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Preparing a Scientific Article for Publication. Article Outline I. Title II. Abstract III. Introduction IV. Data & Methods V. Results/Findings VI. Discussion/Conclusions.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing a Scientific Article for Publication. Article Outline I. Title II. Abstract III. Introduction IV. Data & Methods V. Results/Findings VI. Discussion/Conclusions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing a Scientific Article for Publication

2 Article Outline I. Title II. Abstract III. Introduction IV. Data & Methods V. Results/Findings VI. Discussion/Conclusions VII. References

3 The Introduction Beginning my studies the first step pleas'd me so much, The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and pleas'd me so much, I have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther, But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs. Whitman

4 The Introduction Overall Purpose: Convince the reader that your study will add knowledge or knowhow that is new and useful

5 The Introduction Further Purposes Stimulate the reader’s interest Provide background information which is pertinent to the study State the research question -- the most important part of the study

6 Outline of the Introduction Identify topic of paper / General problem statement / Gap in knowledge More specific problem statement with literature background and highlights Point out where important knowledge is missing Give relevant limitations of previous studies Be clear that filling this gap will be useful Give study purpose and hypotheses Be clear that your approach is new and addresses limitations of previous studies.

7 The Problem Statement What is the general problem of interest? Why is the problem important/significant? (Provide numbers, rates, costs, etc.) What specific populations are involved?

8 Problem Statement Example Despite programs and policies in a number of countries designed to lower the incidence of preterm birth and low birthweight, these adverse birth outcomes have not decreased in the last 10 to 15 years. In some countries they have actually increased substantially.

9 Background Information Results of previous studies on this topic Areas of disagreement or uncertainty Contextual issues or other factors that affected study design Contextual information that is important for interpretation of results

10 Highlighting the Literature Moving from the general problem to the specific issue to be addressed, highlight the previous literature on the problem, thereby establishing the background for the study. Example: Over this same period, the rates of multiple births have risen in many countries. Because multiple births are at high risk of resulting in preterm birth or low birthweight, their increasing incidence affects the overall rates of both conditions. Previous studies on the effects of multiple births have shown their important influence on pregnancy outcomes.

11 Where is the Knowledge Gap? Provide an overview of existing theories, controversies and unresolved issues that are specific to the study and will be addressed by the manuscript. Select references in an impartial manner. Example: No study has explored the independent effect of twin and triplet deliveries on trends in preterm birth and low birthweight from an international perspective; that is, in countries with different health indicators and health care systems.

12 Study Purpose and Hypotheses State the study purpose(s) and the hypotheses to be tested. Provide a clear description of what this study hopes to accomplish. Example: The purpose of this study is to explore the role of.... Specifically, we hypothesize that...

13 Example of Study Purpose Statement “ This study provides an estimate of the proportion of orphanhood attributable to parental HIV-infection, as a way of planning for vulnerable children”

14 Common Problems: Introduction Study question too vague –Study objectives –Citations of other key studies on specific topic Background information too broad Information too elementary Unpublished literature, theses cited Unnecessary acronyms Results given at end of Introduction section

15 Common Problems: Vague Purpose Statements Compare these examples: “This study reports our experience with two types of mosquito feeding: direct feeding and membrane feeding.” “Our purpose was to determine seasonal infectivity rates by direct feeding among gametocyte carriers 18 years old and younger, and to compare malaria transmission-blocking activity via direct versus membrane feeding.”

16 Literature Review Within Introduction to Set Context Comprehensive review/assessment of the current knowledge (for YOUR knowledge, then…) Comprehensive review/assessment of the current knowledge (for YOUR knowledge, then…) Representative sample, not everything Representative sample, not everything Describe relevant studies/theories Describe relevant studies/theories Provide a theoretical/conceptual framework Provide a theoretical/conceptual framework

17 Sources of Literature Review Bibliographic databasesBibliographic databases 1.MEDLINE (PubMed) 2.EMBASE 3.AIDSLINE 4.POPLINE 5.JSTOR Specialized databases Specialized databases 1.American College of Physicians 2.ProQuest Digital Dissertation 3.US Gov CDC 4.WHO

18 Other Resources Experts/colleaguesExperts/colleagues 1.Supplements specific points 2.Cited as personal reference Internet (http:// search engines include:Internet (http:// search engines include: 1.Google 2.Alta Vista 3.HotBot

19 Elements of the Introduction: A Summary GAP G B – Key BACKGROUND to the gap. G U – Why filling the gap will be USEFUL. G L – Key LIMITATION(S) of previous studies responsible for the gap. APPROACH A B – BACKGROUND to the approach A N – What is NEW about the approach taken in the current study. A L – How does this new approach address the LIMITATIONS of previous studies. 19

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