please keep this writing guide for 15 mistakes that are often made in newly written scientific research papers

Posted by punzalan at 2020-03-02

New Zhiyuan Report

Editor: Daming

[new Zhiyuan guide] it is a headache for novices in scientific research to write a paper. It is not easy to write a qualified paper that can be recognized by the academic community and passed the peer review smoothly. Here is a novice paper writing guide, which lists the 15 most common problems in the research novice paper writing. It is worth collecting.

For most new researchers, it is not natural for them to improve their writing skills. A typical research paper is a highly standardized form. A full understanding of academic rules and paradigms, whether explicit or invisible, is of great importance to young researchers and helps papers pass peer review in academia.

The following is a paper writing guide for beginners of scientific research published in 2004, which defines the basic framework and paradigm of academic paper writing in the scientific community. Although nearly 15 years have passed since the publication of this paper, these popular architectures and paradigms are still applicable in academia. Xinzhiyuan has sorted out the main points of this paper, and it is believed that it will still be helpful for today's new researchers to write papers and embark on the academic path.

A good research paper always involves a specific research problem. The selection of research questions, research objectives or main research hypotheses is the central organizing principle of the paper. As long as the content related to the research problem belongs to the scope of the paper, otherwise it is not.

When the paper discusses a well planned research project, this principle is obvious. However, in many application research fields, some papers are written to promote projects for operational purposes, rather than to generate new knowledge as the main purpose. In this case, the author should first determine the main research issues and design the structure of the paper around this issue.

Generally speaking, there is only one major research problem that should be solved in one paper (relevant secondary problems can be set up). If a project needs to explore several different research issues, please write research papers separately. The suggestion here is not to divide the research results into "the most UN releasable unit", but "the best releasable unit".

What is a high quality research problem? Its key attributes are as follows:

(1) Specificity (2) originality or innovation (3) extensive relevance to the scientific community

The expression of the main research problems should be accurate, not just to determine the general field of investigation. This kind of research problem can usually (but not always) be expressed by the possible connection between X and Y in group Z.

For example, we studied the question of "whether providing patients who can be discharged within one month with written information about their treatment plan can improve their cooperation with the treatment". Scientific research does not have to break the original basic idea, but it should complete the expansion of previous knowledge in a useful way, or refute the existing knowledge.

Finally, research issues should be of interest to other researchers in the same scientific field.

This requirement is more challenging for those engaged in applied science than for basic research scientists. Although it is safe to assume that the human genome is the same around the world, whether the results of local quality improvement projects have a broader relevance needs to be carefully considered and demonstrated.

After the research questions are determined, it will be quite easy to write a paper. Put forward questions in the paper, and then answer the questions. The key to a successful scientific writing is to have a proper structure. The basic structure of typical research papers is introduction, method, result and discussion sequence (sometimes abbreviated to IMRaD). Each of these parts involves different goals.

For a qualified research paper, the following parts need to be specified:

(1) What is the problem to be solved? Determine the research problem in the "Introduction"

(2) In the "method" section, answer what has been done to solve this problem

(3) State the observations in the results section

(4) In the "discussion" section, the significance of these results for solving research problems is given

These parts involve several topics, which can be divided into several chapters.

In the introduction, the author should explain the basic principles and background of the research. What is the research question and why is it important? Although it is neither necessary nor desirable to provide a comprehensive review of previous research literature in this part, it is helpful to place the research in a broader research field. The paper should always be clear about what the research problem is, rather than let readers guess.

The "methods" section should provide the reader with sufficiently detailed research methods to be able to reproduce the study or experiment as needed. Therefore, the technical details, research environment, sampling strategies, instruments, data collection methods and analysis strategies should be described in detail in this section. If it is a qualitative research, we should tell readers which research tradition the research follows, and we can also link the choice of methods and strategies with the research objectives.

The "results" section is usually quite straightforward, basically presenting facts and data. This section should detail all the results related to the research question, including simple count and percentage information. Try not to show analytical power and rich data sets in this section.

The structure of the "discussion" section is generally the most liberal. So the discussion part is actually the most difficult to write, and is often the weakest part of the paper.

Some journal editors suggest that the discussion should also be structured. Although this part of the structural rules do not need to be strictly followed, these plans may help new researchers not deviate too much from the normal when writing papers.

References should be chosen wisely. References need to include key points of view and the methods and tools used to arrive at them. Unless the article is a comprehensive overview of a subject, there is no need to list these contents in detail.

In addition, for the reference part, references to unpublished works shall be avoided in a qualified paper, and references in grey literature (i.e. technical report) shall also be avoided to cite any information sources that are difficult for readers to find or understand.

Perfect logic and writing structure is a good beginning of high quality thesis. However, many details must be paid attention to when writing. One suggestion is to read and follow the tips or suggestions written by authors who have published papers in the Journal (these contents can usually be found on the journal's website).

Another problem involves non-native English writers: it's best to find an English native speaker to go through the draft. A paper usually has several drafts before it is formally submitted.

When revising a paper, pay attention to the most common mistakes. If you can avoid all the following mistakes, your paper should be of good quality.

The main research issues are not clearly stated

The stated purpose of the study is either redundant or meaningless (for example, "the purpose of this paper is to clarify our work"), or vague and unclear. (for example, "this article mainly discusses some problems related to XXX")

The organizational structure of the paper is disordered (for example, the experimental method is described in the chapter "results")

The writing of the paper does not follow the author's guidelines issued by the journal

The number of words in the thesis exceeds the maximum number of words in the thesis receiver

The part of "Introduction" is written as an expansion of literature review

Lack of detailed description in the "method" and experimental parts

Selectively report experimental results (e.g., only report percentage, no occurrence frequency, only report p value, no measurement effect, etc.)

There are repeated expressions in the "results" part, such as the same results in the table and in the text

Detailed tables are given in the results section that are not relevant to the main research issues

In the "Introduction" and "discussion" chapters, there is a lack of sufficient source support behind the key points

The quoted content is out of date or cannot be obtained by most readers

The content of "discussion" did not get the answers to the main research questions of the paper

The "discussion" part overstates the significance of the research results and does not admit the limitations of the research

The overall language organization quality of the thesis is not high

Basically speaking, as a beginner just on the way of scientific research, if you can try to avoid the above mistakes in the paper writing, generally speaking, your paper is on the right track from the perspective of paradigm.

Every new researcher should pay attention to these problems and matters at the initial stage of the research, and follow the common paradigm of the academic community more efficiently, which will help the paper to pass the peer review smoothly, so as to make the research results more widely recognized in the academic community as soon as possible.

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