and scholars about the nuances of plagiarism, and even more importantly, fail to provide adequate education and emphasis on how to compose meaningful texts based on your own ideas.

    Here, we are focusing on the nuances of plagiarism, but in explaining this we will provide a few hints and resources to help you explore approaches to your writing that result in original, interesting, and meaningful contributions to the literature. The fundamental definition of plagiarism, and the one that is typically emphasized in anti-plagiarism programs, reflects the most obvious type—copying something word-for-word from another source without giving credit to that source.

    The lame remedy that has been taught along with this idea is the admonition to always quote anything you use from another source, resulting in texts that consist of strings of quotations and citations that have little meaning, flow, or cohesive message. There are two problems here—first, plagiarism is not as simple as this, and second, simply quoting other sources is not an adequate remedy.

    In the digital age, every author has committed some type of plagiarism! This may seem like an exaggeration, but you will realize if you read on from here, it is very easy to do. Some of the instances are in a grey area where there is not wide consensus as to whether or not something is plagiarism. For example, it is very easy to copy a photograph or an illustration from a web site and insert it into your own work, and often web sites do not indicate if their illustrations are subject to either copyright or a Creative Commons License.

    So without giving it much thought, you use the illustration. But this is a form of plagiarism and there are guidelines related to this kind of situation. Re-read the first two paragraphs in this section. Then write a brief paragraph of your own that summarizes the problem in your own words, and focuses on your own ideas about this problem. Include an example from your own experience that illustrates the challenges we are addressing.

    Benjamin Mullin, writing for the Poynter. The remedy for plagiarism is to focus on your own original, current ideas. In scholarly writing, of course you need to explain the background and discuss the work of other scholars whose work has influenced your own, but the primary content of your work should be your own original analysis, synthesis, critique, and most important, the original message that you contribute to the larger discussion that appears in the literature. Infographic by Benjamin Mullin , available for unrestricted download.

    Self-plagiarism, or text recycling, which is the term that COPE is promoting, has been an area of discussion over the past decade and it is a topic that generates heated debate. For some editors, any sort of re-purposing or re-using text is completely unacceptable. They take the stand that every word in an article or book must be completely original. Others find this view unreasonable and note that there are only so many ways, for example, to describe the method used in a research study.

    If it was written clearly in the first article, then why write it less clearly in a subsequent manuscript?

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    Just as there are nuances of plagiarism, there are nuances of text recycling and you need to be cautious and not let this creep into your work. Saver notes that self-plagiarism is a two-fold problem. Repeating information in multiple articles can cause confusion in the scientific record. Second, if recycled text in an article is significant, then it might violate the copyright agreement that you have signed for the prior publication. You sign the copyright form to give the publisher permission to disseminate your article in multiple channels: the print version of the journal and electronic databases such as Ovid.

    You cannot reuse copyrighted information without permission. That is, using more than that number in a subsequent publication requires permission. While the debate around text recycling is ongoing, we have seen students become paralyzed with fear that their reuse of materials will cross the line and they will be sanctioned for this. It is unfortunate that this is occurring. For example, we have had students tell us that because their dissertation is published by ProQuest, they are unable to write any further reports from the research data.

    Again, this is not true. A press release is not a research report! It is fine to share outcomes in multiple channels. A press release will probably reach a very different audience than the published report in Nursing Research. Note that this is a work in process and will continue to be refined. Even so, it gives you a starting point for considering your own research and what overlap is acceptable—or not— in the articles that you write. In communicating with editors, it is important to be transparent about your research reporting. Editors understand that research studies are large, complicated affairs that generally cannot be adequately reported in one publication.

    Therefore, when submitting a manuscript to a journal, we suggest that you include the following in a cover letter:. Duplicate publication can be thought of as text recycling taken to the extreme. Instead of just re-quoting a section, the entire article is re-purposed with very few changes. Duplicate publication is taken very seriously by editors.

