ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Research in this age is of great importance. In the areas of product manufacturing and knowledge, the effect of research can be clearly seen. Thus, teaching how to write a scientific article can help. A point that is very important in writing a scientific paper is the individual’s interest in the subject of research. If the researcher is not interested in the subject, it will be difficult for him. Hence, the researcher’s knowledge about the topic is important. A scientific paper has a structure consisting of several sections including introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgment and references. Awareness of these sections and how they can be written can help writers and researches to write valuable articles.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Mahdavi Mohtasham, MSc et al. Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p 258-264
Writing an Orginal Article for Medicine and Health Sciences
**Hamid Mahdavi Mohtasham; MSc, *Seyyed Morteza Kazemi; MD,
Research conducted by an author is of paramount importance, and the
findings broaden the horizons of new knowledge in the field of the
research. In the modern era, research findings of an author become the
products that affect economy(1,2). In order to reap benefits from the
endeavors of researchers, the findings must be implemented within a
specific framework. Scientific articles are published in journals with various
formats, and the structure of an article is explained in the ‘authors’ guide’
section of every journal.
Most scientific articles follow the IMRaD format, which was first proposed
in the field of medicine and health by the International Committee of
Medical Journal Editors in 1978 (Table 1). In the IMRaD format, the
sequence of the sections of an article is introduction, materials and
methods, results, and discussion(3,4).
The title of an article is the first part that is
read by the audience, which requires further
evaluation than the other sections of an article
since it contains the essence of the research.
Normally, the number of the readers is
reduced by a factor of 10 from one secon to
another in the writing of an article. In other
words, per each 10 readers who review the
title of the article, one reader reviews the
abstract, and per each 10 readers who review
the abstract, one reader reviews the results
section, particularly the tables and figures. As
such, per each 10 readers who review the
results section, one reader goes through the
entire article; as a result, the title of an article
is oen read 1000 mes(4). This highlights the
importance of the title in an article and its
How could we select the most appropriate title
for an article? It is best to choose the subjects
that you are most familiar with to smooth the
progress of article writing(6).
Research in this age is of great importance. In the areas of product manufacturing and knowledge, the
effect of research can be clearly seen. Thus, teaching how to write a scientific article can help. A point that is very
important in writing a scientific paper is the individual’s interest in the subject of research. If the researcher is
not interested in the subject, it will be difficult for him. Hence, the researcher’s knowledge about the topic is
important. A scientific paper has a structure consisting of several sections including introduction, methodology,
results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgment and references. Awareness of these sections and how they can
be written can help writers and researches to write valuable articles.
Keywords: Article; Strategies; Tips; Writing;
Received: 9 months before printing; Accepted: 1 month before printing
edic Surgeon
Shahid Beheshti University
of Medical Sciences,
Tehran, Iran
**MSc. Sports Injuries and
Corrective exercise -
Director of Research Affairs
at Bone, Joint and Related
Tissue Research Center
Corresponding author:
Bone, Joint and Related
Tissue Research Center,
Shahid Beheshti University
of Medical Sciences,
Tehran, Iran.
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p258-264 Writing an Orginal Article for Medicine and Health Science
Table 1. Main secons of an arcle based on IMRaD
What is the article about?
Names and affiliations
The words properly representing
the article (not shown in the title)
An abstract of the article
The reason to choose the article,
explaining about the issues and
questions regarding the subject
How was the study conducted?
What were the findings?
What did the findings indicate
(interpreting the data)? What
should be done afterwards?
Possible consequences
Who contributed to the article
and how? Who funded the
Details on the references
Complementary data
A proper title is concise, containing the least
number of words and numbers. Most journals
have a word limit of 10 for the tle, so that it
would be comprehensible and quickly convey
the essence of the study. In addition, the title
should not contain any acronyms or
abbreviations, and expressions such as ‘study
of’, ‘observations in’, ‘evaluation of’, and
‘research on’ should not used in the title(4).
