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How to Write a Manuscript*
*And get it published

Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS
Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair
Departme...
Objectives
•  To provide an overall framework of the
structure of a manuscript.
•  To provide a section-by-section guide t...
Overall Structure
•  Introduction: Why the study was done.
•  Methods: How the study was done.
•  Results: What did the st...
EXAMPLE OF A PAPER

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions fo...
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health

Jee...
Introduction:
The two paragraph model
•  Paragraph 1:
–  A description of the problem to be addressed
–  A characterizatio...
Introduction: Para 1
•  First paragraph
“In spite of decades of research, ___
remains a challenging problem for clinicians...
Introduction: Para 2
•  Second paragraph
“To address this gap in understanding of __,
we carried out___”
“Using patients f...
Introduction

Statement of Problem
= Obesity + Mortality

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute...
Introduction

Need data on Asians

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science in...
Introduction
What we did

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Soluti...
Exercise
•  You have carried out a study on metabolic
characteristics of Hispanic persons with
diabetes at LAC-USC.

Write...
Methods: Translational Study
•  Overall description of the study design
•  Description of population criteria and
ascertai...
Methods: Laboratory Study
•  Approach used: adequate description of
the experimental system.
•  Assays used: description a...
Methods NEJM Paper
• 
• 
• 
• 

Study Population
Data Collection
Follow-up and Outcome Classification
Statistical Analysis...
Methods

Overall Analytical
Strategy

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science...
Methods

Modification

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions...
Results
•  Description of population (Table 1)
•  Initial analyses: Univariate or stratified
analyses
•  Main modeling res...
Results
Do not say Table x shows
Population
Description

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
...
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
General Problems with Tables
•  Poorly labeled: title should make purpose
clear
•  Mixing types of data
•  Putting Ns into...
Results: Table 1

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for ...
Results

Basic Results

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solution...
Results: Possible Confounding

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into S...
Results: Key Findings

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions...
Results: Stratified

Sex-stratified
findings: Males

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Tran...
Results: Sex Stratified

Sex-stratified
findings: Females

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institut...
Results: By Cause

By Cause of Death

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science...
Results: By Cause

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for...
Results

Interaction

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions ...
Results: By Sex

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for B...
Results
Modification and
Confounding

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science...
Results: Addressing Confounding

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into...
Discussion Topics
•  Summary of findings (always first)
•  Findings in context of prior knowledge—
what is added.
•  Study...
Discussion: First Paragraph

Summary

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science...
Discussion: Comparison

Comparison to
Other Studies

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Tran...
Discussion: Variation in Findings

Sensitivity Analysis

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
...
Discussion: Generalizability

Generalizability

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translati...
Discussion: CVD

Cardiovascular
Disease

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Scie...
Discussion: Cancer

Cancer

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solu...
Discussion: Age Modification

Effect Modification
by Age

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute...
Discussion

Implications +
Further Research

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating ...
Discussion: Asians

Asian
Populations

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Scienc...
Discussion

Recommendations

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Sol...
Last Paragraph
• 
• 
• 
• 

Hard to write!
Avoid starting with: “In summary…”
Do not making too sweeping statements
Commen...
General Points 1
•  Use the active voice at times (WE…)
•  Avoid priority claims
•  No lengthy literature reviews in the
I...
General Points 2
•  What general (to be continued) but should
have the journal in mind when writing.
•  What audience is r...
EXERCISES

Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better ...
Southern California
Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
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How to Write a Manuscript: Useful Tips

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Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, Director of the SC CTSI Education, Career Development, and Ethics program (ECDE) shares tips and best practices to successfully write a research paper. Learn more about SC CTSI at USC and CHLA: http://sc-ctsi.org/

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  • Nice share ... I have a similar post sharing some info about How to Write a Manuscript , which can also be helpful for the reader http://goarticles.com/article/How-to-Write-a-Manuscript/9747688/
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Transcript of "How to Write a Manuscript: Useful Tips"

