The main required elements of an article

The main structural elements of an article

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Keywords

The main elements of the text

  • Introduction
  • Materials and Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References (Bibliography)

Working with the elements of an article


  • It should represent the main point of an article and the reason for writing this article.
  • It should be no longer than one sentence only.
  • It should not be too large; it should be as short as possible, but meaningful and attracting (the title extension is allowed only as a last resort).
  • It should include the name of the region of researches (if it is not a methodological article of a broad field or a review).
  • It should not be inconsiderable in the subjects and significance.


  • It is a very important part of an article, because it defines the amount of references and the rate of the article in the Internet in the Scientific Data Bases.
  • It should be one or half of an A4 page long (“Arid Ecosystems” welcomes the size of half of a page).
  • It should be written only after the article is done.

Structure of Abstract

  • 1-2 sentences (or paragraphs if the Abstract is one page long) describe the point of the Introduction.
  • 1-2 sentences (or paragraphs) describe the Materials and Methods.
  • 2-3 sentences (or paragraphs) describe the Results and Discussion.
  • 2-3 sentences (or paragraphs) describe the Conclusion. If there are many conclusions given, the Abstract should have only the main ones.


  • They are very important, because they help with finding the articles of specific subject in the Internet and increase the amount of references given to the article.
  • From 6 to 12 words are enough (there can be more if strictly needed).
  • They all should describe the subject, results and conclusions of the article.
  • They should be as uncommon as possible in the field of the subject, which means they should be mentioned only in this article to explain the results of the research, because the common words will place the article on the farthest page of the articles list of this specific subject in the Internet and so will make the finding of the article very hard for the potential reader.


  • It should be 1 page or half of a page long if the article itself is 10-12 pages long.
  • It should briefly explain the problem of the research.
  • It should include a very short review and the state of the problem of the article subject in Russia or elsewhere.
  • It should determine the aims and the objectives of the research.

Materials and Methods

  • It should determine the region of researches and is better to have a map (showing the points, profiles, transect etc.), which can be a physico-geographical map divided into zones and showing the region of the researches.
  • It should briefly (if the article is not a methodological one) present: methodology, all methods of research of every component, all methodical approaches, used in researches and used as a base for the analysis of the materials.
  • It should have references to the published sources (which in their turn should be placed into References section as well) for every mentioned methodology, research methods or methodical approaches. If some of these references are of your own authorship, it should be indicated too. If some of mentioned methods are published for the first time, it should be pointed out that you developed them yourself and publish them as an article for the first time.

  • For the articles having maps and space or air photography the following should be indicated:

— Source of the photographs; in case they are downloaded from a web source its full address (not just a source name) should be provided;

— Permission and date when the photos were taken and the total number of photos;

— Methodic or program used to interpretation the photos;

— The way of how the interpretation reliability was evaluated, or was it evaluated at all, also, whether it was verified in the field.

  • For the articles having statistical hydrological and meteorological data the following should be indicated:

— Place or web source from which the data was taken;

— Volume and registration periodicity (for constantly registered) of the data;

— The kind of data processing, who and how did the processing (if the data was not taken unprocessed right from the registers), the kind of the data (which data was used for the analysis, e.g. horal, daily, monthly average, annual average, annual etc.);

— How the trends reliability was determined and which trends were used, meaning the time periods for different trends should be indicated (if they were distinguished).

  • For the articles having geobotanical, fauna and animal data the following should be indicated:
  • The amount or the volume of carried geobotanical descriptions, season (month(s)), year(s) of researches;
  • The amount, spread and type of the routes for animal counting, season(s) and year(s);
  • The brief explanation of methodic or system used for accounting, e.g. J. Braun-Blanquet system or O. Drude scale for geobotanists etc., with references of the literature sources given (they should be copied to References section as well), if the researches are not yours entirely.

  • For the articles having soil, geochemical and hydrological data the following should be indicated:
  • The amount of soil profiles, pits, trenches and wells made for the article, and their depth;
  • Month(s) or season(s) and year(s) of researches;
  • The total number of soil, water, air etc. samples processed in laboratory;
  • Brief description of chemical processing methodic in the field or laboratory conditions, with literature references (included into References section);
  • Which institute or accredited laboratory the chemical processing of samples was carried out at and by whom.

  • For the articles having archival, historical, museum, herbarium and other  collectible materials the following should be indicated:
  • The location, name and belonging of an archive, collection, herbarium etc. (including their inner unit names), the materials of which were used for the article;
  • The amount of processed leaves, samples and other archival and/or collectible objects, used for the article;
  • The time period of the archival materials: month(s) or season(s), year(s) of materials, used for the analysis;
  • If the archival materials have not been published anywhere yet, the references (which should be included into References section) to the scientific literature where they are mentioned should be given along with their full names in their original (archival) form, i.e. in their original language.

Results and Discussion

  • This section presents the results of researches and includes text, tables, maps, graphs and photographs.
  • Discussion and analysis can be presented along with results without being divided into subsections.
  • Or results can be presented before their analysis.
  • The section should have a conclusive part to compare results with similar results for different regions, zones, territories, sites and countries. The advantage of the carried researches should be evaluated objectively. If the researches are entirely innovative, it should be accentuated.


  • If the article is innovative in its subject, problem statement, region or methods, methodical approaches or methodology, it should be represented in conclusion according to Introduction section where these innovations are mentioned.
  • If the methods developed by the author have been applied for the first time, it should also be mentioned here, as well as in Materials and Methods section.
  • There should be no less than two conclusions in accordance with Results and Discussion section, but it is better to have more conclusions.
  • The point of previously drawn conclusions can be repeated here too, but in different words.


An example of how they should look in “Arid Ecosystems”:

Water Resources of Russia and Their Usage. 2008 / Ed. I.A. Shiklomanova. Saint-Petersburg: State Institute of Hydrology. 600 p.

Kuzmina Zh.V., Treshkin S.E. 2017. Methodius of Evaluation of Disturbances in the Terrestrial Ecosystems and Landscapes as the Result of Climatic and Hydrological Changes // Ecosystems: Ecology and Dynamics. Vol. 1. No. 3. P. 146-188 [Web Media (date of access 20.01.2018)].

Rulev A.S., Shinkarenko S.S., Kosheleva O.Yu. 2017. Evaluation of Volga Hydrological Regime Influencing the Dynamics of Sarpinsky Island Flooding // Scientific Notes of Kazan University. Natural Sciences Series. Vol. 159. Book 1. P. 139-151.

(U.S. Geological Survey. 2018 [Web Media (date of access 26.01.2018)].

Strategy and Plan of Measures for Preservation of Biodiversity of Volga-Akhtuba Floodplain and Volga Delta. 2009. Project ПРООН/ГЭФ 00047701. «Preservation of Biodiversity of Wetlands of Low Volga ». Moscow: Geography Institute of RAS. 63 p.