HOW TO WRITE A SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE

Step 7: Write the Abstract

How do I write a scientific review research paper? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Barbara Robson, Research Scientist, on Quora:

How do I write a scientific review research paper?

I have written a few review papers, and this is my approach. There are doubtless others that are equally effective, and some of these will be faster, but the approach that I will suggest is one that is thorough and defensible.

First, make sure that you are an expert in the subject and aware of the recent literature on the topic you have in mind. Consider working with co-authors so that together your expertise in the area is broad and deep.

Next, read all the other review papers that have been published on related topics, or similar topics in related fields, over the previous two to three decades, to make sure that you understand what has been already done and to make sure that there is a gap in the existing reviews.

Then it is time to work out what question you will be trying to answer with your review. Some examples of questions that can be answered by review papers include:

  • What has changed in our understanding of this topic since the last review? What are the biggest challenges facing researchers in this field today? And, what are the most promising approaches to solving these challenges?
  • Is there enough evidence in the existing literature to decide which of two competing conceptual models or theories is most likely to be correct?
  • Is there enough evidence in the literature to justify a commonly held belief or assumption in this field?
  • How well have active researchers in this field adopted what are now considered best practices, and is this improving our scientific results?
  • Of a few methodologies used in this field, which has proven most successful or useful over time?
  • How applicable are ideas developed in one area (for instance, “in temperate rivers”) to another area (e.g. “tropical rivers”)?

You get the idea — you don’t have to pick one of these, but it is a good idea to frame your review around some question of which the answer is not obvious even to expert researchers in the field.

Once you have your question, start reading the literature to gather evidence. It is a good idea to do this in a systematic way to make sure that you are not cherry-picking the literature to support a pre-concieved idea or to favor the research of one particular group. Choose keywords carefully, choose a good database such as Web of Science, choose the time-frame that your review will cover, and read everything that is a match. Take notes and, if appropriate to your research question, keep track of your findings in a spreadsheet or database. You will not be citing everything that you read for your review, but it is a good idea to keep track of everything that you have read that matched your search criteria, and what you learned from it.

At some point during this reading, you will start preparing the outline for your review paper. Work out how you will structure the paper, what key points you want to highlight, and what the story is that you will be telling through your review. Often, good review papers will include figures that combine results from the literature that you have searched through to tell readers something new, either through new, collated representations of data that show new, emergent relationships, or through new conceptual models that will help others to think about the topic in a new way and structure future research. Plan what these figures will be in your paper.

Also think carefully about who your intended audience will be. Is it aimed at new (post)graduate students who are just getting into the field and need somewhere to start? Is it aimed at your fellow expert researchers in the field, whose thinking you would like to influence? Is it aimed at industry practitioners, who may not be able to read all the literature themselves, but need a good summary of the evidence and how it should influence their practice? Is it aimed at people in related fields who may be venturing into a new cross-disciplinary area? Know your goal and your audience and it should then be clear what to include in your review and what to leave out.

Finally, it is time to start writing. Like any other paper, this will need to have an Introduction, which explains what has been done before (for example, in previous reviews) and what has motivated your review paper (i.e. what question are you trying to answer, and for whom). It may have Methods and Results sections, particularly if you have taken a systemmatic and quantitative approach to your review, or it may be a more narrative review, divided into sections that help you tell the story and elucidate the topic. It should certainly have a Conclusions section: what should change as a result of what you have found and discussed in your review?

As with any paper, aim to write clearly and in a way that will be interesting for your intended audience. Aim to write in a way that makes it easy to find and understand your key messages, even for skim-readers. Aim to be concise but to back up everything you say with evidence.

Once you have this done and have asked a friendly colleague to look over it and give you feedback, you will be ready to submit the review to a good journal in your field. Make sure that it is a journal that does publish reviews, and consider sending the editor a query first if you are not sure whether they publish reviews that have not been solicited.

Good luck!

This questionoriginally appeared on Quora — the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google . More questions:

«{amp}gt;

How do I write a scientific review research paper? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Barbara Robson, Research Scientist, on Quora:

How do I write a scientific review research paper?

I have written a few review papers, and this is my approach. There are doubtless others that are equally effective, and some of these will be faster, but the approach that I will suggest is one that is thorough and defensible.

First, make sure that you are an expert in the subject and aware of the recent literature on the topic you have in mind. Consider working with co-authors so that together your expertise in the area is broad and deep.

