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Q&A: Do I have to report the results for each procedure described in the Methods section?

I recently read somewhere that the Results section should report the results for each method that you have used and discussed in the Methods section. But I always thought that the results should be contained within the "analysis of the data", from data reduction, data display and verification. Please advise.

1 Answer

The goal of the Results section is to present the main findings of the research without deducing their meaning. The Results section should always be presented in a systematic way following the sequence of the Methods section on which the results are based. As a rule of thumb, there should be a method in the Methods section for every result presented in the Results section. This will bring about clarity to the reader.

Following the sequential order of the subsections in Methods section, the Results section should include subsections that describe the answer to a particular experimental procedure that was elaborated in the Methods.

In other words, in the Results section, the answer is written succinctly to link the experiment described in the Methods section. This does not include a full discussion of the inferences of the experimental results, but can lead to the question asked in the next subsection of the Results section for which the experimental method has already been described in the Methods section.

The Results section should describe and explain the results of the experiments performed during the study by referring to data provided in tables and figures, thus gently guiding the readers towards the visual aspects of the results for interpretation and clarity. 

The Results section of the manuscript should present the experimental data and develop a convincing case that the results answer all the aims/objectives of the study. The text should complement the figures or tables and not repeat the same information. The tables/figures must be cited in a numerical order throughout the manuscript and each table/figure should be accompanied with a legend and a caption. The results should be described using the statistical significance and p-values. The statistical/data analysis that has been performed in the study to arrive at the results should be described at the end of the Methods section.

Thus, a well-presented Results section always refers to the experimental protocols described in the Methods section and is written with clarity, brevity, and accuracy.

Recommended reading:

The secret to writing the results and discussion section of a manuscript


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