Writing Support

I. Learning How to Write a Report/Paper

I.1. What is a report/paper?

A paper (academic paper, thesis, dissertation) is basically a statement that is structured as shown below, has a certain form, and explains an opinion to the reader on a certain theme with a logical reason. To explain your research clearly to readers, it is also important to devise the expression of titles and abstracts and to organize the composition of sentences.
A report is basically composed in the same way as a paper. It is a piece of writing on a theme or subject given in a class. It would be good to explain the content of the subject or theme based on the lecture, write what you want to do (introduction), write what you have found by researching (body), and end with your own thoughts (conclusion), so that the report is logically developed. An abstract and keywords are not required. Always include a list of references (bibliography) at the end.


Structure of an academic paper
*This paper is fictional

Figure : Structure of an academic paper *This paper is fictional

 I.2. Read reference books

 Many books have been published about how to write reports and papers. It might be helpful to refer to these books when you start writing a report/paper.
You can also borrow such books from the library. Search by inputting "how to write a paper" in the University of Tokyo Library OPAC.
When you browse books in a bookstack, refer to the NDC classification below. However, all libraries do not necessarily classify books in NDC. In libraries where books are sorted by NDC, you can expect to find such books on shelves around 407 and 816.5, so pick up a book that looks good in front of those shelves.


I.3. Participate in academic reporting and paper writing support services on campus

Here are some support services on campus. Please check the details on each site and use it actively.
Some are not listed here. Contact each department for services provided by your department.

 Komaba Writers' Studio(KWS)

◆ English wRIting Consultant (ERIC) / Division of Global Education, IIIEE, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo

  • International students at the University of Tokyo who have been trained as writing tutors provide guidance and feedback on the writing skills of students and staff at the University of Tokyo for scientific theses in English (such as presentations at academic conferences, articles published in academic journals, etc.) and career-related documents (such as resumes and documents for studying abroad).
    • Target: All students and staff

◆ English Editing Support Service (Kashiwa) / Kashiwa International Office

  • Target: Students, Researchers and employees at the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus

『UTokyo Writing Resources』site (The Office for Advancement of Research Administrators)

  • UTokyo Writing Resources is a place for researchers and students at the University of Tokyo to gather information on writing and submitting papers in English. This site mainly provides information on writing and submitting “papers in English” in the natural sciences.
    • Nature Masterclasses Online courses are offered.
      This service is available to all members of the University of Tokyo for a one-year period from April 15, 2022 to April 14, 2023.
      There are 10 courses focusing on data analysis and presentation of research results (writing papers and presentations), and you can take only the parts you need on-demand.
      (Please refer to the above page for details.)

◆ A page that can be a reference for all students

◆ Writing Support as class subjects
 Latest opening status and contents, etc.

I.4. Participate in training sessions

◆ Training sessions
Training session on how to find papers and use reference management software are held at each campus throughout the year. We also offer free on-site and custom classes.

◆ Seminar on how to write a paper

 Seminars are usually held in November every year. (3 times in a series)
 Refer to past documents.
 * Refer to Slide of the day => Training session menu -> Textbooks for database training sessions

 Reference: Past events
                  Please refer to the calendar for the previous November. (Japanese only)
◆ External training sessions conducted by publishers, etc.
 Schedule is announced on Literacy’s Twitter at any time.

II.1. Composition of the paper

There is a structure called IMRaD for writing scientific papers. IMRaD is an acronym for Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.
■ Title of the paper
■ Bibliographic information (journal title, author name, affiliated institution, year of publication, volume, page numbers)
■ Abstract
■ Keywords
■ Introduction / ■Methods / ■Results / and ■Discussion
■ References
■ Acknowledgments

Where do I start in terms of structure? What should I write? The books on the reference list (To be a successful researcher: use organizational power to research by Shuji Hasegawa; Books that science students should read first! How to write a science paper in English: Understanding of science paper structure by IMRaD by Akiko Katayama, Takahiro Nakajima, and Yukiko Mishina; etc.) provide recommended methods and alternative methods.
Refer to "Textbook for writing a paper" Paper contribution session Research method useful to write a paper (on campus only) on page of textbooks for training sessions.

II.2. How to prepare bibliography and citation lists

The bibliography style is determined by each academic society or journal.
Check the submission rules (guide for authors) and writing outline of the target journal. You can check it on the websites of academic societies and journals. When you check these websites, you may find a description such as “As a rule, refer to APA style for reference style.”

Check the examples below to see how the same journal article is listed as a reference in SIST02 style and APA style, respectively.

