Research Writing

What are scientific articles/How to write/Structure/Where to publish

Scientific article is the academic work that presents succinct results of a research carried out according to a scientific method accepted by a community of researchers. scientific articles

For this reason, an article submitted for examination by other scientists is considered scientific. They verify the information, the methods and the logical-methodological accuracy of the conclusions or results obtained.

In general, it is a short production that hardly exceeds 20 pages.

Usually, it is the result of syntheses of larger works or, in some cases, elaborated, in number of three or four, as works of theses and dissertations, always with the assistance of an academic advisor.

But do you know how we found these articles? Typically, this type of academic work is published in journals or conference proceedings. scientific articles

Also, it is possible to find them in online repositories. Soon, I will explain to you how!

To get started, you will need to find an area of ​​study that interests you and motivates your research.

From there, it will be easier to follow the step by step:

1) Know the differences between styles

First, you need to know that you are writing a scientific paper.

Therefore, it is important to at least know its format and not confuse it with other types of articles, such as journalistic, opinion articles or scientific articles.

In the latter case, confusion is quite common, but there is a big difference: the scientific dissemination article is written to disseminate the results of a research to the lay public.

Therefore, the disclosure does not need to expose the methodology in detail, nor adhere to the rules of a scientific article, such as the ABNT standards. scientific articles

2) Read academic articles on the subject you are going to write

Once you understand the structure of a scientific article, reading different articles in your area of ​​expertise will fix the format even more!

In addition, they will update you on academic news and will be a great way to get bibliographic references or research sources.

3) Define your research problem

Now that you are familiar with the structure of the articles and the content, it is time to start writing.

But you need to know what to research and be objective, so you don’t waste time.

Therefore, it is advisable to start developing the research from your problem, that is, a specific question that you will answer with your work.

4) Consult ABNT’s technical standards

ABNT standards are very important when formatting your article properly.

Therefore, do not forget the 3 essential standards for scientific articles:

  1. Formatting rules for scientific articles (NBR 6022);
  2. Citations (NBR 10520);
  3. Bibliographic References (NBR 6023) scientific articles

Remember that some teachers and evaluators attach as much importance to this as they do to the text itself.

5) Pay attention to citations, footnotes and bibliographic references

Speaking of citations, in addition to the ABNT norms, it is necessary to verify that they are being done correctly, that is, between quotation marks and referenced.

After all, plagiarism is the worst thing that can happen to a scientific article.

In these cases, invest in writing the way you think and using quotes to strengthen your argument, so your text gains even more strength and prestige.

6) Review your work

Before finishing, remember to read your work again and eliminate errors such as:

  • Too many words;
  • Much use of passive voice;
  • grammatical errors

As we have already said, knowing the structure of the scientific article is ideal when writing.

So, to help you, we list below what is the basic structure that scientific articles obey. But, of course, there may be slight variations: scientific articles


The title of the work must be as clear as possible and must allow identifying the content of the work or the type of information that the author(s) intends to discuss.

Identification of the Author(s)

The title is followed by the full name of the authors, their professional qualification, institutional affiliation or mention of the institution where the work was carried out. The main author’s email completes the identification of the authors of the work.


The part that precedes the “body” of the work, consists of a simple summary . It should contain the main data and conclusions of the work. Most publications limit the abstract to a maximum of 250 words.

Its purpose is to allow readers to know the content of the work without having to read it in full.

In addition, the abstract also serves to classify the work and make its content available through the various publications and indexing mechanisms.

Therefore, in order to favor the widest dissemination of the content of the work, many publications request that the abstract also be presented in English (Abstract) . scientific articles


This is the first part of the work itself.

Therefore, it is a clear and succinct text and should describe the objectives of the work.

As the new one already says, the introduction serves to introduce the reader to the research topic, the problem studied, the main concepts involved and the work already carried out so far.

In addition, the text may indicate the reasons that led the author to write the work and may describe some of the information that already exists on the same subject.

Basic structure:
– Background of the problem;
– Problem description;
– Works already carried out;
– Applicability and originality of the research;
Research problem;
– Objectives, methodology and hypotheses.

Common mistakes:
Empirical rather than theoretical orientation.
– Introduction too long, including excerpts that could be better used in the discussion.
– Excessive detail in the description of previous studies.
– Omission of directly relevant studies.
– Confusing terminology.
– Incorrect quotes. scientific articles

Material and methods

In this part of the work, which follows the introduction, the authors describe the type and quantity of observations made, as well as the methods used for their collection, recording and evaluation.

Through the detailed description of the methods used, the author informs readers about the details of obtaining the data on which the work is based. Details should be restricted to what is relevant to the job.

Basic structure:
– Location and experimental conditions.
– Design and treatments.
– Control of experimental conditions.
Variables (evaluations).
– Statistical analysis.

Common mistakes:
– Inadequate information for evaluation or replication.
– Detailed descriptions of standardized and published methods.
– Failing to explain unusual statistical analyses.
– Very heterogeneous participants. scientific articles
– Measures not validated; of poor or unknown reliability.


