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Bull Med Libr Assoc. 2000 Oct;88(4):332-7.

Clarifying the abstracts of systematic literature reviews.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Keele University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. j.hartley@psy.keele.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a small body of research on improving the clarity of abstracts in general that is relevant to improving the clarity of abstracts of systematic reviews.

OBJECTIVES:

To summarize this earlier research and indicate its implications for writing the abstracts of systematic reviews.

METHOD:

Literature review with commentary on three main features affecting the clarity of abstracts: their language, structure, and typographical presentation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The abstracts of systematic reviews should be easier to read than the abstracts of medical research articles, as they are targeted at a wider audience. The aims, methods, results, and conclusions of systematic reviews need to be presented in a consistent way to help search and retrieval. The typographic detailing of the abstracts (type-sizes, spacing, and weights) should be planned to help, rather than confuse, the reader.

PMID:
11055300
PMCID:
PMC35254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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