The subject of the research must be prioritized
in accordance with the style of the journal(4).
The subject should be exclusive and attained
through the following questions:
1) Who are being investigated in the
research?; 2) what is the main subject (gap)?;
3) what are my views (the researcher) toward
the subject?; 4) why is the subject important?;
5) how; 6) where; 7) when has the subject
(issue) arisen?; 8) how could it be resolved?
(6). An example is this regard is as follows: The
knee joint is the most important joint in the
human body (in broad terms); in which
individuals is this joint important? The elderly;
what is the associated gap? Reduced daily
activities; what are my views? This is an
important issue that decreases mobility,
leading to musculoskeletal disorders; what is
the solution? Performing physical activities;
what is the significance of the issue? It is
associated with a higher risk of arthritis in the
elderly; how, where, and when does it occur?
The elderly feel an intense, deep pain in their
knee at the start of the day; what is the
solution? Performing physical exercises.
Eventually, the title related to this article could
be the “Effects of Physical Exercise on the
Reduction of Knee Pain in the Elderly” (Figure
1). To select an appropriate subject, narrow it
down into the mentioned questions using
different approaches and determine a clear
title at the final stage(7).
Some journals require a ‘running title’ or ‘short
title’ in the articles. A running title is the
shortened title, which is placed on top of the
pages of the article with variable word limits
depending on the journal (maximum: 40
characters)(4). In a study by Adrian Letchford et
al. (2016) entled “The advantage of short
paper tle”, 140,000 highly-cited articles
during 2007-2013 in Scopus database were
compared with the number of the citations.
According to the results, citation rate was
higher in the articles with running titles
compared to those without a short title(8).
Figure 1. Narrowing down the tle
Authors of scientific articles are those who
play the main roles in the planning, design,
preparation, and presentation of the article(4).
Authors must mention their last academic
degree although it is not published by some
journals. Moreover, the university, institution
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Mahdavi Mohtasham, MSc et al. Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p 258-264
or organization to which the author is affiliated
must be noted. Among the other mandatory
information of authors are the contact routes
(email, contact number)(3,4). According to the
recommendations of the ICMJE, the Open
Researcher and Contributor Identification
(ORCID) must be noted in fron of the names of
the authors(3). The guidelines in this regard are
available on the ICMJE website(9).
In the past, the names of the authors would be
alphabetically sequenced, while this is
obsolete nowadays(4). The first author is the
one with the most contribution to the
research(10,11), and the co-authors are those
who assist the first author in the writing of the
manuscript, data collection, and data analysis.
The last author is mainly involved in the
consultation, guidance, and editing of the
manuscript; it is notable that the order of the
authors is usually determined upon
agreement(4,12). The first author often has
higher academic degrees compared to the
other authors (e.g., MSc, advisor), and some
journals recognize the last author as the
“corresponding author”, who is scientifically
Calculation of the influence score of articles is
often identical for all authors in foreign
journals(14); for instance, (15,16). However,
influence scores of articles are verified
differently in the universities in Iran despite
following to a specific framework (Table 2)(17).
Table 2. Calculaon of influence scores of arcl
es in
Number of
Calculated Score
five 50%
the authors
Keywords are the words that are related to the
main subject and represent the basic contents
of the research. Keywords follow the abstract
of the article and are the most commonly used
words and phrases throughout the research. It
should be noted that the words used in the
title of the article must not be repeated in the
keywords. Despite the variations in different
journals, there should be 5-7 keywords in an
To select the most appropriate keywords, the
phrases should be in the MeSH format in the
outlines of medical subjects. MeSH is used for
the indexing of articles and bibliographies in
the national website of the biomedical and
health data, allowing your article to be
properly indexed in electronic science
databases(18). For access to MeSH, you could
refer to the PubMed website
Abstract is a shortened version of the
article(19). According to the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI), a good abstract
helps the reader to quickly and accurately
realize the main contents of an article(20).
Therefore, an abstract is similar to a window
that opens to the foremost findings of an
article in the most precise manner(4).
