Q: In a manuscript, are the Discussion and Conclusion sections the same?
I just watched the Webinar on Structuring a Scientific Manuscript: Perspective of a Managing Editor, it was very enlightening and helpful, tho I am a little confused with the Discussion and Conclusion. The IMRaD ends with the Discussion but researches summarizes through a Conclusion. Which is which? Does this structure applied also to other reviewers and editor of other journals?
Indeed, a lot of studies do end with a separate Conclusion section. So, do authors not summarize their key takeaways towards of the Discussion? Is the conclusion to be considered a separate entity from IMRaD?
Well, the answer to that is it depends entirely on the requirements of your target journal. If your target journal requires you to provide a separate conclusions section, then you should present the key points of your study separately in this section. This would include a brief summary of your results and a couple of lines on the impact of your findings.
If, however, the journal asks you to only present a Discussion, followed by Acknowledgements, References etc., you should still be presenting a brief conclusion of your study (without a section heading of course!), which again should summarize your key findings and the implications of those findings.
I sincerely hope that this answers your questions. Please do not hesitate to get back to me should you have any further queries.