2 Useful resources For style and grammar Books on Scientific writing Elements of style, by Strunk W. and White E.B., 1979(for dangling modifiers)Bedford Handbook for Writers, HackerWriting Research Papers: An Easy Guide for non-Native-English Speakers, by Stapleton’s, 1987Books on Scientific writingHow to write and publish a scientific paper, Day, REssentials of Writing Biomedical Research papers, Zeiger M, 1991From Research to Manuscript, A Guide to Scientific Writing, Katz MJ, 2009, (available online at UCLA:
4 Order in which you write MethodsResultsIntroductionDiscussionAbstract
5 Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (STROBE) Is a checklist of items that should be addressed in articles reporting on 3 main study designs of analytical epidemiology.
6 Title and title page Needs to be attention grabbing Few words that can adequately describe the contents of the paperOften times in epidemiological studies, we indicate the study’s design or the name of the studyTitle page includes:Author affiliationsCorresponding authorRunning titleKeywordsList of abbreviations
7 Example of a title page (prior to publication) AuthorsAffiliations
9 AbstractA summary of the manuscript, giving the reader a "preview" of what's to come.Allows readers to quickly scan the large scientific literature, and decide which articles they want to read in depth. The abstract should be a little less technical than the article itself.Often words, dependent on the journal
10 An Abstract should… Common Mistakes Not have additional information beyond what is in the manuscript.State the principal objectives and scope of the investigationDescribe methods employedSummarize the resultsState principal conclusionsProvide a balanced summary of what was done and found.Common MistakesToo much background or methods informationFigures or imagesReferences to other literature, figures or imagesAbbreviations or acronyms
12 IntroductionThe introduction summarizes the relevant literature so the reader will understand why you are interested in the question you asked.Introduction should alwaysProvide the background/rationale and objectivesReview pertinent literatureBriefly state the method of the investigation
13 Material and Methods Study Design Setting Participants Cross-section, case-control, cohortSettingLocation(s), relevant dates: period of recruitment, exposure, follow-up, and data collection.ParticipantsEligibility criteriaMethods of selectionFor case-control study: case ascertainment, control selection, rational for case and control choiceFor cohort study: methods of follow-upParticipation rates
14 Material and Methods Variables Define outcome, exposure, potential confounders, and effect modifiersDatasource/ measurement, data collection, laboratory methodsProvide details regarding source of data and methods of assessment.BiasDescribe any efforts to address potential sources of biasStudy size
15 Example of materials and methods section Study sizeRecruitment ratesData collectionIRB info
16 Statistical methodsExplain how variables were handled in the analysis, i.e. continuous, categorical, if so what were the categories.Describe all statistical methodsHow one controlled for confoundingMethods for stratified analyses or interactionsHow missing data was addressedSensitivity analysesStudy specific:Cross-sectional study: analytical methods to account for sampling strategyCase-control study: how cases and controls were matched (if applicable)Cohort study: how loss to follow-up was addressed.
18 ResultsIn paragraph format, a summary of your main findings presented tables and figures.Results not presented in tables or figures can also be mentioned in this section.If this is the first time presenting information regarding the study, one may want to present numbers of individuals at each stage of the study.Section should include:Characteristics of study participants (usually Table 1)Number of missingMain results (Usually table 2)Additional analyses, such as stratified analyses, effect modification, interactions, sensitivity analyses (additional tables)
24 Tables and Figures Should be after the Discussion or Reference section Tables and figures should stand alone.About 6 tables max, sometimes this depends on the journal.Use a consistent footnoting style (footnotes may be specific to journals)Define abbreviations, even if they have been defined in the manuscript.
25 DiscussionThis is your moment to shine and show your knowledge of the prior literature.Summarize key results in reference to study objectivesUsually numbers from results should not be in the discussion sectionDo not restate the resultsInterpretationGive a cautious overall interpretation of results considering the objectives, limitations, results from similar studies, and other relevant evidence.Mention the significance of the paper.
26 Discussion, con’t. Limitations of the study and study findings Potential biasPotential imprecisionWhenever discussing your limitations try to put a positive spin on what you have to say.For instance, “Measures of height and weight were self-report, likely resulting in nondifferential misclassification. Nonetheless, such misclassification was not an important cause of concern as some found self-reported height and weight to be reasonably accurate (CITATION)”Study strengthsConclusionsOf the studyFuture directionsPotential public health implications.
27 Acknowledgements/Funding List funding sources for the study and authorsThank the participants of the study for their time, commitment, and participation.
28 Reference sectionUse products like Procite, Reference Manager, or Endnote for citations.Reference style is dependent on the journal.Order of references can be presented in alphabetical order or by order of presentation.Formatting for a specific journal can be done using one of these programs. Many programs have the journal styles pre-set.However, ALWAYS check to make sure the formatting is done correctly, sometimes the journal info may have been imported incorrectly or the journal format style may be different than the one in the program.
29 General rules Spell-check, try to avoid typos and errors. Use correct and standard nomenclatureWhen using abbreviations always define the abbreviations the first time they are used.For example, upper aerodigestive tract (UADT)ConsistencyNumber your pages
30 Final advice Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite Proofread, proofread, proofread Check all your numbers for accuracy and consistency