Next, read all the other review papers that have been published on related topics, or similar topics in related fields, over the previous two to three decades, to make sure that you understand what has been already done and to make sure that there is a gap in the existing reviews.

Then it is time to work out what question you will be trying to answer with your review. Some examples of questions that can be answered by review papers include:

  • What has changed in our understanding of this topic since the last review? What are the biggest challenges facing researchers in this field today? And, what are the most promising approaches to solving these challenges?
  • Is there enough evidence in the existing literature to decide which of two competing conceptual models or theories is most likely to be correct?
  • Is there enough evidence in the literature to justify a commonly held belief or assumption in this field?
  • How well have active researchers in this field adopted what are now considered best practices, and is this improving our scientific results?
  • Of a few methodologies used in this field, which has proven most successful or useful over time?
  • How applicable are ideas developed in one area (for instance, “in temperate rivers”) to another area (e.g. “tropical rivers”)?

You get the idea — you don’t have to pick one of these, but it is a good idea to frame your review around some question of which the answer is not obvious even to expert researchers in the field.

Once you have your question, start reading the literature to gather evidence. It is a good idea to do this in a systematic way to make sure that you are not cherry-picking the literature to support a pre-concieved idea or to favor the research of one particular group. Choose keywords carefully, choose a good database such as Web of Science, choose the time-frame that your review will cover, and read everything that is a match. Take notes and, if appropriate to your research question, keep track of your findings in a spreadsheet or database. You will not be citing everything that you read for your review, but it is a good idea to keep track of everything that you have read that matched your search criteria, and what you learned from it.

At some point during this reading, you will start preparing the outline for your review paper. Work out how you will structure the paper, what key points you want to highlight, and what the story is that you will be telling through your review. Often, good review papers will include figures that combine results from the literature that you have searched through to tell readers something new, either through new, collated representations of data that show new, emergent relationships, or through new conceptual models that will help others to think about the topic in a new way and structure future research. Plan what these figures will be in your paper.

Also think carefully about who your intended audience will be. Is it aimed at new (post)graduate students who are just getting into the field and need somewhere to start? Is it aimed at your fellow expert researchers in the field, whose thinking you would like to influence? Is it aimed at industry practitioners, who may not be able to read all the literature themselves, but need a good summary of the evidence and how it should influence their practice? Is it aimed at people in related fields who may be venturing into a new cross-disciplinary area? Know your goal and your audience and it should then be clear what to include in your review and what to leave out.

Finally, it is time to start writing. Like any other paper, this will need to have an Introduction, which explains what has been done before (for example, in previous reviews) and what has motivated your review paper (i.e. what question are you trying to answer, and for whom). It may have Methods and Results sections, particularly if you have taken a systemmatic and quantitative approach to your review, or it may be a more narrative review, divided into sections that help you tell the story and elucidate the topic. It should certainly have a Conclusions section: what should change as a result of what you have found and discussed in your review?

As with any paper, aim to write clearly and in a way that will be interesting for your intended audience. Aim to write in a way that makes it easy to find and understand your key messages, even for skim-readers. Aim to be concise but to back up everything you say with evidence.

Once you have this done and have asked a friendly colleague to look over it and give you feedback, you will be ready to submit the review to a good journal in your field. Make sure that it is a journal that does publish reviews, and consider sending the editor a query first if you are not sure whether they publish reviews that have not been solicited.

Good luck!

This questionoriginally appeared on Quora — the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google . More questions:

Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission.

By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process. The purpose of this invited commentary is to offer practical suggestions for achieving success when writing and submitting manuscripts to The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and other professional journals.

Keywords: Journal submission, scientific writing, strategies and tips

To begin it might be interesting to learn why reviewers accept manuscripts! Reviewers consider the following five criteria to be the most important in decisions about whether to accept manuscripts for publication:

1) the importance, timeliness, relevance, and prevalence of the problem addressed; 2) the quality of the writing style (i.e., that it is well‐written, clear, straightforward, easy to follow, and logical);

3) the study design applied (i.e., that the design was appropriate, rigorous, and comprehensive); 4) the degree to which the literature review was thoughtful, focused, and up‐to‐date; and 5) the use of a sufficiently large sample.

10 For these statements to be true there are also reasons that reviewers reject manuscripts. The following are the top five reasons for rejecting papers: 1) inappropriate, incomplete, or insufficiently described statistics;

2) over‐interpretation of results; 3) use of inappropriate, suboptimal, or insufficiently described populations or instruments; 4) small or biased samples; and 5) text that is poorly written or difficult to follow.

