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SUGGESTIONS TO AUTHORS
1) A well-written paper has a better chance of being accepted in any journal if it is written simply and concisely. Be certain your words express your ideas and your message. In short, adhere to the following rules: “(1) Have something to say; (2) Say it; (3) Stop as soon as you have said it. Otherwise, the scientific worth of your manuscript may be obscured.
2) General Suggestions
3) Adhere strictly to journal format as described in the Instructions for Authors of a current issue. Incorrect style irritates reviewers and editors. An incorrect reference suggests that the paper was previously rejected by another journal and not changed for the resubmission.
4) Edit your paper carefully and eliminate errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar. After you type the final draft (and especially if someone else types it for you), force yourself to edit it once more.
5) Always check the accuracy of your references with the original, and not with secondary sources. Incorrect citations are a burden to the publisher and a disservice to the reader.
6) Do not expect the editor’s office or publisher to rewrite poorly-written manuscripts; that responsibility rests entirely with the authors. Those who have difficulty writing scientific English should obtain assistance from colleagues.
7) Organize your paper to answer 4 main questions; the reviewers and readers want them answered:
8) What did you set out to do and why? ntroduction
9) How did you do it? Methods
10) What did you learn? Results
11) What does it mean and how does it relate Discussion to what else is known?
12) It is easy to mix fact and opinion; keep the Results and Discussion separate. Keep the discussion clearly reasoned, tightly written, and focused on the implications of the Results.
13) Keep the abstract brief and in the active voice. For original articles the abstracts should be structured. The abstracts should be substantive. Avoid sentences such as “The implications are summarized.” Instead, describe the implications.
14) Avoid repetition:
15) Do not repeat the Abstract in the Introduction or Discussion.
16) Do not disclose your Results in the Introduction.
17) Do not repeat the Introduction in the Discussion.
18) In the text, do not repeat figure legends, table titles, or the contents of the tables.
19) Do not overuse tables. Presentation of a few facts will take up less space in the text than in one table. In particular, do not use a table for presenting simple word lists.
20) Bar graphs and pie charts should only be used where absolutely indicated and should be provided in color and glossy finish, where possible the information should be presented in table format.
21) Use the active voice in the Abstract, Introduction, and Discussion; it is shorter, clearer, and more emphatic. The passive voice is boring suggests lack of conviction, required more words, extends reading time, and may be ambiguous. The passive voice, by convention is appropriate in the Methods and Results.
22) Discussion. Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the introduction or the result section. Include in the discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies.
23) Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data. In particular, authors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.
24) Reference should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text, not alphabetically. List all authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list only the first six and add “et al”. All references must be cited in the text or tables. Unpublished data and personal communications will not be accepted as references.
25) Avoid constructions that force the reader to stop and re-read the sentence, such as “respectively”. Example: “The mean values for men and women were x and y, respectively.” Substitute: “The mean value for men was x, and for women, y.” This version is direct and permits the reader to proceed.
26) The “cause(s) of bad writing are many”; this popular construction also stops the reader abruptly for the sake of supposed precision. Use either the singular or plural, but not both. Do not use “and/or”. Your meaning is usually conveyed by “or” alone. If necessary, add “or both” at the end of the phrase (“Subarachnoid haemorrhage can cause headache, stiff neck, or both.”)
27) Restrict the word “parameter” to its original mathematical definition; use the more specific “range”, “measurement,” or “variable” instead. “Practice parameters” (clinical practice guidelines) is an allowable exception. MRI or radiographic measurement factors (constants) are “parameters” and can be described as such.
28) “Incidence” and “prevalence” should have population denominators; otherwise, the correct terms, all synonymous, are “relative frequency,” “frequency,” “ratio,” or “percentage”. A “mortality rate” also requires a population denominator and a time interval; deaths among a series of patients would provide a “case fatality ratio” and not a “mortality rate”.
29) Words and phrases that should be deleted on sight: arguably (confusing)needless to say (unnecessary; just say it)peruse (ambiguously defined)recent (does it mean last week, month, year, or decade?)significant (except if it implies a statistical difference)
30) “it…that” constructions, such as“it is a fact that”, “it is apparent that” (use “apparently”)
31) “it is believed that”, “it is clear that (use “clearly”)
32) “it is emphasized that”, “it is generally believed that” (use “many think”)
33) “it is known that”, “it is of interest that”, “it is often the case” that (use “often”)
34) “it is possible that (use “may”)
35) “it is recognized that”, “it is shown that”, “it may be noted that”, “it should be noted that (use “note that”)
36)Avoid using these words and phrases and substitute them with the alternatives shown:
|37) Instead of:||38) Use|
|41) Male or female||42) man or woman|
|43) Male or female children||44) boys or girls|
|45) Pediatric population||46) children|
|47) a total of 100 patients||48) 100 patients|
|49) Consensus of opinion||50) consensus|
|51) Control groups||52) controls|
|53) CT of the brain||54) brain CT|
|55) Disease process||56) disease|
|57) end result||58) result|
|59) in my personal opinion||60) in my opinion;I think|
|61) Reported in the literature||62) reported|
|63) Done||64) carried out|
|65) Commonest||66) the most common|