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    Sanctions can be severe, including retraction of the article from the journal. The website Retraction Watch retractionwatch. Recently, they reported on four papers with very similar names published in four different nursing journals:. At the time of writing this, the paper had been retracted from the Journal of Advanced Nursing and Nursing and Health Sciences and was under discussion by the editor and publisher of the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. There were no updates from Patient Education and Counseling.

    The graphic in Figure 3. As it says at the end, tolerance among editors varies widely. We both tend to swing to the more tolerant side. However, you have no way of knowing this upfront, so that is why it is very important to be open and frank with the editor when you submit your manuscript. In this chapter we have addressed the values on which your writing and publishing enterprise is based. The resources we have provided in this chapter form a valuable foundation for understanding the issues; your challenge is to use these resources wisely to inform your ethical perspectives.

    COPE Council. What constitutes authorship? New COPE discussion document. Ferguson, C. Heart study bleeds into three papers, one retracted and one withdrawn. Second exercise study retracted in four paper pileup. International Council of Medical Journal Editors. Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors. Predatory publishing: what editors need to know.

    Meadows, A. An interview with Amy Brand on a proposed new contributor taxonomy initiative. Mullin, B. Is it original? Saver, C. Tscharntke, T. Author sequence and credit for contributions in multiauthored publications. PLoS Biology, 5 1 , e One of the great things about the digital age is that almost any kind of information that you need is available with a few clicks of the mouse! But this vast amount of information creates a new problem, especially for people who are digital immigrants.

    One of the greatest fears for new scholars has always been the possibility that they might not find an important resource that they should know about, or that they will invest a great deal of time and energy working on a great idea, only to find out later that someone else has already done what they thought was new!

    In the print era, this fear was often well-founded because of the difficulty of finding all of the information on a topic. Then, as now, networking with other scholars in your field of interest and discussing issues and interests you share in common is invaluable as a way to explore ideas and test whether or not you have a comprehensive grasp of the information that is available in your field of interest. In the digital age you still can miss something, but the likelihood is increasingly slim as long as you are dedicated and take the time to conduct a thorough search.

    In this chapter we provide information to help you develop the skills you need to take full advantage of information and resources on the Internet, including:. There are dozens of online ways to search for information you need. This can be a random activity, or it can be focused, productive, and efficient. Here are some guidelines to move toward search results that will serve you well:.

    Using the strategies outlined in this section, see how much you can learn about jake leg in 15 minutes set a timer! When you are finished ask yourself, are you an expert? Leslie likes to joke that she can become an expert on anything in 15 minutes. While that is not entirely true, quick searches using the above steps can yield an amazing amount of information.

    You have to know how to scan and you also have to know how to quickly make a determination if the information you are finding is reliable and credible. There is an amazing amount of good information on the Internet—so much so that at times we wonder how we were able to conduct research and write dissertations without this resource.

    However, since just about anyone can post anything, there is a lot of junk, too. Poorly designed web sites often stick out like sore thumbs and you have an immediate gut reaction that the information is not credible. But that is not always the case. Thus, it is important to be able to evaluate web sites to determine if you can trust the information that is presented. Many people develop a web site as a hobby or way of sharing information they have gathered.

    You might view this type of site very differently from the one that has been developed as a commercial service to sell a product or resource. It should be immediately evident to you what the true purpose of the site is. Evaluate the links at the site. Are they working? Do they link to reliable sites? It is important to critically evaluate the links at sites hosted by organizations, businesses, or institutions because these entities are usually presenting themselves as authorities for the subject at hand.

    Many times, they will include a blanket disclaimer saying they assume no responsibility for the credibility or authority of the links they present. We consider that unacceptable and a red flag. If an organization is going to devote time and resources to developing a web page, then part of that process is to ensure that the links they include are appropriate for the mission of their site.

    You may see pages that are essentially just a laundry list of links. These might be useful as a starting point as a search or they may be just a random collection of links. This is why it is important to evaluate the links that are provided at a site. Is the information contained in the site accurate, comprehensive, and current? Is there a particular bias, or is the information presented in an objective way? Also assess who is the consumer of the site: is it designed for health professionals, patients, consumers, or other audiences?

