Jamal El Ouahi

Helping researchers. Posts about scientific research & its process. Academia/Government Consulting.

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Jamal El Ouahi

Helping researchers. Posts about scientific research & its process. Academia/Government Consulting.

#18 Tips and Tricks from journal editors to write an outstanding paper

Read time: 4 min.

Hey friends,

I recently came across an article where 3 journal editors provide tips and tricks for writing a good paper.

I found their advice very insightful. And to the point.

They mention the following recommendations for each section of a manuscript:


  • Must be short and catchy.
  • Avoid long titles; one or two lines maximum.
  • No questions as titles.
  • Ensure the title reflects the main finding of the study.


  • Should be concise and informative.
  • Include key findings
  • Avoid lengthy introductions or discussions.

Study Design, Methods and Data

  • Correct description of study design.
  • Clear description of the methods and data used in the study
  • Studies should be understandable and reproducible.


  • Keep it short and focused, preferably one manuscript page.
  • Clearly state the study’s purpose, hypotheses, and gap in the literature.
  • Avoid lengthy literature reviews or unnecessary details.


  • Present results concisely, using tables and figures for details.
  • Emphasize important findings in the text.
  • Minimize text and focus on numerical data in tables.


  • Focus on main findings and agreement/disagreement with existing literature.
  • Acknowledge limitations and discuss usefulness of the findings.
  • Avoid repetition of results or unnecessary references.

Editor’s Decision

  • Constructive communication with editors and peer reviewers can influence editorial decisions.
  • Politeness and mutual respect are important.
  • Editors may reconsider decisions based on well-constructed discussions.


  • Honesty about study limitations is important.
  • Unreliable results due to limitations can make a paper unacceptable.

Here are the details of the article by the 3 journal editors:

Karlsson, J., Reider, B., Wojtys, E.M. et al. (2020) Tips and tricks for building a good paper: what editors want. J EXP ORTOP 7, 57. doi:10.1186/s40634-020-00273-3

I love such guides. No fluff. To the point.

That’s it for this week.

As usual, if anything is unclear or if you need help with your research projects, please contact me and I will reply.

See you next Sunday!


Question of the Week

Any other tip or recommendation to add when writing a scientific paper?

Let us know in the comments.

My favorite things this week

  1. I conducted a webinar in collaboration with the Federation of the Arab Scientific Research Councils about research integrity. Lots of interesting points were raised by the attendees.

  2. In case you missed it, here is the LinkedIn post where I share my 7-step writing framework that you may also use to write your papers.

Quote of the Week

“You might not write well everyday, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
– Jodi Picoult


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