Research Paper Writing Guidelines For Authors

Science: Information for authors

Categories of manuscripts

Preparing your manuscript

Submitting your manuscript

Manuscript selection

Science is a weekly, peer-reviewed journal that publishes significant original scientific research, plus reviews and analyses of current research and science policy. We seek to publish papers that are influential in their fields or across fields and that will substantially advance scientific understanding. Selected papers should present novel and broadly important data, syntheses, or concepts. We welcome submissions from all fields of science and from any source.

Manuscripts should be submitted at our manuscript submission and information portal https://cts.sciencemag.org. The status of submitted manuscripts can also be tracked at this portal.

Authors should familiarize themselves with the overall editorial policies for the Science Journals before submitting their paper. These policies spell out the rights and responsibilities that authors agree to when submitting and publishing their papers. Access this information here.

Categories of manuscripts

Peer-Reviewed Research Manuscripts

Research Articles (up to ~4500 words, including references, notes and captions–corresponds to ~5 printed pages in the journal) are expected to present a major advance. Research Articles include an abstract, an introduction, up to six figures or tables, sections with brief subheadings, and about 40 references. Materials and Methods should be included in supplementary materials, which should also include information needed to support the paper's conclusions.

Science also accepts a few Research Articles for online presentation. These are expected to present significant research results that cannot be fully presented in the print format and merit the extra length and attention provided by this presentation. The cover letter should indicate why the additional length is merited. These can be up to 8000 words and include methods, additional figures and potentially videos, as part of the main article. Additional supplementary materials which include information needed to support the paper's conclusions, are allowed. The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and a structured abstract will be included in the print version. A pdf of the full article can be downloaded.

Reports (up to ~2500 words including references, notes and captions–corresponds to ~3 printed pages in the journal) present important new research results of broad significance. Reports should include an abstract, an introductory paragraph, up to four figures or tables, and about 30 references. Materials and Methods should be included in supplementary materials, which should also include information needed to support the paper's conclusions.

Reviews All Reviews, except reviews in Special Issues, are now published online, where additional length, references, and enhanced media, are possible. The full text will be included in all digital versions of Science, and an enhanced abstract consisting of 550-600 words divided into 3 sections headed Background, Advances, and Outlook will be included in the print version. Reviews can be up to 6000 words and include up to 100 references, and 4-6 figures or tables. Reviews do not contain supplementary material. They should describe and synthesize recent developments of interdisciplinary significance and highlight future directions. They include an abstract, an introduction that outlines the main themes, brief subheadings, and an outline of important unresolved questions. Unsolicited offers of Reviews are considered. Proposals in the form of an enhanced abstract, one figure, and a list of 5-10 of the most important recent citations should be emailed to science_editors@aaas.org 

Commentary 

Science's Insights section presents analysis by scientists and other experts on issues of interest to Science readers. With the exception of Letters, eLetters, and Technical Comments, most items in this section are commissioned by the editors, but unsolicited contributions are welcome. Perspectives and Policy Forums should include an abstract. Commentary material may be peer reviewed at the Editors' discretion.

