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Importance of Keywords in Medical Manuscript Writing

Medical Manuscript Writing: The Significance of Keywords in it

What’s the purpose of medical manuscript writing? Or why do journals publish a research paper?

To make the research known to their readers i.e. the researchers!

However, most researchers read only a few journals regularly. And these are the journals that publish topics a researcher is interested in. For example, one who works on rheumatology will read the Journal of Rheumatology and no other journal. Besides these specific journals, researchers also read one or two multidisciplinary journals such as Nature or Science to stay updated.

But sometimes, papers relevant to a particular researcher appear in journals he does not see regularly or not at all. There lies the usefulness of search engines and indexing services where relevant keywords help find the desired medical research paper.

A keyword is a particular word or phrase that describes the content of a web page, article, or research paper. In simple words, it is the key to the information. Keywords help researchers find relevant papers—papers they are interested to read but miss in their normal course of reading. This happens because papers might be published in a journal the researcher does not read regularly. Or even if they are published in regular journals, he may not realise their relevance because their titles fail to do so.

So, how will the researcher come to know about the relevant papers published in the journal; one he ought not to miss?

It’s only with keywords.

Let us further understand the importance of keywords with an example.

A paper titled ‘New treatment for uncontrolled asthma’ describes the safety and efficacy of a particular drug in treating the disease. However, the title does not mention this or the name of the drug. But, if you include the name of the drug, the title will be more specific and a search for that name will lead the researchers to the paper.

Therefore, keywords supplement the information given in the title. It automatically includes the he words used in the title in the search index, but keywords serve as additional pointers.

So now, when you know the significance of using keywords in your manuscript title, how to pick those keywords?

Follow these tips to select your keywords:

  • If your paper focuses on a particular region, use that as a keyword (e.g. semi-arid tropics, the polar region, coniferous forests, etc.)
  • Use the material and techniques of the experiment as suitable keywords. For example, HPLC, alkaloids, x-ray crystallography, spectrometer, etc.
  • Some potential applications can also serve as keywords like organic farming, treatment of cancer, long-term preservation, etc.
  • Use specific phenomena or issues as keywords (e.g. global warming, air pollution, genetic engineering).
  • Take help of keyword research tools to find suitable keywords with greater search volume, low competition, and low SEO difficulty.

Last but not the least, writing a manuscript title by including the relevant keywords will not only help the researchers find it easily, it will also improve your paper’s ranking in search engines. And higher the ranking more will be the number of readers attracted towards your manuscript.

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