A scientific paper is the most common and efficient way to communicate the results and procedures of researches. However, publicizing these contributions is hard work that can be long time consuming. Clarity, coherence, and precision in technical terms are immovable characteristics of any scientific article and should be seriously considered in order to ensure that the message is correctly brought to colleagues and, in this way, make all the efforts worthwhile. Sometimes papers could include ambiguities and be unclear just because authors ignore important rules, something that occurs more often than we think. That is why in the editorial review of The Geology of Colombia (TGC) chapters, the need for stylistic consistency and to keep the mentioned characteristics drove the construction of an editorial guideline.
The editorial guideline of TGC was the result of collected rules from the best and more recognized manuals of style and guides related to the correct use of technical and geological terms. Every manual and guide were carefully selected to ensure the suitability of the adopted rules. For stylistic guidelines as the use of Oxford comma and hyphens, The Chicago Manual of Style, a detailed guide in editing scientific texts that has been published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press, was consulted. The correct use of stratigraphic terminology was corroborated with North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature guides. For example, in “Thinking of deep time”, Marie–Pierre AUBRY explains the differences between date/duration abbreviations (Ma/my) for geological time; while explanations of proper use of adjectives for time/time–rock units (early/lower) and capitalization of formal and informal terms were found in “How to use stratigraphic terminology in papers, illustrations, and talks” by Donald E. OWEN. In addition, The International System of Units (SI) edited by NEWELL & TIESINGA was used to verify the format of numerical values such as their decimal marker, which is the point on the line in English writing, and thousands separator, which is the non–breaking space and not the comma.
This compilation work allowed to make quick, logical, and defensible decisions during the editorial adjustment of the chapters, and is unique in terms of synthesis and quality of information, resulting in a complete source of recommendations for geologists to write clearer and more precise contributions.
- María Paula MARROQUÍN GÓMEZ, Jorge GÓMEZ TAPIAS
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