Research Article & Paper
1. What is a research article?
- A research article is an article that includes the methods, results and findings of one's research in a peer-reviewed research journal. Every discipline has a number of such peer-reviewed research journals such as Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) for social sciences research, Science Magazine by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) etc.
- Advancement in digital media and information technologies has led to an intensification of mediums where research articles can be published and shared. This has undoubtedly broadened the potential audience for research related content in the forms of manuscripts, articles and papers.
2. Steps to research article writing
- Start writing beforehand: A research article can be written before the experiments are completed or the actual thesis has been written. Writing daily or weekly helps in generating new ideas around the research problem. It also makes it easier to consolidate data in the form of an article, whenever the need arises.
- Deciding time to publish: Having a timeline in mind ensures that one is writing with a definite deadline. Some journals accept manuscripts all around the year and some only do special features. Keeping this in mind, one should keep the content ready. Whenever the data you have collected represent a complete story (or a significant part of it), getting it published is the next step.
- Title and abstract: Deciding a title and preparing an abstract is the next step. The title should be short, informative and unique. An abstract should be able to give a brief overview of your research article. Title and abstract are, in fact, important components of a research article.
- Deciding the format: Peer-reviewed journals usually follow the IMRAD format – Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. Each section also follows a word limit feature which may vary from one journal to another.
- Outline of the Paper: An outline acts as a road map to one own research. A research article should follow an outline based on some themes and sub-themes clubbed together. A proper outline gives coherence and consistency to the ideas put together.
- First draft: Finalising the first draft is the next step. One should not write and edit at the same time. Prepare the first draft and edit as and when new revisions are to be made. Make sure that the first draft is the blueprint of outline made, abstract and title.
- References: This is another important component as well as a step of article writing. After the revised draft, one should make sure that citations have been done correctly and follow a proper format.
- Revise as per Journal’s instructions: Meet all the criteria the journal expects and based on that make necessary changes. That will make the final draft ready to be submitted to the editor.
- Feedback: After submission, one receives comments from the editors and reviewers. They will ask for changes in terms of the word limit, grammar and punctuation, flow of the paper etc.
Indeed, research writing doesn’t come naturally to most of us and is highly formalised and rhetorical. Normally, it takes months to a year or two for a good research paper to be written and get published in a reputed research journal.
We hope some questions can be framed out of this article.
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