Seventeen Steps to Writing a Research Article

 

Seventeen Steps to Writing a Research Article



The process of moving from plan to published manuscript will be a frightening one. Here we have a tendency to break that method into a series of steps designed to create this essential task a lot manageable.

1. Start writing before the experiments are complete. Start writing whereas you’re still doing the experiments. Writing usually evokes new ideas: you’ll realize that there are further experiments to run or further controls that you simply got to add. If you wait till you’re done in the lab, have razed the equipment, and possibly moved on to a different position, you may not have the chance to test these ideas.

2. Draft a title & abstract.Drafting an operating title and an abstract helps define the contents of the paper, identifying that experiments you may publish during this paper, and that studies you may save for inclusion in another paper.

3. (Re) examine the list of authors. Once you have currently determined that experiments are going to be included during this paper you want to choose the authors and also the order in which they’ll seem. If you have got followed our advice for the present purpose, you have already got such an inventory. Reevaluate it supported the contributions that were created to those experiments and also the further contributions which will be created through the preparation of the manuscript. If an inventory already exists, create changes to make sure compliance along with your tips. Of course, any changes ought to be finished with caution and tact.

4. Determine the fundamental format. There are 3 basic formats for peer-reviewed research articles:

• Full-length research articles:These articles include a broad investigation of the subject matter and are viewed because of the standard format. It uses the “IMRAD” system: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

• Short (or brief) communications: whereas not as comprehensive in scope as full-length research articles, these papers additionally create a big contribution to the literature. Their length is going to be set by the journal however is sometimes 3500 words or less and can contain up to two tables and figures. Unlike full papers, methods, results, and discussions could also be combined into one section.

• Fast communications: These articles quickly diffuse notably “hot” findings, sometimes in a brief communication format. Articles that have immediate implications for public health would be acceptable for such a format, as many findings in a very extremely competitive and quickly moving field.

5. Stock the sections of your paper. As you’re thinking that concerning your paper, store applicable material in folders marked Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. This may save time and avoid frustration once the writing begins. Hold on things may include figures, references, and ideas.

6. Construct the tables, figures, and legends. Yes, produce figures and tables before the writing begins! the complete paper ought to be organized around the information you may present. By making ready the tables and figures (and their legends and acceptable statistical analyses), you may make certain of your results before you worry too much regarding their interpretation. you also could also be able to confirm if you have got all the data you wish. Note: except below uncommon circumstance, you’ll not include any information that you simply have already published.

7. Outline the paper. An overview is like a road map. overview details however you may get from here to there, and helps make sure that you take the most direct and logical route. Don’t start writing while not it! If you have got coauthors, you would like to get feedback from them before you proceed to the particular writing section. And if you have got “stocked” your sections (Step 8), those files ought to be helpful here and within the writing that follows.

8. Write the primary draft.Write the primary draft of the complete manuscript. If you’re writing with coauthors, you would like to assign totally different aspects of the manuscript to different authors. This may save time, allow a lot of people to feel that are creating substantive contributions to the writing method, and make sure the best use of experience. However, it can also lead to a mixture of designs. Thus, if you are taking this approach, make certain that the ultimate product is carefully edited to produce one voice. “Components of a Research Article” discusses what goes into every section of the manuscript. For a lot of in-depth presentation of this and plenty of different aspects of preparing a paper, see Day (1998). At now, don’t worry regarding it being intelligible. That comes later.

Some people suggest that you simply begin your writing with the Introduction and continue through so as every section of the paper. This may facilitate guarantee flow. However, others recommend that you simply begin where you would like – something to urge eliminate that blank screen or piece of paper. No matter your approach, heed the advice of Charles Sides (1991): “If you are attempting to write and edit at a similar time, you may do neither well.” and since redaction is usually plenty easier than writing, push through this step as quickly as attainable. If you’re taking rather more than 2 full days, you have got most likely paused to edit!

9. Revise the manuscript. This step involves 3 major tasks, every to be disbursed within the order given:

Make major alterations: Fill in gaps, correct flaws in logic, structure the document to gift the material within the most reasonable order. Polish the style: Refine the text, then correct grammar and writing system.

Format the document: create your manuscript enticing and simple to browse. It’s vital to try to the tasks within the explicit order. Otherwise, you may find yourself spending plenty of your time revising material that you simply later delete.

10. Check the references. Make sure that the citations are correct and complete. Does one last literature search to create certain that you simply are up so far?

11. Write the ultimate title and abstract. Several changes are created throughout the editing process. Confirm that your title and abstract match the ultimate version of your article.

12. Read the journal’s directions to the Authors. Review the main points of however the manuscript is to be formatted and submitted. Revise wherever necessary.

13. Prepare the ultimate illustrations. Make sure that your tables, figures, and figure legends are complete, clear, self-contained, and within the format needed by the journal. Don’t allow any probability of misunderstanding.

14. Get feedback on your manuscript so revise your manuscript once more. Obtaining feedback is one every of the most vital things that you just will do to improve your article. First, make sure your co-authors have had an opportunity to browse and treat the draft. Then, once it’s prepared, provide the manuscript to some colleagues. Indicate after you would really like to receive their comments, and what levels of data you’d like (e.g., comments on the science, logic, language, and/or style). When you get their comments, revise your manuscript to deal with their concerns.

Do not submit your manuscript till you’re feeling it’s prepared for publication. Once it’s accepted, more changes in your manuscript are going to be tough and will also be costly.

15. Submit the manuscript to the editor. Follow the directions to the Authors to work out what things you wish to submit, the way to submit them, and to whom you ought to send them. Note that some journals allow (or even require) a “pre-review,” i.e., a letter indicating the content of the article so the editors will confirm whether or not they can settle for the manuscript for a full review. At this time you would like to list possible reviewers (or people to be avoided). If necessary, contact the editor to make sure that the manuscript was received. And if when a month you have got not received a response regarding the acceptability of your manuscript for publication you would like to contact the editor regarding this, too.

16. Deal with reviewers’ comments. Most manuscripts aren’t accepted on the primary submission. However, you’ll rather be invited to resubmit a revised manuscript. If you select to try to, therefore, you’ll have to be compelled to reply to the reviewer comments. Do that with tact. Answer each concern of the reviewers, and indicate wherever the corresponding changes were created in the manuscript if they were, indeed, made. you are doing not have to be compelled to make all of the changes that the reviewer recommended, however, you are doing have to be compelled to give a convincing explanation for any changes that you just did not make. After you render the manuscript, indicate in your letter that this is a Word. Another is to submit the manuscript to a different journal. However, if you are doing, therefore, it’s going to still be best to require the reviewer comments into thought. Even if you’re feeling that the reviewers have misunderstood one thing in your paper, others may do a similar. Of course, if you submit to another journal you most likely can need to modify the format. And please note: you’ll not submit your manuscript to more than one journal at a time!

17. Check the proofs. Once the manuscript is accepted and ready for print, the publisher can send the corresponding author page proofs of the article. This could be accompanied by a listing of queries, like missing info concerning a reference. The proofs may be sent via e-mail or as a hard copy. If there is a chance that you will be away when the proofs arrive, have a plan for making certain that they are received and you are notified. You may only have 24–48 hr to return the proofs. Carefully correct any typos and factual errors. And read the manuscript for clarity – this is your last chance! 

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