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CHAPTER 2 What Is a Scientific Paper?. Writing and Publishing International Journal Paper. DEFINITION. A scientific paper is a written and published report describing original research results. Must be written in a certain way Must be published in a certain way

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chapter 2 what is a scientific paper

CHAPTER 2What Is a Scientific Paper?

Writing and PublishingInternational Journal Paper

definition
DEFINITION
  • A scientific paper is a written and published report describing original research results.
    • Must be written in a certain way
    • Must be published in a certain way
    • Meet the test of valid publication
      • Published in a right place (a primary journal or other primary publication)
valid publication 1 2
VALID PUBLICATION (1/2)
  • The definition of valid publication (primary publication)
    • By Council of Biology Editors (CBE), 1968
    • The first disclosure
    • Sufficient information
      • To assess observations
      • To repeat experiments
      • To evaluate intellectual processes
    • Susceptible to sensory perception
valid publication 2 2
VALID PUBLICATION (2/2)
  • Must be essentially permanent
  • Available to the scientific community without restriction
  • Available for regular screening by one or more of the major recognized secondary services
    • e.g., Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, etc., in the United States and similar services in other countries
the first disclosure
THE FIRST DISCLOSURE
  • Effective first disclosure is accomplished only when the disclosure takes a form that allows the peers of the author (either now or in the future) to fully comprehend and use that which is disclosed.
susceptible to sensory perception
SUSCEPTIBLE TO SENSORY PERCEPTION
  • Not just in terms of visual materials (printed journals, microfilm, microfiche)
  • But also in nonprint, nonvisual forms.
    • In the form of audio cassettes
    • Electronic journals
prior publication
PRIOR PUBLICATION
  • American Society for Microbiololgy, Instructions to authors, Journal of Bacteriology, January 1998
  • Is unacceptable for submission to an ASM journal on grounds of prior publication
    • Published in a conference report, symposium proceedings, or technical bulletin
    • Posted on a host computer to which there is access via the Internet
    • Made available through any other retrievable source, including CD-ROM and other electronic forms
basic definition
BASIC DEFINITION
  • Scientific papers are published in peer-reviewed publications
  • The entire community of science has long labored with an inefficient, costly system of scientific communication precisely
  • because it (authors, editors, publishers) has been unable or unwilling to define primary publication
  • Scientific paper is a particular kinds of information in a prescribed (IMRAD) order
organization
ORGANIZATION
  • Highly stylized, with distinctive and clearly evident component parts
  • The acronym IMRAD
    • Introduction
    • Methods (and Materials)
    • Results
    • And Discussion
  • The IMRAD system was prescribed as a standard by the American National Standards Institute, first in 1972 and again in 1979
imrad variation
IMRAD variation
  • A recent variation in IMRAD has been introduced by Cell and several other journals
  • Methods appear last rather than second, and this variation was called IRDAM
exceptions 1 3
EXCEPTIONS (1/3)
  • the IMRAD format is often the best choice
    • It is generally true for papers reporting laboratory studies
  • There are exceptions
    • “Descriptive” papers, from problem to solution
    • Reports of field studies
    • Clinical case reports
exceptions 2 3
EXCEPTIONS (2/3)
  • Occasionally, the organization of even laboratory papers must be different
    • If a number of methods were used to achieve directly related results, thenExperimental  Materials + Methods + Results
    • Rarely, the results might be so complex or provide such contrasts that immediate discussion seems necessarya combined section Results + Discussion
exceptions 3 3
EXCEPTIONS (3/3)
  • Various types of organization are used in descriptive areas of science
  • How to organize?
    • Refer to the Instruction to Authors of your target journal
    • Obtain general information from appropriate source book
      • Medical papers: Huth (1990)
      • Engineering papers: Michaelson (1990)
organization1
ORGANIZATION
  • A scientific paper has less to do with literary skill than with organization
  • A scientific paper is not literature
  • The communication of research results is a more prosaic procedure
  • Grandiloquence has no place in scientific writing (Booth, 1981)
  • A system of reporting data that is uniform, concise, and readily understandable
other definition
OTHER DEFINITION
  • A “scientific paper” is the term for an original research report
  • Research reports that are not original, or are not scientific, or somehow fail to qualify as scientific paper
    • Review paper
    • Conference report
    • Meeting abstract
review paper
REVIEW PAPER
  • The review paper is designed to summarize, analyze, evaluate, or synthesize information that has already been published (research reports in primary journals)
  • The spectre of dual publication does not normally arise because the review nature of the work is usually obvious
conference report
CONFERENCE REPORT
  • A conference report is a paper published in a book or journal as part of the proceedings of a symposium, national or international congress, workshop, roundtable, or the like
  • Conference presentation are often review papers
    • The recent work of particular scientists
    • The recent work in particular laboratories
  • Some of the material reported at some conferences (especially the exciting ones) is in the form of preliminary reports
meeting abstract
MEETING ABSTRACT
  • Meeting abstracts, like conference proceedings, are of several types
  • It was usually understood that the papers presented at these meetings would later be submitted for publication in primary journals
  • There has been a trend towards extended abstracts (or synoptics)
  • The extended abstract can supply virtually as much information as a full paper; all that it lacks is the experimental detail
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