2021.06.02 Editor: G. M.

Choosing a Journal

Considering the large number of journals on offer in a given subject area, the selection of a target journal for an author is a daunting task. Several things need to be considered:

  1. Impact factor: Choose a journal with an impact factor (IF) a bit higher than what an author thinks will accept their manuscript. If unsuccessful, an author can always submit to a journal with a lower IF. This allows the author to publish at the highest IF possible.
  2. Existing relationship: If an author has had success in the past with publishing in a particular journal, they might consider continuing to send their articles to that journal (and ideally to the same handling editor).
  3. Common journals: Authors should be aware of the journals colleagues publish in. They should take note of the names of journals that regularly come up in their reading of their subject area. These are the journals they should aim to submit to.
  4. Journal lists: Several lists of journal names can be found online ranked by categories such as subject area, IF, and open access status, and are handy for choosing a journal. Scimago Journal & Country Rank is an example.
  5. Ethics: Once chosen, each journal should be vetted for ethical standards. Check that a publisher belongs to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which defines best practice in the ethics of scholarly publishing. Some open-access scholarly publishers are predatory in that they behave unethically by not using impartial reviewers. Beall’s List should be consulted online to ensure a chosen publisher and journal are ethical.



  1. インパクトファクター:著者として、自分の論文が採択されそうだと感じるレベルより少し高いインパクトファクター(IF)のジャーナルを選びましょう。採択に至らなかった場合、最初の投稿先より低いIFのジャーナルにいつでも投稿できます。こうすることで、採択される可能性のあるジャーナルの内、IFが最も高いジャーナルから論文を出版できるようになります。
  2. 既に関係を築いているジャーナル: 特定のジャーナルで既に出版に成功している場合は、そのジャーナルに引き続き記事を投稿するのも一案です(同じ編集委員に提出できることが理想です)。
  3. 共通のジャーナル:自分と同じ分野の研究者が論文を出版しているジャーナルは、調べておきましょう。対象分野の文献を読む中で、よく目にするジャーナルの名前を覚えておきましょう。このようなジャーナルへの投稿を目指すとよいでしょう。
  4. ジャーナル一覧: 専門分野、IF、オープンアクセスの状況といった分類でジャーナルをランク付けした一覧が、インターネットでいくつか見つかります。ジャーナルを選ぶ際には、このような一覧が役立ちます。例としては、SJR(Scimago Journal & Country Rank)が挙げられます。
  5. 倫理: どのジャーナルを選ぶ場合であっても、対象のジャーナルが掲げる倫理基準を投稿前に念入りに調べましょう。ジャーナルの出版元が、出版規範委員会(COPE)の会員であるかどうかを調べましょう。COPEは、学術出版における倫理のベストプラクティスを定義しています。オープンアクセス・ジャーナルの出版元には、中立的な査読者を選ばず、非倫理的に振る舞っているハゲタカ(predatory)ジャーナルと呼ばれるものが一部あります。インターネットでビールのリスト(Beall’s List)を参照し、選んだ投稿先が倫理的な出版元・ジャーナルであることを確認しましょう。

2021.05.06 Editor: R. G.

The use of conjunctions in academic writing

Greetings. The subject of this column is the use of conjunctions in academic writing. So, what are conjunctions?

Coordinating conjunctions enable the writer to join words, phrases, and clauses of equal grammatical rank in a sentence. The most common coordinating conjunctions include for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. These coordinative conjunctions can easily be remembered using the well-known mnemonic FANBOYS. An example of their use:

The oxidized compound was green. The reduced compound was red.

The oxidized compound was green, but the reduced compound was red.

The oxidized compound was green, and the reduced compound was red.

Note that the coordinating conjunction is often accompanied by a comma.

As an Editor for NAI, I am sometimes asked by authors whether it is acceptable to start a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. And, but and or are three of the most common such conjunctions used to start a sentence in informal writing (e.g. novels, newspaper articles etc.). However, informal writing is not always understood in the same way by every reader. Scientific papers are written in a formal style to avoid ambiguity. As such, I would not recommend using coordinating conjunctions at the start of a sentence when writing a scientific publication.

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together such as either/or, not only/but, neither/nor, both/and.

The enzyme was neither stable nor highly active.

