Writing an Original Research Article

by | Aug 14, 2018 | Medical Writing

What is an Original Research Article?
Original research articles, the primary sources of scientific literature, are considered to have the highest level of evidence/quality of evidence. An article is considered an original research if;

  • It is an article by the researchers who have conducted the study
  • It is a report that elaborates the methodology and results of a randomized controlled trial/observational study/survey/real world evidence study
  • It is an article that describes a hypothesis or research question

Overall, the goal of an original research is to answer the question about specific scientific method, compare two treatments (experimental vs comparative), or establish a hypothesis.

How to Plan a Manuscript?
Conception of a manuscript to submission, has several steps in between. Before we discuss the content that must go in each section, let us read through the steps that must be followed to plan, draft, and complete a manuscript draft as illustrated in Figure 1.
Among the steps involved in drafting a manuscript, understanding the therapeutic area and conducting a literature search appropriately are the most important steps. Literature search is usually done based on the research question of the study. Identifying relevant articles during the literature search is dependent on picking the right search terms, electronic databases to be searched, region of the study, and time duration in which the articles are required.

Figure 1: Steps Involved in Planning and Completing a Scientific Manuscript

What is the Format to be Followed while Writing an Original Research Article?

Drafting an original research article requires adequate knowledge of the different sections in it along with the relevant guidelines. The uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted in biomedical journals by International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has defined a standard format for presenting information in an original research article. As per this guideline, the IMRAD (Introduction, methods, results, and discussion) format must be followed.
IMRAD defines the overall format of the manuscript. However; the equator (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) network is an international initiative that aims to improve the reliability and value of published health research literature (http://www.equator-network.org/).

What goes Where: Know the Sections and their Content
Although IMRAD broadly defines the format of an original research article. One must be clear, and specific about the information that must be added in each section for a well written manuscript (Figure 2). This not only makes the manuscript clear to understand but also increases the chances of it getting accepted in the journal the author plans to submit it to.

Figure 2: IMRAD, Section-wise Description of a Scientific Manuscript

Turacoz Healthcare Solutions (THS), a medical communication company, offers services to healthcare professionals in clinical research, regulatory writing, medico marketing writing, publication writing and support for conducting medical advisory board meetings. The aim of the blog was to appraise its readers regarding the importance of following guidelines and their importance for writing and getting original research articles published.