The abstract is often written separately on the
second page of the article. It could be
structured or unstructured depending on the
style of the journal. An unstructured abstract is
a paragraph, in which the contents are
presented successively. In a structured
abstract, the contents are categorized into
various paragraphs, including the introduction,
methodology, results, and conclusion. In some
journals, the abstract should also include the
objectives and limitations of the study(21). If
the article has been prepared on a grant or
fund, it should be noted after the abstract(3).
The length of an abstract varies in different
journals, and the word limit is generally 150-
250(4,22,23). One of the reasons for this word
limit is that databases such as PubMed have
determined a word limit of 250, which has
recently been disregarded(24). Refrain from
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p258-264 Writing an Orginal Article for Medicine and Health Science
using acronyms and referring to other articles,
tables, and figures in the article. This section
should only include a report without any
interpretation or evaluation.
Since the abstract is a short version of the
article, the verb tenses used in this section
should differ from the other sections of the
article. As such, the introduction,
interpretation of the results, discussion, and
conclusion in the abstract are written in the
present tense, while the results and
methodology are written in the past tense(4).
Introduction is the first section of an article,
which presents the background about the
research subject and clearly denotes the
recommended hypotheses in this regard. This
section of the article must provide the readers
with fundamental information, so that they
could comprehend the subject and judge the
article. In addition, the introduction shows the
interest of the author in the subject of the
research, as well as the reasons for the
selection of the topic(4).
A good introduction is often short, and most
journals suggest the minimum word limit of
500(4). An introduction includes theoretical
concepts (background), research
question/hypothesis, previous research, and
the necessity of the research(2,22,25,26). In terms
of the format, the introduction resembles a
cone; in other words, it begins with broad
terms and concepts, followed by the
narrowing down of the concepts, and
concluding with the research question and
The beginning of the introduction is the most
important part since it should motivate the
reader by explaining the significance of the
subject. The introduction begins with a brief
background regarding the main topic of the
article, followed by the statement of the
problem and the ‘gap’. When the gap has been
clarified, the author should review the
previous studies that have focused on the gap
and elaborate on the relationship of these
studies and his/her own research. A common
problem among authors is the lack of clear
explanation in this regard. Only a few studies
(four or five) should be presented in the
introduction, so that the readers would not be
confused(26). Another theme in the
introduction section is to determine the
objectives of the research and the
methodologies chosen for bridging the gap.
Afterwards, the author should mention the
significance of the subject, ending the
introduction with the objectives of the
The introduction is written in the past and
present tense; the part regarding the
motivation behind conducting the study is
often in the present tense, and the part that
reviews the previous studies and research
objectives is in the past tense(4). Some of the
main problems in authorship include not
mentioning the objectives and references of
the previous studies, using the pronoun ‘I’ in
the introduction, and overuse of the keywords
in the introduction part.
Novice authors may only write down what is
on their mind without regard for the audience,
coherence of the article, and adequacy of their
knowledge on the subject of the research. To
address this issue, it is recommended that the
author ask a few experts to review the article
after the first draft in order to obtain feedback.
Methodology (materials and methods) follows
the introduction in a paper, which describes
the implementation of the research, features
of the samples, applied tools and instruments,
and methods used in the research. This section
of the article should be prepared in such way
that the readers and other audience would be
able to repeat the procedures in further
In writing the methodology section, the order
of the stages in the study should be observed;
the main stages should be sequenced as
Materials and Methods
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Mahdavi Mohtasham, MSc et al. Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p 258-264
sample population, applied tools and
instruments, and research processes. Data on
the studied sample population are presented
in the first sub-section, which is entitled
‘participants’ or ‘subjects’ in italicized letters.
