Emerald structured abstracts have arrived!

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 January 2005



(2005), "Emerald structured abstracts have arrived!", Career Development International, Vol. 10 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/cdi.2005.13710aaa.003



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Emerald structured abstracts have arrived!

Well, it’s finally happened and all the first issues of the 2005 volume of Emerald journals will contain structured abstracts. Have a look at an article title page in this issue of Career Development International. That’s how they will look from now on. The look will be slightly different in the electronic version on the web site but this is only a cosmetic variation and takes account of the different media and the way people use the information.

The idea took hold at the beginning of 2004 and a small team worked on the design and introduction of structured abstracts throughout the year. Thanks to all the hard work of authors, editors, editorial and production staff at Emerald we can now showcase them for the first time. We believe they provide real benefits to our readers and researchers and that they answer some of the key questions people have about a paper without having to scan or read the entire paper:

  • “What research has been conducted on this topic?”

  • “How was the research approached – what methods were used?”

  • “What were the main findings?”

  • “Are there any literature reviews on this topic and are they selective or inclusive?”

  • “So what? They have shown this but what does this mean in my work/organization?”

  • “I want to conduct research in this area but what questions still need answering?”

  • “Has this work got any relevance and value for me?”

  • “What did the writer set out to show?”

Structured abstracts supply the answers to these types of questions without the researcher having to go any further. Authors can be more confident that their paper will be noticed and read by others with a real interest in the topic or research.

As far as possible, all our past authors and editorial team members (editorial advisory boards, etc.) have been alerted to this change. Authors who have been asked to rewrite their abstracts in the new format have readily obliged. The response from all parties has been most gratifying:

  • Structured abstracts are increasing in popularity among the social and behavioral sciences.

    There’s overwhelming evidence that readers (and indexers) glean more from structured abstracts (Jonathan Eldredge, MLS, PhD, AHIP, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Academic & Clinical Services Coordinator and Author, Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, Health Sciences Center, The University of New Mexico, USA).

To read more on structured abstracts and their value for researchers and writers, read this short paper by Liz Bayley and Jonathan Eldredge outlining their benefits at: http://research.mlanet.org/structured_abstract.html

Everyone has problems in the digital environment when weighing up the value of any piece of information – information overload is discussed endlessly in the media. Structured abstracts go some way towards a remedy.

Emerald is the very first publisher in the management field to introduce structured abstracts. We know this means change for the author and researcher but the fact that other journals don’t do it shouldn’t stop us from making the advancement. It’s wonderful to be first in the field with a good idea!

We have only two regrets! We didn’t think of it before and we are unable to go back through more than 40,000 papers already in the database and change the abstracts into structured ones. Having said that, nearly 5,000 new papers will be deposited in our database this coming year and all will be accompanied by a structured abstract.

Let us know what you think. E-mail Sue de Verteuil, Head, Editorial Developments, with your views at: sdeverteuil@emeraldinsight.com

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