People write opinion articles to share their views on a contemporary issue. But these articles should also have a significant contribution to the repository of scientific texts. In addition, unlike scientific research articles, opinion articles are more concise and have a clear view. In fact, they should provide a balanced view of the topic in terms of the research presentation for all groups of audience. The basic idea behind opinion articles is to motivate healthy discussions about new research. Moreover, they help the discussions about the possible results or implications of research and provide a new framework for an existing old problem or any contemporary issue.
Structure of an Opinion Article
An opinion article does not have to follow the IMRaD format completely. The author only has to make sure that the ideas are logical and coherent. Opinion articles are usually about 2000-3000 words and have an abstract of about 150-300 words. They contain at least 5-10 sources and have a maximum of one or two tables or figures.
Select a specific title for the opinion article that reflects the idea of the article. For example, “What is the Impact of X Factor on the Subject of Y: A Systematic Analysis” or “Is X a Risk Factor for Y: A Case-Control Study“. Remember to provide a complete list of authors, their full names, and the addresses of the institutions. Also, specify the corresponding author.
The abstract of opinion article should be a concise summary of about 150 words that briefly mentions the importance and relevance of the article. You can include the background, the main body, followed by a brief conclusion. Do not add any citations in the abstract. You can use acronyms and abbreviations only when completely necessary. Make sure they are spelled correctly. In some cases, journals may not require an abstract at all.
Provide 4-6 words related to the topic of your discussion. This will make your opinion article look better.
Provide background information with a concise summary of available scientific texts. Once you have established the basis of the work, present the purpose of your article close to the end.
The main body of an opinion article must be logical and well-structured. Make sure that each point of view is presented in a comprehensible way that is easy to read and review. Introduce your topic and list all the views on the issue. In addition, always make sure that the comments or models have strong and credible evidence.
Summarize your arguments with the evidence that supports your point of view. In addition, discuss the uses and implications of your ideas. You can also suggest guidelines for future research. Besides, you should mention the limitations of your opinion article for an unbiased overview.
Declarations in an Opinion Article
In some journals, a declaration section is required which includes the following:
1. Authors must disclose any competing financial and non-financial interests.
2. Authors must provide ethics approval and consent of the participants in the research (if the research includes human subjects/human tissues/human data). Moreover, mention the ethics statements and the name of ethics committees that approved the research.
3. Obtain consent for publication of any human data in the report.
4. The data availability and material statement should include information about the data source that supports your findings in the article. You can also provide links to archives of public databases which you referred to, analyzed, or generated during your research period. Providing resources helps others interpret and reproduce published data and perform their research accordingly. However, you should avoid sharing data that may violate your privacy.
Data availability statements can include the following:
- Databases that have been analyzed or generated during the present study are available (provide the name of the database and a web link to that dataset).
- All the data analyzed or generated during the present study are included in supplementary files.
- The analyzed or generated data sets are available from the corresponding author upon request.
5. Clearly state the financial resources and their role in research design, data collection and analysis, data interpretation, and writing of the article.
6. The contributions of each author should be explained.
If you have ever written an opinion article, please tell us about the challenges you have faced in the comments section below. Also, we will be happy to answer any questions you might have about opinion articles.