    Who is the author of the site? Does that person or organization have the appropriate credentials? Is the author clearly identified by name, and is contact information provided? If a person is presenting himself or herself as an authority on a topic, that person should have some publications that establishes their reputation. Many organization sites do not name an author, or a web manager, but there should always be a way to contact someone involved with the site.

    Is the site easy to navigate? Is it attractive? Does it download quickly or does it have too many graphics and other features that make it slow? Is there contact information of the site developer and author? Is there full disclosure of who the author is and the purpose of the site?

    Do you detect any conflicts of interest? For example, at a site providing health-related information, is there a drug company or other group that might profit if visitors to the site follow their recommendations? Is this information easy to find or is it buried deep? When was the site last updated? Is it current? Is the information something that needs to be updated regularly?

    Generally, with health and nursing information, the answer to the last question is yes. Sites that are not regularly updated, that is, at least every 12 months and probably more often should be a red flag. The date the site was last updated should be prominently displayed. In Chapter 2 , we discussed the importance of using a bibliography database manager to organize and maintain your scholarly citations.

    That discussion, of course, begs the question of where and how you obtained your citations. A full discussion of literature searching is beyond the scope of this book; we assume that this is a basic skill that you have learned throughout the course of your education and refined as you moved into your health professional career. We also cannot over-emphasize how important librarians can be in helping you refine your own searching techniques and assist you with particularly challenging literature retrieval projects.

    That said, we can offer a few tips and tricks that we have learned over the years that might serve as extra enhancements to help you be the best at scholarly searching. The National Library of Medicine has created a comprehensive tutorial to learn how to search PubMed effectively. Given the stringent criteria for having a journal selected for PubMed, it is unlikely that a predatory journal would make the grade. Think about this—what are the implications for scholars and students if predatory journals are presented under the guise of a formerly legitimate journal and can be searched in PubMed?

    The above strategies are good ways to get started with general searching and evaluating what you find. As an author, however, you will have a particular need to find and evaluate potential journals that you will consider for submitting your manuscript. This process, which we call Journal Due Diligence , is a specialized method of search and evaluation, which is targeted specifically for identifying journals for publication. We know this from our own experience as well as conversations with editor colleagues. Sometimes we receive manuscripts that cause us to shake our heads and wonder if the authors had ever looked at our journals before writing their article.

    Authors are often surprised to learn this; they assume that manuscripts are rejected because the research is not ethically done or data were poorly collected. While these are definitely problems, they are not as common as wrong fit for the journal as a reason. Different editors have differing levels of tolerance for this problem. Explore this resource in depth, it is incredibly good especially its "Grammar" part, which almost everybody usually considers boring, so it might even change your mind about grammar.

    Dixie would like to remind you that after you have written your perfect business correspondence piece it is usually quite useful to proofread it to make sure it is as perfect as you have thought. For that purpose she has decided to include a proofreading manual PDF in the resources she offers to your attention on this page. Besides, this manual includes proofreading and editing symbols that can be very handy. Beside the above mentioned writing resources Dixie thinks it is very important to have a list of plain words and phrases that can be very helpful in keeping your writing short and simple.

    Another resource Dixie would like to offer you is a Punctuation Made Simple site. Its author is sure that punctuation is simple, and aren't you tempted to be convinced?! If you are, just follow the link! It's that easy, you'll see. Nothing helps improve your writing better than practice.

    Check out frequently updated writing for business quizzes and see how you score. Free online tests and training materials is another great practical resource. In Dixie's opinion, you do! Just think about it, having at your disposal a list of most common errors can do wonders in helping you to avoid them. Follow the link to this Common Errors in English site and see for yourself. It turns out that a lot of firms do.

    Read this short article with some samples of heinous assaults on the English language. It might help you realize if you do it and Dixie hopes, avoid it in the future. All in all, the above resources can make your life - or rather those hours of your life that you devote to business writing - much easier. Dixie has gathered here the links to some of the best resources available on the Net which she has been using herself; and she is sure that practically all these resources are indispensable if you want to write effective business correspondence.