What Is A Scientific Article?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

What is A Scientific Article?

A scientific article is an article written by a member of the scientific community, following specific rules and recommendations, and is published in a scientific journal.

What is the standard format for a scientific article? The scientific article usually follows a standardized format, with the following parts or sections:

  • Summary or Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • Figures and/or Tables

The parts/sections do not necessarily have to be presented in that order. It is also possible to add, remove or change some of the titles, for example to omit "Acknowledgements" or to change "Results" to "Result and Discussion". The design depends on the purpose and aim of the article and its content, i.e. what type of article it is.

What is a scientific journal? A scientific journal is an academic publication with an editorial board and a number of expert reviewers. It also has an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and it is published at regular intervals. Some journals are only published in printed versions, others only online, while some are both printed and published online. There are often several academic journals published within an academic field. For example, within the field of international political economy, there is one journal entitled New Political Economy and another entitled Review of International Political Economy. Further, there are journals that require a subscription, such as Nature, and there are open access journals that are free to download and read.

What is an open access journal? Open access journals are scientific journals that are free to read and use, no subscription required. One of the ideas behind this concept is that it will enable more people to benefit from the results of scientific projects. Research is often conducted with the aid of direct or indirect governmental funding and it is becoming increasingly frequent that grant organizations demand that researchers publish their results in open access journals rather than in subscription journals. You will find plenty of open access journals online via the Directory of Open Access Journals (Google 'DOAJ' to find its website).

What does submitted mean? Before an article is published, it is sent in to the journal’s editor. This process is called a submission. During this phase, between submission and acceptance, the article (which is not yet accepted for publication) is referred to as 'submitted'. A scientist, who receives a question about his or her latest study, may respond “it is submitted", meaning that the text is in the hands of the editor, waiting for acceptance.

What is a peer-review? Generally, all manuscripts submitted to scientific journals have to pass the inspection of a group of peers. This means that the editor of each journal will forward the manuscript to two or three experts who will read it, comment on it, and return their verdict to the editor. After this peer-review process, which often takes months, the manuscript is either totally rejected (i.e. it is not fit for the journal in question), accepted with revisions (i.e. the author has to rewrite parts of it) or accepted without revisions (i.e. it is published as it is). By and large, most manuscripts are accepted with revisions.

The text, often called a manuscript, has thus been scrutinized by experts from the academic field in question before it is accepted and published in the journal. Once the manuscript is published, it becomes a journal article. This, in turn, implies that each field monitors itself, in a sense, which ensures the highest possible standards. One might argue that it does not ensure the best possible quality in research, and there are objections to the peer-review system, but it is hard to find a substitute. It seems that the peer-review system will continue to be used by academic journals for a long time to come.

Peer reviews are often done anonymously (often called a blind-review process). It means that the editor removes the author’s name from the manuscript before forwarding it to the reviewers, i.e. the identity of the author is not known to the reviewers. Further, the identity of the reviewers is not revealed to the author. This helps ensure an unbiased review of the manuscript.

What is the content of a scientific article? The content of such an article may of course vary, but can be divided into three broad types. The first type of article contains results from studies where data has been collected. For example, Mulet, Benedito, Bon and Rossell's article "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature" published 1999 in the Journal of Food Science, volume 64, issue 6, pages 1038–1041. These types of articles report the outcomes from scientific studies and the results are analyzed and discussed.

The second type of content is found in theoretical articles that are produced primarily to develop and put forward new theories from existing research. For example Newton's famous 1671 article where he discusses a new theory about light and colors. This article was published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (abbreviated "Phil. Trans."), which, incidentally, is the oldest journal in the world devoted entirely to science, founded in 1665.

The third type of content is presented in so called review articles. Such reviews present thorough and systematic reviews of other types of scientific articles. An example of such a review article is Arthur and Holder's "A Review of Transbuccal Fentanyl Use in the Emergency Department" published 2012 in the journal Pain Research and Treatment (DOI number 10.1155/2012/768796).

What is a DOI number? A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number is usually attached to each scientific article. It is a way to mark and identify an individual article based on an international standard, and the overall idea is that this will make it easier to refer to, and to find, the article in question. In the three article examples above, Arthur and Holder's review article is presented with a DOI number.

Ending remark. Writing a scientific article is hard work and you have to be both accurate and motivated. I hope the information above has provided some insights into the process and that it will serve as a source of inspiration for you.


