How To Write Papers For Journals
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Manuscripts may have a rigidly defined structure, but there’s still room to tell a compelling story — one that clearly communicates the science and is a pleasure to read.
The most important information should be in the main text.
To avoid distraction, writers should put additional data in the supplementary material.
There is a narrow line between speculation and evidence-based conclusions.
A writer can speculate in the discussion — but not too much. 2017) that lays out structural details for using a context–content–conclusion scheme to build a core concept.
Examples such as this are not uncommon: “Though not inclusive, this paper provides a useful review of the well-known methods of physical oceanography using as examples various research that illustrates the methodological challenges that give rise to successful solutions to the difficulties inherent in oceanographic research.” Why not this instead: “We review methods of oceanographic research with examples that reveal specific challenges and solutions”?
And if the prose muddies the science, the writer has not only failed to convey their idea, but they’ve also made the reader work so hard that they have alienated him or her.
Writers should put their results into a global context to demonstrate what makes those results significant or original.
The reader’s job is to pay attention and remember what they read.
The writer’s job is to make those two things easy to do. One of the principal problems with writing a manuscript is that your individual voice is stamped out.
Create a logical framework Brett Mensh, scientific adviser, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia; consultant, science communications. If you don’t get the structure right, you have no hope. For the whole paper, the introduction sets the context, the results present the content and the discussion brings home the conclusion.
It’s crucial to focus your paper on a single key message, which you communicate in the title.