Abstract (summary)

An abstract is a concise synopsis, an outline without interpretation and summary of a scientific paper. In DIN 1426, the (or the ) Abstract as a summary ( also used as a synonym ) to the Summary is described. The definition of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is: ". An abstract is defined as in abbreviated accurate representation of the contents of a document" ( " An abstract is defined as an abbreviated accurate representation of the contents of a document. " )

General features

  • Objectivity: It should contain any personal rating.
  • Short, it should be as short as possible.
  • Comprehensibility: It has a clear, comprehensible language and structure.
  • Completeness: all significant matters that should be included.
  • Accuracy: It should accurately reflect the content and opinion of the original work.


Abstracts can be used in many ways - for example, for the detection of relevance: It should be recognized quickly and accurately, whether the document is relevant to the research question and the reader the original document still needs to read. It is also used for obtaining information: The abstract should provide the essential information, even without the original document must be read. For research reports and similar abstracts are useful: they can be made ​​partially accessible to the public, if this is not possible with the original document.

Usually need scientific articles contain an abstract, typically from 100 to 150 words, without images and references and in a paragraph. At conferences is generally required to submit an abstract, so that the scientific organization team can decide which will be admitted to the desired lectures. These abstracts are slightly longer in the rule and can often include pictures, references to up to one A4 page.

Content editing

  • The initial situation, intentions, objectives, thematic delimitation, (hypo ) theses of the document are to be named shortly.
  • The same applies to the results and conclusions, which conjectures and facts must be clearly separated.
  • The reference to other works should be cited bibliographic if they are an important part ( does not apply to abstracts of scientific articles ).
  • The investigation methods and techniques as well as perspectives are to be named, but only as it is necessary for understanding.


The abstract should always be at the beginning of the original document. The bibliographic information about the document should follow immediately after the Abstract. The length should depend on the content rather than the document length.

Limiting forms of the abstract

The Unit should be replaced spare reading of the original document and represents a compression of the original document

The critical presentation is an explicit opinion and can be used for example to information services targeted at specific groups of people.