The terms précis or synopsis are used in some publications to refer to the same thing that other publications might call an «abstract». Academic literature uses the abstract to succinctly communicate complex research. An abstract research abstract act as a stand-alone entity instead of a full paper. The abstract can convey the main results and conclusions of a scientific article but the full text article must be consulted for details of the methodology, the full experimental results, and a critical discussion of the interpretations and conclusions.
An abstract allows one to sift through copious numbers of papers for ones in which the researcher can have more confidence that they will be relevant to his or her research. Once papers are chosen based on the abstract, they must be read carefully to be evaluated for relevance. It is generally agreed that one must not base reference citations on the abstract alone, but the content of an entire paper. According to the results of a study published in PLOS Medicine, the «exaggerated and inappropriate coverage of research findings in the news media» is ultimately related to inaccurately reporting or over-interpreting research results in many abstract conclusions. Abstracts are protected under copyright law just as any other form of written speech is protected. However, publishers of scientific articles invariably make abstracts freely available, even when the article itself is not. Abstract length varies by discipline and publisher requirements.
Typical length ranges from 100 to 500 words, but very rarely more than a page and occasionally just a few words. An abstract may or may not have the section title of «abstract» explicitly listed as an antecedent to content. Example taken from the Journal of Biology, Volume 3, Issue 2. Daniel Weihs, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel. Background Drafting in cetaceans is defined as the transfer of forces between individuals without actual physical contact between them.