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UMass Amherst Libraries

Environmental Science and Conservation

Writing in science

Books on scientific writing in our collection: (links go to the UMass Amherst library catalog)

Writing in Biology : a brief guide, Leslie Ann Roldan, Mary-Lou Pardue - 2016
UM Science QH304 .R65 2016 (not Reference)

Mastering scientific and medical writing: a self-help guide, Silvia M. Rogers - 2014
Link above goes to the library record for the e-book
We also have a paper copy of an older edition:
UM Science  Reference T11 .R64 2007

A short guide to writing about biology, 8th ed, [2013] - Jan A. Pechenik, Pearson
UM Science QH304 .P43 2013 (not Reference)

Writing science : how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded, Joshua Schimel, Oxford U Press, 2012.
Link above goes to the library record for the e-book

Scientific method for ecological research, 2000 - E. David Ford
Link above goes to the library record for the e-book
We also have paper copies: UM Science QH541.2 .F66 2000, and at Hampshire College.

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishersby the Style Manual Committee, Council of Biology Editors
UM Science 
 Reference T11 .S386 2014

See also the website Council of Science Editors (formerly Council of Biology Editors) Citation Guide, a quick reference for citation styles. RefWorks includes these styles too.

Web links:

Planning Your Scientific Research Paper, 2004 - Jon A. Gibson, Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
Pertinent, detailed advice for
researchers in his field, but useful for all scientists.

Making an annotated bibliography

Look at this guide for options: 

Which tool is right for you?

The UMass Libraries support Zotero, and Mendeley.  Which tool is right for you?

Tool: Zotero Mendeley
Best if...

You are citing a variety of formats, including web pages: the browser plugin is very adept at detecting source information on the page.

You want to use the Google Docs plugin for collaboration with co-authors.

You want to share PDFs with collaborators: built in PDF reader enables easy annotation and sharing.

You want to be notified of suggested articles in your research area.

You don't use Google Docs for writing. 


Web and desktop components, synced.

Browser add-on to add sources (Zotero Connector) for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.  

Web and desktop components, synced.

Browser plugin to add sources (Mendeley Web Importer) for Firefox and Chrome


Free 300 MB personal storage; counts citation files and PDFs saved online.

Members of Zotero groups can also use Zotero Storage at no additional charge. Group file storage always draws from the storage account of the group owner.

$20/year 2 GB
$60/year 6 GB
$120.00/year unlimited storage

Free 2GB personal storage for personal documents; counts citation files and PDFs saved online.

Purchase more personal storage by upgrading your account.

$4.99/month or $55/yr 5GB
$9.99/month or $110/yr 10GB
$14.99/month or $165/yr unlimited storage

Share with colleagues?

To share, must create a Group.

Choose Public anyone may view or join, Public to view but invitation only to join, or Private, invitation only to join or view.
Invite Group members by email.
Limits to number of members and file storage amount in free account.

To share, must create a Private Group. Public Groups were discontinued in February 2021.

Move library to another tool?



Word processing software integration?

- Word

- Apache LibreOffice

- Google Docs

Third Party plugins available for  LaTeX, TeX, and Plain Text editors
See website for other options.

Mendeley Cite is compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Word Online, Microsoft Word versions 2016 and above and with the Microsoft Word app for iPad®.


Backup file to external hard drive recommended: see step-by-step directions

Sync cloud storage serves as backup.

Mobile site or app?

Desktop program that runs on your computer. Mobile app available.

Desktop program runs on your computer. (MacOS Sierra and High Sierra supported by Mendeley Desktop

Mendeley web library syncs with Desktop. On the Mendeley website you can edit your profile and search for papers, groups or people. You can also access Mendeley's social features.

Library Contact
Melanie Radik
Anne Graham
Anne Graham
Rebecca Reznik-Zellan

Vendor help docs

Zotero support

Mendeley support


Open source project of the Corporation for Digital Scholarship and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media