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FOR PREPARING A SCIENTIFIC PAPERS
Scientific research articles provide a
method for scientists to communicate with other scientists about the
results of their research. A standard format is used for articles in which
the author presents the research in an orderly and logical manner. This
doesn't necessarily reflect the order in which you did or thought about
The formats are:
The title of a manuscript should be
specific enough to describe the contents of the paper but not so
technically to be understand by specialists only. The title should also be
understood by the intended audience.
The title should also describes the subject
matter of the article: Effect of Smoking on Academic Performance"
Sometimes a title that summarizes the
results is more effective: Students Who Smoke Get Lower Grades"
1. The person who did the work and wrote
the manuscript is generally listed as the first author of a research
2. For published articles, other people who
made substantial contributions to the work are also listed as authors
1. An abstract or summary should be
published together with a research article giving the reader a "preview"
of what is to come.
Biological abstracts. They allow other scientists to quickly scan
the large scientific literature and decide which articles they want to
read in depth. The abstract should be a less technical than the article
2. Abstract should be one paragraph with
not more than 100-250 words that summarizes the purpose, methods, results
and conclusions of the paper.
3. Abbreviations, citations or footnotes
should not be use in an abstract, It should be of simple explanation.
The introduction should summarize the relevant literature so that
the reader will understand why you are interested in the question you
asked. One to five paragraphs should be enough with sentences explaining
the specific question you ask in carrying out the experiment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
1. The materials and methods should be
explicit with enough information to allow another scientist to repeat your
experiment. Reading other articles that have been published in the same
field of experiment will intimate you with some idea of what should be
included in this section.
2. If you have a complicated protocol, it
may helpful to include a diagram, table or flowchart to explain the
methods you used.
3. Do not put results in this section. You
may, however, include preliminary results that were used to design the
main experiment that you are reporting on. ("In a preliminary study, I
observed the owls for one week, and found that 73 % of their loco motor
activity occurred during the night, and so I conducted all subsequent
experiments between 11 pm and 6 am.")
4. Mention relevant ethical considerations.
If you used human subjects, did they consent to participate. If you used
animals, what measures did you take to minimize pain?
1. Results gotten clearly presented in this
section by the use graphs and tables if appropriate but also summarize
major findings in the text. Do NOT discuss the results or speculate as to
why something happened.
2. Appropriate methods of showing data
should be used. Data should not be manipulated.
TABLES AND FIGURES
1. If you present your data in a table or
figure, include a title describing what's in the table ("Enzyme activity
at various temperatures", not "My results".) For figure, you should also
label the x and y axes.
2. Don't use a table or graph for the sake
of "fancy". Try to summarize the information in one sentence to make the
table or graph necessary.
1. Highlight the most significant results,
but don't just repeat what you've written in the Results section. How do
these results relate to the original question? Do the data support your
hypothesis? Are your results consistent with what other investigators have
reported? If your results were unexpected, try to explain why. Is there
another way to interpret your results? What further research would be
necessary to answer the questions raised by your results? How do y our
results fit into the big picture?
2. End with a one-sentence summary of your
conclusion, emphasizing why it is relevant.
This section is optional. You can thank
those who either helped with the experiments, or made other important
contributions, such as discussing the protocol, commenting on the
manuscript, or buying you pizza.
REFERENCES (LITERATURE CITED)
There are several possible ways to organize
this section. Here is one commonly used way:
1. In the text, cite the literature in the
Scarlet (1990) thought that the gene was
present only in yeast, but it has since been identified in the platypus
(Indigo and Mauve, 1994) and wombat (Magenta et al., 1995).
2. In the References section list citations
in alphabetical order.
Indigo AC, Mauve BE (1994). Queer place for
qwerty: gene isolation from the platypus. Science 275: 1213-1214.
Magenta ST, Sepia X, Turquoise U (1995).
Wombat genetics. In: Widiculous Wombats, Violet, Q., ed. New York:
Columbia University Press. pp. 123-145.
Scarlet SL (1990). Isolation of qwerty gene
from S. cerevisae. Journal of Unusual Results 36: 26-31.
Martins AC (1999). Isolation of qwerty gene
from S. cerevisae. Journal of Unusual Results 36(2): 26-31.