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Katie Prentice, MSIS, AHIP Briscoe Library UT Health Science Center Libraries askalibrarian@uthscsa.


Research started? How is it going?

Essentially, an organized (often limited in length) description of your research question and project.

By following a specific structure, readers can clearly and quickly understand your research objectives.

Conferences, meetings and journals usually have specific abstract requirements Word limits of 250-300 words total are common Sometimes blinded abstracts are used in submissions
This means no mention of author names, places or institutional affiliations Sometimes blinded abstracts are tricky to write

The next several slides illustrate how the structured abstracts help readers quickly and easily understand the content of the article.

Objective(s) Methods Results Conclusions

Context Background Aim Findings Interpretation

Other possible sections: Design, Population, Setting, Participants, Intervention (method), Main Outcome Measures

Envision your research question Consider the purpose of your research What do you want to learn or show/share? To determine the level of volume targeting (VT) associated with the lowest work of breathing (WOB) for prematurely born infants being ventilated with acute respiratory distress. (PMID: 20688862)

Accurately, briefly, and concisely summarize how your project will attempt to answer to your question What type of research did you do? Sometimes includes SETTING and POPULATION Infants were studied first without VT (baseline). Volume targeted levels of 4 ml/kg, 5 ml/kg and 6 ml/kg were then delivered in random order. After each VT level, the infants were returned to baseline. Each step was maintained for 20 minutes.

Describes what you have discovered/learned Be precise: quantify your results Results of any statistical analysis should be reported The mean PTPdi was higher at a VT level of 4 ml/kg (median 154 cm H(2)Os/min) compared to baseline (median 112 cm H(2)Os/min) (p<0.001) and a VT level of 6 ml/kg (median 89 cm H(2)Os/min) (p<0.001).

What did you learn? Should not introduce any information or ideas not already described in your abstract Usually one or two sentences in length Can include an evaluation of your research and areas for further research projects The authors' results suggest that, during acute respiratory distress, a VT level of at least 5 ml/kg rather than a lower level might avoid an increased WOB.

So again A real abstract:

Use clear paragraphs, which are coherent, concise, and able to stand alone Match the chronology of the paper (or poster) Provide logical connections Add no new information Is understandable to a wide audience

Formulate a research QUESTION, refining it as you work on your research Consider the METHODS you will use to answer the question
Think about including population, setting, research design, and if you will have an intervention

Once you have carried out your research, analyze the data you have collected and summarize it in your RESULTS section. Finally, prepare your CONCLUSION
Think about what you learned and what it means to the readers of your work