科技论文写作 how to write a scientific research article for an academic journal

EDUCATION

Publish and prosper: how to write a scienti c research article for an academic journal Andrew Winnington Third Year Medicine Dunedin School of Medicine University of Otago

Publishing original research in peer-reviewed academic journals is fundamental to the development of evidence-based medicine. For the student author, a publication in a peer-reviewed journal will set their resumé apart from other students and will improve their chances of getting a good job in an interesting area, or getting a headstart into academia. This article details step-by-step instructions on how to write a scienti c paper for publication in a medical journal. These instructions are based on a method devised by Tim Albert, a UK-based medical writing specialist who conducts writing and editing work-shops for health professionals (see www.timalbert.co.uk for details). This method is outlined in Tim Albert’s highly commended books on medical writing1, 2 and details he imparted at the BMJ short course for medical journal editors in Christchurch August 5-6 2004. Relevant details from other writing guidelines compiled by the University of Otago Student Learning Centre3, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors4 and the Cochrane Organisation5 have also been included where appropriate. Writing is a process that can be divided into three main elements: Planning Writing Editing

Introduction– 2 paragraphs Methods– 7 paragraphs Results– 7 paragraphs Discussion– 6 paragraphs

NB: This pattern of paragraphs can be altered depending on the scale of the research, such as 2-5-5-4 for a shorter article. The 2-7-7-6 formula is an example and not a set of rules. Restrict your plan to paragraph subject headings that outline your argument and support your message. Avoid details at this stage.

Introduction 1. Establish the nature and signi cance of the problem by providing background to the topic, i.e. why do the study? Use only important references. 2. Clearly state the speci c research objective(s) or the major hypothesis to be tested.

PLANNING 1. Decide on the target audience and the journal you plan to submit your manuscript to. Each journal has speci c requirements for writing style and these preferences should be followed. 2. Formulate a one-sentence message consisting of about 12-words. Each publication essentially reports the results of one important nding from an original piece of research. 3. Construct four simple plans; one for each of the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Albert6 found a consistent pattern of paragraphs in publications from six major medical journals. Based on a study of 300 articles, the mean number of paragraphs per section was:

Method 1. Setting of where and when the data was collected. 2. Selection and description of participants including controls. 3. Study design. 4. Technical procedures including apparatus details and references to established methods. 5.

Description of new or modi ed methods. 6. Statistical analysis and computer software. 7. Computer software. NB: Details should be clear enough for a competent person to be able to reproduce what you did and verify the results.

The New Zealand Medical Student Journal

Number 2 March 2005

27

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