STYLE OF MANUSCRIPT WRITING (Only for new authors)
Manuscripts should be written in clear, concise and grammatically correct English, so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in any particular field. Writing a scientific manuscript is one of the most important tasks facing the academician, and may also be one of the most daunting. The essentials of any paper include a description of what is known, an assessment of what is unknown, a clear statement regarding the question and hypothesis being addressed by the current study, and a discussion and summary of new information that has been learned as a result of the study. There can be no greater satisfaction for the researcher than seeing his or her work undergo a peer review process and culminate as a printed manuscript. To publish, one has to be able to write a scientific manuscript in a format that the readers—and the reviewers—can follow, and can learn from. Several authors have provided information to assist investigators in this task and there are certainly a large number of reliable and useful resources that explain how to write for the scientific literature. However, it is hoped that it may provide researchers with a formulaic approach to make the task as straightforward as possible.


This should contain the title (capitalize first letter of each word in the title) of the contribution and the name(s) and address(es) of the author(s). The full postal address, Internet e-mail address, telephone and facsimile numbers of the author who will receive correspondence and check the proofs should be included, as well as the present address of any author if different from that where the work was carried out. The main title should, where possible, contain the major key words used in the body of the manuscript; the title should contain the scientific name and authorities of the insect with the order and family placed in parentheses.
All manuscripts must include a brief but informative Abstract intelligible without reference to the main text. It should not exceed 500 words and should describe the scope, hypothesis or rationale for the work and the main findings. Both common and scientific names should be included; the authorities are not given if they appear in the title. References to the literature and mathematical symbols / equations should not be included.
Key words (3-5) should be provided below the Abstract to assist with indexing of the manuscript. These should not duplicate key words from the title.
The introduction section of the manuscript has three essential purposes, which can be accomplished by addressing the following: What do we know (about this topic)? What don’t we know? What are we now showing? Once these questions are answered, the reader will have a clear understanding of the nature of the current study, and will be clearly aware of the context in which the study is being performed. This section should include sufficient background information to set the work in context. The aims of the manuscript should be clearly stated. The introduction should not contain either findings or conclusions.
The first question involves addressing what is known about the topic. To accomplish this, the author should provide a comprehensive review of the major findings in the current area of study. It is important to be
Complete, fair and balanced in your assessment of the current literature. The more completely written the section describing “what we know” is written, the easier it becomes to state, “What we don’t know”. This paragraph should build the reader’s attention and interest
in your hypothesis. The second question (“What don’t we know?”) involves identifying what the gaps in our current understanding of the field are, and why it is important that these gaps be closed. It is important to identify and reference those studies in the literature that have addressed these or similar issues, so as to allow full disclosure regarding the novelty of the current work.
Finally, the introduction section should end with a clear statement summarizing what’s known, what needs to be learned, and what your paper aims to accomplish. Pitfalls in this section include omitting an important paper and thus overstating the novelty of the current study. This can be remedied by a careful literature review.
This should be concise but provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be repeated by others. This section provides the reader with a detailed analysis of the methodology used in the conduct of the experiments. By definition, it should strike a balance between providing sufficient detail so that readers can repeat the experiments themselves, but is not expected to be a laboratory manual. It is the methodology section that reviewers turn to when critically evaluating the experimental design, and that subsequent investigators turn to when attempting to repeat the experiments. For this reason, the methods section provides a critical opportunity to build a “good name” for oneself in the scientific community, where attention to detail is extremely important. Pitfalls in the completion of the methods section include failure to acknowledge the source of vectors, constructs, antibodies or key reagents, and in omitting a critical step in either the set-up or conduct of an important experiment. When appropriately written, the methods section can provide an extremely useful resource for the scientific community.
The results section is truly the heart and soul of the manuscript. It contains all of the data to support (or refute) the hypothesis that was proposed in the introduction section. Results should be presented in a logical sequence in the text, tables and figures; repetitive presentation of the same data in different forms should be avoided. The results should not contain material appropriate to the Discussion.
Many authors find it most useful to actually start the manuscript with this section and to build the rest of the manuscript around it. The results section serves to weave a coherent story and must communicate the findings to the reader in a logical, transparent manner. Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate to describe the results in a manner that makes sense, as opposed to describing the experiments in the temporal order in which they were performed. It may be helpful to use subheadings to introduce new paragraphs, and to devote a paragraph to individual or closely related figures. It is permissible to use the past tense when writing the results section, given that at the time of the writing, the experiments were indeed performed in the past (as opposed to the discussion section, were the present tense may be more appropriate).