There are also rules of writing for each medium.
Depending on whether you are citing a book, part of a book, an e-book, etc., a different style is used for listing them in the references.

  • "Understanding Bibliographies  -Important points for locating documents-  by Literacy Section" introduces examples of descriptions for each medium based on the SIST02 style. Please refer to it when you look at the reference list distributed in class.
  • The SIST02 style is often used for Japanese citation styles, but its updating stopped at the end of FY2011. Vancouver style is also often used as a numbered style.
Other materials

"How to read a bibliography for beginners" is provided for those who are not familiar.
There is a style guide that shows how to create a bibliography and a guide for writing and submitting articles to each academic society. The following is an example. Check the style guide and submission guide for the academic society you need.
Reference management software is convenient for preparing a bibliography instead of using Word or Excel.

  • "Understanding Bibliographies  -Important points for locating documents-  by Literacy Section" introduces examples of descriptions for each medium based on the SIST02 style. Please refer to it when you look at the reference list distributed in class.
  • The SIST02 style is often used for Japanese citation styles, but its updating stopped at the end of FY2011. Vancouver style is also often used as a numbered style.
Other materials

"How to read a bibliography for beginners" is provided for those who are not familiar.
There is a style guide that shows how to create a bibliography and a guide for writing and submitting articles to each academic society. The following is an example. Check the style guide and submission guide for the academic society you need.
Reference management software is convenient for preparing a bibliography instead of using Word or Excel.

II.3. Using quotations in text

Citations in a paper (citation in text) should also follow the style specified by academic societies and journals.


When you write a paper that is to be posted to academic journal, there may be detailed rules such as how to create figures and tables, the length of the text, how to create paragraphs, and use of abbreviations, in addition to how to write references and in-text citations. There are other rules for posting (such as posting qualifications), so if there is a journal you want to submit your paper to, check the submission rules and the guideline before writing.

II.4. Reference management software

It is difficult to manage the bibliographic information of collected papers by inputting it into Word or Excel and to create a bibliography. It is also difficult to manually arrange references and quotations in the text in accordance with the guide for writing.

“Reference management software” can be used in such situations. It is a management tool that allows you to manage bibliographic information altogether. You can easily create a bibliography or a citation list.You can easily organize your bibliography list and in-text citations by choosing the journal to submit your paper to or a defined style.

Using reference management software when writing a paper can reduce the effort involved in creating and maintaining a bibliography list. We encourage you to use it when you just start preparing a report.
"The reference management software looks useful, but I do not know how to use it...." If so, please join a session on this topic. We hold lectures regularly. Click Events in the left menu!

II.5. Prohibiting plagiarism, and research ethics

◆ Precautions regarding quoted material

When you use the academic information you have collected in your reports or papers, you need to make a bibliography to clearly distinguish such information from your own work and to identify the sources so that you do not plagiarize other research results.
Bibliographies are intended to acknowledge the work of other authors and to help readers follow the arguments. Keep in mind the following points when you prepare a bibliography.

  • Be precise when citing 
    References should be thoroughly and accurately cited and used in accordance with the original intent of the author. Also, avoid quoting directly from quotations of other documents.
  • Provide accurate information regarding the source of the citation
    In order for the reader to return to the original material, it is important to include the author's name, title, and page number correctly.
  • Others 
    • Whether the paper to be cited is a reliable paper (check if the paper you searched on Google Scholar is listed in the literature database purchased by the University of Tokyo).
    • The paper of the first discoverer (the paper that describes the law or concept first) must be cited.

◆ Other precautions regarding writing articles

Conflicts of Interest and authorship should also be addressed. The following material for on-campus training session is helpful. (See pages 63 to 75.)

英語論文投稿入門 =Introduction to contributing a paper in English (on campus only) [PDF/Elsevier Japan K.K.] (Autumn 2021) 

  • Copies of materials in the library⦁    Some libraries have copy machines to copy materials in the library.
    In accordance with Article 31 of the Copyright Act, only a partial copy of materials in the library is permitted per person.
    In addition, you cannot copy the entire book. Please check the application form before copying in each library.
  • Electronic production
    As information provided on the Internet, such as academic information databases, e-journals, and writings, photographs, and figures on a website are works of authorship like books and journals owned by libraries, author rights are protected by the Copyright Act. You are not allowed to:
    • quote sentences or illustrations from a web page without permission of a copyright holder and use them for your web page or report without specifying the source;
    • publish music CDs, games, or images from magazines sold on the market on your web page or in your report without permission from the author; or
    • copy your friend’s commercially available software without permission.