Details on the type of the research, sample
population, limitations of the study, studied
variables, and inclusion/exclusion criteria of
the subjects are also presented in this sub-
The following sub-sections are entitled
‘measures’ or ‘materials’ in italicized letters,
which includes the data on the applied tools,
type of treatment or intervention, and the
validity and reliability of the research
In the final sub-section, the ‘procedures’ are
described, and details are provided on the
data collection, performing the study, research
ethics, and use of statistical methods for data
analysis(3,4,20,22,23,26-28). If the applied
methodology is based upon the methods used
in the previous studies, a brief explanation is
required in this regard(5). It is also noteworthy
that in some journals, the sub-sections have a
specific format, while the methodology section
is written as a whole in other journals as well.
The methodology section should be written in
the past tense(4).
In this section of the paper, new knowledge
must be presented; therefore, it is the
foremost section of the article. The previous
sections mainly serve the results section. The
value of a scientific article lies in the results
section, in which the findings of the study must
be expressed clearly without any
Results could be presented in the form of text,
tables, figures, diagrams or a combination of
all these media(23,26). In the case of using
medical images, such as magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT)
scan, the area in question must be highlighted
on the figures with an arrow or alphabetical
letters(7). Avoid repeating data and providing
redundant information. Provide references to
the tables and figures in the text; to refer to
tables, the number of the table or figure could
be mentioned between parentheses (e.g.,
Table 5), and refrain from using sentences
such The information are completely provided
in Figure 2”. Do not mention similar data in the
tables, figures, and diagrams.
The results section is written in the past tense,
with an active or passive voice. It is notable
that the tables and graphs should be
presented in accordance with the specific
guidelines of journals(3,4,19,22,25,29-31).
In this section of the paper, the author
interprets the results of the study. The
discussion includes theoretical and scientific
principles, findings, and methodology (26, 32).
Moreover, the author should compare the
results of the study with the previous findings,
discussing the similarities and discrepancies
and their causes. The strengths and limitations
of the study should also be reviewed in the
discussion section, which could be about the
selection of the sample population, research
instruments, study design, intervention, and
data collection methods. Afterwards, a few
recommendations or suggestions could be
provided (3, 4, 16, 19, 22, 24-26, 30, 31, 33).
Discussion must address a few questions:
What is the significance of the obtained
results?” and What are the applications of
these findings?
Writing of the discussion is more difficult
compared to the other sections of a paper, and
certain points should be noted in this regard,
including the avoidance of repeating the
previous findings and elaborating on the
correlation of the obtained results with the
research question in the introduction part.
The discussion is written in the present and
past tense. The present tense is applied while
reporting the current data (studies by other
researchers), and the past tense is used while
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p258-264 Writing an Orginal Article for Medicine and Health Science
discussing and assessing the new data (findings
of the author)(4).
The conclusion section largely depends on the
style and recommended format of journals;
some journals consider a separate part for
conclusion, in and some papers, it is the final
paragraph after the discussion. In the
conclusion section, the general idea of the
article is presented briefly, and the significance
of the findings are also emphasized(4,23).
Acknowledgements are one of the final
sections of a paper. Some journals recommend
an obligatory format for this section, while it
could be an optional part in other journals. In
the acknowledgements, the author
appreciates the co-authors, financial
supporters, affiliated institutions, and the
cooperating organizations, as well as the other
individuals who assist the author in conducting
the research(4,22,24).
The number and format of the references
depend on the style of journals. In the journals
where there is a limited number of references,
the author must adhere to the guidelines. In
the references, the author must use new
references as far as possible, which are
relevant to the subject of the research.
References must be arranged in accordance
with the guidelines of the journal.
Similar to the acknowledgments, the appendix
may or may not be obligatory depending on
the journal. In this section, the author provides
all the information on the research, such as
the applied questionnaires and complete
images of the interventional processes (4).
Writing a scientific article is a difficult task.
According to Hayes, writing a scientific paper is
a relative task that requires motivation, while
it is also an intellectual activity that needs
mental and cognive processes (34). To begin
every task, there should an overview and
proper planning, which provide information on
the following stages of the task. As such,
planning is required before writing an article in
two stages; initially, the author should address
five quesons, and in the second stage, 12
quesons must be addressed (tables 3 & 4).