  • Perspectives (up to 1000 words plus 1 figure) highlight recent exciting research, but do not primarily discuss the author's own work. They may provide context for the findings within a field or explain potential interdisciplinary importance. Perspectives that comment on papers in Science should add a dimension to the research and not merely be a summary of the experiments described in the paper. Although many Perspectives that comment on research published in Science are solicited, we welcome inquiries regarding new advances and fresh insights. As these are meant to express a personal viewpoint, with rare exceptions, Perspectives should have no more than two authors.
  • Books or Media Reviews (up to 800 words) feature commentary on new books, films, exhibitions, performances, mobile applications, podcasts, and other media that are likely to be of broad interest to our readership. Please contact the Book Review Editor before you begin preparing your book or media review, indicating why you believe the work would be of interest to Science readers, and why you are well-positioned to write the review.
  • Policy Forums (1000 to 2000 words, 1-2 figures, and up to 15 references) presents issues related to the intersections between science and society that have policy implications.
  • Letters (up to 300 words) discuss material published in Science in the last 3 months or issues of general interest. Letters should be submitted through our Manuscript Submission and Information Portal (https://cts.sciencemag.org). Letters may be reviewed. The author of a paper in question is usually given an opportunity to reply. Letter submissions are acknowledged upon receipt by Science’s automatic system, but letter writers are not always consulted before publication. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space. Letters rejected for print publication may be posted as eLetters.
  • eLetters are brief online comments that can be submitted in response to papers or news stories published in Science. eLetters are submitted on the Science website, evaluated, and posted with the article if accepted. Authors are identified and must agree to our terms and conditions (http://www.sciencemag.org/about/terms-service). 
  • Technical Comments (up to 1000 words, 2 figures or tables, 15 references, and no Supplementary Materials), are published online and critique the core conclusions and/or methodology of research published in Science within the previous 3 months. The abstract (60 words or less) will be included in the Letters section of the print edition. Technical Comments should not present new data or other previously unpublished work nor be based on new findings/concepts that would not have been accessible to the authors when the paper was written. Pertinent comments on non-technical aspects of a paper should be submitted as eLetters. Authors of Technical Comments should contact the authors of the paper before submitting their manuscript, and should submit to Science the relevant correspondence. Technical Comments that are accepted will be posted online along with a formal reply from the authors of the original paper. 

Preparing your manuscript

We accept submissions only online at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Preparing a manuscript that follows our guidelines concerning length, style and acceptable file formats will facilitate the evaluation process.

See Guidelines for Preparing a New Manuscript. Revised manuscripts for the most part follow the same style guidelines, however there are some differences, particularly in figure preparation. See Guidelines for Preparing a Revised Manuscript.

Back to Top

Submitting your manuscript

Authors and reviewers must have an account to sign into our manuscript submission and information portal at https://cts.sciencemag.org. If you do not have an account, you will need to create one, but then can use this account for any future submissions to Science Journals. At the manuscript submission and information portal, you will first accept terms regarding submission of a manuscript to Science. For details on our policies see Editorial Policies.

The main submission form is a series of tabbed windows, which you can move among by clicking the tabs at the top of the form. (The form may be filled out in any order.) You will move between the following tabs.

  1. Authors: Names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses for all authors, including designation of at least one as corresponding author. An ORCID ID is required for first and corresponding authors and is strongly encouraged for all authors.

  2. Manuscript Information:

    • The Article type you are submitting (see a description of manuscript types.)

    • The title of your manuscript (96 character maximum for Research Articles and Reports)

    • Short title (40 character maximum)

    • Field codes (select one or two fields/disciplines that describe your manuscript)

    • A cover letter which should include

      • Reference to any pre-submission discussions with editors.
      • The title of the paper and a statement of its main point.
      • Any information needed to ensure a fair review process, including related manuscripts submitted to other journals.
      • Names of colleagues who have reviewed the paper.
      • A statement that none of the material has been published or is under consideration for publication elsewhere.
      • For investigations on humans, a statement indicating that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the studies were explained.
      • For authors using laboratory animals, a statement that the animals' care was in accordance with institutional guidelines.
      • Specification of where all data underlying the study are available, or will be deposited, and whether there are any restrictions on data availability such as an MTA.
      • Information on any reference material or additional data files uploaded to the Auxiliary files section (see below).
      • Please also upload a .docx version of your cover letter – see below.
    • You will have the opportunity to request a specific editor, but this is not required and editor assignment also depends on availability, relative loads and other factors.
    • We require you to list all funding sources. This can be done through a dropdown if your funder is included in FundRef’s controlled vocabulary list.
  3. Reviewers: Names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses of up to five potential reviewers and up to five excluded reviewers.

  4. Upload Documents: Upload a cover letter, a combined PDF (manuscript including figures, tables, and Supplementary Material) to be used during the evaluation process, the manuscript in MS Word .docx format, and any auxiliary files. Please follow our instructions for Preparing an Initial Manuscript. LaTeX users should use our LaTeX template and at the initial stage should either convert files to Microsoft Word .docx or submit a PDF file [see our LaTeX instructions here]. Supplementary Material may also be submitted as a single separate file in .docx or PDF format. The manuscript file and the Supplementary Material file each have a 25MB size limit. Supplementary multimedia or large data files that cannot be included in the Supplementary Material file should be uploaded as Auxiliary Supplementary Materials or Movies. There is a 25 MB combined size limit on auxiliary or movie files and a limit of 10 auxiliary or movie files. Video clips should be in .mp4 format. Quicktime (.mov) files are acceptable provided the h.264 compression setting is used. Where possible please use HD frame size (1920x1080 pixels). Animated GIFs are not accepted. For audio files, WAV AIFF, AU or .m4a are preferred. MP3 or AAC files are acceptable but a bit rate of at least 160kb/s must be used. Authors should submit video and audio with clearly identifiable accompanying captions and credit information. Other items that are required at submission and should be uploaded to the Auxiliary files section are:

