HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH PAPER
GGV Bilaspur, (C.G)
* What is research paper ?
* What are the components of a good research
It is a report prepared at the end of a research work
based on the finding through the series of scientific
experiment / field study to communicate the findings
among the specific audience.
It explains the experimental design, results obtained, the
interpretation and significance of the data with its future
The audience generally belongs to the scientific
community and may be working in the same or related
Components of a research
Name(s) of the author(s) with the address of the institution(s)
to which the author(s) belonged when the work was carried
Material and Methods
It should be clear, concise and adequately self explanatory
regarding the contents of the report.
Should be catchy enough to grab the attention of the reader.
Should be of optimum length, neither too short nor too long.
Order of words should be proper, so as to convey the correct
It is desirable to avoid the use of abbreviations, chemical
formulae, trademark names, jargon etc.
Authors and Adresses
Written just below the title
Prefixing of titles (e.g. Dr., Prof., etc.) and suffixing of
degrees (Ph.D., M. D., etc.) to the names are not
Mentioning of the designation of the authors
(Prof., Head, Reader etc.) has also to be avoided.
The sequence of the authors depends on the relative
contribution, each author has made to the actual research
If the authors belong to different institutions , the name
and address is marked with superscript like a, b, c …or
It is a summary of the information in the research article.
Gives the salient features of the main sections of a
Abstracts of standard journals are made available on the
internet by indexing services such as Biological
Should not contain any reference, table, figures etc.
Should be written in short and concise sentences, in past
tense and in passive voice.
Few words in the article about 3 to 8 which are used for
indexing services, just below the abstract.
Choice of words should be such that they facilitate
searching for the article in some database
First section of the research paper
Aim is to introduce the specific subject of research to
the reader, to justify the choice of the topic and the
specific methodology adopted and to state clearly the
objectives of the investigation.
To begin with, a relatively broad background of the
topic is given, it helps to point out the gaps in the
Background scope is progressively narrowed to the
Finally the specific objectives or
hypothesis of the investigation and the
material of investigation are stated
There may be need in the introduction to
justify the choice of a specific
methodology employed and / or of the
choice of the specific organism.
Materials and methods
This section is meant for giving the details of all the
materials and methods used and if necessary the details
of the specific techniques.
Reason for providing all the necessary details is to enable
any competent worker to repeat our experiment.
The experimental materials such as animals, plants, and
microorganisms should be identified specifying the
genus, species and strain.
The source of materials i.e., the place of collection or
purchase should be given.
The characteristics of organisms viz., age, sex, genetic
and physiological status should be provided.
Maintenance and rearing of organisms should also be
Methods should follow logical sequence.
Methods used for statistical analysis of data may be
mentioned without any description.
This section represents the nucleus of the research paper
We should present our results with accuracy and clarity.
Raw data should not be given in this section, only
processed, summarized selected data should be
We should avoid redundancy of results.
Graphs, diagrams, maps, photomicrographs or any other
illustration are included in this section.
While presenting the results of statistical analysis of the
data we need to give only summary value and its
It is the most challenging section to write.
We must be thoroughly familiar with the pertinent
literature, up-to-date and have good biological insight.
This section is meant to interpret the results and discuss
them in the light of
◦ What is already known
◦ To state the significance and the conclusions derived out from the
Any good research paper should contain a comparison of
the results and interpretations to other studies citing
references from the literature i.e., to show how they
agree or contrast with previously published work.
The conclusions finally should made in such a way
which appears with suggestions for future course of
research in the specific organism or even wide variety of
organisms and mention the possible yield of such works.
Meant to express the researchers gratitude
Those who provided significant
Sources, individuals, laboratories,
companies etc. which helped the
researcher with special equipment,
chemicals, specimens etc.
The agencies (e.g., UGC, DBT, ICMR)
that sponsored the research project
programme and provided
fellowship to the authors should be
This is the list of all references cited in the research
The pattern of writing the references depends upon the
kind of journal in which we are going to publish.
The general format most journals follow is as:
Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year).
Title of article. Title of Journal, xx, xxx-xxx.
The journal title and the volume number are in italics.
Issue numbers are not required if the journal is
continuously paged. If paged individually, the issue
number is required and is in regular type in parentheses
adjacent to the volume number.
Name-year System or Harvard
Citations in the text consist of
author name(s) and source
date(s) within parenthesis
Citation Sequence System
Citations in the text are made by
way of numbers, which are
ordered sequentially throughout the
Selection of a journal
Each journal specializes in a specific area of research.
Hence its readership varies. A proper choice of journal
can make a larger impact of any research paper.
The focus and readership of the journal should be
considered - general vs. specialized area journal.
We should select 2 or 3 journals in the chosen area with
relatively high impact factors. Discussion with the
advisor is must to decide the type of journal.
Authors should always be particular for the journal’s
submission criteria and format before the submission.
After reading the finalized paper carefully and checking the
accuracy of figures and captions in terms of correctly
referred figures to in the text.
A feedback from advisor and colleagues is always needed.
We should make sure that the paper is read by at least one
or two colleagues who is not familiar with the specific
A cover letter should be provided to the editor along with a
brief paragraph highlighting the importance of this work
and names of possible reviewers.
Approval from all co-authors is important before
finalizing the version of the paper
Paper should be submitted online along with copyright
Revision and galley proof
The manuscript is usually reviewed by 2-3 reviewers
Reviewers point out deficiencies and/or suggestions to improve the
Their comments should be read carefully. (If reviewer misunderstands
a point, the point probably needs revision or additional support.)
One should not blame to the reviewer for any misunderstanding!
We should be polite and respectful when disagreeing a reviewer’s
A point-to-point explanation of changes made in the text in response to
reviewers’ comments should be incorporated while submission of
Once again, a carefully reading of the paper for its accuracy in
presenting the data should be checked by the author.
Once accepted for publication a proof of the paper has to be received
online within a month – At this stage there is one last chance to make
the final corrections, if any.