What are some of the most important characteristics of professional scientific writing?


Unlike general writing, scientific correspondence demands following sets of guidelines that decide the probability of getting the work published in a high-impact journal.

There are few marked features of professional scientific writing.

  1. The scientific content is structured based on set standards

Generally, a research article or a methodology paper should have the following headings and related content:

  • Aim: The intend of the study
  • Abstract: Brief summary of the content of a paper.
  • Method: Description regarding the procedures followed to evaluate the hypothesis.
  • Results: Elucidation of the observation and interpretation.
  • Discussion: Assessment of worth of the current study with respect to previous reports. Furthermore, elucidating the strength, weaknesses, and future scope of work.
  • References: However, there are variations when the write-up is a literature review or a letter to the editor.
  • Abbreviation: It provides consistency to scientific writing and is widely used.

For example, EMT: Emergency Medical Team

While writing abbreviations the full form should be mentioned first followed by the abbreviated form throughout the text.

  • References formatting within the text and bibliography notes at the end of the manuscript are the backbone for effective writing. They depict the conceptual information base using which the authors hypothesize and conduct experiments.
  • Reference must be cited with utmost accuracy and on par with mentioned style. For instance, the Harvard style is most widely used in scientific content writing.
  1. It should be comprehensive and compact

Each sentence should convey one particular idea. And the subject matter or the concept

should accommodate in a sequential manner giving requisites consistency to express the desired information. The content should be arranged in a concise manner and long sentences should be omitted.

  1. The scientific content  should be inch-perfect

Overgeneralization and usage of words such as mostly, nearly should be avoided. The protocols should clearly state how the experiment was conducted with precise time intervals of measurements.

  1. Prescribed language skill to be used

Accurate language usage without slang or excessive incorporation of jargon is desirable for efficient scientific content. For example, “offspring “and not “babies” should be written.

Can refer to:http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/science/index.xml for guidance on language. And try out (http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/ ) for tips and tricks of appropriate writing.

  1. The objectivity of scientific content

Exaggerations or over-hyped-up emotional ways of expression within the manuscript may bias or prejudice the author. The information should be placed in a neutral format without any documentation of unsupported thoughts or thinking.

  1. Figures and tables Representation

The guidelines in terms of the specified DPI for figures should be followed. The emphasized area should be highlighted or demarcated. Excessive magnification causing pixilation should be kept in check. The formatting guidelines in terms of placement of figure legends or their numbering in the Arabian or Roman letters should be followed on the dot.

       7. Ethical clearance and consent report

The ethical committee report is must document that assures that the responsible research has been carried out keeping in view of the welfare of the animal.  Similarly, the Declaration of Helsinki highlights the ethical principle for conducting research on human subjects. The patient consent report is needed for the publication of images or clinical findings.

Apart from the core and general guidelines mentioned above, each journal postulates its own specific norms in the context of word limit, page and figure limit, and author contribution.

Conclusion: Professional scientific write-up is a cocktail emerging out of conceptual designing and its validation in form of methodology and objective interpretation of outcome with a scope of further research and detailing.

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