    • Any papers by any subset of the authors that are related to the manuscript and are under consideration or in press at other journals. This applies throughout the evaluation process at Science. If a related paper is submitted elsewhere while the Science paper is under consideration, please contact your editor.
    • Data files required for review of your manuscript.
    • Written permission from any author who is not an author of your manuscript but whose work is cited as in press. Permission must allow distribution of in press manuscripts or relevant data to reviewers. A copy of an email is sufficient. We do not allow citation to in press manuscripts at publication – these would need to be replaced by the published reference.
    • Copies of any relevant MTAs.
    • Please note in your cover letter if reference material or extra data files are included, and your editor will facilitate review as necessary. 
       
  5. Validate: Confirm and complete the submission (we will not consider a submission complete until it is confirmed).

Check that the status of the manuscript is received on your home page. You can return to the site to track the status of the manuscript.

Back to Top

Manuscript selection

Science is committed to thorough and efficient evaluation of submitted manuscripts. Papers are assigned to a staff editor who has knowledge of the manuscript’s field-of-study. Most submitted papers are rated for suitability by members of Science’s Board of Reviewing Editors. The editors at Science consider this advice in selecting papers for in-depth review. Authors of papers that are not selected for review are notified promptly, within about 2 weeks.

Research papers that are selected for in-depth review are evaluated by at least two outside reviewers, who are contacted before being sent a paper and asked to return comments within 2 weeks in most cases. Once all reviews are in, we initiate a cross-review process in which we invite all reviewers to read the other (still anonymous) reviews and make additional comments within 2 business days. Cross-review is encouraged, but not required. We are able to expedite the review process significantly for papers that require rapid assessment. Manuscripts selected for publication are edited to improve accuracy and clarity, as well as for length. Rejected papers cannot be resubmitted over a disagreement on novelty, interest, or relative merit. If a paper was rejected on the basis of serious reviewer error, resubmission may be considered.

Authors are notified of decisions by e-mail, and the status of the manuscript can be tracked at https://cts.sciencemag.org. Membership in AAAS is not a factor in selection of manuscripts for publication. Science treats all submitted manuscripts as confidential documents. Science also instructs and expects our Board of Reviewing Editors and reviewers to treat manuscripts as confidential material. Our peer review process is confidential and identities of reviewers are not released. (Letters and Technical Comments are sent to the authors of papers on which they comment for response or rebuttal, but otherwise are treated in the same way as other contributions with respect to confidentiality.)

Science publishes five other journals: Science Signaling, Science Translational Medicine, Science Immunology, Science Robotics, and our open access, interdisciplinary journal, Science Advances. Authors submitting to Science may elect to transfer to one of our other journals should the manuscript not be selected for publication at Science. Science editors will not see this choice until after the decision is made, and authors will be given the opportunity to confirm the choice before transfer is initiated. If a manuscript is rejected from Science with the option of transfer, we would be happy to transfer your submission from Science with no reformatting required. Editors at the second journal may use the information gathered during evaluation at Science to expedite review, including reuse of the reviews provided reviewers agree. You may also choose to start a new review process. The transfer can only include documents that were part of the review process at Science. Once transfer is complete, you will have the opportunity to upload a response to the reviews where appropriate.

Back to Top

Publication

Most papers are published in print and online 4 to 8 weeks after acceptance. In addition, Science selects papers for earlier online publication in First Release, using the accepted version of the paper with minimal copyediting. The official publication date of these papers is the date of First Release publication. Requests for accelerated online publication should be explained to the editors in the cover letter.

