Summarized description of the content of a document or document component.


Abstracts: Many book publishers now request an abstract for a book and one for each book part as part of the online sales or RSS feed advertising for the book. Many abstracts still resemble journal article abstracts, one or two paragraphs containing a very short summary of the major findings or conclusions of the book or book part. Some book abstracts are “long” or “summary” abstracts in which each book part is summarized in a separate section in the abstract, with the sections given the same title as the book part being summarized. Such abstracts may be extensive, incorporating figures and tables. The model for the element <abstract> has been made flexible enough to allow for either abstract style.
Multiple Abstracts: A single book or book part may take many abstracts, each aimed at a different use, such as display at the beginning of the chapter, ePub promotional abstract, RSS/Atom feed, book jacket blurb, pronouncing abstract, or small book or book part summary for the web splash page or the web Table of Contents. Two attributes may be used to describe the type or usage for a particular abstract:
  • The @specific-use attribute may be used to identify a processing purpose, such as RSS feed or pronunciation.
  • The optional @abstract-type attribute may be used to identify special types of abstracts, 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 list of suggested types.
Locations of Abstracts: Abstracts inside the element <book-meta> or <book-part-meta> pertain to the entire document or the entire book part. Some block-level elements, such as figures, tables, and sidebars (<boxed-text>) may also include the <abstract> element. Any abstract inside a smaller component refers only to that component, not to the entire document.
Accessibility: For accessibility purposes, it is useful to provide a very short synopsis abstract (much like a Table of Contents blurb or a dek in some journals) whose purpose is to tell a non-sighted reader what the document is about. This abstract can be given the @abstract-type such as “meta-description”, “description”, or “dc:description” to indicate that, when making web pages from this XML, the abstract should be used to create the XHTML metadata description.
The <abstract> element should not be used to take the place of the regular accessibility elements <alt-text> or <long-desc>, which are, respectively, shorter and longer descriptions of a component of a document, such as a table or figure.

Related Elements

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


Content Model

<!ELEMENT  abstract     %abstract-model;                             >

Expanded Content Model

((object-id)*, (sec-meta?, label?, title?, subtitle*, alt-title*, (address | alternatives | answer | answer-set | array | boxed-text | chem-struct-wrap | code | explanation | fig | fig-group | graphic | media | name-address-wrap | preformat | question | question-wrap | question-wrap-group | supplementary-material | table-wrap | table-wrap-group | disp-formula | disp-formula-group | def-list | list | tex-math | mml:math | p | related-article | related-object | ack | disp-quote | speech | statement | verse-group | x)*, (sec)*, (notes | fn-group | glossary | ref-list | sig-block)*))


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

Example 1

A typical abstract of a single paragraph:
<title>GenBank: The Nucleotide Sequence Database</title>
<p>The GenBank sequence database is an annotated collection of all
publicly available nucleotide sequences and their protein translations.
This database is produced at National Center for Biotechnology
Information (<xref ref-type="kwd" rid="bid.1353">NCBI</xref>) as part
of an international collaboration with the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory (EMBL) Data Library from the European Bioinformatics
Institute (EBI) and the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). GenBank and
its collaborators receive sequences produced in laboratories throughout
the world from more than 100,000 distinct organisms. GenBank continues
to grow at an exponential rate, doubling every 10 months. Release 134,
produced in February 2003, contained over 29.3 billion nucleotide
bases in more than 23.0 million sequences. GenBank is built by direct
submissions from individual laboratories, as well as from bulk
submissions from large-scale sequencing centers.</p>
<p>Direct submissions are made to ...</p>

Example 2

An abstract with summarized sections:
<p>To examine the effectiveness of day hospital attendance 
in prolonging independent living for elderly people.</p>
<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>
<p><boxed-text position="float">
<title>Key messages</title>

Example 3

The @abstract-type attribute can differentiate between multiple abstracts:
<p>This is the third and last part of the volume devoted to solubility data of rare 
earth metal chlorides in water and in ternary and quaternary aqueous systems. 
Compilations of all available experimental data for each rare earth metal chloride 
are introduced with a corresponding critical evaluation. Every such evaluation 
contains a tabulated collection of all solubility results in water, a scheme of the 
water-rich part of the equilibrium ... Because the ternary and quaternary systems 
were almost never studied more than once, no critical evaluations or systematic 
comparisons of such data were possible. Simple chlorides (no complexes) of 
Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu are treated as the input substances. The 
literature (including a thorough coverage of papers in Chinese and Russian) 
has been covered through the middle of 2008.</p>
<abstract abstract-type="short">
<p>The is the third and last part of the volume devoted to solubility data of rare 
earth metal chlorides in water and in ternary and quaternary aqueous systems. 
Compilations of all available experimental data are introduced for each rare earth 
metal chloride with a corresponding critical evaluation. This part covers chlorides 
of Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu, with coverage of the literature through the 
middle of 2008.</p>