Q: For articles based on modeling, are there structures/sections other than IMRaD and Results/Discussion?

Detailed Question -

For articles based on modeling, I find that the Results and Discussion structure [sections] is/are not suitable. Are there other options [for the structure/sections]?

1 Answer to this question

You raise an interesting question. However, it’s not clear what type of ‘modeling’ you are referring to. So, the answer could partly depend on that. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions or pointers.

  • Note that the standard, established structure of a research paper – IMRaD – is meant more to guide than to dictate. It’s meant to provide a broad framework, within which you can make modifications as needed. For instance, many authors include sub-sections within each section, and at times, multiple sub-sections, to suit the needs of their study. One researcher has even suggested starting first with the Conclusions – to gain more attention. So, if you feel either the names of these sections need to be changed or that these sections need to be removed altogether and replaced by something else, that’s fine, as long as you have a strong rationale for it.
  • If the journal’s guidelines specify that the article needs to have these sections, then you will need to include them after all. If however, you believe this won’t suit your research, you could consider asking this of the editor through a presubmission inquiry. You could do this for any of your target journals until you narrow down to one that allows these modifications.
  • As a starting point, it might help to look up similar articles in your field and perhaps in your target journals to see how they have been structured: whether they have retained the IMRaD structure, modified it, or used something new altogether. For instance, without knowing your field, we have identified two papers here in the broad domain of modeling, one in spatial modeling and the other in gaming modeling. As you will see, both have indeed used IMRaD although they have many sections within each section to suit the requirements of their research. You may refer to this paper on Springer Open and this paper on MDPI.

Hope that helps. All the best for your paper, which may possibly have a different structure. :-)

As your question is about deviating from the norm, here are some other queries around this theme that you could go through to know how other researchers have handled this challenge.