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Writing and Publishing Scientific Papers

Gábor L. Lövei

Part II. Writing the paper

Writing the paper

Texte intégral

1In this section, the different elements of the primary paper will be discussed, in the sequence in which they normally appear in the manuscript. The structure of a primary scientific paper is sometimes abbreviated to “IMRaD”. This means “Introduction, Material and methods, Results and Discussion”. There are, however, several additional parts of a paper (see Box 5) that appear in a specific sequence in the manuscript. This sequence is different from the order in which they will appear in the printed paper. The most important difference is the placement of the figures and tables. These should always be placed at the end of the manuscript, and not pasted into the text. The original reason for this is that the printing of figures was a separate process, carried out at a different place to the printing of text. Even today, illustrations are processed differently from text (often using different software, too) so inserting photos into the text of the manuscript would serve little purpose. Tables and figures should always be at the end of the manuscript. More detail on this matter will be given in the respective chapters on figures and tables.

Box 5. Parts of the manuscript of an article
Authors =>
Addresses =>
Corresponding author and her address: =>
=======================> the above often form the title page Abstract/summary (sometimes also in the form of “highlights” and “graphical abstract”)
Short title/ running title
Material & methods (this is sometimes placed to the end of the paper)
References/literature cited Tables
Figure legends
Appendices (optional)

2In a few journals, the material and methods section is placed at the end of the article. This, the editors argue, makes reading and understanding easier, because the background (introduction) is closely followed by the new results and their interpretation (the discussion). Irrespective of your opinion about this, you must follow the convention in the target journal.


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