The enzyme was both stable and highly active.

The enzyme was not only stable but highly active.

The choice of correlative conjunctions is often shaped by the precise point that the author wishes to emphasize together with writing style.

Subordinating conjunctions join a main clause and a subordinate clause. There are many subordinating conjunctions. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include as, that, whether, although, because, though, whenever and whereas.

The cells failed to divide because the drug was activated.

The cells failed to divide although the drug was activated.

The cells failed to divide whenever the drug was activated.

Compound conjunctions are conjunctions made up of several words, often ending with as, or that. A few examples are given here.

The reaction was quenched as soon as the solvent was added.

The pH must be maintained within a narrow range so that the cells survive.

Transesterification proceeded as long as the water activity remained low.

Although acceptable in English, for formal writing I would recommend avoiding compound conjunctions where a more concise phrasing can be used.






The oxidized compound was green.(酸化化合物は緑色だった。)The reduced compound was red.(還元化合物は赤色だった。)

The oxidized compound was green, but the reduced compound was red.

The oxidized compound was green, and the reduced compound was red.



相関接続詞とは、「either/or」、「not only/but」、「neither/nor」、「both/and」のように、対で機能する接続詞のことです。

The enzyme was neither stable nor highly active.

The enzyme was both stable and highly active.

The enzyme was not only stable but highly active.



The cells failed to divide because the drug was activated.

The cells failed to divide although the drug was activated.

The cells failed to divide whenever the drug was activated.


The reaction was quenched as soon as the solvent was added.

The pH must be maintained within a narrow range so that the cells survive.

Transesterification proceeded as long as the water activity remained low.


2021.04.02 Editor: K. K.

Tips for improving your manuscript

Greetings. I have been an NAI editor for the past 20 years. My specialties are the editing of chemistry publications and the recording of presentations for scientists to practice their English pronunciation and timing. For my first decade with NAI, I was a part-time college professor and tutor, but now I am a tenured full-time college faculty member. Here are a few grammar and style notes I often provide to NAI customers as well as my students. English is a truly challenging language, filled with rules and exceptions. I often remind my students and NAI Clients that their English is far better than my Japanese, and writing a scientific paper, in English, is very challenging!

While it is becoming more accepted to write in a less formal style, I am a traditionalist and remove all first-person statements (“I,” “we,” “the authors,” etc.) to improve the level of professionalism of the paper. While some view writing in third person as awkward, and I agree, in most instances it is obvious to the reader that the work is that of the authors. That is, there is no compelling reason to state that “the authors (or “we”) added 10 mL of acid to the flask” when the authors names are at the top of the article! It is far more professional to simply use the passive voice and state that “10 mL of acid were added to the flask.” The only exception to this rule is when the authors are discussing their own previously-published work. In that case, an article by Dr. Smith saying “we previously reported” is better than the third person statement “Smith, et al. previously reported.”

In English, the adjective typically precedes the noun (it is an attributive adjective; e.g.- a “blue shirt” is a “shirt which is blue”). There are cases where the past participle of a verb is used as an adjective, and it then follows the noun (it is a predicative adjective; e.g.- “the collected data” is used often, but is awkward/incorrect... “the data collected” implies “the data which was collected” and is far better? there is no compelling reason to use the awkward version.)

Compound words are hyphenated when used as adjectives (“temperature-dependent behavior”) but not when used as nouns (“the temperature dependence of the behavior”).

I provide my students with a checklist of common things to look for that can increase (or decrease!) the quality of their work, and these are the same issues I commonly see in NAI papers. Here is that list:

