How to Write Scientific Manuscript for Publication for the Beginners

How to Write Scientific Manuscript for Publication for the Beginners

by: Djedi S. Widarto, DSc., | Senior lecturer in geophysics at the Geophysical Engineering Study Program, Universitas Pertamina


A special course entitled How to Write Scientific Manuscript for Publication for the Beginners, was hosted free of charge by the Indonesian Association of Geophysicists (HAGI) in March 13, 2021 at 9:00 to 12:30. The course was delivered online using zoom meeting with approximately of 400 registered participants. The presenter for this course was Djedi S. Widarto, DSc., a senior lecturer in applied geophysics at the Geophysical Engineering Study Program, Universitas Pertamina. Widarto graduated from geology department Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in 1985, and holds Master of Engineering (MEng.) in geophysical exploration & geoengineering from Waseda University, Japan, in 1991, and Doctor of Science (DSc.). He has long experiences in writing scientific publications, both in Bahasa Indonesia dan English. He has at least 7 international publication (refereed) journals, 24 international conferences/workshop proceedings, at least 13 Indonesian/National (refereed) journals, at least 27 national conferences/workshops/ seminars proceedings, and 4 papers in books.

With these long experiences in writing scientific publications, he is an appropriate person to be invited by HAGI to give special course in particular dedicated to the undergraduate senior students who are preparing their final project, to the fresh graduate who just entered to the university/research institution as junior lecturer/junior researcher, or even for a new comer in industry.

The course is intended to train the participants on how to prepare/writing technical report, undergraduate final project/master thesis/doctoral dissertation, with special emphasizing in scientific manuscript for journal publication, both national and international journals.

One of the suggested strategies for script writing is in the following order:

  1. Data and Methods
  2. Results

The two chapters/matters above (1, 2) can be written in advance, as you experiment/ compute/model/interpret and collect the results. Then write:

  1. Introduction
  2. Discussion; and
  3. Conclusion

The three chapters/matters above (3, 4, and 5) can be written when you have the results (analysis/interpretation) and you can feel the implications/impacts of the results. And then write the remaining chapters as follows:

  1. Title (no academic degree is needed) + affiliation (concise & compact) + postcode
  2. Abstract + Keywords
  3. References, and
  4. Acknowledgements


Major elements in the geosciences-related manuscripts are as follows:

  1. Title
  2. Author(s) and their affiliation(s)
  3. Abstract
  4. Introduction
  5. Regional Geology of the Study area
  6. Data Acquisition and Methods
  7. Data Analysis and Interpretation
  8. Results and Discussion
  9. Conclusions/Conclusive Remarks/Summary
  10. Future Work
  11. Acknowledgments
  12. Appendices
  13. Figure Captions
  14. Figures
  15. Table and Captions


One important thing to be discussed here is how to prepare for the abstract. The Abstract are:

  1. Summary of the contents of the journal manuscript;
  2. Time-saving shortcuts for busy researchers to understand manuscript content;
  3. A guide to the most important parts of the written content of your manuscript.


Thus, in general, the basic components of an Abstract are:

  • What has it been done (+ where? How much data?);
  • Why did you do that? Write a motivation/problem statement. Are there any practical, scientific or theoretical gaps in your research with previous researchers?
  • What methods/procedures/approaches did you use to get the results?
  • What products or findings did you produce? Why is this finding useful and important?
  • What are the important conclusions or implications of your findings regarding the above motivations/problems?

The course was closed by giving participants special message that they have to write their papers in Bahasa Indonesia (and/or English) properly and grammatically correct.


Snapshots of the participants of HAGI Special Free Course that was carried out in March 13, 2021.


March 13, 2021

Djedi S Widarto