Several potential pitfalls exist when writing the results section. When using figures, care should be taken to avoid simply repeating the findings in both the figure and the body of the text. It is important to avoid conjecture or speculation in the results section, unless one is writing a combined results/discussion section. Care should be taken to include appropriate statistical analyses, to indicate clearly the number of subjects examined, and to carefully describe controls that are used.
The discussion section allows the writer to communicate the significance of his/her findings, to indicate how they support (or refute) the experimental hypothesis, and to describe how these results advance the field of study. This should consider the results in relation to any hypotheses advanced in the Introduction and place the study in the context of other work. Only in exceptional cases should the Results and Discussion sections be combined. Several authors begin the discussion section with a paragraph summarizing the main results, culminating in a statement describing the overall significance of the work. Subsequent paragraphs are devoted to expanding on themes that the authors feel are important for the reader to understand the significance of the work. It is appropriate to use the present tense and the active voice when writing this section. One of the major pitfalls in writing the discussion section involves overstating the significance or novelty of results. It is perfectly appropriate to make inferences about the significance of a set of studies with regards to the experimental system that comprised the study. However, extreme care should be taken not to generalize the findings into other systems. When conjecturing, the writer should be up front about it, using phrases such as, “we therefore speculate”. It is also appropriate to use phrases that leave room for criticism or differences of opinion on the part of the reader. This indicates that the writer respects the reader’s insights and interpretation of the data presented. For instance, the phrase “together these data strongly suggest that. . .” is probably preferable to the bluntly stated “this means that. . .”.
Legends should be self-explanatory and typed on a separate sheet. The legend should incorporate definitions of any symbols used and all abbreviations and units of measurement should be explained so that the figure and its legend is understandable without reference to the text. (Provide a letter stating copyright authorization if figures have been reproduced from another source.) Only scientifically necessary illustrations should be included. All illustrations (line drawings and photographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be cited in consecutive order in the text. Each figure should be labeled on the back in very soft marker or pencil, indicating name of author(s), figure number and orientation. (Do not use an adhesive label.) Figures should be sized to fit within the column (82 mm) or the full text width (171 mm). Line figures should be supplied as sharp, black and white graphs or diagrams, drawn professionally or with a computer graphics package; lettering should be included. Photographs should be supplied as sharp, glossy, black and white photographic prints and must be unmounted. Individual photographs forming a composite figure should be of equal contrast, to facilitate printing and should be accurately squared. Magnifications should be indicated using a scale bar on the illustration. Graphics should be supplied as high resolution (at least 300 d.p.i.) electronic files, saved as .jpeg or .gif or .png format. A high resolution print-out must also be provided. Digital images supplied only as low-resolution print-outs cannot be used.
The figure legends should provide a detailed description of the corresponding figure, within the space allocated. Care should be taken to ensure that each symbol in the figure (typically arrow heads, arrows, asterisks) is explained. All statistical analyses, where appropriate, should be described. If a legend contains a description
of the methodology used to perform an experiment, care should be taken to avoid duplicating this description in the body of the text.
Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information contained in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals. Each table should be presented on a separate page with a comprehensive but concise legend above the table. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses; all abbreviations should be defined in footnotes. Use superscript letters (not numbers) for footnotes and keep footnotes to a minimum. *, **, *** should be reserved for P values. The table and its legend/footnotes should be understandable without reference to the text.
The source of financial grants and other funding must be acknowledged, including a frank declaration of the authors' industrial links and affiliations. Financial and technical assistance may be acknowledged here. Anonymous reviewers should not be acknowledged. It is the authors' responsibility to obtain written permission to quote material that has appeared in another publication. The acknowledgment section allows for the publication of important individuals who made the work possible, and who are not co-authors. These may include mentors, administrative assistants, and individuals that proofread the manuscript. It is important to identify the sources of all reagents that were obtained as a result of collaboration. The sources of funding should also be acknowledged.
References are listed in the order (alphabetical versus order of appearance) as determined by the particular journal style. In general, it is important to be as inclusive as possible when referring to previously published work. Work that is in press should be indicated
as such. Certain journals have stylistic restrictions regarding a citation as “unpublished results” or “manuscript in preparation”.
In summary, the writing of a scientific manuscript is always a daunting task, and requires a great deal of planning, preparation and time. To convey the experimental results in the clearest possible way, it is essential that a logical approach be taken in the formulation of each of the sections of the manuscript. 


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