Q: What are the practical implications of a study – and how do I add them in the Conclusion section?

Detailed Question -

I have received a comment from one of the reviewers requesting me to identify the implications of the study. The comment is as follows: 'What are the practical implications of the present study? Add them in the Conclusion section.' However, my field of study is computer science. Can anyone please tell me what the reviewer means by this question?

1 Answer to this question

Let’s begin by pulling back a bit. Research aims to broaden knowledge in the physical, biological, and social spheres. This discovery of new knowledge can be either in the form of new concepts or the advancement of existing knowledge, leading to a new understanding or innovation. The findings of a study need to be appraised in the context of the field, as well as its practical utility. In other words, readers and other researchers are interested in knowing what your findings mean for your field, perhaps even other fields, as well as policymaking (if applicable). The implications of a study are typically described in the Discussion section or the Conclusion section (in journals where the latter is a separate section from the former), where the study limitations and road ahead are mentioned.

Coming back, thanks for letting us know your field of study (computer science). Now, if we knew the exact area, or even whether it is a basic science or an applied science study, we could have provided some examples of likely practical implications. The implications of basic research (original investigation into the reasons behind a process or phenomenon) in this field would be the applications of the new knowledge and future directions for further study. Implications in applied research (enhancing knowledge around a practical aim or solving a real-life problem) would include the broad impact on the relevant industries, possible positive and negative outcomes, ramifications in terms of government regulations, effects on society, and so on. As an example, suppose your paper is about a new program or app based on deep learning for language translation. You could deliberate on implications in word processing and editing programs, education, the communication and publishing industries, and tourism. Do you foresee the app jeopardizing employment in these areas? Could it make certain workflows easier? Ask yourself such questions about your study. The answers, in the form of projections and speculations, would form the implications, which you can incorporate into your Discussion or Conclusion as a concluding paragraph.

For more on the points discussed above, you may refer to the following resources:

And for more help with responding to the reviewer comments, you may find these resources useful:

Hope all that helps. All the best for making the revisions and re-submitting, hopefully taking it toward acceptance! :)