Basics in scientific writing – a blog and tweetorial

Basics in scientific writing- Do’s and Don’ts in publishing your research

Jos M. Ltour, Ruth Endacott

Keep Calm and Submit your Paper!

Think about the journal choice (comply with guidelines)
Remove distractions

Use equator guidelines early (while writing protocol)

KISS – keep it simple and short


  • keep it short
  • avoid question marks
  • avoid rare abrbeviations



  • maximize discoverability
  • employ keywords (repeat 2-3 times in natural manner)



  • short,leading to aim of the study (1-1.5 page is enough)
  • attention-grabbing (get the reader into it)




    • use subheadings
    • settings, study population, intervention, outcomes, analysis
    • do not forget the ethics




  • this section is called Findings for qualitative studies
  • be clear and objective, do not interpret the results
  • do not overlap textwhich can be read in tables and figures
  • common mistake title of table (always on top of table) and title of figure (always on top of figure)
  • use electronic supplement materials(appendices) if you have a lot of data (long tables>2 pages)
  • give all the data -it contributes to the transparency of the study



  • you can repeat the aim of your study
  • focus on clinical implications (3 pages enough)
  • be clear, do not blur
  • pick out the most important, striking, overarching results
  • min 3 limitations – a study without limitations is not study
  • try to choose the journal which allows 4.000 -5.000 word count
  • use key messages (what is known, what this paper adds)


  • do not submit too quickly
  • read out loud
  • present to co-authors
  • ask a colleague to read it
  • co-authors -only with significant contribution to your work (use acknowledgement section)
  • check references (40% mistake rate) – use a reference manager software
  • plagiarism is an offence (self-plagiarism is unethical)
  • have ready short cover letter (not a long one selling your manuscript)
  • have ready potential reviewer names


Final words


  • Have a personal reason to write
  • Make writing meaningful
  • Look for inspiration, motivation and support from your colleagues
  • Reward yourself for the sacrifices made
  • Look after your mental health