THE RESULTS

Results are applications of data to Measurable Hypotheses that result in conclusions.


Why do scientific papers have a Results section?


The purpose of the Results section is commonly explained as describing data without interpretation. The Results section is thought to answer the question: "What were the findings?" (Bolt and Bruins, 2012).


If the purpose of the Results section is simply to describe data, then why is the section not simply called the "Data" section?


The reason scientific papers have a "Results" section is because data alone are NOT results.


Whereas "data" refers to objective, quantitative measurements (or "facts"), "results" are outcomes. But outcomes of what?


Results are the outcomes of arguments that use data to test Measurable Hypotheses.


Therefore, a clearer question that the Results section answers is:


WHY do the data lead to the conclusion to reject or support each Measurable Hypothesis?

A single "result" can be considered the outcome of a comparison: between the specific prediction of a Measurable Hypothesis and the measured data.


Being "measurable" means that Measurable Hypotheses can be directly tested by experimental data. Experiments typically use statistical tests or other objective comparisons.

Supporting or testing Measurable Hypotheses does NOT require interpretation or judgment IF Measurable Hypotheses are specific, and the Results section employs strong reasoning (e.g. rejecting hypotheses using modus tollens). Therefore Results can be both explanatory and not involve interpretation.


The central question of the Results section includes three components:


1) WHAT the data are.

2) HOW the data compare with the Measurable Hypotheses.

3) WHY the data either support or reject each measurable hypothesis.