Dissecting the Scientific Paper

The featured image from the reblogged post.

In Western science, information is often shared through specially-designed papers. These “scientific papers” are designed to communicate the results of original research to other scientists, helping to build knowledge and generate discussion. This is a vital part of the scientific process.

Unfortunately, scientific papers are not always the most accessible form of writing. Anna of Plebeian Science, an excellent blog that everyone should visit, has done a great job of “dissecting” the standard scientific paper format. The post below breaks down each section, describing its purpose in language the average person can understand. She even gives advice on how to find scientific papers, and how to skim through them to save time.

I highly recommend the post below! Why not check it out and give it a “like?”

Plebeian Science

Reading a report of original scientific paper is daunting in several ways. The first challenge to reading original papers is that you have to know where to look for them. I could write an entire series of posts about the joys and challenges of hunting through databases for papers. Furthermore, unlike most popular articles, a scientific paper uses the jargon of the field, as it is written under the assumption that the audience has a strong background in the topic. Primary reports on research also tend to lack the narrative elements that science communicators use to engage their audience. Finally, and perhaps most challenging aspect for an inexperienced reader, “primary literature” (this is another name for a paper written by researchers about a study they have performed), is composed of five distinct parts, each with its own contents and conventions. Despite these challenges, being able to understand primary literature…

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