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。






代表取締役 伊藤秀司

校閲者・コーディネーターの月替わりのコラム(2021) トップ




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