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Writing a Scientific Paper

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Writing a Scientific Paper M Ballow, MD Division of Allergy & Immunology Department of Pediatrics University at Buffalo – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing a Scientific Paper


1
Writing a Scientific Paper M Ballow,
MD Division of Allergy Immunology Department of
Pediatrics University at Buffalo
2
Processes to consider before you can write a paper
  • Proposal and hypothesis
  • Anatomy of a study
  • Design -
  • Clinical study - case control, randomized
    placebo- controlled, etc
  • In vitro experiments
  • Animal model
  • Statistical considerations - power analysis

3
Processes to consider before you can write a paper
  • Methods - how are you going to collect the data
  • Supplies, equipment, personnel
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Now are you ready to write the paper?

4
Create Displays of the Data. Raw
Samples/Photographs Tables Graphs
Figures
5
The Data
  • Data manager-
  • Excel spreadsheet
  • Specialized program with graphing capability
  • Prism

6
Crunch the Data
  • Appropriate statistical analysis of the raw data
  • Computer programs
  • Prism, Statview, SSPS, others
  • Seek help or consultation

7
Format for Most Scientific Papers
  • Title
  • Authorship/ institutions
  • Abstract
  • Key words
  • Nonstandard abbreviation
  • Introduction
  • Methods and material
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments- people, grants, others
  • References

8
Write The Methods Section First.
  • This is simply a description of what methods you
    used
  • Spell out detail
  • Reagents (source), special equipment
  • If published elsewhere - reference material

9
Write The Results Section Second. This is a
description of what you found.
10
RESULTS The text is often quite short.
The data displays are the heart of this
section. Highlight important points with
Tables and figures.
11
Results section
  • Divide into subsections to make it easier to
    understand
  • Start each subsection with a statement of the
    experimental plan
  • Example -
  • Specific mAbs identify CD32 isoforms and CD32a
    allelic variants by flow cytometry

12
Results section
  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • Use tables, figures and pictures (microscopy)
  • Use text to pull together the data, tables,
    graphs, and figures you have created.

13
Data presentation
  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Photographs

14
Anatomy of a Table
Table 1. Inhibitory effect of trichostatin A
(TSA) on glucocorticoid suppression of
interleukin (IL)-8 cytokine release in U937,
HUT-78 and Jurkat cells. IL-8 expression U937 Hu
t-78 Jurkat Dex suppression ( max. LPS) 28
3 43 5 33 3 Dex suppression ( max. LPS)
TSA 14 4 21 9 30 15 TA suppression (
max. LPS) 66 9 55 6 43 3 TA suppression
( max. LPS) TSA 23 3 15 4 10 2 Dex
suppression ( max. TNF-a) 28 4 20 3 16
2 Dex suppression ( max. TNF-a) TSA 215
5 9 2 14 4 TA suppression ( max.
TNF-a) 40 4 42 3 46 4 TA suppression (
max. TNF-a) TSA 11 3 7 2 65
2 Results are expressed as mean SD. P lt
005 compared to suppressive effect of steroid
alone. Dex dexamethasone LPS
lipopolysaccharide TNF-a tumour necrosis
factor-a.c
15
Anatomy of a Figure
16
Photomicrograph
17
DISCUSSION Know the relevant
literature. Have the articles (not just
the abstracts) at your disposal. Enter the
bibliography into End Note or software of your
choice.
18
Discussion
  • The first few paragraphs should highlight new
    findings/ discovery from your data
  • Compare your results with the literature
  • Be specific
  • Cite the literature
  • Be critical but nice/diplomatic

19
Discussion
  • Conclude only that which you have proven with
    your data.
  • Speculate in last paragraph
  • Diagrams
  • Make it clear that this is speculation

20
WRITE THE INTRODUCTION FOURTH.
21
Introduction
  • Give enough background (with references) to set
    up the importance of your question or hypothesis
  • Last paragraph
  • Briefly state the results
  • Importance of the results
  • Example - Our findings have important
    implications for understanding the
    pathophysiology of disease-mediated by immune
    complexes and for developing antibody and
    DC-based therapies------

22
WRITE THE ABSTRACT- FIFTH
23
Abstract
  • Think of it as pulling out (abstracting)
  • the crucial parts from each of the previous
  • Sections
  • Some Journals have sections within the
    abstract
  • - background
  • - objective
  • - methods
  • - results
  • - conclusion

24
Write Your Title - Last. By now you should
know what the core of the paper is.
Often the title is a phrase or sentence
which encapsulates your
conclusion. The anti-inflammatory activity of
IVIG is mediated through the inhibitory Fc
receptor
25
The Title and Abstract Are Important 10 to
100 people will read your title for every
one that reads the abstract. 10 to 100 people
will read the abstract for every one
that reads the paper.
26
PERSONAL SUGGESTIONS Set aside blocks of time
to write (2-3 hrs.). It helps to briefly
outline the section first. Once you start
writing just let the ideas
flow. Fix paragraph order, sentence
structure and word choice
later. Do multiple drafts.
27
STYLE In scientific writing clarity is the
most important thing. Better to be clear than
to be fuzzy.
28
Avoid abbreviation unless they are truly
necessary and unless they are standardized in the
literature.
29
DONT GET DISCOURAGED Most papers require
multiple drafts before submission - have a
colleague read the manuscript Most
publications require multiple submissions
before acceptance -decide on a hierarchy of
appropriate journals - be realistic
30
Summary
  • Be proud of yourself!
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