Scientific Writing

5 Thumb Rules for Writing Winning Scientific Abstract

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A scientific abstract conveys the summary of a scientific paper to the audience without reading the entire paper. An abstract is as an important piece of writing that boosts the visibility of a study. They serve as a filter for the researchers to find the appropriate study in lesser time.  Let us investigate a few points that might help in writing a winning abstract,

Rule 1: Structure it well:

A structured approach is necessary for writing a well organised abstract. The general template used for an abstract writing includes:

  • Background or Introduction – Provide the purpose of your study and the research questions/challenges that you tried to address in your study.
  • Methods – A brief about the research methods used to conduct your study.
  • Results or Findings– Describe your major findings or discoveries in the study.
  • Conclusion – Include how did your study contribute to the field. It is the take-home message of your project and its impact.

*Certain papers provide their personalised templates.

Avoid: Avoid copy-pasting the content from the main paper craft a standalone abstract.

Rule 2: Follow the guidelines

Word count, font size, spacing, units and abbreviations, do not miss any of them. These are the things that judge your attention to detail. The following are a few general guidelines:

  • Abstracts should be formatted as a single paragraph.
  • The abstract should be in a block format (no paragraph indentations).
  • Centre the word “Abstract” at the top of the page with double spacing between the heading and the abstract.
  • Mostly, the abstract page immediately follows the title page.

Avoid: Avoid including references unless the guidelines demand. This allows to maintain the word limit and makes your abstract simpler.

Rule 3: Title that grabs the attention

Remember the reader reads the title first and follows the study. So, your title must be eye-catching, simple, clear, and informative. It should reflect all the important points covered in the study.Remember the title with active verbs grabs the reader’s attention.

Avoid: Avoid having a lengthy title. A good title contains less than 15 words.

Rule 4: Apply No more No less concept

Ensure that the abstract narrates all the parts of your paper. Provide a brief about why and how the study is conducted, study findings and why is the study important and remember not to overstate any of them. For example, an abstract usually does not include citations.

Avoid : Avoid using lengthy background, redundant phrases, unwanted adverbs/adjectives, repetitive information, and acronyms in your abstract.

Rule 5: Keyword usage

Include keywords, which people are likely to use when searching for papers on your topic. This supports the search engines to rank your document and make it easier for others to find. Keywords that are relevant to the topic should be added in a separate line after your abstract.

Avoid: Avoid using too small or long keywords. For example, if your study is about gestational diabetes, usage of keywords like “diabetes”, “blood glucose” are too broad, and your paper may not be visible on top in the ocean of papers on diabetes.

To write an abstract that summaries the entire study in one self-contained paragraph is a skill. To develop the skills of writing an abstract require practice. If you are willing to learn how to write a scientific abstract, I-CME – Online Training in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communications, invites you for a challenge.

“Pick up any scientific paper available online and write an abstract on your own. Do not copy/look into the abstracts that are already written. Submit it to us and our expert scientific writers will review and provide the feedback. Equip your skills necessary to write a concise and informative abstract.”

Medical Writing

Unlocking your Medical Writing skills during lockdown

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Online training program in Medical writing and healthcare communication to enhance your skills to explore new non clinical career avenues in healthcare.

Problems are opportunities. Yes, this lockdown period could be the best time for most of us to pursue the laundry lists like reading books, listening to music, watching your favorite web series, movies and importantly pursing a skill.

You may consider this phase as an opportunity to upgrade/hone your skills and explore new career avenues in healthcare.

Today’s digital health ecosystem demands healthcare professionals having good command over written communication so they can effectively communicate to their audience over the digital medium. Yes, indeed everyone is hanging around in digital space and more than 80% workplace communication happens in the written form. This statistic of 80% in healthcare set-up is of great importance since it is high-regulated and demonstrates adoption of research and evidence base practices and current shift towards patient centricity.

Honing medical writing skills can open up over hundreds of new career opportunities in clinical and non-clinical set-ups. Your science knowledge and language skills can help you to explore career opportunities in healthcare ecosystem where there is constant interaction and collaboration happening between participants digitally. The entire ecosystem is focused around patients and consumers as they are connected via social media data, personal health records, medical devices tracking using IoT – Internet of Things. With the lists of the entities of healthcare ecosystem below, you may be able to estimate the possible avenue for your career.

1. Food and Nutrition Companies– Food compliance, consumer education, nutrition and wellness programs

2. Pharmacies – Online pharmacy, e-prescription, claims data

3. Life Sciences – Clinical trials and development, compliance, medical devices, consumer education

4. Public health – Pandemic readiness, vaccine inventory and distribution, sanitation and public safety, healthy lifestyle and diet, managing chronic condition and dual diseases.

5. Healthcare IT providers – HIS – Health Information Exchange, Electronic Medical Records, HIPPA , eHealth , mHealth, Social Media Communication

6. Medical Research Centers – Clinical research, disease study,

7. Retail Health Clinics – Consumer services

8. Health and Wellness Club – Diet, fitness, health and wellness program

9. Regulatory bodies – Healthcare policy, regulatory compliance and research study

10. Employers / Business functions- Employee Health and Wellness programs, health benefit schemes

11. Payers – Risk Management, Disease Management, Patient education, Predictive Analytics

12. Transaction services – claim processing, accounts payable and receivable

13. Medical Education

14. Publication

15. Medical Communication Services.

Online Training offered by I-CME in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication is powered with 3A – Assignments, Assessment and Advice.  The program is custom designed based on industry medical writing and healthcare communication delivery requirement. The e-learning program covers broad spectrum of consumer/ patient centric writing, scientific and publication writing, e-learning for medical/ health professional education, writing for digital, regulatory writing and social media and medico-marketing writing. The training program is hosted on cloud and can be accessed by the learner anytime, anywhere.

It has 14 e-learning modules with integrated assignment and self-assessment tool. The assignment review by the expert is the secret sauce which makes it one of the most accepted online medical writing training program worldwide.  We encourage participants to customize their training by opting for assignments based on their background and specialty.  A dentist may request to customize his/her assignment on dental subject similarly a hospital administrator can request for custom assignment practice as per their hospital communication requirement.

ICME’s e-learning program in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication is offered in three editions – Academic, Standard and Advance program. The Academic edition is to make students industry-ready focusing on publication and academic writing.

ICME’s e-learning program in Medical Writing and Healthcare Communication has over 1500 participants world-wide and corporate/ industry / academic institutes find the training program offered up-to-date and relevant to real-time application.

Let’s make the best of the lock-down phase and pray we will be soon able to win over Covid-19 epidemic. Let’s wash hands at frequent intervals, maintain hygiene and maintain social distancing strictly.