Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

EDITORIAL
Year
: 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 303--304

Results: Establishing credibility


Ashish Kumar 
 Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Lamphelpat, Imphal-795004, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Kumar
Editor, Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, Professor and Head, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Lamphelpat, Imphal-795004, Manipur
India




How to cite this article:
Kumar A. Results: Establishing credibility.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2022;26:303-304


How to cite this URL:
Kumar A. Results: Establishing credibility. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 9 ];26:303-304
Available from: https://www.jisponline.com/text.asp?2022/26/4/303/349729


Full Text



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The Results section forms one of the most significant aspect of manuscript because it provides answer to the question raised in introduction.[1] As the name implies, this section of the manuscript describes the main findings of the research work adequately and comprehensively.

Material and methods, the section which precedes result section in a manuscript addresses the question “What did you do.”[2] The results section, therefore should answer the third question of Sir Austin Bradford Hill, “What did you find.”[3] The results section should be presented as a mirror of the methods section.

It is important to be coherent while writing the that results. The description of results should not only preferably follow the same order of description in the Methods, but also describe the results for all the methods provided. No new data should be mentioned in the results section for which the related methods have not been described in earlier section of the manuscript.[3]

The results should be presented straightforward. The results should not be presented like a mystery of a novel by making the readers wait for the main results. Your research is actual and not fictional. So, it is important that you do not make the readers wait for your main findings.[4]

The results section generally uses text, tables and figures/graphs synergistically for adequate and complete description. Care should be taken to avoid repetition of information between text tables and figures/graph. This does not in anyway mean that results should have statements like results are presented in Tables 1-4, to avoid repetition.[1],[3] Writing results in this fashion could obliterate the impact of your results to the readers. Important findings mentioned in tabular and graphic forms should be concisely written in the text and without the use of numericals to effectively communicate the findings to the readers.[1],[3]

Another aspect of writing results is to understand the usage of tables and graphs. The use of tables is more effective, accurate, detailed and preferable than those in the graphic format in writing results. Although the graphs may be more effective and preferred in oral presentations,

The readers of a journal article have more time in hand to read and understand detailed information. Also it is important to present data in tabular form for it to be more useful, if the article is found suitable to be included in a meta-analyses.[3]

Another factor to be considered while writing results is the amount of the data to be presented. Presenting detailed results is always better so that reader can entirely understand your findings rather than creating the feeling of incompleteness and need for more details. The manuscripts having detailed results have more chances to be included in metanalysis than with inadequate results.[3] The use of supplementary data section can be used to give additional data, if there are restrictions with regards to number of tables that can be included in the manuscript.

The result section should begin with the description of the study sample. As the description of study samples requires evidence of similarity of the samples at baseline to generalize the results,[5] a table should always be used and never a figure.[1] The study samples also help readers to evaluate whether the sample confirms to the inclusion and exclusion criteria mentioned earlier.[3] The interventional studies require a flowchart to demonstrate the movement of the study sample through various phases (enrolment to data analysis) of the trial.

The next part of results should answer the questions. This part focusses on the results of various experiments conducted. The writing of results should have the characteristics of story-telling (presented in a chronological and logical order). The presentation of results should move from simple to more intricate data.[3] Easier understanding of results by readers can be expected with this format.

All the variables that were described in methods sections and evaluated, should find place in the results section. The variables which were not described in methods section, should not be included in the results. Data and results are two different things.[1] Results must be clear and specific and avoid the use of terms which might convey uncertainty, e.g., “most,” “some” and “often.”

Use of tables and illustrations while writing results is necessary. Tables can be used to present large amount information in an organized manner within a limited space.[1],[3] Both tables and illustrations should be able to stand independently. This actually means that necessary and adequate information is available for the tables to be understandable without going back to the text. A proper description in the text, of what was found, supported by data in the tables or figures is the best way to explain to the reader.[1]

A table can be used in various ways. Tables can be used for summarizing the research findings of the experiments, relating the data (age and prevalence of disease), comparing data of various groups. The table should be simple with steady terminology. While comparing the data, the information should be placed in a table from left to right and not from top to bottom.[3] The title of each table should be self-explanatory and should not contain any abbreviations. A footnote below the table should explain all abbreviations and symbols and P value.[3]

Illustration/figures/graphics are also frequently used in the results section. Irrespective of the type of figures used, the technical quality of the figures should be as per the journal guidelines.

Every illustration should have an suitable legend with clearly defined abbreviations or symbols. The illustration should focus on area of interest in the centre of the picture with no unnecessary details. Labelling of important features on the picture with contrast colours without obscuring important findings may be necessary.[3]

Mistakes generally observed in results section include repetition, mismatch and/or exclusion of data and inclusion of results for those variables which were not described in the Methods section.[3]

The text of results should convey a fluent story with the tables summarizing the evidence, and the illustrations used to emphasize the key points.

”Results matter! They matter to your credibility”

Stephen Covey

References

1Todorovic L. Original (scientific) paper – The IMRAD layout. Arch Oncol 2003;11:203-5.
2Bradford Hill A. The reasons for writing. Br Med J 1965;2:870-1.
3Aggarwal R, Sahni P, editors. The results section. In: Reporting and Publishing Research in the Biomedical Sciences. Singapore: Springer; 2018. p. 21-38.
4Brookshire RH, Brundage SB. The results. In: Writing Scientific Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders. San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. Inc; 2016. p. 25-34.
5Peat J, Elliot E, Baur L, Keena V. Scientific Writing. Easy When You Know How. London: BMJ Publishing Group; 2002. p. 1-85.