  • Is your report your own work? Have you copied any of it from any other source? If so, is it properly referenced?
  • Have you spell-checked your work?
  • Have you grammar-checked your work?
  • Have you read your work out loud? If it doesn’t make sense to you when you hear yourself say it, it won’t make sense to your reader!
  • Have you verified the proper use of capitalization in your work?
  • Does your work contain all of the sections required by your target journal’s “advice to authors?”
  • Have you verified the correct verb tense in each section of your work?
  • Have you verified the correct use of superscripts & subscripts in all formulas, equations, etc.?
  • Is there redundancy, either within or between sections, in your work? Your goal is to tell a clear and concise story.
  • Does your work contain the words “I,” “we,” “our,” “my,” “the authors,” “one,” etc.? Change those sentences to passive voice if at all possible unless you are referring to your own previously published work.
  • Does your work contain possessives, contractions, or colloquialisms? Remove them.
  • Does your work use correct abbreviations and symbols (“mL” not “ml,” “mol” not “mols,” etc.)?
  • Does your work use the word “mass” or “weight” or “weighted” as a verb? Do not do so.
  • Does your work use the word “machine” for “instrument” or the word “scale” for “balance?” Use the proper jargon.
  • Does your work contain the words “in this experiment” or any equivalent thereof? This phrase is usually indicative of a new writer. It is the equivalent of saying “the subject of my book report is...” You can do better.
  • Does your work state that an experiment was “done” or that a product was “made?” Again, while writing with a thesaurus to use unnecessarily complex words is not advised, you can do better.
  • Is there redundancy, either within or between sections, in your work? (Annoying, isn’t it!)
  • Does your work contain the word “create?” Keep in mind that in chemistry, nothing is created or destroyed. It’s a law. Change it to a more appropriate word.
  • Does your work contain the word “aforementioned” or the phrase “previously prepared?” Your writing is either redundant or unnecessarily wordy.
  • Does your work contain the phrases “cool down” or “pH level?” Neither of these is acceptable.
  • Does your work contain the words “within” or “cleanse?” I don’t know why, but these are often misused. (Solutes are “in solution,” not “within the solution.” Glassware is “cleaned,” not “cleansed.”)
  • Does your work contain a predicative adjective awkwardly used as an attributive adjective? (e.g., “examined the samples obtained” is correct, while “examined the obtained samples” is incorrect.)
  • Does your work have all numbers expressed in correct scientific notation for modern typesetting? (e.g., 103 not 10E3 or 10^3)

By using these tips, I’ve seen students and authors whose work I’ve edited repeatedly over the years improve greatly.



少々くだけた文体も最近は受け入れられるようになってきましたが、私は伝統に沿った方式を好むので、論文の専門性を高めるためにも一人称(「I」、「we」、「the authors」など)は一切使用しません。三人称を用いる書き方は変だと感じる人もいますし、そう感じる理由も分かりますが、ほとんどの場合、論文の読者には論文が著者によって書かれたものであるということが一目瞭然です。つまり、著者の名前が論文の冒頭に記載されている中、「筆者らは(もしくは「我々は」)10 mLの酸をフラスコに加えた」とわざわざ述べなくても良いわけです。受動態を用いて「10 mLの酸をフラスコに加えた(10 mL of acid were added to the flask)」と記載するだけの方が、ずっと専門的です。このルールの唯一の例外は、自らが過去に出版した研究について著者らが考察する場合です。その場合は、Dr. Smithの論文で「我々は過去に...と報告した」と記述する方が「Smith, et al.は過去に...と報告した」とするよりも望ましいと言えます。

英語では通常、形容詞が名詞の前に来ます(これは限定用法と呼ばれるものです。例:「a shirt which is blue」と伝えたい時には「a blue shirt」と表現する)。また、動詞の過去分詞が形容詞として使用され、名詞の後に置かれる場合もあります(これは叙述用法と呼ばれるものです。例:「the data collected」とすることで「the data which was collected」というメッセージを発することができます。「the collected data」という表現をよく見かけるのですが、これは不自然であり、「the data collected」の方が遥かに望ましい書き方です。不自然な表現を敢えて用いる理由はありません。)

複合語を形容詞として用いる場合には、各語をハイフンでつなぎます(「temperature-dependent behavior」としますが、「the temperature dependence of the behavior」のように名詞として用いる場合、ハイフンは使用しません)。


