This assignment is designed to help you identify and appreciate the characteristics of top-quality research publication. Unlike the Publication and Authority paper, it specifically addresses publication of primary research as defined by one of the most influential scientific editors of the 20th century. Further, it gives you practice in identifying such publications when you encounter them in class assignments or in professional literature.



  1. First, read the assigned chapters in your textbook. Then, read Robert Day's essay, "What is a Scientific Paper?" Highlight or take notes as needed. Be sure that you can identify the characteristics of a scientific paper and the subparts of each.
  2. Survey the professional journals and/or library databases to identify an article in your field that you feel exhibits the characteristics of a top-quality scientific publication as identified by Day. Be sure that the article is one you clearly understand. The article should be a minimum of 3 pages long and preferably no more than 15 pages long.
  3. Write a 2-3 page typed, double-spaced paper in 12 point type, using default margins, explaining the ways that your article satisfies Day's criteria for excellence. Cite specific examples from the text of the article to prove your points.
  4. Attach a copy of your chosen article to the paper, making sure that bibliographic information is included: author(s), article title, publication title, volume number, date of publication and page number(s). Submit.


Your paper will be evaluated on the following criteria:

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