The internet has a wealth of useful resources for anyone writing a paper, but as usual these can be hard to find. Here are some major resources that you may use. All are free and easily accessed.

The uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals is a major reference for authors. Over 500 journals will accept manuscripts prepared in accordance with these guidelines.

Links to the online instructions for authors for 3500 biomedical journals can be found here.

Pubmed allows you to search the MEDLINE, preMEDLINE and the Genbank DNA and protein databases from your desk. You can save the details and sometimes abstracts of selected articles, which can often save a trip to the library. The new version of PubMed has simple pull-down menus that display search field limits, indexes, and your search history, and provides a clipboard for gathering selected articles.

When you retrieve matches to your query, you can use a button to find related articles that use the same words and may cover the same topic. You can also often go directly to the journal that published the article online.

This site also has a new series of bioinformatics tutorials with practical examples.

The journal Nature provides advice on how to write a paper, including specific tips for writing for one of the Nature journals. This includes style and technical points that the Nature editors consider important. Maxine Clark, a longtime Nature editor also has a blog that discusses issues relevant to “authors and aspiring authors” of Nature journals.

The Science and Development Network, which provides news on science and technology in the developing world, has a series of short articles on writing a scientific paper, applying for a research grant, and submitting a paper to a scientific journal.

The NCBI Journal Browser lets you search for the full name, Medline abbreviation and ISSN of almost any journal. This is very useful when you are compiling the References section, because it is easy to find the correct abbreviation for journals. For example, a quick search indicates that the Japanese Journal for Clinical Oncology is abbreviated as Jpn J Clin Oncol. This service is also part of the entrez system that provides Pubmed.

Medical English from Hepatology on the web gives over 40 very good examples of conversation in a hepatology clinic. Text is complemented by sound files so that you can practice your pronunciation, and Japanese translations. Organised in Japanese.

Online dictionaries

The Online Medical Dictionary has definitions of more than 46,000 terms from not only medicine, but also biochemistry and plant biology.

The life sciences dictionary at the University of Texas currently has more than 8000 terms, many of which would not appear in your hard copy medical dictionary.

The Life Science Dictionary (LSD) project has created a Japanese/English, English/Japanese dictionary that can be easily searched in English, kana or kanji. There are currently over 170,000 entries and over 70,000 definitions, and this resource is still being developed with new terms added all the time.

Rogets Thesaurus can be searched or browsed online.

Elements of Style by Strunk and White, the famous short but excellent style guide, is available in full online.