Following on from the success of the previous post on preparing an article for an indexed journal, I continue with other relevant aspects. First of all, I must introduce the structure of the paper:
- Main Text
- Theoretical background (basis)
- Empirical research (sample, research methodology)
- Analysis of results
- Discussion and conclusions (ideas for future work)
- Supporting material
Concerning the structure, it is essential to note that title, author(s), abstract and keywords should be easy to identify and reference. Regarding the main text, keep in mind that journal space is valuable, so try to make your article as brief as possible.
Another important aspect is the content. Let’s start with the title; it should be short, expressive and informative of the contribution the manuscript makes. Special care must be taken with syntax (especially in English) as most grammatical errors in titles are due to incorrect word order. Finally, the following matters of form are also important:
- Do not use acronyms or abbreviations unless they are coined and known.
- All words, except prepositions, should be capitalised.
It is important to emphasise that the abstract should allow the article to be understood without the need to read it, usually containing 150-200 words. It should contain:
- The current status of the topic and the motivation for the manuscript.
- The aim of the manuscript
- A short sentence stating what has been done (methods used)
- A brief statement of the main results
- A quick conclusion of the work
The abstract should never contain bibliographical references, nor should it devote too much space to the background or methods used. Nor should it include abbreviations or acronyms, and we should avoid including equations.
No less important are the keywords. There usually are 5 to 6 keywords introduced after the abstract, and you should choose those that best reflect the area of knowledge in which the contribution of the manuscript and its application are framed.
In the next post, I will develop the sections related to the introduction, the theoretical background, the empirical research, the analysis of results, the discussion and conclusions, acknowledgements, references and supporting materials.