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The IMRaD format has been widely adopted as a prominent structure for scientific journal articles.
I = Introduction
M = Methods
R = Results
D = Discussion
In addition, referencing is always used and the articles include a bibliography. These will, among other things, help the reader to evaluate both the coverage and the currency of the sources used.
An abstract at the beginning of the article provides an overview of the contents.
Scientific journals are usually peer-reviewed.
Psst! LAB student!
Interested in showing your know-how and telling the world something interesting about a project you're working on? Or maybe you just published your thesis and feel like there's still more to say on the topic? Then why not write an article about it together with your teacher!
Co-writing is a rewarding process to both student and teacher and will prepare students for their future working life as experts in their chosen fields, giving them an opportunity to practice another type of professional communication.
How to get started
So you want to write an article, but are not quite sure where to begin? Worry not! To help you get started, we've listed some basic questions that will help you with drafting.
What would you like to tell your readers?
- decide the topic: what new or interesting have you been up to lately, that would be worth sharing?
- a good topic is compactly narrowed, well-founded and suitable for the chosen target group
- remember that the topic should be connected to your work in LAB
To whom are you writing?
- consider your target group when planning the content, length and style of your article
- general public (popular), colleagues (professional) or the academic community (scientific, possibly peer-reviewed)
Where would you wish to publish?
- once you have decided on your topic and target audience, you need to find a suitable publishing channel for your article
- once you have chosen the publication channel, take time to familiarize with the publication's writing instructions and then comply to them (this will further the publication process considerably)
- it is always a good idea to take a glance at the previously published articles to get an overview of what is expected
And last but not least, remember that writing is like any other skill - you're not born with it, you acquire it by practising!
How to compile your article
- this is the first thing people see and it can either spark or kill their interest to read further, so take time to think it over
- a good header is informative, compact and thought provoking, for example a declarative sentence
- consists of two or three sentences that explain the purpose and content of the article
- avoid going into details such as exact dates or numbers
- references are not used in the introductory paragraph
- pay attention to narrative and structure (beginning, middle and end)
- don't link the reader away from your text (eg. by presuming they must suddenly read another text before continuing to read yours)
- avoid using long and complicated sentences, indirect word order and repetition, as these can make the text burdensome to read
- use sub-headings to outline your text and make it more readable
- make your sub-headings informative and interesting, avoid using generic sub-headings such as "Introduction" or "In conclusion"
- the number of sub-headings depends on the overall length of your article, but they should be used even in the shortest writings (always add at least 2-3 sub-headings)
The significance of discussion
- this is usually the most interesting part of the article
- sum up the issues discussed in the article and reflect on their significance and possible follow-ups (future actions such as implementation, further studies or new initiatives/projects)
- grammatically correct and carefully written text gives a reliable and competent impression of both you and your text
Citing and the list of references
LAB Open is an open access publishing platform which publishes articles and audiovisual materials by the staff, students and partners of the LAB University of Applied Sciences. LAB Open is completely open access, so all publications are free and available to anyone.The platform hosts two individual journals, LAB Pro and LAB RDI Journal, which are published continuously. Both journals accept and publish articles also in English.
The UAS Journal is open-access, free-of-charge online journal that focuses on education, research and development activities in the fields of practice-oriented higher education in Finland. The journal includes four issues a year.
Finnish Magazine Rate Cards
Information on over 200 Finnish magazines. Seek professional magazines using a range of search criteria: alphabetical, category of periodical, key words descriptors or themes.
DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to over 14,000 high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.
Finnish Scholarly Journals Online features 80 Finnish open access scholarly journals, with more to come.
Or maybe a video instead?
As an alternative to writing, you can also showcase the results of your project by making a video. Videos and podcasts can also be reported as publications and thus be included in the annual Ministry of Education and Culture’s publication data collecting, as long as they meet the ministry's criteria. Here are the basic things you need to consider in order to be able to report your video as a publication.
- Before you start making a video, make sure you have enough professional content. If you could write a short article based on the content you're planning for the video, then you're probably good to go.
- Give your viewers enough background on the project and it's results to bring out your own expertise. This is especially important when doing interviews.
- Add proper credits with affiliations and roles (eg. script, filming, editing), preferably as final credits at the end of the video.
- Make sure to have an outside publisher for your video (for example LAB Focus -blog).