I did a survey on the demand for complementary medicine among hospital patients. We used a questionnaire comprising 38 items and consequentially I have a lot of information.

I am currently writing a research paper and I was wondering whether all results reported in the result section ought to be commented on in the discussion section? I reported various findings I deemed important, but in the discussion part, I only concentrated on the interpretation and analysis of the main ones since it would be too much otherwise. I did an exploratory survey without any specific hypothesis a priori. Is it okay to report many results and then focus only on the essential ones in the discussion section, or is this being frowned upon?

  • I took the liberty to remove your second question as it is sufficiently distinct from your first one and should be asked separately. However, before you do so, please look into the target journal’s guidelines.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Not only is that OK, that's really what you should be doing. Nobody else is going to spend a lot of time going over your data to find interesting conclusions – that's your job. Busy researchers who are related but not directly in your field are likely to only read your abstract, introduction, and discussion.

Your discussion tells us what was interesting and why. If someone really wants to get the whole story then they'll go look at your results section to see for themselves.

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