SoMS Honours

SoMS Honours

Assessments » Project Manuscript

The format of the project manuscript is to comply with the guidelines set out in the “School of Medical Sciences Honours Manuscript - Instructions to Authors” and should contain an abstract, statement of contribution and acknowledgments, brief introduction with aims and hypotheses, materials and methods, results, discussion and references sections. The word count should be 5,000 words (+/- 10%). This word limit excludes the abstract, statement of contribution, acknowledgements and references sections, as well as supplementary data (if present), tables, figures, figure legends, in-text citations and the one-page reflective summary (see below).

The abstract should succinctly and accurately summarise the aims and outcomes of the project. The statement of contribution should clearly declare the specific components of the research that were undertaken independently by the student, and those components of the research that were done in collaboration with others, or that were performed by others. Being trained or supervised in a technique, but then generating the data independently, or being given advice or feedback from a supervisor or colleague, does not need to be described in this statement of contribution (but could be listed in acknowledgements). The acknowledgments should recognise the contributions (reagents, training, advice, feedback, support etc.) of others to the project. The brief introduction, aims and hypothesis sections should define the problem being examined and place it in the context of published work in the area without being a complete review of the literature. It should identify the limitations of the literature and areas of controversy and give clear and valid aims and hypotheses. The methods should be appropriate and valid for the stated aims and be clearly described and fully referenced. The results should reflect a significant body of work including sufficient controls and replicates and analysis of data using appropriate statistical tests. Material needed for a complete understanding or evaluation of the work, but which does not fit well in the manuscript format, should be included as supplementary data. Presentation of the results should be clear and logical and should use figures, tables, etc. The discussion should be relevant to the introduction, methods, and results sections, logical in presentation and scientific content, show critical/creative analysis, place the findings of the study in the context of past studies and have suggestions for future studies. Please note that all work which is integral to the manuscript but was not performed by the Honours student (i.e. was undertaken by another member of the supervisor's and/or co-supervisor's research group) is to be clearly disclosed in the Methods, Results and/or Supplementary Data sections of the Project Manuscript, where appropriate. This work may then be referred to in the Discussion and be assessed in the context of the work undertaken by the Honours student. The referencing style of the project manuscript should also comply with the guidelines set in the “School of Medical Sciences Honours Manuscript - Instructions to Authors”. If you exceed the word limit, only the first 5,500 words of the document will be examined.

Supervisor input in manuscript preparation
Supervisors are expected to assist in developing the written communication skills and scientific understanding of students both prior to preparation and during preparation of the project manuscript. Supervisors are expected to read and provide editorial feedback of the manuscript. The discussion section of the project manuscript is the opportunity for the student to demonstrate the understanding and critical thinking they have developed during the Honours year. Consequently, supervisor feedback is limited to constructive feedback on the structure of the discussion, its strengths and weaknesses, the writing style and guidance on understanding the scientific interpretation. Supervisors can discuss the content with the student, and draw attention to any errors or inconsistencies, but the manuscript discussion section must be the student’s own work. Supervisors must not under any circumstances rewrite major sections, phrases or sentences for the student.

Reflection summary
In addition, students are expected to write a one-page summary of their research experience to demonstrate reflective practice and awareness of research and professional skills, developed over the course of the Honours year. Skills developed include information acquisition, evaluation and synthesis, analytical thinking, written and communication skills. This would also provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their strengths or weaknesses in the role as a researcher. This one-page reflection is NOT included in the word count.