Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 43(3/4): 82-83. December 2011


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society, 2011. Used by permission.


One of the most common issues we address during content editing of papers for The Prairie Naturalist (journal) is the appropriate placement of content in the text body. Based on my experience with the editorial process, content placement also is one of the issues that authors are most resistant to suggestions or do not fully understand why we are so persistent about it (Thompson 2010). One of the primary objectives of scientific writing is to concisely and accurately disseminate information. Scientific papers are structured to help both the author and reader accomplish this objective. The material that belongs in each section of Journal is described in our manuscript submission guidelines and generally follows standard guidelines for scientific writing (Day and Gastel 1998, Council of Science Editors 2006, Thompson 2010). Content editing is intended to bring a manuscript into compliance with our current submission guidelines, though at this stage we sometimes have to deal with additional problems that were overlooked during the peer-review process. My intention here is to describe some common problems we seen in papers submitted to the journal relative to placing content in the appropriate sections, with a primary goal of helping authors prepare better papers for the journal.