  1. 1. How to Write a Manuscript* *And get it published Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair Department of Preventive Medicine Director, ECDE, SC CTSI Career Development Seminar Series Feb 10, 2014 Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  2. 2. Objectives •  To provide an overall framework of the structure of a manuscript. •  To provide a section-by-section guide to a manuscript presenting research findings. •  To provide strategies for efficiently writing a manuscript. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  3. 3. Overall Structure •  Introduction: Why the study was done. •  Methods: How the study was done. •  Results: What did the study find. •  Discussion: What do the results mean. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  4. 4. EXAMPLE OF A PAPER Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  5. 5. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  6. 6. Introduction: The two paragraph model •  Paragraph 1: –  A description of the problem to be addressed –  A characterization of the state of evidence on the problem and gaps to be addressed •  Paragraph 2: –  A description of the study question –  A brief characterization of the study and the evidence generated by the study Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  7. 7. Introduction: Para 1 •  First paragraph “In spite of decades of research, ___ remains a challenging problem for clinicians and patients.” or “Worldwide, __ remains a substantial clinical and public health problem with over __ affected and __ deaths annually.” Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  8. 8. Introduction: Para 2 •  Second paragraph “To address this gap in understanding of __, we carried out___” “Using patients from ____, we carried out a follow-up study___” “To better understand underlying mechanisms, we developed an animal model using XXXY knockout mice…” Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  9. 9. Introduction Statement of Problem = Obesity + Mortality Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  10. 10. Introduction Need data on Asians Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  11. 11. Introduction What we did Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  12. 12. Exercise •  You have carried out a study on metabolic characteristics of Hispanic persons with diabetes at LAC-USC. Write the first sentence of the paper Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  13. 13. Methods: Translational Study •  Overall description of the study design •  Description of population criteria and ascertainment •  Description of data items and methods of data collection, including QA/QC •  Analytical strategy, covering analytical variables and methods •  Statistical software used Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  14. 14. Methods: Laboratory Study •  Approach used: adequate description of the experimental system. •  Assays used: description and/or sufficient references. •  Data QA/QC •  Statistical analyses Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  15. 15. Methods NEJM Paper •  •  •  •  Study Population Data Collection Follow-up and Outcome Classification Statistical Analysis Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  16. 16. Methods Overall Analytical Strategy Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  17. 17. Methods Modification Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  18. 18. Results •  Description of population (Table 1) •  Initial analyses: Univariate or stratified analyses •  Main modeling results •  Analyses directed at subsets/modification •  Sensitivity analyses Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  19. 19. Results Do not say Table x shows Population Description Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  20. 20. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  21. 21. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  22. 22. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  23. 23. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  24. 24. General Problems with Tables •  Poorly labeled: title should make purpose clear •  Mixing types of data •  Putting Ns into all cells (only need for column) •  Providing p values rather than using symbols •  Not providing units Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  25. 25. Results: Table 1 Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  26. 26. Results Basic Results Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  27. 27. Results: Possible Confounding Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  28. 28. Results: Key Findings Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  29. 29. Results: Stratified Sex-stratified findings: Males Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  30. 30. Results: Sex Stratified Sex-stratified findings: Females Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  31. 31. Results: By Cause By Cause of Death Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  32. 32. Results: By Cause Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  33. 33. Results Interaction Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  34. 34. Results: By Sex Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  35. 35. Results Modification and Confounding Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  36. 36. Results: Addressing Confounding Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  37. 37. Discussion Topics •  Summary of findings (always first) •  Findings in context of prior knowledge— what is added. •  StudyPick the bestaddressed limitations and how order •  Generalizability of findings •  Implications of findings—next steps (always last) Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  38. 38. Discussion: First Paragraph Summary Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  39. 39. Discussion: Comparison Comparison to Other Studies Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  40. 40. Discussion: Variation in Findings Sensitivity Analysis Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  41. 41. Discussion: Generalizability Generalizability Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  42. 42. Discussion: CVD Cardiovascular Disease Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  43. 43. Discussion: Cancer Cancer Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  44. 44. Discussion: Age Modification Effect Modification by Age Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  45. 45. Discussion Implications + Further Research Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  46. 46. Discussion: Asians Asian Populations Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  47. 47. Discussion Recommendations Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health Jee et al. NEJM 2006;355(8):779-87
  48. 48. Last Paragraph •  •  •  •  Hard to write! Avoid starting with: “In summary…” Do not making too sweeping statements Comment on consequences of knowledge gained: –  Guidelines implications –  Further research –  Other policy consequences Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  49. 49. General Points 1 •  Use the active voice at times (WE…) •  Avoid priority claims •  No lengthy literature reviews in the Introduction •  Do not repeat findings that are in tables and figures •  Watch that last paragraph •  Avoid temptation—of cutting and pasting! Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  50. 50. General Points 2 •  What general (to be continued) but should have the journal in mind when writing. •  What audience is relevant? •  “Just do it” •  Use input from collaborators but need one voice Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  51. 51. EXERCISES Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
  52. 52. Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health
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