Tips and tricks for writing a scientific manuscript

A Marmotti, G M Peretti, L Mangiavini, L de Girolamo, C Tarella, D E Bonasia, S Mattia, A Tellini, E Bellato, G Agati, D Blonna, F Castoldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An original scientific manuscript is the target for any researchers whose aim is to show the innovative results arising from the original intuitions that drove all their experiments. Time and patience are essential to decide how to present the data, how to conceive the tables and figures representing the main outcomes of the research, and how to read and mention the necessary references. Few basic rules may help in this difficult task. The first basic rule is: "do not follow the sequence of the paper". On the opposite, i) start writing the "Materials and Methods (or Patients and Methods when dealing with a clinical study)", ii) then write the "Results" section, iii) then, write the "Discussion" paragraph, in which the principal investigator explains the results and the innovations proposed, iv) then, write the "Introduction", which should be clear and concise. The last element to be written should be the "Abstract", which is the "interface" between the authors and the readers. The second basic rule is that any of the central chapters of the manuscript, i.e. "Materials and Methods" (MM), "Results" (R) and "Discussion" (D), should follow a methodical and sequential description of the topics in a "corresponding sequence of paragraphs". In other words, in the R and the D chapter sequence of the paragraphs should be linked to the sequence of the concepts described and discussed in the paragraphs of the MM chapter. Thus, a sequential description of concepts will be easily followed by the writers, facilitating both the authors in the organization of the data and the reader in finding a reasonable "answer" to all the aspects of the study mentioned in the MM chapter. In this article, these two rules are extensively described and several tips and tricks for each chapter are suggested to ease the composition of a scientific paper. Indeed, it may be possible to solve the complex problem of "writing a scientific paper" by means of separating it in main sections (chapters) and subsections (paragraphs) and dealing with them one by one. Naturally, this takes time and passion, but, as affirmed by Steve Jobs, "the only way to do great work is to love what you do".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449. Congress of the Italian Orthopaedic Research Society
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume34
Issue number4 Suppl. 3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 3 2020

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