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The title should normally contain no more than 150 characters (including spaces) and should not consist of more than one sentence. It must clearly indicate the subject matter of the paper and any assertions must be justified by the results presented in the paper. Titles should be drafted carefully to indicate broadly what the paper is about and to encourage readership. Cumbersome chemical names, technical details, and unfamiliar abbreviations should be avoided. A short running title containing not more than 50 characters (including spaces) is also required to appear on top of the other pages.
The abstract should be complete in itself and should summarise the highlights of the report in no more than a single side of A4 (using single line spacing). It should be easily readable and intelligible to a non-specialist. The summary should convey clearly the key messages of the work. References must not be included in the abstract. Abbreviations must be kept to a minimum and non-standard abbreviations explained in brackets.
The introduction should give a short and clear account of the background of the problem and the rationale of the investigation. Only previous work that has a direct bearing on the present problem should be cited. The final paragraph should summarise the main aims and objectives of the study. Headed paragraphs can be used to subdivide the text depending on topic.
The methods must be described in sufficient detail to allow the experiments/work conducted to be interpreted and repeated by an experienced investigator. Where published methods are used, references should be given, together with a brief outline. The method section should cover broadly the following sections as appropriate for type of project:
- Literature search strategy only if forms a large part of project undertaken
- Experimental design or data collection tools design
- Measurements made/ data collection (with technical details)
- Data analysis and statistical procedures
The description of the experimental results should be succinct, but in sufficient detail to allow the experiments to be analysed and interpreted by an independent reader. Figures / tables or other format of data presentation should be included in this section. Figures / tables should be clearly labelled and clearly described in text. Remember to label axis, add units, etc. You can use colour for your data presentation. Typical single experiments may be presented with a clear statement that n number of similar experiments had similar results. Where appropriate, however, the mean results with confidence limits or standard errors, and the number of observations, should be given. Statistical tests of significance should be performed where appropriate. Statistical treatment of results, where the analysis of numerical data forms a significant part of the project, is encouraged. Headed paragraphs should be used to subdivide the text for ease of reference. Repetition of data in the text, tables and figures should be avoided.
The purpose of the discussion is to present a pertinent interpretation of the results against the background of existing knowledge. Any assumptions on which this discussion is based must be stated clearly. Recapitulation of the results should be avoided. The discussion should be a critical evaluation of your work, you should comment on the scope of the method and its validity, appropriate negative results should also be included. You should also use appropriate statistical evaluation if your results and data allow it, though it is appreciated that this may not apply to all projects
e.g. organic synthesis. In many cases it is appropriate to have a combined Results and Discussion section.
This should be a brief summary of exactly what you have concluded from your work. It should reflect the aims of your project and if your original aims are no longer valid, comment on the rationale for changing the aims. The conclusion should not be a copy of the discussion but a more succinct statement of your findings which should be compared to the literature you have cited in the introduction. You may also include a section on future work.
References should be numbered serially in the text by means of superscript figures, e.g., Foote and Delves,1 Burns et al.2 or . . . in a recent paper3 . . ., and collected in numerical order under the heading 'References' on a separate page at the end of the paper. Journal titles should be abbreviated according to the Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index (CASSI) and all the authors' names and initials should be given. Articles "in the press" should be listed only if formally accepted for publication.