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Why We Need a Structured Abstract in Education Research


"Approximately 1,100 education journals collectively publish more than 20,000 education research articles each year. Under current practice, no systematic way exists to move the research findings from these studies into the hands of the millions of education practitioners and policymakers in the United States who might use them. ...To help disseminate education research findings, we propose that education journals consider adopting a structured abstract, ...a formal and compact summary of an article's main features and findings. As does a table or figure, it has a predictable structure that compresses information into a small space and can be read independent of the main body of the article. The structured abstract is longer and more detailed than the standard paragraph-style narrative summary. ...It includes basic items applying to all articles (i.e., background, purpose, research design, and conclusions) and several additional items that apply to some articles but not to others (i.e., setting, population, intervention, data collection and analysis, and findings). ...Relative to current practice, the structured abstract provides a more robust vehicle for disseminating research through traditional routes as well as through new channels made possible by emerging technologies."

Visit Related Discussion: Creating Claim-Based Structured Abstracts for Education Research