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Manuscripts & Abstracts

How to write a manuscript and have it published

Manuscript Structure

The Introduction section of a manuscript gives an overview of the status quo of an issue or problem and sets the stage for a new exploration of the topic. It should be thorough, but not too lengthy.
 
Elements of an Introduction:
  • Review of the Literature
    • Documents the history and evolution of the issue or problem.
    • Provides background information to set the stage.
    • Justifies the need for additional research.
  • Provides a concise statement of problem.
  • Establishes the significance of problem.
  • Provides a direct statement of the study's Purpose (Aim / Objective / Hypothesis / EBP question).
  • Provides definitions for clarifications.
  • Provides statistical information.
  • Identifies and cites seminal works on the topic / issue.
  • Identifies and cites seminal author/experts on the topic / issue.
  • Notes important themes.
  • Identifies relevant theories.

Ensure consistency between the Introduction text and the Abstract text.

The Method section of a manuscript provides a detailed description of the experiment process. The description must provide enough information to allow future researchers to reproduce the study in order to verify (confirm) the results.
 
NOTE: Information included in the Method section will be information that was available at the time of the planning of the study (protocol). Information obtained during the study will be documented in the Results section.
 
Elements of the Method Section:
  • Identify the geographic location of the study / facility, if appropriate.
  • Identify the research method. Include rationale if unusual. Provide references.
  • Review official REPORTING GUIDELINES that align with the selected research method.
  • Identify primary and secondary objectives.
  • Identify characteristics of the participants or subjects (inclusion / exclusion criteria with explanations if unusual).
  • Identify the number of participants, how they were selected, how they were randomized, etc.
  • Identify tools (surveys, equipment, tests, etc.)
  • Describe procedures in detail. The goal is reproducibility for verification purposes.
  • Identify study limitations: constraints, gaps, etc.     (ex. drop-out rates, etc.)
  • Identify statistical methods. Give references with brief description if not well known. Provide enough detail to judge appropriateness of the selected statistical method and to verify reported results.
  • Provide definitions of statistic terms, abbreviations, symbols, etc.
  • Identify statistical software packages including versions.

Ensure consistency between Method text and Abstract text

The Results section reports the outcomes of the study experiment. Report results accurately.
 
Elements of the Results section:
  • Presentation of the results in a logical sequence.
  • Identification main findings. There may be multiple findings.
  • Identification of the most important findings.
  • Presentation of the results as they directly relate to the study Method and the study Objectives / Aim / Hypothesis / Research Question.
  • Identification of the results numerically and as percentages. Report the significance of the results.
  • Presentation of data in tables / charts / figures to explain the outcomes or support the study's purpose.
  • Provision of graphic representations of statistical results to tell a story. Make the data results understandable to the reader.
  • Inclusion of the following statistical information:
    • Statistical results of primary outcomes.
    • Effect size.
    • Statistical significance.
    • Indicators for measurement error / uncertainty (Confidence intervals, etc.).
  • Notation of any adverse events.
  • Notation of any effects of study limitations.

Ensure consistency between the Results text and the Abstract text.

The Discussion section puts the study into perspective and offers interpretations and explanations.
 
Elements of the Discussion section:
  • Interpretation of the results.
  • Exploration of explanations for the results reached.
  • Identification of the new / important findings and puts them in context.
  • Exploration of the impact of limitations, influences and variables.
  • Summarization of the main findings of the entire study.
  • Identification of practical considerations in relation to results.
  • Exploration of implications
    • for future research
    • for clinical practice
    • for policy

Ensure consistency between the Discussion text and Abstract text.

The Conclusion section puts the entire study into perspective.
 
Elements of the Conclusion section:
  • Link results directly to the study Purpose / Aim / Objective / Hypothesis / Research Question. What was the answer?
  • Statement of researcher's estimation of implications and significance.
  • Prediction of next steps
    • Direction of next stage of evolution oon the research on topic
    • Implementation barriers
    • Possible policy changes
  • OPTIONAL: state a new hypothesis

Ensure consistency between the Conclusion text and the Abstract text.