◆ Reference books and sites regarding copyright

◆ Reference books on research ethics
Many books about research ethics have been published. It might be helpful to read these books when you just start to write your paper.
You can also borrow such books from the library.

(Reference Information)
・Search by inputting "research ethics" in the University of Tokyo Library OPAC.
 1. Research Ethics for Students in the Social Sciences. Springer International Publishing, 2020

When you write a paper, make sure also to check the following materials.

◆On campus

◆Off campus

III. Publish a Paper

III.1. Submit a paper to a journal

  • When considering which academic journals to submit your paper to, it is helpful to listen to the advice of senior researchers or teachers who are engaged in studying the same field in the laboratory you belong to.
  • It may be helpful for you to check if the journal you are considering publishing your papers in is included in major databases and to check the publishing company and website (such as the journal’s Overview and Aims and Scope) to browse the target readers and target fields of the journal.
  • Depending on the database, it is also possible to search papers by theme and check the journals carrying that theme. It might be helpful to know the types of journals that tend to carry papers on the same research theme.
  • There is also a database that allows you to narrow down the search to papers written by members of the University of Tokyo. The journals to which the teachers have submitted their papers may be helpful. Search the database of the target research field.

■Utilization of indicators
The following academic journal evaluation tools are available as a reference database for your own research.。

  • JCR(Journal Citation Reports)allows you to check the impact factor of the journal. The impact factor is an indicator of the impact of the journal. However, please note the following: 
    • Only the number of paper citations in the past two years is used.
    • Averages are used (may be affected by outliers (highly cited papers)).
    • Value standards vary by field. 
      • Numbers cannot be compared between different fields.
      • As journals in a comprehensive field have a broader target audience, the value tends to be higher.
      • More specialized journals tend to have lower value, as they have a smaller audience than general journals.
      • Reference: Writing a paper for a broader target audience in a comprehensive field is more difficult (papers that non-specialists can easily understand are requested). It is less difficult to post your paper to a journal with a special field with limited audience.
    • ⦁    It is updated annually.
      Journal Citation Reports Training & Support - Web of Science Group (
  • Check the "CiteScore" in Scopus.

■ Others

  • Find Journals  For Elsevier journals
    A service that allows you to enter the title of your paper, abstract, keywords, and field of study in English, and it will show you potential journals to submit to.
  • Journal suggester For Nature Springer journals
  • Journal Finder (Beta) For Wiley journals
    • Manuscript Matcher It is available within EndNote. See also here. (Provided by Clarivate)  Click here for the introductory blog.

There is a method called "Open Access" that makes papers widely available to the public free of charge in order to have them read by a large number of readers. However, malicious publishing activities such as soliciting paper submissions only for the purpose of earning Open Access submission fees without conducting proper peer review and quality control as an academic journal are considered to be a problem. Please refer to the following documents for more information.

III.2. Review

Review is the process by which experts (reviewers and referees) read an academic article submitted to a journal and assess the appropriateness of the article for publication in the journal.

  • Many of the reference books also describe the interactions with reviewers. Most of the books note to “be respectful, polite, calm, and logical in your interactions with the reviewers.”  "Introduction to contributing a paper in English" (on campus only) [PDF/Elsevier Japan K.K.] (Autumn 2021) can be used as reference.
  • Web of Science Academy  [provided by Clarivate] is a free online course. You can learn about the peer-review process on this site. You can understand the viewpoint of a reviewer.
  • If a paper is rejected, you can post the paper to other journals -> It is easy to change the format by creating a reference list using Reference management software.

III.3. Make the paper open access

Open access means that an academic paper is made available on the internet for free so that anyone can freely access it. There are two main approaches to making a paper open access, referred to as green road and gold road.
Green road: A method in which researchers make their papers open access by publishing them in institutional repositories. When posting a paper, etc. in the UTokyo Repository (※1), this method is used for open access.
Gold road: A method of open access by making the journal itself free.
Readers do not have to pay a subscription fee. The author bears the cost (※2) of publication in the journal/magazine.

In addition to posting a paper to journals that adopt open access, you can make your paper open access by publishing it in the UTokyo Repository(*).
(*) Academic Institutional Repository is a system in which academic institutions such as universities store and publish research results such as papers.
The following documents provide information about open access.

  • Open Access Handbook
  • Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association Members ⦁    This is the site of the “Open Access Academic Publishers Association (OASPA),” an industrial association established in 2008. Participation requirements for this association include conducting appropriate review by outside experts and indicating review processes and policies on the websites of journals and publishers.
    It can be used as a reference tool for judging the credibility of the publisher.

