Publishingin the international literatureIf you are going to become involvedin publishing in the international literature, there are anumber of questions it is useful toconsider at the outset: Why publish? Why is it difficult topublish? What does participation inthe international scientific community require? What doyou need to know to select yourtarget journal? How can you get the most out of publishing?We consider these questions in turnbelow.Whypublish?We have already suggested thatresearchers publish to share ideas and results with colleagues.These are some other reasons forpublishing:· to leave arecord of research which can be added to by others;· to receive duerecognition for ideas and results; and· to attractinterest from others in the area of research.However, there are two additionalreasons that are very important for internationally orientedscientists:to receive expert feedback onresults and ideas; andto legitimize the research; i.e.receive independent verification of methods and results.
These reasons underscore theimportance of the review process we discussed above. However,there are difficulties associatedwith getting work published: difficulties that operate for allscientists, plus some that arespecific to scientists working in contexts where English is aforeign or second language.Why isit difficult to publish?In addition to the language-relatedbarriers that spring to mind, it is also important to realizethat writing is a skill, whateverthe language. Many of the points covered in this book areequally important scientists andthose who speak English as their first language.Getting published is also a skill:not all writers are published. Some reasons for this factinclude the following:· Not allresearch is new or of sufficient scientific interest.· Experiments donot always work: positive results are easier to publish.· Scientificjournals have specific requirements which can be difficult to meet: publishing· is a buyer’s market.
These issues will be addressed asyou proceed further.Another reason that researchersfind the writing and publication process difficult is thatcommunicating your work and ideasopens you up to potential criticism. The process ofadvancing concepts, ideas, andknowledge is adversarial, and new results and ideas are oftenrigorously debated.
Authors facingthe blank page and a potentially critical audience can findthe task of writing very daunting.This book offers frameworks for you to structure yourthinking and writing for eachsection of a scientific article and for dealing with the publishingprocess. The frameworks providedwill allow you to break down the large task of writing thewhole manuscript into small tasksof writing sections and subsections, and to navigate thepublishing process.Whatdoes participation in the international scientific community require?A helpful image is to think aboutsubmitting a manuscript to an international journal as a wayof participating in theinternational scientific community. You are, in effect, joining aninternational conversation.
To jointhis conversation, you need to know what has already beensaid by the other peopleconversing. In other words, you need to understand the “cutting edge”of your scientific discipline: whatwork is being done now by the important players in the fieldinternationally. This means:getting access to the journalswhere people in the field are publishing;subscribing to the e-mail alertschemes offered by journal publishers on their websites sothat you receive tables of contentswhen new issues are published; and developing skills for searching the Internetand electronic databases in libraries to which you have access.
Without this, it will be difficultto write about your work so as to show how it fits into theprogress being made in your field.In fact, this knowledge is important when the research isbeing planned, well before the timewhen the paper is being written: you should try to planyour research so it fits into adeveloping conversation in your field.Active involvement in internationalconferences is an important way to gain access to thisinternational world of research inyour field. Therefore, you need both written and spokenEnglish for communication withpeers. This book aims to help with the written language, andsome ideas for developing spokenscience English are given in Lectures 4 and 5. As you become a member of the internationalresearch community in your field in these ways, you will developthe knowledge base you need to helpyou select the most appropriate journal for submission ofyour manuscript: we call this your target journal. Common types of academic writingBelow are the most common types of written work produced for academicpurposes.
Notes A written record of the main points ofa text or lecture, for a student’s personal use.Report – A description ofsomething a student has done e.g. conducting a survey. Project A piece ofresearch, either individual or group work, with the topic chosen by thestudent(s).Essay The most common type of written work,with the title given by the teacher, normally 1000–5000 words.Dissertation/ Thesis – The longestpiece of writing normally done by a student (20,000+ words) often for a higherdegree, on a topic chosen by the studentPaper A general term for any academic essay,report, presentation or article.
