Scientific Article Structure
Universitas Kristen Indonesia Jakarta
Scientists and researchers communicate their research results one to another through scientific articles. These articles are generally published in scientific journals or presented in conferences. To make the communication efficient and effective, the articles must be presented coherently and logically. This can be realized through the use of the format commonly used in scientific articles. This paper describes the structure of scientific articles that are commonly used to communicate the results of research, known as AIMReDCaR (Abstract, Introduction, Methodology, Result, Conclusion, and References). Discussions are focused on the scientific article features and guidelines for writing each section.
Keywords: AIMReDCaR, scientific article, journals
Scientific articles are the ‘storehouses’ of scientific researches results plus the procedures used to make those researches. They are written to provide a means for scientists to communicate each other about the results of their researches. To make the communication effective, the media (manuscripts) must have a standardized framework so that the authors could present their findings and ideas in an orderly, logical manner. This paper introduces the generic structure of scientific articles written based on actual and relevant studies. Discussions are focused on the stereotyped sections of the articles and their features as well. By being more familiar with those things, readers are expected to have clearer idea for writing journal articles. In this paper, the term scientific article is used interchangeably with manuscript, scientific paper, journal article, research paper, or research article.
Before exploring the scientific article structure in detail, it is important to note that based on their contents, scientific articles are differentiated into two types: full research papers, which are written based on actual and relevant studies; and conceptual papers, which do not present new data from fresh research but rather selectively discuss and compare the findings of other scientists (through library study) in order to advance thinking in the area of interest. The focus of this paper is on full research articles, especially those in English teaching field.
Generic Structure of Scientific Articles
All scientific articles have general parts which follow a set of conventions that have developed over the years from 1665, when the first issue of Philosophical Transactions appeared in England (Cargill and O’Connor, 2009, p. 9). The inclusion of general parts in scientific articles makes scientific papers have a uniform or rigid format. Katz (2009, p. 3) explains that scientific papers have a stereotyped format, i.e. (1) Abstract; (2) Introduction; (3) Materials and Methods; (4) Results; (5) Discussion; (6) Conclusion; and (7) References (AIMReDCaR).
The use of AIMReDCaR format makes scientific articles’ structure rigid, and there are two reasons for this. First, scientific articles are intended to facilitate a communication of scientific findings in the community of scientists. To assure the communication occurs efficiently, the media (manuscripts) must be standardized. Second, this format allows the paper to be read at several different levels. For those who merely want to find out what information is available on a subject, they may just skim the Titles and Abstracts. Those who need to go deeper may look at the Tables and Figures in the Results, and so on. In short, the scientific format helps to insure that a reader knows what to expect and where to find specific types of information.
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