Based on these questions, the author follows
the steps to writing an article (30).
What is the title of my article?
2. Why is this title important?
3. How can I present my hypothesis?
4. What are my results?
5. What are my foremost findings?
1. Why is my paper important?
2. What are the current data on my topic?
3. What is my research question/hypothesis?
4. What are my objectives?
Materials and Methods
1. What instruments have I used?
2. Who are my sample population?
3. What type of study have I used?
4. What was the methodology?
1. What are the significant findings of the
2. What are the key findings of the study?
Discussion and Conclusion
1. What are the important findings?
2. What conclusion was drawn from the results?
Overview of writing an article
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
Iranian Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Mahdavi Mohtasham, MSc et al. Vol 16, No 2 (Serial No 61), Spring 2018, p 258-264
1. Acs ZJ, Desai S, Hessels J. Entrepreneurship,
economic development and institutions. Small business
economics. 2008;31(3):219-34.
2. Mason J, Eccles M, Freemantle N, Drummond
M. Incorporating economic analysis in evidence-based
guidelines for mental health: the profile approach. The
journal of mental health policy and economics.
3. (ICMJE) ICoMJE. ICMJE Recommendations:
ICMJE; 1978 [updated December 2016. Available from:
4. Nair PR, Nair VD. Organization of a Research
Paper: The IMRAD Format. Scientific Writing and
Communication in Agriculture and Natural Resources:
Springer; 2014. p. 13-25.
5. Bredan AS, Van Roy F. Writing readable prose.
EMBO reports. 2006;7(9):846-9.
6. University A. Ten Steps for Writing Research
Papers Academic Support Center, Wring Lab2009
[updated 2009. Available from:
7. Biswas J. Practical suggestions in the writing of
a research paper. Indian journal of ophthalmology.
8. Letchford A, Moat HS, Preis T. The advantage of
short paper tles. Open Science. 2015;2(8):150266.
9. ORCID. Guidelines on the display of ORCID iDs
in journal arcles May 10, 2017 [Available from:
10. Hunt R. Trying an authorship index. Nature.
11. Verhagen JV, Wallace KJ, Collins SC, Scott TR.
QUAD system offers fair shares to all authors. Nature.
12. Tscharntke T, Hochberg ME, Rand TA, Resh VH,
Krauss J. Author sequence and credit for contributions
in multiauthored publications. PLoS biology.
13. Bhandari M, Busse JW, Kulkarni AV, Devereaux
PJ, Leece P, Guyatt GH. Interpreting authorship order
and corresponding authorship. Epidemiology.
14. Clement TP. Authorship matrix: A rational
approach to quantify individual contributions and
responsibilities in multi-author scientific articles. Science
and Engineering Ethics. 2014;20(2):345-61.
15. Aad G, Abajyan T, Abbott B, Abdallah J, Khalek
SA, Abdelalim A, et al. Observation of a new particle in
the search for the Standard Model Higgs boson with the
ATLAS detector at the LHC. Physics Letters B.
16. Chatrchyan S, Hmayakyan G, Khachatryan V,
Sirunyan A, Adam W, Bauer T, et al. The CMS
experiment at the CERN LHC. 2008.
17. Irantahghigh. How does article score apportion
between authors? Order of Authorship [Available from:
18. NLM. Medical Subject Headings 1999 [updated
27 June 2017. Available from:
19. Gastel B, Day RA. How to write and publish a
scientific paper: ABC-CLIO; 2016.
20. ANSI. Methods for the experimental
determination of mechanical mobility—part 1: basic
definions and transducers. . ANSI/ASA S231-1979.
21. Fatiregun A, Asuzu M. Structured and
unstructured abstracts in journal articles: a review. The
Nigerian postgraduate medical journal. 2003;10(3):197-
22. Bligh GP, John. AMEE Guide No. 17: Wring for
journal publicaon. Medical Teacher. 1999;21(5):457-
23. Holmes DR, Hodgson PK, Nishimura RA, Simari
RD. Manuscript preparation and publication. Circulation.
