If you were to write a scientific paper which must include a section on 'Basic definitions', would you put this section after the Abstract and the Introduction, or before the Introduction?

What do you think about this layout?

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Basic Definitions
  • Some chapters on the work / Methods used
  • Review of the literature
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • 4
    After the introduction, unless you rely heavily on the definitions in the introduction.
    – user68958
    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:49
  • Usually you have the related work section just before or right after the introduction.
    – allo
    Jul 18, 2018 at 13:36
  • 1
    @allo: It depends on the field, I've seen both. But "after introduction" seems more modern. In some fields they even don't have conclusions! Jul 18, 2018 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


Now about "introduction and definitions".

Unless you really cannot do this, the introduction should in the ideal case be more accessible (say, understandable not only to an absolute specialist in your subfield). Even more importantly, the introduction should motivate the problem and present an informal overview.

This is introduction:

The order of the sepulation of sepulka is a well-known and important problem in Sepulka Sciences. We suggest an ordering of sepulation that increases the performance of almost each sepulka bundle.

This is main paper text:

Let ∆ be the main sepulation index of the current sepulka bundle, orderded lexicographically [Lem, 1957]. We denote with ∂µ the difference of sepulation gradient for...

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