10,11 With these reasons for acceptance or rejection in mind, it is time to review basics and general writing tips to be used when performing manuscript preparation.

“Begin with the end in mind”. When you begin writing about your research, begin with a specific target journal in mind.12 Every scientific journal should have specific lists of manuscript categories that are preferred for their readership.

The IJSPT seeks to provide readership with current information to enhance the practice of sports physical therapy. Therefore the manuscript categories accepted by IJSPT include: Original research; Systematic reviews of literature;

Clinical commentary and Current concept reviews; Case reports; Clinical suggestions and unique practice techniques; and Technical notes. Once a decision has been made to write a manuscript, compose an outline that complies with the requirements of the target submission journal and has each of the suggested sections.

This means carefully checking the submission criteria and preparing your paper in the exact format of the journal to which you intend to submit. Be thoughtful about the distinction between content (what you are reporting) and structure (where it goes in the manuscript).

It may be helpful to follow the IMRaD format for writing scientific manuscripts. This acronym stands for the sections contained within the article: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each of these areas of the manuscript will be addressed in this commentary.

Many accomplished authors write their results first, followed by an introduction and discussion, in an attempt to “stay true” to their results and not stray into additional areas. Typically the last two portions to be written are the conclusion and the abstract.

The ability to accurately describe ideas, protocols/procedures, and outcomes are the pillars of scientific writing. Accurate and clear expression of your thoughts and research information should be the primary goal of scientific writing.

12 Remember that accuracy and clarity are even more important when trying to get complicated ideas across. Contain your literature review, ideas, and discussions to your topic, theme, model, review, commentary, or case.

Avoid vague terminology and too much prose. Use short rather than long sentences. If jargon has to be utilized keep it to a minimum and explain the terms you do use clearly.13

Write with a measure of formality, using scientific language and avoiding conjunctions, slang, and discipline or regionally specific nomenclature or terms (e.g. exercise nicknames). For example, replace the term “Monster walks” with “closed‐chain hip abduction with elastic resistance around the thighs”. You may later refer to the exercise as “also known as Monster walks” if you desire.

Avoid first person language and instead write using third person language. Some journals do not ascribe to this requirement, and allow first person references, however, IJSPT prefers use of third person. For example, replace “We determined that…” with “The authors determined that….”.

For novice writers, it is really helpful to seek a reading mentor that will help you pre‐read your submission. Problems such as improper use of grammar, tense, and spelling are often a cause of rejection by reviewers.

Despite the content of the study these easily fixed errors suggest that the authors created the manuscript with less thought leading reviewers to think that the manuscript may also potentially have erroneous findings as well.

A review from a second set of trained eyes will often catch these errors missed by the original authors. If English is not your first language, the editorial staff at IJSPT suggests that you consult with someone with the relevant expertise to give you guidance on English writing conventions, verb tense, and grammar. Excellent writing in English is hard, even for those of us for whom it is our first language!

Use figures and graphics to your advantage. ‐Consider the use of graphic/figure representation of data and important procedures or exercises. Tables should be able to stand alone and be completely understandable at a quick glance.

Understanding a table should not require careful review of the manuscript! Figures dramatically enhance the graphic appeal of a scientific paper. Many formats for graphic presentation are acceptable, including graphs, charts, tables, and pictures or videos.

Photographs should be clear, free of clutter or extraneous background distractions and be taken with models wearing simple clothing. Color photographs are preferred. Digital figures (Scans or existing files as well as new photographs) must be at least 300dpi.

All photographs should be provided as separate files (jpeg or tif preferred) and not be embedded in the paper. Quality and clarity of figures are essential for reproduction purposes and should be considered before taking images for the manuscript.

A video of an exercise or procedure speaks a thousand words. Please consider using short video clips as descriptive additions to your paper. They will be placed on the IJSPT website and accompany your paper.

The video clips must be submitted in MPEG‐1, MPEG‐2, Quicktime (.mov), or Audio/Video Interface (.avi) formats. Maximum cumulative length of videos is 5 minutes. Each video segment may not exceed 50 MB, and each video clip must be saved as a separate file and clearly identified.

Formulate descriptive figure/video and Table/chart/graph titles and place them on a figure legend document. Carefully consider placement of, naming of, and location of figures. It makes the job of the editors much easier!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Essay's Help