3. General structure
Published papers follow the same basic structure, with some small variations depending on the author’s own style: title, abstract, introduction, methods, discussion of the observations, results, and, finally, the conclusion.
The title should be as brief and succinct as possible. Abbreviations should be avoided unless including the full name of the object, measurement, or instrument would make the title very long (i.e., more than three lines). Only the first word should be capitalized unless there is a proper noun, copyrighted name, or a specific instrument that requires capitalization. If you are using a subtitle, it can be separated from the main title by using a period, colon, or simply by skipping to the next line. Again, only the first letter of the subtitle should be capitalized, excluding the abovementioned exceptions. The discursive phrase “on the” should be avoided as it makes the title too wordy and often redundant. Additionally, it evokes Charles Darwin’s work “On the Origin of Species,” and it thus carries implied expectations along with it. Furthermore, puns or references to popular culture should be avoided in scientific articles, and titles in particular, especially since the meaning might be lost on some readers. Lastly, the use of questions in titles is strongly discouraged.
Note: Longer titles should be formulated using the corresponding latex command. If there are two parts to the title, the second part will be displayed as a subtitle and formatted at the production stage. For a paper that is part of a series, the generic series title will serve as the main title and the subject title will be numbered and displayed as the subtitle during production.
When writing your abstract, it is recommended that you follow the traditional abstract layout of Context, Aims, Methods, Results, and Conclusions even if you choose not to use the headings in your text. Citations and references are not allowed in the abstract except under special circumstances; however, they must be included in the body of the main text. The abstract should be written in complete sentences.
- Aims. In this study, we investigate stars.
- In this study, we aim to investigate stars.
3.3 Body of the paper
The abstract should be followed by an introduction, which introduces the general context of the study. The rest of the paper should be split up into individual sections, each with its own theme and title. Sections can be further divided into subsections and sub-subsections if necessary. Every section, subsection, and subsubsection of the paper should be indicated with a header and numbered consecutively. Only the first word of a heading should be capitalized - unless it is a proper noun.
Note: Subsections and sub-subsections are not permitted in the introduction.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. LBGs
- 2.1 Properties of LGBs with detected emission lines
- 2.2 Properties of LGBs with a 3D radiative transfer
Each paragraph of every section should have its own focus that is introduced in the first sentence. This first sentence should provide a smooth transition or otherwise clear connection to the preceding paragraph and the entire section. The transition helps the reader follow the discussion. Logical connectors (thus, hence, so that) can aid in providing clarity but they should not be overused. Furthermore, single-sentence paragraphs are not allowed.
- Twenty-five years ago, we published our first study of exo-planets. We recently carried out our latest observations based on the aforementioned study, which proved helpful in establishing constraints on our findings.
When making transitions, please be sure that it is clear what the pronoun and reference word you are using refer to (latter, aforementioned, that study, those authors, that finding). If there is any ambiguity, repeat the noun or phrase to which you are referring.
- Smith et al. found that their measurement was not a good fit for the data, whereas Bart et al. reported that their findings were more precise than they had anticipated. This was an unexpected result for the entire scope of the project.
Possible solutions for clarifying whose findings these were and what was unexpected:
- Smith et al. found that their measurement was not a good fit for the data, whereas Bart et al. reported that their own findings were more precise than they had anticipated. This discrepancy between measurements was an unexpected result for the entire scope of the project.
- Smith et al. found that their measurement was not a good fit for the data, whereas Bart et al. reported that the findings of Smith et al. had actually been more precise than they had anticipated. This discovery was an unexpected result for the entire scope of the project.
- In this paper, we present fluxes in the CI lines of neutral carbon at the centres of some 76 galaxies with far-infrared luminosities ranging from X to Y, as obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory and ground-based facilities, along with the line fluxes of the J=7-6 transition.
Possible solutions to clarify the role of the line fluxes in the sentence:
- In this paper, we present fluxes in the CI lines of neutral carbon at the centres of some 76 galaxies with far-infrared luminosities ranging from X to Y, as obtained using the Herschel Space Observatory and ground-based facilities, along with the line fluxes of the J=7-6 transition.
- In this paper, we present fluxes in the CI lines of neutral carbon at the centres of some 76 galaxies with far-infrared luminosities ranging from X to Y, as obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory and ground-based facilities. We also present the line fluxes of the J=7-6 transition.
Base your sentence structure on English declarative sentences, which are made up of a subject, predicate (central verb phrase), and object of the action. Subjects and verbs should be kept as close together as possible in a sentence to avoid confusion or ambiguity. Any ambiguity in phrasing will be flagged by the LE and rephrased directly or highlighted with a note asking the author to rephrase the sentence to clarify their meaning.
Note: While it is not grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with a dependent clause in English, it should only be used sparingly (e.g., when it improves readability).
- The authors, after revising the English, submitted their article.
- After revising the English, the authors submitted their article.
- Especially appealing is the study of its stellar winds.
- The study of its stellar winds is especially appealing.
- To understand the observed diversity of these systems, the ultitude of physical mechanisms affecting low mass galaxy evolution, data on the ages, chemical abundances, spatial distribution, and kinematics of the stellar component of LG dwarf galaxies are needed.
- The multitude of physical mechanisms affecting low mass galaxy evolution, data on the ages, chemical abundances, spacial distribution, and kinematics of the stellar component of LG dwarf galaxies are needed to understand the observed diversity of these systems.
Authors should also avoid separating a transitive verb from its direct object. While some adverbs go before the verb (often, rarely, clearly), an adverb generally follows either the object of the verb (transitive verb) or the verb when it is intransitive.
- The star’s image shows clearly the alignment.
- The star’s image clearly shows the alignment. (transitive verb)
- The star’s image shows the alignment clearly. (transitive verb)
- The number of small dwarfs increased exponentially. (intransitive verb)
- The small dwarf increased in size exponentially. (transitive verb)
The subtle difference in meaning between the first two solutions above is based on emphasis. In the first example, there is emphasis on it being clear that the image shows the alignment (1) and in the second, the emphasis is on the fact that the alignment is shown clearly in the image (2). Another way to say this would be: The star’s image obviously shows the alignment (1) and The alignment is shown clearly in the star’s image (2).
Furthermore, certain prepositional phrases and idioms cannot be separated, such as: to take (something) into consideration or to take (something) into account.
- We take into account the results of the study.
- We take the results of the study into account.
- We take the results of the study, which was published last year, into consideration.
- We took the results of the study that was published last year into consideration.
A common error in usage is related to the verb: allow. The correct prepositions that should be used with allow are: to allow for; to allow someone to do something; and to allow something to be done.
- The programme allows to analyse the data.
- The programme allows for an analysis of the data.
- The programme allows us to analyse the data.
- The programme allows for the data to be analysed.
The synonyms enable and permit can also be used to replace allow when the word is overused.
- The programme permits the analysis of the data.
- The programme enabled us to analyze the data.
In this part of your paper, you have the opportunity to thank any referees or fellow researchers who helped in editing the paper, along with acknowledging any institutions that provided you or your team with academic or financial support.
Note: The language editors no longer correct the acknowledgements as they are not considered to be part of the scientific portion of papers. Please make sure you have corrected any errors or typos.