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Scientific Writing: Basic Scientific Format

What is the scientific format?

Below is 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.



  • Cover page - Title of the publication, authors names, institution affiliations, contact information, and corresponding author.
  • Abstract - A summary of your research that contains the main findings and conclusion of your publication.
  • 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.
  • Methods - Explain how your research was done, making sure that is clear, in a logical order that allows for reproducibility of your results.
  • Results - Describe how you collected your research, reporting what you found.
  • 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.
  • Conclusion - Wrap of of your research and how it fits or relates to your field of study and identify areas for future research
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • References or Bibliography - A list of articles used to write your publication (tip use EndNote-download it for free as CCHMC employees