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Write and publish a scientific article


Jan 23, 2023
scientific article

Scientific publication is an important step in the researcher’s activity. Paradoxically, very few writing workshops are organized in universities and research institutions to help beginners in the profession to get their hands dirty. The research methodology courses devoted to the writing of theses and dissertations are general and cannot meet the needs of an initiation to writing a scientific article. This chapter intends to provide benchmarks. To go further, the reader can refer to the annotated bibliography.

A former student of the École Normale Supérieure of the University of Maroua, Gilbert Willy Tio Babena is currently secretary general of the Grenier des savoirs , director of the “Languages, linguistics and discourse analysis” collection at Science and Common Good Editions and teacher- researcher at the University of Maroua. In addition to his work on social discourses (interactions in situations of corruption, political, media, literary discourse, etc.), he is strongly interested in alternatives that serve to circumvent specific obstacles to research in the South.

The writing and publication of a scientific article are generally a source of stress in the initiatory journey of apprentices or young researchers. This psychological state sometimes results from the mandariness that prevails in the world of scientific research or from the violence of institutional positivism. In this system, the evaluation of the scientific text, devised to control and ensure the validity of research results, has paradoxically become one of the pernicious mechanisms that alter self-esteem and unconsciously reinforce the feeling of nullity.

It is possible to argue, on the one hand, that the shortcomings of less experienced or inexperienced authors can be explained by the erroneous belief that teaching the methodology of writing a thesis or a thesis would be similar to writing an article. On the other hand, it should be noted that many university programs do not offer scientific writing workshops in which students and young researchers will learn to dip pen in ink to methodically transcribe in a text the results of their work. Scientific writing and publication is very often a solitary journey strewn with trial and error, self-learning… In addition to the basics that must be mastered to walk this path,

Summary of writing a scientific article

This section will attempt to indicate how to come up with post ideas. Unlike a dissertation or a thesis, a scientific article is a less extensive research, in duration and in content, and presented in a reduced format. It therefore requires the development of a realistic schedule and the adoption of a methodology that validates the results.

Find ideas for writing a scientific article

Research, as a profession or qualifying and certifying activity for the researcher, inevitably leads to the question of how to find ideas to contribute to the development of science. As abstract as it may sometimes seem, the latter is not cut off from the real world which it proposes to observe and methodically scrutinize in order to achieve reproducible results under the same conditions and under other conditions. experimental contexts. However, the idea of ​​reproducibility seems problematic in the humanities and social sciences since it would imply, for example, that human and social phenomena are fixed from one place to another, from one era to another.

For Michael Jay Katz (2006 : ix-x ), doing modern science thus amounts to enriching a collection of knowledge from either the observation-description of natural phenomena, or from a re-examination of existing knowledge. The evolution of science can be measured by the enrichment of this collection, which is only possible on the condition of approaching the phenomena exogenous or endogenous to science from the notion of obstacle. According to Gaston Bachelard, the “epistemological obstacle is embedded in unquestioned knowledge” (2011: 17), which implies on the one hand that any dimension of the universe or any natural phenomenon that has not yet been object of a description is potentially a subject of scientific reflection.

The observation, among other things, of human societies, ways of life, ways of speaking, of moving, of contacts between groups, of cultures and languages ​​can thus feed ideas for scientific articles in the humanities and social sciences. . The fruitfulness of this first experience must however be taken with caution and a critical mind when we know that the first scientific journals date back more than 300 years (Day, 1995: 4) and that the old civilizations – like Egypt ancient, Islamic Arabia, ancient Greece and China – have bequeathed to humanity an important heritage of knowledge. It is therefore appropriate to test the originality of a research idea by comparing it with the existing literature. Reading previous works not only makes it possible to draw up a state of the question, but above all it reveals the unquestioned aspects which are, in the logic of the scientific spirit, new avenues to explore. This is at least what is taught in the methodology courses for writing theses and research dissertations. The chapters of these academic works can therefore easily be transformed into scientific articles.

In addition, story ideas may arise from research projects funded by governments, universities, research institutions or partners. Most of the work on HIV-AIDS, malaria and, very recently, Covid-19 have benefited from this type of funding [1] . Candidate profiles ( job description) for the recruitment of doctoral students, post-doctoral students and researchers point out more and more that candidates will have to write articles during the execution of their contract or after the completion of their work. To do this, the basic hypotheses or the first results are generally presented to peers or funders in research seminars, conferences or symposiums. The idea or title of an article, the problem and the working hypotheses are then refined following a summary and preliminary evaluation which is carried out through questions and answers, comments and suggestions.

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