Supply adequate details of items mentioned in the materials and methods section

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Supply adequate details of items mentioned in the materials and methods section

The references section requires adequate details of the documents cited: for a paper in a journal, the name of the journal, volume number, and page numbers; for a book, the place of publication and the publisher; for a conference presentation, the title of the conference, dates, city/town, organizers, and so on.

Similarly, for any item of laboratory equipment or supplies that you mention in the materials and methods section, you should supply appropriate details, such as the make and model, name of the manufacturer and the company's location, and so on. For instance, if you have used an SEM (scanning electron microscope), you should state whether it was an Olympus Lext OLS3100 Confocalm or Philips XL 30 or a Hitachi S-3700N or whatever. If you used a spectrophotometer, say whether it was a Beckman DU-640 scanning spectrophotometer, an Agilent 8453 diode array instrument, or whatever.

Apart from any technical issues, such details add credibility to your paper.

Also, when you mention the names of companies, make sure that you use the correct name: for instance, the name of a well-known supplier of diagnostics is Bio-Rad Laboratories (not just Bio-Rad, and note also the hyphen and the capitals). Secondly, supply the location as well, as in Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, California.

Typically, with American companies, you need to mention the city and the state, whereas, with many European firms, it is usually sufficient to mention the city and the country. Such details are useful if anybody wishes to repeat your experiments; in fact, this is one of the reasons why precise details are essential in the materials and methods section.

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Published on: Nov 27, 2013


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