Types of papers
A research paper includes results and analyses of original scientific research carried out by the Author and relevant to the Aims and Scope of the publication. A research paper should include author’s results, not published before, in the form of maps, tables, graphs, etc. (or their summaries if they are complex). A research paper should be up to 12 pages long, refer thoroughly to international references related to the subject (theme and regional approach) – preferably between 20 and 40 entries, and clearly describe the research methodology (research procedure). A research paper should be clearly organized into the following elements: title, abstract (up to 1000 characters including spaces), keywords (4-6 words, three related to the topic, the scope and the research method and three other), introduction, materials, methods and study area, results, discussion, conclusions (summary) and references.
Structure of a research paper
Title – the title should be precise and concise, and at the same time it should fully reflect the contents of the paper. A research paper can refer to the study area on the case study basis. Long sophisticated sentences should be avoided in titles.
Abstract – the abstract should include: a short introduction to the research area along with the aim of the research (2-3 sentences), description of methodology (2-3 sentences) general description of the results of the research (3-4 sentences) and general conclusions (1-2 sentences). The length of the abstract should not exceed 250 words. An abstract should be as full of the contents of the paper as possible, since the reader frequently determines usefulness of the paper (and its citing) basing on an abstract itself. Authors should avoid general sentences and obvious statements which do not convey any meaningful contents.
Keywords – between 4 and 6 keywords related to the research topic, the applied research method and the study area. Authors should avoid words included in the title (doubling the database searches), long multi-word keywords or very general phrases like landscape geography, landscape architecture, etc.
Introduction – the chapter which introduces the reader into the topic of the paper. It should be worked out basing on rich international references related to the subject and the region. It should consist of the following elements: general introduction to the research topic in the global, national or regional aspect (the latter in case the paper addresses a specific research area, e.g. a region or a municipality); analysis of the existing state of research in the given topic (reference to the research problem or the applied method) with a number of references (in the global, national or regional aspect); explanation of basic notions, with references if necessary; characteristics of the research problem, research object and clear specification of the objectives. Introduction should include a large part of the references cited in the paper.
Materials, Methods and Study Area – this chapter should include relevant information regarding the materials used in the research. These might be any kinds of digital databases, cartographic materials, planning documents, statistical data, results of field research, etc. The author should describe in a clear, substantive and concise way which of them were useful for which stage of the research. They can be presented e.g. in the form of a table. Research methods – research procedures should be described clearly and fully, so that the reader could repeat and use them if necessary. If the method used is not the author’s own method, its author should be referred to, and if it has been modified, all modifications should be described in detail. The applied method can be described in the form of bulleted stages or presented in the form of a diagram. Study Area – the author should describe the physio-geographical and administrational location and, if it is relevant for the topic of the paper, location of the study area within e.g. ethnographic, cultural, botanical units, etc. This subchapter must include the map identifying the study area with location of the research area within a larger region, e.g. Poland, Europe shown in the left top corner. The map should include the main elements, that is a legend, a scale (preferably linear) and the direction north in case of non-north-up orientation, and if a large area is presented, at least one meridian and one parallel. The rule to follow in this chapter is that it is better to replace a hundred words with one piece of graphics, e.g. a table, a diagram or a map.
Results – this chapter should include original results of the research. If necessary, the chapter can be divided into a few subchapters referring to different stages of the research, e.g. results of field measurements, results of laboratory analyses, results of cartographic analyses, results of surveys, etc. Results should be as compact as possible and presented in the form of maps, plans, tables, graphs, diagrams or, if necessary, photos (not in excess). The resulting graphic material should be correct in terms of contents and of high technical and aesthetic quality. Text should refer to obtained results fully but substantively. The author should not mix results with conclusions or analyse the results (next chapter). The author should make sure that the presented results give the reader a full image of the research that was carried out.
Discussion – in this chapter, the author should include an analysis of results of the research and compare (discuss) it to results obtained by other authors. Also, the applied method should be discussed by presenting its weaknesses and assets. The author may refer to the possible application of the results and methods of research by suggesting possible improvement (enhancing with new research aspects, updating with new data series, etc.), new research prospects, etc.
Conclusions – a summary of main aspects included in the paper. It can be presented as a continuous text or bulleted phrases. It should be general and include key conclusions from the carried out research with regards to both the results of the research and the applied method.
References – should include between 20 and 40 items and provide as thorough as possible reference to the research topic, research method and discussed research problems. The author should make sure its contents is international, national or even, in particular cases, regional. Non-scientific references like press reports, Internet news or unpublished materials should be avoided (acceptable only in special cases). All items referred to in the paper should be listed, including cartographic materials, documents, databases and Internet pages. Maximum reliability and scientific value of the cited references should be ensured.
Before you submit out paper for publication, make sure:
- it does not have any typing mistakes
- it is written in neat, academic style (texts which have been written in a sloppy style or not according to the Author Guide will be rejected at the peer review stage)
- it is correct in terms of grammar, style and spelling
- included pictures, photo, maps, etc. are compliant with the graphic requirements
- all items referred to in the paper have been included in the references (and vice versa)
- the abstract contains substantive and precise information
- the title has been formulated correctly and according to the guidelines.
The author of the paper is fully responsible for reliability, substantive correctness and copyright of the published results. Before the paper is published, the author has to sign the declaration on publication ethics, thus confirming to be the author of the results and the contents of the paper and that there are no third parties to claim their authorship.