Street Talk

Brandon8  

talking about a scientific article. Read this. Okay it won't let me add a link so type in the theory of everything into the street articles search function.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Quite the process. thank you for the information. I always wondered just what standards were in place to get an article of this nature published and where.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yeah, it is quite a cumbersome process. On a side note, the photo shows the view from my office in the winter. My 'inspiation' when I draft articles. Thanks for the comment Shawn.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very interesting Kent...Not my field,but enjoyed your article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Glad that you liked it Connie.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
Improve Grades With Assistance Of English, Physics And A Level Tutors
Worried about your child’s grades at school? Then private tuition is the best solution for you to enhance the grades of your child. When you hire a private tutor for your child, it means you invest in an individual tutor who gives the full attention to your child and meets…
By: Muhammad Mazhar in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 14, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Web 2 - What Impact Has it Had on Science Teaching?
Why does technology often make you feel like there is a big conspiracy and you are the last one to know? Terms like Web 2.0 are thrown around with such abandon that they are just as likely to be incorporated into the name of a very familiar product without us…
By: Col Harrison in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Prelims for A Technical Career In Pharmacy World
There are many students who intend to pursue a career in the medicinal world without actually being a pharmacist. They want to take care of people’s health by indulging into some other aspects of pharmacy that principally requires technical knowledge and abilities. If you are also among those aspirants who…
By: Harry Millers in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 26, 2014  
0
  Likes: 3

A Problem Shared is A Problem Halved - How to Improve Your Powerpoint Slide Show Science Lessons
I've written previously about the impact of presentations in Science lessons and lamented to excuse of technology for poor pedagogy. The reality is many of our teaching colleagues are using powerpoint to teach their classes, so how can we improve our use of this ubiquitous tool? Let me say firstly…
By: Col Harrison in  Reference and Education  >  Science   May 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

One Day Science Fair Projects Make Educational Middle School Homework Assignments
When you see the words "science fair projects" it is easy to think you are talking about the school gym filled with kids, parents and display boards full of pictures and graphs. But one day science fair projects can also be used as middle school homework assignments for science concepts…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Easy Science Experiments for Kids Make for Great Fun at Home
Easy science experiments for kids to do at home can help make science fun and show kids and their families that science is really about what you see and experience every day. People are using scientific principles to solve problems all the time, and often do not realize it. Learning…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 2

The Need for Professional Development for Nurses In Australia
Today, there are so many complex developments and advancements in medical technology and the healthcare industry that medical professionals can never consider their learning is finished. To keep themselves abreast of the latest techniques they must necessarily keep attending workshops, medical conferences and undertake courses in professional development. Reading medical…
By: georgescifo in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Apr 18, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Multiple Metaphors - the Promise And Perils Of Technology In Science
What are your views on 'educational technology'? If there was ever a potential oxymoron, or a phrase to strike cheer or terror into the heart of a teacher, one of the nominees would surely be educational technology. Depending on the strength of your historical or mythological understandings, technology may have…
By: Col Harrison in  Reference and Education  >  Science   May 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Science Experiments for Middle School Make Science Fairs More Fun
A middle school science fair can be a fun and interesting event for both students and parents.  Parents are generally pretty amazed at how in-depth science experiments for middle school can be and how many different ideas that are covered. Some of the concepts that are displayed and being demonstrated…
By: Sue Gnagy Fegan in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Parabolic Solar Collector Making Concept
This article offers an illustrated description of a method to produce a closed parabolic trough solar energy collector box based on the elasticity of the material. What is described here is basically a manual method to make high efficiency solar collectors against very low cost, which is particularly suited for…
By: Moriala Putula in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Jul 10, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Where Einstein And Modern Physicists Fudged Up Or What the Aliens Know That Our Scientists Do Not! Part VI Black Holes Full Of Worm Holes?
In 1916 when Einstein first published his General Theory of Relativity there was a Prussian Officer, Karl Schwarzschild, a former math teacher in Germany who immediately produced an equation that showed a mass could be so dense as to never let light escape a certain critical radius. Today this radius…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Nov 17, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Where Einstein And Modern Physicists Fudged Up Or What the Aliens Know That Our Scientists Do Not
The first thing that the aliens know, if there are intergalactic aliens, is that traveling at the speed of light and greater is not only possible, but common place for them and secondly, one does not travel into the past when exceeding the speed of light. How is this possible…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Sep 02, 2011  
1
  Likes: 1

Excel-lence In Science Education
Looking for a new way to help your students achieve EXCELlence in Science? Look no further than Excel as a great way to help students understand trends, graphs and mathematical relationships. I know we want stduents to learn how to draw graphs, understand x and y axes, explain lines of…
By: Col Harrison in  Reference and Education  >  Science   May 07, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Effective Multidisciplinary Cohesion
Technology is big business in Education. Laptops, data shows, interactive whiteboards and hand held data devices are becoming increasingly common in schools across the globe. The progress is inevitable, but not equitable and in many cases the technology is lying idle as teachers with limited technological expertise and/or interest struggle…
By: Col Harrison in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 16, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

WHERE EINSTEIN AND MODERN PHYSICISTS FUDGED UP OR WHAT THE ALIENS KNOW THAT OUR SCEINTISTS DO NOT! PART II: FASTER THAN LIGHT!?
Because of Einstein’s theory of relativity we have been told that nothing can go faster than light and his equation E=mc^2 will cause mass to increase infinitely as it approaches the speed of light. While any physicist will tell you this is true it is strictly a mathematical concept and…
By: Franklin N Williams in  Reference and Education  >  Science   Mar 07, 2012  
1
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 3239    Report this Article