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


Article Abstracts: Many journal publishers request an abstract that is a very short summary of the major findings or conclusions of an article and limit this abstract to a paragraph or two. But some publishers require “long” or “summary” abstracts in which each section of the paper is summarized in a separate abstract section that has the same title as the article section being summarized. Such abstracts may be extensive, incorporating figures and tables. While 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.
Multiple Abstracts: A single article or sub-article may take many abstracts, each aimed at a different use, such as display at the beginning of the article, ePub promotional abstract, RSS/Atom feed, issue cover blurb, magazine style dek on the first page of the article, pronouncing abstract, or small article summary for the issue or 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 <article-meta> pertain the entire article. Some other elements, such as figures and tables, may also include the <abstract> element, but any abstract inside a smaller component refers only to that component, not to the entire article.
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

(label?, title?, (p)*, (sec)*)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

Example 1

A typical abstract of a single paragraph:
<article dtd-version="1.1d3">
<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>
<kwd-group kwd-group-type="author">...</kwd-group>

Example 2

An abstract with summarized sections:
<article dtd-version="1.1d3">
<copyright-statement>Copyright &#x00A9; 1999, British
Medical Journal</copyright-statement>
<abstract abstract-type="section">
<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>
<p><boxed-text position="float">
<sec><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>