The IMRaD acronym stands for the terms: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. It is a proposed structure and also a standard expected by most academic journals when accepting manuscripts reporting research results.
It is important for novice researchers to know its components, but above all to interpret its meaning in the human and social sciences as it can help them to be successful in manuscript acceptance. Its components are presented following the APA standards (among other sources) and the possibilities of application to fields other than STEM are discussed, as well as in the case of qualitative methodologies.
It is concluded that nothing in the IMRaD model precludes its application to research in the humanities and social sciences. On the other hand, applying IMRaD improves quality transparency of research reports and increases the chances of the manuscript to be accepted by academic journals.
The IMRaD model is a widely accepted standard in the scholarly communication ecosystem. Its purpose is to establish the structure and preferred components of the manuscripts that report research results. Therefore, it is the structure generally expected for scientific articles. The acronym owes its name to the following sections:
• Results and Discussion
This work has two main principles: the first one, is to present the IMRaD model in some detail. The idea is that novice or predoctoral researchers (especially for those who do compendium theses) can produce manuscripts with a better chance of being accepted by academic journals.
I believe that those of us who are involved in committees or editorial bodies of scientific journals should contribute to improving, to the extent of our possibilities, the training in academic communication of new researchers.
The second principle is to answer the question in the title and argue that, although this structure arose from the so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), it can be applied without any problem to the so-called SHAPE (Social Science, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy). The reason is that IMRaD is independent of both the object of study and the applied methodology. Instead, it imposes a very healthy transparency to improve the overall quality of science communication.
Full PDF article
Codina, Lluís (2022). The IMRaD model: what is it and how can it be applied to articles in the humanities and social sciences? Hipertext.net, (24), 96-103. https://doi.org/10.31009/hipertext.net.2022.i24.01
- Abadal, Ernest (ed.) (2017). Revistas científicas: situación actual y retos de futuro. Barcelona: Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona. (978-84-9168-8 | 978-84-9168-038-3).
- American Psychology Association (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. APA
- Anderson, Rick (2018). Scholarly Communication. What everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
- Baiget, Tomàs (2020). Manual SCImago de revistas científicas. Creación, gestión y publicación. EPI, 2020 http://profesionaldelainformacion.com/manual-revistas.html
- Cantu-Ortiz, Francisco J. (Ed.) (2018). Research Analytics: Boosting University Productivity and Competitiveness through Scientometrics. New York: Auerbach Publications, 2018.
- Codina Lluís. (2021) What is a scientific article?: IMRaD and JARS: components and meaning. Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Medium Research Group. https://repositori.upf.edu/handle/10230/47101
- Hames, Irene (2007). Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals: Guidelines for Good Practice. London: Blackwell.
- Miles, Matthew B.; Huberman, A. Michael; Saldana, Johnny (2014). Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook. London: SAGE Publications.
- Nicholas, D., Watkinson, A., Volentine, R., Allard, S., Levine, K., Tenopir, C., & Herman, E. (2014). “Trust and Authority in Scholarly Communications in the Light of the Digital Transition: setting the scene for a major study”. Learned Publishing, 27, 121–134. doi:10.1087/20140206
- Sollaci, L. B., & Pereira, M. G. (2004). «The introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD) structure: a fifty-year survey». Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 92(3), 364–367. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442179/
- Wu, Jianguo. (2011). «Improving the writing of research papers: IMRAD and beyond». Landscape Ecology 26, 1345–1349 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-011-9674-3
- Vesnic-Alujevic, L. (2014). “Peer review and scientific publishing in times of web 2.0. Publishing” Research Quarterly. doi:10.1007/s12109-014-9345-8.