Back to Top

Abstract

Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission. By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process. The purpose of this invited commentary is to offer practical suggestions for achieving success when writing and submitting manuscripts to The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and other professional journals.

Keywords: Journal submission, scientific writing, strategies and tips

INTRODUCTION

“The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking”

Albert Einstein

Conducting scientific and clinical research is only the beginning of the scholarship of discovery. In order for the results of research to be accessible to other professionals and have a potential effect on the greater scientific community, it must be written and published. Most clinical and scientific discovery is published in peer‐reviewed journals, which are those that utilize a process by which an author's peers, or experts in the content area, evaluate the manuscript. Following this review the manuscript is recommended for publication, revision or rejection. It is the rigor of this review process that makes scientific journals the primary source of new information that impacts clinical decision‐making and practice.1,2

The task of writing a scientific paper and submitting it to a journal for publication is a time‐consuming and often daunting task.3,4 Barriers to effective writing include lack of experience, poor writing habits, writing anxiety, unfamiliarity with the requirements of scholarly writing, lack of confidence in writing ability, fear of failure, and resistance to feedback.5 However, the very process of writing can be a helpful tool for promoting the process of scientific thinking,6,7 and effective writing skills allow professionals to participate in broader scientific conversations. Furthermore, peer review manuscript publication systems requiring these technical writing skills can be developed and improved with practice.8 Having an understanding of the process and structure used to produce a peer‐reviewed publication will surely improve the likelihood that a submitted manuscript will result in a successful publication.

Clear communication of the findings of research is essential to the growth and development of science3 and professional practice. The culmination of the publication process provides not only satisfaction for the researcher and protection of intellectual property, but also the important function of dissemination of research results, new ideas, and alternate thought; which ultimately facilitates scholarly discourse. In short, publication of scientific papers is one way to advance evidence‐based practice in many disciplines, including sports physical therapy. Failure to publish important findings significantly diminishes the potential impact that those findings may have on clinical practice.9

BASICS OF MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION & GENERAL WRITING TIPS

To begin it might be interesting to learn why reviewers accept manuscripts! Reviewers consider the following five criteria to be the most important in decisions about whether to accept manuscripts for publication: 1) the importance, timeliness, relevance, and prevalence of the problem addressed; 2) the quality of the writing style (i.e., that it is well‐written, clear, straightforward, easy to follow, and logical); 3) the study design applied (i.e., that the design was appropriate, rigorous, and comprehensive); 4) the degree to which the literature review was thoughtful, focused, and up‐to‐date; and 5) the use of a sufficiently large sample.10 For these statements to be true there are also reasons that reviewers reject manuscripts. The following are the top five reasons for rejecting papers: 1) inappropriate, incomplete, or insufficiently described statistics; 2) over‐interpretation of results; 3) use of inappropriate, suboptimal, or insufficiently described populations or instruments; 4) small or biased samples; and 5) text that is poorly written or difficult to follow.10,11 With these reasons for acceptance or rejection in mind, it is time to review basics and general writing tips to be used when performing manuscript preparation.

“Begin with the end in mind”. When you begin writing about your research, begin with a specific target journal in mind.12 Every scientific journal should have specific lists of manuscript categories that are preferred for their readership. The IJSPT seeks to provide readership with current information to enhance the practice of sports physical therapy. Therefore the manuscript categories accepted by IJSPT include: Original research; Systematic reviews of literature; Clinical commentary and Current concept reviews; Case reports; Clinical suggestions and unique practice techniques; and Technical notes. Once a decision has been made to write a manuscript, compose an outline that complies with the requirements of the target submission journal and has each of the suggested sections. This means carefully checking the submission criteria and preparing your paper in the exact format of the journal to which you intend to submit. Be thoughtful about the distinction between content (what you are reporting) and structure (where it goes in the manuscript). Poor placement of content confuses the reader (reviewer) and may cause misinterpretation of content.3,5

It may be helpful to follow the IMRaD format for writing scientific manuscripts. This acronym stands for the sections contained within the article: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each of these areas of the manuscript will be addressed in this commentary.

Many accomplished authors write their results first, followed by an introduction and discussion, in an attempt to “stay true” to their results and not stray into additional areas. Typically the last two portions to be written are the conclusion and the abstract.

