Summarized description of the content of a journal article


Most journal publishers use the abstract as a very short summary of the major findings or conclusions of an article. But some publishers produce “long”, summary abstracts, which summarize each section of the paper in a separate abstract section that has the same section title as the article section. Such abstracts may be extensive, incorporating figures and tables. Although the model for the element <abstract> has been made flexible enough to allow for these titled sections, it is expected that most abstracts will be much simpler and will contain one or more paragraphs.

The abstract-type attribute may be used to identify special types of abstracts that are created by some publishers, for example, graphical abstracts, stereochemical abstracts, ASCII abstracts for sending to small devices, and Table-of-Contents abstracts that are so short they are inserted as annotations into a Table of Contents. See the attribute page for abstract-type for a more complete list of types. If the type is not known, the abstract-type attribute need not be used.


abstract-type Type of Abstract
xml:lang Language

Related Elements

The element Translated Abstract <trans-abstract> contains another version of the abstract, one translated into a language other than that of the original publication.

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  abstract     %abstract-model;                             >


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<article-meta> Article Metadata

Tagged Examples

Example 1

A typical abstract:

<copyright-statement>Copyright &#x00A9; 2000, The National Academy of
<p>We describe a method for cloning nucleic acid molecules
onto the surfaces of 5-&#x03BC;m microbeads rather than in biological hosts. A
unique tag sequence is attached to each molecule, and the tagged library is
amplified. Unique tagging of the molecules is achieved by sampling a small
fraction (1&#x0025;) of a very large repertoire of tag sequences. The resulting
library is hybridized to microbeads that each carry &#x2248;10<sup>6</sup>
strands complementary to one of the tags. About 10<sup>5</sup> copies of each
molecule are collected on each microbead. Because such clones are segregated on
microbeads, they can be operated on simultaneously and then assayed separately.
To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we show how to label and extract
microbeads bearing clones differentially expressed between two libraries by
using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS). Because no prior information
about the cloned molecules is required, this process is obviously useful where
sequence databases are incomplete or nonexistent. More importantly, the process
also permits the isolation of clones that are expressed only in given tissues or
that are differentially expressed between normal and diseased states. Such
clones then may be spotted on much more cost-effective, tissue- or
disease-directed, low-density planar microarrays.</p></abstract>

Example 2

An abstract with summarized sections:

<copyright-statement>Copyright &#x00A9; 1999, British 
Medical Journal</copyright-statement>
<p>To examine the effectiveness of
day hospital attendance in prolonging independent living for elderly
<p>Systematic review of 12 controlled clinical trials (available 
by January 1997) comparing day hospital care with
comprehensive care (five trials), domiciliary care (four trials), 
or no comprehensive care (three trials).</p>
<p>2867 elderly people.</p>
<title>Main outcome measures</title>
<p>Death, institutionalisation, disability, global &#x201C;poor 
outcome,&#x201D; and use of resources.</p>
<p>Overall, there was no significant difference between day hospitals and 
alternative services for death, disability, or use of resources. However, ...</p>
<p>Day hospital care seems to be an effective service for elderly 
people ...</p>
<sec><title>Key messages</title>...