Guidelines for abstract writing
What is the purpose of an abstract?
An abstract is a short statement about your paper designed to give the reader a complete, yet concise, understanding of your paper’s research and findings. A well-prepared abstract allows a reader to quickly and accurately identify the basic content of your paper. Abstracts written in English are of special importance to Russian journals because they give the international scientific community access to scientific publications in Russian. That is why an abstract should act as a reference tool enabling the reader to see if the related research is of interest to them and to decide whether or not to read the full text. Abstracts are the only source of information for Russian and foreign information systems, data bases and indexed journals and must be available on the journal’s website for public access and computerized search system indexing. A well-prepared abstract makes it easier to have a paper included in international databases and to get a citation index in international search systems.
General characteristics of an abstract
Describe your results (the findings of your experimentation) as informatively and concisely as possible avoiding general or introductory phrases containing superfluous words (for example, instead of writing «…as a result of the work done by the authors it was established/found that…» use the following: «…it was established/found that…». Include your key theoretical and experimental results, factual information, revealed interconnections and patterns. Give special priority in your abstract to new results and long-term impact data, important discoveries and verified findings that contradict previous theories as well as data that you think have practical value. An abstract should be concise and contain between 120 and 250 words. Abstracts in English may have a larger word count (between 200 and 300 words) to give a more detailed description of the paper.
What should be in an abstract
An abstract should contain the following elements:
- a statement of the purpose of your study and its novelty (a new approach to solving a problem, novel or improved software, a novel experimental device or procedure)
- the results observed and their potential application
- the conclusions drawn from your study
How to structure an abstract
To be concise and factual, an abstract should be properly structured into separate sections by using words like «purpose/objective», «method/methodology», «results» and «conclusions».