Even if you are new in the academia world, you might already have felt the pressure to publish. Whether by just looking around at your colleagues, or directly challenged by your professor or supervisor. That is because a researcher whose work is not exposed to the public is completely invisible, no matter how relevant or novel his or her research might be. Later in your life as a scientist – or researcher – publishing will be most definitely the key for subsistence and career promotions, since sponsors are always looking for the best science breakthroughs to invest in.
This side of science might be quite overwhelming. It’s one thing is to be dedicated to research itself, but many researchers feel they are not quite qualified to convey their ideas and approaches for broader audiences in the written form. Lucky for them, they don’t have to go through this process all on their own. Elsevier offers a wide range of services – starting with translation, scientific illustration and proofreading – that allow researchers to publish their work exactly the way they need for their goals, guaranteeing maximum text quality, and without distracting them from their work.
It is helpful though, to learn some general guidelines about the types of papers and articles that exist out there. It’s critical to produce the type of article that will enhance your work, as well as respond to a target journal. Let’s start by unraveling the more common formats:
Scientific literature basically consists in all permanently documented knowledge about science. It is the result of the need to share and discuss science with peers and the general public. Thanks to scientific literature, the world is exactly how we know it today, with state-of-the-art technology that supports our modern way of life. Worldwide scientific literature dissemination is particularly important for articulate planetary responses for global problems. For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of 2020.
There are some types of scientific literature, depending mostly on the originality of the approached topic or question:
- Primary scientific literature (commonly referred to as “paper”) results from research conducted by an individual scientist or collaboration by a group of other scientists. Most primary literature is published in scholarly journals, under their particular formats or guidelines. Normally, a title, abstract, keywords, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, acknowledgments and references are required elements for its submission. The given paper for submission will be appraised by the editor, who in turn will ask a number of referees (experts in a scientific area) to give their opinion on whether the work presents new scientific information or not. According to their reports, the editor may accept the paper or not. There can also be the case that the paper is accepted, but with a certain amount of revision and amendments. For that, don’t forget Elsevier’s proofreading services, with professionals that can advise you on how to follow the journal’s requirements for a successful submission.
- Secondary scientific literature is a type of literature that relies on primary sources of information (primary literature). Its objective is to summarize and synthesize information in a specific area. Like in primary literature, this type also has a scientific discourse but may not have to be so strictly organized as the first. These publications include reviews, books (whether monographs, textbooks or handbooks) and manuals. They are particularly useful for having a general overview over a topic.
- Tertiary scientific literature emerges from primary and secondary scientific literature and aims for a more lay-audience or researchers in completely different fields of knowledge. Because of its typical consumer, these publications are written in a more simplified and popular-language format versus a scientific style. You can find examples of tertiary scientific literature in science magazines, newsletters, articles in newspapers, and encyclopedias. They can also be widely found and consumed on the internet.
Scientific Journal Articles
It is helpful to keep in mind the variety of article formats published in scientific journals, although there are slight changes in their definition and structure from journal to journal. That said, our advice for you is to check your target journal’s guidelines and examine article examples so that you know exactly how to construct a manuscript for successful submission. Remember, that with Elsevier, you can have special guidance on this subject from our proofreading professionals; they have the experience and expertise to suggest amendments to your manuscript for the journal’s requirements.
Scientific Research or Original Research
Also referred to as an article or original articles, this is the most common type of manuscript and the one that scientists most long to write, for it comprises something new for the field of study. Depending on the latter – if we are talking about medicine, social sciences or biology, for example – original research articles may differ slightly in their structure but, most of the time, they are expected to include: abstract, introduction, methodology, results and discussion, as well as references.
Scientific Report Journals
If you are still not ready to carry out your own original research, there are plenty of other alternatives for you to publish relevant content for scientific enrichment. For example, some journals focus on reports as a way of stimulating further research on a specific topic. Normally, reports are much shorter compared to articles, but they are useful for scientists to analyze results or learn about a certain problem in a short period of time. In highly competitive or time-limited subjects, reports are necessary and very much appreciated.
Language editing services by Elsevier Author Services:
It is common to get lost in this forest of research publication and expected manuscript formats, but we assure you the journal for you is just around the corner, waiting for your great work. If you are doubtful about the text quality of your manuscript, explore our Language Editing Plus. In just 5 working days it includes unlimited rounds of language review, manuscript formatting to fit your target journal’s requirements, a customized cover letter, and an assessment report (and more). Use our Language Editing Simulator to learn about the final price and off you go!