Extracts and Abstracts (Editorial Guide)
Extracts (25 words) appear in the table of contents for the issue and any search results list.
Abstracts (75 words) are translated, providing a summary of the article. They do not appear in English.
The extract provides readers with additional words to help them decide if this article is one they are interested in.
- It also adds keywords to the page to help both internal and external search.
- It is presented in English and the five additional languages.
- It is strictly limited to 25 words (in English). Really!
- A very brief summary of the article
- Focused on conclusions or the points made in the article
- Packed with meaningful industry terms, but avoiding buzz-words and jargon
- Written in third person editorial voice
- Active voice. Full sentences. Plain language.
It is not
- A teaser (“find out…” or other invitations that don’t inform)
- A repeat of the title or author name
- The first 25 words of the article.
The abstract provides the most meaningful 75 words we can assemble to help someone understand what the article says, and help them decide whether they want to read the full article in English. It is used only for the translated pages, and it not presented in English.
- Do not just repeat the text from the extract, though there may be overlaps
- Write in third person, editorial voice, active, full sentences, plain languages.
- Do not mention author names or brands unless they are the topic of the article.
- Summarize the main points the article makes.
- Write in full sentences, even in the excerpt.
- The main argument or problem should be the first or second sentence or clause.
- Think about the keywords in the article. What search terms are important to the content? Make sure keywords are in both excerpt and abstract, preferably in the first half of the paragraph of the abstract.
- Avoid lists within paragraphs; it’s very “seo”-ish.
- Use regular punctuation, such as periods, commas, semicolons, colons, question marks. Eschew exclamation points!
- Don’t use ellipses, double hyphens, or m-dashes.
- Figure out the top keywords for the article before beginning to edit, and then creating excerpt and abstract around those keywords.
- Look at the conclusion of the article, instead of the opening paragraph. The conclusion or final paragraphs are often more useful as a source than the introduction. The beginning tends to set the scene, while the end summarizes the points made in the article.
- Think about what someone reading the article will learn from the article. Don’t be afraid that you are “giving away” the point.
There are many more examples on the site.
[Excerpt] Early usability studies, an legal requirement, can prevent medical device design errors that lead to injury or death and ensure safe use of the device. [25w]
[Abstract] Over the past five years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled over 50 medical devices because they were not usable. In the medical device industry, unclear displays can lead to diabetic coma or death; poor ergonomic design can lead to severed digits; misconnected parts can lead to air-embolism. There have been recent recalls of medical devices due to severe consequences. There are ways to preemptively ensure the safe use of a medical device. [75w]