  • 執筆した報告は自分のオリジナルですか?報告の内容に別の文献から引用した部分はありますか?引用したのであれば、引用元を参考文献として適切に示しましたか?
  • スペルチェックは行いましたか?
  • 文法チェックは行いましたか?
  • 原稿を音読しましたか?自分の音読する内容が意味不明なら、読者も理解できません。
  • 大文字を正しく使用しているか確認しましたか?
  • 投稿先雑誌の「投稿規程」で求められている章はすべて揃っていますか?
  • 各章で動詞の時制を正しく使用しているか確認しましたか?
  • 上付き・下付き文字をすべての式、等式などで正しく使用しているか確認しましたか?
  • 章内もしくは各章間で内容は重複していませんか?明確で簡潔なストーリーを伝えることを目指しましょう。
  • 文章中に「I」、「we」、「our」、「my」、「the authors」などを使用していませんか?使用しているなら、自分自身が過去に出版した研究に触れているのでない限り、できるだけ受動態に変えましょう。
  • 所有格、短縮形、口語表現は使用していませんか?使用しないようにしましょう。
  • 略語や記号は正しく使用していますか(「ml」ではなく「mL」、「mols」ではなく「mol」など)?
  • 「mass」、「weight」、「weighted」を動詞として使用してはいませんか?使用しないようにしましょう。
  • 「instrument」とすべき部分に「machine」を使ったり、「balance」とすべき部分に「scale」を用いたりしてはいませんか?専門用語は正しく使用しましょう。
  • 文章中で「in this experiment」や類似の表現を使用していませんか?これは、著者の執筆経験が浅いことを示すサインです。「私の読書感想文のテーマは...」と書くのと同レベルです。改善の余地があります。
  • 実験が「done」、生成物が「made」といった記述はありませんか?ここでも同様に、類語辞典を使って必要以上に複雑な言葉を使うことはお勧めしない一方で、これには改善の余地があります。
  • 章内もしくは各章間で内容は重複していませんか?(しつこく感じます)
  • 原稿内で「create」という言葉を使用していませんか?化学では「create」されたり「destroy」されたりするものは存在しない、ということを念頭に置いてください。鉄則です。より適切な言葉に変更しましょう。
  • 原稿内で「aforementioned」という言葉や「previously prepared」といったフレーズを用いていませんか?用いているのであれば、内容に重複があるか、必要以上に回りくどい書き方をしているということになります。
  • 原稿内で「cool down」もしくは「pH level」というフレーズを用いていませんか?どちらも使用しないようにしましょう。
  • 原稿内で「within」や「cleanse」という言葉を使用していませんか?理由は分かりませんが、よく誤用されています。(溶質は「in solution」であって「within the solution」ではありません。ガラス容器は「cleaned」であって「cleansed」ではありません。)
  • 叙述用法を限定用法のように用いた不自然な表現はありませんか?(例:「the data collected」が正しい表現です。「the collected data」は誤りです。)
  • 原稿で使用している数字はすべて、現代のレイアウトに合わせた正しい指数表記になっていますか?(例:10E3や10^3でなく、103を使用)


2021.03.09 Editor: K. K.

Experience with remote classes during COVID-19.

Greetings. I have been an NAI editor for the past 20 years. My specialties are the editing of chemistry publications and the recording of presentations for scientists to practice their English pronunciation and timing.

For my first decade with NAI, I was a part-time college professor and tutor, but now I am a tenured full-time college faculty member. To say that the events of 2020 were unique would be an understatement.

Because I was the only member of my department to teach any classes online prior to March 2020, I provided a lot of technical support to my colleagues and helped our information technology department train faculty to quickly move their courses online. I was able to provide existing lecture videos, PowerPoint files, and other supplementary learning materials for more than two thirds of the classes we offer for my colleagues to use with their students during the rapid transition to online learning. As the Chairperson of my college’s eLearning Committee for 5 years, I reminded my colleagues (in and beyond my department), as well as the administrators of the college, that we were providing emergency distance education, not purposefully-designed online courses. Unfortunately, at my school and elsewhere, class sizes were maintained or increased versus the in-person size for the subsequent summer, fall, and this spring semester, and the faculty courseload was held constant while fundamentally all courses remained remote. It is well known that online course sizes and the number of online hours a faculty member teaches should be limited in order to ensure course quality. I published some of this information in a special issue of the Journal of Chemical Education.

While we have just begun to resume some in-person laboratory courses and research, until recently, all in-person research at our institution was put on hold. While my current research is strictly pedagogical, my colleagues involved in laboratory chemical research either had to devise literature or theoretical projects for their students, or suspend their programs. For faculty in the midst of the tenure and promotion process, this was yet another stressor added in the midst of the pandemic. (At my university, faculty have been allowed an extension on the review process at their request.) Finally, my campus is located in Queens, New York City, which for quite some time was the epicenter of the pandemic. The actions and inaction of our federal government was fodder for news outlets around the world, unfortunately. Our already underserved students were especially hard hit, and taking this into account (while at the same time dealing with distressing academic integrity issues) was quite challenging.

