How much are the IMRaD structures of diploma theses and original research articles similar? A cross-sectional analysis of diploma theses from the Dental Medicine study in Split

Keywords: academic performance, diploma thesis, education, IMRaD, original research article, writing skills

Abstract

Objective: To investigate how much the IMRaD structure of diploma theses defended in graduate Study of Dental Medicine at University of Split School of Medicine is compatible with that of the original research articles, considering the proportions of IMRaD sections – Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Materials and methods: 150 diploma theses defended between 2016 and 2021 were collected from the Digital Academic Archives and Repositories (DABAR) and compared with 150 original research articles published in five dental scientific journals during the same period. The length of each IMRaD section in diploma theses and original research articles was measured using the Word Count in MS Office Word and expressed as the number of words. The overall length of IMRaD structure was calculated by adding the length of each IMRaD section. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and linear regression.

Results: On average, the overall length of IMRaD structure of diploma theses was longer than that of the original research articles. On average, the longest section in diploma theses was the Introduction (occupied almost 50% the overall length of IMRaD structure). In the average original research article, the Introduction section occupied about 15% of the overall length of IMRaD structure, while the Discussion was the longest section. The highest correlation with the overall length of IMRaD structure in diploma theses was found for Introduction (R=0.82; R2=0.67; P<0.001). In original research articles, the Discussion section was most highly correlated with the overall length of IMRaD structure (R=0.62; R2=0.38; P<0.001).

Conclusion: The IMRaD structure of diploma theses defended in graduate Study of Dental Medicine in Split differs from the structure of original research articles published in dental scientific journals. Diploma theses have a comparatively longer introduction and shorter discussion section than original research articles.

Published
2023-07-03
Section
Research Articles