The art of scientific writing

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

The art of scientific writing

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Publishing manuscripts is the only way by which scientists communicate with each other. In recent times, there is an increasing desire to publish manuscripts from the developing world for a variety of reasons.

Though, performing a research study is challenging in itself, writing it for publication is the final frontier that can be daunting, especially for the novice. Work that remains unpublished in one form or the other is essentially incomplete or undone. Hence, it is critically important for one to publish one's findings in a reputed journal.

The purpose of this paper is to alleviate the mystique involved in manuscript writing and provide a blueprint where the subheadings given under each of the sections of introduction, methods, results and discussion can be expanded as per the particular study and the manuscript can be constructed in a stepwise manner.

We hope that by following this approach, potential researchers and practicing ophthalmologists will develop the skill and aptitude for medical writing, and that the developing world shall do justice to its tremendous intellectual capital by making meaningful contributions to global scientific literature.

However, we often wonder whether it applies to ophthalmologists and clinicians at large or is limited to basic science and laboratory-based researchers. This is the only way scientists communicate with each other and gives the authors credit for the work they have done.

In recent times, publishing has become vitally important even for clinicians for a variety of reasons, including career advancement,[ 1 ] mandatory government regulations, greater opportunity for international collaborations as well as monetary incentives in the form of grants.

Governments are striving to provide adequate resources and training, sought and attained with collaborations and short-term courses.

Yet, one faces many barriers while conducting a research study such as choosing the appropriate study design, ensuring good quality data collection, data storage and entry and appropriate statistical analyses.

However, after overcoming these barriers in conducting a research study, one is faced with another daunting challenge, that is, to write a research work for publication.

It may be considered as the final milestone in the entire exercise of conducting research. Hence, it is critically important for one to publish one's findings in an accessible and reputed journal.

Writing a manuscript is like giving shape to your ideas. The art of scientific writing can be acquired by following certain basic rules for writing a manuscript.

The purpose of this paper is to remove the mystique involved in manuscript writing and provide a blueprint where the headings given under each section can be expanded as per the particular study and the manuscript can be built up in a step wise manner.

Prerequisites Before embarking on the task of writing, one needs to carefully consider the following prerequisites that make the manuscript better. Review the literature Before we are convinced of the merit of an idea for research objectivewe must vigorously review all the available literature on the subject to ensure the originality, to identify the lacunae in the current knowledge.

The 2nd review is done while discussing the paper to compare and contrast our outcomes with those of previous studies. Know your data well The content of the manuscript revolves around the data that is to be presented and hence, it is imperative that one knows one's data thoroughly.

For this, it is essential to communicate with a statistician from the very beginning of the study, even before data collection. In addition, a particular research project may yield more than one paper.


It is, therefore, important to identify which outcome of the research is to be published in the current paper. It is easier to write the methods and the results sections before the introduction and discussion.

Another helpful technique is to prepare empty tables and figures right in the beginning of the process, which will help you and your statistician to focus on the relevant analyses to be done and results to be presented. Authorship Issues over authorship should be settled as early as possible.

The art of scientific writing

Select a journal Preparing the manuscript as per the specifications of the journal of choice is perhaps the most important and often neglected prerequisite. One should choose the highest-impact journal where the manuscript has a reasonable chance, depending on the scope of the journal, the originality of the idea, the quality of evidence, and the importance of findings.

The instruction to author's section usually provides guidelines that differ from one journal to another. Ophthalmologywhich generally make the manuscript fairly admissible to lower-ranked journals. Title and Abstract Choosing a title can be one of the most challenging aspects of manuscript writing.

Additionally, electronic indexing services rely heavily on the accuracy of the title to allow its users to find papers relevant to their queries. You may choose a more descriptive title which is usually longer and more informative but less catchy or a you may choose a shorter, more attractive title that may be too cryptic and reduce the likelihood of your paper showing up on electronic search engines.

Account Options

The title and abstract help editors to decide whether the manuscript is worthy of being sent out to reviewers and gives the reviewers the first impression of the scientific content. Additionally, as the abstract may be the only section available freely, it provides the readers an opportunity to comprehend the rationale, methods and results of your study without reading the full text.

Follow the format for abstracts provided by the journal meticulously, but creatively and always respect the word count. Parts of a Manuscript A manuscript is usually divided into four parts reflecting Aristotle's requirements for an oratory: Introduction, narration, proof and epilogue.The Art of Scientific Writing Kelly Raita University of Turku, [email protected] Mar 12,  · The Art of Scientific Writing is a very substantial achievement, and I imagine the initials EBR of the authors will become a household word among a generation of chemists." (Chemistry in Australia) "This outstanding volume is a definite 'must' for every chemists' writing."Format: Paperback.

Writing is a form of creative expression, and therefore writing, even scientific writing, is a form of art. In art, one’s creative works are his/her masterpieces. The necessary ingredients for making a good writer are the same for making a good artist.

The artist has command over his painting. The newest edition of The Art of Scientific Writing is a terrific resource for scientific and other writers alike.

The art of scientific writing

It offers information on preparing scientific works, ie books, dissertations, journal articles and reports, in addition to providing writing techniques, offering layout and design suggestions. The primary emphasis is on writing techniques, accurate expression, adherence to accepted standards, and above all clarity, but the authors also venture into communication technology and organizational as well as ethical aspects of science.

The evaluation of water quality in the water environment functional area has important scientific value for the water environment management, water pollution control and water resources protection.

Publish or perish: The art of scientific writing