In scientific journals, abstract means the summary of an article. But in the dictionary, these two words have different definitions. Sometimes they are used interchangeably in scientific texts and the same word is used for both concepts. But you must notice that this is not common and many journals distinguish between abstract and summary.
The abstract of the article is the part that attracts the readers after the title of the article. The abstract should be short. This means that it must include the most important parts of the article, such as the main and most important findings of the article.
In order to make sure of the correct word count for your abstract, you should look at the articles published by your selected journal and find out the average length of abstracts. In addition, you should read the authors’ guidelines and follow any specific rules and regulations that you can find there. For example, it is often said that an abstract should be 100-150 words.
The abstract should contain the following:
– The used facts and principles
– The main results
– The importance of results and their interpretation
The abstract of an article should contain the facts found in the research project. Besides, it should mention the most important results, explain the importance of the work, and the meaning of each of the findings. The abstract should not contain anything that is not included in the article. It should be accurate and include the information that is directly related to the article.
In the abstract, you should not use phrases such as “the importance of results has been discussed in this article …” because such sentences do not give any information to the readers and are useless. They only limit your use of words (150 words). Instead, you should point out the findings and explain why they are important.
The four main components of an abstract are:
- Your findings, or something that you intended to find. This may already be in the title of your article.
- If the methods used in your research are interesting, mention them. Otherwise, it is not necessary to do so.
- Mention the main results of the work along with their explanations in a clear and unambiguous manner. Never use vague descriptions. Mention the interpretation of the results based on their importance, application, and inference.
Notice that the word count of an abstract should not exceed 150 words.
Mention each of them in a few sentences. Do not use abbreviated words that you have used in the text of the article. Also, do not refer to figures and tables. Use simple, definite phrases with values and numbers. For example, write: “Eighty-six percent (86%) of patients regained their health after the treatment.”
4. In the abstract, it is better not to use sentences that need a reference. But if it is necessary to address a source in the abstract, you must include it in the list of your references.