Friday, December 8, 2017, 14:16

I may well suggest cutting the text remarkably. I take one example from real life. I suggested cutting the presentation of certain methods from 420 words to 160 words and the respective presentation of the results from 825 to 615 words - and these texts were already English corrected by a qualified professional editor. This is an example of the case where a person who has been doing research herself would have been needed. A highly qualified English language expert just corrects all. However, I am sure that, at least in any journal of reasonable quality, the reviewer or the editor would have suggested cutting.

If any of the methods is already well known, shorten the detailed explanation and give a reference and possibly the idea the method is based on. One reference is enough. Journals usually recommend a brief presentation of the methods when it is possible. For instance, you do not need the medium recipe in grams in detail if it has been presented elsewhere. For a spectrophotometric method, you need only a wavelength and the standard chemical. A standard curve preparation is certainly not wanted to be published again. Many methods are so common that they do not need a long story.

The basic instruction to write the methods, which we all know, is that the readers should be able to repeat the study. However, this does not mean that you should write all in detail in your own article. In some cases, it is not so easy to decide the length. However, in many cases, there are no doubts about it.

You cannot raise the value of the research with unnecessary long texts in the Methods. In contrast, they give an impression about inexperienced authors, and the reviewer gets courage to be extremely critical against many other things as well. Therefore, the length of the Methods is worth of thinking carefully. You get to know the proper length by reading journal articles.


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