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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 9-11

Pathophysiology of a scientific paper

1 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Anesthesia, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Sultan Ayoub Meo
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_48_19

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Date of Web Publication21-Feb-2019


Scientific paper writing for science journals is highly adroit, competitive, and laborious process. Scientific writing has a constant design, which is confounding for apprentice science writers. The huge amount of impediments is associated with scientific writing which may be reduced by applying some practices and guidelines. The basic structure of scientific articles mainly comprises of the title, abstract, keywords, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgments, and references. The pathophysiological aspects which minimize the chances of publication of an academic paper are rarely discussed in the literature. Early career of physicians and researchers is not well acquainted with the components of scientific paper. This study established an approach to understand the basic characteristics of pathophysiology of scientific writing.

Keywords: Pathophysiology; science and technology; scientific writing; writing tips

How to cite this article:
Meo SA, Eldawlatly AA. Pathophysiology of a scientific paper. Saudi J Anaesth 2019;13, Suppl S1:9-11

How to cite this URL:
Meo SA, Eldawlatly AA. Pathophysiology of a scientific paper. Saudi J Anaesth [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Feb 2];13, Suppl S1:9-11. Available from:

In this modern era of science and technology, scientific writing is gaining popularity among undergraduate, postgraduate students, physicians, and research scholars who are fascinated in a profession as an academic scientist.[1] Research paper writers understand the basic scientific writing skills[1],[2] as it is vital to comprehend the anatomy and physiology of the various sections of the scientific paper. This article highlights the pathophysiological characteristics which should be avoided while writing the various sections of the scientific paper.

  Title Top

The title is an extremely imperative section of an academic article. This is the first fragment that an editor, reviewer and reader reads, which helps comprehend the contents of the scientific paper. It gives the first impression to the readers about the article and makes him decide to either read it or leave it. The main pathophysiological characteristics, which minimize the importance of the title, are being too difficult to understand, not easy to catalogue and fascinate the readers.[3] If it is too long, too short, unclear, or humorous, the title dilutes the strength of the study. The large, unspecific title with abbreviations does not convey the main idea to readers.[4],[5] A poor title does not comprise of the basic key words, which reflects the core contents of the article. “A poor title is like a quarantine sign; the readers read it and go away”[3] The title must be simple, small, and explicit without any abbreviations and biased representation [Table 1].[3]
Table 1: Pathophysiological features in various sections of a research article

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  Abstract Top

The abstract is the very vital part of the scientific manuscript. The readers frequently read the abstract and decide to read the article or move on. A clear, concise, short and expressive abstract serves as a core for the manuscript.[6] A well-written abstract sets the tone for the article and develops an interest among the readers to read it and describes the evidence from the segments of the article using a summary of the background, methods, results, and conclusions.[7] The main pathophysiological features of an abstract are failing to describe the major findings of the article. A short abstract with insufficient information and a lengthy abstract with unnecessary details or unclear ideas are the major drawbacks of the poor abstract. These often confuse the readers, and they stop reading the article, giving it a miss [Table 1].

  Introduction Top

The introduction section of the paper is indispensable in telling the targeted audience about the reason for conducting this study. It is vital to elaborate the allied research literature and recapitulate the understanding of the gaps. An author should talk about the literature, objective of the study in the form of a hypothesis, questions, or problems investigated and should give a brief and rational explanation. It is essential to recognize these key topics that the study deals with.[8] The introduction section of the scientific article begins with ascertaining the area of interest, and focuses on the topic. The introduction section of the scientific paper is like an entrance gate of a scholarly city. A good introduction attracts the attention of readers, whereas, poor introduction misleads them.[9]

  Methods Top

The method section is the most important part on which the excellence of the article is grounded. It allows the learners to understand the basic methodological aspects of the study and this section also provides information on which the study's validity is judged.[10] It contains evidence to enable the readers to understand “what was done, where it was done, and how it was done”.[11] The study “design, settings, control, exposed or treatment groups and variables measured” should be discussed stepwise in the methods section. It is also essential to provide the “study protocol, inclusion and exclusion criteria, sample size”, grouping,[11] materials, equipment, data collection, experimental handling, measurements and procedures. A poor method section fails to provide this crucial information [Table 1].

  Results Top

The results section is the core of an academic paper for reporting the data to justify the conclusions.[11] This section, emphasizes the major findings in a balanced progression, reports both negative and positive findings, organizes the data in tabular or illustration format and provides associations, variances and magnitude of the findings with adequate interpretation. It is crucial to avoid discussing or interpreting the results reporting background information to explain the findings.[11] The results section should include both text and illustrations to provide better understanding of the theme.

  Discussion Top

The discussion piece is the most important component of the scientific paper, it provides clarifications on synthesis of the findings and issues. This section should start with the obtainable main study findings, and should debate the results with the findings of others for providing enough interpretations. The author discusses the contrary findings with explanations and reliable reasons using the standard references. The discussion section should be like an inverted pyramid, from general to specific, and it should relate the findings with that to the literature. Before concluding the discussion, the study's potential strengths and limitations should be identified.[12]

  Conclusion Top

The conclusion is the most significant and last part of the scientific paper, it must summarize the entire article as it is what readers always recall. The conclusion section must cover the principal findings and should be considered as the take-home message. The authors provide factual scientific justification and suggestions. The conclusion section should contain an enjoyable ending to the reader's utmost satisfaction.

To understand the pathophysiological aspects in the various sections of the scientific paper, it is essential to identify the basic characteristics, structure and functions of an academic article. The author(s) also understand the pathophysiological processes in the various sections of the scientific paper that minimize the chances of publication of the scientific paper. The researchers must learn the art and science of the scientific paper writing.


Thankful to the “College of Medicine Research Centre and Deanship of Scientific Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia”.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

McDonnell JJ. Paper writing gone Hollywood. Science 2017;355:102.  Back to cited text no. 1
Bajwa SJ, Sawhney C. Preparing manuscript: Scientific writing for publication. Indian J Anaesth 2016;60:674-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Meo SA, Al-Saadi MM. Right path of publishing a scientific paper to a right journal: Academic paper based case study. Pak J Med Sci 2007;23:946-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bowman D, Kinnan S. Creating effective titles for your scientific publications. VideoGIE 2018;3:260-1.  Back to cited text no. 4
Cook DA, Bordage G. Twelve tips on writing abstracts and titles: How to get people to use and cite your work. Med Teach 2016;38:1100-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
Goodman D, Ogrinc G, Davies L, Baker GR, Barnsteiner J, Foster TC. Explanation and elaboration of the SQUIRE (Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence) Guidelines: Examples of SQUIRE elements in the healthcare improvement literature. BMJ Qual Saf 2016;25:e7.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ogrinc G, Davies L, Goodman D, Batalden P, Davidoff F, Stevens D. Standards for quality improvement reporting excellence 2.0: Revised publication guidelines from a detailed consensus process. J Surg Res 2016;200:676-82.  Back to cited text no. 7
Cals JW, Kotz D. Effective writing and publishing scientific papers, part III: Introduction. J Clin Epidemiol 2013;66:702.  Back to cited text no. 8
Abdullah A. How to write an introduction section of a scientific article? Turk J Urol 2013;39(Suppl 1):8-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Kallet RH. How to write the methods section of a research paper. Respir Care 2004;49:1229-32.  Back to cited text no. 10
Meo SA. Anatomy and physiology of a scientific paper. Saudi J Biol Sci 2018;25:1278-83.  Back to cited text no. 11
Hess DR. How to write an effective discussion. Respir Care 2004;49:1238-41.  Back to cited text no. 12


  [Table 1]

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