The ability to accurately describe ideas, protocols/procedures, and outcomes are the pillars of scientific writing. Accurate and clear expression of your thoughts and research information should be the primary goal of scientific writing.12 Remember that accuracy and clarity are even more important when trying to get complicated ideas across. Contain your literature review, ideas, and discussions to your topic, theme, model, review, commentary, or case. Avoid vague terminology and too much prose. Use short rather than long sentences. If jargon has to be utilized keep it to a minimum and explain the terms you do use clearly.13

Write with a measure of formality, using scientific language and avoiding conjunctions, slang, and discipline or regionally specific nomenclature or terms (e.g. exercise nicknames). For example, replace the term “Monster walks” with “closed‐chain hip abduction with elastic resistance around the thighs”. You may later refer to the exercise as “also known as Monster walks” if you desire.

Avoid first person language and instead write using third person language. Some journals do not ascribe to this requirement, and allow first person references, however, IJSPT prefers use of third person. For example, replace “We determined that…” with “The authors determined that….”.

For novice writers, it is really helpful to seek a reading mentor that will help you pre‐read your submission. Problems such as improper use of grammar, tense, and spelling are often a cause of rejection by reviewers. Despite the content of the study these easily fixed errors suggest that the authors created the manuscript with less thought leading reviewers to think that the manuscript may also potentially have erroneous findings as well. A review from a second set of trained eyes will often catch these errors missed by the original authors. If English is not your first language, the editorial staff at IJSPT suggests that you consult with someone with the relevant expertise to give you guidance on English writing conventions, verb tense, and grammar. Excellent writing in English is hard, even for those of us for whom it is our first language!

Use figures and graphics to your advantage. ‐Consider the use of graphic/figure representation of data and important procedures or exercises. Tables should be able to stand alone and be completely understandable at a quick glance. Understanding a table should not require careful review of the manuscript! Figures dramatically enhance the graphic appeal of a scientific paper. Many formats for graphic presentation are acceptable, including graphs, charts, tables, and pictures or videos. Photographs should be clear, free of clutter or extraneous background distractions and be taken with models wearing simple clothing. Color photographs are preferred. Digital figures (Scans or existing files as well as new photographs) must be at least 300dpi. 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. They will be placed on the IJSPT website and accompany your paper. The video clips must be submitted in MPEG‐1, MPEG‐2, Quicktime (.mov), or Audio/Video Interface (.avi) formats. 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. Formulate descriptive figure/video and Table/chart/graph titles and place them on a figure legend document. 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. The bottom line: 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. Please go to IJSPT submission guidelines for full information on the format for citations.

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. 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 3rd 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.14

Introduction and Review of Literature

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: 1) significance of the topic, 2) the information gap in the available literature associated with the topic, 3) a literature review in support of the key questions, 4) subsequently developed purposes/objectives and hypotheses.9

When constructing a review of the literature, be attentive to “sticking” or “staying true” to your topic at hand. 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!) remind yourself that a paper, existing evidence, or results of a paper cannot draw conclusions, demonstrate, describe, or make judgments, only PEOPLE (authors) can. “The evidence demonstrates that” should be stated, “Smith and Jones, demonstrated that….”

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. This may seem repetitive, but it actually is helpful to ensure the reader clearly sees the evolution, importance, and critical aspects of the study at hand See Table 1 for examples of well‐stated purposes.

Table 1.

Examples of well-stated purposes by submission type.

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 purpose of sufficient detail in the methods section is so that an appropriately trained person would be able to replicate your experiments.15 There should be complete transparency when describing the study. To assist in writing and manuscript preparation there are several checklists or guidelines that are available on the IJSPT website. The CONSORT guidelines can be used when developing and reporting a randomized controlled trial.16 The STARD checklist was developed for designing a diagnostic accuracy study.17 The PRISMA checklist was developed for use when performing a meta‐analyses or systematic review.18 A clear methods section should contain the following information: 1) the population and equipment used in the study, 2) how the population and equipment were prepared and what was done during the study, 3) the protocol used, 4) the outcomes and how they were measured, 5) the methods used for data analysis. 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.19 This does not mean that the actual results should be discussed in the methods section, as they have an entire section of their own!

