Scientific article

A scientific article is an original report, written and published, that presents and describes experimental results, new knowledge or experiences based on known facts. Its objective is to share and contrast these results with the rest of the scientific community, and once validated, they are incorporated as a bibliographic resource available to those interested.

From the textbooks used in schools to the complex writings of great authors like Darwin, all of them can be defined as scientific articles, even if they are very different works in style and purpose.

Books and synthesis articles (review articles) that summarize knowledge of a topic constitute secondary literature. There are two main types of scientific articles: the formal article and the research note. Both have a similar structure, but the notes are generally shorter, they do not have an abstract, the text is not divided into sections with subheadings, and the research it reports is of lesser impact.

The scientific article has six main sections:

  • Abstract (Abstract) – summarizes the content of the article.
  • Introduction: provides a context of the topic and informs the purpose of the work.
  • Materials and methods: explains how the research was carried out.
  • Results- presents the experimental data.
  • Discussion: explains the results and compares them with previous knowledge of the topic.
  • Literature cited: presents the bibliographic records of the articles cited in the text.

Some descriptive articles may deviate from this format, for example: species lists, species descriptions, taxonomic reviews, morphology or anatomy articles, and descriptions of geological formations.

Learning to write a scientific text is very important in the school environment. All the knowledge acquired at this stage comes from the sciences that belong to different disciplines.

Health sciences, social sciences, mathematics, physical and chemical sciences, among others. The student must always do research in these areas, and probably have to show the results through a fairly common type of scientific-academic text: the monograph.

Master’s theses and doctoral theses meet most of the requirements to be considered primary literature. However, the most important results contained in these works must be published in a scientific journal because theses are not considered by the main bibliographic services and because these documents do not undergo the same peer review process as the scientific article.