Author: Águeda Delgado-Ponce – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

desk-1148994__180The scientific abstract is, next to the title, the part of an article more read by the academic community. Title, body of the abstract and key words, the three elements that make up the scientific summary, are included in the different databases to catch the eye of researchers internationally; therefore, magazines require it in more than one language. In fact, a good abstract may be the key for editors to decide to accept sending the manuscript to their expert reviewers or even the boarding pass to be accepted at a quality conference.

The central objective of the abstract, like the title, is to present our article in a concise and effective way to arouse interest in its reading. The approximate length is about 250 words, although this number varies between journals and strictly follow the rules of authors. The scientific community follows a particular pattern, known as IMRD, which helps us to show the most interesting of our research in a systematic way: introduction (I), method and procedures (M), results (R) and discussion (D) Or conclusion (C). The extent of each part may vary according to the interest in what you want to focus on other researchers. In Health Sciences it is usually opted for the articulated abstract, however, it is not a tradition in Social Sciences or Humanities where everything is written in a single body.

  • The introduction includes the statement of the subject and mainly indicates the purpose and relevance of the research that is presented to respond to a void or a need to complement scientific knowledge. The quote from authors in this part is avoided. The introduction answers the question “Why this study?”
  • The method or procedure reports on how the problem was studied. It may be interesting to include information on data collection instruments, population of the study or even type of analysis carried out, that is, everything that indicates the specific values of our study.
  • In the results, the contribution of the research should be mentioned, what was found. It highlights in a succinct way the most outstanding but without deepen so that it remains the interest by the complete reading of the article.
  • Finally, the body of the scientific summary is closed with the discussion, one or two sentences that reflect the conclusions, implications and / or applications of the results of the study, that is, responding to “what is the purpose of this study?” enhancing the contribution of the article.

It is recommended to write the scientific summary (title, abstract body and keywords) at the end of the article to faithfully reflect its content, the congruence factor is here of vital importance. In fact, keywords that are also in the title and body of the abstract will make Internet search engines show our article to our potential readers more often.

Undoubtedly, writing a good scientific summary is not an easy task, but if we follow these recommendations and focus our scientific production well, it will increase our capacity to attract other researchers and, consequently, our impact.

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