I just had a quick look at last week’s Nature Genetics Editorial Cause, correlation, conjecture.
[W]e have been struck again by the amount of repetition of claims and arguments in most research articles.
The main claims of the paper are detailed in the title, abstract, introduction, results, figures and discussion as well as in the methods as if to hypnotize the reader into accepting the authors’ conclusions. [My emphasis]
Repetitiveness shows lack of confidence. One more reason to remove it.
And the Nat Gen editors even mention a tool to better structure a paper:
Our recommendation in planning a research paper is to lay out the claims together with the supporting evidence and methods in a three-column table. The rows follow one another logically as one experiment or analysis follows necessarily from its predecessor.
It is unfortunate that the short article doesn’t contain an example of such a table. But I like the idea and might just try it next time we write a paper.
Cause, correlation, conjecture. Nature Genetics 47, 305(2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3271 http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v47/n4/full/ng.3271.html