WRITING SCIENTIFIC ARTICLESAny research may be considered accomplished only afterscientific society gets acquainted with its results represented by scientificpapers. It is common practice to distinguish the following types of thescientific article:1. EmpiricalStudies : set out results of an original research by referencing to conventionalstructure1:1. Introduction: problem statement, its developing, aims of research, hypothesis, researchquestion;2. Background (may be apart of the introductory part or the methods section): review of the existing literature into the problem of the research,comparing and contrasting the other authors’ view on the point;3. Methods: procedure,characteristics of the participants involved in research, methods andtechniques;4.
Results: results description possibly followed by its visualization via tables,charts, schematic, diagrams, graphs, line-drawings, images, step-by-stepthorough analysis of the results;5. Discussionand Conclusions: a general summary of the research, interpretation of the results obtained,identifying its relevance to scientific theory and practice.2. Theoretical Articles: by referencing the existing literature an author presents the new or doesin-depth study of existing theoretical underpinning of a problem. In the formatof a theoretical article such things are realized: (1) an analysis of theorydevelopment, (2) specification of theoretical constructs, (3) a presentation ofa new theory, (4) an analysis of the downsides of the existing theory, (5) acomparison of the proposed theories in each component (their advantages in thecomparison). Empiric data is possible to be presented in theoretical articlesto solve a particular theoretical problem.3. Methodological Articles are detailed statements of a particular issue, problem, subject, theoryetc.
They may contain: (1) a description of a methodological approach, (2) amodification of a well-known approach, (3) a comparison and discussion ofanalytical and quantitative approaches to the area of scientific knowledge.Thereby an author may include into the article empiric data to illustrate thepoint of view and statements which he/she offers.4. Literature Review is assumed to present the results of previously published papers includingmeta-analysis and a critical inquiry into previously published content. Anauthor offers the new estimation of the problematic field, discovers andoutlines the problem in focus, lack of information, offers further steps fortheir refills and solutions. Such a review incudes:1.
a problem statement,2. a descripton of contents of previous research, 3. an outline of present controversies described in scientific literature, 4.
general conclusions about results of analysis of all present theories, 5. ways ofsolving the revealed problem. It’s a popular misconceptionthat review papers do not contain anything new. On the contrary, in thesepapers new theories are stated, new ideas and paradigm are advanced.
5. Case Studies – detailedreports about specific result obtained in coworking with a person, a group ofpeople, a society or an organization. More commonly case studies: (1)illustrate an outlined problem; (2) analyze the ways of solving it; (3) analyzetheoretical difficulties of solving it; (4) give reasons for the relevance ofresearching a stated range of problems.Among the less widespread types of articles one may list:brief reports of research, comments and replies on the previously publishedarticles, letters to the editor, monographs, reviews to books/articles. A scientific paper acts asa crucial and most spread tool of representation of the results obtainedthrough investigation because monographs require valuable time to create and toget acquainted with them and theses at conferences are poorly informative. Scientific articles aredivided into primary and secondary types.
Foran article to be qualified as valid primary scientific publication, it shouldbe the first public representation of relevant information about the type ofresearch that allows to: (1) estimate the research, (2) repeat the describedexperiment, (3) define the intellectual process that has led the author to thedescribed conclusions. In addition to the above, the public representation ofinformation about the research should be comprehensible via sensoriums, bestored at durable medium, be available without restrictions for scientificcommunity and also for being included into one or more bibliographic systems ofscientific publications referencing 2.The literature review is related to secondary articles3that are also published in peer-reviewed journals.To summarize, a scientific publication has to be: (1)introduced for the first time (which eliminates a possibility for one articleto show up in different publications); (2) subjected to at least two peerreviews (3) accessible publicly.Plagiarism from other articles without a reference to the source is strictlyprohibited. Self-plagiarism is also forbidden (only in case of describing thehardware being used or the procedure of research4which have been mentioned in the author’s articles. Any scientific paper has torepresent an original contribution to scientific paradigm.
