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Scientific Journals - Different Types of Articles Published

30 Nov 2018

Publishing articles in scholarly journals is an integral part in the competitive world of academia. Researchers spend sleepless nights conducting research and ultimately penning down their research. Documentation of the study results in prestigious journals has nowadays become indispensable for early-career researchers. The original articles published by the journals report the work of individual researchers, collaborators or organizations. Researchers can also publish articles other than original articles before completing their research, in order to create a buzz related to the topics, or for better insights.

There are several types of articles published under different categories in the journals. Some articles are based on the original research or based on other’s prior research, known as secondary literature. The journal’s website provides author guidelines section where all the types of articles published by the journals are listed along with their specifications. Most articles published belong to one of the following types: Original Research; Review Articles; Short reports or Letters; Case Studies; Perspective, Opinion, and Commentary; Methodologies, etc. Here, we discuss some of the different types of scientific publications:

  • Original Research
    1. Most common type of journal manuscript
    2. Publishes full reports of data from original research
    3. Usually called an Article, Original Article, Research Article, Research


  • Short Reports or Letters
    1. Brief reports of data from original research
    2. Editors decides if these are interesting to researchers, and likely to stimulate further research
    3. Relatively short format – useful for scientists with results that are time sensitive


  • Review Articles
    1. Comprehensive summary of research on a certain topic, and
    2. A perspective on the state of the field
    3. Often written by KOLs/leaders in a particular discipline
    4. Usually after invitation from the editors of a journal
    5. Widely read articles and highly cited
    6. Reviews commonly cite ~100 primary research articles


  • Case Studies
    1. Reporting of specific instances of interesting phenomena
    2. Goal is to make other researchers aware of the possibility that a specific phenomenon might occur
    3. Often used in medicine to report the occurrence of previously unknown or emerging pathologies or treatment modalities


  • Methodologies or Methods
    1. Reports a new experimental method, test or procedure
    2. Method may be completely new, or may offer a better version of an existing method
    3. Article describes a significant advance on what is currently available


  • Perspective, opinion, and commentary
    1. Scholarly reviews of fundamental concepts or prevalent ideas
    2. Usually essays presenting a personal point of view critiquing widespread notions
    3. Can be a review of a single concept or a few related concepts
    4. Considered as secondary literature
    5. Usually short articles, around 2000 words

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