Research is imperative to add to and support the validity of our profession. To encourage more submissions, we have provided the following as a suggestion of how to construct a scientific manuscript (other methods may also be used):
Scientific research papers aim to describe a question and logically present an answer to that question based on theoretical or experimental results. As you will be conveying technical and scientific data, is it important to present your information in a straightforward format. Typically, research papers have the following components and should appear in the following order:
State the title of the manuscript which will be reflective of the content; aim to keep as short as possible and to the point. Include your name(s) and include any affiliations. Provide approximately 6 keys words as a running title and contact details for the corresponding author.
You will often find that many online research publications only make the abstract of the paper available. The abstract should be a stand-alone summary of the entire research paper condensed into a single paragraph. Keep this as concise as possible. It should begin with the overall aim/hypothesis of the experiment, followed by the method of extracting the data and evaluation. The paragraph will then conclude with the most significant results of the experiment and the potential impact that the findings may make to the relevant field of study.
The introduction is an opportunity to introduce the audience to the field of study in general terms and explains why your chosen topic is important. Commonly it reviews other literature published in the field and how it could be improved. This should then be followed by the hypothesis and very briefly the approach you will take to test that this hypothesis works. The end of the introduction should revisit the title question posed and its relevance. Generally, an Introduction is usually two to three paragraphs in length.
This describes the methods you used to conduct the experiment. Each method should be described in separate paragraphs including apparatus/materials used. Then describe the procedure you followed and techniques used. Always explain the rationale for technique chosen. If you use a specific design or theoretical approach, describe these after you have listed any materials used. Keep the descriptions concise at all times. It is important to be very detailed here and supply information (if applicable) on where you obtained the materials or the basis and model of any approach used, so this method may be replicated and used as a precedent for future research. Finally, detail the statistical analysis method(s) used to generate the results.
The results section presents the data which should be presented in tables and figures placed in particular parts of the text and numbered for easy reference. All tables and figures presented must be referred to in the results paragraphs of the paper. Important statistics for example, index dispersion, standard deviation (SD) and standard error of the mean (SEM) and central tendency (mean, median or mode) and number of samples must be stated in regard to experimental studies. Always include any statistical analysis that was performed, and indicate specific data, such as p-values. The results should not include interpretation or any kind of discussion of the data, only present the experimental data itself. Each set of results should be presented in separate tables with overall trends noted in the figure/table reference. It is always good practice to indicate the best position of tables within the text for editors.
The discussion should re-iterate the latter part of the introduction and discuss the key results measured against the objectives. If the results present a hypothesis then this result should be an objective argument that affirms or rejects the hypothesis. The discussion paragraphs give an overview of the work in general and include an interpretation of the data. If the results were not as anticipated, yet the trends indicate that further investigation may provide a more positive outcome, this is the place to discuss it and present that view. Finally, identify and highlight the most important aspects of the results. Contrast these results against other findings, usually discussed within the introduction and how your experiment contributes to the overall field of investigation.
Most readers skip to this section and so this should summarise the experiment and most poignant results. An inclusion of the main points covered under discussion should also be presented for consideration under this paragraph. End this paragraph, together with how your experiment has contributed to the field as a whole.
Acknowledge any participants or consultants who have contributed to the experiment who are but have not been named as an author. If your experiment has been funded, here is the place to acknowledge these contributions (usually a statement is provided and pre-approved by the contributor; always check with contributor first before submitting).
Conflict of Interest(s)
State if any person involved in the experiment has any conflict of interest in its results. For example, if a company or organisation funded the research.
References represent the motivation behind the paper. Cite all references that have been made throughout the text. All references and footnotes should be numbered and then referenced at the end of the article not throughout the text. References should state as a minimum the author, title of the book, the page number you extracted the information from and the year the book was published. If it is an e-book or website include the website link and date resourced, as content may be subject to change.
Tables and Table Captions
Tables can be included within the body of the text but can also be positioned at the end. Tables should be captioned and titled drawing attention to the main points of focus i.e. Table 1 Chemical Properties, 2 etc. with a short description of the overall results for easy reference. This description can be different from the results or discussion. Tables should be formatted in such a way that it is easy for the reader to interpret the results. Always ensure that all the tables are referred to, as a minimum in the results paragraph but are often referred to in the introduction and discussion paragraphs.
Figure and Figure Captions
Like tables, figures can also be included within the body of the text but can also be positioned at the end Figures should be captioned and titled drawing attention to the main points of focus i.e. Figure 1, 2 etc. Label graphs and images paying careful attention to the resolution of such images and accurate scale bars. Visual aids are essential to effectively communicate your findings and should be provided in at least 300dpi. Axis and data points should be provided in large font. Legends can be included within the graph or provided separately in the caption. This wording can be different from the results or discussion. Finally state the number of repetitions for example n=5 and observed trends for example the associated errors and standard deviations. Always ensure that all the figures are referred to, as a minimum in the results paragraph but are often referred to in the introduction and discussion paragraphs.
Order in which to construct your manuscript:
When choosing the order in which you approach to write your research papers we suggest the following:
- Start by writing the methods section gleaned from your initial research protocol and the experiment itself.
- Draw up the figure and tables and any data included in the research, from that you may construct your conclusion.
- Remind yourself of the initial question being asked, referring to your research protocol and then write the introduction.
- Use the introduction and results as the basis of the discussion session.
- Then go back to the very beginning and summarise everything so far in the abstract from, which you can finish by writing the conclusion.
Cite previously published work you wish to draw upon as appropriate, however do not attempt to pass this off as your own. Original research work cannot present data obtained from previously published work for it to be authentic, unless drawing a comparison from and again properly referenced. If citing work from other authors, always obtain their permission first. Translation of text or results is no exclusion to this, failure to cite these sources is still plagiarism.
Always spell check your manuscript and check for grammatical errors before submission. If your English is not your language, always have your manuscript checked by someone who speaks fluent English so as to not impede your chances of a successful submission.
All submissions will be peer reviewed before deciding whether to publish based upon: significance, originality and validity. Suggestions and improvements may be suggested where appropriate. Decisions whether to accept, request revisions or reject submissions lies solely with the Journal Committee.