Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology
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EDITORIAL
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 153  

Our instructions, your intentions and our combined expectations…Is there a perfect article??


Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Department of Periodontology, AECS Maaruti Dental College and Research Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication6-Jun-2013

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Sham Nichani
Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Department of Periodontology, AECS Maaruti Dental College and Research Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-124X.113059

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How to cite this article:
Nichani AS. Our instructions, your intentions and our combined expectations…Is there a perfect article??. J Indian Soc Periodontol 2013;17:153

How to cite this URL:
Nichani AS. Our instructions, your intentions and our combined expectations…Is there a perfect article??. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Apr 12];17:153. Available from: https://www.jisponline.com/text.asp?2013/17/2/153/113059

Well written articles are like poetry, they flow. They have a concise and relevant introduction that proposes a testable or novel hypothesis, a materials and methods section with a well-designed study protocol, a result section in which the statistical analysis addresses clinical relevance as well as statistical significance, and a discussion in which points are made clearly and are based on evidence. In these articles, the prose is clear, fluent, and direct. On the other hand, some articles are often uniquely bad, each with its particular combination of distinctive flaws.

This has often caused me to reflect on the processes that underlie the preparation, publication, and reading of scientific articles. An experienced writer can complete drafting a manuscript in several days and the paper generally undergoes several rounds of revisions before it is ready. Research in the library, reading the proofs, editing, checking the facts, creating new figures or uploading existing images, formatting for journal style, and finally replying to reviewers/editor's comments all take additional time.

As an Editor, I would be a very happy and a proud person if every article published in the Journal was unique, interesting, and clinically relevant, in other words if "the writing was worth the reading." I would love to receive manuscripts that are perfect when first submitted, but probably these papers do not exist. The peer review system is intended to select the good papers and push them along toward that elusive goal of perfection. Occasionally, reviewers and editors err in their selections and sometimes they do not nudge hard enough. I humbly acknowledge these lapses but also remind the readers to be selective in what they read and skeptical in what they believe.

So how does one write the empirical journal article? Clear writing is the product of clear thinking. Consult a statistician before conducting the study to decide how to collect, analyze, and present data. Draft your paper, revise it a few times, get your work reviewed before you submit it to the journal by someone who has the time to criticize your writing as well as your ideas and organization and then revise it a couple more times. My modest advice to get the editor and reviewers on your side: Follow the Instructions for Authors!

The peer review and editorial processes work reasonably well - and we continuously strive to improve them further, but they will never be infallible. So until you announce that all articles in the journal are perfect you should be selective in your reading. Remember that the editor is your ally in trying to shape a manuscript that will be a credit both to you and the journal.

Suggested References

  1. Day RA. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. 2 nd ed. Philadephia: Isi Press; 1983.
  2. Strunk W Jr, White EB. The Elements of Style. 3 rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979.


 
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