What is a scientific article?
In general, the scientific article is defined as a written and published report that describes original results of an investigation: it is written for others, not for me.
The scientific article is not a writing that the author keeps for himself, but must be clear enough for third parties to capture the specific message that he really wants to transmit. In other words we can summarize that the scientific article:
- – It is a report on the results of a scientific investigation,
- – They refer to a scientific problem.
- – The results of the investigation must be valid and reliable.
- – Communicate the results of an investigation for the first time
In the Guide for the writing of scientific articles published by UNESCO, it is stated that the essential purpose of a scientific article is to communicate the results of research, ideas, and debates in a clear, concise, and reliable way & write essay today. That is why to write a good scientific article you have to learn and apply the three fundamental principles of scientific writing:
Writing a scientific article does not mean having special gifts, but requires skills and creative abilities that any researcher can learn.
How is a scientific article organized?
There are different criteria on the organization of the scientific article and that the researcher can take into account when writing it:
|IMRYD system||Scheme 1||Scheme 2|
|– introduction – Methodology – Results – Discussion||– introduction – Material and methods- Results – Discussion||– Abstract: summarizes the content of the article. – Introduction: informs the purpose and importance of the work. – Materials and methods: explain how the research was done. – Results: presents the experimental data. – Discussion: explains the results and compares them with previous knowledge of the topic. – Cited literature: lists the references cited in the text.|
Some authors disaggregate the Conclusions section, while others consider it within the Discussion.
What are the rules to keep in mind when preparing a scientific article?
- – Title: it must be expressed in 15 words that describe the content of the article in a clear, exact and concise way.
- – Note up to a maximum of six authors according to the order of importance of their material and significant contribution to the research.
- – Identify the institution or institutions where the research was carried out
- – Include a structured abstract, which between 150 and 300 words quickly and accurately identifies the basic content of the article.
- – Introduction: must explain the general problem, the research problem, what others wrote about it and the objectives and hypotheses of the study.
- – Methods: describe the design of the research and explain how it was carried out, justifying the choice of methods and techniques in such a way that a competent reader can repeat the study.
- – Present the description according to the sequence followed by the investigation: design, population and sample, variables, data collection, analysis, etc.
- – Present the results of the study mentioning the relevant findings (even those contrary to the hypothesis), including sufficient details to justify the conclusions.
- – Use the most appropriate, clear and economical means of presentation: preferably text (in the past tense), tables and graphics (self explanatory) and illustrations (only the essential ones).
- – In the discussion show the relationships between the observed facts.
- – Establish conclusions by inferring or deducing a truth, answering the research question posed in the introduction.
- – In the acknowledgments section, acknowledge the collaboration of people or institutions who really helped in the research, who collaborated in the writing of the article or revised the manuscript.
- – List the bibliographic references according to the order of mention in the text and only important works and recent publications (except classics).
- – Exclude references not consulted by the author. Embrace the Vancouver style.
- – Include in the form of Appendices the relevant information that, due to its length or configuration, does not fit within the text.
In the scientific article we can find several main sections:
1. The title
The title should be short, concise and clear. It is advisable that the title be written after writing the core of the manuscript (introduction, material-methods, results and discussion).
Titles can be informative (“High incidence of myocardial infarction in smokers”) or indicative (“Incidence of myocardial infarction in smokers”).
2. How to write a summary?
A good summary should allow the reader to identify, quickly and accurately, the basic content of the work; It must not have more than 250 words and it must be written in the past tense, except for the last paragraph or conclusive sentence. You should not provide information or conclusion that is not present in the text, nor should you cite bibliographic references. The problem being investigated and its objective must be clear.
In general, the Summary should:
- – Set out the main objectives and scope of the investigation.
- – Describe the methodology used.
- – Summarize the results
- – Generalize with the main conclusions.
- The most frequent errors in the writing of the abstract are:
- – Not clearly posing the question
- – be too long
- – Being too detailed
- – The Introduction is therefore the presentation of a question
- – Why this work has been done
- – The interest it has in the scientific context
- – Previous work on the subject and what aspects are not clear, which constitute the object of our research.
- – The last paragraph of the introduction is used to summarize the objective of the study.
4. Material and methods
Answer the question “how the study was done”.
The materials and methods section is organized into five areas:
1) Design: the design of the experiment is described (randomized, controlled, cases and controls, clinical trial, prospective, etc.)
2) Population on which the study has been carried out. Describe the sample frame and how your selection was made
3) Environment: indicates where the study was carried out (hospital, primary care, school, etc.).
4) Interventions: techniques, treatments (always use generic names), measurements and units, pilot tests, devices and technology, etc. are described.
5) Statistical analysis: indicates the statistical methods used and how the data has been analyzed.
It includes the tables and figures that clearly express the results of the study carried out by the researcher.
The results must serve two functions:
1) Express the results of the experiments described in the Material and Methods.
2) Present the evidence that supports such results, either in the form of figures, tables or in the text itself.
The first paragraph of this text should be used to summarize in a concise, clear and direct sentence, the main finding of the study. This section must be written using the verbs in the past.
Most readers will go after reading the abstract (although experts recommend that after reading the title, the first thing to read is the materials and methods) and the more complex section to compose and organize.
Some suggestions may help
- – Begin the Discussion with the answer to the question in the Introduction, followed immediately with the evidence set forth in the corroborating results.
- – Write this section in the present tense (“these data indicate that”), because the findings of the work are already considered scientific evidence.
- – Bring out and comment clearly, instead of hiding them, the anomalous results, giving them an explanation as coherent as possible or simply saying that this is what you have found, although at the moment there is no explanation. If the author doesn’t, the publisher will surely do it.
- – Speculate and theorize with imagination and logic. This can pique your readers’ interest.
- – Include any recommendations you deem appropriate, if appropriate.
- – And, above all, avoid drawing more conclusions than your results allow, no matter how much those conclusions are less spectacular than those expected or desired.
The bibliography will be cited according to the regulations required by the chosen journal or the scientific Editorial, for this reason there are different internationally recognized standards that must be taken into account by the researcher.
The level of updating of the scientific article will be determined according to the bibliographies consulted and found in the last 5 years of publication.
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