Researchers must present their findings in a clear and organized manner to maximize their impact on the scientific community. Adherence to established guidelines is crucial for the effective dissemination of research and for increasing its influence.

Understanding the structure and key sections of a scientific manuscript

The key sections of the manuscript are as follows:


Acknowledgments
Disclosures: COI, Funding
References
Tables and Figures

Tips to start writing

Start with Tables and figures, as they convey your story. The other sections can be written in any order

By starting with the sections that you find most interesting or feel most confident about, you can build momentum and motivation to continue working on the rest

The recommended order is Results > Methods > Introduction > Discussion > Abstract

Ensure that each paragraph in your writing is clear and easy to understand.

When writing paragraphs, make sure to address the question, “Why are you telling me this?” This will help you keep your readers engaged and ensure that each paragraph serves a purpose in your writing.

Creating an engaging Title, Abstract, and Keywords


The title, abstract, and Keywords are the components of the title page. Let us study the structure of the title page.

Title Page


The title page consists of essential information about the research/study, the researchers, funding disclosures, and the manuscript components. Some journals (E.g., MDPI) regard it as the front matter.

The title page includes the following:

Title

The objective of a title in an academic paper is to summarize the central idea of the study in a few words.

A well-crafted title should be concise, informative, and engaging, providing readers with a clear idea of the content and purpose of the work.

The title must accurately reflect the content of the paper and adhere to any specific formatting or style guidelines provided by the academic institution or publisher.

Declarative title:

A declarative title simply states the main findings or conclusion of the research.

It presents the key message directly, in a straightforward manner.

Example: “Effects of Exercise on Cardiovascular Health: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”

In this declarative title, the main finding of the research is highlighted – the effects of exercise on cardiovascular health. The title gives readers an immediate understanding of the study’s focus.

Descriptive title:

A descriptive title provides a more detailed explanation of the research topic, allowing readers to gain insight into the subject matter.

Example: “A Comparative Study of Renewable Energy Sources: Analyzing the Viability and
Environmental Impact of Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric Power”

This descriptive title gives readers a clear idea of what the paper will cover – a comparative analysis of renewable energy sources, specifically solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, with a focus on their viability and environmental impact.

A descriptive title may also state the study design

Examples,

“A versus B in the treatment of C: a randomized controlled trial”

“X is a risk factor for Y: a case-control study”

“What is the impact of factor X on subject Y: A systematic review”

“A can be treated with B therapy: a case report”

Interrogative title:

An interrogative title poses a question to the reader, piquing their curiosity and encouraging them to explore the paper to find the answer.

Example: “What Factors Influence Consumer Buying Behavior in Online Retailing? A Case Study of
E-commerce Platforms”

This interrogative title poses a question – what factors influence consumer buying behavior in online retailing?

The title sets the research question as the focal point, inviting readers to delve into the paper to discover the study’s findings.

Author affiliations

This section of the article includes the names of the authors, their qualifications, and the institutions with which they are connected. The institutions’ addresses are also supplied.

Corresponding author information

As the name implies, the corresponding author’s name and address are required for all manuscript-related inquiries.

In multi-author studies, the corresponding author assumes ownership of the article; he or she is responsible for alerting the co-authors to the development of the work once it is submitted to a journal.

All reprint requests for the study, as published in the journal, are also directed to the corresponding author.

Running title

The running head or title is an abbreviated or shortened form of the original title. Other than the title page, it is used as a header or footer.

Example, For the title: A Comparative Study of Renewable Energy Sources: Analyzing the Viability and Environmental Impact of Solar, Wind, and Hydroelectric Power The short title can be “Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Sources” Running head may include the short title and first author’s name followed by et al.

Example, for the title “Beliefs, attitudes and Self-use of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy Medicines among senior pharmacy students: An exploratory insight from Andhra Pradesh, India”

Running head: “Ahmad, et al.: Beliefs, attitude and self-use of AYUSH medications among pharmacy students”
Note: As titles are not complete sentences, they are not ended by a period/full stop “.”
Abstract

Significance of an Abstract

The abstract is frequently the only portion of a paper that is readily accessible and widely read. Journal editors and reviewers initially evaluate submitted manuscripts based on their titles and abstracts.

The abstract of your paper serves as a crucial tool for busy journal editors to determine whether your paper should be sent for peer review or rejected outright.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that reviewers will form their initial impression of your paper based on their reading of it.

Therefore, abstracts must be engaging and contain all pertinent information necessary to evaluate the study. To increase the likelihood of acceptance among hundreds of comparable abstracts, conference abstracts must be especially appealing.

Characteristics of a good abstract

Structure of an Abstract

A good abstract has about 200 to 300 words. Most of the journals recommend an abstract word count of 250 words.

An abstract can be (I) structured or (II) unstructured based on the guidelines of the target journal.

(I) Structured Abstract

Begin writing your abstract after you have written your manuscript. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them.

Introduction

What problem are you attempting to resolve?
What motivated you to do so?
Answer the questions by highlighting the main objectives/hypotheses and conclusions from your Introduction and Conclusion sections.

Methods

1. How did do to accomplish your objective?
Answer the question by selecting the main sentences from your methods section.

Results

1. What are the findings/outcomes of your study?
Now reveal your research findings by highlighting the main sentences and phrases from the results section.

Conclusion:

Finally, ask the question:
1. What are the implications and significance of your findings?
Answer the question by including the main sentences from the conclusion section of your manuscript.
This forms a structured abstract.

Example of a structured abstract

(II) Unstructured Abstract

A good abstract

An abstract should NOT contain:

A literature review or reference citation

Keywords

Keywords improve the discoverability of research by ensuring that databases and search engines properly index your paper. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to the selection of keywords.

Steps to selecting the right keywords:

Organizing your introduction to provide the context of the study


The introduction section of a medical research paper provides an overview of the study and serves as the starting point for readers to understand the context, rationale, and objectives of the research.

The introductory statement should not be too broad but still cover important information. If a research paper has a word count of 3000, the Introduction section should be covered within 300 words.

A research manuscript is commonly structured using an IMRAD format.

  1. Why did you choose that topic for research?

Answer it by giving a general introduction to the topic under consideration, definitions of any key concepts, and a brief explanation of the theoretical background (if necessary/applicable)

Ask the question:

  1. What has already been published about your topic of research? How did they do it?

Answer it by giving a summary of the existing work on the topic of study, including citations from current publications and a detailed evaluation of the literature.

Ask these questions:

  1. What are the key studies, publications, or scholarly works that have explored and contributed to the understanding of the topic of study?
  2. How can their findings and insights be summarized and critically evaluated?

Answer by writing the highlights of the gaps in the literature, unexplored topics pertinent to the current investigation, and specific characterizations of the problem.

Ask these questions:

  1. How does the present study attempt to solve the stated issue?
  2. What particular problems does the present study aim to address concerning the problem statement?
  3. How does the present study add to or advance earlier work on the subject?
  4. What distinct strategy or methodology does the present study use to tackle the problem?
  5. How does the theory behind the present study fit into the body of existing research?
  6. What possible impacts or benefits are anticipated from the present study’s methodology in addressing the stated problem and knowledge gaps?

Answer them in 1 – 2 sentences each by explaining the current study’s concept and how it seeks to solve the problem statement and the literature gaps that have been identified.

Developing the methodology section


A methods section should include sufficient information for another researcher in the field to replicate the work.

It contains the following subheadings:

Leave a Reply

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