24. Deshpande SB. Art of writing a scientific paper.
25. Hoogenboom BJ, Manske RC. How to write a
scientific article. International journal of sports physical
therapy. 2012;7(5):512.
26. Bordage G. Considerations on preparing a
paper for publication. Teaching and Learning in
Medicine: An Internaonal Journal. 1989;1(1):47-52.
27. Baillie J. On writing: write the abstract, and a
manuscript will emerge from it! Endoscopy.
28. Kallet RH. How to write the methods section of
a research paper. Respiratory care. 2004;49(10):1229-
29. Beat J, Elliott E, Baur L, Keena V. Scientific
Writing-Easy when you know how: The BMJ Publishing
Group; 2002.
30. Kallestinova ED. How to write your first
research paper. The Yale journal of biology and
medicine. 2011;84(3):181.
31. Sollaci LB, Pereira MG. The introduction,
methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD) structure: a
fifty-year survey. Journal of the medical library
associaon. 2004;92(3):364.
32. F ZJ. Biostatistics: experimental design and
stascal inference: NY:Oxford University press; 1993.
33. Rosenberg J, Bauchner H, Backus J, De Leeuw P,
Drazen J, Frizelle F, et al. The new ICMJE
recommendaons. 2013.
34. Hayes JR. A New Framework for Understanding
Cognition and. Perspectives on writing: Research,
theory, and pracce. 2000:6.
Downloaded from at 16:50 +0330 on Monday March 4th 2019
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Vast numbers of scientific articles are published each year, some of which attract considerable attention, and some of which go almost unnoticed. Here, we investigate whether any of this variance can be explained by a simple metric of one aspect of the paper's presentation: the length of its title. Our analysis provides evidence that journals which publish papers with shorter titles receive more citations per paper. These results are consistent with the intriguing hypothesis that papers with shorter titles may be easier to understand, and hence attract more citations.
Full-text available
This reprinted chapter originally appeared in The Science of Writing: Theories, Methods, Individual Differences, and Applications , 1-27, 1996, C. M. Levy and S. Randall (Eds.). The following abstract of the original chapter appeared in record 1996-98203-001: (from the chapter) nearly 15 years have passed since the Hayes-Flower model of the writing process first appeared in 1980 / present a new framework for the study of writing--a framework that can provide a better description of current empirical findings than the 1980 model, and one that can, . . . be useful for interpreting a wider range of writing activities than was encompassed in the 1980 model the major changes in focus in the new framework are: greater attention to the role of working memory in writing, inclusion of the visual-spatial dimension, the integration of motivation and affect with the cognitive processes, and a reorganization of the cognitive processes which places greater emphasis on the function of text interpretation processes in writing / the new framework includes new specific models of planning, text production, and revision and proposes a number of testable hypotheses about writing processes...
Full-text available
The purpose of this book is to help early career professionals in agriculture and natural resources write their research papers for high-quality journals and present their results properly at professional meetings. Different fields have different conventions for writing style such that the authors of the book have found it difficult to recommend to young scientists in these fields a specific book or source material out of the several that are available as the "go to" guide. Writing a scientific paper is a tedious task even to experienced writers; but it is particularly so for the early career professionals such as students, trainees, scientists and scholars in agriculture and natural resources; the challenge is even more when their first language of communication is not English. This book is targeted mainly to that group.
