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Scientific Writing

Welcome to the Scientific Writing Guide!

This guide is a broad overview of the writing process including specific types of publications and resources to assist in writing (books and publications):

  • Meeting Abstracts
  • Grant Proposals
  • Literature Reviews
  • Scientific Reports

What is the scientific format?

Below are the basic components of writing a scientific publication. This structure sometimes, referred to as IMRaD and attributed to Louis Pastuer, stands for Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. This structure is a reflection of the process of scientific discovery in the order that it should happen. The process includes five W's; who, what, where ,when and why. If you are targeting a specific journal make sure to check their author instructions for specific instructions.

  1. Cover page - Title of the publication, authors names, institution affiliations, contact information, and corresponding author.
  2. Abstract* - A summary of your research that contains the main findings and conclusion of your publication.
  3. Introduction - This section give the reader an idea of your topic, why the study was done and can include background, any new developments and how your research adds to already existing research.
  4. Methods - Explain how your research was done, making sure that is clear, in a logical order that allows for reproducibility of your results.
  5. Results - Describe how you collected your research, reporting what you found.
  6. Discussion - This is the area where you can discuss the significance of your findings including any strengths and weakness of the research and how they affected your findings.
  7. Conclusion - Wrap of of your research and how it fits or relates to your field of study and identify areas for future research.
  8. Acknowledgements - Brief paragraph giving credit to the funding institution and any individuals who contributed to the manuscript e.g. technical advisors, editors, librarians who help create a literature).
  9. Conflicts of Interest/Originality Statement - This should be included if the journal requires a statement that your research is original and you have no conflict of interest-you will not derive personal benefit (e.g. get paid).
  10. References or Bibliography - A list of articles used to write your publication (tip use EndNote-download it for free as CCHMC employees

*The abstract in a paper is different from a meeting abstract. Meeting abstract is a summary of research with a conclusion but generally just a paragraph long. This paragraph is submitted to a conference and if accepted then presented either as a poster or sometimes a panel discussion but is not a fully published paper. 


The intent of this guide is to provide employees of Cincinnati Children's with information pertaining to scientific writing.  In no way does this guide constitute, or take the place of, legal counsel.  This guide was compiled for educational purposes only.  Any content presented on other's sites are for user's convenience only and Pratt Library and/or Cincinnati Children's does not take responsibility for anything presented on these third party sites.