Writing a proper scientific manuscript for a journal publication is a skillset by itself that every young scholar needs to inculcate in themselves. There are certain well-established formats in which such articles are written and there are certain criteria they must fulfill to be considered by journals for publication. While conducting research and experiments is just one side of an academic profession, the ability to present the findings before one’s peers is as important and is as much a core activity for an academician.
Here are some tips on how to write a proper article for publication.
IMRaD format: All scientific articles are usually written in the IMRaD format. IMRaD stands for Introduction, Methods, Results Analysis, and Discussion. It essentially specifies the order in which a scientific article is to be written and presented. Each of these can be structured as a section for the paper, with the narrative set on logical connection between each section. The introduction section sets out the context of your work, method talks about methodology and exact nature of the exercise, Results is reporting of your key findings, which is bolstered by your analysis of these findings. The discussion is the main derivative of the entire exercise and the key message you want to give out to the audience.
Prepare backward: Often, writers approach an article by working backward. The first set out the results and analysis section. This then sets the tone for the key highlights of the article around which the entire publication is developed. A suitable introduction and conclusion are then plugged it to make it more complete. The title and the abstract are the last bit added to complete the article. What this approach helps do is keep the results and analysis in focus while writing and ensures that the introduction section does not deviate from the main message. Journal publications have strict word limits and this approach helps ensure the main message is not diluted by other sections taking up more of the limited content.
Develop your content framework: Often young scholars lose track while developing an article for publication. It is suggested to have a structured abstract developed as a framework before the detailed sections are written. One has to sift through numerous references to develop an article and often writers get lost, losing focus on which all articles should be referred to in the specific article or which all arguments to choose. A structured abstract helps keep the focus by reminding you what exactly you are trying to say through this specific article.
Set your highlights: You have to be very specific about your target audience and the key messages you want to give out to them. This is ensured by keeping a focus on the keywords and highlights of the article. Often, journals ask authors to share highlights along with an abstract for their publication to draw the attention of potential readers. Keywords are another critical factor that ensures your article is reflected in any search. Be careful about these factors that will ensure better recall and citation of your article.