Abstract

6 November 1975 Geological Information Group

What is the use of geological abstracts?

Introduction D. N. Wood

The function and value of the abstract J. M. Moore, Mining Geology Department, Imperial College, London SW72AZ

There are two varieties of author's abstract: Detached abstracts for circulars or notices announcing a forthcoming meeting. These are commonly written before the full text of the paper. Synopses written after completion of the manuscript.The two abstract forms should not be confused, and never substituted for each other. In the type an author describes his research, without imposing unnecessary constraints which interfere with his preparation of the final manuscript. The second is a precise and specific summary of the completed text of a paper.

Recent trends in scientific writing, resulting partly from editorial attitudes, are causing authors to produce shorter papers and in some eases to publish only abstracts, summarising research or verbal communications—as is the case here. The importance of the abstract is therefore increasing. The editor, to whom a manuscript is submitted, will use the abstract to help him decide if the work is suitable material for his journal and to select referees. After publication, the author's text assists secondary services in the preparation of synopsis abstract journals or in key word indexing. The rifle and abstract will be used for library classification and filing. For the general reader, the author's abstract should provide background information in subjects outside his specific interests. Specialists in the author's field will decide on the basis

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