Scientific Writing Meaning and Need

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Scientific Writing Meaning and Need

Scientific Writing Meaning and Need

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  • 1. Scientific Writing:Meaning, Need, Importance and Format A scientific paper is a written and published report describing original research results. The purpose of scientific writing is to communicate scientific research findings to other people. Scientific writing should be clear, simple, and well ordered communication to transmit. Scientific writing must use proper language and grammar which gives the sense in a fewest short words. Need: Knowledge is lost without written records. Knowledge cannot be widely circulated with no effective duplication. Definition of Scientific Paper: An acceptable original scientific publication containing scientific information. A scientific paper must be written in a certain way and it must be published in a certain way, as defined by three centuries of developing tradition, editorial practice, scientific ethics, and the interplay of printing and publishing procedures. A particular kind of document containing certain specified kinds of information. A scientific paper "demands exactly the same qualities of thought as are needed for the rest of science: logic, clarity, and precision." A scientific article presents research results and is written by researchers and aimed at an academic readership. The article must have been reviewed by experts within the same subject area before publication. An acceptable primary scientific publication must be the first disclosure containing sufficient information to enable peers: • To assess observations, • To repeat experiments, and • To evaluate intellectual processes; Moreover, it must be susceptible to sensory perception, essentially permanent, available to the scientific community without restriction, and available for regular screening by one or more of the major recognized secondary services (e.g., currently, Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Bibliography of Agriculture, etc). A scientific paper is (i) the first publication of original research results, (ii) in a form whereby peers of the author can repeat the experiments and test the conclusions, and (iii) in a journal or other source document which is readily available within the scientific community Essential Part of Scientific Paper: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Material, Method/ Methodology, Result, Discussion, summary/ Conclusion, Acknowledgement, references. ORGANIZATION OF A SCIENTIFIC PAPER
  • 2. A scientific paper is a paper organized to meet the needs of valid publication. A scientific paper is, or should be, highly stylized, with distinctive and clearly evident component parts. Each scientific paper should have, in proper order, its Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion. Any other order will pose hurdles for the reader and probably the writer. "Good organization is the key to good writing." An effective way to proceed for scientific writing is to answer these four questions, in order: (i) 'What was the problem? Your answer is the Introduction. (ii) How did you study the problem? Your answer is the Materials and Methods. (iii) What did you find? Your answer is the Results. (iv) What do these findings mean? Your answer is the Discussion. The well-written scientific paper should report its original data in an organized fashion and in appropriate language. Preparation of a scientific paper has almost nothing to do with writing, but it is a question of organization. A scientific paper is not "literature.” The preparer of a scientific paper is not really an "author" in the literary sense. In fact, if the ingredients are properly organized, the paper will virtually write itself. Today, the average scientist, to keep up with a field, must examine the data reported in a very large number of papers. Therefore, scientists and, of course, editors must demand a system of reporting data that is uniform, concise, and readily understandable. "A scientific paper is not designed to be read. It is designed to be published. Actually, if the paper is designed to be published, it will also be in a prescribed form that can be read and its contents can be grasped quickly and easily by the reader. LANGUAGE OF A SCIENTIFIC PAPER In addition to organization, the second principal ingredient of a scientific paper should be appropriate language. Keep emphasizing proper use of English, because in this area most scientists have trouble. If scientific knowledge is at least as important as any other knowledge, then it must be communicated effectively, clearly, in words of certain meaning. The scientist, to succeed in this endeavor, must therefore be literate. Language need not be difficult. In scientific writing, we say: "The best English is that which gives the sense in the fewest short words". Literary tricks, metaphors and the like, divert attention from the message to the style. They should be used rarely, if at all, in scientific writing. The Science of Scientific Writing
  • 3. Science is often hard to read. Most people assume that its difficulties are born out of necessity, out of the extreme complexity of scientific concepts, data and analysis. We argue here that complexity of thought need not lead to impenetrability of expression; we demonstrate a number of rhetorical principles that can produce clarity in communication without oversimplifying scientific issues. The results are substantive, not merely cosmetic: Improving the quality of writing actually improves the quality of thought. The fundamental purpose of scientific discourse is not the mere presentation of information and thought, but rather its actual communication. It does not matter how pleased an author might be to have converted all the right data into sentences and paragraphs; it matters only whether a large majority of the reading audience accurately perceives what the author had in mind. Therefore, in order to understand how best to improve writing, we would do well to understand better how readers go about reading. Such an understanding has recently become available through work done in the fields of rhetoric, linguistics and cognitive psychology. It has helped to produce a methodology based on the concept of reader expectations. Rules for Scientific Writing • Interest, inform, and persuade the reader • Write for your reader and write clearly • Eliminate unnecessary redundancy • Avoid digressions • Don't over explain and