Author: Ana Pérez-Escoda Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

The key ideas of a scientific article constitute a simplified list of the contributions and more relevant results that are useful as a base in the argument of the manuscript presented by the author, what in real is contributed of original and new to the scientific community and is worthy to be outlined in a special mode without need of reading the whole text. It is about marking, outlining and highlighting the most important, leading the attention of our readers as if we were using a highlighter.


It sometimes occurs that the authors confuse the “highlights” or key ideas with an adapted version of the summary or abstract, when in real it does not have anything to do with. While the summary exposes a synthesis of the research: context, objectives, methodology, results and conclusions, the key ideas highlight in a minimum of 35 and maximum of 80 words the most considerable contributions that the research provides to the scientific community.

The main objective of this key idea is to visualize the academic value of the presented research, allowing to the target or interested group to know rapidly the interest of the article, its main contributions as well as its newness within the field of knowledge in which it develops. It is about a complementary section to the abstract of the article that introduces elements of knowledge about the content of the article in a relative fast way, making more effective the searches of the researchers in different databases.

The position of the key ideas comes determined by the regulation of each journal; there are some journals that mark the need of including these ideas in a separated file. However, others invite to the author to include them at the end of the text by itself, after the references.


The proliferation of the scientific literature and the quantity of the academic articles that nowadays a researcher could find in the databases make it really useful and worthy- each day more-, the need of including this section of “key ideas” to guarantee a great visibility and a more efficient reach of the results and contributions made, ensuring to grab attention in those academics, Scientifics and readers that could be interested in our research. It is an extra resource that the researcher counts with in order his or her research not to be careless.

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