Full-text available
A search for the Standard Model Higgs boson in proton–proton collisions with the ATLAS detector at the LHC is presented. The datasets used correspond to integrated luminosities of approximately 4.8 fb −1 collected at √ s = 7 TeV in 2011 and 5.8 fb −1 at √ s = 8 TeV in 2012. Individual searches in the channels H → Z Z (*) → 4, H → γ γ and H → W W (*) → eνμν in the 8 TeV data are combined with previously published results of searches for H → Z Z (*) , W W (*) , b ¯ b and τ + τ − in the 7 TeV data and results from improved analyses of the H → Z Z (*) → 4 and H → γ γ channels in the 7 TeV data. Clear evidence for the production of a neutral boson with a measured mass of 126.0 ±0.4 (stat)±0.4 (sys) GeV is presented. This observation, which has a significance of 5.9 standard deviations, corresponding to a background fluctuation probability of 1.7 × 10 −9 , is compatible with the production and decay of the Standard Model Higgs boson.
Full-text available
We propose a rational method for addressing an important question-who deserves to be an author of a scientific article? We review various contentious issues associated with this question and recommend that the scientific community should view authorship in terms of contributions and responsibilities, rather than credits. We propose a new paradigm that conceptually divides a scientific article into four basic elements: ideas, work, writing, and stewardship. We employ these four fundamental elements to modify the well-known International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines. The modified ICMJE guidelines are then used as the basis to develop an approach to quantify individual contributions and responsibilities in multi-author articles. The outcome of the approach is an authorship matrix, which can be used to answer several nagging questions related to authorship.
Full-text available
The abstract covers each and every component of the study, namely, the problem statement, the research question, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusion, and implications. Summaries often cover only one or a limited number of aspects of the study, such as the results and the discussion. Many readers will decide whether to read the entire paper on the basis of the information given in the abstract. Therefore, if the abstract is partial, they may decide to skip the paper, whereas had they known that a particular methodology had been used, they would have paid more attention. The abstract contains precise information. Actual data should be reported. Vague or general information is not very useful; for example, instead of writing “Great differences were found in performance,” the author could say, “The mean performances of the preclinical and clinical students on the 150-item MCQ test were, respectively, 125.7 (SD = 11.9) and 87.4 (SD = 16.2), p < 0.01.” The implications and benefits reported are com mensurate with the results obtained. The generalizations made from the results should not exceed the limits of the study, either in terms of the sample or in terms of the materials used—for example, stating that “Multitrack curricula are better than traditional curricula” when in fact only two curricula were compared, one from each type. Key words are listed and cover all aspects of the study. The list of key words should be longer than the few key words found in the title. The key words cover the object of the study as well as the methodology, the population of interest, and the nature of the outcomes expected—for example, difficult clinical cases, data interpretation, medical knowledge, simulated patients, house staff, and clinical teaching.
Suggests a system for determining authorship of science papers.
Manuscript preparation and publication are a cornerstone of medical knowledge. The published manuscript is the “coin of the realm” in academic medicine, the specie by which physicians and scientists alike are judged relative to their peers; it is also considered an indicator of future potential and current achievement. The importance of publications is highlighted by their central role in academic advancement. There are multiple steps and multiple goals in the preparation of a manuscript and its subsequent publication. Gaining some understanding of these issues is crucial before taking on the actual practical task of turning ideas and concepts into a finished product. The primary goal of publication is communication. However, the means and form by which the communication takes place may vary widely. The goals of preparation and publication depend in part on the author and the landscape in which crafting the manuscript occurs. Sometimes manuscripts are the outcome of an experiment or research project; at other times, they fulfill a requirement of a training program. Some manuscripts result from a comprehensive review of a subject matter or field (as in a review article). Regardless of the landscape, it is critical to begin by defining what is to be communicated and to whom it will be targeted. Preparation of a manuscript for publication begins with a clear delineation of what is to be communicated. Once this task is completed, the primary aim is to write a manuscript in a format that attracts editors and reviewers and effectively educates readers. It might be said that an unpublished manuscript and an uncited published article are the 2 ultimate failures of communication and education. Another failure is related and equally important. It results from a series of events that include manuscript preparation and submission followed by several rejections, which a young investigator perceives as failure, becoming discouraged and hesitant to attempt other academic ventures. Achieving the goals and tasks of planning, preparing, submitting, and publishing academic manuscripts is the focus of this article, which is aimed at young investigators.1–8