avoid overstatement • Avoid unnecessary qualifiers • Use consistent tenses • Use the precise word • Simpler words are preferred over complex words and use concrete words and examples • Simpler sentences are preferred over more complicated sentences • Use the active voice (except generally in methods) • Make sure the subject and verb agree • Use affirmative rather than negative constructions • Avoid use of the indefinite "this" • Use transitions • Cite sources as well as findings • Proofread your paper carefully; spell check does not catch everything; "there" is spelled correctly but not if you meant "their". In general, the best writing is simple and direct. Writing that is simple and direct is most easily understood. It also tends to be the most forceful and memorable. Use no more words than necessary — and never use a complicated word if a simpler one will do just as well. Many people seem to feel that writing in a complicated way makes one sound serious, scholarly and authoritative. While this type of writing may sound serious, it is no more authoritative than writing that is simple and direct. Certainly, it is more difficult to understand. Often, it sounds pompous and overbearing. If your purpose is to be understood in a way that is both forceful and memorable, adopt a style that is simple and direct. Reasons to publish
  • 4. • It is important to publish research results for many reasons. In the most basic sense, it is unethical to enroll participants in a research study with their understanding that you will answer an important research question and then fail to report the study results in a timely manner. • It is also unethical to accept a grant from a funding body and then fail to publish the results of the research that you conducted using the funds. Failure to publish reflects badly on your reputation as a scientist and is likely to have a significant influence on your future career and your ability to attract further funding. • On the other hand, success in publishing contributes to rewards such as job promotion and professional recognition. A scientific article that is published in a well-respected, • Peer-reviewed journal is an important goal for any researcher and remains one of the ultimate markers of research success. For this reason, it is important to write your paper well so that it has clear messages, is readily accepted for publication, and is something that you can always be proud of. • A well-written paper is one that is easy to read, tells an interesting story, has the information under the correct headings, and is visually appealing. It is a sad fact of life that few researchers or clinicians read a journal article from beginning to end. Most readers want to scan your paper quickly and find the relevant information where they expect it to be. If you want the information in your paper to be read and to be used, you must be certain that you have presented it in an organized and accessible format. • In the current academic climate, publications are imperative for career advancement and for the economic survival of research departments. In many institutions, the number of successful publications is used as a measure of research productivity. In addition, other attributes of publications, such as the number of collaborators, the number of resulting citations, and the impact factor of the journal, are often considered. As such, publications are a fundamental marker of accountability. The important reasons for publishing your work: • It is unethical to conduct a study and not report the findings • You have some results that are worth reporting • You want to progress scientific thought or improve health outcomes • You want to give credibility to your research team • You want your work to reach a broad audience • Your track record will improve
  • 5. • You will add credibility to your reputation • You will improve your chance of promotion • You are more likely to obtain research grants The IMRAD Research Paper Format IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for a common format used for academic ['scientific'] research papers. While used primarily in the hard sciences, like physics and biology, it is also widely used in the social and behavioral sciences. The IMRAD format is also known as the APA format, as the American Psychological Association uses the IMRAD headings in its APA style sheet. IMRAD is simply a more 'defined' version of the "IBC" [Introduction, Body, Conclusion] format used for all academic writing. Introduction (including a title) : Why was the study undertaken? What was the research question, the tested hypothesis or the purpose of the research? The title is centered at the top of the first page. Below the title, but without a heading of its own, is the introductory section. This comprises one or several paragraphs which outline the research question and its significance within the topic being discussed, making it clear what the relevance of the question and topic are for readers of the paper. Method: When, where, and how was the study done? What materials were used or who was included in the study groups (patients, etc.)? Describe how you gathered the information. If your paper includes interviews or surveys, here is where you would describe their design and procedure. Results: What answer was found to the research question; what did the study find? Was the tested hypothesis true? What did you find out from the method you had employed? Here's where you would include your description of the research, and the various opinions received by different means from different respondents. This is the main section of your paper. Discussion: What might the answer imply and why does it matter? How does it fit in with what other researchers have found? What are the perspectives for future research? What do the findings presented under "Results" above mean? Specifically, how do your findings prove your thesis? What patterns do you see in the data? How do they correlate with what had been 'known'
  • 6. about the event, and/or what you had expected to find? Did you find what you had expected to, or were you surprised? Is further research desirable? If so, what, and how? Researchers often use this section to promote interest (and funding) for their next research project.
  • 7. about the event, and/or what you had expected to find? Did you find what you had expected to, or were you surprised? Is further research desirable? If so, what, and how? Researchers often use this section to promote interest (and funding) for their next research project.