What is a scientific article?
The scientific article is the most common format in which a researcher organizes the results of a research to communicate them to the scientific community through its publication in a scientific journal .
This format is chosen over other possible ones (communications to congresses or other communication channels) because the publication of the Article in a scientific journal of reference for the sector, has accepted validity as a guarantee of authorship and a certificate of the date of the disclosed discovery, therefore the author is protected against copies , plagiarism, usurpation or previous allegations by other researchers.
Who is the author of a scientific article?
The author of an article is the researcher who has developed the work described in the article. A scientific article can have one or more authors . E he order in which the different authors sign denotes the greater or lesser contribution of each of them to the work described or the role played by each signatory in the work. The order of the signatories therefore has a meaning known and accepted in each scientific discipline and in each publication.
How is a scientific article structured?
Scientific articles also have a structure that is usually common to all those of the same scientific discipline or to all those that are adapted to the conditions of the journal that publishes it. The elements that usually exist in every article are:
- Authors and affiliation.
- Materials and methods.
- Bibliography cited.
In the central sections it is usual to have support from tables, graphs, photographs, formulas, etc .
What do you have to do to publish a scientific article?
A manuscript thus made and describing a novel work in your field (sometimes a revision) can be submitted to a repository for public knowledge, or to a journal for publication, with which it receives a DOI (code that identifies it as a computer object). At this stage of development, the manuscript is called a "preprint."
Advantages of adding a preprint to a repository
Among the advantages of incorporating a preprint into a repository are:
- Giving immediate open access to the work for reading by anyone.
- The work is given a date certain and recognized to establish authorship priorities.
- The ability to publicly disclose works such as doctoral theses free of charge.
- A large number of comments on the work can be obtained by part of other colleagues, which enriches the work, increases the visibility of the authors through their works and can reduce the delay in the publication of articles in scientific journals (if it is chosen after going through the repository), which is very important in highly competitive subjects.
Preprints have not been peer-reviewed in the sense that they are in the context of the publication in a scientific journal. For this reason they are published in specialized repositories. Subsequently, these articles may also be sent and submitted for evaluation and publication in both a commercial and open access journal.
Submit an article to a scientific journal
The author can also choose to submit the work directly to a scientific journal. Usually, journals receive more articles than they can publish, so an author must choose carefully which journal to send his article to for publication, as rejection will cause communication delays </ strong> of the result to the scientific community. In highly competitive subjects, it is common for another author working on the same topic to "get ahead" in the publication of a discovery and, as we have mentioned, authorship will always be universally attributed to the first publisher , not the one who "discovers" first.
The choice of the journal must always be based on a balance in which the author weighs the possibilities of acceptance of the article against the relevance of the results that the author presents, depending first on how important (requested) the journal is.
What is the acceptance process
Manuscripts that reach the journal and are acceptable are sent by the editor to fellow subject matter experts of the author for review and comment on the quality and plausibility of the content. These researchers are commonly called peers or referees and this process is called the " peer review" of an article , which is one of the basic quality attributes for a scientific journal. When the author corrects or incorporates the peer comments and the work is ready for publication at the editor's discretion, it is called a "postprint".
What happens to an article after it is published?
With the publication in a scientific journal, the journey in the life of an article ends, but the life of the research work that originated it does not end. If the article collects very novel and conclusive results, or reveals facts or discoveries really significant for that discipline, the article will be consulted by many researchers and their results and conclusions will be used in subsequent investigations. This gives rise to the phenomenon of quotes . Citations received for an article are the references or mentions that researchers in a field make of this article and its content in other articles after the mentioned one. These citations are collected in the "cited bibliography" of subsequent articles in time and their presence is due to the use that other researchers have made of a published research work, in subsequent works.
The more fundamental an article is to a discipline, the more times it will be cited and the more its results will persist over time through the citations of others. This circumstance is used as an indicator of the relevance of an article and is called impact .
Paradoxically, articles can be cited to be refuted or denied over time. This is part of the logic of the scientific method and the evolution of science itself, and does not invalidate the merit that the cited article had at the time , although it does lose its validity in time , since when its results are refuted it will cease to be considered and studied, yielding the position to the following.
This is very different from the cases in which </ strong > it is shown that an article has been produced in a defective way , has scientific errors or does not meet the standards of solvency and scientific quality. Or what is more serious, when it is detected that an article has results that are deliberately altered with respect to what the experimental works indicated or that are directly false, invented, plagiarized or subject to any other bad practice. This certainly damages the reputation of the author, but also that of the scientific journal that admitted it. In these cases it may happen that the journal retracts from the publication of an article , removes it from its newspaper library and it is considered that it was never published, because it never should have been, at Bibliometric and statistical effects.