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  • 1. How to write a research report Vikas Shrivastava This Presentation should be used as reference for Research Report Preparation. Students should also go through websites, books and take guidance from their respective faculty members.
  • 2. Write a research report
    • Front matter
    • Body of the report
    • End matter
    • Tables and Figures
    • Submission and review
  • 3. Standard format
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Methods (Materials and Methods)
    • Results
    • Discussion (conclusion)
    • Acknowledgments
    • Literature cited
    • Appendixes
    • Tables
    • Figure legends
    • Figures
  • 4. 1. Front matter
    • Title page:
      • Title , the name(s) of the author(s), institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s) and the mailing address of the corresponding author, including an email address and fax number.
      • Some require a suggested short title to be used as a running head in the journal.
  • 5.
    • Issues of coauthorship:
      • Misunderstandings about coauthorships can cause bad feelings and antagonistic relationships and may even lead to accusations of unethical scientific behavior.
      • Unfortunately, no uniform guidelines exist concerning the specifics of coauthorship that apply across all areas of the biological sciences.
  • 6.
      • The individual who writes most or all of the first draft of a manuscript is the first author, others who participated or contributed to the data collection and conceptualization of the study in significant ways are second (and third, etc.) authors, and the advisor, laboratory head, or field-site director is the last author.
  • 7.
    • Abstract:
      • As with the summary of a proposal, write the abstract of a report last.
      • Many journals require that the abstract not exceed five percent of the word count of the text (introduction through discussion).
      • Because of its brevity, the abstract is usually the most difficult part of a report to write.
      • The most important part of your report.
  • 8. 2. Body of the report
    • One of the challenges of translating good scientific research into a good scientific report involves imposing a logical sequence on to a series of analyses or experiments.
    • Retroactive reconstruction , is critical to communicating scientific research effectively (Lemke, 1990)
    • Once the best sequence has been decided, carry it through all sections of the report.
  • 9. 2. Body of the report
    • Introduction
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Discussion
  • 10.
    • Introduction
      • A common error is attempting to say too much in the opening paragraph.
      • Keep it short and interesting.
      • Rule: always state no later than the last sentence of the opening paragraph what the study is about.
  • 11.
    • Methods
      • Consider methods as mentioned in “Research Methodology” Subject
    • The methods section is the Achilles ’ heel of a manuscript.
      • In a proposal, it may be obvious that referees will focus on the methods , but the same is true for a manuscript under review by a journal.
      • Inadequately described methods may cast doubt on the quality and validity of your results.
  • 12.
    • Results
      • The accompanying text needs to point out what can be seen in the figures and tables but should not repeat the information there.
      • Some journals may limit the number of tables and figures because they are expensive to prepare for printing.
      • The results section should contain no discussion or interpretation of the findings.
      • Just give the facts.
  • 13.
    • Discussion
      • Three matters
        • (1) an analysis of sources of error in the data
        • (2) integration with what was previously known
        • (3) implications for future study
      • Rule: the discussion section should rarely be the longest section of a report.
  • 14. 3. End matter
    • End matter: Acknowledgments, references cited, and any appendixes.
    • Acknowledgments: who helped you, research permissions, financial support, etc.
    • Appendixes:
    • References: form the core of scholarship through the augmentation of existing knowledge.
      • Endnote TM
  • 15. Checking Citations
    • Every reference cited must of course appear in the literature cited section, and vice versa.
    • Cross-checking can be an onerous job requiring one person to scan the manuscript while another ticks off references in the terminal list.
    • Such checking is mandatory unless you are using reference-formatting software such as Endpoint.
  • 16. 4. Tables and figures
  • 17. 5. Submission and review
    • Friendly pre-review
    • Where to submit
    • The covering letter
    • The review process
    • Upon receiving the editorial decision
    • How to review a manuscript
  • 18.
    • 1) Friendly pre-review
      • At least one colleague for a “ pre-review ” of the finished manuscript.
      • In general, the better you know the people asked, and the greater their scientific competence in the subject area of the manuscript, the better the feedback.
  • 19.
    • 2) Where to submit
      • Researchers often perceive a journal as particularly good (or particularly bad), although these reputations can change over time with changes in editors, new directions in research, and more or less random factors.
  • 20.
    • 3) The covering letter
      • The covering letter should be formal and businesslike.
      • The opening line of the letter should get straight to the point, stating the title of the enclosed manuscript, its authorship in sequence, and the fact that it is being submitted for publication in the named journal.
      • Many journals specify further required content of the covering letter, so it is important to check the journal ’ s instructions to authors.
  • 21.
    • 4) The review process
      • You should receive notification that your manuscript has been received.
      • If you have not heard anything within a reasonable time after submission by mail, you should contact the editor.
      • Screen submissions before deciding whether to send them out for review and return a majority of submissions without reviewing them.
  • 22.
    • 5) Upon receiving the editorial decision
      • Try to be emotionally prepared for a rejection and for an editorial non-decision that requires extensive revision before acceptability for publication can be assessed.
      • Even experienced researchers can be stunned by criticisms of a manuscript they worked on so very hard for so very long.
      • The sooner you return your manuscript with the requested changes, the sooner it can move towards possible acceptance and publication.
  • 23.
    • 6) How to review a manuscript
      • Significance of the topic
      • Appropriateness for this journal
      • Quality of research (design and analysis)
      • Quality of writing (organization, clarity, style)
      • Ranking with respect to published research
  • 24.
    • Strongly recommend acceptance:
      • (a) as is
      • (b) with slight revisions as noted
    • Recommend acceptance with some reservation
      • (a) paper worth publishing but not exceptionally important or substantial
      • (b) needs a few major revisions, as described in my review
  • 25.
    • Potentially publishable manuscript. Needs extensive revision.
    • Doubtful. Probably should be rejected. Needs major revisions and even if undertaken would still probably be borderline.
    • Reject (please indicate major reason)
      • (a) contribution not substantial enough
      • (b) not appropriate for this journal
      • (c) major methodological flaws that preclude publication.
      • (d) other
  • 26.
    • QUESTIONS ???