The art of the abstract
The abstract is your calling card to the world of scientific research. Senthil K Selvanathan and coauthors explain what you need to do to get your message across in a non-abstract way
- By: Senthil K Selvanathan, Rebecca D Udani, S D Udani, K R Haylett
When we begin researching or reviewing the literature we start with the abstract, but it is easiest to write one when you have finished the rest of your report. It's often the entrance exam for conference papers and presentations. With only the abstract to go on, panels of reviewers sit in judgment, selecting the research to be presented at a conference or simply consigning it to the bin. All they have to go on are a few meagre lines, which may convey years of research. The tools of the keenest crossword expert, a good deal of skill, and hopefully the guidance presented here are needed to make every word count. This is the art of the abstract.
The abstract should be structured, informative, concise, and “klear” (SICK), and if you read no further than this you will already have picked up the starting point of a good abstract. But to