Chem 161, 162, 163

Anatomy of a Research Article in Chemistry

Anatomy of a Research Article

Citation Information: Authors, Article title, Journal, Date & Issues & the Abstract

Elements of research article 1 - image text is also on page.

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  • The article title, author info, journal title, data info. 
  • The abstract summarizes the reason for the study, hypothesis or question, methodology, findings, and conclusion. 

Author information & peer review process

Image of author affiliation & peer review timeline info

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  • Author affiliations indicate their authority on the subject & provide contact info for other researchers
  • The peer review process can take a year or more, though in this instance the article was received, accepted, and published within four months.

The introduction

The article introduction

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  • The introduction states why the research was conducted, what they researched, and what we know and don't know from existing research.
  • In-text citations point to and credit the many research studies this current study is building on.
  • For your own research, you can track down those studies listed in the references section

The methodology

The methodology

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  • The methodology section lays out the processes by which the study was conducted. 
  • This section is detailed and enables the study to be replicated and validated by others.

The Results

The Results

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  • The results section presents an organized summary of the raw data gathered in the study. 
  • Charts, table, equations, and narrative are typical.

The Discussion: 

The discussion

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  • The discussion interprets the raw data and makes sense of it within the context of existing research and the context of the researchers' questions. 

The Conclusion

The Conclusion

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  • The conclusion tends to be brief. Authors restate what they studied, and state what they learned and what they didn't learn, the significance of their findings, and steps for future research. 
  • Authors shared their datasets so other researchers could build on their work.
  • Funding is mentioned as thanks and to be transparent about any potential conflicts of interest.

The References: 

references

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  • Scholarship is thoroughly and extensively cited! This article has 3.5 densely packed pages of sources. 
  • Reference credit all whose ideas are referenced or quoted.
  • It is a good practice to "mine" the reference list of articles you find helpful when you do research.

The Full Article