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HOW TO WRITE A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE

1. Schedule your writing time in Outlook

❶The abstract is a summary of the article or study written in 3 rd person allowing the readers to get a quick glance of what the contents of the article include. One reason for using this format is that it is a means of efficiently communicating scientific findings to the broad community of scientists in a uniform manner.

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Digital figures Scans or existing files as well as new photographs must be at least dpi. All photographs should be provided as separate files jpeg or tif preferred and not be embedded in the paper.

Quality and clarity of figures are essential for reproduction purposes and should be considered before taking images for the manuscript. A video of an exercise or procedure speaks a thousand words. Please consider using short video clips as descriptive additions to your paper. Maximum cumulative length of videos is 5 minutes.

Each video segment may not exceed 50 MB, and each video clip must be saved as a separate file and clearly identified. Carefully consider placement of, naming of, and location of figures. It makes the job of the editors much easier! Avoid Plagiarism and inadvertent lack of citations. Finally, use citations to your benefit. Cite frequently in order to avoid any plagiarism. If it is not your original idea, give credit where credit is due. When using direct quotations, provide not only the number of the citation, but the page where the quote was found.

All citations should appear in text as a superscripted number followed by punctuation. It is the authors' responsibility to fully ensure all references are cited in completed form, in an accurate location. Please carefully follow the instructions for citations and check that all references in your reference list are cited in the paper and that all citations in the paper appear correctly in the reference list.

Sometimes written as an afterthought, the abstract is of extreme importance as in many instances this section is what is initially previewed by readership to determine if the remainder of the article is worth reading.

This is the authors opportunity to draw the reader into the study and entice them to read the rest of the article. The abstract is a summary of the article or study written in 3 rd person allowing the readers to get a quick glance of what the contents of the article include. Writing an abstract is rather challenging as being brief, accurate and concise are requisite. The headings and structure for an abstract are usually provided in the instructions for authors. In some instances, the abstract may change slightly pending content revisions required during the peer review process.

Therefore it often works well to complete this portion of the manuscript last. Remember the abstract should be able to stand alone and should be as succinct as possible. The introduction is one of the more difficult portions of the manuscript to write. Past studies are used to set the stage or provide the reader with information regarding the necessity of the represented project.

For an introduction to work properly, the reader must feel that the research question is clear, concise, and worthy of study. A competent introduction should include at least four key concepts: Don't reach or include too broad of a literature review. For example, do not include extraneous information about performance or prevention if your research does not actually address those things. The literature review of a scientific paper is not an exhaustive review of all available knowledge in a given field of study.

That type of thorough review should be left to review articles or textbook chapters. Throughout the introduction and later in the discussion! Conclude your introduction with a solid statement of your purpose s and your hypothesis es , as appropriate. The purpose and objectives should clearly relate to the information gap associated with the given manuscript topic discussed earlier in the introduction section.

The methods section should clearly describe the specific design of the study and provide clear and concise description of the procedures that were performed. The purpose of sufficient detail in the methods section is so that an appropriately trained person would be able to replicate your experiments.

To assist in writing and manuscript preparation there are several checklists or guidelines that are available on the IJSPT website. Initially a brief paragraph should explain the overall procedures and study design. Within this first paragraph there is generally a description of inclusion and exclusion criteria which help the reader understand the population used. Paragraphs that follow should describe in more detail the procedures followed for the study.

A clear description of how data was gathered is also helpful. For example were data gathered prospectively or retrospectively? Who if anyone was blinded, and where and when was the actual data collected? Although it is a good idea for the authors to have justification and a rationale for their procedures, these should be saved for inclusion into the discussion section, not to be discussed in the methods section.

However, occasionally studies supporting components of the methods section such as reliability of tests, or validation of outcome measures may be included in the methods section.

The final portion of the methods section will include the statistical methods used to analyze the data. In most journals the results section is separate from the discussion section.

It is important that you clearly distinguish your results from your discussion. The results section should describe the results only. The discussion section should put those results into a broader context. Again, be thoughtful about content and structure. Think carefully about where content is placed in the overall structure of your paper.

It is not appropriate to bring up additional results, not discussed in the results section, in the discussion. Thus, the discussion should not simply be a repeat of the results section. Carefully discuss where your information is similar or different from other published evidence and why this might be so. What was different in methods or analysis, what was similar? As previously stated, stick to your topic at hand, and do not overstretch your discussion!