Hence, in such workonly quotation which is necessary for in-depth understanding and comprehensivearguing is allowed. Self-plagiarism is perceived by scientific society as alack of scientific objectivity and modesty. 4AsWhenplanning to write an article it’s very important to bear in mind the four A’s:Aims,Audience, Awareness of existing work, and to be able to Articulate your ideasclearly.Publicationof articles is crucial in terms of self-advancement for career purposes as well as self-satisfaction, for the reputation, status andperhaps funding of researchers own institutions, and globally it’s veryimportant because publication of research results is how knowledge andunderstanding gets disseminated. It can then be used, tested, and turned intopolicy by people well beyond the normal communications range of the individual.Havingdecided what it is you wish to communicate, the next crucial decision is towhom: fellow professionals, policy makers, general audiences ofnon-professionals, each of which has to be addressed in very different ways.That in turn translates into the question where do I publish the article? Thereare numerous journals which are specialized in scope, either within aparticular discipline or a particular community of practice, or perhapsfocusing on a particular geographical region.Itis vital when writing an article that you don’t simply cover your own work, butthat you contextualize it in relation to the existing literatures, politicaldebates or current policy issues, which you can use to anchor or frame yourarguments.
Referencing the work of others when you cite them, or quote themdirectly is very important. Plagiarizing or self-plagiarizing can lead todamage to your own reputation, or indeed the reputation of the journal if theyhave to withdraw something.Itis important to think clearly about the structure. You have to have logicaldevelopment across the sections of your article, and think carefully about therelative length of each of them. Specific journals have clear requirements andobviously you need to follow those if provided. A good tip would be to leaveboth the introduction and the conclusion to the end.
By the time you havewritten the main part of the paper you will know what it is you are introducingand what the key messages are that you are wrapping together in the conclusion.You can find help from a variety of sources while writing your paper. One wouldbe through peer review among your fellow students or early career researchersor perhaps get a second opinion from a more senior colleague or mentor.Conferences or workshops would be another, online resources or editorial forums(which some journals provide) another. The sense of pride that one does getupon receiving your article as published is incredible, which makes all thestruggles to get over that finished line well worth it.
EMPIRICALARTICLES: STRUCTURE AND CONTENTThe vast majority ofacademic journals require papers describing original empirical results5. They should be compliedwith the IMRaD format (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) based onthe linear logic. Each section should answer simple question:1. “Introduction”responds to “What issue does the research dedicate to?” 2. “Methods”responds to “How was the issue studied?” 3. “Results”responds to “What are the basic results?”4. Bymeans of the “Discussion” section the reader gets to know “What do resultsstand for?”Besides,any paper begins with the title followed by the list of the authors as well astheir working places, addresses and research organizations. Then an abstract -independent information source – goes to provide concise presentation of papercontent, research described and conclusions reached that followed by key words.
The Body begins after an abstract. The Acknowledgements areplaced at the end of the article after “Conclusion” section and the Referencesfinalize a paper. The conclusions may also be incorporated into the “Results”part of the article. So, a primary empirical paper structure look as follows: 1. Title 2. Abstract 3. Key words 4. Introduction 5.
Methods 6. Results 7. Discussion and Conclusions 8. Acknowledgements 9. References A scientific paper is organized general-to-specific and thenspecific-to-general (G-S-G). The Beginning of the “Introduction” and the end of”Discussion” are the most general parts of a paper.
The most specific are”Methods and “Results”. The rule could be described using a sandglass.FOOD FOR THOUGHT Look at the “hourglass shape” of a conventional scientific (empirical) article. Why do you think this shape is chosen? Place the sections names (abstract, introduction etc.) inside. What other shapes would you associate with an article structure? Why? This basicstructure takes an audience through the thought process behind a study andprovides them with multiple springboards for further investigation.
Before wejump into scientific writing keep in mind that scientific papers are verydifferent from other types of papers. The main purpose of scientific writing isto communicate research, results and implications. Scientific writing seeks topersuade with facts rather than language. As such scientific writing should useobjective language rather than subjective language. As an example: sciencewriting should avoid any emotionally charged words such as “frustrating” or”revolutionary”. Substitute these with descriptive words such as “challenging”or “advancement”. This makes sense because scientific writing seeks tocommunicate rather than persuade.
