White papers are a great way to share your latest research findings, experiment data, and breakthroughs with the scientific community. However, trying to strike a balance between writing an engaging paper that’s loaded with data can be tricky.
In fact, during white paper development, you may find yourself going back and forth on educating your readers, balancing scientific facts with readability, and remaining neutral on your contributions to the topic.
There are many pitfalls to white paper writing. In this blog, we teach you how to avoid common writing mistakes and educate you on the benefits of a white paper.
The Definition Of White Paper
A white paper is a popular communication tool for scientists, researchers, and educators. White papers are used to share knowledge, communicate innovations, and position life science brands as thought leaders in their niche. Experts can communicate their ideas effectively through these documents to help make a meaningful impact in their field.
Life science and scientific white papers are in-depth, authoritative reports or guides that help readers understand a particular issue or solve a problem. They are written about specialized topics. White papers are usually more than six pages in length. However, it can be as long as you deem necessary.
White papers are a great way to convey a large volume of scientific information. They can help you position your brand as an authority on a specific topic. In the life sciences industry, white papers are often used to educate and inform healthcare professionals, researchers, and other stakeholders about new developments in the field.
The Benefits of Using White Papers
There are several benefits to using white papers on your life sciences website. These include:
Building brand awareness. By providing valuable information to readers, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche, increase your brand's visibility, and increase credibility.
Generates leads. White papers offer potential customers valuable information and insights on life science topics. A well-written, thought-provoking white paper can build trust and encourage your audience to engage with your brand.
Educates your audience. White papers provide an in-depth analysis of a particular topic and can help your audience understand complex concepts or ideas. This level of education will keep readers coming back to your website.
Enhances brand credibility. White papers can enhance brand credibility by providing evidence-based insights and analysis.
White papers are ideal for building brand awareness and generating leads! In this Co-Labb produced white paper for Mettler-Toledo Rainin, we outlined the importance of correct laboratory operations for startups in order to stay on track during early product development. The paper provides real-world tips and advice, demonstrates Rainin's position as an industry expert, and outlines how their products can improve liquid handling operations.
Tips For Writing a Great Life Science Paper
Writing an excellent life science paper is challenging. To help you out, we've collated six helpful tips that can assist you in creating a white paper. We believe these tips are the most significant factors to remember when writing a life sciences white paper.
Choose a clear and concise title
Your title is the first thing readers will see. It plays a big part in their decision to read your white paper, so your title needs to be clear and attention-grabbing. A good title should accurately reflect your paper's content and grab readers' attention.
Be specific. Your title should give readers a clear idea of what your paper is about. Avoid using vague, generic, or confusing titles that don’t explain the body of your writing.
Use keywords. Incorporate relevant keywords into your title to improve your paper's search engine optimization (SEO). This will make it easier for readers to find your paper when searching for related topics.
Be creative. While keeping your title clear and concise is important, feel free to be creative. A clever, catchy, or funny title can grab readers' attention and engage them from the get-go.
Be mindful of your audience
When writing a technical white paper, your paper should make sense to your audience. For example, you should write in a different tone and style when writing for scientists, healthcare professionals, or the general public.
Use appropriate language, give context and examples, and write clearly and concisely to meet your reader's needs. Write first for your audience and second for your SEO strategy.
Focus on the facts
White paper content should be informative, educational, and factual. Your paper must include reliable data and information to be considered high-quality. This will position your brand as a subject matter expert and enhance readership.
In addition, you should acknowledge your research's limitations, the potential for error, and uncertainty. This will help build trust with your audience and show that you understand the complexities of scientific research.
Don’t try to sell your product or service
Avoid using your scientific white paper as an advert for your business. While you can highlight your services if there is a natural lead-in, this is not the purpose of a white paper.
Your paper should be focused on providing valuable information and insights to your audience, rather than promoting your product or service. Stick to the facts, focus on the science, and avoid using commercial or promotional language.
In addition, you should be transparent about any conflicts of interest or affiliations with the subject you are presenting. This can help your audience evaluate your research and will mitigate brand damage.
Break up large blocks of text
Long paragraphs and dense blocks of text can be intimidating for readers. It can make it difficult for them to follow your ideas and may result in them clicking away.
Use graphs, infographics, and polls to help break up blocks of text and increase readability. You can also use relevant headings, subheadings, and bullet point lists to help readers navigate your white paper.
Remember, a life science white paper aims to present complex information in a clear and accessible way. An overly complicated layout will detract from this goal and reduce readability.
Don’t forget to proofread
Proofreading is a critical step in writing a life science white paper. It's the final check to ensure your paper is error-free and ready for publication.
Once you have finished writing, take a short break before you proof-read. This will allow your brain to reset and help you approach your paper with fresh eyes. You should also use proofreading tools such as spell check and plagiarism checkers to ensure your work is original and highly accurate.
If you’re still finding the process tricky, consider seeking assistance from a professional life science writer.
Use strong visuals
Always bring in a creative graphic designer to bring your white paper to life! Unlike academic manuscripts or blog posts, white papers are usually delivered in downloadable file formats allowing for a fully designed, visually appealing product that engages readers.
In this Co-Labb produced white paper for Kure Oxygen, we utilised strong imagery to bring the story of oxygenated water to life!
A white paper is a report or guide written by a subject matter expert. This communication method can communicate complex scientific concepts, position your brand as a subject matter expert, and share research findings. They are a popular and widely used method of communication in the life sciences industry.
A well-written life science white paper should be objective, informative, and based on scientific findings. When creating a white paper, you should be mindful of your audience, focus on scientific facts, and break up large blocks of text with graphs, images, or bullet point lists. This helps with the flow of your document and enhances readability.
You should avoid selling your product or service during a white paper. Readers access white papers to learn about scientific concepts, not to be sold to. White papers help companies market their products and services by building trust and credibility instead of hard selling.