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A letter to the author on how to write an abstract

已有 578 次阅读 2019-6-24 08:24 |个人分类:编辑工作365|系统分类:论文交流| research, author

An author from South America wrote to ask me whether a paper on community study in the mountain areas can be published in Journal of Mountain Science, I suggesed he send me the abstract before he plans to submit to our online manuscript center. This morning I received his abstract, and found he introduced a lot of background information but didnot narrate how he did the research, and what concrete research results had been obtained, thus I wrote to the authors and told  him my suggestions on how to write his abstract. In fact I am afraid he didnot use scientific methods to do the study but just interview or observation. I think it is insufficient for a scientific paper. Below is the letter I wrote to him.

Dear Mr.Peter,

I have read the abstract you sent to me. I think your study introduced a lot of background information but didnot tell us how you conduct the research, and the research results are not clearly stated either. 

Usually an abstract for a science paper needs to include these parts:

1)Why do you want to do this research? Briefing the research background and purpose; 

2)How do you do this research?  Narrating research contents including study time, place (site), methods (experimental design, sampling numbers, replicates, important facility or analysis software or models, interviewee, questionnaire, etc..), 

3) What have you obtained from this research? Stating what important results you get from this research but not listing all the results.

4) What is important or valuable conclusion can you draw from this research?

Keep the story in a logic wording with no misspelling, no grammatical mistakes. No equation, no reference, no difficult jargons are included in the abstract. Abbreviations mentioned at the first time in the abstract should be explained.

Best regards

QIU Dunlian     




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