*1 UTokyo Repository is a service that compiles academic results of the University of Tokyo and distributes them widely to public. Academic results include papers posted to academic journals by faculty members and students at the University of Tokyo, academic dissertations, bulletins, and publications prepared by organizations affiliated with the University of Tokyo. We accept applications for academic information to be distributed at any time. URL:
*2 The cost borne by the author is called "APC” (Article Processing Charge). Some journals offer discounts for members of the University of Tokyo. For more information, please see the APC page on the website of the University Library.
*3 Open Access Handbook URL:

IV. References and Links

  • How do I use databases and e-journals off campus?
    Please refer to here (Left Menu: use from off-campus)

  • If you have any questions:
    Use the ASK service.

IV. 1. Abbreviations and terms used in the bibliography

Abbreviations may be used in the bibliography to avoid complication. Please note that even words with similar meanings may be used in different ways.

Abbreviation original meaning Japanese
Ann. Annales 年報、紀要
Annu. Annual 年報、年鑑
anon. anonymous 作者不詳の、匿名の
app. appendix 付録
Arch. Archives 記録集
art. article 論文、記事
Aufl. Auflage
Bd. Band
Beil. Beilage 追録、補遺
Bull. Bulletin 会報、報告、紀要
c. copyright 著作権
c., ca. circa 約、略
cf. confer(=compare) 比較、参照、参照せよ
ch., chap. chapter
col. column
comp. compiler 編纂者
comp. compiled by XX XXにより編纂された
conf. conference 会議
cong. congress 議会、会議
corr. correction 校正、訂正版
d. died
Diss. Dissertation 学位論文
do. ditto 同前
doc. document 文書、書類
Einl., Einleitg. Einleitung 序論
ed. editor 編(集)者
ed. edition
ed. edited by XX XXにより編集された
e.g. exempli gratia(=for example)
enl. enlarged 増補された
et al. et alii, et aliae( =and others) およびその他
etc. et cetera( =and so on) など
ex. exanple, example 用例
f., ff. and the following pages 及びそれに続くページ
fac., facsim. facsimile 複写、複製
fasc. fascicle 分冊
fig., figs. figure(-s) 図、図解、挿絵
front. frontispiece とびら、口絵
hb., hbk. hardback ハードカバー本(本装丁)
Hft. Heft 分冊、号
Hg. Herausgeber 編者
ibid. ibi’dem 前掲誌、同誌
id. idem 同上、同書
i.e. id est すなわち
ill., illus. illustration 挿絵
inc. including 含む
inc. incorporated 組み込まれた
inf. infra 下に、以下に
intro., introd. introduction 序文
J., jour. journal 雑誌、学会誌
l., ll. line(-s)
l.c., loc.cit. loco citato 上記引用文中に
mimeo mimeograph 謄写版印刷物(手稿コピーなど)
m.s., mss. manuscript(-s) 原稿、写本
N/A not applicable / not available 適用不可、該当なし/利用不可
n., nn note(-s) 注釈
n.d. no date of publication 出版年記載なし
no. number
n.p. no place of publication 発行地記載なし
n.pag. no pagination 頁付けなし
n.s. new series 新シリーズ
NS New Style 新暦
op.cit. opera citat 前掲(引用)書に
p., pp. page(-s) ページ
par. paragraph 節、段落
pat. patent 特許
pb., pbk. paperback ペーパーバック本(紙表紙本)
pl. plate 図版
pl. plural 複数の
pref. preface 序文、前置き、はしがき
proc. proceedings 議事録、会報
pseudo. pseudonym 雅号、ペンネーム
Pt., pt. part 部、部分、分冊
pub., publ. publisher 出版者
pub., publ. publication 出版物、逐次刊行物
pub., publ. published by XX XXの出版
rev. review, reviews 評論誌
rev.ed. revised edition 改訂版
rpt., repn. reprint, reprinted 重版、翻刻
sec., sect. section 節、段落、欄
s.l. sine loco(=no place of publication) 出版地不明
s.n. sine nomie(=without name) 作者不詳
ser. series 双書、シリーズ
supp. supplement 補遺
symp. symposium シンポジウム、討論会
t., tom tome 巻(仏)
tab. table リスト、目録
T.O.C table of contents 目次
t.p. title page 表紙
t.p.verso title page verso 裏表紙
T.R. technical report テクニカル・レポート
tr., trans. translator, translation 翻訳
trans. transaction 会報、紀要
v., vid. vide XXを見よ
viz. videlicet すなわち
v., vol., vols. volume(-s)
Z. Zeitschrift 雑誌