An abstract serves as a source of information about the content of an article and its research findings.
An abstract has the following functions:
- makes it possible to determine the main content of the document and its relevance to a reader;
- provides information about the document and eliminates the need to read its full text if it is of secondary interest to a reader;
- is used in information (including automated) systems for search and retrieval of information.
An abstract must be:
- informative (does not contain common words);
- substantial (reflects the main content of the article and its research results);
- structured (follows the logic of the article);
- compact (fit in 120 to 250 words).
An abstract includes the following aspects of an article:
- subject and aim of research;
- method or methodology of work;
- research results;
- application area of results;
- conclusions and recommendations.
Subject, theme and aim of an article should be specified in an abstract only if they are not apparent from the article's title.
Method or methodology of an article should be described in case if it is new and poses interest from the author(s)' point of view. Abstracts of experimental papers should describe sources of its data and the nature of their treatment.
Research results must be described precisely and informatively and include main theoretical and experimental results, factual data, discovered relationships and patterns.
Conclusions may be accompanied by recommendations, estimates, suggestions, hypotheses described in the article.
Information contained in the title of an article must not be repeated in its abstract. Author(s) should avoid unnecessary introductory phrases (eg, "the author examines the ...").
An abstract must not include historical information (if it does not constitute the main content of the document) and description of previously published and well-known scientific results.
The text of an abstract should use significant words from the article and syntax inherent in the language of scientific and technical documents. Complex grammatical constructions should be avoided.