Your audience is anyone interested in notonly reading your research but also replicating your study. On to theabstract. Papers start with an abstract that briefly introduces the scope ofthe paper to come. Think of the abstract as the Google search result that actsas a teaser will bloom to let readers know if your article will be relevant forthem. For your introduction write about your topic from the broad impact of thefield to the specific role your study plays within it.
Mention your motivationto pursue this line of study and cite the studies, which build the foundationyou required. In the methodssection keep your method section strictly about the methods and materials youused in your study. The aim of this section is to aid others in replicatingyour results so some small details such as the product brand and a statisticalsoftware you used must be mentioned. When writing your own methods try toanswer pertinent questions you would ask someone else if it was your job toreproduce their results. This would include questions such as “how did youcollect the data”, “where did your materials come from” and “how did youevaluate your data”.
Here is where you communicate the outcome of yourinvestigation. Keep your results restricted to mentioning results. Avoidgetting into any discussion about how you feel about the results or theirimpact. Make the scientifically statistical significance clear using relevantvalues. Use charts and tables to simplify your results. Figures that it’sdifficult to understand only confuse readers so keep figures concise andrelevant. The results and discussion.
This is where you get to tell your readers the implications of your researchand report on any new knowledge or insights about your field. Put your studywithin the context of similar studies to compare and contrast your findings.Discuss what went right and what went wrong and anything else about yourresults you found interesting and relevant. Discuss how your study advancesyour field and mention what further work needs to be done. The last sectionof the paper – the acknowledgments and references – each perform their ownrole. Since science really works in a bubble and with its own funding, here iswhere you can take the opportunity to thank sponsors, colleagues and mentorsthat helped you along the way. The referencesis a place for your citations and citing not only gives credit where credit isdue but it also allows interested readers to find related studies and satisfyany scientific curiosities they may have about your field.
Formal and informal styles Thelast point to be mentioned here is the style of academic writing which theauthor should keep. It is important to use appropriate vocabulary, grammar andcautious language to stay within the formal conventions and not to mix thestyles. Let us consider the basic differences between informal and formal Englishto prevent misused register.Ingeneral, informal English contains a number of colloquialisms (conversationalexpressions) that are inappropriate for formal written English. It is importantnot to mix styles.Writtenacademic English will not normally contain the following:—Contractions (i.
e. it did not would be used instead of it didn’t;they have would be used and not they’ve).—Hesitation fillers (e.g.
well, you know … ) which might be common inthe spoken language are omitted.—A number of phrasal or prepositional verbs are more suitable for an informalstyle and are therefore inappropriate in academic writing, e.
g.formal informalconduct carry outdiscover find outinvestigate look into— Euphemisms (words which are thought tobe less unpleasant and less direct) are often used informally but should beavoided in academic writing. For example:direct euphemismtodie to pass awaytotell lies/to lie to tellfalsehoods/fibsill poorlyoldperson senior citizenPersonalpronouns I, you, we tend not to be used in more formal writing (exceptin letters, etc.). Instead the style may be more impersonal.
An introductory itor there may begin sentences or even the impersonal pronoun one;passive verb tenses may also be used. Academic style AcademicEnglish frequently uses language that iscautious or tentative. The grammar whichmakes it cautious include:—Modal verbs (e.g may, might, will, would, can, could)—Lexical verbs (e.g. seem, appear, suggest, indicate, assume, believe)—Modal adverbs (e.g.
perhaps, probably, possibly, apparently)— Modal adjectives (e.g. probable, possible, (un)certain)—Modal nouns (e.g. assumption, claim, evidence, estimate, possibility). Youwill find more details on the language for academic and scientific purposes inthe section ”didactic materials” Thank youfor watching the short lecture on writing and reporting scientific and academicresults.
1 According to the initial word ofstructural components, this format is called IMRAD format.2 Not being included to databases the article turns outto be “lost” for scientific society because it will be inaccessible for searchengines of databases.3 Monographs, conference proceedings, collectedscientific papers also belong to secondary scientific literature.4 Usually, detailed descriptions are built from thelimited amount of terms so its periphrasis presents itself as problematic.5Regarding theoretical papers “Methods” section is replaced with “Background”.