Presentation on theme: "Writing an original research paper Part one: Important considerations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Writing an original research paper Part one: Important considerations Amin Bredan, PhD, EditorDepartment of Biomedical Molecular BiologyGhent UniversityandDepartment for Molecular Biomedical ResearchFlanders Institute of BiotechnologyBelgium
2 The original research article It is not just a presentation of work carried outIt reports research reaching conclusions supported by evidenceIt is a well-documented argument for a particular finding or observationThe argument is supported by the results (and the literature)The literature should be used only to:support argument or counter-argumentfacilitate understanding
3 Structure of a research article two styles Divided into sections depending on topicLess commonUsed in journals Science, Nature etc.StructuredMost commonIMRAD (Intro, M&M, Results, Discussion)Some variations on IMRAD exist
5 IMRAD structure Title Authors and their affiliation Summary / Abstract IntroductionMaterial and methodsResultsDiscussionConclusionAcknowlegementReferences
6 IMRAD structure Title Authors and their affiliation Summary / Abstract IntroductionMaterial and methodsResultsDiscussionConclusionAcknowledgementReferencesConclusion frequently at end of discussion
7 IMRAD structure Title Authors and their affiliation Summary / Abstract IntroductionMaterial and methodsResultsDiscussionConclusionAcknowledgementReferencesResults and discussion may be combined
8 IMRAD structure Title Authors and their affiliation Summary / Abstract IntroductionMaterial and methodsResultsDiscussionConclusionAcknowledgmentReferencesSome journals place methodsafter results and discussion
9 Authorship To qualify as an author one must meet three conditions 1. substantial contributions to one of the following:- conception and design- acquisition of data- analysis and interpretation2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content3. final approval of the version to be publishedJust being the boss does not qualify one to be an author
10 Title The most important single sentence Accurately represents the contentsDetermines whether a reader goes on to read abstract
11 Abstract / Summary a minipaper lacking discussion and references Provides brief backgroundStates aimsIndicates methodologyStates important resultsStates main conclusion
12 What should not be in the abstract Literature referencesReference to figures or tablesUncommon abbreviationsDiscussion of resultsInformation not in main text
13 The introduction Provide background The problem and its significance Rationale for the researchState aimsBrief but specific
14 Strategy for writing introduction Make a plan: start, development, rounding upSummarize what is knownPoint to gaps in knowledgeDiscuss hypotheses and mechanismsGo from general to specific issuesLogical development towards your topicAvoid repetition and plagiarism
15 Refining the introduction Does it cover the area?Does it include irrelevant issues?Is it putting much emphasis where it is not needed?Is it placing little emphasis on important issues?Does it clearly show the gap in knowledge that your results help to fill?Are the aims clearly stated?
16 Materials and methods Enough details to repeat experiments No explanations of the obviousMethods obtained from the literature: give the reference and provide a brief summary of the procedure
17 Refining material and methods Are all sources of material mentioned?Are all details of experimental conditions specified?Are experimental procedures explained clearly?Are the statistical methods given?Is ethical approval, where relevant, mentioned?Is there any unnecessary redundancy?Can this section be shortened without losing essential information?
18 Results Are the results properly introduced to orient the reader? Can the figures and tables be understood on their own?Does the text accurately reflect what is in figures and tables?Does the text properly highlight the most important data in the figures and tables?Is the text clear and brief?
19 Refining discussion Are the results briefly summarized? Is there sufficient interpretation of the results and how they fit in with current knowledge?If a mechanism is involved, is it discussed?Is there explanation of the significance of the findings?Is there discussion of studies reporting results that conflict with yours?Is the literature relevant and up to date?
20 Conclusion Do the results justify the conclusion? Is the conclusion deficient in providing only a summary of the results?Is the conclusion defective in being over-generalized?Is the indication of potentially fruitful future research specific enough?
21 Choice of references Quality is important rather than quantity RelevantUp-to-dateUse reviews only for general issuesWorking just from abstracts leads to errors: read the papers
22 Check reference list Accurate in content Formatted according to journal styleFull stops, commas, semicolons, spaces, and abbreviations of journal names and/or author list are all importantThis is the full responsibility of authorsEndnote or Reference Manager has become essential
23 PlagiarismCopying text from another source is considered plagiarism even when the reference is citedJournals use software to detect plagiarismDo not copy-paste even single sentencesUse your own words