Writing for a scholarly journal publication is entirely different from thesis-writing. While the aim of your thesis is to present everything you know and discover on a particular topic, the goal of a journal article is to present research findings in a shorter and more focused format that scientists and researchers can read despite their hectic schedules. Moreover, journal editors sift through several submissions every publication cycle and would not bother reading an article that lacks clarity and brevity.
In the recently concluded 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers held January 30-31 at the Isabela State University – Cauayan Campus, journal-writing experts from the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors, together with proficient mentor-facilitators from different health fields, trained health investigators in developing/refining manuscripts that are worthy of a scholarly journal publication. Here are few practices researchers should avoid when writing a scientific journal article as pointed out in the writeshop*:
Mr. Diomerl Baldo, Bicol University, reviews the draft journal article of his groupmate during the small-group exercises at the
11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers held January 30-31
at the Isabela State University – Cauayan Campus
Writing only in the active voice
More often, research writing guidelines encourage writing sentences in the active voice rather than in the passive voice. Recently, journal editors encourage writing in both the active and passive voices depending on what section you are working on. Writing in the passive voice would enable you to focus more on the results of your study. e.g. (active) The researcher classified vapor as gas. (passive) Vapor was classified as gas.
Presenting data in both narrative and illustration forms
Avoid redundant data presentation when writing for journals. This can be achieved by carefully choosing which presentation form would best express your data. If data cannot be explained in three to four paragraphs, it is best to use illustrations. Graphs effectively present trends and relationships among variables.
Using statistical terms that have common meanings
Using the statistical words such as random, correlate, significant, and normal in non-technical parts of your journal article may confuse readers into what the meaning of your statements. Save statistical words for your materials and methods prose. All statistical terms should be defined if used in the Results section.
Presenting all the results of your research
Only include results that are relevant to your stated problem whether or not they support the hypothesis. This technique would also make a journal article more focused and specific.
Including only the references that agree with your research
Journal manuscripts can be venues for discussion and scholarly disputes. Try to argue and provide enough data on why you don’t agree with previously published results and contribute another perspective to existing research.
Using one writing style for all your journal submissions
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), as the national coordinating body for health research, recognizes health researchers and health research groups for their exemplary research efforts and contributions in enhancing our country’s health research capabilities.
The following are three awards created specifically for our health researchers:
1. Alberto Romualdez, Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (AROHRA)
AROHRA encourages researchers to be sensitive to the scientific and technological requirements of the health delivery system as well as rewards those whose research has contributed significantly to addressing prevalent health issues.
Given by PCHRD, in collaboration with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) partners, the award gives recognition to a research program or project that demonstrates the link between research and practice through the utilization of research findings in the health delivery system.
The call for nominations is ongoing, visit http://bit.ly/2fcA9T0!
2. Best Mentor in Health Research Award
The Council recognizes the vital role of the research mentor who selflessly shares knowledge and skills, instills values and attitudes, and inspires those involved in the research process.
The award is offered biennially to reward mentors in health research who built the capacities of researchers in the health sector and propelled significant advances in the PNHRS thrusts, as identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the country’s template for health research and development efforts.
The call for nominations is ongoing, visit http://bit.ly/2fxKpJ5!
3. DOST-PCHRD-Gruppo Medica Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis in Herbal Medicine
PCHRD, in collaboration with Gruppo Medica Inc. (GMI), gives the award to provide motivation for students to view undergraduate thesis not merely as an academic exercise, but as an excellent opportunity to contribute to national interest.
The award recognizes relevant and innovative research works on herbal medicine that have potential practical and/or commercial applications.
For more information on PCHRD Health Research Awards, visit www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with DOST Cagayan Valley Region, will conduct the 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers in Cauayan City, Isabela on 30-31January 2017.
This year’s workshop aims to enable selected health researchers on preparing scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals. All participants are required to submit their draft journal articles for pre-evaluation. Evaluated articles will be revised during the small-group workshop exercises under the guidance of the faculty and mentor-facilitators.
Workshop mentors are composed of medical research writing experts here and abroad as follows: Dr. Jose Florencio Fabella Lapeña, Jr., Publons UK’s Most Prolific Editor, Dr. Wilfred CG Peh, Secretary-General, Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editor (APAME), and Dr. Cecilia Maramba-Lazarte, Editor-in-Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines Journal.
Three months after, participants are expected to publish their improved journal manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and contribute to the dissemination of Filipino research information.
Conducted twice a year, this workshop is a product of PCHRD’s partnership with APAME and the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors.