Instruction for publishing

Basic manual for writing scientific articles

A scientific article is a written report conveying new knowledge and experiences. According to the UNESCO, "the essential purpose of a scientific article is to communicate the outcomes of research, ideas and debates in a clear, concise and faithful manner; publication is one of the methods inherent to scientific work. It is necessary to establish well-elaborated publication strategies and follow with cause knowledge a series of appropriate norms to ease transfer among scientists of all the countries and reduce the increase of the volume of publications to reasonable levels”.

Any article must have an adequate structure in order to be presented to reviews and be published: title, author, institutional affiliation, abstract, keywords, introduction, research methodology, results, discussion, conclusions and bibliographical references. Also, it must comply with ethical norms, style and format standards and it is essential for the article to be logical, clear, accurate, well written and contain a clear and simple argumentative thread.

First of all the author will have to specify the purpose proposed in his or her research and depending on that he or she will have to analyze what to say in his or her article, the relevance thereof and according to the type of target reader, he or she will have to analyze the most appropriate way to convey his or her message.

Parts of an article

Title: The title determines whether an article will be fully read or not. It is recommended to leave it till the end, when the whole work is over. One must be very clear about what one wishes to communicate so as to define the way of working and organization of the work. It is important to clearly establish the scopes of the presentation purpose and be aware of the types of limits thereof. This title must be sufficiently explanatory to draw the reader’s attention; it must be concise, specific and clear. It must also be short, 3 lines maximum and must not contain obvious terms such as analysis of, contribution to the knowledge of, notes on, study about, among others.

Authors: There may be one of several authors. What really matters is that the authors have really provided a substantial intellectual contribution and may assume full responsibility for the content of the article. Credit must not be denied to anyone having contributed in part to an article (incomplete authorship) and it is not right to mention people who have not contributed at all as authors to an article (unjustified authorship).

It is inappropriate to include people as authors when their contribution to an article has been minimal or null (unjustified authorship), or deny author’s credit to a person responsible for a decisive part of the intellectual content of an article (incomplete authorship). In case of various authors, the author who has contributed the most must hold the first place and so on consecutively.

Institutional Affiliation: The author’s name must be followed by the institutional affiliation. The right order is: department, institution, city, province and country.

The email must be indicated but not the word “Email” as it is implicit

Abstract of the article: The abstract comes before the rest of the work and in many cases it is the only thing that is read and if it arouses the reader’s interest, the whole article will be read. It is recommended to write it after finishing the article so as to highlight the importance of the whole text. The abstract must not be too long; it must contain between 150 and 250 words and only full stops (periods) must be used. The purpose thereof is to guide the reader to identify the basic content of the article fast and accurately and determine the relevance of the content.

The abstract must express the following clearly and briefly: the theme relevance, research topic, objectives and scope of the study, basic procedures, analytical and observational methods, main discoveries and outcomes and the most important conclusions. The time and place of the research must also be specified in this section and also how the work was done. It must be written in the third person, in the simple past and must not contain any abbreviations and bibliographical references.

This abstract must also be provided in English as a requirement for publication.

Key words: The author must preferably define 3 to 5 keywords that help the article cross index. Although it happens in most cases, it is not recommended to include keywords neither in the title nor in the abstract. The keywords must also be provided in English.

Introduction: In the introduction, it is important to clearly identify the problem and to frame it in the present moment, to briefly present the most relevant works and highlight the contributions of other authors about the theme and subject of study, justify the reasons according to which the research is carried out and formulate the relevant hypothesis and objectives. By itself, the introduction is the general objective of the research work and must go from the general to the particular and from the oldest to the newest. It is indispensable to answer what is known and unknown about a particular topic and propose the possible alternatives to elucidate. The introduction must not contain any bibliographical references but if records are mentioned, previous works must be referenced.

Methodology: Any article must have a paragraph indicating the research methodology used. It is necessary to know whether the research was quantitative or qualitative and it is important to mention how the work was performed, the information sources and the instruments to collect the used data, it is also necessary to specify the population or study group, the research design, the selection and appointment of subjects to the study groups, the processing, the methods of analysis and the methods of information analysis and processing.

Body: The writing of this section is very important. Its content must enable any professional specialized in the topic to replicate the research. It is a reality that the cornerstone of the scientific method demands that the results obtained from any research may be reproduced, and in order for the results to be considered so, it is necessary to provide the basis so that others may repeat the experiments, only so will it have a scientific value.

Results and discussion: This section must only contain the information relevant to the purposes of the study; the discoveries must follow a logical sequence and a clear argumentative thread. The relevance of the research must be mentioned here with enough details that may justify the conclusions. The results must be clear and show whether they constitute the logical consequence of the methodology used. No space must be lost by repeating what is shown in tables or charts. The representative data will be provided and it will be established whether the study has been well designed, effective and compared with others. The discussion must include the summarized central conclusion arisen from the results in the initial paragraphs, with an interpretation, explanation and presentation of principles, relations and possibilities to generalize the results. The innovative or controversial aspects will be highlighted, as well as the theoretical consequences of the work, the possible practical applications and the real significance of the article. This way, by means of a logical and clear order, it will be possible to convince the reader about the internal and external soundness of the research.

Conclusions: The research relevance must be included in the conclusion but the results mustn’t be repeated in detail. In this section the author has to express his or her criterion regarding the research and support his or her position according to the data obtained on a consistent theoretical basis. All the conclusions must be backed by the data obtained; there cannot be any superficial conclusions, as instead of enriching the study it limits it.

Bibliographical references: They ease the extension of the reading: they may be direct or indirect quotes and alphabetically numbered that have really been consulted. It is preferable to mostly use bibliographical references of articles already published in reviews and to a lesser extent references of some books. It is better not to refer to Internet pages whose contents have not been duly verified and do not meet the quality standards required for scientific articles (e.g.: Wikipedia, Rincón del Vago, monographs among others).



Surname, Y. (publication year). Work title. Location: Editorial. Hernández, R., Fernández, C. & Baptista, P. (2003) Metodología de la Investigación. México: Mc Graw Hill. Acerca de la revista

Review article:

Surname, A., Surname, B. & Surname, C. (publication year). Article title. Scientific review title, volume (number), pp. Xx-xx.
Becerra, M. & Fjeldstad, O. (1999): Expansión del modelo de la cadena de valor: Estudio de la conducta competitiva en el sector europeo de la telefonía móvil. Investigaciones Europeas de Dirección y Economía de la Empresa, 5(1), pp. 61-78.


Surname, A. (publication year). Thesis title. Master thesis and career name. Name of the University, country.

Gómez, M. (2005). Estudio de la Competencia en Mercado de Vidrio en España. Tesis de maestría en Administración. Universidad de Oviedo, España.

Newspaper article:

Surname, A. (year, day of month). Article name. Newspaper name, p. xx.
Cantero, M. (2006, 21 de marzo). Crecen las Pymes en Costa Rica. La Nación, p. 16A.

Appendix: Some articles require the inclusion of appendices to complete and illustrate the development of a theme. As such, they can be included when it is essential and when the information, due to its size or format, does not fit well within the body of the article and yet is necessary for the proper understanding of the latter

Footnote: Footnotes can be used as long as they are not too long. A lot of researchers now prefer not to use footnotes and use them as appendices instead.