The results found are reported in an organized and systematized way. When studying a group of cases or observations, the percentages of occurrence of each observation are also reported. The importance and significance of certain results can be better assessed by statistical analysis.

Basic structure:
– Results of statistical analysis.
– Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviation and correlations)
– Inferential statistics
Report the significance and range of data.
– Additional analyzes (usually post hoc ).

Common mistakes:
Complex, incomprehensible tables and figures.
– Repetition of data in the text, tables and figures.
– Not using the same style of writing as the introduction and the material and methods.
– Not presenting the data promised in the material and methods section.
– Inadequate or inappropriate statistical analysis. scientific articles


Another super important part of the article is the discussion.

In this segment of the work, the observations of other authors regarding the theme of the work can be described, for comparison.

Thus, the results found are discussed in detail and their meaning is pointed out. The discussion can be more or less broad, depending on the topic studied.

Basic structure:
– Relate the results to the hypotheses.
– Interpretations: expected versus alternatives.
– Theoretical implications for research and practice.
– Study limitations: approximation with the ideal study.
– Estimated confidence of the conclusions.
– Explanation of possible restrictions for the conclusions.
– Identification of methodological procedures relevant to the results.
– Recommendations for future research. scientific articles

Common mistakes:
– Repetition of the intro.
– Repetition of results.
– Discussion not based on study purposes.
– Failing to clarify the theoretical and practical implications of the results.
– Discussion not based on results.
– Assumptions not explicitly discussed.
– Presentation of new data.
– Repetition of the literature review.
– Unsubstantiated speculations.
– Recommendations not based on results.


Finally, the analysis of the results found and their meaning in the context in which they were studied lead to the conclusions of the work.

So this section should be very clear and concise and even if the results are not entirely conclusive, this should be pointed out.

Bibliographic references

Still, there is a last part of the work: the collection of effectively consulted bibliographic references.

This can be presented in the order of citation in the text or in the alphabetical order of the names of the first author of each reference. The ABNT standard must be adopted for citations and references. scientific articles

Articles are usually published in scientific journals classified by area and may be national or international.

In Brazil, journals are classified by Qualis , which are nothing more than procedures used by Capes to assess the quality of these publications.

When publishing, try to select journals that fit the topic addressed. Once you choose the journal you want to publish in, consult the publication rules, normally available on the journal’s website, as each journal has its own rules.

A great option for beginners is to publish the work in congresses, symposia, seminars and other events in the area, as the rules are usually simpler and the evaluations are faster.

The evaluators of events, magazines and periodicals follow a general line of evaluation that it is important to always pay attention to when carrying out the final revisions of your article: scientific articles

  1. Relevance (framing the article) – see if the article produced fits the publication or event. It is important to research in advance which events and publications best suit your article.
  2. Originality – in general, evaluators are experienced people who already have extensive knowledge in the area to detect if a work produced is original or has too many copies.
  3. Technical-scientific merit – pay attention to the clarity of the applied scientific methodology and the results obtained that are relevant to the research area.
  4. Presentation (content with form) – pay attention to the norms and models established by the event or publication. Disrespecting the rules and formats, in many cases, can result in the article being disapproved.
  5. Organization and readability – good writing, communication and use of good practices and standards in the research area is essential so that evaluators can clearly understand the work.
  6. References – whenever references are used for comparison purposes and research direction, it is mandatory to make a citation. In addition to this general line, each evaluation panel may have its own evaluation criteria, which are explained in the call for submission. Studying these criteria is the best way to increase your chances of article publication. scientific articles

After all these tips, anyone who thinks they can’t publish an article is wrong!

In fact, even children have already carried out scientific publications under the guidance of a teacher, as shown in Royal Society publishes scientific articles written by children .

You can publish an article as long as it is accepted by the congress and/or journal to which it was submitted.

But in most academic journals, the undergraduate student, and even the master’s student, can only submit articles together with the supervisor. In the annals of scientific events, the article does not need an advisor.

Just as the presence of the organizer becomes mandatory at scientific events, the link with a university recognized by the MEC is essential for publication in academic journals.

In addition, many events allow the publication of articles by more than 1 person, up to a maximum of 5. Academic journals, on the other hand, will differ according to coordination.

It doesn’t matter your training, but the quality of work! And who decides this is the scientific committee that analyzes the submitted works.

After publishing articles, you will notice that they are available in journals, event proceedings or journal indexers, such as Scielo , Web of Science and Scopus . scientific articles

However, these articles typically have closed or limited access. In this case, if you are looking for other articles to add to your search, for example, you can search on open access sites, such as:

  • Google Scholar or Google Scholar : Google’s tool for research and science is a good starting point to search for a specific topic or scientific articles;
  • Capes Periodicals: Speaking of articles, Capes Periodicals is our biggest reference. There, you will find a virtual library with the country’s scientific production. Access is free, but may be limited if you do not have an educational institution login;
  • Sci-hub: The controversial sci-hub is an open access digital repository. That is, it makes scientific articles available free of charge to anyone in the world. The problem is that most of these articles are normally closed access;
  • Library Genesis : Similar to Sci-hub, Lib-gen is another open library that makes articles available for free with closed access.

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