Q: What are the differences between a research gap and research novelty?
I received comments from a journal reviewer emphasizing I need to show novelty in the Introduction and Discussion sections of my manuscript. What does this mean? And how can I tell the difference between a research gap and research novelty?
Thank you very much for this pertinent question.
There is a very fine between research gap and research novelty, though the two are interlinked. Research gap mainly refers to the gap in literature regarding the subject you are studying (the easiest way to identify this is by asking the question what is not known/has not been studied so far about the topic). Your reserach novelty is based on the gap identified. For example: if the gap identfied is "anticancer effects of XYZ have not been studied in an animal model or the mechanism of action is unknown", then this becomes your research novelty as well provided your study is based along the same lines. Research novelty should indicate whats unique about your study/stdy findings. When the revieewer says that the introduction and discussion section should present the novelty, it simply means to highlight how your study is different from the other similar ones already published and how exactly will your study findings help in furthering the research in the field.