One of the major pitfalls in writing the discussion section is overstating the significance of your findings 4 or making very strong statements. For example, it is better to say: Maintain a sense of humbleness, as nothing is without question in the outcomes of any type of research, in any discipline!

Be sure to carefully address all relevant results, not just the statistically significant ones or the ones that support your hypotheses. Remember, just as in the introduction and literature review, evidence or results cannot draw conclusions, just as previously stated, only people, scientists, researchers, and authors can!

This is not just a restatement of your results, rather is comprised of some final, summative statements that reflect the flow and outcomes of the entire paper. Do not include speculative statements or additional material; however, based upon your findings a statement about potential changes in clinical practice or future research opportunities can be provided here. Writing for publication can be a challenging yet satisfying endeavor.

A few suggestions have been offered in this commentary that may assist the novice or the developing writer to attempt, polish, and perfect their approach to scholarly writing. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Int J Sports Phys Ther. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Journal submission, scientific writing, strategies and tips. CONTENT Abstract Sometimes written as an afterthought, the abstract is of extreme importance as in many instances this section is what is initially previewed by readership to determine if the remainder of the article is worth reading. Introduction and Review of Literature The introduction is one of the more difficult portions of the manuscript to write.

Examples of well-stated purposes by submission type. Type of Submission Example purpose Original Research Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the volume of pitching for pitchers from multiple college teams at the Division I level.

Systematic Review of the Literature Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the association between training characteristics and running related injuries. Case Report The purpose of this case report is to describe the non-surgical management of a professional athlete with the characteristic signs and symptoms of a sports hernia.

Clinical Suggestion The purpose of this clinical commentary is to review types of integumentary wounds that may occur in sport, and their acute management. Open in a separate window. Methods The methods section should clearly describe the specific design of the study and provide clear and concise description of the procedures that were performed. The methods describes both specific techniques and the overall experimental strategy used by the scientists.

Generally, the methods section does not need to be read in detail. Refer to this section if you have a specific question about the experimental design. The results section contains the data collected during experimention. The results section is the heart of a scientific paper. In this section, much of the important information may be in the form of tables or graphs. When reading this section, do not readily accept an author's statements about the results.

Rather, carefully analyze the raw data in tables and figures to draw your own conclusions. Authors often use the discussion to describe what their work suggests and how it relates to other studies. In this section, authors can anticipate and address any possible objections to their work.

The discussion section is also a place where authors can suggest areas of improvement for future research. The acknowledgments tell you what people or institutions in addition to the authors contributed to the work.

In reading the acknowledgments, you can see what sources provided financial support for the study. You might want to know an industry group or the federal government funded the study.

The title will help you to determine if an article is interesting or relevant for your project. Well-written titles give a reasonably complete description of the study that was conducted, and sometimes even foreshadow the findings.

Included in a title are the species studied, the kinds of experiments performed, and perhaps a brief indication of the results obtained. Abstracts provide you with a complete, but very succinct summary of the paper. An introduction usually describes the theoretical background, indicates why the work is important, states a specific research question, and poses a specific hypothesis to be tested. The discussion section will explain the authors interpret their data and how they connect it to other work.


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What is the structure of a scientific paper? All scientific papers have the same general format. They are divided into distinct sections and each section contains a .

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Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure outlined below.

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The scientific format may seem confusing for the beginning science writer due to its rigid structure which is so different from writing in the humanities. One reason for using this format is that it is a means of efficiently communicating scientific findings to the broad community of scientists in a uniform manner. One of the most important aspects of science is ensuring that you get all the parts of the written research paper in the right order. As long as you have planned a good structure for the parts of a research paper, both approaches are acceptable and it is a matter of preference.

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HOW TO WRITE A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE. Barbara J. Hoogenboom, PT, EdD, SCS, Think carefully about where content is placed in the overall structure of your paper. It is not appropriate to bring up additional results, not discussed in the results section, in the discussion. How to write the methods section of a research paper. Respir Care. Standard Scientific Research Paper Components Scientific papers generally follow a conventional format that includes a title, an abstract, a reference (or Literature Cited) section and the components of the IMRAD structure.