We are hopeful that we will have more in-person laboratory courses taught on campus in the fall semester, as there is no substitute for the psychomotor learning that comes from actually being in the lab. Current plans, which rely on vaccine distribution and testing statistics, are for us to have students return to some of our upper-level labs on alternate weeks to maintain only 50% occupancy in the labs. Lectures will remain online. We also hope that faculty who are willing and able to return to campus can resume their research programs. More than anything else, we hope for some semblance of a return to normalcy, and I’m sure that desire is shared by everyone.




というのも、2020年3月より前の時点でオンラインの授業を行ったのは、私が所属する学部では私だけだったため、さまざまな技術上のサポートを同僚に提供し、教員・研究員を指導して授業を迅速にオンライン化できるようIT部門も支援することとなったからです。オンライン学習へ急きょ移行する中、大学で実施している授業の3分の2を超える分について、自分が既に持っていた講義の録画やパワーポイントのファイルに加え、補助的な教材も提供し、同僚が学生と活用できるようにすることができました。私は大学でEラーニング委員会の会長を5年務めていたこともあり、(学部内外の)同僚や学内の事務職員に向けて、私たちは事前に準備したオンラインコースではなく、緊急事態に対応するためのリモート学習を提供しているのだということを呼びかけました。残念ながら、私の研究科や他の学部などでは、その後の夏、秋、そして春学期で、通常の対面学習に比べてクラスの人数を維持もしくは増やすことになった上、授業が実質リモートで行われている中、以前と変わらない学習量が課されることとなりました。オンラインで授業を実施する場合は、内容の質を維持するため、学生の人数やオンラインの授業時間を制限すべきである、ということが広く知られています。私はこの情報を、ジャーナル・オブ・ケミカルエデュケーション(Journal of Chemical Education)の特別号で出版しました。



2021.02.03 Editor: F.J.

Verb Tense in English Scientific Writing

As an NAI Editor for the past 20 years, I have encountered many instances of verb tense errors in manuscripts written by scientists whose native language is not English. While these errors may not seem critical, they can introduce imprecise interpretations of the author's intent by the readers.

The proper use of verb tense in English scientific writing is critical to convey detailed information in a clear and organized fashion. Verb tense varies between standard scientific manuscript sections as the methods were used and the results were obtained, but the results are interpreted.

In the methods section, the author describes procedures and reagents that were used to obtain the results (e.g., "We used the following primers...").

Similarly, in the Results section, the author describes the outcomes of those experiments that were performed (e.g., "PCR analysis showed that...").

In both of these sections, the author is dealing with events that were performed in the past and that have been completed.

In contrast, the Discussion section outlines interpretations and conclusions that result from the experiments.

The interpretation and conclusions are written in the present tense because they continue to be valid regardless of time (e.g., "Our results suggest...." rather than "Our results suggested...").

While verb tense in the English language can become complex with its different forms (i.e., Future Perfect, etc.), the basic pattern observed in the scientific literature, as described, above can help organize all types of scientific manuscripts from reviews to original reports.

The American Medical Association Manual of Style (11th Edition) provides a concise explanation of verb tense and its usage.





Methodsでは、筆者が結果を得るために使用した手順と試薬について説明します(例:"We used the following primers..."「...では、以下に挙げるプライマーを使用した」)。

同様に、Resultsでは、筆者が実施した実験の結果を説明します(例:"PCR analysis showed that..."「PCR分析では...ということが明らかになった」)。


一方、Discussionでは、実験から導かれる解釈と結論をまとめます。解釈と結論は、時間が経過しても内容の妥当性は変わらないため、現在形で記述します(例:"Our results suggest...."「本研究の結果からは...ということが示唆された」ではなく、"Our results suggested..."「本研究の結果からは...ということが示唆される」と記述する)。


『American Medical Association Manual of Style(第11版)』に、動詞の時制と用法が簡潔に説明されています。






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