I did a survey on the demand for complementary medicine among patients of the gynaecologcial department here in Munich. We collected a couple of hundred questionnaires and I am currently writing my research paper. Since I do not know yet to which journal I am going to submit it, I wanted to adopt a very normal and standard structure/style. I was wondering now whether there are predefined standards of length concerning research papers, in particular regarding word count. I intuitively try to stay under 3000, but would it be ok to exceed that number? Moreover, is it fine to have, for example, a comparatively brief introduction and method section but a rather extensive discussion section? Or do the different sections have predefined standards too?

closed as too broad by Buzz, scaaahu, user3209815, Enthusiastic Engineer, Dirk Sep 15 '17 at 8:31

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 10
    One of them asked Lincoln, "How long should a man's legs be in proportion to his body?" and Lincoln replied" "I have not given the matter much consideration, but on first blush I should judge they ought to be long enough to reach the ground." — Thomas Lawry, Personal Remembrances of Abraham Lincoln (1910) – JeffE Sep 14 '17 at 20:02
  • We cannot answer this without known which specific journal you are trying to publish. Also, most (all most all?) journals list length limits in the authors guidelines section. – Richard Erickson Sep 14 '17 at 20:13
  • 2
    My published papers range in length from 3 to 134 pages, and I don't consider any of them abnormal. – Andreas Blass Sep 15 '17 at 0:12
  • If you have a specific journal in mind -- why not just look at the articles in the past couple of years and average their lengths? Such data isn't very hard to find. – John Coleman Sep 15 '17 at 1:02

If you're trying to get a paper that you can publish in a journal, then it really depends on the journal, and if it has any specific requirements or constraints. There is no "standard" length for a paper. I've had papers that were 15 manuscript pages, and papers that were 50.

  • 1
    And it's very different between fields. In chemistry ~4 page papers are extremly common and all the raw data and experimental procedures are put into supplementary files. – DSVA Sep 14 '17 at 20:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.