Most scientific journals support the need for all projects involving humans or animals to have up‐to‐date documentation of ethical approval.20 The methods section should include a clear statement that the researchers have obtained approval from an appropriate institutional review board.

Results, Discussion, and Conclusions

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. Report your results neutrally, as you “found them”. 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. All results must first be described/presented and then discussed. 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 findings4 or making very strong statements. For example, it is better to say: “Findings of the current study support….” or “these findings suggest…” than, “Findings of the current study prove that…” or “this means that….”. Maintain a sense of humbleness, as nothing is without question in the outcomes of any type of research, in any discipline! Use words like “possibly”, “likely” or “suggests” to soften findings.12

Do not discuss extraneous ideas, concepts, or information not covered by your topic/paper/commentary. Be sure to carefully address all relevant results, not just the statistically significant ones or the ones that support your hypotheses. When you must resort to speculation or opinion, be certain to state that up front using phrases such as “we therefore speculate” or “in the authors' opinion”.

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!

Finish with a concise, 3‐5 sentence conclusion paragraph. 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.

CONCLUSIONS

Writing for publication can be a challenging yet satisfying endeavor. The ability to examine, relate, and interlink evidence, as well as to provide a peer‐reviewed, disseminated product of your research labors can be rewarding. 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.

References

1. Nahata MC. Tips for writing and publishing an article. Ann Pharmaco. 2008;42:273‐277 [PubMed]

2. Dixon N. Writing for publication: A guide for new authors. Int J Qual Health Care. 2001;13:417‐421 [PubMed]

3. Shah J, Shah A, Pietrobon R. Scientific writing of novice researchers: What difficulties and encouragements do they encounter?Acad Med. 2009;84(4):511‐516 [PubMed]

4. Cetin S, Hackam DJ. An approach to the writing of a scientific manscript. J Surg Res. 2005;128:165‐167 [PubMed]

5. Witt PA. Writing for publication: Rationale, process, and pitfalls. J Park Recreation Admin. 1995;13:1‐9

6. Keys CW. Revitalizing instruction in scientific genres: Connecting knowledge production with writing to learn in science. Sci Educ. 1999;83:115‐130

7. Gopen G, Swan J. The science of scientific writing. Am Sci. 1990;78:550‐558

8. Newell R. Writing academic papers: A guide for prospective authors. Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2001;17:110‐116 [PubMed]

9. Cook C, Brismee JM, Courtney C, Hancock M, May S. Publishing a scientific manuscript on manual therapy. J Man Manip Ther. 2009;17(3):141‐147 [PMC free article][PubMed]

10. Bordage G. Reasons reviewers reject and accept manuscripts: The strengths and weaknesses in medical education reports. Acad Med. 2001;76:889‐896 [PubMed]

11. Pierson DJ. The top 10 reasons why manuscripts are not accepted for publication. Respir Care. 2004;49:1246‐12512 [PubMed]

12. Eriksson P, Altermann W, Catuneanu O. Editorial: Some general advice for writing a scientific paper. J African Earth Sci. 2005;41:285‐288

13. Scientific writing 101. Editorial. Nature Structural Molecular Bio. 2010;17(2):139 [PubMed]

14. Moreira A, Haahtela T. How to write a scientific paper‐and win the game scientists play!Pneumologia. 2011;17(3):146‐149 [PubMed]

15. Lin P, Kuo Y. A guide to write a scientific paper for new writers. Microsurgery. 2012;32:80‐85 [PubMed]

16. Moher D, Schultz KR<, Altman DG. CONSORT GROUP (Consolidatied Standards of Reporting Trials). The CONSORT statement: Revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel‐group randomized controlled trials. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:657‐662 [PubMed]

17. Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JB, Bruns DE, et al. Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: The STARD Initiative. Ann Int Med. 2003;138:40‐44 [PubMed]

18. Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG. The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta‐analyses: The PRISMA statement. PLoS Med6(6): e1000097.doi:10.1371/journal.pmed1000097. [PMC free article][PubMed]

19. Van Way CW. Writing a scientific paper. Nutr Clin Pract. 2007; 22:636‐640 [PubMed]

20. Kallet RH. How to write the methods section of a research paper. Respir Care. 2004;49:1229‐1232 [PubMed]

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *